France

Wallabies snatch victory at death after French error

Les Bleus led by 15 points in the first half after two Gabin Villiere tries but Wallabies captain Michael Hooper's late try closed France's lead to one.

France then kicked a penalty to touch but fumbled the resulting line-out and Australia won the decisive penalty.

The sides meet again on Tuesday in the second game of the three-match series.

It was Australia's second Test victory since the 2019 World Cup against a French side that have rested most of their Test starters.

     

France to scale down Sahel military operations

The existing 5,100-strong task force will be incorporated into a broader international mission, he announced.

French forces have been operating in Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso to fight militants.

Last week, France paused operations in Mali following a military coup.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group have strengthened their grip on the region, which has become a front line in the war against Islamist extremism.

It is also a major transit route for illegal drugs, weapons and jihadists.

France urges citizens to leave Pakistan amid anti-French protests

The country's embassy in Pakistan warned of "serious threats to French interests in Pakistan", saying protests were increasing nationwide.

Two police officers died this week in renewed clashes with protesters.

The protests were sparked months ago after France defended the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

In October last year, French President Emmanuel Macron strongly defended freedom of expression after the beheading of a teacher who showed such cartoons during a class discussion.

France enters third national lockdown amid ICU surge

All schools and non-essential shops will shut for four weeks, and a curfew will be in place from 19:00 to 06:00.

On Friday, the number of seriously ill Covid patients in intensive care units (ICU) increased by 145 - the biggest jump in five months.

President Emmanuel Macron has promised more hospital beds for Covid patients.

France is currently battling a peak of about 5,000 Covid patients in ICUs. On Friday, the country recorded 46,677 new cases and 304 deaths.

France sends 30 police to New Caledonia

This followed a call for police reinforcement by the administrator in New Caledonia's Southern Province following recent violence around protests related to the Vale nickel plant

The French Overseas Minister, Sebastien Lecornu, confirmed the deployment of another 30 special police and investigators.

He noted that almost 1500 French police were in New Caledonia, more than five times more police than in rural parts of mainland France.

     

Paris lockdown as France fears 'third wave'

Another 15 regions in the country will also be placed under the same measures from midnight on Friday.

These measures will not be as strict as the previous lockdown, Prime Minister Jean Castex said, with people allowed to exercise outdoors.

France has recorded 35,000 new cases within the past 24 hours.

Mr Castex said a "third wave" of infections in the country was looking increasingly likely.

France v Scotland could be cancelled after five more positive Covid-19 tests

The Six Nations testing oversight group reviewed the outbreak on Monday (Tuesday NZT) which has revealed positive tests by 10 players and three staff members. The group said it will reconvene on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) to decide whether the match will go ahead on Sunday in Paris. If not, it will likely be postponed for a week.

Scotland warned later on Monday (Tuesday NZT) that a delay could affect the availability of its own players.

France beat Ireland, edge closer to Six Nations title

Les Bleus, back in the mix since Galthie took over last year, scored a try through Charles Ollivon on their first incursion and defended stoutly in a tense finale to snatch their second win in two games in this year's championship.

France, who host the 2023 World Cup, top the standings with nine points, ahead of Wales on goal difference with England in third place three points adrift.

"We were prepared to win the game, we won the game. It was our objective. That's it," Galthie, who has led France to nine victories in 11 games, told a news conference.

France PM Castex announces tighter curfew

The move is a tightening of a curfew already in place since December, which restricts movement from 20:00-06:00.

Announcing the measure on Thursday, Mr Castex described the country's situation as "worrying" with infections remaining at a "high plateau".

He also announced new restrictions for people arriving into the country.

France has so far recorded more than 69,000 coronavirus deaths - the seventh-highest death toll in the world.

France and Germany cull more birds to contain bird flu outbreak

France is set to cull about 600,000 poultry birds as the virus spreads among duck flocks in the southwest of the country, the farm ministry said.

France is among European countries - including Britain and Germany - to have reported highly contagious strains of bird flu late last year, leading to mass culls as authorities try to limit transmission from wild birds to farm flocks.

France has already slaughtered about 200,000 poultry and plans to cull a further 400,000 birds, a farm ministry official said.