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France Travel News 10/15/2010

  • French students protest over retirement reform

    French students blockaded more high schools and universities Thursday, as the third straight day of nationwide strikes over the government's retirement reforms snarled train travel and sent a renewed challenge to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

  • France Bestows Legion Of Honor On Robert Redford

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy inducted Robert Redford into France's elite Legion of Honor in an intimate ceremony Thursday, congratulating the 74-year-old American actor/director on his decades-long film career and his work to protect the environment. Pinning a red-ribboned medal to Redford's blue suit, Sarkozy made him a knight in the Legion of Honor.

  • Le Music Bailout

    Last year France was subsidizing the ailing newspaper industry. Now it appears the French government has opened its coffers to another sector whose business model has been pummeled by the digital age: the music industry. Under the scheme, French residents who purchase a card — the Carte musique — to download music from subscription-based website platforms, will only pay half the cost of a €50 ($70) credit included in the card, with the French government paying the rest. The scheme, which will benefit 12-to-25-year-olds, is expected to last two years, with consumers limited to one card a year. It will cost France €25 million ($35 million) annually based on its sales estimate of a million cards.

  • France frets about its image abroad

    Many in France see the country as open to the world and a champion of human rights, a nation bound by liberty, equality and brotherhood. But tough government law-and-order policies including crackdowns on Gypsies and a ban on Islamic veils are causing trouble for France's image abroad. A report handed this week to President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party says the country should use stronger public diplomacy to better explain itself. A poll released Sept. 18 suggested that 71 percent of French people fear the country's image abroad is suffering.

  • Carla – A Secret Life: the unauthorised biography of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in pictures

    The investigative reporter with L'Express news magazine and author of an unauthorised biography of French soccer icon Zinedine Zidane, Miss Lahouri said she interviewed about 100 people – including longtime friends, fashion designers and even Bruni-Sarkozy's childhood nanny – during her research for "Carla." But she never interviewed the first lady herself.

  • France to miss EU deadline on Roma

    France was asked to provide by 15 October the text of a draft law aimed at transposing into national law those elements of a directive on the free movement of EU citizens that are not currently part of French legislation, as exposed by the Roma row between Brussels and Paris.

  • France’s strikes: Struck off

    GIANT inflatable helium balloons. Vibrant flags and T-shirts in crimson, orange and fluorescent yellow. The sounds of chanting, laughter and the marching bass drum. There was a festive air about the demonstrations and strikes in France against pension reform yesterday, when up to 3.5m people took to the streets, a record turnout. Railwaymen, bus drivers, teachers, postmen, printers, public-sector workers and dockers were joined by schoolchildren in over 300 lycées (who have their own unions), and oil workers in 11 of the country’s 12 refineries, disrupting services across the country. But behind the merriment and street theatre lies the toughest test this year of the unions’ ability to force the government to back down.

  • KHL Group – Vinci chosen for Nice work (Not Leonardo da)

    A consortium led by Vinci has been declared preferred bidder to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the 35000-seater Olympic Stadium in Nice, in the south of France. Nice Eco Stadium (NES) is a consortium led by Vinci Concessions in association with Caisse des Dépôts and SEIEF. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) is preferred bidder for a 30-year contract for an eco-efficient, positive energy stadium with nearly 16000 m2 of photovoltaic panels. Taking what the consortium describes as "a pro-active approach to sustainable development", the stadium has what it claims is the world's largest wooden structure.

  • I’m Homeless and This Is Why I Have an iPad

    "I am homeless by choice, I gave away and sold all my belongings in Los Angeles and moved to Paris. My tourist visa is expired. I'm definitely not allowed to be here, but I still work when I want, and tend to pretty much live the life of Riley. But when I need to get in contact with someone, from a friend to the Paris transportation authority to complain about a misfared ticket, it's hard to work without McDonald's Wi-Fi." Mom, this was not written by me, don't worry.

  • Researchers Confirm Black Death Killer Bacteria

    Black Death, one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, has been confirmed by anthropologists to have been caused by a germ called Yersinia pestis. Researchers studied tooth and bone samples from 76 skeletons discovered in “plague pits” in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands and found DNA evidence that Y. pestis was to blame for the plague that wiped out nearly a third of Europe’s population during the Middle Ages.

  • France demands re-think of Eurostar’s train order

    FRANCE has demanded a re-think of a £700m order for new trains from Eurostar after the Channel Tunnel train operator gave the deal to German manufacturer Siemens. The French government claimed the 10 e-320 trains that Eurostar is buying do not meet tunnel safety rules. Unlike Eurostar’s current trains, which have electric locomotives at each end and were built by French group Alstom, the Siemens trains have motors under each carriage, which Paris warned could jeopardise safety.