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Jun 13, 2011

Gainsbourg’s smoky voice selling perfume in France

By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters Life!) – The work of Serge Gainsbourg, the large-nosed, Gitanes-smoking French icon whose jazzy, bohemian songs exemplified a sexually liberated France of the 1960s and 1970s, is enjoying a resurgence in the most unlikely of places — perfume ads.

Two upscale brands, Christian Dior and Guerlain, both controlled by luxury giant LVMH, have chosen Gainsbourg’s rasping voice for television ad campaigns currently running on French TV for the perfumes Miss Dior and Shalimar.

May 25, 2011

France’s Lagarde set to launch IMF bid as BRICS bristle

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – France’s finance minister Christine Lagarde is set to declare on Wednesday she wants to be the next head of the IMF even though big emerging economies have decried Europe’s “obsolete” grip on the top job.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa sharply criticized European officials in a joint statement for suggesting the next International Monetary Fund head should automatically be a European, a convention that dates back to the founding of the agency at the end of the Second World War.

May 25, 2011

BRICs slam European grip on IMF, Lagarde leads race

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – Top emerging economies joined forces to slam Europe’s “obsolete” grip on the IMF’s top job, even as France’s finance minister appeared to strengthen her lead in the race to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known as the BRICs, sharply criticized European officials on Tuesday for suggesting the next International Monetary Fund head should automatically be a European.

May 24, 2011

BRICs call for end of European dominance at IMF

PARIS/WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) – Developing countries said on Tuesday
it was time to end the “obsolete” tradition of the International Monetary Fund
always being led by a European, though France’s finance minister appeared to
strengthen her lead in the race to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa, known as the BRICs, jointly
criticized European officials for suggesting the next IMF head should
automatically be a European.

May 24, 2011

French government says China backs Lagarde for IMF

PARIS (Reuters) – China would support Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as the next IMF chief, the French government said on Tuesday, backing which would put her firmly in pole position to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Lagarde has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Strauss-Kahn, who quit last week to fight sexual assault charges in New York, although Mexico is pushing the claims of its central bank chief and many emerging nations have said it is time for Europe’s 60-year grip on the job to be loosened.

May 23, 2011

French website sends flowers to maid in DSK case

PARIS (Reuters) – A small group of French activists have organized an Internet campaign to send roses to the woman who has accused former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her in New York.

At, well-wishers are invited to “Offer a rose to Ophelia,” a nickname for the 32-year-old chambermaid who has accused Strauss-Kahn of attacking her.

May 23, 2011

Lagarde leads IMF race, competition from Mexico

PARIS/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s candidacy for IMF chief gained momentum in Europe on Sunday while Mexico put forward its own candidate, ensuring competition for the top job.

The Mexican Finance Ministry said it would nominate central bank chief Agustin Carstens, placing a prominent emerging market name into the race to lead the global lender.

May 22, 2011

Lagarde has many countries’ backing for IMF: France

PARIS (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s candidacy to head of the International Monetary Fund gained momentum on Sunday with a close ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy saying she already had several countries’ backing.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant, former chief of staff to Sarkozy and one of his top advisors for the past four years, said Lagarde would make an excellent head of the Washington-based lender, becoming the first member of France’s cabinet to openly tout her credentials.

May 20, 2011

Much-loved Paris shopping shrine to become hotel

PARIS (Reuters) – Say “La Samaritaine” in this city and shopping-mad Parisians will wax nostalgic about a beloved department store which once boasted it had “everything.”

Now, the monument to retail therapy on the right bank of the Seine which has been closed since 2005, is set to undergo a three-year, 450 million euro ($641.9 million) redesign that will transform it into a luxury hotel, with adjacent buildings housing offices, public apartments, and of course, shops.

May 17, 2011

French outraged by U.S. treatment of Strauss-Kahn

PARIS (Reuters) – French Socialist politicians voiced outrage on Tuesday at the parading of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn handcuffed and unshaven in the United States before he has a chance to defend himself on charges of attempted rape.

Arrested on Saturday and charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid at a luxury New York hotel, Strauss-Kahn was made by police to walk manacled in front of cameras on his way to a courthouse, and his appearance before a judge was televised.

    • About Alexandria

      "Alexandria covers general news in the busy Paris bureau, focusing on politics, courts, crime and terrorism. When not covering political crises in the French government, criminal investigations, high-profile trials or visits by foreign diplomats, she can be found writing about fashion, culture and style at Paris Fashion Week or the Cannes Film Festival. Before Paris, Alexandria wrote about the business side of the apparel industry and e-commerce in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She has been with Reuters since 2004. Earlier assignments have included the Michael Jackson molestation trial, Louisiana's BP oil spill, marijuana legalization in California and polygamy in ..."
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