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Paris: 850-year-old Notre-Dame cathedral on fire!

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PARIS: Main tower of the famous Notre-Dame cathedral here collapsed as a result of an incendie that engulfed the building.

Meanwhile, President  Macron, who was scheduled to address the nation, has canceled the speech and is expected to go to the scene of incendie.   

Foreign Office of Pakistan has taken to Twitter to express the Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s deep sadness about the devastating fire at the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris: ” For centuries, it has been a revered place of worship for Catholics around the world. Hope that resilient people of France will be able to restore it to its’ glory”, the FM stated. 

 PARIS: Picture taken in June 2018 shows renovation work in progress.  

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According to sources, the 850-year-old Gothic building – that had started to crumble –  was being renovated. Experts are of the view that the fire was connected to the work being carried out there.

PARIS: While the LEAs have got the surrounding area cleared, firefighters are attempting to contain the gigantic fire. 

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Europe

Delegation of French Senators on a 4-day visit to Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: In the framework of the bilateral relationship between France and Pakistan, a delegation of three French Senators will visit Pakistan between 24th and 27th April 2019.  

The three Senators belong to the France-Pakistan inter-parliamentary friendship group. The delegation will be headed by Mr. Pascal Allizard, Senator of county of Calvados (Normandy) and Chairman of the France-Pakistan inter-parliamentary friendship group as well as vice-president of the Foreign Affairs Committee and will include Mrs. Gisèle Jourda, Senator of Aude county (Occitanie) and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mrs. Chantal Deseyne, Senator of Eure-et-Loir (Centre-Val-de-Loire) and member of the Social Affairs Committee.

This new visit, the fourth one for Senator Allizard and the second one for Senator Jourda, illustrates the noticeable interest of the Chairman of France-Pakistan inter-parliamentary friendship group and his fellow members for the country, its economic projects and integration in the region. Their visit is jointly organized by the Embassy of France in Pakistan and the Senate of Pakistan. During its stay, the delegation will travel to Islamabad, Karachi, and Gwadar. They will have meetings with Pakistani authorities as well as with representatives of the private sector that will certainly contribute to the deepening of bilateral contacts and relations between France and Pakistan.

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INTRODUCTION: 

Mr. Pascal ALLIZARD

Age : 56

Political party: Les Républicains (center-right)

He began as an industrial director in a firm specialized in mechanical equipment.

He was elected mayor of Condé-en-Normandie (county of Calvados, Normandy) in 1995 whilst maintaining strong relationships with the local economic and industrial sectors.

He was elected Senator in 2014 and became vice-president of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Since he is the chairman of the France-Pakistan interparliamentary friendship group and actively participated in its thriving.

He traveled three times in Pakistan and marked a fierce interest in all matters regarding economical and commercial partnerships between the two countries.

Mrs. Chantal DESEYNE

Age : 62

Political party: Les Républicains (center-right)

She is a local elected since 2001 and was elected Senator in 2014.

She is a member of the Social Affairs Committee and takes a special interest in all matters regarding drugs prohibition and regulation. She was her Committee special whig in 2016 for the Overseas French Territories Bill.

She is an active member of the France-Pakistan interparliamentary friendship group.

Mrs. Gisèle JOURDA

Age : 64

Political party: Parti Socialiste (center-left)

She became an early member of the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between peoples in her constituency. She had an active involvement in associations, especially regarding childhood and disabled people issues.

She became a Senator in 2014 and in a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She produced a significant amount of reports and contributions, especially about the fight against terrorism.

 

 

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Economy

Macron all set to announce reforms to contain Yellow Vest protests!

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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his long-awaited response today (at 6 pm) to Yellow Vest manifestations in a reform plan that could prove decisive for his presidency and long-term political future.

Macron, 41, swept to power in 2017 on hopes he would be a youthful breath of fresh air for France. But since November he saw the momentum sucked out of his presidency by the weekly “yellow vest” protests against social inequality. 

He is scheduled to hold a Presser in order to announce a series of reforms drawn up after a vast listening exercise he launched in response to the protests.

Macron is expected to announce reforms such as tax cuts for middle classes, as well as the abolition of the ENA administration school. He is expecting that such reforms, which could not be termed as revolutionary, would assuage the unrest. 

 

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Europe

Merkel pledges support to Ukraine after Zelensky win

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Merkel's EU migration deal

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday congratulated comedian Volodymyr Zelensky on his landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, saying she hopes the vote will help stabilize the troubled country.
“I congratulate you on your election,” Merkel said in a statement. “The stabilization of Ukraine and a peaceful conflict resolution are as close to my heart as the implementation of central reforms of the judiciary, decentralization and the fight against corruption,” she said in a statement.
“The Federal government will continue to actively assist Ukraine in its right to sovereignty and territorial integration in the future.”
Merkel, who met incumbent Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko earlier this month in Berlin, added that she would welcome receiving Zelensky soon.  Germany has been a key broker in the conflict between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, negotiating with France the now moribund Minsk peace accords.
The war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and rebels backed by Moscow has claimed some 13,000 lives and rumbles on despite a series of periodic truce deals. The EU also has sanctions in force against Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

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