L’EXPRESS, FRANCE 24 (France), BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

Worldcrunch

PARIS – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met his French counterpart on Wednesday for talks about aid to the Syrian opposition and the situation in Mali, where the United Nations has just recommended a force of UN 11,200 peacekeeping troops.

Kerry held breakfast talks in Paris with France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on international efforts “to bring an end to the Assad regime’s brutal campaign against the Syrian people” and “to restore democracy in Mali,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Discussions in Paris were held just hours after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended in a report to the Security Council that the AFISMA African force currently in Mali should be converted into a U.N. peacekeeping operation consisting of 11,200 troops and 1,440 police, France 24 reports.

The 15-member Security Council is due to discuss Ban Ki-moon’s recommendations on Wednesday, which could lead to a vote to approve the peacekeeping force as early as mid-April.

"There would be a fundamental requirement for a parallel force to operate in Mali," Ban also advised in the report, which French weekly news magazine L’Express understands as a way of inviting French troops to extend their stay in Mali to battle radical Islamists and Tuareg separatists who threaten stability in the region.

Kerry and Fabius also conferred on the situation in Syria, a day after Syrian rebels asked Kerry for NATO missile batteries in Turkey to be used to protect civilians in northern Syria from rocket attacks by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Reuters reports that Kofi Annan, the former UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, said he thought it was too late for military intervention, and that arming Assad"s foes would not end the two-year-old crisis.

"I don't see a military intervention in Syria. We left it too late. I'm not sure it would not do more harm," Annan told the Graduate Institute in Geneva on Tuesday night.

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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