Macron and Le Pen to face off in crucial live TV election debate

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen

Far-right challenger out to avoid repeat of 2017 ‘failure’ in two-and-a-half hour clash with incumbent

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will go head to head in a live TV debate on Wednesday night that could prove crucial in making up the minds of undecided voters four days before the French presidential runoff.

The high-stakes, two-and-a-half-hour confrontation, the only direct clash between the two candidates, has been a tradition of French presidential campaigns since 1974, often confirming or dashing electoral ambitions.

With recent polls giving Macron a lead of up to 12 points before Sunday’s vote, Le Pen will be keen not to reproduce the poorly prepared, muddled and aggressive performance that sealed her eventual defeat in 2017  [ . . . ]

Continue at source: Macron and Le Pen to face off in crucial live TV election debate | French presidential election 2022 | The Guardian

Musician Tim Dup on upcoming French election

by Tim Dup (translated)

We don’t love it when artists talk about politics, do we? With this being said, we can often thank them for converting their sensitivity to the concrete photograph of a time, to put words, to make them speak, from within, what they look around. I was a little hesitated before writing something in that order. And I am sure, because I know you, that you will be able to do the part of things with my creation, the one you follow me for, but who is still inherently connected to what I will tell you.

Since September, we take the road, every week, to come and meet you. Thousands of miles, different people in every room. All generations. Big cities, mediums, villages, crazy hybridism. Metropolis, small territories, urban areas, countryside, connected or sometimes more isolated. After every concert, it’s an hour and a half of meetings, to a little bit of who we are. Before each concert, there are regular meetings, with colleges, centers, young people, associations, clubs, schools, conservatives, high schools, high schools, impaired public. And all this makes me think that I’m starting to know a bit what France really looks like. And that everywhere, we are great, connected, with the same needs, and often the same desires. We are not that original. Sure, we are different, single, but our lives are quite the same. Even if we don’t have the same chances, that things separate us, we want good for each other. When I look at you, this wonderful audience is everything. There are especially all ages, so I can’t help but think that behind our families, there is a consciousness of tomorrow, the transmission, what we leave, what we build. This sentence transmitted from age to age, that my grandfather told me and you know, is exactly the opposite of the desire. Plant flowers, others will pick them for you.

This is the starting point; I’m relating this sentence: humanity has less than three years to reverse the curve of greenhouse gas emissions, who are responsible for climate change, if it wants to preserve a world livable. It seems little concrete, vertical, very intangible. But yet there it is. A reality. What do we do about it?

If you too have doubt before Sunday, I believe that out of respect for the essence of our existence, living, a small key to voting is to turn to a program that does not take it lightly. And there are only two, such programs.

Regardless of what is in my sense, makes a peaceful society.

Weather. Education. Culture. Health. Sustainable economy. Wake up.

The dam of social sacking, excessive neoliberalism, sufficiency, on one hand; the reproach on oneself, the hatred on the other, the populist and demagogical denial of what the world and this country looks like today, on the other side.

The world’s chaos only tends to multiply, exacerbated by the climate crisis. Migrations, energy tensions, territorial, social crisis, international conflicts, insecurity… In the end, I don’t know much, fundamentally, nor specifically, about these. I receive them, weigh them, understand them, but I’m not an expert, naturally. I’m not looking to teach lessons, I’ll be unable to. The networks are full of noise of opinions, and I have one.

But it seems obvious to me, that the media issues of this election cannot be discussed anyway, if we do not know, at last, that the fight for the living under all the rest. So there you go, I guess the contents of these words are imperfect. But please let’s take a shot of humility and empathy for each other and those around us before this first round. Let’s think about our parents, especially our children. To our humanities, this is what it is about first, because the planet has to do with our existence, it will be fine without us. Giving yourself the right and the duty to care, in every way. A bulletin, a prosecutor’s office, it’s simple, and it’s from our source.

Some thought tips here, that helped me make a decision, because it’s not obvious either, we agree.

On adore pas quand les artistes parlent de politique, n’est-ce pas? Ceci dit, on peut les remercier, souvent, de convertir de leur sensibilité la photographie concrète d’une époque, de mettre des mots, de faire parler, par leur intérieur, de ce qu’ils regardent autour. J’ai un peu hésité avant d’écrire quelque chose de cet ordre là. Et je suis sûr, parce que je vous connais, que vous saurez faire la part des choses avec ma création, celle pour laquelle vous me suivez, mais qui pourtant est intrinsèquement liée à ce je vais vous dire.

Depuis septembre, nous prenons la route, chaque semaine, pour venir à votre rencontre. Des milliers de kilomètres, des gens différents dans chaque salle. Toutes les générations. Des grandes villes, des moyennes, des villages, une hybridité folle. Des métropoles, des petits territoires, des zones urbaines, de campagne, connectées ou parfois plus esseulées. Après chaque concert, c’est une heure et demi de rencontres, à palper un peu qui nous sommes. Avant chaque concert, c’est aussi régulièrement des rencontres, avec des collèges, des centres, des jeunes, des associations, des clubs, des écoles, des conservatoires, des lycées, des publics empêchés. Et tout ceci me permet de penser que je commence un peu à savoir à quoi ressemble vraiment la France. Et que partout, nous sommes formidables, en lien, avec les mêmes besoins, et souvent les mêmes envies. Nous ne sommes pas si originaux. Bien-sûr, nous sommes différents, singuliers, mais nos vies se ressemblent pas mal. Même si nous n’avons pas les mêmes chances, que des choses nous séparent, nous nous voulons du bien. Quand je vous regarde, ce public merveilleux, il y a de tout. Il y a surtout de tous les âges, alors je ne peux m’empêcher de penser que derrière nos familles, existe une conscience de demain, de la transmission, de ce qu’on laisse, ce qu’on construit. Cette phrase transmise d’âge en âge, que mon grand-père m’a dite et que vous connaissez, est à l’exact opposé du dérisoire. Plante des fleurs, les autres les cueilleront pour toi.

Voilà le point de départ; Je relis cette phrase en boucle : l’humanité dispose de moins de trois années pour inverser la courbe des émissions de gaz à effet de serre, principales responsables du changement climatique, si elle veut conserver un monde vivable. Ça paraît peu concret, vertigineux, bien intangible. Mais pourtant c’est là. Une réalité. Qu’en fait-on?

Si vous aussi le doute vous habite avant dimanche, je crois que par respect pour l’essence de nos existences, du vivant, une petite clé pour aller voter est de se tourner vers un programme qui ne prend pas cela à la légère. Et il n’y en a que deux, de tels programmes.

Sans compter ce qui à mon sens, fait société pérenne.

Climat. Éducation. Culture. Santé. Économie soutenable. Éveil.

Le barrage au saccage social, néolibéralisme à outrance, la suffisance, d’un côté; le repli sur soi, la haine de l’autre, le déni populiste et démagogique d’à quoi ressemble aujourd’hui le monde et ce pays, d’un autre côté.

Les désordres du monde ne tendent qu’à se multiplier, exacerbés par la crise climatique. Migrations, tensions énergétiques, territoriales, crise sociale, conflits internationaux, insécurité… Je ne connais finalement pas grand chose, fondamentalement, ni précisément, à ces sujets. Je les reçois, les pèse, les comprends, mais n’en suis pas expert, naturellement. Je ne cherche pas à donner de leçons, j’en serais incapable. Les réseaux se chargent du bruit des opinions, et j’en ai une.

Mais il me paraît évident, que les enjeux médiatisés de ces élections ne pourront de toute façon être discutés, si l’on ne saisit pas, enfin, que la lutte pour le vivant sous-tend tout le reste. Alors voilà, j’imagine que la teneur de ces mots est imparfaite. Mais s’il nous plaît, reprenons un shot d’humilité et d’empathie pour l’autre et ce qui nous entoure avant ce premier tour. Repensons à nos parents, et surtout à nos enfants. À nos humanités, c’est de ça dont il s’agit d’abord, car la planète n’a que faire de notre existence, elle s’en démerdera bien sans nous. Se donner le droit et le devoir de prendre soin, à tous les égards. Un bulletin, une procuration, c’est simple, et c’est de notre ressort.

Quelques pistes de réflexion ici, qui m’ont aidé à prendre une décision, car elle n’est pas évidente non plus, nous sommes d’accord.

Hans Zimmer & Ukrainian musicians on tour

Film music for peace: On March 11, 2022, Hans Zimmer went on tour across Europe with a large orchestra, performing music from his most popular films as well as more recent compositions. Ten musicians from the Odessa National Opera, who managed to flee to Germany from the war in Ukraine, are taking part. Originally, the film music tour was planned to include the entire Odessa Opera Orchestra. But after Russia attacked Ukraine on the morning of February 24, 2022, most of the Odessa Opera Orchestra musicians were unable to leave the country. These ten musicians were able to flee from Ukraine, passing by many European cities on their long odyssey to escape the war. They encountered a lot of support and willingness to help on their escape. Their missing Ukrainian colleagues are now being covered by fellow musicians from all over Europe who play in the concerts. This turns the tour, which was supposed to celebrate Hans Zimmer’s grand film music, into a show of solidarity with these ten Ukrainian musicians who were able to flee, and for the entire Odessa Opera Orchestra. Hans Zimmer’s music connects people across borders – a project that provides some much-needed hope.

Film music excerpts from: (00:00)

House Atreides (from the official soundtrack of Dune/2021) (01:55)

Themyscira (from the official soundtrack of Wonder Woman 1984/2020) (05:06)

Mombasa (from the official soundtrack of Inception/2010)

What Americans can expect when traveling to France during the pandemic

By Andrew Kunesh

As of today, June 9, 2021, France has reopened to tourists from a handful of nations, including the U.S. Those coming from the U.S. must possess proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to the country without mandatory quarantine.

I’m a huge fan of France and was ecstatic to hear the reopening news. Naturally, I hopped on one of the first flights to Paris (CDG) that arrived just hours after the new regulations went into effect.

Here, I’ll give you a look at my experience entering France under the new coronavirus entry restrictions.

I’ll start with a quick overview of what Americans need to bring for entry to France and then discuss my travel experience, from checking in at New York-JFK to clearing customs at Paris (CDG).

Let’s get started!

Overview of France’s entry requirements (and what to bring)

Vaccinated Americans can now visit France for tourism. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Today, France implemented a “stoplight” system for tourists entering the country. There are three different colors: green, orange and red. Those coming from green countries can enter without restriction if vaccinated, while those in red countries are mostly barred from entry except for essential purposes.

French COVID stoplight system map
(Image courtesy of the French Government)

Orange is the largest category and contains most of the countries outside of the Schengen area. This includes the U.S., U.K., Canada and Mexico, among others.

Entry requirements are very straightforward. According to the French Government (PDF link), vaccinated Americans (and vaccinated travelers from other orange countries) can enter France with the following:

  • Proof of your vaccination — the following vaccines are accepted:
    • AstraZeneca
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Moderna
    • Pfizer
  • negative COVID-19 test:
    • PCR within 72 hours of boarding
    • Antigen within 48 hours of boarding

Note that you must wait a set amount of time after your COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter France. The wait time depends on which vaccine you received:

  • Two weeks after the second injection for two injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca)
  • Four weeks after the injection for single injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson)

Unvaccinated persons coming from orange countries are not allowed entry to France unless he or she has a “compelling reason” for their visit or is a French citizen, EU national or holds one of a handful of French visas.

Additionally, unvaccinated travelers are subject to tougher restrictions:

  • Proof of a negative COVID test, either:
    • PCR within 72 hours of boarding
    • Antigen within 48 hours of boarding
  • Antigen test on arrival
  • Mandatory seven-day self-quarantine

In other words: if you’re coming from an orange country, you can only visit for tourism if you’re fully vaccinated.

Related: What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in the US

COVID-19 restrictions in France

Many COVID-19 restrictions in France have been eased alongside the border reopening. That said, there are still some restrictions in place that you should be aware of if you plan to visit France immediately.

  • There is an 11 p.m. curfew, with a fine for breaking it
  • Indoor dining at cafés and restaurants around the country have resumed indoor dining at 50% capacity, with a maximum of six people allowed per table
  • Outdoor dining has resumed at full capacity
  • Museums are open, albeit with capacity restrictions

Many of these restrictions are set to be lifted at the end of the month. So if you’re a night owl, consider pushing your trip back a few weeks [ . . . ]

Continue at source: What Americans can expect when traveling to France during the pandemic

Arrests in Paris as thousands join May Day protests across France

Hooded, black-clad demonstrators clashed with police in Paris on Saturday as thousands of people joined traditional May Day protests across France to demand social and economic justice and voice their opposition to government plans to change unemployment benefits.

Police made 46 arrests in the capital, where garbage bins were set on fire and the windows of a bank branch were smashed, momentarily delaying the march.

More than 106,000 people marched throughout France, including 17,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry.

Trade unionists were joined by members of the “Yellow Vest” movement, which triggered a wave of anti-government protests three years ago, and by workers from sectors hit hard by pandemic restrictions such as culture. [ . . . ]

Source: Arrests in Paris as thousands join May Day protests across France | Reuters