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La Croix, Nov. 30, 2015

"Climate, hope of a deal," writes French daily La Croix on the front page on its Monday edition, with a picture of the top of the Eiffel Tower piercing a ceiling of clouds and pollution, as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) kicks off in Paris.

French President François Hollande arrived Monday morning at Le Bourget airport to welcome nearly 150 world leaders. No summit in history has brought together that many heads of state to try and reach a meaningful climate change agreement. The two-week long Conference will be held under very high security, just over two weeks after the Nov. 13 terrorists attacks that killed 130 in Paris.

After landing in the French capital late Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama joined Hollande in front of the Bataclan concert hall to pay tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks.

On Sunday, more than 300 were arrested in Paris, after protests on the sidelines of the COP21 turned violent. Far-left and pro-environment activists clashed with the police during a protest opposing the state of emergency (under which demonstrations are banned) imposed after the November 13 terror attacks. According to French daily Le Figaro, the protesters vandalized the memorial site on Place de la République, and reportedly used children's drawing to try and torch French flags. President Hollande described the violence as "scandalous."

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Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

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Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

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