Society

VIGINUM: French defense against cyber-attacks & fake news

AAPA members met with former Lt. Col. Marc-Antoine Brillant, director of VIGINUM, the government body responsible for vigilance and protection against foreign digital interference. VIGINUM is attached to the General Secretariat of Defense and National Security (SGDSN) which is under the authority of the French Prime Minister. Mr. Brillant explained that VIGINUM’s mission is to detect…


Visit to the Olympic Aquatic Centre

  On March 6, AAPA became the first group of journalists to visit the newly finished Olympic Aquatic Centre. The Centre claims to be "the only permanent sports facility to be built for the Paris 2024 Games". We were shown around for hours by the two architects, Laure Mériaud and Cécile Gross. We were wowed by what a state-of-the-art 2020s building can look like: made largely of pinewood,…


Repurposing the Paris 2024 Olympic Village

  Dominique Perrault is the architect and urbanist who conceived of the Paris 2024 Olympic Village. On December 12 he gave the AAPA a fascinating presentation on the thinking behind the village, which is meant to become a new, durable neighbourhood of the city following the Games, part of a great number of building works now underway in Seine-St-Denis, the poorest department in mainland…


Winter is coming

On November 16, the Anglo American Press Association had a meeting with energy specialist Dr. Thierry Bros in a Zoom session attended by a dozen or so members. Bros, a professor at Sciences Po Paris, has 30 years’ experience in energy and climate, from the policy side to trading floors. He gave us a layout of the energy situation across Europe as we head into this crucial winter. Of the…


Climate Change Targets in Jeopardy, says IEA

The AAPA met with IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol at the organization’s headquarters (and by Zoom) on November 23 to discuss the current acute energy crisis. Dr Birol said that, in his opinion, because of the invasion of Ukraine, “Russia has lost its EU clients for good.” He also said that without cutting the use of coal, oil and gas, the world will fall well short of its climate targets. But…


The World According to Plantu

Members of the AAPA met with the editorial cartoonist Jean Plantu, whose political cartoons have illustrated the pages of Le Monde newspaper for the last fifty years, at the Maison des Photographes in Paris. Himself accompanied by a security agent, Plantu discussed the threats to the freedom of expression faced by cartoonists, not only from authoritarian regimes or religious fanatics, but also…


Air France-KLM CEO Travel Advisory

Air France-KLM CEO Travel Advisory And finally, in time for summer holiday travel chaos, on June 23, we met with Ben Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, at the company's historic offices in the Air France terminal at Invalides. Smith spoke of the outlook for holiday travel, telling us that AF had hired more than 60 pilots in anticipation of an uptick in travel and warning that ticket prices would rise.…


Interpol chief warns of surge in illegal weapons from Ukraine conflict

A surge of illegal weaponry into Europe and beyond from the Ukraine-Russia war is looming, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock told AAPA members on June 1. "This is inevitable," Stock said, adding that the high availability of weapons "will result in a proliferation of arms in the post-conflict phase, empowering organized crime groups in the region." The European Union and Scandinavia will…


Who is cancelling whom? French sociologist, Michel Wieviorka, discusses the Woke craze in France.

WOKE: a nebulous catchall word that refers to cancel culture, "Islamo-leftism", intersectionality, anti-colonialism, etc. A concept supposedly imported from American universities that, according to some of France's highest authorities, is contaminating France, maybe quicker than the Covid virus. Hardly a day goes by that it is not referred to in French media, especially as we approach French…


Ex-AAPA VP Michael Balter tells us about the $10-million defamation suit he is facing for his #MeToo reporting

The AAPA met with ex-VP Michael Balter on March 18 to hear about the $10-million defamation lawsuit he is fighting and the issues surrounding it. Michael was served with the suit last June by archeologist Danielle Kurin, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Victims, or survivors as they prefer to be called, allege she was complicit in her former husband’s sexual harassment…