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Closing schools is no longer a “taboo”: towards the end of the French exception?

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                On the front page of the press, Monday, March 29, the condemnation by the international community of the bloody repression of pro-democracy demonstrators in Burma.  Mobilization against the climate bill in France.  The growing concern of French caregivers in the face of the third epidemic wave.  The easing of confinement in England.  And the "risk" of a global toilet paper shortage.

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On the front page of the press, the condemnation of the international community, after the repression on Saturday of pro-democracy demonstrators in Burma, which left more than a hundred dead, including several children.

The Financial Times evokes “the bloodiest day of repression” since the coup d’état of 1is February – violence condemned, in particular, by the chiefs of staff of twelve Western countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, who deplore the use of force against civilians ” unarmed “, by the military. Called “Tatmadaw”, the Burmese army, nearly half a million strong, is at the forefront of the repression, but some of its men, appalled by the extent of the repression, have decided to desert. A choice that forces them to go underground. Among them, Captain Tun Myat Aung testifies in the columns of the New York Times. “I loved the army so much,” said the officer, who said he understood that “most Burmese soldiers see the people as an enemy”. “But the message I want to convey to my former comrades in arms is this: if you have to choose between your country and the Tatmadaw, choose your country.”

Demonstrations also in France, where several thousand people gathered on Sunday against the climate bill. Examined from today by the deputies, the text of the government is considered “not very ambitious” by the associations of defense of the environment, according to 20 minutes, which specifies that the final text will not be voted until the end of September. In the meantime, the ecologists are mobilizing, while the majority “multiplies its attacks against Europe-Ecology-The Greens”, a guerrilla that Release attributes especially to the electoral victories of the ecologists in the municipal elections of last year, which would push “the executive to do everything to weaken an ecological-compatible center-left that it is struggling to convince”. “Haro on the ecologists. Macron is firing on all cylinders against environmentalists, even if it means handling a Kärcher necessarily not very subtle”, writes Libé, who however considers the presidential strategy “risky”: “To unbalance the majority a little more by making it right . To discredit the sincerity of its green transformation. And above all, to appear more as a tactician than as a strategic president up to environmental issues “.

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In addition, a group of doctors asks Emmanuel Macron and his government “to assume its strategy” in the face of the third wave of Covid-19. In a column published by The world, these doctors from Paris hospitals say they do not want to judge this strategy, but rather “the lack of transparency on its consequences”. “The saturation of resuscitation services could very soon force caregivers to ‘sort’ between patients,” they warn, while calls for a tightening of restrictions to curb the epidemic are increasing. For the moment, the government has opted for partial and local containment measures and has so far refused to close schools – a French exception, which is increasingly difficult to preserve. L’Opinion speaks of an “impossible equation”, between “the health, political and economic cost” and the “logistical, social, and psychological” problems. Humanity warns the executive on “the anger which is rumbling in the establishments of the regions most affected by the virus”. Right of withdrawal, strike envisaged: according to L’Huma, the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, would have “lost control” of the situation. But the trick is there: from today, in the 19 most affected departments, the classes will close from the first case of Covid-19, against the third so far. For The cross, this choice of a “gradual response” remains, in spite of everything, “the most reasonable”, and “each day of open school is a day gained”.

England, from today on, is easing its confinement. The most bereaved country in Europe, with more than 125,000 dead, the United Kingdom has embarked on a vaccination race: nearly 30 million people already vaccinated, according to The Independent, which announces that outdoor games and sports are allowed again. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, calls on his compatriots to be “careful”: “Take advantage of your new freedoms, but no hugs”, warns The Times. Our British neighbors also have time to work on the creation of a museum on Brexit, an initiative of its supporters, who want a finally “fair” treatment of the rupture, according to The Guardian, which reports that the project is expected to cost a trifle of a million pounds, or just over a million euros.

The Burmese army is cracking down, environmentalists are alarmed by the fate of the planet, caregivers, overwhelmed by the pandemic, are calling for help… but that’s not all. According to Le Figaro, another threat now hangs over the planet: the shortage of toilet paper. This time, it would not be because of the raid on supermarkets, but because of the health crisis, the economic recovery and the blockage of the Suez Canal by a giant container ship, which slows down maritime traffic. It is the Brazilian giant Suzano Papel, the world’s largest producer of pulp, who has, it seems, raised the alert. Should we be alarmed for all that? Not sure…

Find the Press Review every morning on France 24 (Monday to Friday, at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time). Also follow the Revue des Hebdos in multicast every weekend.

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