Tag Archives: France

‘Spiderman’ happy to be back in Mali

Malian migrant Mamoudou Gassama, who shot to worldwide fame last month when he scaled a building in Paris to save a toddler, says he is delighted to return to his native country for a visit.

“I am so happy. I am so very, very happy because everyone came to meet me at the airport and then I saw my father and I saw all the members of my family. I hadn’t seen my father for nine years,” he told BBC Afrique.

Mr Gassama, 22, crossed the Mediterranean on a migrant boat in September 2014. He joined his brother in France and worked on building sites.

On 26 May this year, he saw a toddler hanging from the balcony of a fourth-floor Paris apartment block.

He spontaneously scaled the building and saved the four-year-old. He was filmed by people down below and was dubbed “Spiderman”.

‘’I wasn’t afraid. I am like anyone else. Yes, I showed courage. It came from God. God saved me,’’ he said.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron thanked Mr Gassama in person and promised he would receive French nationality.

Next week, he is due to start an internship with the prestigious Paris fire brigade.

BBC Afrique

By Morning Call

Paris incident: Armed man takes hostages


At least two people were reportedly been taken hostage in Paris on Tuesday, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

The Paris Police Prefecture confirmed to CNN that there was “a police intervention” underway at Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital. Law enforcement officials cordoned off the area.

Videos and images circulating on social media show several police vehicles as well as heavily armed officers at the scene.

Authorities said that officers from a specialist unit had arrived on site in response to an “unstable person” who was holding two people.

The police said there was no indication that the incident was terrorism-related, but declined to elaborate on the hostage-taker’s motive.

France has been in a state of high alert following a series of terror attacks in recent years, including a knife-wielding assailant who went on a stabbing rampage in Paris last month.

Developing story – more to come

By JC News

Mamoudou Gassama: Mali ‘spiderman’ wows France with Paris child rescue

A Malian migrant has been hailed a hero after he scaled the front of a building in Paris to save a child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony.

Video of Mamoudou Gassama’s spectacular rescue went viral on social media.

In less than a minute he pulls himself from balcony to balcony and grabs the four-year-old as a neighbour tries to hold the child from an adjoining flat.

President Emmanuel Macron has invited Mr Gassama to the Elysee Palace on Monday to thank him personally.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also praised the 22-year-old’s heroism and said she had called him to thank him.

The drama was captured in a video posted on Facebook.

She referred to him as the “Spiderman of the 18th”, referring to the Paris district where the rescue took place.

By Morning Call

Henri Michel: Former France, Cameroon & Ivory Coast coach dies aged 70

Former France midfielder Henri Michel, who coached eight countries during a 30-year managerial career, has died aged 70.

He was capped 58 times by France and coached them from 1984 to 1988.

Michel led France, Cameroon, Morocco and Ivory Coast at the World Cup, and also had spells in charge of the United Arab Emirates, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya.

Michel won three league titles during a 16-year playing career with Nantes.

His coaching career began with the France team, who won gold at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. They also reached the World Cup semi-finals in 1986.

He was appointed Cameroon boss in 1994; began the first of two spells with Morocco in 1995; took charge of the United Arab Emirates in 2000; was appointed Tunisia coach in 2001; and became Ivory Coast boss in 2004.

Michel returned to Morocco in 2007 before coaching Equatorial Guinea and Kenya.

He also worked with Paris St-Germain and some of Africa’s leading club sides, including two spells in charge of Zamalek in Egypt and Morocco’s Raja Casablanca, as well as South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns.

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The world’s biggest economies in 2018

The United States has the largest economy in the world at $20.4 trillion, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which shows the US economy increased from around $19.4 trillion last year.

China follows, with $14 trillion, which is an increase of more than $2 trillion in comparison to 2017. Japan is in third place with an economy of $5.1 trillion, up from $4.87 trillion a year previously.

European countries round off the top 5

Three European countries take up the next places on the list: Germany is fourth, with a $4.2 trillion economy, the United Kingdom is fifth with $2.94 trillion and France is sixth with $2.93 trillion.

Close behind the UK and France, in seventh, India’s economy is $2.85 trillion, and Italy is in eighth with an economy of $2.18 trillion. Ninth on the list is Brazil, with an economy of more than $2.14 trillion, while Canada is 10th with a $1.8 trillion economy.

The sheer scale of the United States’ economy puts others into perspective. It is larger than the combined economies of numbers four to 10 on the list above. Overall, the global economy is worth an estimated $79.98 trillion, meaning the US accounts for more than one-quarter of the world total.

China and India predicted to surge

However, its dominance looks to be waning. According to data from the World Bank (illustrated by visual capitalist), America’s GDP is expected to grow by 17.9% between 2017 and 2019. China’s, however, is predicted to grow by almost double this, at 35.2%.

China’s digital economy is also experiencing a boom period . It has grown from less than one percent of the global e-commerce market about 10 years ago to 42% today. In comparison, the United States’ share of the market is 24%, down from 35% in 2005.

China’s economy will also eclipse the US economy by 2050, according to a report by professional services firm PwC, which also predicts India will overtake the US.

China, the report says, will have an economy of nearly $58.5 trillion, while India’s will be around $44.1 trillion and America’s will total $34.1 trillion.

Interestingly, Japan ($6.7trn), Germany ($6.1trn), the United Kingdom ($5.3trn) and France ($4.7trn) are expected to fall to eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th in the list, respectively.

These countries will be replaced by Indonesia ($10.5trn), Brazil ($7.5trn), Russia ($7.1trn), and Mexico ($6.8trn), which climb to fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

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SOURCE: World Economic Forum

Breach of agreement: Opabunmi set to sue French club

Former Super Eagles forward, Femi Opabunmi, is planning to sue his former club in France, Niort, over their failure to honour their side of the alleged agreement they had with him before he left the club in 2006.

Opabunmi, who at 16 became the third youngest player to appear at the World Cup (Korea/Japan 2002) after Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside (17 years and 41 days at Espana ‘82) and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o (17 years and three months at France ’98), ended his football career in 2006 after he started experiencing vision problems in one of his eyes.

Our correspondent learnt that the former Shooting Stars player, who represented Nigeria at the Trinidad and Tobago 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, is not happy that Niort, who are currently campaigning in the France’s second tier league, have refused to assist him.

Opabunmi, who confirmed the development, condemned Les chamois for allegedly abandoning him as he sought medical treatment for his vision problems.

The 33-year-old former Switzerland and Israel-based player said, “Things have been hard for me and I must thank the Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, and the vice-president, Seyi Akinwunmi, who have been supporting me.

“My former club, Niort, played on my intelligence, innocence and youthfulness. We had an agreement when I left the club to seek treatment for my eye problems but they reneged on the agreement.

“It has been a long time and I have decided to seek justice in court. I am working on that now. The club should do what is right concerning the agreement. My health conditions ended my career, and it is not my wish. I am sad about it but life must go on.”

He said the NFF had been making attempts to rehabilitate him, stressing that he had also received help from friends like former Nigeria attacker Osaze Odemwingie.

“Osaze has been a good friend who has always been there for me. I appreciate what he has been doing for me.

“My family is here in Nigeria with me but I have a child in France from a French woman. I call on young players of today to invest their time and money wisely because nobody knows tomorrow.

“They should learn from my predicament. I put in a lot as a young man but it ended the way I did not envisage.”

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​France, US ‘will not tolerate impunity’ on Syria chemical weapons

      President Emmanuel Macron
Paris, France | AFP | French President Emmanuel Macron and his US counterpart Donald Trump vowed there would be “no impunity” in the event of further chemical weapons use in Syria in a telephone call Friday.

The leaders also urged Russia to put “maximum pressure” on its ally Damascus to commit to a United Nations ceasefire, warning of an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis in war-torn Syria.

Macron “stressed there will be a firm response in the case of proven use of chemical weapons leading to the death of civilians, in close coordination with our American allies,” a statement from the French presidency said.

“France and the United States will not tolerate impunity.”

The rising pressure on Damascus and its key ally Moscow comes after new reports last weekend of suspected chlorine use in the battered rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

France has repeatedly warned that evidence of further use of chemical weapons in Syria is a “red line” that would prompt French strikes in a brutal seven-year conflict that has drawn in foreign powers from Russia to Turkey.

Washington has asked the UN Security Council to set up a new inquiry on chemical weapons attacks, for which the Syrian regime has repeatedly denied responsibility.

In Eastern Ghouta, hundreds of civilians have been killed since the Syrian army began new air strikes on February 18 in a bid to root out Islamist rebel groups, sparking global outrage.

A five-hour daily “pause” announced by Moscow on Monday has led to a reduction in the bombardment, but it falls far short of the UN ceasefire agreed through a Security Council resolution Saturday that has yet to be implemented.

Macron and Trump pledged to “work together to allow the resolution to be put in place to allow a ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aide and evacuation of the injured”, the French statement said.

The UN Human Rights Council is to hold an emergency meeting on Eastern Ghouta on Friday after dozens of aid trucks were unable to reach 400,000 suffering civilians a day earlier.

Aid workers have warned of dire medical needs in the enclave and the urgent need to evacuate the many sick and wounded.

Source: nigrriatoday.ng