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French election favorite François Hollande flour-bombed

The attacker, who claims that police are monitoring her movements and her life has been threatened, ran onto the podium where Hollande was standing to sign a “social contract” and threw flour on him.

When the going gets tough the arms dealers get going

France lands mass order for fighter jets from India
A Rafale fighter jet at an air show in Bangalore last year. The Indian government must have liked what it saw since today it was announced it had purchased 126 of them from French arms manufacturer Dassault. (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Here's an old truism: When first world economies are in the doldrums there is still one tried and true place to get a jolt: the arms market. Prime Ministers and Presidents make calls on behalf of private firms in the hopes of sealing the deal. 

France, looking at projected GDP growth in 2012 of a mere 0.5 percent received its jolt today with news that its aircraft manufacturer Dassault had completed a deal to sell 126 Rafale fighter jets to India. The price tag is estimated at between $10 and 11 billion. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is smiling.


France to resume troop training in Afghanistan but pull out by end of 2013

The French president says that US President Barack Obama has been informed of the plans, which will be presented at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in early February.

Top EU official Kader Arif resigns in protest against ACTA anti-piracy treaty

Kader Arif, a French MEP and the European Parliament’s rapporteur for ACTA, said he had witnessed “never-before-seen manoeuvres” on the part of officials involved in preparing the treaty.

Has France become a charity case?

Paris — The Persian Gulf state’s generosity irks some. “It’s an attack on state sovereignty,” says a local official.

Oscars: The Artist a big score for a very French film

Oscars bring joy to French film industry and confirm Hollywood's love affair with France.
Uggie oscarEnlarge
Uggie the dog, the real star of "The Artist" was not nominated for an Oscar. Controversy! (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The theme of this year's Oscars: France, Paris and France, Paris again. The Artist, the silent black and white film made by Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius, is the hot favorite for Best Picture and garnered 10 nominations. But Paris figures in a pair of American films nominated for Best Picture. Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," and Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," which looks at one of the founding fathers of French cinema, Georges Melies. In fact, the Scorsese film has 11 nominations.

The French capital is even included among the nominees for Best Animated Feature Film where "A Cat in Paris" is among the nominees.


"Crisis of Capitalism?" Europe: daily economic round-up

Cameron speaks, Stock markets up, bonds sell

The "crisis of capitalism" is a phrase more associated with Marxists than Conservative politicians like British Prime Minister David Cameron, but with the public still dismayed by what it sees as the excesses of the financial services industry - particularly bankers' pay and bonuses - and with bonus season about to get underway, Cameron needed to address the issue.


Strauss-Kahn's wife, Anne Sinclair, to edit French Huffington Post

A wealthy New York-born heiress, Sinclair gave up her job as a top TV and print journalist to avoid any conflicts of interest when her husband became French finance minister in 1997.

Moody's rating of France's credit to be issued in Q1 2012

French President shrugs off his country's credit troubles at a press conference saying it "changes nothing."

Euro zone credit ratings downgrade ... reactions

Friday's Standard & Poor's downgrade of several euro zone countries' credit ratings have only made the faintest ripple across the continent
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon shrugs off the Standard & Poor's downgrade of France's credit rating late Friday and visits the site of a big infrastructure project: the Cite du Cinema in suburban Paris (BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

Given the hysteria that greeted the announcement that Standard & Poor's was taking away France's AAA rating (along with that of Austria leaving Germany the only euro zone country with the top rating) - at least in the press - you might have thought the euro zone crisis was going to explode again. Not so.

That isn't to say some political leaders weren't angry. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was, following Spain's downgrade to A from AA-, according to this headline in El Pais.

Rajoy to Standard & Poor's: we don't need economic lessons:

"My government knows perfectly well what it needs to do to improve Spain's reputation, stimulate growth and create jobs," PM fires back after rating downgrade.

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