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Sep 18, 2014

MSF says French Ebola patient’s repatriation far too slow

PARIS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on
Thursday criticised the delay in repatriating a foreign health
worker infected with Ebola in Africa after it took two days to
fly out the infected French volunteer from Liberia.

A specially adapted aircraft was due in Monrovia on Thursday
from the United States to take the female healthcare worker home
to France after she was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

Sep 17, 2014

French nurse for medical charity MSF contracts Ebola in Liberia

PARIS/MONROVIA (Reuters) – A French volunteer working for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Liberia has contracted Ebola, the medical charity said on Wednesday, adding that seven local staff members have already fallen ill from the deadly virus.

The volunteer, the first French national and MSF’s first international staff member to catch the disease in the outbreak, was put in quarantine on Tuesday when early symptoms of the illness appeared, according to an MSF statement.

Sep 15, 2014

France opens Iraq conference urging “global” fight on jihadists

PARIS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – French President Francois
Hollande called on Monday for united international action to
tackle the threat from Islamic State militants as he opened a
conference on Iraq bringing together members of a U.S.-led
coalition.

The United States this week unveiled an outline plan to
fight the Islamist militants simultaneously in Iraq and Syria.
It believes it can forge a solid alliance despite hesitancy
among some partners and questions over the legality of action,
notably in Syria where the militant group has a power base.

Sep 13, 2014

U.S. banks on strong Iraq coalition, but allies are hesitant

PARIS (Reuters) – The United States says it is “comfortable” it can forge an international coalition to fight Islamic State, but with Western and Middle Eastern allies hesitant, it risks finding itself out on a limb.

President Barack Obama this week unveiled a rough plan to fight the Islamist militants simultaneously in Iraq and Syria, thrusting the United States directly into two different wars in which nearly every country in the region has a stake.

Sep 4, 2014

Under pressure, France buys time on Russian ships deal

PARIS/NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) – Western insistence that Russia is sending troops to Ukraine has forced France into reviewing a deal to supply Moscow with helicopter carriers, but Paris has carefully left the door ajar to their final delivery.

French officials had until now vowed to go ahead with the sale of the first of two Mistral ships, due to be delivered on Nov. 1, saying that scrapping the 1.2-billion-euro deal would hurt France and its defence sector more than it would Moscow.

Aug 28, 2014

France warns of more sanctions if Russian troops in Ukraine

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday it would be “intolerable and unacceptable” if it were proven that Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory, warning that a further escalation would lead to more sanctions.

Ukraine accused Russia on Thursday of bringing troops into the southeast of the country in support of pro-Moscow separatist rebels there. Russia’s defense ministry denied the allegation.

Aug 28, 2014

France’s Hollande says Assad cannot be ally in fight against Islamic State

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday opposition forces fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq should receive more Western support, but he ruled out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an ally against the jihadists.

Syrian rebel forces have been fighting Assad for more than three years with political backing from the West in a war that has cost 190,000 lives. But hardline Islamist groups have increasingly dominated the anti-Assad struggle, posing a dilemma for Western countries.

Aug 25, 2014

French government resigns after leftists call for U-turn

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande asked his prime minister on Monday to form a new government, looking to impose his will on the cabinet after rebel leftist ministers had called for an economic policy U-turn.

The surprise move came the day after outspoken Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg had condemned what he called fiscal “austerity” and attacked euro zone powerhouse Germany’s “obsession” with budgetary rigour.

Aug 22, 2014

Pressure mounts on Europeans to take more action against Islamic State

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – European leaders face calls to take direct action against the Islamic State including in Syria after the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, but politicians are reluctant to take the lead after previous missteps in the region.

The release of a video this week showing Foley’s beheading by a black-clad Islamic State (IS) militant with a British accent has emerged as a possible game-changer in the fight against the jihadist group.

Aug 21, 2014

In case of slain journalist, negotiations, silence, then a chilling warning

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – After months of silence from the captors of American journalist James Foley, on the night of Aug. 13, his family received a chilling message: Foley would be executed in retaliation for U.S. air strikes on the militant group Islamic State.

The family passed the message on to the U.S. government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which handles cases involving kidnapped American citizens, helped craft a response, pleading for mercy, said Phil Balboni, chief executive of GlobalPost, the Boston-based online news publication that employed Foley.