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French jobless total rise higher - euronews

French jobless total rise higher - euronews | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
euronews
French jobless total rise higher
euronews
The number of people out of work in France shot up again in January, coming closer to the all time high. The total of jobseekers in mainland France jumped by 1.4 percent to 3.17 million.
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'What lion?' Zimbabweans ask, (putting Cecil circus into some perspective)

'What lion?' Zimbabweans ask, (putting Cecil circus into some perspective) | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
"Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country," said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. "What is so special about this one?"

As with many countries in Africa, in Zimbabwe big wild animals such as lions, elephants or hippos are seen either as a potential meal, or a threat to people and property that needs to be controlled or killed.

The world of Palmer, who paid $50,000 to kill 13-year-old Cecil, is a very different one from that inhabited by millions of rural Africans who are more than occasionally victims of wild animal attacks.

According to CrocBITE, a database, from January 2008 to October 2013, there were more than 460 recorded attacks by Nile crocodiles, most of them fatal. That tally is almost certainly a massive underrepresentation.

"Why are the Americans more concerned than us?" said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. "We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange."
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Google defies France over "right to be forgotten" law

Google defies France over "right to be forgotten" law | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Google finally said enough is enough when it comes to Europe censoring its search results. It issued a bold challenge to France.

Google made a dramatic gesture to oppose censorship of its search results on Wednesday, telling French regulators in a blog post that it will not heed demands to implement so-called “right to be forgotten” requests on a worldwide basis. The move, which sets the stage for further confrontations between Google and France, also highlights a growing legal crisis for the internet.

The issue at stake relates to a controversial European Court of Justice decision from 2014 that forces Google to strip certain links from its search results. The decision provided a way for people to ask Google GOOG 0.23% to remove “irrelevant” or “inadequate” search results, and has already led to more than a quarter million requests flooding into Google. But the rules for processing the requests are far from clear.
French-News-Online.com's insight:

Good for Google which should challenge other EU states as well. "Right to be forgotten" is appalling travesty of hard-fought-for free speech and a dangerously authoritarian judgment by the European Court of Justice  

 

Home » Search results for free speech
A Primer for Foreign Francophiles Struggling to Understand Charlie Hebdo and Free Speech


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Calais crisis is BRITAIN'S fault for being soft on migrants, says France

Calais crisis is BRITAIN'S fault for being soft on migrants, says France | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French MP Xavier Bertrand blamed Britain's "unregulated jobs market" for the persistent immigration issues - repeating calls to have the British border moved from Calais to Dover, so migrants could claim asylum there when they arrive.

He said: "We all know why they are in Calais. They are there because they want to get to England, where they don't need identity papers.

"These migrants need telling that in England, they will become cheap clandestine labour for English employers." 

He said France should tear up the 2003 Le Touquet agreement between Paris and London - which placed the UK border at the ferry and Eurotunnel terminals in Calais - insisting "the British border is in Dover".

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart also blasted the UK's "cushy benefits system", claiming it is the reason for the surge of migrants trying to cross from the French port. 

She said: "There are no ID cards. They can easily find work outside the formal economy, which is not really controlled.

"Calais is a hostage to the British. The UK border should be moved from Calais to the English side of the Channel because we're not here to do their jobs
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Greece-Crisis: Schäuble wants to disempower EU Commission Frankfurter Allgemeine

Greece-Crisis: Schäuble wants to disempower EU Commission Frankfurter Allgemeine | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

(Google translated) According to the Federal Minister of Finance, the Commission can not be an EU government and guardian of the Treaties. He is thinking to outsource the functions of politically independent authorities.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) calls the face of ongoing jurisdictional disputes among Greece's creditors that the powers of the European Commission be cut back to a few fields and a total restructured. According to information from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Schäuble wants to ensure that the original function of the Brussels authority is institutionally separate the so-called guardian of the EU treaties of their increasingly strong political activities.
The minister has called for, according to diplomats in Brussels at the meeting of EU finance ministers two weeks ago in Brussels a quick discussion of the EU Member States on how the Commission's original core task - the enforcement of European law about the competition guardian and in the supervision of the internal market rules - still can fulfill. Schäuble is thinking to outsource these functions to politically independent authorities modeled after the Federal Cartel Office and so to deprive the Commission's jurisdiction. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem wants to make the issue a priority of the Dutch EU Presidency in the first half 2016.

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Hillary's 'Economic NATO' Needs to be Complete by End of Obama Presidency says EU Chief, Blasts 'Offensive' Buy American Act - Breitbart

Hillary's 'Economic NATO' Needs to be Complete by End of Obama Presidency says EU Chief, Blasts 'Offensive' Buy American Act - Breitbart | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

The “shady” deal between the European Union and United States, otherwise known as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), must be concluded by the end of the Obama presidency, warned the EU’s External Relations Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper during which she called the United States’ “Buy American” Act “offensive”.

Malmström, one of the most outspoken voices on TTIP, said that while U.S. Republicans may be amenable to the deal, Europe simply doesn’t have the time to wait for “hearings” and “getting to know” new U.S. counterparts if the Democrats lose the presidency in 2016.

The deal, which has caused major controversies across Europe, is touted as a “free trade” agreement, though critics argue that it would hinder national governments from policy-making, leaving them open to challenge from big corporate giants. There are also suggestions that the deal will prioritise big firms and import U.S. regulatory standards – often perceived as much more lax – to Europe.

I

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If You Thought the EU-US TeaTip (TTIP) Deal Was Bad You’ll Hate TeaSa (TISA)

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More than 2,000 migrants tried to enter Channel Tunnel in France

More than 2,000 migrants tried to enter Channel Tunnel in France | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

More than 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel in an attempt to reach Britain from France, French authorities said on Tuesday.

Six migrants were injured in what was the biggest incursion effort in the last few weeks at the tunnel entrance near Calais, on the night between Monday and Tuesday, a local official said.

"Some 2,100 of them entered the site overnight, 1,900 of them were quickly pushed back outside and 200 were arrested," the official told Reuters.

Tunnel operator Eurotunnel confirmed the intrusion on Twitter, saying it had caused traffic delays.

French-News-Online.com's insight:

Call for Tough Action on Med Migrants – Newsweek Unmasks Criminals behind the Crisis

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French farmers block border routes in row over ‘cheap’ imports

French farmers fighting what they call unfair competition have mounted…French farmers fighting what they call unfair competition have mounted blockades at ...
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Francois Hollande BACKS French farmers as they spark more chaos

Francois Hollande BACKS French farmers as they spark more chaos | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

French President Francois Hollande today threw his support behind protesting French farmers just hours after they staged a blockade that prevented hundreds of lorries from importing food from Germany..meanwhile returning holidaymakers advised to avoid illegals and migrant-strewn Calais...

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Call for Tough Action on Med Migrants – Newsweek Unmasks Criminals behind the Crisis

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Public anger after gang beat up French sunbather for wearing a bikini

Public anger after gang beat up French sunbather for wearing a bikini | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

French social networks exploded with anger after a young woman was reportedly beaten up by a gang of girls and young women for wearing a bikini in a park.,,,

Protesters organised a demonstration in bikinis and other bathing costumes in the park where the attack occurred, in Reims in northern France. Although drizzle and cold winds meant only about a dozen people turned out, hundreds across France responded to a Twitter appeal by the anti-racist organisation SOS Racisme to post images of themselves or others wearing skimpy bathing costumes in public places, under the hashtag #jeportemonmaillotauparc (I wear my swimsuit in the park).

The five attackers, aged 16 to 24, were quickly arrested and the three oldest have been remanded to appear in court in September, while two girls aged 16 and 17 face further questioning. The authorities have not named them but said that they all came from housing estates with large Muslim populations.

It is not yet clear whether their unnamed 21-year-old victim was of French or north African origin. She was sunbathing with two friends in the Parc Léo Lagrange in Reims on Wednesday

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French host reenactment of 1415 Battle of Agincourt

French host reenactment of 1415 Battle of Agincourt | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
France lost the Battle of Agincourt nearly 600 years ago, but they're not sore losers.

The French are hosting a reenactment of the clash with England this weekend. More than 800 people in Medieval garb gathered Saturday at the site to commemorate — and re-enact — the battle, which was a turning point in the Hundred Years' War.

The two-day event on a field in the northern town of Azincourt, called Agincourt in English, featured equestrian jousting, archery and reenactments of portions of the battle, fought on Oct. 25, 1415.

The battle left the French crippled on their soil, but the weekend event didn't dwell on that outcome.
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France's top court OKs controversial surveillance bill

France's top court OKs controversial surveillance bill | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
France's Constitutional Council has ruled that a bill legalizing broad surveillance of terrorism suspects doesn't violate the country's constitution.

Friday's decision was the final step before the law can come into effect.

The bill was proposed long before the January attacks in Paris by Islamic extremists, but the government said that had added to its urgency.

One measure will force communication and Internet firms to allow intelligence services to install electronic "lock-boxes" to record metadata from all Internet users in France, allowing algorithmic analysis to detect potentially suspicious behavior
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Hundreds of Illegals Storm Eurotunnel Every Night - Breitbart

Hundreds of Illegals Storm Eurotunnel Every Night - Breitbart | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
“Eurotunnel has spent €150 million in security in the past 15 years. All of it is targeted at making it harder for migrants to access our sites, and to make our sites safer for our customers. We have put up fences, adding extra lighting at night, cameras, infra-red detectors, extra staff. We have got more sniffer dogs, more controls on lorries entering the system, we have invested a huge amount of money in security”.

The source said the answer to the situation was political, and could not be solved by merely spending more money could not secure the tunnel. He said:

“…we are confronted with a migrant issue that is growing out of all proportion. The solution to this issue can’t be found by building another fence – it is about stopping the flow of migrants from their country of origin… all of the things that will stop this crises are well out of the hands of a private transport operator… they are in the hands of the British, French, and European governments, who need to find a solution.

“Locally we work with the French police on a very close basis to try and find the best organisation of resources to prevent migrant access, but we are confronted with such an enormous number of people it becomes impossible. They will always find another access point, or another tactic, every time a new barrier is put in front of them”.
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Call for Tough Action on Med Migrants – Newsweek Unmasks Criminals behind the Crisis

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Traffic speed cameras hooded! French tobacconists angry with plain packaging plan

Traffic speed cameras hooded! French tobacconists angry with plain packaging plan | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

Hooded traffic speed cameras have been appearing across France as tobacconists cover them with plastic bags in a protest against plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging.
The activists have been sabotaging cameras in several French regions since June. According to France's biggest tobacconist group, the Buralistes Confederation, 20 out of France’s 97 districts have been affected.

"It's a sign that anger is mounting," the group told Reuters on Wednesday.
The ‘Non au paquet neutre’ (no to plain cigarette packaging) group has been posting photos of the activists on Facebook. They wear white masks while covering traffic speed cameras with plastic bags.

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Deutsche Bank "Loses" LIBOR Chat Records; Will Try Hard To Find Them (Probity German-style)

Deutsche Bank "Loses" LIBOR Chat Records; Will Try Hard To Find Them (Probity German-style) | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
A month after reaching a $2.5 billion settlement over interest rate rigging, Deutsche Bank AG told regulators its disclosures may have been incomplete because it accidentally failed to archive electronic chats involving its employees, people familiar with the matter said.
 
The bank is working to recover the records from its systems but might have permanently lost an unknown number of chats dating back to 2005, the people said.
 
The disclosure poses a new regulatory headache for the German lender. Deutsche Bank already has been criticized by regulators for shortcomings in retaining data, including the destruction of hundreds of audiotapes that U.K. regulators said could have been relevant to their investigation into manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.
 
Deutsche Bank disclosed the problem to regulators, including the New York Department of Financial Services, in May, a month after the bank entered into the settlement with a handful of authorities in the U.S. and the U.K., the people familiar with the matter said.
 
“After we discovered this software defect in one of our internal messaging systems, we reported it to our regulators and are presently working with them to rectify it,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “We have been able to recover a majority of the chats via a backup system.
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DB's head office is in Germany the nation that is demanding financial probity from Greece and imposed a punishment beating on Athens to reinforce the message.

 

‘Europe’s Insane Deal with Greece’ Does it Spell Doom for the EU Project?

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French police stop over 1,000 migrants from reaching Channel Tunnel

French police stop over 1,000 migrants from reaching Channel Tunnel | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French authorities faced more than 1,000 attempts by migrants camped out in the port of Calais to reach the Channel tunnel overnight, police sources told AFP Friday.

"More than 1,000 attempts were thwarted last night, with around 30 arrests," the source said, adding there were no reports of migrants injured in their bid to enter the undersea tunnel linking France and Britain.

Another police source spoke spoke of "1,400 incursions" between 10:00pm local time Thursday (2000 GMT) and 7:00am (0500 GMT) Friday.

While being unable to confirm the figures, a spokesman for Eurotunnel said there had been "much less disruption" since an extra 120 riot police poured into Calais this week to bolster the 300-strong police contingent already stationed in the city.
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Call for Tough Action on Med Migrants – Newsweek Unmasks Criminals behind the Crisis

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Daily Mail: Why the French ARE to blame for Calais migrant crisis

Daily Mail: Why the French ARE to blame for Calais migrant crisis | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

Under the Dublin Convention, migrants are supposed to claim asylum in the first safe EU country they reach, and can be sent back there if they fail to do so. By definition, Britain will not be the first safe country for any of those who arrive from Calais. In any case, most of the migrants massing at Calais are not genuine refugees fleeing persecution to seek asylum, but are economic migrants after a better life in Britain. And since they are on French soil, the authorities there should deal with immigration applications and deport all those who fail to qualify. French border police have proved capable of tough action. In the town of Ventimiglia on the France-Italy border, officers refused migrants entry into their country, saying it is Italy’s responsibility to process claims....Calais Migrant Solidarity, a pressure group that wants an end to immigration controls, is typical of many that are exploiting world sympathy for ‘victims’. They want the thousands of migrants provided with bikes, tents, sleeping bags, mobile phone chargers and reading material, ‘especially in Pashto, Farsi, Tigrinya and Amharic’. Such nonsense shouldn’t be tolerated by the French authorities. The rights of law-abiding European citizens should count more than those of foreign interlopers

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Call for Tough Action on Med Migrants – Newsweek Unmasks Criminals behind the Crisis

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Call for Tough Action on Med Migrants – Newsweek Unmasks Criminals behind the Crisis

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Hollande’s nether land - will long hot summer protest blow up or over?

Hollande’s nether land - will long hot summer protest blow up or over? | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Cloudy with a chance of cow dung, cabbages and occasional urine showers: such has been the political forecast in France over the past several days.

With tornado-like ferocity, the winds of protest have sheered across the country. Meat and dairy farmers, astride their tractors, have jammed highways, encircled hypermarchés (the French equivalent of Costco in the U.S., or Tesco in the U.K.) and blocked roads leading to train stations and airports, while others have dumped rotting cabbages, flaming tires, and fresh manure at intersections and in front of government offices. Meanwhile, the buralistes (tobacconists) invaded Paris. Instead of erecting a mountain of cigarette ash, they delivered four tons of carrots, their signature weapon, to the headquarters of the Socialist Party. All the while, they waved unbecoming blown-up photos of Marisol Touraine, the government’s minister of health.

And, last week, a Tour de France spectator flung a cup of urine at this year’s winner, the Englishman Chris Froome, during the stage near Mende.

These events, at first glance, appear unrelated. But they are both cause and consequence of what, more than 40 years ago, the late sociologist Michel Crozier labeled la societé bloquée, or “the stalemate society.” While Athens is being treated in the emergency room known as the IMF, it may well be that the true sick man of Europe is France.

...

Such promises, of course, place Hollande between a rock and a hard place. Having just lectured Greece on the need to give up its ossified economy and obese state bureaucracy, he cannot turn to traditional forms of state aid and protection for his own electorate. Yet, at the same time, he cannot politically survive a long, hot summer of strikes and protests. It may well be that his recent accomplishments in Brussels, as well as his presidential hopes in 2017, soon go up in smoke.

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Saudi royals 'order French police not to allow female officers near'

Saudi royals 'order French police not to allow female officers near' | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Saudi Arabian royals who annexed an entire public beach for their stay in the south of France have reportedly ordered local police not to allow female officers anywhere near them.

More than 100,000 people have already signed a petition against billionaire King Salman and his entourage having Mirandole Beach, in Vallauris, between Cannes and Antibes, to themselves.

And yesterday, demonstrators - including nude swimmers - made their feelings known during a protest.

Now the police are furious, suggesting the visitors from the repressive Middle Eastern state do not believe in equal rights.

‘We’re the victims of discrimination,’ said one police source. 

‘One of our colleagues was asked to leave the area on Saturday night because the Saudis felt uncomfortable with her around. This kind of discrimination should not be going on in France.’ 

A second female officer was on Sunday also ordered away from Chateau de l’Horizon, the king’s £5million-plus holiday mansion which was once used by Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Marilyn Monroe. 

Sylvain Martinache, a police union spokesman, said: ‘Is it because the king and his guests don’t want to see women guarding them, or is it because they want to bathe out of view of any women? 

‘It’s quite shocking. But it’s diplomacy. There are around 1,000 people in this villa every evening. It’s great for the local economy.’
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The Best Little Museum You Never Visited in Paris - Smithsonian

The Best Little Museum You Never Visited in Paris - Smithsonian | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
The Best Little Museum You Never Visited in Paris Smithsonian At the heart of Paris, in a former monastery dating back to the Middle Ages, lives an unusual institution full of surprises whose name in French—le Musée des Arts et Métiers—defies...
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How the Greek Deal Could Destroy the Euro

How the Greek Deal Could Destroy the Euro | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

The July 13 deal offering more financing for Greece has been billed as a last-minute step back from the brink, but the threat of a “temporary exit” from the euro proposed by a German coalition government has shaken the foundation of the euro in a far more fundamental way than meets the eye.

It has undermined what little Franco-German cooperation was left in economic affairs; it has made the single currency as it stands politically indefensible in France; and it has substantially increased the risk of euro exit across the monetary union. In short, the prospect of Grexit today has made a French, or even German, exit tomorrow far more likely.
These tensions are not new. Germany always thought of the euro as an improved exchange-rate mechanism built around the Deutsche mark, and France had bold but vague ambitions of a real international currency that would enhance the effectiveness of Keynesian economic policy. These fundamental differences were papered over at the launch of the euro because both François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl agreed that the single currency should first and foremost serve as a means toward the greater aim of European political integration.

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Bankrupt Greece is a Threat to Germany’s EU Hegemony, Hence the Venom

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JE NE SUIS PAS CHARLIE: Tory-Backed, Hard-Left Org Urges UK Govt to Ban 'Draw Muhammed' Competition - Breitbart

JE NE SUIS PAS CHARLIE: Tory-Backed, Hard-Left Org Urges UK Govt to Ban 'Draw Muhammed' Competition - Breitbart | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Hope Not Hate – a group that masquerades as being ‘anti-extremist’ and ‘anti-racist’ – has criticised free speech campaigners in Britain for organising a ‘Draw Muhammed’ Cartoon competition, claiming that this ‘counter jihadist’ movement is attempting to start a civil war in the United Kingdom.

Breitbart London understands that anti-Sharia Law campaigner Anne Marie Waters, as well as others including former UK Independence Party leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch will follow in the footsteps of campaigners such as Charlie Hebdo, Pamela Gellar, and Geert Wilders in hosting a Draw Muhammed Cartoon competition – asserting Western nations’ right to free speech over religious fealty.

But Hope Not Hate, which claims it raises its money from grassroots supporters – despite having a history of receiving large sums of money from the hard-left labour unions – has come out against free speech, mocking the counter-jihadist claim that Islamism “is a supremacist and expansionist ideology”, despite recent evidence at home, and abroad, through groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir, and ISIS.

“Hope not Hate”, says their new report, “believes the authorities need to do more against these counter-jihadists” – implying the state pursues anti-extremism and anti-terrorism campaigners simply for criticising Islamism, jihadism, and for exercising their freedom of speech. Hope Not Hate’s future for Britain, it seems, is a tyrannical one in the same vein as George Orwell’s 1984.

The group – which is believed to be behind much of the anti-UKIP activity in Nigel Farage’s target seat of South Thanet in May, and which united the Conservative Party and Labour Party candidates – recommends that anti-Islamism websites are “investigated” and calls for the cartoon drawing protest to be banned outright. Their calls echo those of hardline Islamist groups around the world.
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A Primer for Foreign Francophiles Struggling to Understand Charlie Hebdo and Free Speech

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Long Live Long Lunches in France - Mark Lilienthal

Long Live Long Lunches in France - Mark Lilienthal | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
I confess that this can be exasperating. There are any number of good ideas that are thwarted under this system. When the rain lifted on a recent Sunday afternoon, our thoughts turned to a barbecue. Sadly, because we had not planned ahead, we had no charcoal or chicken legs. Every store within an hour’s drive was shuttered closed. No barbecue. On more than one occasion I have found myself pulling on a locked post office door, my letters to mail in one hand, momentarily baffled until I realize it is 12:15 p.m. I will need to come back after 2. Not long ago, the main branch office of our bank was closed from Friday until Tuesday, making depositing a check impossible. Because we cannot deposit checks at the ATM, the bank was unable to take our money for four consecutive days.

But there are also undeniable advantages to this way of living. When the church bells toll at high noon, one feels all activity cease. Whether in their dining room or around an outside terrace table, the people of Burgundy — including this family of Americans — have paused in their day to break bread together. They sit and eat with their families, enjoying pâtés, escargots, crudités, boeuf bourguignon, Époisses or any other of the dozens of regional specialties. They will drink a glass of wine or a goblet of sparkling water and talk about the weather, politics, the national education system, the outlook for this year’s wine harvest, and, of course, the food they are eating, will eat or have eaten. They will let the modern world’s workers fret and panic as they scarf a sandwich at their desk.

These people may be following an antiquated tradition whose days are numbered, with long lunches and state-mandated vacations soon to join the Cape Verde giant skink and the Japanese river otter on the timeline of extinctions.

Or, they may be continuing to do what they have done since time immemorial, unthreatened by the evolution of the world around them, comfortable in their way of life and certain that it will outlast all that the 21st century throws at them.

I hope it is the latter.
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Optimism, a Gâteau of 111 Ingredients Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=6773#axzz3gFvDG2Iv
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The (French) President’s thankless burden

The (French) President’s thankless burden | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
France, with Britain, remains one of Europe’s only two weighty military powers, each spending roughly 2% of GDP on defence, the target set by NATO. Indeed France recently aborted a planned four-year freeze of military spending, adding €3.8 billion in real terms to its defence budget from 2016, to reinforce its counter-terrorism capability. And France uses its firepower. Mr Hollande has sent soldiers to repel jihadists in Mali, and to stop genocide in the Central African Republic. Before America pulled back, France had fighter jets ready to bomb Syria in 2013. As one foreign observer puts it, the French now have a rare mix of armed muscle and readiness for action. France held off from the 2003 assault on Iraq, so the public has not turned against such ventures. It has soldiers in Africa and the Gulf, and the president has the constitutional power to deploy them.
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Shakespeare reigns at France's Avignon theater festival

Shakespeare reigns at France's Avignon theater festival | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Shakespeare is still going strong after all these centuries, even in France, where an annual European theater festival just finished in the southern city of Avignon showcased several of the Bard's works.

But while a German-language version of "Richard III" won a rave reception from critics and audiences, a Frenchified "King Lear" that opened the festival fell flat, with many calling it leaden and caricatural.

"It's a disaster," the newspaper Le Monde said of the latter play. "Un un-lyrical King Lear," Le Figaro wrote.

Modernized and performed in contemporary French language that veered to the colloquial, the tragedy reworked by Olivier Py, who runs the Avignon Festival, did win some applause though for its bold direction.

The play, which opened the three-week arts event at the beginning of July, was quickly surpassed by "Richard III", hailed as the best of the fest.

Directed by Germany's Thomas Ostermeier and starring an accomplished stage and film actor, Lars Eidinger, it was seen as a superlative version of the story about Britain's bent and devious king
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France - ‘Madame pee pee’ on the barricades over Paris boutique toilets

France - ‘Madame pee pee’ on the barricades over Paris boutique toilets | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
A Dutch provider of upscale public toilets has been accused of flushing away French labour laws by refusing to take on Paris lavatories' longstanding staff, whom the French traditionally refer to as "dames pipi" [pronounced “pee pee”].

The city of love and light has a rather unglamorous reputation when it comes to latrines and general hygiene standards, with pungent urine odours and bog-standard toilets still a frequent occurrence in cafes, streets and metro corridors.

Visitors will have remarked that a sizeable share of the city’s male population have few qualms about relieving themselves in the street in broad daylight, and women will no doubt have experienced queuing up for minuscule cubicles with men’s urinals in full sight.

French officials have been at pains to clean-up this image. Earlier this month, the Agriculture Ministry published an online map of restaurant toilets, naming and shaming the worst offenders. In the French capital, local officials have installed 400 state of the art, eco-friendly automated toilet kiosks, which are thoroughly washed with recycled rainwater and disinfectant after each use
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