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Week in Review: The Paris mayoral race heats up with a sex tape scandal and a new conservative challenger

The Paris mayoral race heated up this week with the release of a sex tape and a new conservative entering the fray. In Tehran, medical centres have been hit hard by US sanctions, we look back at the tragedy of France's "stolen children" and Ethiopian migrants trek 2,000 kilometres into Saudi Arabia via Yemen.

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ARTICLES

Beyond rockets and air strikes: The Israeli-Palestinian trade war

Israel blocked Palestinian exports from leaving the territories on February 9 in another chapter of the trade war they have been fighting since September, when the Palestinian Authority banned Israeli veal from its territories. The battle threatens both Israeli farmers and particularly the already fragile Palestinian economy.

palestinians © AFP Hazem Bader,

Just for tourists? Paris aims to draw locals back to Champs-Élysées

Often called “the world's most beautiful avenue”, the French capital's iconic Champs-Élysées thoroughfare draws millions of visitors each year. But with most Parisians shunning the area, residents have been invited to pitch in on an ambitious “re-enchantment” plan aimed at luring them back.

Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées © PCA-Stream

Conservative Rachida Dati launches bid to unseat Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo

Conservative Rachida Dati has imposed herself as Socialist incumbent Anne Hidalgos biggest opponent in the Paris mayoral elections. Analysts say Dati, the right-wing Républicains candidate, has a strong chance of bringing the French right back from the dead in the City of Lights.

Les Républicains candidate for the 2020 Paris mayoral election Rachida Dati poses during a photo session in the French capital on November 25, 2019. © Joel Saget, AFP
Les Républicains candidate for the 2020 Paris mayoral election Rachida Dati poses during a photo session in the French capital on November 25, 2019. © Joel Saget, AFP © Joel Saget, AFP

Macron unveils curbs on foreign imams in France in bid to combat separatism

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced measures to end a programme that allowed foreign countries to send imams and teachers to France in a bid to crackdown on what he called the risk of "separatism".

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3_aEElnxaU?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

French parliament seeks €1 million from former PM Fillon in 'fake jobs' scandal

The French parliament will seek more than €1 million in damages from conservative former prime minister François Fillon and his co-accused over the public funds that were allegedly paid to Fillons wife for a fake post she occupied, a lawyer for the National Assembly said.

France's former prime minister François Fillon has been hit by a series of scandals. © AFP archive
France's former prime minister François Fillon has been hit by a series of scandals. © AFP archive © AFP archive

French ski resort angers ecologists by using helicopters to transport snow

A French ski resort has angered ecologists by using helicopters to transfer snow to its lower slopes after a mild winter left them devoid of the white stuff.

A helicopter transports snow to the lower slopes of the Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in southwestern France on February 15, 2020. © AFP - Anne-Christine Poujoulat
A helicopter transports snow to the lower slopes of the Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in southwestern France on February 15, 2020. © AFP – Anne-Christine Poujoulat © AFP – Anne-Christine Poujoulat

VIDEO REPORTS

Pyotr Pavlensky: The Russian artist behind France's sex tape scandal

Russian political performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky finds himself at the centre of a French scandal after publishing a sex tape of a leading Paris mayoral candidate online. But it is just the latest in a long line of provocative stunts from the artist, which have included nailing his scrotum to the ground outside Moscows Red Square and setting fire to the headquarters of Russias Federal Security Service.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulO_3Bkq3wY?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

Community policing part of Macrons plan to reclaim neglected suburbs

French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a series of measures to combat what he called “Islamist separatism” in a speech Tuesday in one of Frances neglected suburbs in the eastern city of Mulhouse. A significant part of his plan is a strong police presence in underprivileged communities.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3_aEElnxaU?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

Face masks vs coronavirus: How effective are they?

From expensive filtration devices to homemade coverings, face masks have become almost ubiquitous in Hong Kong in the wake of China's coronavirus outbreak. Experts say the choice of mask could make a big difference to its effectiveness.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iEJUvvj4rI?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

ON THE GROUND

US sanctions targeting patients, say doctors at Iranian cancer hospital

Medical staff at Irans top cancer hospital tell FRANCE 24 their patients are paying the price of geopolitical strategies as the countrys health system struggles to cope under crippling US sanctions. The economy tops the agenda as Iran heads to the polls in Fridays general elections.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtU-MEOKa-o?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

THE OBSERVERS

Did police kill a woman escaping a COVID-19 quarantine in China?

People all over the world have been sharing a video they claim shows a woman killed by police in China for trying to escape quarantine for the COVID-19 virus, which has infected more than 70,000 people in the country thus far. The propagation of this video is evidence of the online hysteria about the virus; however, our team took a closer look, and found out that the video itself tells an entirely different story.

screengrab of a video that was shared widely on Twitter.
screengrab of a video that was shared widely on Twitter. © creengrabs of a video that was shared widely on Twitter.

We haven't eaten for days: Afghan soldiers suffer amid widespread corruption

The Afghan army has been mired in a decades-long war against the Taliban, ever since the United States invaded the country in 2001. Corruption is also rife in the country's military. Photos sent to the FRANCE 24 Observers team shine a light on poor organisation and the difficulties that Afghan troops face, from insufficient food and pay to a lack of suitable clothing. On top of these practical problems, soldiers also face a strategic disadvantage: the Taliban has had increasing access over the last few years to better weapons.

TV SHOWS ONLINE

PERSPECTIVE

History podcaster Mike Duncan on offering a practical guide to revolutions

Our Perspective guest is Mike Duncan, the voice behind the award-winning podcasts "The History of Rome" and "Revolutions". Duncan also wrote the New York Times bestseller "The Storm Before the Storm" and is currently working on a new book about the Marquis de Lafayette. He spoke to us about why he became a podcaster, how much work he puts into each episode, and why he sees parallels between ancient Rome and the present day when it comes to the dangers of economic inequality.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiSCnwoaXzs?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

REVISITED

France's 'stolen children' make emotional return to native Reunion Island

Between 1963 and 1982, more than 2,000 youngsters were taken from the French territory of Reunion Island in the to repopulate rural areas of mainland France. Some were orphans, but others had parents who signed release papers, not always understanding they would never see their children again. We explore the tragedy of France's "stolen children".

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asyEHX5UpRo?feature=oembed&w=480&h=270]

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