France

France won't cede disputed islands to Vanuatu

The long-running dispute over the Matthew and Hunter Islands, which sit between New Caledonia and Vanuatu, flared again recently with the visit of a French warship.

The dispute has been going on for decades, and tempers flared when the French crew painted the tricolour flag on a large rock in January.

That led to calls for Vanuatu to expel French diplomats.

Vanuatu's foreign minister rejected those calls, instead calling for negotiations with Paris to resume.

Another All Black off to France

The club has announced that the 28-year-old has signed a three-year deal.

Whitelock has played sevens Tests for the All Blacks.

Highlanders teammate and All Black outside back Ben Smith announced in December that he has heading to Pau at the end of the year.

Pau are coached by Simon Mannix and the club has a number of New Zealanders playing including Jamie McIntosh, Peter Saili, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor.

They are currently 11th in the Top 14 championship.

     

New Caledonia restates France's claim on Matthew, Hunter islands

They issued a statement after the pro-independence FLNKS movement restated its position that Matthew and Hunter islands belonged to Vanuatu's heritage.

The three said last November's independence referendum showed a majority of New Caledonians wanted to stay French.

They said they would therefore oppose any attempt to dispossess the country of part of its land and wealth.

FLNKS leader Daniel Goa said unlike the people of Vanuatu, the Kanaks had no cultural links to the two islands.

Ireland keep title hopes alive after demolishing France

After misfiring in an opening loss to England, and stuttering wins over Italy and Scotland, the defending champions completely overwhelmed the French, with tries from Rory Best, Johnny Sexton and Jack Conan opening up a 19-0 halftime lead.   

The bonus point was secured just before the hour, when Keith Earls's 30th international try made him Ireland's joint second-highest tryscorer.

The winning margin would likely have been a record over France, were it not for late tries from Yoann Huget and Camille Chat.   

Vanuatu presses France for talks over Matthew and Hunter

During a French naval mission to the small uninhabited islands in January, France reportedly took action to re-enforce its sovereignty, when officers landed, polished a plaque and painted the French flag on a rock.

Johnny Koanapo, who has represented Vanuatu's claim in talks with France, said the unilateral move complicated the negotiations.

"We, the people of Vanuatu, will not take this lightly. We are very concerned and we want France to give a proper explanation," he said.

Germany suffer historic defeat

It has been a woeful year for Germany's national team, with off-field controversy and a shambolic World Cup campaign attracting headlines for the wrong reason.

In terms of results, Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Netherlands was the worst, as they were comfortably swept aside by Ronald Koeman's young team.

But two of their most crucial defeats came in Russia, as they lost 1-0 to Mexico in their opening group game and were then dumped out before the knockout phase as a result of a 2-0 reverse at the hands of South Korea.

France shocked by video of woman being slapped by harasser

Marie Laguerre shared CCTV video of the man slapping her outside a cafe in the north-east of the capital.

The video has gone viral and coincides with a government push to impose on-the-spot fines for street harassment.

"The first fines should be handed out this autumn," said Equalities Minister Marlène Schiappa.

Offenders will have to pay between €90 (£80; $105) and €750 under a package of measures that was backed by French MPs in May and is set to complete its passage through parliament this week.

France get heroes' welcome in Paris

A 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow on Sunday secured France their second World Cup triumph, sparking non-stop celebrations back home.

Supporters swarmed the Champs-Elysees, Paris' most famous avenue, after the game and saw their heroes projected on to the Arc de Triomphe, with more than a million people reported to have taken to the street in the area to celebrate through the night.

Mbappe wins Young Player award

The Paris Saint-Germain star is the second France player in a row to win the prize, after team-mate Paul Pogba claimed four years ago.

The award, which can only be won by players born on or after January 1, is given to the outstanding young footballer at the finals.

"Technical qualities such as skill, style and charisma are taken into account, but so are other important factors such as a sense of fair play and a genuine impression that the player is playing for the love of the game," according to FIFA.

France 4 Croatia 2

Following a tournament packed with thrills and drama, the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium lived up to what preceded it from the moment Les Bleus hit the front through an 18th-minute own goal by Mario Mandzukic – a cruel role reversal for Croatia's extra-time hero in the semi-final win over England.

Zlatko Dalic's side had started the stronger and levelled through a fine Ivan Perisic strike before the Inter player was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box, as VAR made its first impact upon a World Cup final.