Articles by: Jonathan Walsh

Paris Police Facing Scrutiny over Doctored Crime Numbers

Parisian police have been systematically underreporting crime for years, according to a government audit. The scheme was apparently meant to maintain the French capital’s safe, tourist-friendly image, and to give the impression that government anti-crime policies were working. Municipal authorities in Paris apparently started purposefully downplaying crime a decade ago. However, the cover-up hit new heights in 2008, a year after Nicolas Sarkozy of the center-right Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) was elected president.[Read More…]

Hollande Opens Year with Promises of Tax Cuts, Redeployment from Mali

French President François Hollande has vowed to sharply cut French troop levels in Mali while tackling unemployment at home, as part of his package of New Years’ promises to the French people. Hollande promised on January 8 to reduce the number of French troops in Mali to 1,600 by mid-February. France currently has 2,500 soldiers deployed to keep the peace in the struggling West African country. Hollande further promised that France would cut its troop[Read More…]

Algeria Unamused by Hollande’s Terrorism Joke

François Hollande may like a good knee-slapper, but Algeria is not laughing along with him. The French president, whose popularity is already historically low, irritated many in Algeria when he quipped that Interior Minister Manuel Valls had returned from a trip to the North African country “safe and sound … which is itself quite a feat.” The joke was told before an audience at the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF). The organization is[Read More…]

France Welcomes Hostages Home After Three-Year Wait

Four French citizens, held hostage in North Africa by Al-Qaeda for three years, returned to their families in an emotional reunion in Paris on Wednesday. President François Hollande greeted the four men — all of them bearded, careworn, and nervous, but otherwise not visibly harmed — on the tarmac. Long-separated friends and families tearfully embraced and posed for photographs. The four — Thierry Dol, Pierre Legrand, Marc Féret, and Daniel Larribe — had been kidnapped[Read More…]

Rumors: French Nuclear Plants May Get Deferred Retirement

France’s current generation of nuclear power plants may keep running for a while longer, with conflicting reports suggesting that the French government has authorized an extension of plants’ active lifespans from 40 to 50 years. Government officials, however, have denied that any such decision has been reached, and safety regulators have said that they were not consulted on the matter. Le Journal de Dimanche broke the story on October 13, when it reported that “according[Read More…]