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France Travel News 08/31/2010

  • Art Theft Underworld Frustrates France

    The vulnerability of museums and high-end art owners to costly thefts has been a whispered concern in France for years, but two events here are forcing the issue into the open. A spectacular €100 million, or $127 million, burglary at the Paris modern art museum in May and the trial next month of three men in connection with an audacious heist at the Left Bank apartment of a Picasso granddaughter have laid bare how susceptible the keepers of great art are to the efforts of seemingly meticulous thieves.

  • France to Have 3,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2015

    The French government will launch next month a tender for contracts of 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion) to build 3,000 MW of offshore wind capacity. 600 wind turbines will be implemented within five to ten sites in Normandy, Brittany and the regions of Pays de la Loire and Languedoc. They are scheduled to start producing electricity by 2015. This may be only the beginning as the government wants to produce up to 6,000 MW via offshore wind by 2020.

  • France still feeling effects of World Cup fiasco

    It's been over two months since France's players went on strike during the World Cup in protest of the French football federation's decision to send home striker Nicolas Anelka, but it might as well have been yesterday given the mess the team faces as its Euro 2012 qualifying campaign gets under way.

  • Jean Nouvel designs Horizons Tower in France inspired by Hanging Gardens

    Horizons Tower or Tour Horizon, a 19-storey office building designed by the Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel, is currently underway in Paris, France. I think it looks like a bullet and a casino had a love child. What say you?

  • UN Urges France to Stop Collective Deportation of Roma

    I was in the States recently and was shocked to find that this story was not getting any play. It's a serious issue that has frightening overtones and potentially horrific consequences.

  • Marcel Albert, Air Ace of France in World War II, Dies at 92

    Marcel Albert, who became one of the leading French fighter pilots of World War II, flying Soviet-built planes in duels with German aircraft on the Eastern front, died Monday in Harlingen, Tex. Really interesting obit, worth a read.

  • Google Street View Car Searched by French Regulators

    According to Yann Padova, secretary general of the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL), the search was conducted to “verify that they stopped collecting Wi-Fi data.” Furthermore, French regulators aren’t too happy about the fact that Google resumed taking photos around France before it was determined whether the company complied with the orders to limit Street View data collection. CNIL said it had inspected two other Google cars, but wouldn’t say what the inspectors found.

  • The Soulful Side of Bordeaux

    Vignerons like Mr. Fillastre make up the backbone of wine regions all over France, from Burgundy to Languedoc to the Loire, embodying the essential truth that wine is both agriculture and culture, a centuries-old expression of French character. (Indeed, Jaugaret has been in Mr. Fillastre’s family for more than 350 years.) But in the famous terroirs of the Médoc like St.-Julien, Margaux, Pauillac and Sauternes, such vignerons are the rare exception.

  • Travel to Montpellier and the Languedoc Region of France

    Here's a link to my interview with Chris Christensen of the Amateur Traveler. We talk about Montpel, Languedoc, wine, Weegee and lots of other fun stuff!

  • Eva Joly wants to be President of France

    The French-Norwegian MEP, lawyer and fraud investigator, Eva Joly – who is perhaps currently best known as chief advisor to Iceland’s Special Prosecutor into the banking crisis – apparently wishes to nominate herself for election as the president of the French Republic. Joly sits in the European Parliament as a French Green MEP. NRK reports that she announced her intention to run for president at a Green Party conference yesterday in Nantes. She would likely end up in direct competition for votes with the current president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

  • Lance Armstrong’s next battle may be in the court of opinion

    Indictment and conviction on criminal charges would be a game-changer, Carter says. "His story is as compelling as it gets, so his deceit would be legendary," Carter says. "Folks who have suffered from physical issues, who have more invested in him as a beacon of hope, would be personally disappointed. His fall would be absolutely amazing." A sign that Armstrong and his legal team are taking the prospect of collateral damage seriously comes with the hiring of Fabiani, who has represented clients such as investment bank Goldman Sachs and President Clinton during scandals and crises.

  • Surfers hopeful for ASP points at Lacanau Pro

    Did you know there are surfing competitions in France? Yep, there are – usually on the shores of Biarritz. It's surreal and impossibly glamorous.

  • France begins controversial Roma expulsion

    France’s controversial expulsion of Roma was due to begin on Thursday, with 79 being put on a flight out of the country. The Roma travelling today are returning voluntarily after being paid 300 euros by the French government, but the interior minister has warned that gypsy camps will be forcibly dismantled and illegal residents deported within three months. The Romanian Foreign Minister has called the move “xenophobic.”

  • Police Arrest France’s ‘Booby Bandits’

    Parisian police rounded up two 14-year-old girls accused of stealing hundreds of euros from locals at cash machines. How'd they do it? By using what their mommas gave 'em.