Elisa Delobelle

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Society

Death And Destitution: How France Buries Its Homeless

A collective called Les Morts de la Rue keeps tabs on the deaths of homeless people, and tries to reach out to families that are in many cases estranged.

PARIS — Decorating the paths in the park are dozens of flowerpots bearing a name, an age and a date. "Antonio Luis, 48 years old, 18/02/2019," reads one. Another is marked, "Karima, 28 years old, 21/09/2018." In some cases the inscriptions are even less detailed: "A man, 20/01/2019."

Last year, 566 homeless people died in France, up from 511 in 2017, according to the humanitarian association Les Morts de la Rue, which paid them a public tribute on April 2 in the Villemin Garden, in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. And those are just the reported deaths. The real figure may be several times higher

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EL PAIS

Indigenous Peoples, First Victims Of Climate Change

Five stories around the world of indigenous populations suffering from global warming. The good news is they can provide solutions — if governments will listen.

They may be both the least responsible for and most vulnerable to climate change and its consequences: indigenous peoples are facing immediate risks as global warming hits home around the world. Being nearby to nature and local natural resources in their daily lives and traditions, indigenous populations are exposed to the effects of climate change.

In an open letter published last month in Le Monde to coincide with the 100th day of Jair Bolsonaro's presidency in Brazil, 15 indigenous leaders wrote that Brazilian indigenous tribes are living the first signs of "an apocalypse" as man-made climate change and the drastic exploitation of natural resources risks destroying their environment.

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food / travel

Vegan Or Gluten-Free: Hard To Swallow In France

The 'exceptional' eaters are tolerated if it's part of a medical treatment. But when it's based on well-being or upsets dinner parties, it can get tricky.

PARIS — Try this: tell those around you at dinner that you have stopped consuming gluten. Or meat. Or dairy. And wait for the answers: "What's this, a new fad?", "Do you want to lose weight?", "Are you sick?"

Refusing to share a meal often sparks all sorts of comments and more or less unpleasant criticism, even debate. Since becoming a vegetarian four years ago, Laura Antonakis has become very familiar with this. "But… What are we going to eat?", "Men have been eating meat since prehistoric times!", "What you're doing is useless, it won't change anything", "Your carrot is suffering too" are remarks she often hears when the subject is brought up during meals. The 31-year-old Parisian librarian says she has been called a "quinoa eater" and a "stupid hipster."

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LES ECHOS

An Innocent Little Question And A Full-Blown Identity Crisis

Every. single. time...

PARIS — After a long day in the Worldcrunch newsroom, Elisa and Olivia were walking together toward the métro station. Both in their early 20s, they'd arrived from very different places at their internship two months before and found they had plenty to talk about: food, sports, politics. But the topic they'd started talking about that evening created a particular connection — and they decided to continue the conversation here...

Elisa Whenever I bring up the fact that I'm half-French and half-Swedish, I inevitably get the same question every time: "So, do you feel more French or more Swedish?" And I never know how to answer. This very innocent question can make me question my whole existence. Who am I? What am I? What defines me? My passport...my parents...my culture?

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LE MONDE

Praise The iLord, When Alms Go Digital

The Quimper-Léon diocese in Britanny just installed electronic terminals to collect donations from church-goers. The purpose of dematerializing transactions? To increase the number of offerings.

QUIMPER — A church in Finistère, in the western French region of Brittany, has recently equipped itself with several electronic terminals allowing for donations to be made by credit card. Located in the Saint Corentin cathedral, the terminals consist of a touch screen placed on a stand and are biblically simple to use: with a few swipes, worshippers can buy one or more candles for 1 euro each, make a fixed offering (from 2 to 20 euros) or manually enter the amount that will be debited.

"Like everyone else, we realize that cash is disappearing. We must adapt to our times," says Rémi Perrin, the treasurer of the Quimper-Léon diocese. He responded to a request from a Nantes-based startup specializing in religious fundraising, Obole Digitale.

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Economy

Chief Happiness Officer: On The Sly Hunt For Productivity

Ensuring employees’ happiness is picking up as a profession in France, but is it slowly becoming a manipulative strategy to generate more productivity?

PARIS — "Anything exciting to announce?"

In a small side-room next to a vast open space, seven Just Eat employees are sitting around Nathalie Forestier and looking at their laptops. Today's meeting is about the "lovers' party" the company is organizing for the following Thursday — Feb. 14. With less than a week to go to Valentine's Day, a few details still need to be worked out.

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Society

Notre Dame, Macron And The Imperative For National Unity

Bogged down by months of protests, the embattled French president now faces a new kind of challenge. But the disastrous cathedral fire may also be something of an opportunity.

-Analysis-

PARIS — "Nothing will be as it was before." Emmanuel Macron's five-year term as president of France has taken a completely different turn in wake of the terrible fire in the Notre Dame cathedral. Unyielding tensions gave way to a climate of national unity, the likes of which France has rarely seen.

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LES ECHOS

Notre Dame: An Evolving Symbol Of France Is Bound To Live On

The events that have marked the 800-year history of the Notre Dame cathedral bear witness to the monument’s eternal meaning and national symbolism.

-Essay-

PARIS — It is not only a monument that burned, it is Notre Dame de Paris. A major place of worship, a masterpiece of Gothic art and an eternal witness to the history of France was partially destroyed by fire through Monday night.

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Geopolitics

The Women At The Forefront Of The Sudanese Revolution

“Kandakas” are leading the protests in Sudan, asking for more recognition and space in society.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for nearly 30 years, was ousted and arrested on April 11. Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf announced the army had decided to oversee a transitional period of two years before holding elections. Protests against Bashir, who took power in 1989 through a military coup, lasted several months.Le Monde correspondent Jean-Philippe Rémy talks to the women who seek more than just an end to Bashir's regime.

KHARTOUM — Sitting on the edge of the sofa with her back straight so as not to touch the backrest, her hands flat on her legs, her dress pulled down, she embodies the archetypal well-behaved Sudanese girl. Her mother, slumped on a nearby chair, keeps a watchful eye and seems satisfied. With just one look into Alia's eyes, you understand what really drives her. She is like a volcano that chooses how it will erupt: calmly, slowly, but with all the fire of the earth.

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Geopolitics

From Algiers To Ankara, A Warning To Authoritarian Leaders

In Algeria, the Bouteflika clan was driven out of power. In Turkey, Erdogan’s AKP has “only” lost ground in the big cities. In both cases, the government’s legitimacy is being deeply questioned, in a context of economic recession and democratic demands.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Turkey. Algeria. It is perfectly artificial to compare the political events that have occurred in these two countries. A simple defeat in municipal elections for the AKP, President Erdoğan's party, in Turkey; the end of a reign, that of the Bouteflika family, in Algeria.

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Society

Soft Power: A Mentor Program To Fight Terrorism In Kenya

In the Majengo district of the southern port city, a mentoring program is trying to stop al-Shabaab​ from recruiting young people.

MOMBASA — The kamikaze who blew himself up on January 15 in the Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi lived in Majengo. Several members of al-Shabaab, the Islamic terror group who carried out the attack that killed 21, also had close links to this low-income neighborhood in the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa. Located on the island that is the heart of Mombasa, the neighborhood is made up of a few lively streets, lined with tall white buildings that feature arcades that are typical of the architecture of the great port city.

The district is known as a center of Islamic radicalization. Two imams, About Rogo and Abubaker Shariff — otherwise known as "Makaburi" ("tomb" in Swahili) — urged young people to join the al-Shabaab fight in the early part of this decade. At that time, the elegant white and green minaret of the Masjid Musa mosque, where they operated, displayed black flags celebrating the glory of the Somali Islamist militia. Since then, the two preachers have been killed, and the black flags removed. But with each new terrorist attack in Kenya, the name Majengo reappears.

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Geopolitics

Brexit Babel: Will The EU Bid Adieu To The English Language?

French was once the international language of diplomacy. In Europe, at least, it may have to resume that role now that English risks losing its status as an official EU language.

PARIS — The candidates have been announced. Their teams are ready and rearing to go. It's officially election season in the EU, and the race is on.

Some say they are here to oppose others. Others want to close borders, force member states to meet minimum social-spending requirements, promote a European customs tariff, restructure European governance or even initiate an ecological transition. Candidates talk about closing doors and opening windows. Some call for a full refurbishing, and still others say we ought to rebuild the foundation from the ground up.

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