Jun 132017
France honours terror victims as Macron, May attend England friendly

Thousands of French football fans joined in with the English national anthem as tribute was paid to the victims of recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom prior to a friendly match in Paris on Tuesday evening.The words to ‘God Save the Queen’ were displayed on big screens around the Stade de France before France’s meeting with England, allowing the French spectators in the crowd of close to 80,000 to sing along with their English counterparts.A minute’s silence was impeccably observed by the crowd, after the teams had come out to ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, the song by Manchester group Oasis which was played by the band and choir of the French Republican Guard.They were ably backed up by around 2,500 travelling English fans in one corner of the ground on a balmy night in the French capital.That song was seen as an anthem for Manchester after the English city was hit by a suicide bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert last month which claimed 22 lives.Another eight people, including three French nationals, were also murdered in a terror attack in London on June 3.An English flag was displayed by a section of the Stade de France crowd as the teams entered the field. Underneath the display was a banner reading: “United with the Cities of Manchester and London”. The match kicked off around five minutes later than the scheduled 9pm (1900 GMT) start, after French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May had [Read More…]

Jun 072017
Djokovic crashes at French Open as Nadal, Murray move on

Defending champion Novak Djokovic crashed out of the French Open on Wednesday, sparking fresh fears over his appetite for the sport he once dominated as Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray made the semi-finals.World number two Djokovic slumped to a stunning 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem for his earliest exit in Paris in seven years.Nadal, chasing a 10th Roland Garros title, will face 23-year-old Thiem after making the last four without breaking sweat.He was 6-2, 2-0 up on Pablo Carreno Busta when his Spanish compatriot quit with an abdominal injury.Friday’s other semi-final will pitch world number one Murray, the runner-up to Djokovic in 2016, against 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.Murray made the semi-finals for the fifth time with a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/0), 6-1 win over Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori.Wawrinka became the oldest French Open semi-finalist in 32 years when he brushed aside Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.Djokovic, who had brought in Andre Agassi as coach in an effort to boost his flagging career, hinted he may step back from the sport to regroup even with Wimbledon fast approaching.“Trust me, I’m thinking about many things, especially in the last couple months,” he said.“At the same time, I have responsibility to the game itself, towards others. We’ll see. Obviously it’s not an easy decision to make, but I will see how I feel after Roland Garros and then decide what to do next.”Wednesday’s defeat to Thiem was Djokovic’s first straight-sets loss at a major in four years and [Read More…]

Jun 062017
Man shot after attacking police outside Paris’ Notre Dame

PARIS: French police shot and wounded a man who attacked officers with a hammer outside the Notre Dame cathedral on Tuesday and the Paris prosecutor’s office swiftly launched a counter-terrorism investigation. Armed police cordoned off the site and the cathedral in central Paris that is visited by millions of tourists every year was locked down during the incident. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear. It comes just three days after militants killed seven people in London in a knife and van attack. London terror attack death toll rises to seven “Situation under control, one policeman injured, the assailant was neutralised and taken to hospital,” Paris police said on Twitter. Parvis de #NotreDame Situation maîtrisée, un policier blessé, l'auteur des faits a été neutralisé et orienté vers un hôpital — Préfecture de police (@prefpolice) June 6, 2017 Two police sources said the officers shot the assailant in the thorax after he had threatened them with a hammer and refused to stop. French police stand at the scene of a shooting incident near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, June 6, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS  One policeman was hurt, according to one source. Karine Dalle, a spokesperson for the Paris diocese, told BFM TV 900 people were still inside the cathedral as police secured the area. One holidaymaker inside Notre Dame wrote on Twitter: “Not the holiday experience wanted. Trapped in Notre Dame Cathedral after police shoot a man. We are with our 2 terrified children.” Police officer killed, another [Read More…]

May 052017
Eiffel Tower stunt exposes security concern on eve of French election

Security was stepped up at the Eiffel Tower on Friday ahead of Sunday’s presidential election in France after Greenpeace activists scaled the Paris landmark and hung out a big political banner. The early morning escapade in which activists used mountaineering helmets, ropes and shackles prompted the Paris police chief to call an emergency meeting where the new security measures were … Click for detailed story

Apr 262017
PSG rout Monaco to reach French Cup final

PARIS: Edinson Cavani celebrated his new contract with his 45th goal of the season as holders Paris Saint-Germain demolished an inexperienced Monaco 5-0 to reach next month’s French Cup final against Angers. Julian Draxler prodded PSG ahead on 26 minutes at the Parc des Princes and Cavani, who on Tuesday signed an extension through to 2020, swiftly doubled the lead as Unai Emery’s side dominated their understrength opponents. Safwan Mbae bundled into his own net just after half-time and Blaise Matuidi tapped in a fourth before Marquinhos rounded out a resounding victory in the final minute. PSG thrashed Monaco 4-1 at the start of the month to lift their fourth straight League Cup title and are chasing a third successive sweep of the domestic trophies in France. However, Monaco lead the reigning champions on goal difference with a game in hand in Ligue 1 — Leonardo Jardim’s team also face Juventus next week in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. With the Portuguese prioritising Europe and Saturday’s league clash against Toulouse, Andrea Raggi and Valere Germain were the only regulars to start for Monaco in the French capital. Abdou Diallo forced Alphonse Areola into an excellent save to his right with a header on 20 minutes, but the floodgates opened for PSG once Morgan De Sanctis gifted Draxler the opening goal. Monaco’s 40-year-old reserve goalkeeper spilled a straightforward effort from Angel Di Maria, allowing Cavani to nip in and divert the ball across goal for Draxler to slot [Read More…]

Apr 142017
Arab coalition will not allow Houthis to become another Hezbollah: Assiri

Paris (IINA) � The Arab coalition will not allow Houthi militias in Yemen to become like Hezbollah in Lebanon, its spokesman said.Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri said the coalition would not accept any notion that the militants become part of a solution in Yemen. Speaking at a forum in Paris, Al-Assiri said military operations in Yemen are being performed with caution in order to protect civilians, adding that Houthi militias are trying to hide their command and control centers among civilians.We seek to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people, he said. The Arab coalition was created to preserve the Yemeni state, and the coalition’s main goal is to preserve its legitimacy and people’s rights, and to alleviate the suffering of civilians subjected to Houthis’ injustice. He noted that legitimate forces have achieved progress in Yemen and the political leadership has returned to Aden. Al-Assiri said Yemen’s suffering started the day the Houthis turned against the legitimate government, with militias using civilians as human shields and disguising their military command among them.He advised against hasty executions of military plans in Yemen, which may lead to losses. The policy of blockading the militias leads to effective results.The coalition cooperated with Yemeni forces to defeat Al-Qaeda in Yemen, he said, stressing that it is seeking a comprehensive political solution that satisfies everyone. A solution for Yemen has to entail the implementation of international resolutions and to be consistent with the will of the Yemeni people, with no gray areas that might consider the [Read More…]

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