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'Stay Indoors' Is French Health Minister Nora Berra's Advice To Homeless

Homeless Stay Indoors

First Posted: 02/ 8/2012 7:49 am Updated: 02/ 8/2012 3:47 pm


PARIS (Reuters) - A French health minister tried to tweet her way out of embarrassing blog advice that homeless people should not go outdoors during the ice-cold snap in Europe.

Junior minister Nora Berra was ridiculed on the Internet for writing a blog at the weekend saying toddlers, old people, the sick and homeless were particularly vulnerable in times of extreme cold and should "avoid going outdoors."

Her note sparked a flurry of Twitter messages and media reports that she was suggesting the homeless not leave home.

Berra sought to limit the damage via a tweet that redirected readers to a refreshed blog note where the reference to homeless people no longer existed. "There are some subjects that lend themselves badly to irony," she tweeted on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people, many of them homeless, have been killed in recent days as bitterly cold weather sweeps Europe, with temperatures dropping to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) in parts of France.

Many French cities are opening extra night-time shelter for homeless people.

(Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

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