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No Sarkozy Day in Paris

Many of us have seen pictures of huge crowds protesting and chanting against Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Now this is happening in France too. The grassroots movement “No Sarkozy Day” is protesting today against the flamboyant President Nicolas Sarkozy — just a week after Sarkozy’s right-wing party took a blow in the regional elections. The movement is hoping to gather 10,000 protesters in Paris, and its Facebook group has around 380,000 members.

Are French-speakers victims of "linguistic terrorism"?

BRUSSELS, Belgium — It brings an entirely new context — and not an entirely linguistic one — to the concept of “French lessons.”

EU strikes deal on Greece

European Union leaders appear to have struck a deal Thursday to keep the Greek economy afloat, but they failed to agree on raising all the money themselves and admitted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would have to be called in to help.

How the tables have turned in French government

When Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party strode to a decisive presidential victory in 2007, it was partly due to the appearance that the opposition Socialists, with all their infighting, lacked a coherent message or a proper vision and that generally they were not up to the task.

A near run-in with a president

Who's never dreamed of making history? Well, I came close to making history this morning, but not in a good way. As I was carelessly riding my cranky 1965 Vespa behind the French Parliament, I tried to force my way through a group of people who were crossing the street. A big guy in a black suit raised his hand and forced me to squeeze the breaks at the last second. And there, right behind the man in black — former President Jacques Chirac!

French television electric shock documentary offers sobering look at humanity

Did the "Game of Death" documentary live up to the hype?  At least it made this television-averse viewer rush home in time to watch.

Canada's veiled immigration problems

TORONTO, Canada — In Europe and parts of North America, the image of a Muslim woman with a veiled face is increasingly the trigger for anxious debates about national identity.

Petty crime in Paris still a surprise after so many years

Paris is a big city like any other, so why am I always shocked to encounter petty crime and stupefied about what to do?

Sarkozy prepares for rebuke at the polls

PARIS, France — If the polls and pundits are correct, a second round of regional elections on March 21 could leave President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling party wallowing in defeat and the opposition Socialists basking in the glow of a “grand-slam” victory — an outcome that would augur badly for a possible re-election bid by Sarkozy in 2012.

Former ambassador to Paraguay in France receives slap on the wrist for misconduct

The former ambassador to Paraguay in France, who became embroiled in an investigation that included claims he mistreated workers employed at his official residence, has been sanctioned by his government for “the commission of serious misconduct,” according to a statement from his country's Ministry of the Exterior.
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