- Businesses, museums and other attractions in the French capital had shuttered on Saturday in anticipation of the violent new clashes during the critical Christmas shopping season.
- French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said 125,000 demonstrators had taken to the streets across the country, including 10,000 in Paris.
- Paris and other French cities including Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse saw significant clashes between protesters and police.
- About 120 protesters and 20 law enforcement officials were injured nationwide, the interior minister said.
- Nearly 1,400 people were arrested.French PM Edouard Philippe called for dialogue and said President Emmanuel Macron would soon be proposing measures to “nourish” that dialogue and rebuild national unity.
French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe cancelled his appearance at the COP24 climate change summit in Katowice, Poland, on Monday, instead meeting with French political leaders to formulate a response to the violent ‘yellow vest’ protests.
During a trip to the French overseas territory Guadeloupe on Friday, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to keep a promise to clean up toxic Sargassum seaweed within 48 hours of it running aground.Like the rest of the Caribbean, the Antilles suffered in 2011 from an unprecedented invasion of Sargassum seaweed (sometimes known as gulf weed). The problem recurred in 2015 and then on an even larger scale in 2018. The brown seaweed poses potential health risks. The mounds of Sargassum that accumulate on the beach can reach as high as two feet and release hydrogen sulfide and ammonia as it rots.
The colourless, toxic and highly flammable gas smells like rotten eggs. Inhaling it in small doses can trigger eye and respiratory irritation.Former French minister for the environment Nicolas Hulot presented a €10 million plan in June to help combat the problem. His subsequent resignation set off a flurry of panic in the islands over whether the government would renege on its pledge to help with the problem. [ . . . ]
CONTINUE at FRANCE 24: Mystery seaweed threatens French Caribbean – France 24