France

Glance around France: Mayors resign en masse and a dark day for wolves in Provence

70 furious mayors and councillors resign to protest maternity closure in Indre

Seventy elected local officials, including 19 mayors and 50 deputy mayors, have resigned in protest at the closure of a maternity ward in the town of Le Blanc in central France.

The move was meant to express “despair at not being listened to by the government,” said Le Blancs Socialist mayor Annick Gombert, adding that President Emmanuel Macrons administration showed “profound contempt for rural territoires.”

The maternity ward was shut in June, meaning that women about to give birth have to make an hour-long journey to maternity wards in the towns of Châteauroux or Poitiers.

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Hunters shoot two wolves in Provence

Hunters have shot and killed two wolves in the foothills of the Alps near the Provence town of Grasse. They were killed as part of a national plan to limit the number of wolves in France, where many farmers are angry at losing sheep to them.

Forty-one wolves have been killed under the scheme out of the planned total of 43 for this year.

Last month around 25 sheep and lambs were killed at a farm in the Provence region, which has suffered a total of around 300 wolf attacks since the start of the year.

Hunting wiped out the grey wolf in France during the 1930s and they only returned in 1992 via Italy — currently home to around 2,000 wolves — before spreading into Switzerland and Germany.

Currently there are less than 400 wolves in France.

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Several people taken ill after exposure to pesticide in western France

Emergency workers were called in after several people were taken ill when they were exposed to the pesticide metam sodium in a village near the city of Angers.

Five locals and four pompiers – firefighters who also work as ambulance workers – were treated in the village of Mazé-Milon after they were exposed to the product that a farmer was spreading on his nearby fields.

The product he was using was identified as having the same molecular structure that a few days earlier caused dozens of people to fall ill in the village of Brain-sur-lAuthion, just a few kilometres from Mazé.

Authorities shut down a road near Mazé while the farmer took measures to stop the spread of the metam sodium, notably by watering the land it had been used on to stop it spreading in the air.

A French farmer sprays a glyphosate herbicide on his land. Photo: AFP

Paris suburb names street after heroic policeman Arnaud Beltrame

A street in the Paris suburb of Créteil is to be named after the heroic French policeman who was killed after he offered himself in exchange for a hostage in a jihadist siege at a supermarket in March this year.

The southeastern suburb of Créteil will on Sunday baptise a new pedestrian thoroughfare as the Avenue Beltrame.

Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, 45, took the place of a woman who gunman Radouane Lakdim was holding hostage in the Super U store in the quiet southwest town of Trebes.

Lakdim, who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group, shot and stabbed him, prompting a police raid that left the attacker dead. Beltrame later died from his wounds.

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Paris zoo hails arrival of two snow leopard cubs

The mini-zoo in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris has welcomed the birth of two snow leopard cubs.

The cute cubs were actually born in August but the zoo has kept quiet about them until this week, when they started making their first forays around their enclosure.

Visitors are advised that late mornings and late afternoons are the best times to catch a glimpse of the pair of male cubs from the protect species.

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