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Calais Migrants Storm P&O Ferry During Visit by UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Calais Migrants Storm P&O Ferry During Visit by UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Migrants attempting to reach Britain illegally, stormed aboard the P&O “Spirit of Britain” ferry docked in the port of Calais on Saturday forcing harbour authorities to close the port as security forces expelled the group. This followed a day of solidarity demonstrations with the 4,000 refugees in Calais organised by left wing activists and Open […]

The Flat Pack Washing Machine The French Designer Claims Will Last a Lifetime

The Flat Pack Washing Machine The French Designer Claims Will Last a Lifetime

Tired of costly brand name electrical appliances that give up the ghost after a remarkably short time? Meet Julien Phedyaeff, a French inventor now preparing to launch a flat pack self-assembly washing machine he promises will last a lifetime. According to the French broadcaster France Inter this young French designer has launched a crusade against […]

French Court May Return Total’s Shale Gas Rights In The Ardeche, Protests Expected

French Court May Return Total’s Shale Gas Rights In The Ardeche, Protests Expected

There are signs that the French oil giant Total may win a court case seeking to annul an earlier revocation of its permit to drill for shale gas over several thousand km2 in the Drôme, Ardèche, Gard, Vaucluse and Herault. According to a report on France Bleu radio  the public rapporteur advised a hearing at Cergy-Pontoise Administrative Court on […]

COP21: French TV Presenter and Climate Change Sceptic Tells of Curbs on Free Expression

COP21: French TV Presenter and Climate Change Sceptic Tells of Curbs on Free Expression

One month before Paris hosts a major climate change conference— where the prestige and political future of President François Holland is on the line — the state-owned broadcaster France Televisions has fired its top weather presenter … for writing a sceptical book about climate change. The UK-based Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), a forum for climate change […]

SNCF E-Book Service Offers Commuters an Onboard 100,000 Digital Library

SNCF E-Book Service Offers Commuters an Onboard 100,000 Digital Library

France’s state-owned national train operator is rolling out a digital book reading application for its TER and Intercity network offering train commuters a vast, mainly free, reading library to download and read on handheld devices. This follows its successful earlier pilot in May on two of the SNCF operator regional services as we reported here. The […]

Merkel’s Coalition Divided On «Transit Zones» for Migrants as Crisis Worsens

Merkel’s Coalition Divided On «Transit Zones» for Migrants as Crisis Worsens

Germany whose open doors welcoming policy has provoked the worst migrant crisis in 70 years, is divided on how to deal with the flood. Proposed «transit zones» for migrants have been rejected by the Chancellor’s governing partners. Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plans to send migrants with no hope of asylum in Germany to […]

EU Deal on 100,000 Extra Places Along Balkan Migrant Route

EU Deal on 100,000 Extra Places Along Balkan Migrant Route

As winter closes in the EU is struggling to coordinate the handling of an ongoing mass migrant stream from Turkey and the Mediterranean. European Union leaders have agreed to provide another 100,000 spaces in refugee welcome centres along the route from Greece towards Germany. It’s part of a 17 point plan to cooperate on managing […]

In Grenoble Its Back to the Future With Short Reads Printed Out on Tickets

In Grenoble Its Back to the Future With Short Reads Printed Out on Tickets

In the Alpine city of Grenoble they’re bucking the digital trend offering locals sipping café on the terrasses, short stories popped out on paper by free quick-read vending machines. The inventors hope readers will stop scrolling down the screen of hand-held devices and switch to tales that, as they emerge from a distributor, resemble a long thin till receipt […]

Migrants: Europe is Badly Split on Handling the Influx and Burden-sharing is the Sticking Point

Migrants: Europe is Badly Split on Handling the Influx and Burden-sharing is the Sticking Point

Europe is badly split on how to handle the massive influx of migrants that have poured across its borders in increasing numbers all summer. A common policy is under development but so far it carefully skirts the hot potato issue of burden-sharing between member states. Writing on the Conversation website Tim Hatton of the University of Essex in the UK […]

EU Migrants: Why Heap all this Anger on Hungary’s Head?

EU Migrants: Why Heap all this Anger on Hungary’s Head?

Overwhelmed by an unprecedented influx of migrants, Germany followed by other central European states, imposed “temporary” frontier controls undermining the EU’s open borders deal. Hungary, Schengen frontline border state in the area, responded with a razor wire fence and was heaped with opprobrium. Looking through the fence: Hungary’s refugee psyche by Eszter Krasznai Kovacs Published 18 September 2015 The Hungarian reaction to […]

Two Optimists Start a 16-day Tour de France in a 2CV with no Money for Petrol

Two Optimists Start a 16-day Tour de France in a 2CV with no Money for Petrol

Without a penny(or eurocent) in their pockets two Paris-based adventurers, warmed by an earlier Jules Verne-style odyssey—are off on a 16-day version of the world famous Tour de France, trusting in good intentions and human kindness. As a whiff of Autumn cooled the air, the two intrepid travellers, Muammer Yilmaz and Milan Bihlmann jumped into their acclaimed French classic car on Wednesday […]

Secularism – No Ban on School Pork Rules French Judge

Secularism – No Ban on School Pork Rules French Judge

No Non-Pork Options In French School, Court Rules A French court ruled Thursday in favor of the mayor of a town in in eastern France in a case over non-pork alternatives in school cafeterias. The case was launched by the Muslim Defense League after Gilles Platret, the mayor of Chalon-Sur-Saone, which is near Dijon, France, […]

Outcry at French Minister’s Bill on Driving with No License

Outcry at French Minister’s Bill on Driving with No License

Justice Minister bill on no license driving sparks outrage in France Driving without a license may no longer be considered a crime in France, as Justice Minister Madame Taubira announced a new bill this Friday that will limit the penalty to a 500 euro fine. “Even if Madame Taubira does not pass the law, the […]

Can’t Make Paris but Desperate for a Fresh Gastronomic Feast? Have it Mailed!

Can’t Make Paris but Desperate for a Fresh Gastronomic Feast? Have it Mailed!

Imagine ordering a gastronomic meal from a top Parisian resto thousands of kilometres away and having it home-delivered fresh and ready to enjoy literally within hours . Soon you may be able to, thanks to a new chill box unveiled by three Dordogne businessmen at a trade fair in the south western city of Périgueux. Stéphane Calassou MD of […]

Foreign Ministers in Paris Ask Is anti-ISIL Strategy Failing?

Foreign Ministers in Paris Ask Is anti-ISIL Strategy Failing?

Has the strategy against ISIL failed? From the start, the US-led coalition that is fighting ISIL acknowledged that the battle would be long. Now, foreign ministers from several countries have met in Paris to figure out why their strategy against ISIL is not working in the face of the radical group’s territorial gains in Iraq […]

Religious Symbols in Schools, French Minister Warns of ‘Militant Secularity’

France warns against ‘militant secularity’ France’s education minister has warned against “militant secularity” in a country where a long-standing ban on Islamic headscarves, Jewish kippahs and other religious symbols in schools continues to cause controversy. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said government policies were creating “unwarranted tension” and putting children off the idea of secularism. “We have to […]

FRANCE – Sarkozy Wins Court Fight to Rename his Party ‘The Républicains’

FRANCE – Sarkozy Wins Court Fight to Rename his Party ‘The Républicains’

Former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy won a court fight on Tuesday for the right to rename his conservative party “The Républicains”, a prelude to an expected attempt to win back the presidency in 2017 A French court dismissed demands for an emergency ban on Sarkozy’s plan to change his party’s name from the clunkier Union […]

European No Lifts Day: Stand Clear of the Doors Take the Stairs and Shed the Avoirdupois

European No Lifts Day: Stand Clear of the Doors Take the Stairs and Shed the Avoirdupois

Stay clear of those lift doors, take the stairs and shed the kilos is the message the Copenhagen-based Now We Move campaign is spreading around a continent it worries is alarmingly obese. Anyone living in France though knows the country is marked by a significantly active population – famous for healthy dietary habits (France may have a growing obesity problem, yet it still records the lowest Body Mass Index of […]

Catch-up With Your Reading, French Railways Offer Free Digital Books to Passengers

Catch-up With Your Reading,  French Railways Offer Free Digital Books to Passengers

The TER or regional express train service in the Languedoc-Roussillon region is turning its carriages into travelling libraries enticing passengers with free digital books — currently offering some 60 titles. Watch passengers reacting to the new service in this clip: According to Armelle Goyon of France 3: “Available titles are displayed on the back of the […]

Oh Doctor My Petunia’s In Trouble It Goes Boom Boody-Boom Boody-Boom Boody-Boom

Oh Doctor My Petunia’s In Trouble It Goes Boom Boody-Boom Boody-Boom Boody-Boom

Her service may not be part of France’s deservedly famous national health service, but then the friendly plant doctor helping Parisians with their sickening petunias is dispensing free from her ‘surgery’ at Porte de Clignancourt. As the My Little Paris website reports Mama Petula fills a gap for those Parisians who along with their regular local GP , already have “an animal doctor (vet), a computer doctor  (geek), and […]

Serried Ranks of Wool War 1 Soldiers Line up In Roubaix After 10,000 Hour Route March

Serried Ranks of Wool War 1 Soldiers Line up In Roubaix After 10,000 Hour Route March

Serried ranks comprising 780 Wool War 1 soldiers have gone on display at Roubaix’s La Piscine Museum in northern France, following a laborious 10,000-hour route march. An army of 500 volunteers from around the world (among them France and other countries in Europe, Canada, Senegal, Ghana, Australia and New Zealand) participated in a knitting marathon representing 10,000 hours […]

The Great War 1914-1918: New International Memorial Opening at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

The Great War 1914-1918: New International Memorial Opening at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

A new International Memorial of the 1914-1918 Great War is to be inaugurated at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month — Armistice Day — at a ceremony attended by French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The Ring of Remembrance monument at  Notre-Dame-de-Lorette will be […]

Living Dead Zombies March in Bordeaux as Walled City This Time Opens Gates in Welcome

Living Dead Zombies March in Bordeaux as Walled City This Time Opens Gates in Welcome

For the fifth year running normally genteel Bordeaux — wine capital of France — has been invaded by nearly two thousand zombies, despite initial misgivings by city authorities who last year kept them outside the city walls. In an interview with French News Online, the city’s number one zombie, Franck Bonhomme, explained that the event nearly had to be cancelled as […]

Juppé in Pink backs 10th Anniversary of Bordeaux’s Part in Breast Cancer Awareness

Juppé in Pink backs 10th Anniversary of Bordeaux’s Part in Breast Cancer Awareness

Donning a pink T-shirt Alain Juppé, the UMP Mayor of Bordeaux, and likely centre-right contender in the 2017 presidential election, joined thousands of other Bordelais over the weekend to support national breast cancer awareness month. As home city to Bergonie, the world renowned cancer research hospital, Bordeaux has long been at the forefront of the […]

Var Uproar Over Last Minutes Changes to Venue for WWII Commemorations

Var Uproar Over Last Minutes Changes to Venue for WWII Commemorations

A political row is blazing in Provence where last minute changes to plans to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Allied landings in southern France have angered locals who unfailingly remember the events each year. Throwing a damper on the particularly important WWII remembrance ceremonies this year is, “a cynical need for a photo-op by France’s […]

Bloggers Beware! A Too Critical Review Could Bring costly Damages in Bordeaux

Bloggers Beware! A Too Critical Review Could Bring costly Damages in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux High Court has ordered that a French blogger pay €1500 damages and €1000 in legal costs to the owners of Il Giardino, a seafood and pizza restaurant at Cap Ferret on the Atlantic coast, after she published an unflattering review of a meal experience there. According to a July 9 report on the […]

Want to Know Where to Access FREE WiFi in Paris? Take a Look at this Map

Want to Know Where to Access FREE WiFi in Paris? Take a Look at this Map

Broadband Internet access — Wifi in bigger centres — is ubiquitous in France and often, as in the locations shown below, is free. Visitors to Paris will thus welcome the no charge Wifi service offered by the Ville de Paris and the Île-de-France region giving users a high-speed wireless internet connection on a network open to all, […]

Manicures, Massages and a Lesson in Car Mechanics as ‘Girly’ Garages Tuneup Paris

Manicures, Massages and a Lesson in Car Mechanics as ‘Girly’ Garages Tuneup Paris

‘Girly’ garage in Paris twins tune-ups with manicures (via AFP) A manicure, a massage and a lesson in mechanics. It’s not what most expect when they bring their car in for servicing. But one brand-new garage near Paris is revamping the masculinist mode of auto repair to suit a female clientele. Only Girls, which…  

Armagnac and Calvados, France’s Lesser Loved Tipples Hope to Match Cognac’s Asia Boom

Armagnac and Calvados, France’s Lesser Loved Tipples Hope to Match Cognac’s Asia Boom

France’s unloved tipples hope to match cognac’s Asia boom (via AFP) After cognac’s transformation into a Chinese status symbol, its lesser-known French cousins armagnac and calvados are hoping to establish themselves in lucrative Asian markets as demand wanes at home. Cognac currently accounts for 67 percent of French…  

French Socialists Betrayed National Coal Miners’ After ‘48 Strike, Today PS Humiliated: 14.7%

French Socialists Betrayed National Coal Miners’ After ‘48 Strike, Today PS Humiliated: 14.7%

For 20 years after Mitterrand’s Socialist party came to power in 1981 miners seeking redress for inequities in the aftermath of the 1948 strike, got the runaround, notes Evan Jones. The last remaining survivors and their descendants have not forgotten.  We are indebted to Counterpunch and to Evan Jones for kind permission to republish his piece on contemporary French history below. […]

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