13 January 2012

Quoi de neuf ?

What's new, that is. Here's what the 8:00 a.m. news on France 2 television is reporting this morning, Friday the 13th. The news presenter's name is Nathanaël de Rincquesen. Can you say that three time fast?
  • First, the weather. It's foggy again, but colder. Still, there has been no hard freeze yet this winter. The mild weather is on its way out, however, with a cooling trend starting tomorrow. There's a lot of snow in the French Alps.
  • The body of a French television journalist, un grand reporter, who was killed in a mortar attack in Syria this week has been repatriated. Suspicions are that the attack was the work of Syrian government forces, not rebels. The French government is asking for an investigation and an official explanation.
  • The partially burned body of a 14-year-old boy has been found in eastern France, near Montbéliard. A 17-year-old suspect with previous drug-related arrests is being held.
  • A Paris taxi driver has been arrested for allegedly raping a female customer and then insisting that she pay the fare for the cab ride.
  • The emergency services (SAMU) doctor called to treat a woman who died of a heart attack in late 2007 is on trial in Bordeaux for malpractice. The doctor's defense is that the emergency services were very disorganized at the time.
  • Seven thousand of the 81,000 American troops currently stationed in Europe will be soon be withdrawn.
  • Today is the first anniversary of the 2011 popular uprising in Tunisia. After 23 year in power, the dictator Ben Ali fled the country. Forty of his collaborators are under arrest and being tried. The Islamist party won recent elections in Tunisia, where corruption and unemployment are rampant.
  • France is 100 days from the first round of voting in its next presidential election. President Nicolas Sarkozy has not yet declared himself a candidate. The Socialist Party has nominated François Hollande. Marine Le Pen of the extreme-right Front National hasn't yet qualified by getting 500 signatures from the 36,000 mayors of towns and villages in France that are required to validate her candidacy.
  • There is a severe housing crisis in France, with many homeless people unable to find affordable lodgings this winter.
  • A new poll shows the French, for once, are more optimistic than people in other countries that 2012 will be a better year than 2011 was. The Japanese, Italians, and Swedes are the most pessimistic.
  • Today is Friday the 13th — the first of three Friday the 13ths in 2012 — and for many French people who play the lottery it's considered a lucky day. One man interviewed, when asked if he is superstitious, said no, being superstitious brings people bad luck!
  • After defeating Norway, the French handball team will dispute the European championship this month against Serbia.
  • The dog sled race called "The Grand Odyssey" is under way in the French Alps.
Bonne journée !


  1. Good post! I like getting to hear what is in the news in another country :))

  2. Good reporting, Ken, very interesting!

  3. Ken

    Thank you for this report - I didn't realize that Marine has not been successful yet with the 500 signatures. The buzz on the social networks is that she may face Hollande dans le 2 ième tour and it will be "bye bye" to Mr Speedy!!!!

    I am under 15 cms of snow which has turned into freezing rain since 8 am this morning and expecting a very very cold WE.

    Enjoy your week-end

  4. Hi T. B., M. Le Pen is asking that the elected officials who sign to "sponsor" presidential candidates be allowed to remain anonymous. For now, the names of elected officials and the candidates they have presented to the Conseil Constitutionnel are published in the Journal Officiel. That seems normal, since elected officials' constituents obviously will want to know who they supported. At the same time, the system is loaded in favor of establishment candidates. So there you are. Hope you can enjoy the snow and cold.

  5. Ken

    Just read : France has lost its S&P AAA.

  6. Loved the article about the taxi driver.

  7. TB, the euro is lower against the U.S. dollar than it has been in a while, but not as low as it was as recently as two years ago, if I remember correctly. I'm watching the rates but only because I'd like the euro to decline gradually and long-term.

  8. How time flies. It was six years ago, in March 2006, that the rate was 1 euro equaled just $1.20 U.S. Now it's $1.27 U.S. after having been as high as $1.60.

  9. The Swiss are happy - after the Swiss National Bank pegged the CHF exchange rate floor at 1.2 Euro last September, the country has made a "pactole" of 13 Billion CHF profit on its currency holdings in 2011 :-)

  10. Quel journaliste tu fais !
    Super boulot !


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