First Draft: French kiss

April 3, 2009

Can this be France? What happened to the days when cross-Atlantic gauntlets were thrown down and French fries turned into Freedom fries?

President Barack Obama was welcomed like a rock star in a land notorious for its air-sniffing disdain of almost everything American. NATO/

Although first lady Michelle Obama is almost overshadowing her husband in media coverage about their European jaunt, with many comparisons to Jackie Kennedy who wowed them all overseas.

Aside from atmospherics, some news was made. France agreed to take a Guantanamo Bay detainee and Obama warned that “appropriate steps” will be taken if North Korea goes ahead with a  threatened missile test.

North Korea special envoy Stephen Bosworth speaks at the Foreign Press Center at 11 a.m.

Another dose of bad news for the U.S. economy which lost another 663,000 jobs in March, when the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent, the highest since 1983.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Pool (Obama embraced by wellwisher in Strasbourg)

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Barack Obama has charmed everyone in a country where its President is getting all the heat from the trade unions day in and day out. As Nicolas Sarkozy’s popularity is hitting all time low, Barack Obama has become an idol of younger French all over France. Having been assertive and focused when it comes to communication, the greetings <> of Barack Obama was an irresistible gesture for the French audience wherever President Obama encountered ..

Posted by Gamini Gunasekera &#8211; Mendis | Report as abusive