France: Major European powers rebuke Iran over uranium metal plans

PARIS (Reuters) - Three European powers on Saturday warned Iran against starting work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, saying it contravened the 2015 nuclear deal and stressing that it had no civilian use but serious military implications.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Tehran said on Wednesday that Iran had started the work, in the latest breach of its nuclear deal with six major powers as the country presses for a lifting of U.S. sanctions.

'A clear and final no': French minister opposes $20 billion Canadian offer for Carrefour

PARIS (Reuters) - Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire expressed France’s stiff opposition to a possible near-$20 billion takeover of Carrefour by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard on Friday, driving the French retailer’s shares down by 4.5%.

“Food security is strategic for our country so that’s why we don’t sell a big French retailer,” Le Maire told BFM TV. “My answer is extremely clear: we are not in favour of the deal. The no is polite but it’s a clear and final no,” he said.

Paris extends curfew nationwide to fight virus

Paris, Jan 15 (AP-PTI) All of France will be under a stricter curfew starting Saturday at 6 p.m. for at least 15 days to fight spread of the coronavirus.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex also announced strict new controls for those arriving in France from countries outside the European Union. Starting Monday, they must produce a PCR test with negative results and self-isolate for seven days followed by a new, negative test.

France's Le Maire: resolving trade sanctions is my priority for Biden administration

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday that resolving transatlantic trade sanctions were his priority for dealings with the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

“These sanctions are very detrimental. A trade war is not in the interests of the U.S. and not in the interest of Europe,” Le Maire said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.

Le Maire said he had received no “initial signals” from the incoming administration and that he hoped to visit Washington in February.

France's Le Maire says 6% growth target for 2021 not out reach

PARIS (Reuters) - Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday said a growth forecast of 6% for France’s economy in 2021 remained within reach and that he was confident of a strong recovery by the end of the year.

“I am really quite confident that the second part of 2021 will be good for the French economy,” Le Maire said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.

But he cautioned: “We have to remain humble and cautious because we have been fooled by the virus many times.”

Moderna vaccine set to arrive in France as country steps up anti-COVID drive

PARIS (Reuters) - Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in France on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said, as the country steps up its vaccination drive following a sluggish start.

Castex and Health Minister Olivier Veran visited a health centre in Tarbes, southwestern France, on Saturday as part of the government’s campaign to accelerate France’s vaccine rollout.

FRANCE: Covid-19: Lockdowns, curfews, alcohol bans as nations fight resurgent virus

PARIS, Jan 4 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Countries across the world tightened restrictions on their populations to fight a resurgence in the coronavirus, as the European Union offered to help drug companies expand vaccine production to improve distribution “bottlenecks”.

From local curfews, to alcohol bans and complete lockdowns, governments are trying to tackle a surge in cases.

The coronavirus has killed more than 1.8 million people globally since emerging in China in December 2019.

Over 1,200 punished for attending illegal party in northwest France

PARIS, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Over 1,200 revelers attending an illegal rave party in northwest France on New Year's Eve were sanctioned for defying anti-coronavirus sanitary rules, the Interior Ministry and local authorities said on Saturday.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that more than 1,200 party-goers were issued with penalty notices as they left the site, adding that the event's organizers were being identified and would be prosecuted.

Two French soldiers killed during mission in Mali

PARIS (AP) — The French presidency announced that two French soldiers were killed Saturday in Mali when an improvised explosive device hit their armored vehicle, five days after three others died in similar circumstances.

The soldiers were participating in an intelligence mission in the Menaka region of northeastern Mali, as part of a larger operation aiming at fighting Islamist extremists in Africa’s Sahel region.

A third soldier has been injured and is in a stable condition, the French military said.

British PM Boris Johnson's father seeks French nationality after Brexit

Calais (France), Jan 1 (AP-PTI) France's government cast a favourable light on Friday on a reported bid by the father of Britain's prime minister to take up French nationality, saying it shows how attached Britons are to the European Union that they're no longer part of.

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