Meet the ‘blobs’, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s unusual space companions

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet is due to lift off Friday for his second stay aboard the International Space Station. This time around he is taking four “blobs” with him, strange single-celled organisms that are neither plants nor animals nor funghi. The aim is to study how their behaviour in space is affected by microgravity. During […]

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Israel’s president gives Netanyahu the nod to form next government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a new lease on his political life on Tuesday, receiving a mandate from Israel’s president to form a new government after an inconclusive election. Israel‘s longest-serving leader, in power consecutively since 2009, now faces the tough task of breaking an unprecedented political stalemate and enlisting enough allies for a governing […]

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Louvre puts entire collection online

The Louvre museum in Paris said Friday it has put nearly half a million items from its collection online for the public to visit free of charge. As part of a major revamp of its online presence, the world’s most-visited museum has created a new database of 482,000 items at with more than three-quarters […]

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Naftali Bennett: The Israeli nationalist politician who could determine Netanyahu’s future

In the aftermath of the March 23 Israeli general elections, religious nationalist politician Naftali Bennett, whose Yamina party is set to win seven parliamentary seats, could determine the political future of his former boss, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following Israel’s latest parliamentary elections this week, Netanyahu might be unable to a form a government without […]

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‘Bibi whisperers’: Republican strategists bolster Netanyahu’s grip on Israeli politics

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first stormed to power a quarter of a century ago and has since refashioned Israeli politics with the help of Republican strategists from the United States. In power continuously since 2009, Israel’s longest-serving leader is seeking a record sixth term in Tuesday’s election, the fourth such vote in just two years. […]

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‘Zero COVID’: Ensuring low cases is ‘necessary’ even if eradication is impossible

Swathes of France go into lockdown for the third time on Friday, the latest instance of a government taking emergency measures after attempts to manage the pandemic failed. In this context, many experts advocate a more hawkish “Zero Covid” strategy to bring the virus’s spread as low as possible, even if eliminating the virus is […]

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French nuclear tests infected ‘almost entire Polynesian population’: report

France concealed the levels of radioactivity that French Polynesia was exposed to during French nuclear tests in the Pacific from 1966-1996, with almost the “entire population” of the overseas territory infected, a report said on Tuesday. Online investigation site Disclose said it had over two years analyzed some 2,000 pages of French military documents declassified […]

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Sarkozy conviction triggers right-wing backlash against ‘judges’ republic’

Tough-talking politicians from the right are accustomed to demanding “exemplary” punishments. This week, they did not appreciate the judiciary making an example of their champion, Nicolas Sarkozy, venting their fury at a special prosecutor’s office tasked with cleaning up French politics. The former French president was handed a jail sentence on Monday for corruption and […]

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‘America is back,’ Biden tells security summit, vows ‘unshakeable’ NATO commitment

In his first big appearance on the global stage, US President Joe Biden on Friday called on fellow world leaders to come together to prove that “democracies can still deliver” as he underscored his administration’s determination to quickly turn the page on Donald Trump’s “America First” approach. In an online speech to the Munich Security […]

French village says ‘non’ to Elon Musk’s space-age internet

To realise his dream of satellite-powered internet, tech billionaire Elon Musk needs to install antennas around the world. In northern France, a village hopes he’ll decide to keep those antennas far away. Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron, population 350, is none too thrilled to have been picked as a ground station for Musk’s Starlink project for broadband from space. […]

In call with Macron, US Vice President Harris vows to strengthen ties with France

U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, expressing her commitment to strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, her office said in a statement. President Joe Biden, a former vice president himself under Barack Obama, has had Harris at his side for multiple events during his early White House tenure, […]