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Outraged Ireland demands a replay

DUBLIN, Ireland ― Ireland just can’t catch a break these days. The economy is in the tank, the weather is atrocious and now the country has been robbed — by a Frenchman.

If all publicity is good publicity…

An internet company’s publicity stunt to distribute free money on the city’s streets over the weekend incited a near-riot when the event had to be scrapped after thousands of people showed up for the giveaway. Video footage showed people brawling in the streets near the Eiffel Tower, turning over a car, knocking down street signs and hurtling rocks as police in riot gear moved in. Nine people were arrested, according to news reports.

What feta and reindeer meat have in common

NIS, Serbia — In early autumn in southern Serbia markets are ablaze with the new crop of peppers and minds turn to the arduous task of making ajvar, a garlic-infused red pepper paste that is a beloved culinary treasure. This year, however, there was a shadow hanging over the ritual roasting, peeling and packing of the peppers. Rumors were rife that Serbia’s Balkan neighbors were seeking to claim ajvar as their own.

A short hop on a big plane

PARIS, France — Instead of smashing a champagne bottle over a new airplane’s nose, the tradition in aviation for christening an aircraft, or so the flight captain told passengers, is to give it a full hosing down at the end of its first outing.

French president's son won't seek business district chairmanship

A composed and bespectacled Jean Sarkozy announced during a television interview that he would no longer seek to head the agency that managed one of Europe’s most important business districts. He said he did not want his election tainted by suspicions of nepotism. He will seek an administrative role instead.

When a Muslim soccer team won't play a gay one

PARIS, France — On this point both sides agreed: No one expected so much ink to spill in the days after Creteil Bebel, a soccer team made up of mainly Muslim players, refused to play a match against Paris Foot Gay, a club that welcomes homosexual and heterosexual players. 

A Big Mona with fries?

PARIS, France — During the 1970s, I dropped in on Monsieur Turpin, a storied Parisian greengrocer and pheasant plucker. His walrus mustache bristled with indignation. “Those people,” he said, nodding toward two young Americans chewing on baguettes as they passed. “They are walking while they eat.” Alas, poor Turpin. Today, even the Louvre Museum has a food court for ambulatory grazing. Soon it will include those ubiquitous golden arches. A Big Mona with fries?

Analysis: Bokova will need goodwill at Unesco

PARIS, France — After a backfiring power play, ugly even by United Nations standards, things may be looking up at that temple of hope and despair, the headquarters of Unesco. Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian diplomat with fresh ideas and toughness beneath an easy smile, took over as director general Oct. 15 after five rounds of voting in September.

Cries of nepotism as Sarkozy's son, 23, is considered for top post

A 23-year-old second-year law school student is being considered for the job of leading an agency that manages an important financial district that is home to some of Europe's biggest businesses. But he's not just any 23-year-old. His last name happens to be Sarkozy and his father happens to be the French president.

In Lyon, the spectacle of everyday life

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