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Chinese Air France passenger insured for $1.4m
By David at 06/05/2009 - 05:55

Chinese Air France passenger insured for $1.4m
According to China Daily, beneficiaries of one of the Chinese passengers onboard Air France Flight 447 may get 9.6 million yuan ($1.4 million) in insurance, the largest amount ever paid to an individual in China.
While declining to reveal the person's name, PICC Life Insurance Co Ltd said yesterday in a news release that the client bought an insurance product last year with the insured amount set at 240,000 yuan. According to the insurance contract, the passenger would get 40 times the insured amount if the person was killed in an air crash.
"An emergency team has been set up to make preparation for the payment," a company spokesman said yesterday.

Alain Robert, The French Spiderman climbed 41-story building in downtown Sydney
By David at 06/03/2009 - 06:58

A French skyscraper climber nicknamed "Spiderman" was arrested after scaling a 41-story building in downtown Sydney with his bare hands, stopping traffic on the busy street below.

Around 200 people gathered to watch as Alain Robert, known for scaling some of the world's tallest and best-known buildings without ropes or other equipment, climbed to the top of the Royal Bank of Scotland Tower.

Police closed off a section of the busy street below, causing gridlock. The crowd cheered as Robert reached the top. He then climbed back down, where waiting officers arrested him.

Obama says American people continue to love all things French
By David at 06/03/2009 - 06:25

 Transcript of Interview of President Obama by Laura Haim, Canal Plus, June 1, 2009

Q    Bonjour, Mr. President.


Q    Thank you so much to welcome Canal Plus on I-Television for this first interview granted to the French press.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

Q    We really appreciate it.  Before we begin today, there was a terrible tragedy in France with this plane.  The French people are requesting assistance from the American people.  Is there anything you want to say about it, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, obviously we're heartbroken by the news, although we don't yet know exactly what happened.  Anytime there's an aviation problem, I think all of us are concerned.

Air France 228 people Rio de Janeiro=>Paris crashed
By David at 06/01/2009 - 17:50

"The prospects of finding any survivors are very slim," President Nicolas Sarkozy said at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris. "It's a catastrophe the likes of which Air France has never seen."

Ian Griffin allegedly fled Paris last week before the battered body of Kinga Legg
By David at 06/01/2009 - 07:11

According to, A police manhunt continues for Ian Griffin, who allegedly fled Paris last week before the battered body of Kinga Legg was found in their £1,000-a-night hotel suite at Hotel Le Bristol.
The 39 year-old entrepreneur lived with Mrs Legg at a £4 million home in Surrey she rented and friends claimed that they got engaged a month ago.
However, it emerged on Sunday that she was considering moving to Paris, where she wanted to expand her export business, and had applied for French residency.
Mr Griffin is thought to have wanted to remain in Britain and also feared that his being declared bankrupt three years ago would make it difficult for him to work and live abroad.

the Queen was not invited.
By David at 05/31/2009 - 06:47

According to  British tabloids, the Queen was not invited.
Here is an experts from Time:
The casus belli in the latest cross-Channel spat is the slight dealt by the French government to Queen Elizabeth II in failing to invite her to the June 6 ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the 1944 Allied invasion at Normandy. While the Queen has attended — and also skipped — various previous D-Day commemorations, this year's event seems to have been given heightened allure by the planned attendance of U.S. President Barack Obama, who remains the King of Pop on the diplomatic circuit. British tabloids have gone ballistic over what they see as French President Nicolas Sarkozy trying to hog the Obama-radiated limelight. (See portraits of Queen Elizabeth.)

highest service honors on two World War II veterans
By David at 05/31/2009 - 06:38

According to the North County Times,  France has bestowed its highest service honors on two World War II veterans from North County for their roles in D-Day 65 years ago.
Oceanside resident Jack Port, 87, departed last week for France to receive The National Order of the Legion of Honor ---- an award created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to acknowledge services of great merit rendered to France.
"I am overwhelmed at the magnitude of this," Port said about France's highest honor to civilians or foreign nationals before boarding a plane Wednesday.
Port will receive his medal in special ceremonies in Paris on the eve of the June 6, 1944, anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy that led to the liberation of Paris ---- a turning point in the war.

A U.S. official in Normandy has been diagnosed with swine flu
By David at 05/29/2009 - 15:54

According to AP, PARIS – A U.S. official in Normandy to prepare President Barack Obama's upcoming visit has been diagnosed with swine flu and is being treated in a hospital, French authorities said Friday.
Eleven other members of the U.S. delegation were placed in isolation for 24 hours in their hotel rooms and given medical treatment, said an official at the Calvados region administrative headquarters. The official was not authorized to be identified publicly.
The 54-year-old woman was hospitalized in the city of Caen, and will remain for about a week, the official said.

Criminals would have a chance of the Tour de France
By David at 05/26/2009 - 17:24

France is the land of freedom. University students can be on long strikes. Recently the riot police scuffled with prison guards outside two of France's main prisons as warders stepped up a national "blockade" in protest against over-crowding and a shortage of staff in the nation's prisons. And now the criminals would have a chance of the Tour de France.
The idea is to help reintegrate into society the individuals entrusted to it by the judicial authorities (under the Act of 22 June 1987).
"This project aims to help these men reintegrate into society by fostering values like effort, teamwork and self-esteem," said Sylvie Marion of the prison authorities.
"We want to show them that with some training, you can achieve your goals and start a new life," she said.

US can not commit during climate talks
By David at 05/26/2009 - 16:50

The US did it again to go backward on emission control. The United States never signed on to Kyoto, citing the costs to the economy and the lack of participation by developing countries such as China. A major challenge is getting both the United States and China on board for deep cuts. According to Associated Press,  in the French host of climate talks among the world's biggest polluters on Tuesday, the United States had backpedaled on promises to slash carbon emissions but China appeared "absolutely determined" to make deep cuts.
French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo welcomed the U.S. administration's commitment to tackle global warming after years of reluctance under President George W. Bush, but suggested President Barack Obama has backpedaled on earlier suggestions of requiring deep cuts in U.S. carbon emissions.

Paris Mayor plans to honor Dalai Lama
By David at 05/26/2009 - 16:48

Relationship between China and France are in repair-tear-repair-tear down cycle again. The problem is either Dalai Lama or Taiwan. This time is the Dalai Lama again. Beijing considers the Dalai Lama an agent of Tibet's independence from China and objects to all meetings between the Dalai Lama and foreign leaders. In Poland last December, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama had contact. The Dalai Lama was made an honorary citizen of Paris last year. China suspended high-level contacts and shut France out of lucrative European buying trips by Chinese delegations.
According to Associated, The Dalai Lama is likely to be honored by the mayor of Paris during a June visit, a Tibetan representative said Tuesday — a meeting that could once again strain relations between France and China.

Scientology in French Court
By David at 05/26/2009 - 16:47

We all know celebrity such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta are associated with The Church of Scientology, but did you know that now Scientology is in trouble in France?
In a Paris court opened on Monday, the Scientology and its French leaders stand charged of organized fraud and illegal pharmaceutical activity. A guilty verdict in the current French trial could shut down the group's activities in France.
According to Associate Press, the trial comes more than a decade after one of the three plaintiffs originally filed a complaint against the Church of Scientology. A young woman said she took out loans and spent the equivalent of euro21,000 ($29,400) on books, courses and "purification packages" after being recruited by the group in 1998. When she sought reimbursement and to leave the group, its leadership refused.

France's New Military Base
By David at 05/25/2009 - 06:29

US is no longer has the monopoly on western military powers having a permanent presence in the the Gulf. France will establish a new base in the United Arab Emirates.
France’s new base is less important in military than in diplomatic terms. It will house at most 500 people. This number includes personnel supporting a detachment of three Mirage and Rafale jet fighters at the al-Dhafra air base in the emirate and another unit at a desert training camp. France’s military presence in Abu Dhabi is intended to drive home its tough stance against Iran’s nuclear plans. The new base also represents a shift in French strategic interests away from protecting its former African colonies towards the conflicts in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where French security is considered more at threat.

student strike will get grade?
By David at 05/20/2009 - 06:44

This is an excerpt from Christian Science Monitor:
If teachers did not teach and students did not study, should the semester count?
France's state universities are wrestling with that question as an especially tumultuous school year ends, with final exams and diplomas for thousands of students hanging in the balance.
Anti-government strikes all but paralyzed many state schools over the past four months, even longer than the famous student revolt of May 1968. The barricades came down in the last week most of the universities – but too late, in many cases, to reschedule all the missed courses and still keep to the normal exam schedule…

Voyageur 's bankruptcy affects student's France trip
By David at 05/19/2009 - 05:50

For the past several years, a group of 21 students has been saving money for a two-week tour of France. The planned trip is in June. However that the Massachusetts travel company Voyageur Educational Tours, has gone bankrupt.
Without travel insurance, it will take long time before those students can get back a fraction of the money (if any), because Voyageur has over $1 million in liabilities and less than $50,000 in assets. The company had been in business for 18 years and had 12 employees. The students thought they had insurance on the tickets of France trip, but that may not be true.

France will help Romania build a new nuclear reactor
By David at 05/19/2009 - 05:35

According to Xinhua, France will help Romania build a new nuclear reactor, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday while meeting with his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu.
Basescu said in an interview published Monday with the business daily Les Echos that his country wants a new nuclear reactor, whose location will be soon decided.
During a working lunch, Sarkozy has offered "the cooperation of France, its expertise and its business for the construction of this new reactor," that will be put into service in 2020.

How much is the loss for Air France KLM?
By David at 05/19/2009 - 05:33

Air France KLM, one of the world's largest carriers, warned in March of the loss and planed to shed between 2,500-3,000 jobs by 2011. Now they are reporting on Tuesday the earning for the quarter ended on March 31. We will wait and see what is the final number tomorrow.

The released Algerian has been hospitalized
By David at 05/16/2009 - 17:25

According to CNN, the Algerian released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and taken to France has been hospitalized. Lakhdar Boumediene is at the Clamart military hospital, the station reported. Louisa Baghdadi, Boumediene's sister-in-law from Nice, told the station she and her husband "will be disappointed" if he's in poor shape. She said she "doesn't know how he has changed."
Boumediene, who is not a French citizen, was sent to France because he has relatives there. He arrived Friday. "France decided to take in Lakhdar Boumediene, who expressed the willingness to come to our country where members of his family reside," the French Foreign Ministry said.

Economic Survey of France 2009
By David at 05/15/2009 - 17:05

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a survey titled  “Economic Survey of France 2009”, more detailed report can be found at:
Chapter 1. Coping with recession and preserving fiscal sustainability

Dassault Aviation layoff
By David at 05/12/2009 - 05:30

According to AFP,  French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation said on Monday that it would cut jobs in the United States and send workers in France on forced leave to cope with the economic slowdown.
The terms of the forced leave are under negotiation and should result in about 2,000 production staff in France being laid off for three-and-a-half days a month between end September and the end of the year, said Charles Edelstenne, chairman of the French aerospace group.
In the United States, hundreds of jobs will go from the current staff strength there of 2,500 to 3,000.

France's education minister says no diplomas for protests
By David at 05/12/2009 - 05:26


According to Associate press, Students say the government is commercializing universities. But the government says the university reforms are aimed at freeing up universities to allow private sponsors and become more competitive. The protests have disrupted or completely blocked universities across the country, delaying many exams, in recent weeks and months.
France's education minister says protesting students who have blocked universities for months will not get diplomas.
Xavier Darcos says just a handful of students protesting against a proposed university reform have succeeded in disrupting operations at several French universities. Those students will not be awarded their degrees, he told RTL radio on Monday.


Obama will visit France on June 6
By David at 05/09/2009 - 23:16

According to AP, Obama will be in France on June 6 which will see, among others, his participation of commemorations marking the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy in France (this is the date that Allies stormed Normandy’s beaches to begin driving Nazi forces back toward Germany), Gibbs said.
Obama also plans to visit Egypt for a promised speech on U.S. relations with Muslim countries when he sets out on an overseas tour early next month.  Note that his father was a Muslim from Kenya and that he sent thousands of U.S. troops into predominantly Muslim Afghanistan.
Obama is due to arrive in Germany on June 5 following the trip to Egypt. He will visit the German city of Dresden and the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald during his visit to Germany, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

By David at 05/09/2009 - 06:18

A French government advice centre to help migrants in Calais who want to stay in France opened this week - and failed to get a single inquiry.
Critics said the zero response was proof that the migrants only ever had one destination in mind - Britain.
The new state-funded 'welcome centre' is the response by Paris to the demand from the Calais local authority for action to deal with the hundreds of migrants in the area.
French immigration minister Eric Besson arrives with Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart , Calais' mayor, at the Calais city hall during talks over migrants last month. French immigration minister Eric Besson arrives with Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart , Calais' mayor, at the Calais city hall during talks over migrants last month.
It hopes to ease the problem by helping migrants who wish to seek asylum in France.

French Muslims are actually more loyal to France
By David at 05/09/2009 - 06:13

According to Gallup, French Muslims are more likely than the French public to believe that Muslims are loyal to France.
The report, The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations, is the first annual report on the state of faith relations in countries around the world and found that 80% of French Muslims say Muslims in France are loyal to their country; by contrast just over two in every five (44%) of the French public believe them to be loyal.
French Muslims identify with France as much as the French do (52%/55%), though they identify much more with their religion (58%) than the general French public (23%).
The report's authors say this research shows that religion and national identity are complementary rather than competing and dispels the myth that Muslims do not feel loyalty or an affinity to France.

freedom of speech?
By David at 05/09/2009 - 06:10

A 31-year old Frenchman named Jérôme Bourreau-Guggenheim was fired for "strategic differences" with his employer.
The case is all over French newspapers today. Libération reported the story, which began back on February 19th when Bourreau-Guggenheim decided to write his MP. He did so from a private e-mail address and told Françoise de Panafieu (a member of the majority UMP party) what he thought of the "Création et Internet" bill.
The bill is sometimes referred to as "HADOPI," after the French acronym for the new administrative authority that the bill would create; HADOPI would be responsible for overseeing warnings and Internet disconnections for those who repeatedly infringe online copyrights. The idea is so unpopular that 88 percent of the European Parliament this week voted to ban the practice unless overseen by a judge.


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