PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron has denounced what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack” against a history teacher who was cut off in Paris on the outskirts of the city on Friday, urging the country to stand united against extremism.
Macron visited the school where the teacher worked in the town of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met the staff after the murder.
“One of our countrymen was killed today because he taught … the freedom to believe or not to believe,” Macron said.
He said the attack should not divide France because that is what extremists want. “We should all be together as citizens,”; he said.
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French police searched the homes of the health minister, prime minister and other top officials Thursday in an investigation into the government’s response to the global coronavirus disease.
Early morning searches, confirmed by the Ministry of Health, came as France fought a resurgent epidemic that now filled one-third of the country’s intensive care units with COVID-19 patients. and re-trying Europe. President Emmanuel Macron announced curfews to approximately 20 million people in the Paris region and eight other French metropolitan areas since Friday night to try to slow down the tide.
The investigation threatens to revive public frustration with a government accused of lying to the public about mask stocks, underestimating test requirements and overemphasizing France’s ability to defeat the pandemic – not once , but now twice.
Almost all the protesting nurses, doctors and other public hospital staff marched in Paris on Thursday to demand more investment, staff and higher salaries after a yearly reduction in costs.
“We’re tired!” read many banners.
The findings will “increase people’s distrust,” Drs. Ludovic Toro, among doctors, COVID-19 patients, prison personnel, police officers and others filed more than 90 legal complaints in the spring of the government’s management of the pandemic.
A French special court for prosecuting government ministers has ordered an investigation as a result of their complaints.
Among those searched at home were Thursday with Health Minister Olivier Veran, his successor Agnes Buzyn, former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the current head of the national health service Jerome Salomon, and Sibeth Ndiaye. , a former government spokesman. Veran’s office was also searched.
Dr. Bull still does not have high-protection masks for his training, nine months after the first case of the virus was confirmed in France. And he said he sees more patients with COVID-19 symptoms now than he did in the spring.
He and other doctors accused the government of lying to the public earlier in the year, when top officials said public masks were unnecessary even as they struggled to ensure adequate supplies for hospitals. in France amid growing global demand..
“They should have said that there was no mask. That is the real problem,” he said. “They refused to tell the truth.”
The government said its early guidance on not wearing a mask was based on a limited understanding of the new coronavirus at the time.
Asked about the findings on Thursday, current Prime Minister Jean Castex would not comment on the investigation but said he had “total” confidence in the health minister to do his job.
The government continues to send mixed messages about the virus. In addition to the curfew in many cities, the prime minister announced a nationwide ban on public weddings on Thursday, though the president urged French citizens to travel as usual for the upcoming autumn school holidays.
The government has announced it will deploy 12,000 police officers to implement the new curfew, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses most vulnerable to the latest virus restrictions.
“Our countrymen thought that this health crisis was behind us,” Castex said. “But we can’t live normally as long as the virus is here.”
France registers nearly 180 virus cases per 100,000 people per week, with 22,591 total new cases on Wednesday. It reported one of the highest number of deaths in connection with the virus in the world, with more than 33,000 lives lost.
Michel Euler and Catherine Gaschka contributed to this report.