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18 November 2021

The Paris terror trial, the fallout from Cop26 and Russian troops on the Ukrainian border

The landmark terror trial shaping France’s collective memory of the 2015 Paris attacks, and what to make of a “watered down” climate deal at Cop26.

Six years after terror attacks killed 130 people and injured more than 400 across Paris, the biggest criminal trial in French history is under way. The nine-month trial is being welcomed as a truth commission: a forum to address personal and national trauma, as well as the socio-political context of the attacks.

Emily Tamkin in Washington, DC, Megan Gibson in London, and Philippa Nuttall in Brussels ask how the trial is shaping the French national psyche.

Meanwhile, a “disappointing” deal has been struck at the Cop26 climate summit. It has been denounced by some as a “monumental failure”, with developed nations blaming India and China for weakening more ambitious pledges on coal. The team discuss the future of Cop and our collective responsibility to meet targets.

Then in You Ask Us, a listener asks what Russia wants in Ukraine.

If you have a question on any topic of world news for our international team that you would like answered in You Ask Us, email

Further reading:

Katherine Cowles on how the memory of the Paris attacks is shaping France’s national psyche.

Philippa Nuttall on the good, the bad and the ugly: what did Cop26 achieve?

Paul Mason writes how the West must confront Russia and Belarus to avert catastrophe.

Ido Vock on Russia’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine is testing the West’s resolve.

Emily Tamkin with Fiona Hill: “US democracy is on a precipice right now.”

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