Sophie's Feed
Jan 26, 2010

Another world tour? Maybe, says Tina Turner

PARIS (Reuters) – Veteran pop star Tina Turner may yet call her troupe of dancers out for another world tour, though for the moment she prefers home-cooked dinners and a stress-free life.

Sitting in the front row at the Giorgio Armani Prive fashion show in Paris on Monday, the 70-year-old looked radiant in a sparkling black top that revealed ample cleavage, her trademark mass of curls piled up high.

Jan 22, 2010

France wants more responsibility for Afghan forces

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants NATO allies meeting next week to agree on steps to gradually transfer responsibility in Afghanistan to local forces, along with a reorganization of international troops.

In his New Year’s address to the diplomatic community, Sarkozy said France’s 4,000-strong contingent in Afghanistan aimed at bringing stability to its main battleground, the province of Kapisa north of Kabul, over the next two years.

Jan 21, 2010

France joins race to digitize world’s books

LA CHATRE, France (Reuters) – Amid the flat, wide fields of central France, a team of re-trained secretaries and IT experts is packaging Europe’s literary heritage for the digital era.

Put less grandly, they turn pages for a living.

The company they work for, Safig, is one of the few European firms to digitize books, using automatic and human page-turners. That places them right at the center of France’s plan for a massive online library, and its attempts to negotiate a digital books deal with U.S. internet giant Google.

Jan 13, 2010

Sarkozy favors vote on potential full veil ban

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday that he favored a parliamentary vote on the potential ban of full Islamic veils in France that would be followed by legal steps after regional elections in 2010.

Sarkozy also said he would await the conclusions of a French parliamentary commission’s proposal to ban full Islamic veils, called the burqa or the niqab, from public places.

Jan 12, 2010

France proposes digital book swap with Google

PARIS, Jan 12 (Reuters) – France wants to start a digital
book exchange with Internet giant Google <GOOG.O> to solve a
spat over online publication of the world’s literary heritage,
according to a government report published on Tuesday.

The report, commissioned by France’s Culture Ministry, is
the latest in a slew of Web policy initiatives that has at times
pitted the government against private companies, including a
proposed tax on online advertising [ID:nLDE606229].

Jan 12, 2010

Iran protests unstoppable now: opposition activist

PARIS (Reuters) – Iran’s rulers cannot stop mass protests even if they arrest opposition leaders because the movement has gathered too much momentum, campaigner and film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf told Reuters.

Some Iranian hardliners have urged the judiciary to arrest senior opposition figures such as Mirhossein Mousavi, whom Makhmalbaf supports. But the director, who made the 2001 hit “Kandahar,” said the threats were empty and would not work.

Jan 7, 2010

Update 1-France mulls Internet ad tax to pay for creative work

PARIS, Jan 7 (Reuters) – France could start taxing Internet
advertising revenue from online companies such as Google Inc
<GOOG.O>, using the funds to support creative industries that
have been hit by the digital revolution, a newspaper reported
on Thursday.

The proposal, put forward in a government-commissioned
survey, is France’s latest challenge to the virtual
free-for-all for Internet content.

Jan 7, 2010

France to explore “Google tax” to pay creative work

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday that he wanted the authorities to explore whether online advertising revenues of major search engines could be taxed in France as well as their home countries.

Speaking to leaders and representatives of the arts and entertainment sector, he also said he wanted the country’s antitrust body to rule on whether Google enjoys a dominant market position in online advertising.

Dec 31, 2009

France to propose new carbon tax: minister

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s government wants to salvage a carbon tax, scrapped on constitutional concerns, by closing loopholes for some businesses, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

The French Constitutional Council annulled the tax, hailed by President Nicolas Sarkozy as a ground-breaking tool to fight climate change, on Tuesday on the grounds that it offered too many exemptions.

Dec 21, 2009

Eurostar to resume traffic, blames snow for chaos

PARIS (Reuters) – Eurostar trains between Britain and France will start running again on Tuesday, the company said on Monday, blaming powdery snow for a series of breakdowns that stranded thousands and infuriated the French government.

Eurostar, owned by the French and Belgian state railway firms and by Britain, canceled all services on Monday for the third day in a row after some 2,500 people were trapped on trains inside the Channel Tunnel for up to 16 hours on Saturday.