France

Congo ex-president Yombi Opango dies in France due to Corona

BRAZZAVILLE, March 31 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Former Republic of Congo president Jacques Joaquim Yhombi Opango died in France on Monday of the new coronavirus, his family said. He was 81.

Yhombi Opango, who led Congo-Brazzaville from 1977 until he was toppled in 1979, died at a Paris hospital of COVID-19, his son Jean-Jacques said.

Yhombi Opango had been ill before he contracted the virus, his son said.

Born in 1939 in Congo’s northern Cuvette region, Yhombi Opango was an army officer who rose to power after the assassination of president Marien Ngouabi.

Spanish Princess Maria Teresa dies from COVID-19

Paris; 29 March 2020 (UMM): Spanish Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first victim of the COVID-19 in Paris. She was eighty-six years old.

According to Fox News, the 86-year-old was a cousin of Spain's King Felipe VI. Her brother Prince Sixto Enrique de Borbon, the Duke of Aranjuez, announced on Facebook that she died after contracting COVID-19.

Coronavirus crisis puts EU's credibility on the line: French minister

PARIS (Reuters) - How the European Union responds to the coronavirus outbreak will determine its credibility and utility, a French minister said on Sunday, after the bloc failed to agree last week on measures to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic.

“If Europe is just a single market when times are good, then it has no sense,” European Affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin told France Inter radio.

She said Europe’s populist parties would be the winners if EU leaders failed to act together during a major crisis.

As rich nations battle coronavirus, anxiety grows for low-income states

PARIS, March 28 (NNN-AGENCIES) — As Europe and the United States struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, aid groups warn that without measures millions could die in low-income countries and war zones such as Syria and Yemen, where hygiene conditions are already dire.

The outbreak has infected some 580,000 people and killed over 26,000 around the world after emerging in China in December last year.

FRANCE: Eiffel Tower says “Merci” to health workers fighting virus

PARIS (AP) — Health workers racing to save lives as France contends with one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks have received a huge show of gratitude with the help of the Eiffel Tower.

The Paris landmark also had a message for the broader French public: Stay home.

Lights spelled out “Merci,” French for ’Thank you,” and “Stay at home” in English on Friday night along with the tower’s famous sparkling illuminations.

France's Macron launches army operation to win war against COVID-19

PARIS, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Declaring a war against "an invisible enemy," President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced an army operation "Resilience" to back the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and support the population.

"We are at war and faced with the peak of the epidemic which is before us, I decided to launch the operation Resilience," Macron said on the sidelines of a visit to a military field hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, the worst-hit region.

Covid-19: More than 3 billion told to stay home worldwide as death toll passes 20,000

PARIS, March 26 (NNN-AGENCIES) — More than three billion people have been asked to stay at home in almost 70 countries and territories as governments battle the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Most of the countries concerned, including Argentina, Britain, France, India and Italy as well as many US states, have imposed mandatory lockdown measures. Others have introduced curfews, quarantines and other social distancing recommendations.

Manu Dibango – African saxophone legend dies of corona

PARIS, March 25 (NNN-AGENCIES) —The African saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died in Paris after catching coronavirus.

Dibango – best known for his 1972 hit Soul Makossa – is one of the first global stars to die from Covid-19.

The 86-year-old fused jazz and funk music with traditional sounds from his home country, Cameroon.

He collaborated with numerous artists over a long career, including US pianist Herbie Hancock and Nigeria’s Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

Le Maire to present Macron with plans for top firms, nationalizations possible

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday that he would soon present to President Emmanuel Macron various plans and options to help the country’s biggest companies cope with the coronavirus crisis, including possible nationalizations.

“We have several options on the table for all of the major industrial companies which could face major threats on the market. It could be us raising our stake in their capital....or it could be nationalizations,” Le Maire told France Inter radio.

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