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French astronaut warns against free-for-all military space race

French astronaut warns against free-for-all military space race

‘We need to be really careful,’ Thomas Pesquet told POLITICO’s EU Confidential.French astronaut Thomas Pesquet is something of a space pacifist, which puts him at odds with his country’s president, who has announced a series of measures to beef up France’s military heft in space.Pesquet will be the first European astronaut to launch aboard a SpaceX rocket for his second trip to the International Space Station on April 22.Instead of setting up military commands to defend assets in orbit — something the U.K. and the U.S. are doing, as well as France, to counter space powers like Russia, China...

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Rym Momtaz
Apr 1
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French authority says AstraZeneca vaccine should only go to those over 55

French authority says AstraZeneca vaccine should only go to those over 55

The recommendation comes just a day after the government announced that vaccination with the jab would resume.PARIS — The AstraZeneca vaccine should only be administered to those older than 55 years of age, according to the latest by the French national health agency unveiled on Friday.The authority's recommendation adds to the confusion in the country just a day after French Prime Minister Jean Castex that AstraZeneca vaccinations would restart following advice from the European Medicines Agency that the vaccine Castex himself, who is just 55, is due to receive the jab Friday afternoon in...

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Rym Momtaz
Mar 19
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Macron: EU shouldn’t gang up on China with US

Macron: EU shouldn’t gang up on China with US

French president warns against creating ‘highest possible’ conflict.PARIS — The EU shouldn’t gang up on China with the U.S. even if it stands closer to Washington by virtue of shared values, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.“A situation to join all together against China, this is a scenario of the highest possible conflictuality. This one, for me, is counterproductive,” Macron said, speaking in English, during a discussion broadcast by Washington-based think tank the Atlantic Council on Thursday.This kind of common front against China — as given the new Biden administration's...

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Rym Momtaz
Feb 4
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Macron: AstraZeneca vaccine seems ‘quasi-ineffective’ on older people

Macron: AstraZeneca vaccine seems ‘quasi-ineffective’ on older people

French president’s remarks came shortly before EU regulator approved jab for all adults.PARIS — French President Emmanual Macron said Friday the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine appeared to be "quasi-ineffective" on people older than 65 — just hours before the EU's drugs regulator it for use on all adults."The real problem on AstraZeneca is that it doesn’t work the way we were expecting it to," Macron told a group of reporters, including POLITICO, in Paris. "We’re waiting for the EMA [European Medicines Agency] results, but today everything points to thinking it is quasi-ineffective on...

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Rym Momtaz
Jan 29
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US and Turkey target each other in NATO meeting

US and Turkey target each other in NATO meeting

Verbal clash during foreign affairs ministerial overshadows report on how alliance should adapt for 2030.Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Turkey during a virtual meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday, accusing Ankara of stoking tensions with fellow allies in the Mediterranean and of giving a gift to the Kremlin by purchasing a Russian-made anti-aircraft system.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu fired back, accusing Pompeo of phoning European allies and urging them to gang up on Turkey, of siding blindly with Greece in regional conflicts, and of refusing to...

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David M. Herszenhorn
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Dec 1
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France and Germany accuse Russia in Navalny poisoning

France and Germany accuse Russia in Navalny poisoning

PARIS — France and Germany on Wednesday directly accused Russia of being behind the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, making them the first two countries to do so.“France and Germany asked Russia multiple times to shed light on the circumstances of the crime and those who perpetrated it. No credible explanation has been provided by Russia so far," a joint statement by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday evening. “In this context, there is no other plausible explanation for the positioning of Mr. Navalny than a...

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Rym Momtaz
Oct 7
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Macron calls on Europe to quit dependency on US arms

Macron calls on Europe to quit dependency on US arms

Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byRUKLA, Lithuania — French President Emmanuel Macron called for Europe to end its dependency on American weapons systems as he made a renewed pitch for the Continent to take control of its destiny.In a debate with students at the University of Vilnius in Lithuania Tuesday, he made a plea for Europe to take on a more independent and assertive role in the world — subservient to neither Washington nor Beijing.“We, some countries more than others, gave up on our strategic independence by depending too much on American weapons systems,” Macron said at...

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Rym Momtaz
Sep 29
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Macron to meet Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya

Macron to meet Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya

VILNIUS — French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Lithuania on Tuesday, according to an Elysée official.Macron arrived in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, on Monday to begin a three-day regional visit. Tikhanovskaya fled to Lithuania after the disputed Belarusian presidential election in August, in which she stood against autocratic incumbent Alexander Lukashenko.Tuesday's meeting in Vilnius will be one of the most high-profile demonstrations of support for the Belarusian opposition by a Western leader.Tikhanovskaya had asked to meet...

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Rym Momtaz
Sep 28
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Spain to go into lockdown

Spain to go into lockdown

Spain will declare a nationwide lockdown on Saturday, according to Spanish media reports.It will become the second European country, after Italy, to take such a measure.People will be asked to stay home except for buying food and going to work.Coronavirus cases have risen by more than 1,500 in less than 24 hours, according to the Spanish health ministry.New numbers published by the ministry show that the total number of confirmed cases in Spain rose from on Friday at 6 p.m. to on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez a national "state of alarm," giving his...

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Rym Momtaz
Mar 14, 2020
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Russia shutting borders with Poland and Norway over coronavirus

Russia shutting borders with Poland and Norway over coronavirus

Russia will shut its land borders with Poland and Norway as of midnight on Saturday, in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.An exception is being made for citizens from neighboring Belarus, official delegations and holders of Russian residence permits, according to a from the Russian government."We ask Russians to minimise travel. Limiting foreign business trips and mass events in all regions, including entertainment, sports and business events is recommended. We ask everyone to keep calm, since these are preventive measures,"  Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.Authorities...

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Rym Momtaz
Mar 14, 2020
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