PARIS (Reuters) – Unsmiling, with clenched fists and a set jaw, Nicolas Sarkozy found himself yet again in the stance that has so often marked his political career – his back to the wall.
The French former president’s aggressive, televised counter-attack on Wednesday to allegations he tried to obstruct a legal investigation into election campaign irregularities is the clearest sign yet that he intends a comeback, seeking leadership of his party this year ahead of a run for president in 2017.
The European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s 2010 ban on full-face veils in public on Tuesday but acknowledged the law could appear excessive and feed stereotypes.
STRASBOURG/PARIS (Reuters) – The European Court of Human Rights upheld France’s 2010 ban on full-face veils in public on Tuesday but acknowledged the law could appear excessive and feed stereotypes.
Judges at the Strasbourg-based court, by 15 to 2, said the ban did not violate religious freedom and aimed to ensure “respect for the minimum set of values of an open democratic society” which included openness to social interaction.
MEAUX France (Reuters) – They arrived in France young, eager and hopeful, confident that the new war in Europe would be over by the time the snow began to fall back home in England.
An exhibition opening near Paris on Saturday commemorates the British “Tommies” who marched to battle against Germany with no inkling that the Great War would drag on for four relentless years. Some 27,000 of them were to die before year’s end, when the stalemate of trench warfare set in.
PARIS (Reuters) – French lawmakers voted on Tuesday to reform the structure of the railway system, in a blow to striking unions worried the changes will threaten workers’ conditions, as new strikes broke out in the air traffic and ferry sectors.
By a 355 to 168 vote, deputies in the National Assembly voted “yes” to the restructure, which will bring state-owned train operator SNCF and track owner RFF into the same holding company while maintaining separate operations.
PARIS (Reuters) – Manuel Valls, the tough-guy prime minister named by Francois Hollande to speed up France’s economic reforms, is facing his trickiest challenge yet as striking railworkers, rebel back-benchers and even angry actors test his resolve.
Whether Valls stands firm or not in coming weeks could determine whether Hollande achieves his aim of reversing the decline in French industrial competitiveness and so reviving the euro-zone’s second largest economy.
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER France (Reuters) – Little disturbs the peace at the Normandy American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer, with just the sound of the waves of Omaha Beach, the chirp of birds and an occasional lawnmower breaking the silence.
Here, under perfectly spaced white marble headstones, lie 9,387 U.S. soldiers who fell 70 years ago during the Normandy campaign, that audacious test of grit and human sacrifice that began as history’s largest amphibious assault and ended with the crushing of German defenses, ultimately hastening the end of World War Two.
CANNES France (Reuters) – Turkish film “Winter Sleep” examining the huge divide between rich and poor and the powerful and powerless in Turkey won the Palme d’Or award for best film for director Nuri Bilge Ceylan on Saturday at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival.Ceylan’s three-hour-plus dark and atmospheric film was only the second Turkish movie to win the top award at the world’s most prestigious film festival, and the director noted that it came on the 100th anniversary year of Turkish film.
He dedicated the honour to “those who lost their lives during the last year”, adding that he was referring to the youth of his country and to unrest in Turkey.
CANNES, France, May 24 (Reuters) – Turkish film “Winter
Sleep” directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the top Palme d’Or
award for best film on Saturday at the 67th Cannes International
Film Festival, the prize jury announced.
Ceylan, whose three-hour-plus film explores the huge gap
between the powerful and powerless in his country, noted that
the award came on the 100th anniversary of Turkish film.
CANNES France (Reuters) – Screening films in digital is like forcing audiences to watch television in public, cult director Quentin Tarantino told the Cannes film festival on Friday, adding that the lush 35-millimetre cinema he grew up with was “dead”.
Tarantino is not competing in this year’s event, but he spoke to journalists and film critics before a 35mm screening of his hit “Pulp Fiction” on the beach on Friday night.