An American tourist is raped in a public toilet in central Paris, France. The 27-year-old woman was out with her partner on Saturday evening, August 6, 2022, on the banks of the River Seine in the tourist heart of Paris, not far from Notre Dame Cathedral and Paris City Hall.
Quoted from the Guardian page, Friday (12/8/2022), the pedestrian area by the river was actually crowded with visitors. It becomes the focal point for Paris River's Right Bank summer event, Paris Plages, which is always busy, day and night.
Tourists and Parisians often picnic by the river or head out for a drink in the evening. That's what the American tourist did. At around 1 a.m., he stopped at a public toilet near the Louis-Philippe bridge in Paris' 4th district.
The location is not far from the local bars so it is considered safe and well maintained. It is part of a new facility built six years ago when the riverfront area was declared a motorized-free area.
The local newspaper Le Parisien reported that the woman's partner was waiting for him, but he became concerned that she had not returned. He then went to check the toilet and heard crying. He finds his partner attacked.
Security guards in the area came and helped the police catch the 23-year-old rapist. The man lived in Asnières-sur-Seine, outside Paris. In an initial interview with police, he denied the rape and said the woman had consented.
The woman was immediately taken to a Paris hospital. After providing evidence to the police, he and his partner flew back to the US.
Seine Riverside Area
The River Seine area has been declared a pedestrian-only trail since April 2017. Quoted from the Conde Nast Traveler page, the trail runs for two miles on the right bank of the river, starting at Tuileries Park and ending in the Bastille neighborhood.
The policy was the idea of the then Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, which was later approved by the Paris City Council. There is an urgent reason for the initiative, namely to reduce Paris' high pollution levels. "We've been dreaming of this moment for 15 years," Hidalgo said at the launch.
The pedestrian riverfront is lined with al fresco seating areas, roller skate and cyclist areas, green spaces and children's play areas. The route is claimed to be very good for Parisians to take a walk in the summer.
"We are not anti-car, we are anti-pollution," said Hidalgo. "Long live, long live Paris, and long live the fresh air."
Air pollution in the city has worsened. Hidalgo even closed the Georges-Pompidou motorway, one of the busiest roads in the city, to make Paris greener. He was also behind the city's plans to clear the Seine and St. Canal. Martin so that residents can swim in it.
Like other countries in Western Europe, France has also been hit by a heat wave where temperatures have reached 40 degrees Celsius. In addition to residents storming the water points, the heat wave also caused a catastrophic forest fire in the Gironde region, southwest France, on Wednesday, August 10, 2022.
The incident destroyed houses and forced 10,000 residents to be evacuated. Some of them had climbed onto the roof as the fire got closer to residential areas.
The black-orange sky, darkened by the smoke rising from the forest and lit up by the flames, was visible throughout the area. The fire continued to rage out of control, although firefighters backed by water bombers tried to put out the blaze.
The forest fires that have scorched about 6,200 hectares of land have now spread to the adjacent Landes area. France is overwhelmed by the effects of the heat wave.
Dozens of fires were detected, including at least eight major fires. More than 57,200 hectares of land have burned in France so far this year, nearly six times more than the full-year average for the 2006-2021 fires, according to data from the European Forest Fire Information System.
Bring as needed
In the village of Hostens near the city, the police previously went door to door and ordered them to leave when the fire spread. One resident, Camille Delay, fled with her partner and son, taking their two cats, chickens and insurance papers with them.
Firefighters said more evacuations were possible. However, some Hostens residents are reluctant to leave their homes.
In fact, the government has announced an evacuation plan for the residents of the town of Belin-Beliet in the Gironde region via their Facebook page. "Prepare your papers, animals you can bring, some stuff," the announcement read.
The same thing happened in England. The London fire department declared a "major incident" when a number of fires broke out, in what the service said was the busiest day since World War II. People were advised to work from home, some schools were closed, while hospitals and emergency services were restricted.
"In Europe and other parts of the world we are seeing more and more record-breaking heat waves causing temperature extremes that are getting hotter (and) faster than in most climate models," said Friederike Otto of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, which lead the WWA project.