This week began with the detention of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi after a military coup, prompting residents to take to the streets with pots and pans in a public display of anger. France also announced its lowest death toll in 15 years, but NGOs say it is too early to celebrate. And Flaming Lips fans could finally enjoy a live concert in person thanks to coronavirus-safe bubbles.
France announces sharp drop in women killings, but NGOs say it is too early to rejoice
Ninety women were killed by their partners or ex-partners in France in 2020 – a significant reduction from the 146 victims of femicide the year before, according to a statement from the French government on Tuesday. But French NGOs say it is too early to reverse the trend.
A woman has a placard listing the names of women killed in France in 2019, during a protest condemning violence against women in Marseille, France, on November 23, 2019. © Clement Mahoudeau, AFP (file photo)
Junta has all the cards in Myanmar’s future, but can it end Suu Kyi’s political career?
Myanmar’s generals have long set the conditions for the country’s democratic process, and by spreading their economic cards among rivals, the military may just have the upper hand. But can they end their political career for their biggest democratic threat, Aung San Suu Kyi? And is the new US government ready to handle its latest foreign policy test?
Macron promises to “go after” child sex crimes, but measures to combat abuse “inadequate”
Following a wave of incest scandals and child sexual abuse in France, President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a series of measures to address the issue. But while welcoming the new initiatives, child rights experts say they are not enough to address the scale of the problem and warn the lack of resources can pose major implementation challenges.
Johnson gathers the union on a tour of Scotland amid growing support for independence
Under pressure over increased support for Scottish independence and with a second referendum likely, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has toured Scotland and praised Britain’s rapid vaccine development in hopes of turning the tide in favor of the pro – union movement. But most of the shots, including Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, paralyzed him for making the trip at all in a sign that he may have already lost the union vote.
Faster higher stronger? Nations are refusing to let athletes skip the vaccine queue for the Tokyo Games
With organizers promising that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will continue this summer despite the ongoing global pandemic that delayed the event by a year, some nations – such as Hungary, Serbia and Israel – are continuing to inoculate their future Olympics to ensure free to train, qualify, travel and compete. But some – including elite athletes – question whether fast, young, healthy athletes for vaccinations should be a priority and whether it fits with Olympic values.
A person wears a face mask against Covid-19 on Lake Odaiba in Tokyo with Olympic rings in the background on January 26, 2021. © Koji Sasahara, AP Photo
Resistance in the kitchen: French restaurateurs attach aprons in violation of Covid-19 closures
Ever since France’s strict Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in March last year, which led to the temporary – and in some cases permanent – closure of the country’s restaurants, a resistance movement has been quietly brewing in French kitchens. On Wednesday, a restaurateur announced the fight by opening its doors for lunch, in violation of the ban. Others say they also plan to fasten their aprons.
Nice restaurant “Poppies” on January 27, 2020 opened its doors for an illegal lunch in an act of civil disobedience to protest the government-ordered Covid-19 closure of bars and restaurants in France. REUTERS – ERIC GAILLARD
Pots and pans protest: Growing signs of widespread anger over Myanmar’s coup
The club of pots and pans and the honking of car horns spilled over Myanmar’s Yangon on Tuesday night, in protest of the military coup that swept the country on Monday, in perhaps the first sign of public opposition to the takeover.
“We are on the brink of economic collapse,” said the head of the UN Office on Palestinian Refugees.
In an interview with FRANCE 24, Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner general of the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, warned that his agency was on the verge of an economic collapse. He said he could only pay the salaries of his employees at the end of 2020 thanks to last-minute grants and borrowing. He hoped that the Biden administration would resume its funding for UNRWA, which ended during Donald Trump 2018.
‘Hitler’s Horses’: How art detective Arthur Brand infiltrated the Nazi underground
Known as the “Indiana Jones of the art world”, Arthur Brand is perhaps the world’s greatest art detective. He has spent his life tracing some of the most important stolen masterpieces, from Dalis to Picasso. Brand became famous in 2015 when he recovered two giant bronze statues that were among Adolf Hitler’s favorites. He talks about his fascinating
INTERVIEW © FRANCE 24
Jump in a bubble: Flaming Lips holds live gigs in plastic balls
From space bubble concerts to testing the entire audience, we look at the inventive ways in which live music is taken back during the time of Covid-19. We also take you to the magnificent Opéra Garnier in Paris for a glimpse of a performance that has never been shown to the public.
ENCORE! © The Flaming Lips
Haute couture, spring / summer 2021: Tailor-made measurements are adapted to measurements
This season’s Haute couture exhibitions would usually take place in Paris; this year they are everywhere and nowhere. When the sector becomes virtual due to Covid-19, fashion journalist Alice Pfeiffer joins us to talk about some of the strategies used by Parisian couture houses. From Christian Dior’s lavish short film directed by Matteo Garrone to Chanel’s “phygital” catwalk, labels show off their collections via streaming links and viral videos, hoping their customers get on board.
Movie show: How remake of a French movie, “CODA”, stole Sundance and broke sales records
Film critic Lisa Nesselson talks to Eve Jackson about this week’s film news, including “CODA”, a touching older drama about a young girl in conflict with her deaf parents and brother as she tries to sing. They also discuss “The Dig”, based on the true story of an archeological site in Suffolk, England, starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes. In addition, our French selection of the week on MyFrenchFilmFestival.com is “Camille”, about the life of Camille Lepage, a young idealistic photojournalist who went to the Central African Republic to cover the civil war there.
YOU ARE HERE
French Guiana, a lush green country in need of protection
In France’s overseas department of French Guiana, the Amazon rainforest covers 90 percent of the land. It’s full of wildlife, but this unique biodiversity is in danger. Researchers and locals do their best to protect it, as in Favard, where the village healer imparts his knowledge to the younger generations and educates tourists about the need to protect the forest. Meanwhile, entomologists list various insect species, a titanic job because this knowledge is still in its infancy. Finally, researchers are trying to understand what is driving the decline in sea turtles.
Haute couture, summer 2021: Dior’s digital Tarot adventure
If you can not come to Haute couture, it will come to you! It has been like this for almost a year, although we all hope that the new standard will not continue for much longer. In the meantime, we are looking at the offer for the summer of 2021, revealed as short films published on social media. At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has collaborated with Italian director Matteo Garrone to tell an enchanting story of tarot through Tarot cards. The film is both a form of advertising and a film success.
French employees donate their annual vacation to help the homeless
The Covid-19 pandemic is increasing inequality around the world and France is no exception. “The Company of Opportunities”, an organization launched by a businessman in the French city of Lyon, generates funds to help the most vulnerable by appealing to local businesses and their employees. The latter are given the opportunity to give up one or more days of paid vacation. Their employers donate today’s salary to “The Company of Opportunities”, which uses the money to fund projects that help the homeless. FRANCE 24’s Claire Paccalin and Joanna Sitruk report from Lyon.
In Russia, supporters of Kremlin critic Navalny are unharmed by police action
On Sunday, two weeks after Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny returned to Russia and was arrested at Moscow airport, tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the country to demand his release. Police made more than 5,300 arrests; an unprecedented figure. Thousands of Russians are no longer afraid and risk their freedom to protest against Vladimir Putin’s regime. Our correspondents followed Navalny’s supporters during Sunday’s protests in Moscow.
Russian police detain a man near Moscow district court where opposition leader Alexei Navalny was accused and convicted on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 AFP – NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA
Looted art: Looted war zones provide a lucrative black market
The international market for rare archeological artefacts can be extremely lucrative and provide a huge incentive for looters who want to get rich quick. In recent years, war and instability in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt have seen invaluable items looted. They have later appeared on the global art market. It then falls to special teams to sort the legitimate items from the stolen ones. Our colleagues at France 2 report with James Vasina from FRANCE 24.
FRANCE IN FOCUS
Reforming the French police: An impossible task?
The historically strained relationship between the French public and law enforcement has reached a full-time level in recent months. This comes after a series of serious incidents of police brutality and racism, some of which were captured on camera. At the same time, the French opposition, the media, human rights groups and even the UN cried foul over the government’s ruined attempt to pass a new law that would have censored videos of police forces. Everything is far from the outpouring of solidarity and gratitude towards the police that France witnessed back in 2015. We take a closer look.
Brazil’s Porto Alegre: From anti-globalization symbol to conservative stronghold
In the midst of violence, racism and poverty, the southern city of Porto Alegre has become a symbol of the divisions in Brazilian society. In November 2020, a black man was killed by white security guards in a supermarket there. Once a test site for the Brazilian left that wanted to change the world, the city has been run by the conservative right for the past 14 years. What has become of the World Social Forum, hosted by Porto Alegre from 2001-2005? What remains of the alternative vision of the world? Our correspondents report.