Chief correspondent, West and Central Africa
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Mar 10, 2015

French sports stars among 10 dead in Argentina helicopter crash

BUENOS AIRES/PARIS (Reuters) – Eight French nationals including Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and boxer Alexis Vastine were among 10 people killed when two helicopters collided in Argentina on Monday during the filming of a TV adventure show, authorities said.

The accident happened in the rugged western province of La Rioja near the Andes mountains, local authorities said.

Feb 27, 2015

Egypt’s Sawiris readies digital revamp for Euronews

PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris,
unveiling plans for his majority stake in European broadcaster
Euronews, said on Friday a cash injection would be used to
expand onto digital platforms and better promote the brand.

In an unprecedented shake-up of the 22-year-old channel’s
ownership, Sawiris said this week he had agreed to take a 53
percent stake in Euronews alongside a 35 million euro ($39
million) capital increase. He will join 23 public broadcasters
which are its current shareholders.

Feb 5, 2015

Hollande taps Charlie Hebdo spirit for “national unity” drive

PARIS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
sought on Thursday to capitalise on a sense of national unity
inspired by last month’s Islamist attacks in Paris and announced
a new public service job scheme and initiatives in housing and
education.

Since the attacks, Hollande’s poll ratings – pushed to a
historic low of 13 percent by stubbornly low unemployment and by
a struggling economy – have doubled.

Jan 21, 2015

EU privacy watchdogs to review air passenger data stance

PARIS, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Europe’s data privacy watchdogs
will meet in coming days to discuss revising their earlier
opposition to countries sharing airline passenger data as part
of efforts to tighten security and thwart terror attacks, the
group’s head said on Wednesday.

The talks come after EU President Donald Tusk said he would
press lawmakers in the European Parliament to drop their
resistance to the so-called EU Passenger Name Record system in
the wake of deadly Islamist attacks in France.

Jan 12, 2015

Attack vigils restore French pride – but now what?

PARIS, Jan 12 (Reuters) – France will never be quite the
same again after last week’s Islamist attacks, Prime Minister
Manuel Valls predicted in the hours that followed. But as one
lone banner at Sunday’s mass vigil in Paris for the victims
asked: “Now what?”

In a display of public emotion and solidarity not witnessed
since the capital’s 1944 liberation from Nazi Germany, 1.5
million French people poured onto the streets of Paris to mourn
the 17 killed in three attacks on satirical weekly Charlie
Hebdo, a Jewish deli and a policewoman on patrol.

Jan 11, 2015

Suspect hunted over Paris attacks left France last week: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – A woman hunted by French police as a suspect in the attacks on a satirical paper and Jewish supermarket in Paris left France several day before the killings and is believed to be in Syria, Turkish and French sources said on Saturday.

After killing the gunmen behind the worst assault in France for decades, French police launched in an intensive search for Hayat Boumeddiene, the 26-year-old partner of one of the attackers, describing her as “armed and dangerous”.

Jan 10, 2015

France pursues female suspect after deadly siege

PARIS (Reuters) – French police searched for a female accomplice to militant Islamists behind deadly attacks on a satirical newspaper and Jewish deli and maintained a top-level anti-terrorist alert ahead of a Paris gathering with European leaders set for Sunday.

In the worst assault on France’s homeland security for decades, 17 victims lost their lives in three days of violence that began with an attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly on Wednesday and ended with Friday’s dual hostage-taking at a print works outside Paris and kosher supermarket in the city.

Jan 9, 2015

French forces kill newspaper attack suspects, hostages die in second siege

PARIS/DAMMARTIN-EN-GOELE, France (Reuters) – Two brothers wanted for a bloody attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were killed on Friday when anti-terrorist police stormed their hideout, while a second siege ended with the deaths of four hostages.

The violent end to the simultaneous stand-offs northeast of Paris and at a Jewish supermarket in the capital followed a police operation of unprecedented scale as France tackled one of the worst threats to its internal security in decades.

Dec 23, 2014

France waves discreet goodbye to 75 percent super-tax

PARIS (Reuters) – When President Francois Hollande unveiled a “super-tax” on the rich in 2012, some feared an exodus of business, sporting and artistic talent. One adviser warned it was a Socialist step too far that would turn France into “Cuba without sun”.

Two years on, with the tax due to expire at the end of this month, the mass emigration has not happened. But the damage to France’s appeal as a home for top earners has been great, and the pickings from the levy paltry.

Nov 26, 2014

Sarkozy hopes to crush party rivals in French come-back test

PARIS (Reuters) – Nicolas Sarkozy’s hopes of running for a new French presidential term in 2017 face a crucial first test on Saturday as members of his crisis-ridden conservative UMP party vote for a new leader.

Sarkozy, who has watched impatiently from the sidelines since losing the French presidency to Socialist Francois Hollande in 2012, is favorite to be named UMP chairman. But he also knows only a landslide win will deter party rivals from emerging later to challenge him for the presidential ticket.

    • About Mark

      "Based in Dakar, I look after the Reuters file in West and Central Africa, except for Nigeria. Previously I covered politics and economics in Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London."
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