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Dominique Strauss-Kahn questioned in prostitution case

Journalists surrounded Strauss-Kahn’s car as he arrived at a police station in Lille, northern France on Tuesday morning. He could be held at the station for questioning for 48 hours.

UK and France sign landmark nuclear power deal

The British government says the agreement will create several commercial deals worth more than $790 million in the nuclear energy field, as well as 1,500 UK jobs. 

French far right leader is convicted for WWII remarks

Far right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was convicted Thursday for "contesting crimes against humanity," after saying that that the Nazi occupation of France was "not especially inhumane."

BNP Paribas profits fall 50% due to Greek write-down

The bank reported a net income of $1 billion for the last three months of last year, due to fresh write-downs of its Greek assets by a further $740 million.

European austerity by the numbers: in or out of the euro zone today's figures are grim.

Statistics prove yet again: cutting alone will not help an economy

The European economic numbers flow across my computer screen, not quite as quickly as the ticker tape crawl at CNBC or Bloomberg, but there are a lot of them and virtually every one is bad. And in or out of the euro zone, they all point to the same thing: austerity isn't working.

In Greece: the economy contracted by 7 percent in the last quarter. Since austerity budgets began to be implemented two years ago Greece's debt had jumped from 115 percent of GDP to 166 percent of GDP, the Guardian reports.

In Britain: Unemployment is at 8.4 percent according to the Office of National Statistics, a 16 year high (I have reported on other sources of unemployment statistics here).

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French judge says Monsanto poisoned farmer

It was the first case of its kind in France and could pave the way for other pesticide-related lawsuits.

Syria: France, Britain and Italy recall ambassadors

European countries play what cards they have against Assad regime.

There is not a lot European countries can do to stop the Bashar al-Assad regime's onslaught against its own people - especially in light of this weekend's vetoing of a Security Council resolution by Russia and China.

Recalling ambassadors from Damascus for consultation is about the only card they can play. That is exactly what Britain, France and Italy have done. No word about the German government's intentions. But police in Berlin have arrested two men suspected of spying for Syria.

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Sarkozy and Merkel hold special meeting

French President makes his close relationship with Merkel a campaign issue.

Say this about French President Nicolas Sarkozy, he takes risks. 80 days before he stands for re-election he held a cabinet meeting and invited a guest to attend: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is their 14th joint meeting - giving new meaning to the term "special relationship."  Merkel said it was  "quite noram" for her to be involved in the French presidential election campaign.

The BBC has a full report here.

Sarkozy's close alliance with Merkel has become a serious issue in the election campaign. Marine Le Pen, leader of the ultra-right National Front is running on a platform of taking France out of the euro. She is running a credible third in recent opinion polls. Socialist Francois Hollande is leading Sarkozy and he too is taking a very anti-Europe line as arch euro-skeptic, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, gleefully wrote in today's Daily Telegraph:

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Alberto Contador banned for two years over doping, loses 2010 Tour de France title

One of only five men with titles in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol, a muscle-building and weight-loss drug, on the final rest day of the 2010 Tour.

France labels Scientology a fraud, not a church

PARIS — Scientology is fined for targeting vulnerable people for commercial gain.
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