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Le Pen’s Latest Scion Goes From Poster Child to Star in France

Le Pen’s Latest Scion Goes From Poster Child to Star in France | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French far-right politician Marion Marechal-Le Pen was still a blond babe-in-arms when she made her first appearance on a campaign poster with her grandfather, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Now, three years after becoming France’s youngest lawmaker, the 25-year-old former law student is gaining in the polls as one of party’s most credible members and the darling of a new generation of hard-liners who see France’s main problems as Brussels, Muslims and the mainstream parties.
“She’s going to be a star,” Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, her rival in this December’s race to head the governing council for the Provence and Cote d’Azur region, told Valeurs Actuelles magazine. If Marechal-Le Pen wins, it will give her “an incredible national launch-pad,” he said.
A poll last week by Odoxa for newspaper Le Parisien showed 40 percent of French people have a favorable opinion of Marechal-Le Pen, an increase of seven points over the last five months. And though 51 percent of those questioned described her as “racist,” 60 percent also said she was “courageous.”
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Manuel Valls embodies alternative approach from French left

Manuel Valls embodies alternative approach from French left | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

French prime minister Manuel Valls arrives in Dublin today for a two-day visit. Taoiseach Enda Kenny may be pleasantly surprised by the French leader’s message. Pragmatism, realism and reform are not necessarily what one expects to hear from a French socialist politician..

The extreme right and jihadism “feed one another”, he says. “Both are against the French model of tolerance and le vivre-ensemble [living together].” After the attacks in January, Valls shocked many by speaking of the “territorial, social, ethnic apartheid” that make French banlieues a breeding ground for radical Islam. On April 17th, he announced a €100 million programme to combat racism and anti-Semitism through the education and judiciary systems.
“France is threatened,” Valls says. “And we are going to live with this threat, this terrorist reality, jihadism, radical Islam, the risk of attacks. We Europeans and the world are going to live with this threat for many years . . . We must tell the truth to the French, not to frighten them, but to make them understand that we live with this threat, that we are a target.”
Valls also tells the truth about the economy: that rejection of the free market is “absurd”, that if it is to regain competitiveness, France must embrace modernity and globalisation. His calls for reforming the 35-hour working week, unemployment benefits, the pension system and the Byzantine, 3,000-page French labour code have made him the bete noire of what he calls “the old-fashioned left”

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Teaching schoolchildren about French greatness can’t save France...

Teaching schoolchildren about French greatness can’t save France... | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
ARTHUR RIMBAUD’S great 1871 poem, “Morning of Drunkenness,” concludes with a famous prediction: “Now is the time of the assassins.” The poet’s ecstatic vision may have been off by 150 years, but, between them, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly, the perpetrators of the mass murders in Paris at Charlie Hebdo’s offices and at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes in January of this year, appear to have helped usher in a real time of the assassins, one whose end is nowhere in sight. For the trio had their own ecstatic, murderous visions, ones for which neither the institutions of the French state nor the various strata of French civil society (to the extent they are separable in a France that remains corporatist in a way most of its EU partners do not) seem to have any antidote.

No doubt the immediate response to the killings was impassioned and determined. The passion expressed itself in the masses of people who began using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie both as an act of solidarity and as a symbolic restatement of France’s commitment to secularism and freedom of expression, as well as in the gigantic demonstration in memory of the victims, a photograph of which the newspaper Libération ran on its front page along with the headline “We Are One People.” The determination came in the form of the commitments made by President François Hollande’s government to crack down much harder on the jihadists in the country’s midst, including in the prisons that are second only to the Internet as a venue for bringing in new recruits to the jihadist cause. And the government backed up these plans with real money, canceling approximately a third of the cuts in the French military that had been scheduled to take effect between 2015 and 2020 and vastly increasing the budget of the security services. The costs of doing this and of maintaining the emergency security plan known as “Vigipirate,” which involves a large number of French soldiers patrolling the streets and providing security for institutions thought to be vulnerable to renewed terrorist attack, above all Jewish schools and synagogues, have been enormous—more than a billion euros in only the first two months after the attacks. In March, the French government also announced that it would recruit eleven thousand additional soldiers, a move necessitated by its plans to keep seven thousand soldiers deployed around the country indefinitely to deal with the threat of terrorism. This is the first time since the end of the Algerian War that the French military’s land forces will grow larger rather than smaller. How effective all of this will prove to be is another matter.
French-News-Online.com's insight:

An interesting article tarnished by a significant editorial slip: "...editors of Charlie Hebdo pretty much had it coming for profaning the Prophet..."
"the Prophet" (capped) is such only to Muslims not to those of other religions or none.To avoid being regarded as an apologist for Islam the proper reference should be just "Mahommed"  or the "founder of Islam". Rieff would not have penned "Jesus Lord and Saviour" if he were writing about Christ. 

 

Now read:
"Does France Have a Problem? Here is Paris During a pro-Hamas Rally, Judge for Yourselves"  More here : http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=37433

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France - Five terror attacks foiled in France in recent months, says PM Valls

France - Five terror attacks foiled in France in recent months, says PM Valls | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French security officials have thwarted five terror plots across the country since the January “Charlie Hebdo attacks,” revealed French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Thursday.

"Never has the threat been so high," Valls told France Inter radio, noting the fact that hundreds of French nationals were now in Syria, where they risked being radicalised.

Valls was speaking a day after authorities said they had arrested a 24-year-old Algerian national in Paris suspected of the murder of a woman at the weekend and an aborted plan to launch an armed attack on at least one church.

Sid Ahmed Ghlam, an electrical engineering student, was arrested Sunday morning after calling an ambulance. It appears that he had accidentally shot himself in the leg.
French-News-Online.com's insight:

Does France Have a Problem? Here is Paris During a pro-Hamas Rally, Judge for Yourselves

Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=37433

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French far-right leader: 'Political force' is getting notice

French far-right leader: 'Political force' is getting notice | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Tuesday that being named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people shows that her party's brand of political change is getting attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

"People are taking note of the political upheavals that are happening, a great political force that I represent tonight — and that tomorrow can perhaps change the face of decisions that are made not just in France, but perhaps in Europe," Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration National Front, said in an interview before a dinner celebrating the honorees. They range from President Barack Obama to Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to reality TV behemoth Kim Kardashian
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In France, La Poste is a bank, an MVNO, a delivery service (by drone) & an IoT Network

In France, La Poste is a bank, an MVNO, a delivery service (by drone) & an IoT Network | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Whenever I speak with someone about mail, the post office (in France or around the world), or delivery in general, I like to point out that the Stamp, the main revenue source for most national Post Offices (USPS, La Poste, Deutsche Post, etc.) was invented in the 19th century, and that it likely won’t exist by the end of this century. While the United States Post Office struggles –  some predict that they will be acquired by Amazon this year - La Poste has been working to constantly reinvent itself, leveraging its relationship with households. They are a bank (think: loan for your home), a mobile provider (think: family plan), and they even launched their own secure login API that allows users to connect with their Social Security Number safely (an alternative to Facebook).
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Europe needs to look to Australia to solve the migrant crisis | CapX

Europe needs to look to Australia to solve the migrant crisis | CapX | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

...The people primarily responsible for these atrocities are not British politicians; they are the criminals in Tripoli who run the smuggling gangs, one of whom has been caught on tape chuckling about his overloaded boats. No amount of handwringing in Britain will deter these mobsters, sheltering amid the shards of a failed state...

.ultimately, it’s the Mediterranean countries that will decide what to do. My advice, for what it’s worth, is to change the rules so that it’s possible to return boats safely to their point of departure. Only then will people stop attempting these dreadful crossings.

Saying so isn’t #virtuesignalling, of course. But, for the permanently angry Tweeters, this isn’t about the welfare of the refugees. It’s all about them. It always is.

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Refugee crisis pits Europe's north vs south

Refugee crisis pits Europe's north vs south | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

...pressure in France is growing to take a more radical stance. Thierry Mariani, a centre-right member of the French parliament and head of the Committee on Migration at the Council of Europe, said Europe must destroy human-trafficking boats before they leave Libya and accept zero illegal migration, following the example of Australia.

Citing a UNHCR official, he told POLITICO that an estimated 300,000 migrants were currently waiting on the Mediterranean coast to cross over to Europe, which he said was only the beginning of the influx.

“Up to now there have been the moralising nations in Europe – mostly the northern ones – and those who are actually dealing with the problem on the front lines: Italy, Greece, Spain. France now lies in between those two camps,” he said.

Experts say the Commission’s 10-point plan was unanimously accepted yesterday at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg because there’s something for everybody in it – whether it’s action against smugglers or compromises on search-and-rescue spending.

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Hollande urges Europe to 'go further' to end shipwrecks - dubs people smugglers "terrorists".

Hollande urges Europe to 'go further' to end shipwrecks - dubs people smugglers "terrorists". | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French President François Hollande called on Europe and the world to "go much further" in tackling the "intolerable" shipwrecks that have cost hundreds of migrants' lives in the Mediterranean. The captain of the boat that sank on Saturday night, has been detained along with his second-in-command for their role in the loss of some 800 lives.

"The European summit on Thursday cannot be an ordinary summit where we take ordinary decisions," Hollande said ahead of the emergency meeting called after the latest migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean.

"We must go much further ... and I call on all Europeans and beyond to tackle these questions which have become intolerable on a humanitarian level and intolerable on a political level."

More maritime and aerial surveillance are needed, Hollande said, but "that won't be enough".

He identified the conflict in Libya as a cause of the proliferation of people smugglers and migrants who seek their services.

"There are also countries which have been abandoned," he added. "I'm thinking of Eritrea, with more and more refugees. I also think of what is happening in the Sahel" where the French army is fighting jihadist groups.

Hollande dubbed the people smugglers "terrorists".

"By fighting these traffickers, we fight terrorism and by fighting terrorism we will fight these traffickers. Because they are making money off the back of misery, from distress, from death," he said.
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Is Manuel Valls the leader France needs? | CapX

Is Manuel Valls the leader France needs? | CapX | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

As is often the case following a national tragedy, France’s political leaders have become more popular since the January terrorist attacks in Paris—even the roundly despised President Hollande. As four million people marched in solidarity with the victims in the days following the massacre, the government’s swift action against the terrorists and uncompromising rhetoric were widely praised. Yet it was Prime Minister Manuel Valls in particular who emerged as the key leader during this crisis.

That was not only a simple rally-‘round-the-flag effect. To many, Valls’s background and past stances, often lonely ones, made him an ideally suitable candidate for representing the “Spirit of January 11.” Echoing positions that Valls has long held, many politicians and pundits have called for a restoration of traditional republican values like civic assimilation, secularism, and state authority.

A Socialist Party member and man of the left, Valls has built up his public image by confronting his own party’s taboos regarding economic reforms, security, and even the problems of integration and Islamism. 

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Russia’s vast Arctic gas project aims to avoid Ukraine deep freeze - Total has a stake

Russia’s vast Arctic gas project aims to avoid Ukraine deep freeze - Total has a stake | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

SABETTA: Spread across the frozen whiteness of the Russian Arctic, the ambitious $27 billion Yamal gas megaproject aims to defy both the extreme temperatures and the Ukraine crisis impacting its funding.

“(If) we would not have this question of sanctions, the financing would have been done already, let’s be clear,” Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said said during a recent visit to the site, adding thought that he hoped it would arrive “in a matter of weeks.” “Because of the sanctions we cannot use dollars, we use financing through Chinese banks, European banks and other Asian banks,” said Pouyanne. Beyond the facility itself, subcontractors and suppliers suffer sanctions too, said Novatek chief Leonid Mikhelson. “There are technical difficulties with the money, though they can be overcome,” he said. Russia has granted long-term loans worth 150 billion rubles ($2.7 billion), half of which has already been provided.

 

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Greek Economic Crisis Dominates IMF, World Banking Meetings In Washington

Greek Economic Crisis Dominates IMF, World Banking Meetings In Washington | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Greece’s economic crisis Saturday dominated the penultimate day of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank’s annual meeting in Washington, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warning the situation is "urgent." Finance ministers, bankers and other top officials met in the U.S. capital to discuss the work of both organizations, focusing on global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets.

However, concerns about Greece falling out of the euro dominated discussion from the get-go, with attendees from all over the world expressing concern about the impact of Greece’s increasingly fragile economy.

"We all want Greece to succeed,” Draghi said. “The answer is in the hands of the Greek government. Much more work is needed now and it is urgent.”
French-News-Online.com's insight:

The entering uncharted waters remark by Draghi is clearly a hedging of bets.:
“The short-term danger of contagion [from a Greek exit] is difficult to assess, but we have enough buffers in place. And even though they were designed for different circumstances, they are sufficient. But we are entering uncharted waters,” Draghi said.

See our earlier report: the Russian white knight rides to Greek rescue and Irish dissenting voices refuse to be stilled for signs that Greece is moving on. China earlier acquired Greek Treasury bonds in another sign of Western rivals helping Greece. Geo strategic implications of a Nato-EU-member moving out of Brussels/Washington orbits are significant.

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Europe is protected from possible Greek problems, France says

Europe is protected from possible Greek problems, France says | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
It is Greece and not Europe which will be hurt by any problems stemming from the Greek financial situation, because Europe has built buffers to protect itself, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Saturday.

"If something damaging happens, it will be for Greece that it will be serious, for the Greek people, not for the other countries of the euro zone. We're not at all in the same situation that we were in four or five years ago," Sapin told reporters.

"We have learned to build walls to protect ourselves, to protect the banking system, to protect other countries which could become fragile, if something happens in Greece. So Europe is much stronger. Europe has sheltered itself from turbulence. The danger is for Greece."

He was speaking during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"Greece must respect the rules that apply to all countries...in the euro," Sapin said. "Greece has signed not only a memorandum, but has signed treaties, has signed commitments. These commitments must be respected."
French-News-Online.com's insight:

See our earlier report: the Russian white knight rides to Greek rescue and Irish dissenting voices refuse to be stilled. Europe ,using taxpayer money, has rescued banksters not its citizens.


"ECB's threats to Ireland were 'outrageous' "

Read more: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/exclusive-chopra-says-ecbs-threats-to-ireland-were-outrageous-31152447.html

 

Exposing the Unlovely Faces of Rickety Banks in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy

Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=40690#ixzz3XjMVGEW0
Follow us: @frenchnewsonlin on Twitter

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François Hollande’s Rhine journey

François Hollande’s Rhine journey | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
IN NOVEMBER 2003, France and Germany teamed up to bust the euro’s stability-pact rules for budget deficits that they had agreed to six years earlier. For three years neither Jacques Chirac of France nor Gerhard Schröder of Germany respected the deficit cap of 3% of GDP. Neither suffered sanctions. But Germany used its fiscal space to become more competitive and loosen its labour market. France, which had just introduced the 35-hour working week, mainly made matters worse.

Now, under François Hollande, France is once more breaching the deficit rules and has, yet again, been given more time to bring its deficit below 3%. The unwritten deal is that this time it will make a proper stab at reform, especially of its labour market. France’s labour code, a fat red doorstop of a book, runs to 3,809 pages, 45% longer than ten years ago. The collective-bargaining agreement for hairdressers alone covers 196 pages. “The key challenge”, concludes a recent survey of France by the OECD, a Paris-based think-tank, “is to reform the labour market to promote job growth.” Yet is this likely?
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Still No Jail for Banksters - Huge fines for Deutsche Bank for Libor Manipulation | Zero Hedge

And so another historic scandal involving the manipulation and rigging of one of the most important global markets, that of Libor which is the reference security for several hundred trillion in derivatives, goes in the history books.

Moments ago the NY Department for Financial Services announced that Deutsche Bank would pay $2.5 billion "in connection with the manipulation of the benchmark interest rates, including the London Interbank Offered Bank ("LIBOR"), the Euro Interbank Offered Rate ("EURIBOR") and Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate ("TIBOR") (collectively, "IBOR")."

According to FT calculations, "this is the largest fine to date in the sprawling worldwide Libor investigation" and beneficiaries of DB's criminal generosity include New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) which will get $600 million, $775 million go to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and 227 million GBP (approximately $340 million) to the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Best of all $800 million will end up in the bank accounts oi the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the same CFTC which can now afford to upgrade from ticker tape and actually have some sense of the pervasive manipulation taking place in the S&P on a daily basis.

Most importantly for DB's 98,138 employees is that while DB will "terminate and ban individual employees who engaged in misconduct" nobody will go to jail. Again.

In other words it just cost DB's about $25,474 per employee to keep its Libor-manipulating employees (and thus, senior level management because the stench always goes to the very top) out of prison.
French-News-Online.com's insight:

Are our banks run by rogues and criminals ?  
Judge for yourselves: 

How to Rob a Bank from the Inside and Why We STILL face an EU Banking Crisis

Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=35984

 

How TBTF Has Led to Legalised Plunder

Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=27602

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The Greeks are not 'Western' (Might Russia bail out Athens after a default)

The Greeks are not 'Western' (Might Russia bail out Athens after a default) | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Greece and Russia breathe new life into their ancient Eastern alliance.

The imperial giant driving a wedge through European unity and the tiny state drowning in debt are locked in a controversial canoodle. Call it an Orthodox big wet kiss, but modern ties between Greece and Russia are cementing ancient ones.
More than almost any other European country, modern Greece is defined by its geography. A flank state on the southernmost tip of Europe, Greece has been considered a part of the “West” since joining NATO in 1952. But it was not until 2007, when Bulgaria joined NATO and the EU, that it gained a land border with another Western country. Nor is its modern history Western. Greece has, in fact, a more Asiatic flavor. In 1822, a Greek nobleman called Ioannis Kapodistrias left his post as foreign minister to the Tsar of Russia and retired to Geneva where he set about beginning his life’s work. Kapodistrias, who had made his name at the 1815 Congress of Vienna that brought stability to Europe after Napoleon’s rampage across the continent, now turned his attention to his fiercest passion: Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. It took all the diplomatic skills he had learned in the service of Russia, but by 1827 he had become the first governor, and many believe the founder, of the modern Greek state...In 1974, as Greece emerged from dictatorship, its prime minister, Konstantinos Karamalis declared that “Greece belongs to the West.” The country subsequently joined the European Community and this ideal has guided Greek political thought ever since. But this sentiment has always sat uneasily next to another famous dictum of a former president, Christos Sartzetakis: “the Greeks are a nation without brethren.”

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Wall Street: Tsipras is a pain in the Athens

Wall Street: Tsipras is a pain in the Athens | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

Top executives on Wall Street and senior policy makers in Washington are warning their European counterparts not to let Greece default and leave the eurozone, fearing the market reaction at a time of sluggish growth in the U.S. and instability in the global economy.
Some say they are not as freaked out as they were in 2012 about the prospect of always-in-crisis Greece getting kicked out of the eurozone, as could happen if a deal isn’t reached quickly. Some would even like to let the Greeks go and move on with life.
But then people mention Lehman Brothers. And the Russian default. And even an assassination in Sarajevo in 1914. And theoretical discussion of how better prepared the world is for a Greek exit quickly turns into fevered rumination on how it still might spark global financial Armageddon.
The bottom line: Wall Street and Washington want to keep Greece in the eurozone because no one really knows what might happen otherwise. And with the U.S. economy wobbling again, China slowing and the Middle East a short step from full-blown crisis, adding a Greek wild card to the deck is too scary a thought...“
If a Graccident were to occur it would be very messy,” said Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at global moneymanagement firm Allianz. “And the global economy is still too fragile to take a major shock. The good news is that Europe has done a lot to increase its defenses against contagion. But it could still be very dangerous to stumble into an accident.”

French-News-Online.com's insight:

Exposing the Unlovely Faces of Rickety Banks in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=40690

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France will reimburse Russia if warships are not delivered: French president

France will reimburse Russia if warships are not delivered: French president | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
Russia would be reimbursed for two Mistral helicopter carriers if they are not delivered and the 1.2-billion-euro contract is cancelled, French President Francois Hollande told reporters Wednesday. Delivery of the first warship was due last year but the deal was put on hold after Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis led to sanctions against Moscow by the European Union.
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Barbara Kay: In France, there's no hatred for any group equivalent to that of Jew hatred

Barbara Kay: In France, there's no hatred for any group equivalent to that of Jew hatred | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced an action plan that will make the battle against hatred into “a great national cause,” a plan that will include awareness programs and enhanced punishment for online hate speech, with stiffer prison sentences for hatred-based crimes. The superficially admirable plan springs from honest outrage on Valls’ part — but outrage that has undergone a disquieting sea change since it was first expressed.
After the Charlie Hebdo and kosher-supermarket massacres in January, you may recall, Valls delivered a passionate, widely circulated speech on anti-Semitism in France, declaring the problem of Jewish flight so serious the French Republic must be judged a failure if Jews left en masse. Then, Valls pulled no punches regarding the source of the crisis: “We are at war with terrorism, jihadism and Islamist radicalism.”
That January cri du coeur offered truths that were the gift of spontaneity. With time for second thoughts (and who knows what political pressure), the message Valls now delivers is quite different. Last week the prime minister told suburban high school students: “Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, of foreigners and homophobia are increasing in an unbearable manner in our country.” He added, “French Jews should no longer be afraid of being Jewish and French Muslims should no longer be ashamed of being Muslims.
Valls’ capitulation to France’s pre-Hebdo default of moral relativism is sad to behold. Valls’ outrage now sees anti-Semitism not as a singular problem, rather as only one of multiple hatreds, and no more distressing than hatred of foreigners (who?), gays and — of course — Muslims.
The truth, which Valls understood very well in January, is that there is no hatred for any group in France equivalent to that of Jew hatred, routinely expressed in virulent hate speech, vandalism, beatings and murder. Foreigners, gays and Muslims are not fleeing France. The institutions of foreigners, gays and Muslims are not being guarded around the clock. Fifty-five per cent of hate-driven acts are not happening to foreigners, gays and Muslims, but to Jews (1% of the population).


French-News-Online.com's insight:

Does France Have a Problem? Here is Paris During a pro-Hamas Rally, Judge for Yourselves

Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=37433

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France: Extremist's Arrest Thwarts Imminent Attack on Church

France: Extremist's Arrest Thwarts Imminent Attack on Church | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
An Islamic extremist with an arsenal of heavy weapons planned an imminent attack on one or more French churches, France's top security official said Wednesday, announcing the arrest of the man who is also accused in the death of a young mother. The 24-year-old computer science student was...
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France's EU fail

France's EU fail | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
French President François Hollande’s attempts to revive Paris’ influence in Brussels have fizzled, and France is at risk of losing yet more ground to Germany if his government doesn’t rediscover an interest in the European Union.

The retreat is on display in Europe’s institutions, where French officials occupy fewer top posts than other big EU countries; in the European Parliament, where a far-right party is stifling French policy; and in the French government, where efforts to streamline the way EU policy is crafted and executed have fallen flat.

French Europhiles place much of the blame with Hollande — once sold by aides as the spiritual heir to former three-time Commission President Jacques Delors – for letting France disengage from its traditional leadership role alongside Germany in a deeply unpopular European Union.

“Not only is France’s influence in the main European institutions at an all-time low,” said Yannick Jadot, a member of the European Parliament with the Europe-Ecologie party. “The country has never cared less about the situation that it’s in.”

The disengagement started before Hollande was elected, when a ‘No’ vote to a 2005 referendum on whether to ratify a European Constitution soured party leaders’ view of the EU. It continued under former center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy, as the eurozone debt crisis gave way to German-inspired fiscal austerity policies that threw France onto the defensive.
French-News-Online.com's insight:

Grassroots and official France meanwhile are increasingly eurosceptic.  Vinocur seeks to equate bums on top seats as being equivalent to where real power and influence lie in the EU. However France' real influence can be seen in the nuclear option it holds: should Paris ever pull out of euro or the EU,  the whole project would collapse overnight. 

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Five myths about France

Five myths about France | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
France is a country beloved by many Americans, yet it's hard to name another destination that is so culturally intimidating to visitors. Perhaps it's just a cultural clash between French customs and American expectations? That may be, but thanks to a strong dollar that will take many Americans to Gallic shores this summer, it will no doubt confound U.S. visitors yet again. So this seems like an especially good time to address five widely held myths about France.

1. The French are unfriendly and rude.

This is a common complaint from Americans returning from France, but Alexander Lobrano, the American author of Hungry for Paris and Hungry for France and a longtime resident of Paris, begs to differ.

"The French aren't rude," Lobrano says. "They're formal and have very precise manners. If you go into a shop without saying 'Bonjour' to the salesperson when you come through the door, which is what the French do, don't be surprised to get a cool reception."

Piu Marie Eatwell, author of the recently published They Eat Horses, Don't They? The Truth About the French, agrees that the French get a bad rap for this one.

"The French have traditionally topped every tourist poll going for their alleged froideur [aloofness]," she admits. "However, while foreign visitors to Paris will certainly encounter brusqueness, in particular from the infamous Parisian waiters, this has much to do with the kind of treatment that is to be expected in any big city."

Like Lobrano, she points out that that French social codes are stricter and more formal than those of Americans, and that it's "more likely that visitors, making innocent blunders simply because they don't know the rules of French etiquette, will be frowned upon."
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Quebec's David Thibault makes it to The Voice final in France

Quebec's David Thibault makes it to The Voice final in France | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

David Thibault, the 17-year-old singing sensation from St-Raymond-de-Portneuf, Que., known for his Elvis impersonations, is heading to the finals of France's version of the singing competition TV show The Voice.
David Thibault, Quebec teen Elvis, nails Blue Christmas
Quebec teen David Thibault sings at Graceland's Elvis party
Thibault stepped out of his comfort zone and tackled Beyoncé's Crazy In Love with a rockabilly tinged cover:
He and teammate Hiba Tawaji also performed a duet of Frank and Nancy Sinatra's Something Stupid.
He made a small error in the Beyoncé song by missing a few words — a gaffe referred to and excused by the judges after his performance. 

French-News-Online.com's insight:

Watch this with eyes closed. If you were ever an Elvis fan, you might be surprised at the reincarnation.  https://youtu.be/2VwWRpIinxs

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Africa - France commemorates Algerian massacres for first time

Africa - France commemorates  Algerian massacres for first time | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it
France’s veterans minister visited Algeria Sunday to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1945 Sétif Massacres, in which up to 45,000 Algerians were killed by French colonists and soldiers.
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Plumping up shrivelled market for France's famed prunes | AFP.com

Plumping up shrivelled market for France's famed prunes | AFP.com | The France News Net - Latest stories | Scoop.it

France's famous Agen prunes have seen their market share shrivel in recent years under pressure from Chilean growers, but local farmers have ploughed money into modern methods in a bid to save their plums.
The rolling valleys in the Lot-et-Garonne region of southwest France are speckled with the white flowers of plum blossoms at this time of year.
They are all from the Ente plum variety -- the only one approved by French authorities -- with a history that dates back at least to the 13th century and has given the resulting prunes a legendary status.
During the peak harvest in late summer, the air fills with the scent of caramel and plum as the farmers dry out their fruits in large gas ovens, producing the distinctly rich flavour.
But pressure from global competitors has taken its toll... 

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