French police fired tear gas to disperse protesters from Paris’s Champs Elysees avenue on Sunday, a few hours after President Emmanuel Macron had reviewed the traditional Bastille Day military parade alongside other European leaders. Paris authorities had banned ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations near the parade but several groups linked to the movement had called for gatherings around the Champs Elysees on Bastille Day, a national holiday in France.
The U.S. will investigate a French plan to impose taxes on technology companies, a move that has been a prelude to new U.S. tariffs under the Trump administration. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have as long as a year to examine whether the plan would hurt U.S. technology firms, and suggest remedies. The so-called 301 investigation is the same tool President Donald Trump used to impose tariffs on Chinese goods because of the country’s alleged theft of intellectual property.
Europe continues to endure record-breaking temperatures as hot air from the Sahara engulfs the continent. The French capital has seen temperatures soar past 40C (104F) and the local council has banned up to 60% of its cars to limit pollution that has been made worse by the heat. Older and less efficient cars have been banned within the A86 second ring-road – which includes Paris and 79 towns around it – for as long as the hot weather lasts.
Facebook has agreed to identify people in France suspected of using hate speech on its platform. It is the first time the social media giant will hand over identifying information to authorities about its users in cases that are not related to terrorism or violent acts. The deal follows meetings earlier this month between French President Emmanuel Macron and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
A Paris appeals court has ordered the resumption of life support for a Frenchman from whom doctors had only hours earlier begun withdrawing treatment, in a wrenching case that has divided his family and country. The court ordered authorities “to take all measures” to keep alive Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old quadriplegic with severe brain damage who has been in a vegetative state for a decade, pending a review by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. Other courts this year had backed their assessment that nothing more could be done for Lambert, who has been kept alive ever since a car accident in 2008.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced tax cuts for middle-class workers and plans for a more representative parliament Thursday as part of a promised response to the weekly yellow vest protests that damaged his presidency. He unveiled measures to boost pensions under 2,000 euros ($ 2,226) and said he would propose an overhaul of France’s retirement system during the summer. But he said the “best solution” for financial disparities is “to cut taxes for a maximum number of citizens and especially those who are working, especially the middle-class.”
Pledges of hundreds of millions of euros are rolling in from wealthy French and international donors to pay for the planned reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral damaged in Monday’s dramatic fire. The promised donations were announced Tuesday as fire investigators continue to assess the damage to the architectural landmark built over 850 years ago. President Emmanuel Macron, in a televised speech Tuesday night, said the cathedral could be reconstructed in five years. The project could also take not years, but decades, experts say. No cost or time estimates have been announced.
A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, though firefighters saved the main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the blaze under control. Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the eight-centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof. The fire, after burning for about 8 hours, was largely extinguished by 0300 CET on Tuesday.
The billionaires behind many of France’s top luxury brands have pledged €300 million ($339 million) to help reconstruct Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral following a devastating fire. LVMH Group (LVMHF), which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, said Tuesday that the company, along with the family of CEO Bernard Arnault, would put up €200 million ($226 million). The family of François Pinault, which controls brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has pledged an additional €100 million ($113 million). French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild the site, saying Monday that France will launch an international fundraising campaign to assist with the effort.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across France to protest against a recent rise in antisemitic attacks. It comes amid a rise in anti-Jewish attacks in France, which is home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel and the US. The government has warned antisemitism is “spreading like poison” in France, despite the trauma still felt after 78,000 French Jews were deported to death camps, aided by the French collaborationist Vichy government, during the Nazi occupation in the second world war.