France

Australia's new PM vows 'reset' with France after submarine row

Australia in 2021 cancelled a multi-billion dollar contract with a French firm to build the submarines.

It instead signed a new defence pact with the US and the UK, infuriating French President Emmanuel Macron.

He accused then leader Scott Morrison of lying to him, briefly recalling France's ambassador in protest.

Mr Albanese - who was elected in May - will travel to Madrid next week for the Nato summit. He will make a detour to Paris to smooth over ties.

"It is important that a reset occur," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Sick killer whale 'found dead in France'

The four-metre male orca was first spotted two weeks ago near the river's mouth, but made its way dozens of miles upstream towards the city of Rouen.

A plan to guide it back to the sea using sound stimuli failed, and experts concluded it was seriously ill.

The authorities had been preparing to euthanise the animal but activists say it died of natural causes.

Environmental campaign group Sea Shepherd tweeted that the orca's corpse was found at 11:48 local time (09:48 GMT) on Monday.

France blames 'massive' ticket fraud as policing row rages

Ministers acknowledged difficulties in managing crowds at the final in Paris, but say organised fraud was the root cause of the problems.

Liverpool ticket-holders were seen waiting in huge queues, with French police later using tear gas on crowds.

The treatment of fans was "an absolute disgrace," one Liverpool fan said.

Tom Whitehurst said he had to get his disabled son "out of the way" after they were pepper-sprayed.

Russia out, Georgia into Rugby World Cup

Russia's invasion has led to sanctions across global sport, and Belarus, a key staging area for the offensive, has also been punished.

World Rugby, which banned Russia and Belarus on Feb. 28 and suspended the Rugby Union of Russia's membership, said that the ban meant Russia could not play its remaining World Cup qualifying matches in the 2022 European Championship.

"Therefore these matches will be treated as abandoned," World Rugby said, adding that the updated standings meant that Georgia had sealed its spot at the World Cup.

 

Photo Getty Images 

Seven dead after explosion and fire on France's south-west coast

Several buildings were set ablaze on both sides of a street in the seaside town of St Laurent-de-la-Salanque after a blast was heard at 01:30 local time (00:30 GMT) on Monday.

Firefighters are still searching for victims in two small blocks of flats damaged by the fire.

The cause of the original explosion is not yet known.

France's Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who visited the scene of the accident on Monday afternoon, said the current death toll of seven was only provisional while emergency services continued to search for survivors.

France 37-10 Italy - Gabin Villiere scores hat-trick for hosts

The Azzurri briefly threatened to derail France's attempt at a first title since 2010 when debutant teenager Tommaso Menoncello scored.

But Anthony Jelonch and Gabin Villiere crossed to put the hosts in front.

After the break, Villiere completed his hat-trick and Damian Penaud also crossed to secure the bonus point.

France top the table after round one from second-placed Ireland on points difference, with Andy Farrell's side travelling to Paris in round two.

Heineken Champions Cup & Challenge Cup: British teams can travel to France

From Friday morning, vaccinated UK travellers will no longer need a compelling reason to enter France or self-isolate on arrival.

It will not apply for non-vaccinated travellers.

Bath, Sale, Newcastle and Scarlets are due to play in France this weekend.

Players or staff who are not vaccinated would still have to isolate for 10 days upon arrival and, regardless of vaccination status, all travellers must have a negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before leaving the UK.

Europe sees record virus case rise

But France, with its 179,807 cases on Tuesday, was not alone in breaking records, as Italy, Greece, Portugal and England all reported record highs too.

The figures could be due in part to reporting delays over Christmas.

Countries had been reporting rises running up the festive period, driven by the more contagious Omicron variant.

France invites drafts to revise New Caledonia's statute

More than 96 percent of New Caledonians voted against independence in a referendum boycotted by Kanaks. It was the last of three referendums, which concluded the 1998 Noumea Accord on the territory's decolonisation.

The Accord's provisions on the territory's institutional make-up remain in place until a new statute has been adopted.

While the anti-independence camp and Paris welcomed the referendum result, the pro-independence parties said the vote was bogus and they would not recognise its outcome.

Dubai 7s: Fiji loses opening game against France

Just as they did last week, France struck first with a try after taking advantage of a Fiji loose pass.

Fijian forward Joseva Talacolo registered his country's first points racing away for an unconverted try from the restart.

France had most of the possession in the first half and tried to break the Fijian defense.

Fiji's defensive effort paid off when they turned the ball over at a break down before Filipe Sauturaga ran in for their second try.