France – Italy: nothing goes well

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Yellow vest influenced international
Luigi Di Maio supports the yellow vests.
Source: Creative Commons

Following Luigi di Maio’s participation in France’s “Yellow Vests” demonstration, France called back its ambassador from Rome, causing a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

With his partner Matteo Salvini, the chief of Lega, Luigi di Maio had expressed a lot of criticism about France and its recent social movements. According to the Italian vice Prime Minister, France refuses to take migrants who become murderers on their land. At the same time, Di Maio expressed clearly his support of the “Yellow Vests”: “Don’t abandon your movement, we’re going to support you,” he said.

France decided to call back immediately its ambassador for “consultations” after “attacks without evidence from Italian’ leaders”

As for Matteo Salvini, fifteen days ago, he called French people to “escape from a very bad president.”

Accusations and criticism:

“France has never stopped to colonize many African states,” said Luigi di Maio, the Italian vice prime minister at the European Union in January. Since those words, the tension between both countries has been rising.

Italian point of view:

For Gianni del Vecchio, co-director at the Huff Post in Italy, the population opposes Luigi Di Miao’s strategy. Vincenzo Boccia, leader of the Italian employer’s movement requires that the government stop to provoke France. “The problem is that their propaganda is very strong, this way a lot of people think that what Salvini and Di Maio say about France is true.” This is also why Di Maio wants to get closer to the “Yellow Vests”, in order to show his disapproval with Emmanuel Macron and his policy.

This big crisis is the first one since the end of the Second World war and constitutes “an unacceptable provocation” for France.

Camille Chatillon, 2C

Yellow Jackets in Toulouse: three photographers “deliberately” targeted by the police.

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“There is clearly a tension of the police against the media,” told AFP a journalist who came last Saturday to cover the protests of Yellow Jackets in Toulouse with two other colleagues, one of whom has been “deliberately” targeted by the police and injured.

Source: AFP

Three photographers who covered last Saturday the demonstration of Yellow Jackets in Toulouse said they were “deliberately” targeted by law enforcement. AFP reported on Sunday that one of them was wounded in the thigh by a grenade.

“If I show this wound, it is to denounce a deliberate attack by law enforcement against the press,” wrote on his Facebook page Valentin Belleville, an independent photographer at the Hans Lucas agency.

Valentin Belleville, posting a picture of his thigh on his Facebook account (© CC / Facebook / ValentinBelleville)

The tension was very noticeable Saturday afternoon on the Capitol Square in Toulouse, between the protesters descended to the number of thousands on the streets for the act 13 of the mobilization of Yellow Jackets, testifies the press. In the projectile jets of some of them, the police responded with the use of water cannon and fake bullets.

“We were all three completely isolated. The demonstrators were 50 meters behind, there was no danger for the police. I am closest to the police, my colleagues are right behind me. We wear helmets stamped “Presse”, armbands, our devices are imposing and visible”, said Valentin Belleville.

However, the three reporters decided “to get out of the demonstrators not to be between the police and them,” told AFP Ulrich Lebeuf, Liberation photographer in Toulouse, who was with Valentin Belleville and another colleague, Eric Lerbret.

“A grenade” exploded at the feet of Valentin Belleville, the agency said, adding that Ulrich Lebeuf, who has been a photo reporter for 20 years, identified it as “a de-encircling grenade.”
For Eric Lerbret, the third photographer, there is “no doubt” that they were targeted. “We are aware of the risks we are taking in covering these events, but our responsibility stops when we are deliberately targeted,” he told AFP. He regretted that photographers and videographers are more and more affected “in a context of escalating violence”.

I ask for explanations. Why were identified journalists targeted? One clearly feels a tension of the forces of the order towards the media, those who make images,” said Ulrich Lebeuf.

The three photographers claimed to have reported to the General Inspection of the National Police (IGPN) and added that they would file a complaint.


Axel Nunes, IEJ 2C

Antisemitic act in Paris

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Source: BFM


Internet users accuse the “yellow vests” of being behind the sign “Juden” traced in yellow paint on the front of the bakery Bagelstein. The Minister of the Interior said that everything would be done “so that the author of this ignominy is condemned”. In particular, an investigation was opened for “incitement to racial hatred”.

The photo was published on many social networks on Sunday. It was taken by the musician Jean-Yves D’Angelo on the sidelines of Act 13 of the movement of yellow vests, Saturday in Paris. We discover the front of a franchise “Bagelstein” covered with a tag “Juden” (German for Jews).
The inscription refers to the anti-Semitic practice perpetrated in Nazi Germany, which consisted of painting this term on the store fronts held by Jewish people.

The managers of the restaurant have lodged a complaint, said the cofounder of the restaurant chain, Gilles Abecassis. “We are shocked, but we will answer these morons tomorrow in a quirky tone of bad boy. We want to keep our good mood,” said the head of the brand.

The government quickly reacted

The photo of the storefront was shared, among others, by politicians and associations fighting against racism and anti-Semitism. The tweets presenting the image are accompanied by captions expressing indignation and emotion in front of this act of hatred. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has expressed his desire to challenge and condemn the author of this act.





Driving Schools protest against reform of driving licence

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Today, driving school protest everywhere in France against driving licence reform which favors online applications and aims to reduce the cost of the driving licence.

auto école protest
Today, hundreds of driving schools were reunited for a “slow-down operation” at Porte d’Orléans (AFP).

In Paris, hundreds of driving schools were reunited at 6.30 am to a slow-down operation at Porte d’Orléans. At 8h00 am, the ring road was blocked.

Why this protest ?

In November, President Macron expressed his desire to lower “drastically the cost of the driving licence” to allow young people “to obtain the driving licence faster and cheaper.” A parliamentary mission was then led by LREM MP Françoise Dumas and Stanislas Guérini (PS). Many working meetings have been held between the trade unions and MP F. Dumas. Far from rejecting the report as a whole, the unions point out many advances. The idea of ​​a “training continuum” is supported. It will allow secondary-school pupils and high school students to have a theoretical training in driving rules and to take the examination of the highway code during their National Universal Service (SNU).

The contradiction of the trade unions crystallizes on two points. Firstly, the end of the departmental approval, in favor of a national approval is the focus of the critics. For many years, driving schools have been subject to the supervision of the prefect, who supervised the activities, the level of skills of the driving schools. The abolition of this regional level in favor of a national approval, makes the professionals fear a lack of control of the new structures and a “low-cost” driving licence.

Quentin Velardo, IEJ 2C Group 2


“Yellow vests”, What’s new ?

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After seven days of mobilisation, the “yellow vests” want to continue their actions in all of France. But without a real leader, or a union to back up the movement, where will the “yellow vests” be in the future.

gilets jaunes
A group of “yellow vests” demonstrating near Valenciennes (France) / Source: Paris Match – François Lo Presti – AFP ©

Another demonstration of the “Yellow vests” will take place on Saturday 24th of November, at the Champs de Mars in Paris. After one week of blocking a large part of the territory, the demonstrators are not ready to stop until the government hears them about the rise of oil price.

This same government doesn’t hide its worries about this future demonstration, as during this week of protests, many people were badly affected by the movement. At this time, the number of wounded rises to 528 on Friday 23rd of November, amongst them 17 are really badly injured, according to the government.

Today, Christophe Castaner, the Interior Minister, has called the “yellow vests” to take their responsibilities: “When you decide to organise a march you have to assume it.” This clear message is addressed to the “yellow vests” who will be present in the Champs de Mars tomorrow. Actually, French government fears the presence of the “BlackBlocs” at the demonstration. These people, could disturb the march by their violent actions.

Some political figures try to take up the movement by giving them ideas. François Asselineau (UPR) for instance calls “yellow vests” to claim Emmanuel Macron’s destitution during tomorrow’s march.


Antoine Ducarre, IEJ 3E G2

“Yellow Vest” movement: The foreign press mocks the French president

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Emmanuel Macron on September 6th 2018 in Luxemburg Source : 20 minutes – Frederic Sierakowski / Is/SIPA ©


Several international journals point out the “many mistakes” made by Emmanuel Macron, president of France, unfit to bring back together citizen of France and his government since the beginning of the Yellow Vest’s protests and the increase of fuel price. 

Two deaths, five hundred and fifty two wounded, about five hundred and eighty two police arrests and four hundred and fifty in custody. Those numbers represent the assessment made by the interior ministry on Tuesday evening. The “Yellow Vests’ ” movement is a huge controversy and made the headlines of many French newspapers but also in the world.

“To most of the French citizens, his policy has not yet brought a notable improvement.”

French people believe to be taken for fools. Quite rightly.” said the conservative German newspaper Die Welt. Foreign press doesn’t spare Emmanuel Macron about his silence on the protest. La Repubblica, an Italian daily paper also said : “a new aristocrat, away from the population’s common problems.” In Spain too, El Paìs quotedincrease of charges and decrease of wealth taxes added to Macron’ supposed arrogance.” Another German daily newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung stated: “To most of the French citizens, his policy has not yet brought a notable improvement.

30,000 “Yellow Vest“ demonstrators are expected on Saturday November 24th in all France, against 300,000 last week. President Macron will respond to the movement on Tuesday 27th at a press conference in Paris.


Inès Rld, IEJ 3E






France: Black Friday or Green Friday – we have to choose

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Promotions, rock bottom prices, good deals, today, it’s the Black Friday. For some people, it’s the opportunity to overspend. For others, the moment to remember that the Earth is already suffering from overconsumption. Now it’s time to choose. 

lol.pngPhoto : Black Friday and the overconsumption/©Gettyimages

During Black Friday, the planet suffers from overconsumption once again. Seen in this light, “Fairy Christmas” takes a big hit. Citizens and associations are fighting against Black Friday and they hold an eco-friendly “fight back”: the Climate Friday.

The movement “Citoyens pour le climat” #ilestencoretemps (“Citizens for the climate” #thereisstilltime) counter attacks. Several associations are calling for a boycott of Amazon, Cdiscount and the others giants of e-commerce. Another movement was born in 2017 : the Green Friday. This year again, the founding members of the operation are trying to offer an alternative to Black Friday with the support of the Paris City Hall. Green Friday proposes several events in all the country ; DIY workshops, initiations to recycling, diagnostics of electrical appliances and other. The website also offers eco-friendly alternatives to consumption. It established a list of brands which will donate 15% of their turnovers of their day to green associations.

Black Friday: newcomer in France

5,740 billion euros is the amount of expenses achieved in France for last year’s Black Friday. This number is based on RetailMeNot and CRR Research studies. A continuous increase of this number can be observed since 2013, date of the first Black Friday in the country.  In France, we are expecting a consumption peak this week-end. Fifty percent of the French people intend to participate in this event. Black Friday happens one month before Christmas, which allows people to buy their gifts cheaper. In order to protect the environment, Greenpeace invites “responsible citizens” to manufacture their gifts rather than buy them.




“Nous Toutes”: French women march against sexual and sexist violences

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The “Nous toutes” collective launched a campaign of protest against sexual and sexist violence to women. A march will be held in  Paris on the Place de l’Opéra as well as in the rest of the country on November the 24th.  


Drawing: ©Léa Castor for

Approximately 225,000 women have been sexually abused or have endured physical assaults this past year, according to the French department for equality between men and women and fight against discriminations. Among these women, only 19% declare to have filed a complaint after having endured such violences. In 2016, 123 women died because of domestic violences.

The purpose of the march is to show that women are not afraid to speak anymore. Indeed, 9% of the sexual abuses are committed by a stranger to the victim, 46% by a relative and 45% of them by a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.

The initiative has been followed and signed by more than 400 women journalists, asking people who wish to, to come and march with them on November the 24th.

In addition to these journalists, media demonstrate their support to the march, such as Mediapart blog, a French pure-player which states: “We denounce the discours of some politicians and media which desperately attempt to assign the monopoly of sexist violences to the “others” and especially to immigrants, muslims and men from popular neighborhoods. France and its institutions have no lesson to give in the matter.”

The issue will be to see if the movement is in completion with the “Gilets Jaunes” marches happening on the same day.


Margaux Naudin, 3EG2






The House of Johnny Hallyday burgled

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The property of Laeticia  and Johnny Hallyday in Marnes la Coquette, has been burgled on Monday, November 17th. The incident was discovered on at around 8.30pm.


The House of Marnes La Coquette, during the commemoration of Johnny death

It is the property watchmen who noticed the intrusion through one of the property windows. They warned the police right after the robbery was discovered.

Some jewelry and watches were stolen, according to the French department of justice. The price of the damages is not defined yet.

An investigation has been opened by the public prosecutor’s department. Three men have been arrested and taken into custody. The interrogation took place during the night from Monday to Tuesday.  Nevertheless, the three suspects have been released. There are no other suspects for now.

The 900-square-meter house, was bought by Johnny in 1999, in a private neighborhood under CCTV, and accesses were forbidden to strangers.

Julien Sebag IEJ 3E

Video games: Ubisoft is entering hospitals in France

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In early September, the famous French video game industry Ubisoft, partnered with Petits Princes association, created playrooms in hospitals of Lyon, Bordeaux and Parisian suburbs. There, children can play different games coming from the franchise.

Un moyen d'évasion pour les enfants hospitalisés.
Children playing Ubisoft’s video games in Montpellier. © Midi Libre

Added to the video games, the playroom should include board games, television and books. Everything is provided by Ubisoft. The company is aiming to “let children access to their dreams in the hospital itself,” said Sandra Vernus, in charge of the Human Ressources in Ubisoft Montpellier, to the Midi Libre‘s journal.

To do this, Ubisoft partnered with Petits Princes, a French association linked to more than 150 hospitals all over France. Their goal is to help sick children in their fight. Dominique Bayle, co-founder of Petits Prince, is delighted with the collaboration with Ubisoft : “It’s wonderful, because it allows children to leave aside their disease […],to share a moment with their roommates. Their hospitalisation is softer.”

Un petit prince en chevalier
A child disguised as a knight. © Petits Princes

More than just a pleasant moment, having a space to play is also advisable for their recovery. Video games allow children to let down huge emotional charges that can sometimes prevent their body from being resistant to medicines. The time they are spending in hospitals seems also shorter. Ubisoft and Petits Princes are aiming to extend their work to all hospitals in France, as they said in Le Parisien.