Curious about Everything

Category: France

Paris is investing €250 million to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world

Paris wants to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.

Euronews »

As of this year, Paris already has more than 1,000km of safe cycle paths including around 52km of “coronapistes” that were temporarily introduced during the pandemic. It now plans to make these permanent and add another 130km of safe paths to encourage people to cycle in the city.

Paris officials are hoping to make it easier to get across the city on a bike by introducing routes that cross the city and go out into the surrounding suburbs. Places where cyclists are put in danger by crossing busy roads and key entry points into the city centre will also be made more secure.

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Turkey summons ambassadors from 10 countries over their call to release activist Osman Kavala

Osman Kavala, 64, has been in Turkish prisons since October 2017. He is being held on charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow the government, stemming from his alleged involvement in the 2013 Gezi protests and the 2016 coup attempt.

Kavala’s imprisonment has been condemned by human rights groups and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered his release.

On Monday, the fourth anniversary of Kavala’s detention, the embassies of the Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United States released a joint statement calling for his immediate release.

“The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system,” the statement said.

» France 24 / DW / Aljazeera / Euractive

France finally starts cleaning up its shameless elite

Simon Kuper, FT 🔒 »

But times are changing. Last week the Goncourt banned jury members from consecrating lovers and family. Most unusually too, the newly unveiled shortlist featured no books from the country’s best-connected publisher, Gallimard. All this follows last year’s reform of France’s biggest cinematic prizes, the Césars: the board resigned after 400 artists criticised an “elitist and closed” academy that had nominated a film by the convicted paedophile director Roman Polanski for 12 awards.

France hasn’t suddenly become a Nordic-style model of transparent egalitarianism. But it is reforming, and it’s not alone. When elite institutions are attacked from below, they find reason to clean up.

Italy has slashed its number of parliamentarians and is reforming its courts so that wealthy defendants can’t string out cases until they lapse. In Britain, Oxbridge is admitting more state-school pupils. Voters have stopped tolerating self-dealing leaders, as witnessed by this week’s resignation of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the defeat of Czech prime minister Andrej Babis. Part of fighting corruption is that we should be willing to acknowledge when it declines.

10 European Union countries call on the European Commission to recognize nuclear energy as green source

Nuclear power plants now generate over 26% of the electricity produced in the European Union. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear. Germany and others are not convinced nuclear qualifies as green power.

Euronews »

A group of ten EU countries, led by France, have asked the European Commission to recognise nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source that should be part of the bloc’s decades-long transition towards climate neutrality.

Tapping into Europe’s ongoing energy crunch, the countries make the case for nuclear energy as a “key affordable, stable and independent energy source” that could protect EU consumers from being “exposed to the volatility of prices”.

The letter, which was initiated by France, has been sent to the Commission with the signature of nine other EU countries, most of which already count nuclear as part of their national energy mix: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania.

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was convicted of violating campaign finance laws

Ex-French president was found guilty Thursday and sentenced to one year house arrest for violating campaign finance laws during his unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2012.

BBC »

The 66-year-old was found guilty in a Paris court of spending tens of millions of euros more on his campaign than was permitted under the law.

He will not be jailed, however, and can serve his sentence at home with an electronic bracelet, the court ruled.

Mr Sarkozy denies any wrongdoing and is expected to appeal against the ruling.

RFI / France 24The Guardian / DW / AP / Al Jazeera / Euronews

 

 

World reacts to the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig

China frees Canadians after Huawei boss released » BBC News

A diplomatic row between China and the West appears to be ending, after the release of two Canadians held in China and a Chinese tech executive in Canada. Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, arrested on a US warrant in 2018, left Canada on Friday in a deal with US prosecutors. Hours later it was announced that Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, accused of espionage by China in the same year, were flying home to Canada. Beijing denies detaining the Canadians in retaliation for Ms Meng’s arrest. But critics have accused China of using them as political bargaining chips. The two men had maintained their innocence throughout.

China, Canada free detainees after Huawei exec deal with US » DW News

Two Canadians and a top Chinese executive are on their way home after a deal with US authorities put an end to a three year diplomatic spat. Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei telecoms giant, was arrested in Canada in 2018 on US charges of violating sanctions. Weeks later Beijing detained two Canadian citizens in China in what was seen as an act of retaliation. The detentions had strained relations between the world’s two superpowers. Now a federal judge in New York has accepted a deal between US-prosecutors and Meng. Under the deal, Meng admitted to some wrongdoing. Prosecutors agreed in return to drop charges against her next year, provided she complies with certain rules. The case has also been a source of friction between China and Canada, where Meng has been detained and fighting US-extradition since her 2018 arrest. The deal included an acknowledgment by Meng that she mislead a bank about the company’s operations in Iran that were in violation of US-sanctions. The agreement paves the way for her to be released from home-detention in Canada and return to China. But it doesn’t drop the US-case against Huawei itself, which includes charges related to intellectual-property theft.

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