In the News

In the News

French politics will not be swayed by Bin Laden tape, Sarkozy says –

The other report cited was Christian Science Monitor; this from CNN which is more ominous:

Paris, France (CNN) -- The French government will not be swayed by a threatening message apparently recorded by Osama Bin Laden, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.

"It goes without saying that France does not let its politics be dictated by anyone, and certainly not by terrorists," Sarkozy said while attending the European Union summit in Brussels Friday.

Bin Laden warned France to get its troops out of Afghanistan and not to oppress Muslims at home in a tape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera network Wednesday and authenticated by the French Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

In the News

France to leave Afghanistan – Bin Laden attack cancelled?

France denies any connection between its decision to remove troops from Afghanistan in 2011 and Osama bin Laden’s pledge to attack French troops.

Interesting turn of events. I'm happy that the threat may be decreased, but it's hard not to be a bit cynical about the timing. I don't think we should any longer be occupying Afghanistan either, but I don't think bowing to the demands of Bin Laden is exactly the way I'd go about announcing a departure. But I'm not the King of France either, so what do I know?

In the News

New Bin Laden Tape Warns France

This is not a happy development since we're three weeks from our annual Thanksgiving trip to Paris.

PARIS — Osama bin Laden warned France in an audiotape broadcast by Al Jazeera television on Wednesday that it would face killings and kidnappings if it did not withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

He also justified the kidnapping of five French citizens in Niger last month, saying that France mistreated its Muslims.

“The equation is very clear and simple: as you kill, you will be killed; as you take others hostages, you will be taken hostages; as you waste our security we will waste your security,” Mr. bin Laden said.

[From New Bin Laden Tape Warns France -]
In the News

French expect Americans to come back to Paris

MSNBC reports that last year, American tourism was down 40% versus a decade ago. Worse, the Paris tourism office says 2009 traffic was down another 3.4% versus the prior year.

Surprisingly, while we only read of a double-dip recession, French tourism officials expect that Americans will be coming back "as the the U.S. economy improves. I have no doubt they are correct, but I don't thing that will mean in 2011.

In the News, Understand France and the French

Current postage rates from France to the US?

Are these the current postage rates in France?

Standard first-class letters (20g or less) and postcards within France cost €0.56; to continental European countries (from Scandinavia to Portugal), Baltic states, Greece, and the British Isles €0.70; to other European or Eurasian countries (Iceland, Russia, etc.), Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand) €0.85.

In the News, Movies, film, and photography

Movie Love for Paris, City of Klieg Lights –

We will be in Paris next week. I can hardly stand the long times between being there, the place where I feel the most "at home." Well, at home, because it's all so familiar and doesn't change like everything here does. Through a viewfinder of any type, it still looks like the black and white images from the first Truffaut movies I saw 30 years ago.

Good article here from today's NYT on Paris in the movies. I don't have a 16mm, but may bring a big Nikon for once, now that I'm not carrying little kids in my arms half the day.

In the News

Bad news on apartment rentals

To the dismay of everyone in the travel industry other than hotel executives, Gov. David Paterson of New York has signed legislation outlawing the rental of apartments in New York -- which means primarily New York City -- for periods of less than 30 days.

This is very bad news for family tourists everywhere who've recently discovered the joys of renting an apartment for the week, rather than a hotel room. As parents of two small children, I wouldn't say that the availability of apartment rentals is the difference between going or not, but it is often the difference between having a good time versus a nightmare of four people crowded into an over-priced hotel. Not only do apartment rentals mean not paying for a lot of hotel amenities that go unused by families, they also provide a kitchen, which helps families stay away from hotel restaurants and the dreaded $10 glass of orange juice.

Food, In the News

Monkey on menus in France

PARIS: The traders sell an array of bush meat: monkey carcasses, smoked anteater, even preserved porcupine.

But it isn't a jungle market in Africa - it's the heart of Paris, where a new study has found more than five tonnes of bush meat slips through the city's main airport each week.

Researchers suspect similar amounts are arriving in other European cities in an illegal trade raising concerns about diseases ranging from monkeypox to Ebola, and is another twist in the struggle to integrate a growing African immigrant population.

[From Monkey on menus in France]
In the News, Travel, Un peu différent

French air enthusiasts hope to restart Concorde engines

Though I know post 9/11 and a cratering air travel market didn't help, the Concorde flew without incident for 30 years before tarmac debris brought the first one down. ... I hope that despite the claim that they only want to see the Concorde roll on it's own power on the Le Bourget tarmac, that someone has a plan to get the bird back in the air. It's nice to think that technological marvels of the space age could still come back, and in finding the past, we could sew the seeds to a more hopeful future. LE BOURGET, France — A French aeronautics association Saturday examined the engines of a Concorde passenger jet at an air museum outside Paris to determine if they could be used again. "The objective is not to get it (Concorde) to fly again but to get the engines working again, hoping one day to see it taxi on the tarmac for the pleasure of visitors to the museum," said Frederic Pinlet, head of Olympus 593, named after the Rolls Royce/Snecma engines used on the aircraft.