France still bristling over Indo-Pacific sub snub
This week's phone call between President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron may have soothed some the incandescent rage with which France erupted over its exclusion from a new Indo-Pacific defense initiative, but the anger and resentment remain clear.
France is doing everything it can to show its anger at a cancelled $50 billion submarine contract, shocking officials in the US, UK, and Australia
France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia in fury after Australia canceled a lucrative submarine contract with French firm Naval Group.news.yahoo.com
Biden looks to turn page on 20 years of war in UN address
President Joe Biden begins his first visit to the U.N. General Assembly ready to make the case to world leaders that after closing the chapter on 20 years of war, the U.S. aims to rally allies and adversaries to work together on a slew of crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and trade and economics.
France's Macron to talk to Biden amid crisis over submarines
France's government spokesman says President Emmanuel Macron will speak in the coming days with President Joe Biden in their first contact since a major crisis erupted between France and the United States over a submarine deal with Australia.
France recalls ambassador from Washington 'without delay' as Macron rages at Biden
French President Emmanuel Macron recalled his country’s ambassador to the United States in a sharp rebuke of President Joe Biden’s unexpected decision to strike a nuclear submarine agreement with Australia that scuttled a preexisting French contract.news.yahoo.com
Irish parliament denounces Israeli policies in West Bank
The motion passed Wednesday by the Dail, the lower house of Ireland’s parliament, condemned the “recent and ongoing forced displacement of Palestinian communities in the occupied Palestinian territory.” Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the motion conveys Ireland's concern that Israel’s actions are undermining prospects for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Israel's Foreign Ministry rejected what it described as Ireland’s “outrageous and baseless” position on Israeli settlements.news.yahoo.com
France considers stricter controls for UK travellers to combat spread of Indian Covid variant
France may impose tougher restrictions on British travellers as part of an effort to curb the spread of the more contagious Covid-19 Indian variant. Jean Yves-Le Drian, the country’s foreign affairs minister, told French radio station RTL on Sunday that the government would not rule out “slightly stricter” measures for visitors coming from the United Kingdom. “We worry about the Indian variant and we remain on high alert regarding that matter, in cooperation with British authorities,” Mr Le Drian said. While no official announcement has been made, Mr Le Drian said it may mean the UK would be classified as a medium-risk country, referring to the colour-coded traffic light system used to determine which quarantine measures and other restrictions travellers fall into. Mr Le Drian stopped short of saying the UK would be classified as a ‘red’ country, but suggested it could be considered ‘yellow.’ The news comes just one day after Germany’s Health Ministry announced that the UK was an “area of variant concern.” Starting Sunday at midnight, only German citizens and residents travelling from the UK are allowed to enter the country. Others will be turned away unless they have an essential reason for travel. More than 3,850 cases of the Indian variant have been detected in the UK, with a 160 percent increase in new cases over the last seven days. A paper presented to the UK government earlier this month said the Indian variant could be up to 50 percent more transmissible than the original strain. “At this point in the vaccine rollout, there are still too few adults vaccinated to prevent a significant resurgence that ultimately could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS,” the paper said. Even with the potential increased risk of transmissibility, some health experts said travel restrictions would do little to prevent the spread of new variants. “Closing the border will have no effect whatsoever,” said Catherine Hill, an epidemiologist at Gustave Roussy Hospital in Paris. She said people who are determined to travel will find ways to circumvent restrictions, such as flying to nearby countries, then hopping on a train or bus. “It’s just meaningless. If travellers really want to go see their old parents or if they really want to meet a friend, they will find a way,” Hill said, adding that for now there was “no cause for serious alarm” regarding the Indian variant. Preliminary evidence suggests vaccines are still effective against the Indian variant. There are very few confirmed cases of the Indian variant in France so far, but health experts worry it is spreading. France’s public health agency recorded 38 new outbreaks in the last seven days, a 60 percent increase from the week before. Three of the outbreaks were from family clusters with no known link to India, meaning it is unclear if it was spread on French soil. For now, the French public health agency concluded, there was still “no evidence of significant community spread” in France.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: UK says vaccines effective for Indian variant
British health officials are expressing optimism that the coronavirus restrictions remaining in England can be lifted in June after an official study found that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer effective protection against the variant first identified in India.
EU seeks Mideast cease-fire, concerned conflict will spread
European Union foreign ministers called Tuesday for a cease-fire to end days of heavy fighting between the Israeli armed forces and Palestinian militants, but said that a longer-term political solution must be found to end decades of conflict between them. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in heavy airstrikes so far, including dozens of children, and over 1,400 people wounded. At least 12 people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy, have been killed in rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip toward civilian areas in Israel.news.yahoo.com
French FM in Lebanon with a message of 'great firmness'
France's foreign minister began a visit to Lebanon Thursday with a message of “great firmness” to its political leaders, threatening to take additional measures against officials obstructing the formation of a government in the crisis-hit country. Tweeting ahead of his arrival, Jean-Yves Le Drian said French travel restrictions on Lebanese officials suspected of corruption or hindering the formation of a new Cabinet were “just the start.” France has been trying to force change on Lebanon's ruling class, whose corruption and mismanagement has driven the tiny country into the ground and pushed it to the verge of bankruptcy.news.yahoo.com
EU top diplomats in Libya to support interim authorities
German foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The European foreign ministers also called on mercenaries and foreign fighters to leave the country immediately. Ad“This (withdrawal) is indispensable so that Libya can regain its sovereignty and security,” said France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We have talked about the tasks ahead and about how we can concretely support (Libya) where there is a wish for it,” said Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. EU top diplomats also stressed the need to reopen the country's Mediterranean coastal road linking the east and the west.
'Disgraceful': World leaders react to pro-Trump riots rocking Washington
A man calls on people to raid the building as Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the Capital Building in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021. Trump returned to the White House after his speech and later told supporters in a tweeted video "you have to go home now." In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the storming of the U.S. Capitol "unacceptable." "Let us swiftly bring justice to the criminals who engaged in this rioting," Pompeo wrote, adding "America is better than what we saw today." The scenes of crowds storming into the U.S. Capitol shocked foreign powers around the world.cnbc.com