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What Age for Retirement?
By David at 06/24/2010 - 14:52

What Age for Retirement?

Workers around France went on strike June 24th to protest President Sarkozy's plans to raise the retirement age to 62.

France does have one of Europe's lowest retirement ages, allowing workers to retire at 60 in most sectors. The government says the reform to the money-losing pension system is essential given France's burgeoning deficit and aging population.

Union officials, however,  say the French government's main concern should be boosting employment in a country where large numbers of young people and seniors can't get jobs. This would raise revenue. Furthermore, money for the pension system could come from higher taxes or charges on those who are still working, while cost-cutting in the pension system is an attack on a hard-fought way of life.


French Football Team goes down
By David at 06/22/2010 - 19:00

French Football Team goes down

So France lost (2-1) in football to South Africa today, pushing it out of the World Cup.  Very sad, but not too surprising considering that they were playing down due to a red card in the 25th minute all that has been going on with the team.


Art theft
By David at 06/07/2010 - 04:47

Art theft

And what about that art heist from the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris a few weeks ago? Did you perhaps miss that one?  Not surprising if you did. It was in the news for a day or two following the May 20th theft, and then gone. But that is not because the pieces have been recovered. 
 
The five paintings were by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Georges Braque, and Fernand Leger., valued at $100-600 million depending on who you talk to.
 

France in the World Cup
By David at 06/07/2010 - 03:12

WORLD CUP -- FOOTBALL!

 
Will you be cheering for (or praying for) France’s team in the World Cup? Here is the schedule as known so far: June 11 - Uruguay; June 17 - Mexico; June 22 - South Africa
 
 France is not considered a favorite. But the funny thing about sports is – you never quite know.  


Is it time to give up?
By David at 06/07/2010 - 03:02

Is it time to give up?

228 people died aboard an Air France crash just over a year ago, June 1, 2009. Black boxes from the airplane were never recovered. An association representing families of some of those who died are continuing to urge the French government to search for remaining plane wreckage, even though the most recent searches -- ending just last week – were completely unsuccessful.


Taig Khris Eiffel Tower Jump
By David at 06/04/2010 - 04:47

Taïg Khris Eiffel Tower Jump

Thousands of fans gathered in Paris to watch champion roller skater Taig Khris attempt a world record - the highest roller skate jump in history.From the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, the showman , the showman whipped the crowds into a frenzy before he took the plunge. Leaping off the tower, Khris jumped ten metres onto a thirty metre ramp - (pause) - before a failed landing on his first attempt. Undaunted he immediately returned to the jump site to try again.  His second jump was flawless, setting a new world record.
 

McDonald French Gay Ad
By David at 06/04/2010 - 04:24

McDonald French Gay Ad

According to Yahoo Buzz, a new commercial for McDonald’s in France is generating a tremendous amount of Buzz online.  In the spot, a teenage boy sits in a McDonald's booth, looking at his class picture, when his phone rings. "I was just thinking about you," he says, with obvious affection. "I miss you, too" he replies, and then says that he has to go. His dad is coming to the booth with their food. Father sits across from son and comments that he was "quite the ladies' man" when he was his son's age. Dad then looks at the class picture and remarks that "it's too bad" that his son's class is all boys. The son can only smile.

Dunkirk evacuation 70 years
By David at 05/29/2010 - 17:41

France and Britain on Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, a pivotal rescue of Allied troops by a ragtag band of boats, but a veteran's death marred the events. Some 50 surviving veterans of the some 338,000 troops plucked to safety from the beaches, from Britain, Belgium, the Czech Republic and France, paid tribute to their fallen comrades at the commemoration in the northern French seaport.
 
One French veteran of the operation, Andre Carlier, 91, suffered a heart attack while attending the ceremony and later died, the city's mayor said. His death was a reminder of the dwindling number of those remaining who lived through the Dunkirk evacuation, which followed the Allies' devastating defeat by invading German forces.
 

$15 Million AF 447 Search Failed Again
By David at 05/26/2010 - 05:58

The French air accident investigation agency says a $15 million search effort has failed to find the remains of Air France Flight 447, a year after it crashed in the depths of the Atlantic.Alain Guilldou of the BEA investigation agency said Tuesday that the search ended Monday. He said "it did not allow us to locate the wreckage of the airplane." The BEA is not commenting further on the search, or on whether there could be another search effort at a later date.
 

Ali Vakili Rad Free
By David at 05/17/2010 - 16:41

 Is it possible there has been an  exchange of Clotilde Reiss, a 24-year-old French academic who was just freed in Iran for  the Iranian assassin Ali Vakili Rad who is held in Paris?


Clotilde Reiss Leaves Iran
By David at 05/16/2010 - 19:50

Previously, Clotilde Reiss made headline . Now after more than 10 months, she returned to France on Sunday and thanked President Nicolas Sarkozy and other officials for insisting on her innocence and pressing for her release.

Above, Clotilde Reiss was in court.

Reiss was convicted of provoking unrest and spying, but her lawyer said the 10-year jail term was commuted to a fine of 3 billion rials ($300,000). He said he paid the fine Saturday.

 


Toni Musuli 3 years 2.5 million
By David at 05/12/2010 - 17:07

   Toni Musuli is only sentenced to three years in prison with 2.5 million euro missing.


Carla Bruni , Michelle Obama and the Queen of England
By David at 05/11/2010 - 16:51

Carla Bruni , Michelle Obama and the Queen of England

 I know we shouldn't care what the French first couple does in their sex life.  After all, they are married to each other. The story now is nothing particularly scandalous.  Just that French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his supermodel wife Carla Bruni may have kept The Queen waiting because they weren’t quite ready to leave the bedroom.
 
In his upcoming book on the Obama presidency, Jonathan Alter reports that the slight was revealed when Bruni tried talking to Michelle Obama about their sex lives. When she asked if they had ever kept a head of state waiting, "Michelle laughed nervously and said no,” reports Alter. This is perhaps the most important cultural difference between the French and the anglophones. The French talk about sex in a totally free manner, while it is frowned upon to do in the US.
 

Sarkozy seeks full ban on veils
By David at 04/21/2010 - 16:29

According to associate press, French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday ordered legislation that would ban women from wearing Islamic veils that hide the face in the street and other public places. Now the face veil ban becomes very real.
 

Sarkozy and his adviser
By David at 04/09/2010 - 17:26

 

As we have reported earlier, Sarkozy and his wife's affair rumor,   his adviser tried to find out the source of the rumors.
Earthtimes reported that the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has gagged his communications adviser after he suggested a former minister had started a rumour regarding the president's private life, the weekly Le Point reported Friday in its online edition. The rumour that Sarkozy and his wife had taken lovers began on a Twitter page in February and ultimately made headlines around the world, embarrassing France's first couple.  According to the report, Pierre Charon was called into the office of Sarkozy's top gun at the Elysee Palace, Claude Gueant, and ordered not to speak with journalists any more.

 

 


Conspiracy Adultery rumors Sarkozy Carla
By David at 04/05/2010 - 18:21

According to FRANCE 24, rumors of infidelity within the Sarkozy couple, which spread like wildfire in foreign media last month, may have been the result of a conspiracy, the French president’s media advisor has claimed as prosecutors in Paris open a preliminary inquiry. The minister was quoted as saying: “The fact that these rumors have been relayed by the press in the UK, Germany and Switzerland could point to a conspiracy ahead of France’s presidency of the G20 in 2010. We will carry out an inquiry to establish where the rumors come from.”
 

Third Search AF447
By David at 03/26/2010 - 04:00

The search of AF 447’s flight recorder black box will take place for the third time according to AP.  The 30-day operation, to begin next week after search ships sail for the mid-Atlantic on Sunday, will scour an area of seabed only one-tenth that combed in the two previous attempts, Jean-Paul Troadec, chief of the BEA French investigation agency, said at a news conference in northeastern Brazil.
 

Simone Veil into Academie Francaise
By David at 03/18/2010 - 16:35

According to AP, Simone Veil, a French political icon who survived Nazi death camps and went on to become an "immortels" for France, was inducted Thursday into the Academie Francaise. She is the sixth woman to this centuries-old institution. Three French presidents — Nicolas Sarkozy and predecessors Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d'Estaing, himself a member — were present for the ceremony. The elite academy has 40 members total. Veil takes seat No. 13, once belonging to 17th century playwright Racine.


Marion Cotillard received Honor
By David at 03/15/2010 - 16:22

 

According to BBC, Marion Cotillard and Tim Burton received one of France's highest cultural honors at a ceremony in Paris.
 
The French star was made a knight in the Order of the Arts and Letters by Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand.  Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton was also honored at the ceremony and was made a knight. Recipients of the order are honored for their significant "contribution to the enrichment of French culture".

 

 


Sarkozy is defeated in regional elections
By David at 03/15/2010 - 04:40

Sarkozy is defeated in regional elections

According to AP, France's Socialist-led left defeated Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives in the first round of regional elections Sunday, in a new blow to the increasingly unpopular president. Sarkozy's conservative UMP party and others on the right have 39.6 percent. The far right National Front did better than pollsters predicted and had the possibility of coming in third nationwide, with 11.7 percent, closely followed by green-minded party Europe Ecologie with 11 percent, according to the ministry.
 
Many voters blame Sarkozy and the governing conservatives for failing to protect jobs amid France's worst economic downturn since World War II, and for not keeping their promise to make the country prosper in the face of growing global competition.
 

Judge Ordered $1.16 million
By David at 03/12/2010 - 18:00

Judge Ordered $1.16 million to one AF447 family.
So far this is the largest amount to one family. According to Reuters, a Brazilian judge has ordered Air France to pay $1.16 million in compensation to the family of one victim of last year's Air France flight AF447  crash of one of its airliners that killed 228 people.
 
The Rio civil court judge ordered the French company late on Thursday to pay a total of 2.04 million reais ($1.16 million since $1=1.76 reais) as compensation for the death of Marcelle Valpacos Fonseca Lima, a 41-year-old woman who was Rio de Janeiro state attorney-general. Judge Mauro Nicolau Junior said in his ruling that the crash over the Atlantic Ocean last June, the cause of which is still unclear, was in large part due to the "negligent conduct of the accused."
 

Britain Cooking beats French
By David at 03/09/2010 - 06:02

Britain now a nation of chefs who cook more than the French

 
The BBC Olive magazine collaboration with French title Madame Figaro surveyed 2,061 readers of BBC Magazines and 1,345 Madame Figaro readers in January.
The following results:
 
  • Britain spent more time than French and cook a wider range of cuisine. (And when in the kitchen, 50% of Britons spend more than 30 minutes cooking, while 27% of the French do so)
  • The French prefer dining out and sticking to home-grown family recipes  (72% of Britons cook at home every day, compared to 59% in France.)
  • People in France tend to produce more, with 47% preparing two courses or more compared with 18% of Britons.
  • The French eat out on average three times a month compared to twice a month in Britain.

France Lead Nuclear Power
By David at 03/08/2010 - 18:14

From Paris Nuclear Conference

Sarkozy wants France, which is reliant on atomic reactors for a large majority of its electricity, to lead the global nuclear programs. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, also at the Paris conference, said, "Nuclear reactors should not only be reserved for developed countries but should be accessible to all.".

Sarkozy play Greece Poker
By David at 03/08/2010 - 06:43

Sarkozy is playing the Greece Poker

Speculators are manipulating the currency. Because Greece's national debt is considered more risky in the market, Greece must pay high interest rates to lenders -- and that in turn hampers its ability to pay down its debt. Greece is not looking for money from other nations, but the ability to raise money in the debt market on the same interest-rate terms as those in other European countries.


France captured 22 Somalia Pirates
By David at 03/06/2010 - 18:21

A French frigate involved in an EU anti-piracy mission off Somalia has detained 22 suspected pirates from six separate boats in the Indian Ocean, France's Defence Ministry has said. The Nivose first captured 11 people from a "mother boat" and two accompanying skiffs about 180 nautical miles east of Mogadishu by tracking them after they tried to attack a French oceanographic vessel. The ministry statement late on Friday said the suspects were being held on board the Nivose.
 


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