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France Travel News 12/09/2010

  • Snow forces closure of France-Luxembourg border

    Severe weather continued to disrupt travel across Europe Thursday, as heavy snowfall forced a border closure between France and Luxembourg and stranded thousands of airline passengers in Germany's busiest airport. Strikes, terrorism, and now the weather. What's next, locusts? (Did I just jinx it?) No worries, though – just come to the South of France, where it's still in the 50s during the day!

  • Cedric Delsaux’s Star Wars Fantasies

    Using his own pictures of cityscapes as the backgrounds for sci-fi fantasies, French photographer Cedric Delsaux digitally inserts Star Wars film characters into his urban realms. The artist’s Dark Lens series started out with his views of warehouses, harbors, and industrial spaces in the suburbs of Paris. Finding the pictures too ordinary, Delsaux added Darth Vader, R2-D2, Jabba the Hutt, and other Star Wars figures and vehicles to the settings and presto: they were suddenly fantastic!

  • Parliamentary report attacks the four-day primary school week

    THE four-day primary school week should be scrapped, says a parliamentary report into school timetabling. The current arrangement in most schools, since the abolition of Saturday morning school two years ago, is described as “wacky and absurd” by experts in the body’s natural rhythms, consulted by MP Michelle Talbot.

  • France’s Battle of the Misses: Flesh v. Decorum

    n her trademark black and white hat and severe pancake make-up, 78-year-old Genevieve de Fontenay has reigned supreme over the Miss France beauty contest for more than half a century. But shocked by a series of nude photo scandals, the self-styled doyenne of decorum has set up a rival pageant in a moral crusade against current Miss France owners, the reality TV company Endemol which she accuses of cheapening the contest.

  • O brother, we’re arthouse: the monks taking France by storm

    It could be the ultimate Christmas film this year, with great drifts of snow but also a message of hope in a dangerous world. It's the latter that makes Of Gods and Men the perfect nip of seasonal philosophy. The film explores events leading up to the 1996 kidnap and massacre of seven French monks living in Algeria – an event that horrified France and stirred up a cauldron of controversy in a country that had just finished watching the banlieues burn in Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine.

  • Scathing U.S. view of French unrest and Muslim integration in WikiLeaks

    The U.S. embassy in Paris turns out to be one of the sharpest critics of France’s track record in integrating its Muslim minority. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we now have its unvarnished view of the 2005 unrest in the poor suburbs of Paris and other large cities. It is a scathing indictment that goes beyond even what many of the government’s domestic critics at the time were saying. It may also go beyond most if not all of the criticisms of domestic policy found in cables from other European capitals (has anyone found anything more devastating elsewhere?).

  • India and France sign two memoranda of understanding in field of education

    Cementing ties in the field of education, India and France today signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with an aim to promote joint research and academic exchange programmes between premier technical institutes of the two countries.

  • France Finds Continental Guilty in Concorde Crash

    A French judge ruled Monday that Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics were guilty of involuntary homicide for their role in the 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde jet that killed 113 people and hastened the end of commercial supersonic travel.

  • Da Vinci code discovered in French library

    A coded fragment of writing by Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in a library in Nantes in western France after languishing in an archive collection for nearly 150 years.

  • Wikileaks: Sarkozy ‘chased pet rabbit around office’

    Nicolas Sarkozy was left chasing a rabbit while meeting the US ambassador before he became French president, leaked US diplomatic cables reveal. You can't make this stuff up, people.