French cycling’s eternal runner-up Poulidor dies at 83 | AFP

Former French cycling champion Raymond Poulidor, the ‘eternal runner-up’ at the Tour de France, dies on Wednesday at the age of 83 having been admitted to hospital a day earlier suffering from severe fatigue. Poulidor’s huge popularity in France stemmed from his impressive feat of finishing on the Tour de France podium eight times during a relentless but ultimately futile bid to win the race’s fabled yellow jersey in a period dominated by the ‘Cannibal’, Belgian Eddy Merckx.

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Pro-independence protesters block roads in Barcelona | AFP

Protesters with the pro-independence movement block roads in Barcelona, causing traffic to come to a standstill. On Monday, hundreds of separatists shut down the busy motorway between France and Spain at the border in protest over the sentencing last month of nine of their leaders to lengthy jail terms. IMAGES

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Tennis: Macron greets Fed Cup winners | AFP

The French tennis players who won the Fed Cup against Australia on Sunday, in Perth, are welcomed by Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace. It is France’s first Fed Cup title since 2003. IMAGES

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Catalan separatists block Spain-France highway | AFP

Catalan separatists block traffic on a highway linking Spain and France, in a protest against the sentencing last month of nine of their leaders to lengthy jail terms. IMAGES

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Catalan separatists block Spain-France highway | AFP

Catalan separatist activists block traffic on a motorway linking Spain and France, in a fresh protest against the sentencing last month of nine of their leaders to lengthy jail terms. IMAGES

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Emergency services gather near the epicentre of strong earthquake in southeastern France | AFP

Emergency services rushed to Teil in the Ardeche this afternoon, the area worst affected by an unusually strong earthquake which hit southeastern France earlier today. Several people were injured, one of them seriously, authorities said. IMAGES

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Catalan separatists block Spain-France highway | AFP

Catalan separatist activists block traffic on a motorway linking Spain and France, in a fresh protest against the sentencing last month of nine of their leaders to lengthy jail terms. IMAGES

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March against Islamophobia held in Paris | AFP

In Paris, the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF)organised a march to call a halt to discrimination and aggression against Muslims across the country. It comes just a couple of weeks after two people were seriously wounded during a shooting at a mosque by an alleged far-right extremist. The attack further unsettled France, already engulfed in a sometimes bitter debate about the observance of Islam in the secular country.

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March against Islamophobia held in Paris | AFP

In Paris, the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF)is holding a march to call a halt to discrimination and aggression against Muslims across the country. It comes just a couple of weeks after two people were seriously wounded during a shooting at a mosque by an alleged far-right extremist. The attack further unsettled France, already engulfed in a sometimes bitter debate about the observance of Islam in the secular country. IMAGES

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French foie gras market robust despite avian flu, NYC ban and veganism | AFP

France’s foie gras market is strong despite the city of New York’s recent decision to ban the controversial delicacy, which is made from the livers of force-fed ducks and geese. Producers say access to the US market was already barred by sanitary rules. The market has also recovered after production was decimated by avian flu in 2016 and 2017. According to CIFOG, France produced 18,000 tones of foie gras in 2018 and should match this in 2019.

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Flooding after heavy rain storms hits Pas-de-Calais in northern France | AFP

Ten municipalities in the Pas-de-Calais region were hit by flooding on Monday night following heavy rain storms that caused the Liane River to burst its banks. The river flows into the English Channel at Boulogne-sur-Mer. In Saint-Etienne-au-Mont, 10 people were evacuated and 120 homes were affected. IMAGES

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France: Ministers visit burnt circus school in Paris suburb | AFP

French Interior minister visits the wreckage of a circus school which was burnt down at the weekend after an outburst of violence in a poor suburb northwest of Paris. IMAGES

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PSA and Fiat Chrysler merger is “good news for France and Europe” says French Economy Minister | AFP

The merger of Peugeot-maker PSA and Fiat Chrysler is “good news both for France and for the European industry”, says French Economy minister Bruno Le Maire. SOUNDBITE

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France’s Macron picnics on Indian Ocean island | AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron enjoys local produce at a picnic in the southern town of Saint-Pierre on France’s Reunion island as his four-day tour of Mayotte and Reunion island draws to a close. IMAGES

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Baby chimp born at French zoo | AFP

Beauval Zoo, in France’s Loir-et-Cher region, welcomes a new resident born last week: a baby chimpanzee. A “rather rare event” according to carer Samuel Radelet who says it is the first chimpanzee birth in France “since 2016”.

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Unhappy farmers dump manure outside prefecture in Nimes | AFP

Hundreds of farmers have staged protests at government offices across France today, railing against measures they say are crimping revenues and contributing to a spike in suicides in the sector in recent years. In Nîmes, angry farmers dumped manure in front of the region’s prefecture. IMAGES

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Sound and light artists on show at Paris digital arts festival | AFP

The names ‘Ouchhh’, ‘Superbien’, ‘les Vandales’, ‘Algorithm’ or ‘Spectrelab’ might mean nothing to the general public, but they are among the digital artists looking to get the jury’s nod at this Paris festival which has attracted contributors from France, Belgium and Turkey.

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Marie-Antoinette, a popular icon explored through contemporary culture. | AFP

Marie-Antoinette may have lived centuries ago but she remains a fascinating figure in popular culture. Through cinema, contemporary art and the world of fashion, a new exhibition at the Conciergerie in Paris explores the many-layered representations of France’s last queen. “Marie-Antoinette, metamorphoses d’une image” runs from 16 October 2019 to 26 January 2020.

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