France to launch inquiry into ex-PM, ministers over coronavirus

Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe gives a speech during the handover ceremony at the Matignon Hotel in Paris on July 3, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 03 July 2020

France to launch inquiry into ex-PM, ministers over coronavirus

PARIS: A French court is opening an inquiry into former prime minister Edouard Philippe and two other ministers over their handling of the coronavirus crisis, a prosecutor said Friday.
The inquiry, which is being opened after nine complaints filed against the ministers were deemed admissible, will be led by the Law Court of the Republic (CJR), which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct, said senior public prosecutor Francois Molins.
Along with Philippe, who was replaced Friday, the ministers under investigation are former health minister Agnes Buzyn, who stepped down in February, and her successor Olivier Veran, he said.


UK PM says schools must open in September

Updated 09 August 2020

UK PM says schools must open in September

  • A study has warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system
  • The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative and insisted they would be able to operate safely despite the ongoing threat from the pandemic.
His comments follow a study earlier this month which warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Johnson said restarting schools was a national priority. Schools would be the last places to close in future local lockdowns, he was quoted by another newspaper as telling a meeting on Thursday.
Schools in England closed in March during a national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for a small number of pupils.
The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September in what Johnson has called a “national priority.”
“Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible,” Johnson wrote.
The economic costs for parents who cannot work if schools are shut are spiralling, and the country faces big problems if children miss out on education, the prime minister warned.
“This pandemic isn’t over, and the last thing any of us can afford to do is become complacent. But now that we know enough to reopen schools to all pupils safely, we have a moral duty to do so,” he wrote.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported that he has ordered a public relations campaign to ensure schools open on time and told the meeting last week that they should be the last places to close behind restaurants, pubs and shops.