ENGLISH CHANNEL CROSSINGS BY MIGRANTS REACHES NEW DAILY RECORD

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On Thursday 11 November, the number of migrants crossing the English Channel to enter the UK reached a new daily record of 1,185 migrants. Lifeboat crews and Border Force boats spent many hours throughout the day and evening rescuing or intercepting boats and processing the arrivals, including children, on shore. Three people reported missing by…

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AUKUS SECURITY PACT SPARKS MAJOR DIPLOMATIC CRISIS

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On Monday 20 September, a planned Franco-British defence ministers’ summit became the latest casualty as France stepped up its protests over last week’s trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) – named AUKUS. President Joe Biden announced last Wednesday (15 September) that the three nations were forming a…

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IRAQ HOSTS MIDEAST LEADERS AND RIVALS IN A BID TO EASE TENSIONS

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On Saturday 28 August, Arab heads of state and senior officials from the region including archenemies Iran and Saudi Arabia (who cut diplomatic ties at the beginning of 2016) held a rare meeting at a conference hosted by Iraq. After decades of being largely shunned by Arab leaders over security concerns amid back-to-back wars and…

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THE G7 SUMMIT – HIGH ON PROMISES, LOW ON DELIVERABLES

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By Donnelly McCleland The leaders of the G7 countries ended a three-day summit with a diverse set of initiatives, including a pledge to vaccinate poorer countries against the coronavirus, a promise to make large corporations pay their fair share of taxes and a plan to tackle climate change with a blend of technology and money….

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MACRON HOSTS SUMMIT ON AFRICAN RECOVERY 

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By Alex Pollock After outlining a fresh chapter in French-African relations, with calls for massive economic support for Africa and visits to Rwanda and South Africa last week, [French] President Emmanuel Macron is back home to confront familiar and thorny problems in France’s former colonies, underscoring the challenges of breaking with the past. The calls…

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G5 SUMMIT CONSIDERS OPTIONS FOR COMBATTING DEEPENING CRISES IN SAHEL REGION

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By Donnelly McCleland French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday [16 February] ruled out an immediate reduction of French troops battling Islamist militants in West Africa’s Sahel region, saying a rushed exit would be a mistake. Mr Macron and a group of five African allies — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — were taking…

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CONTROVERSIAL FRENCH BILL AIMED AT RADICAL ISLAM COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE CHURCH

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By Alex Pollock French lawmakers debated a bill on Monday [1 February] they hope will uproot radical Islam in the country, beliefs that authorities maintain are creeping into public services, associations, some schools and online with the goal of undermining national values. The bill is broad and controversial, with around 1,700 proposed amendments, and it…

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FRENCH SENATE ADOPTS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR RECOGNITION OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH

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On 25 November, the French Senate voted on a symbolic resolution to recognise the region of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent republic. The resolution would not officially recognise the disputed Caucasus region as a sovereign state but was drafted to show solidarity with France’s large Armenian community. The resolution calls for the French government to “recognise…

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TERROR ATTACKS IN FRANCE AND MACRON’S PLAN TO COMBAT ‘ISLAMIC SEPARATISM’

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By Donnelly McCleland French President Emmanuel Macron has said he can understand why Muslims were shocked by controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. But, in an interview with broadcaster Al Jazeera, he said he could never accept the issue justified violence. It comes after Thursday’s deadly knife attack on a church in Nice, the third…

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FRANCE VOWS TO ROOT OUT ISLAMIST EXTREMISM IN WAKE OF TEACHER’S BEHEADING

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On Monday 19 October, French police raided numerous homes across France as part of its probe into the killing of Samuel Paty. About 15 people were taken into custody and 51 Islamic organisations are under investigation. On Friday 16 October, French history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded outside his school in a Paris suburb by…

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