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PARIS, July 14, 2018 (News Wiers) - France celebrated Bastille Day on Saturday with a colorful military parade in Paris presided by President Emmanuel Macron, and hoped the party would continue on Sunday when the national soccer team meets Croatia in the World Cup final in Russia.

Standing on a military vehicle flanked by motorcycle escorts and led by a cavalry procession, Macron rode down the Champs Elysees, Paris's most famous boulevard, for his second July 14 parade, cheered by hundreds of spectators.

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of a prison in 1789, a key event in the French Revolution.

After U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017, Macron this year invited the leaders of Japan and Singapore, two Asian nations with long-standing strategic partnership with France.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who canceled to deal with deadly floods at home, was represented by Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

The more than two-hour parade, with some 4,200 soldiers, 220 vehicles and around 100 aircrafts, saw Japanese and Singaporean soldiers take part as guests of honor.

There were two glitches, though, as two motorcycles collided during a demonstration in front of guests, while an Alpha jet from the Air Force Patrouille de France acrobatic unit released a wrong color for the French flag during a formation flight.

France has mobilized around 110,000 security staff for the Bastille Day festivities and World Cup soccer final.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets, from Paris to the smallest of villages, and the celebrations are likely to continue long into Sunday night if France lifts the World Cup for the second time.

"Perhaps it will be us marching on the Champs Elysees tomorrow, we hope," said Philippe on BFM Television, who traveled to Paris to watch the military parade and plans to return on Sunday to celebrate if France wins.

LAGOS, July 4, 2018 (News Wires) - France’s president on Tuesday visited a nightclub founded by legendary Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Kuti which has a reputation as a hedonistic haven filled with frenetic music, scantily clad podium dancers and the stench of marijuana smoke.

Emmanuel Macron arrived at the famous venue in the Nigerian city of Lagos, just hours after holding talks and a joint news conference with President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital, Abuja, at the start of a two-day visit to the West African country.

During the news conference he stated his commitment to helping the fight against Islamist militants in the northeast, before embarking on the hour-long flight to Lagos to visit the New Afrika Shrine.

The venue replaced the famed original - created by Fela - which burned down in 1977. It is managed by the musician’s sons Femi and Seun who continue their father’s musical and cultural tradition.

Fela - a singer, composer and saxophonist - pioneered the Afrobeat sound by combining organ riffs with West African drumming and brass instruments. He was famed for his sexual exploits, marijuana smoking and fearless critiques of Nigeria’s military regime.

PARIS, May 23, 2018 (News Wires) - Fresh from saying "sorry" to European lawmakers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds talks with Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday where he will face renewed pressure over his company's tax policies.

Zuckerberg apologised to the European Parliament on Tuesday for the "harm" caused by a huge breach of users' data and by a failure to crack down on fake news.

And in a sign of the increasingly hostile environment for the social media giant in Europe, he is likely to face another grilling in France which has led efforts in the EU to force US tech giants to pay more tax.

Facebook, along with Google, Apple and Amazon, are in the sights of Macron and other EU leaders over their use of low-tax countries such as Ireland to reduce their corporate tax rate to nominal levels.

Macron "is looking to start a dialogue" with tech bosses "to have discussions that will sometimes be frank and direct, to talk about regulation and international governance," an aide said.

Zuckerberg has been invited along with around 60 other tech bosses including Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi, IBM's Ginni Rometty, SAP's Bill McDermott and Jimmy Wales from Wikimedia.

As well as talking tax regulation and the battle against fake news, which Macron has also vowed to tackle, the 40-year-old French president will be keen to stress his pro-business credentials at the "Tech for Good" summit.

The former investment banker is desperate to attract more foreign investment to France and has vowed to turn the country into a "start-up nation."



BERLIN, May 6, 2018 (News Wires) – French President Emmanuel Macron said that a decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal could spark a war.

 “We would open the Pandora’s box. There could be war,” Macron told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. But he added: “I don’t think that Donald Trump wants war.”

Trump is set to decide by May 12 whether to pull out of the Iran deal. Trump has all but decided to withdraw but exactly how he will do so remains unclear, two White House officials and a source familiar with the administration’s internal debate said on May 2.

Trump could still figure out a way to stay in the deal between the Islamic Republic and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Britain, France and Germany remain committed to the accord but, in an effort to keep Washington in it, want to open talks on Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 - when key provisions of the deal expire - and its role in Middle East crises such as Syria and Yemen.

Washington, April 26, 2018 (News agencies) -- Emmanuel Macron conceded he had probably failed in his attempt during a three-day trip to Washington to persuade Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, describing US flip-flopping on international agreements as “insane”.

The French president had hoped to convince Trump to continue to waive sanctions on Iran, as agreed by the 2015 nuclear deal, in which Iran agreed to accept strict curbs on its nuclear activities. Macron offered Trump the prospect of negotiations on a new complementary deal that would address Iranian missile development and Tehran’s military intervention in the Middle East.

But speaking to US reporters before leaving Washington, Macron said: “My view – I don’t know what your president will decide – is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons.”

Noting that Trump had also pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord – another commitment of the Obama administration – Macron said such frequent changes in the US position on global issues “can work in the short term but it’s very insane in the medium to long term”.

The admissions come after a day of intimate fraternity with Trump, during which Macron made an impassioned speech in Washington advocating many of the things Trump has spent much of his presidency trying to destroy.

Over the course of a 50-minute address to a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, the French president said he was “sure” the US would one day return to the Paris climate change accord, and vowed that France would not abandon the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action (JCPOA)

He had an even more direct rebuke for his host’s resort to tariffs as an instrument of trade policy. Macron said that the right way to correct trade imbalances and overcapacity was to negotiate through the World Trade Organisation.

On the Iran nuclear agreement, Macron repeated an idea he had promoted on Tuesday at a White House meeting with Trump for a “new deal” that would complement the 2015 accord with a broader remit to address Iranian ballistic missile development and its military role across the Middle East.

Iran, Macron said would “never possess any nuclear weapons” but he added: “This policy should never lead us to war in the Middle East.”

He called for respect for the sovereignty of Iran and its ancient civilisation, and urged the west not to “repeat past mistakes”, an apparent reference to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Both the US and France endorsed the JCPOA, he pointed out, adding: “We should not abandon it without something more substantial in its place.”

In a tweet after his speech to Congress, Macron added: “We decided with President [Trump] to work on a new comprehensive deal” which would address Iranian missiles and its regional role, and make limits on Iranian nuclear activities permanent.

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2018 (Reuters) - US President Donald Trump welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron to the White House on Monday to kick off a three-day state visit expected to be dominated by US-European differences on the Iran nuclear deal and trade.

It will be Trump’s first hosting of a state visit since he took power in January 2017. The pair will get a sense of their two countries’ shared history during an evening meal on Monday night at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, the first US president and Revolutionary War commander whose alliance with France was critical to victory over the British.

The major work between them will be done on Tuesday during White House meetings and a joint news conference.

On Wednesday, President Macron will address a Joint Session of Congress, marking the anniversary of the day that French General Charles de Gaulle addressed the Joint Session of Congress, April 25, 1960.

Trump and Macron began their improbable friendship a year ago in Belgium with a jaw-clenching handshake. While other European leaders have kept a certain distance from Trump, Macron has worked hard to remain close to the US president and the two leaders speak frequently by phone.

Macron is on something of a rescue mission for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Trump has vowed to scrap unless European allies strengthen it by mid-May.

The deal reached between Iran, the United States and five other world powers put curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

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