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Posts Tagged ‘france’

Tiger’s Wife Hits the Slopes? Maybe, Maybe Not

January 3rd, 2010 admin No comments

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Skiing the French Alps or walking her dog … how did Elin Nordegren ring in the New Year?Option A — the current Mrs. Tiger Woods has been holed up in a French resort near Chamonix, says the London Sun, since last Sunday. She’s there with her sister …

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French Journalists, Guides Missing In Afghanistan

January 1st, 2010 admin No comments

PARIS — Two French journalists and their local guides have gone missing in Afghanistan, the French government said Thursday in what one Afghan official called a kidnapping.

The journalists for France-3 television went missing Wednesday while traveling in Kapisa province, where French soldiers are fighting Taliban and other insurgents as part of a NATO mission to help bring more stability to Afghanistan.

Halim Ayar, a spokesman for the Kapisa governor in Afghanistan, said the journalists, their driver and a guard were kidnapped while going to Kapisa from the Surobi district of Kabul province.

French officials stopped short of such claims.

“We have no news from them, but we don’t have any claim of responsibility either,” French Defense Minister Herve Morin told France-Info radio from Afghanistan, where he was visiting French troops for the start of the new year.

Morin said France’s only information so far was from indirect and unconfirmed witness accounts, and that “for the moment” it was not appropriate “to talk about a kidnapping.”

“We’ll know more in the hours or days ahead,” Morin added. He said some colleagues of the missing journalists said they had left to go speak with villagers.

France-3 declined to identify the journalists. Lionel de Coninck, who heads the program the journalists worked for, said the two had been in Afghanistan for the last month and were set to return in the coming days.

The team was working on a report about the reconstruction of a road linking the towns of Surobi and Tagab east of the capital Kabul, de Coninck said.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday that “no hypothesis can be excluded” about the cause of the disappearance, and a spokesman declined to comment further.

Kidnappings of journalists have risen over the last three years in Afghanistan. Media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders says nine were seized by insurgents or mafia groups in 2009 alone.

France has more than 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. In August 2008, 10 French soldiers were killed and 21 wounded in a Taliban ambush in the Uzbin Valley east of Kabul.

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Samsung’s Pinetrail-boasting N220 netbook spied in France

December 30th, 2009 admin No comments

We’ve been seeing a fair amount of netbooks equipped with Intel’s Pinetrail processors since they were announced early last week, and it looks like we’re going to be seeing at least one from Samsung in the very near future. This one — the N220 — was just spotted in France. The 10.1-incher packs (as you’d expect) an Atom N450 CPU, GMA 3150 graphics, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, plus a webcam and a 6 cell battery which should supposedly get around eleven and a half hours of battery life. It comes with Windows 7 installed, and as you can see from the photo, one of the available colors will be glossy green. It’s going for 350 euros in France, so, if the price stays comparable when (and if it) hits North American soil, we can expect it to cost somewhere in the realm of $500.

Samsung’s Pinetrail-boasting N220 netbook spied in France originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 29 Dec 2009 17:53:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bernard-Henri Lévy: A Letter From Roman Polanski

December 27th, 2009 admin No comments

At Roman Polanski’s request, I would like to share the letter he has written me with all of his friends and supporters, in particular the readers of The Huffington Post. It is here, in these columns, that I have published my articles and expressed my position, from the very beginning.

Thanks to the generous access provided by Arianna Huffington and her staff, I have been able to present a different “voice,” one that contrasts with the howling of the pack. And so it seems natural, priority dictates, that the readers of my journal in France and the readers of Arianna’s journal in the United States should be the first to read these words, Roman Polanski’s first words since his incarceration.

My dear Bernard-Henri Lévy, what you have said in the Swiss press is true — I have been overwhelmed by the number of messages of support and sympathy I have received in Winterthur prison, and that I continue to receive here, in my chalet in Gstaad, where I am spending the holidays with my wife and my children.

These messages have come from my neighbors, from people all over Switzerland, and from beyond Switzerland — from across the world. I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail. In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation.

I would like to be able to answer all of them. But it is impossible: there are too many. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could reply? Perhaps in your journal, La Règle du jeu, which has supported me from the very first day? Perhaps you could disseminate these few words I’m sending you? I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to you.

Happy holidays to you and yours — and, through you, to all of these unknown friends whom I am discovering day after day, and who have helped me so much.

My warmest regards,

Roman Polanski

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Dan Weiner: The NYGMen Podcast: Week 15 – The Giants Demolish the Redskins, 40-12

December 25th, 2009 admin No comments

In this Week 15 post-game analysis, we rejoice in the G-Men’s drubbing of the hapless Washington Redskins. In so doing, we give credit to Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Gilbride, Will Beatty, and the rest of the New York Giants for a job extremely well-done (except for Michael Boley, on whom Greg is very down). Also, we discuss the NFC playoff picture, DeSean Jackson, the Vikings (including the Favre/Childress affair), the Saints, Mike Francesa’s goody bowl, and much, much more. As always, we address fan email and comments, give out awards, and call our top teams, including Week 15’s “Beast of the East.” And don’t miss our call for The NYGMen Podcast’s “Generic” Condom “Breaking” Play of the Game as well as the Gauthier “Mic ‘em up” Consideration. LET’S BASK IN THE GLORY, no matter how briefly it may last.

Listen to The NYGMen Podcast Episode #13 here:

For more, go to www.giantspodcast.com.


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Ned Goldreyer: Eat Right and Exercize in Futlity

December 24th, 2009 admin No comments

The crisis in our current health care crisis has finally reached the crisis point. We must now take the issue firmly by the shoulders as one would a willful child, and, in the words of Pliny the Elder, punch its stupid face in. Let us summarize where we stand as a nation – last. No industrialized government spends more money to provide fewer medical services to its citizenry than ours. The lack of readily available doctors, dentists and health practitioners for the vast majority of Americans stinks on ice, and the ice will be added to your bill.

In a few hours, or days, or maybe never, the bill death marching through Congress will become a frail and unworkable law. The only impact it will have on health care is if thousands of copies are sent to municipal governments, soaked in bleach, and used to wipe down dirty syringes collected from needle exchanges. But if that’s the case, then why waste the ink?

The dismal state of our health system wouldn’t even be an issue if not for that perennial thorn in the American eye – foreigners. Other countries address national health issues in ways that imply they care whether their populations live or die. If you sneeze on a public street in France, the police are obliged to wipe your nose and give you a hot whiskey. The British National Health Service provides every citizen free monthly check-ups every six days, and at birth Japanese babies are infused with medical-nanobots giving them permanent immunity from all illnesses and a completely justified sense of cultural superiority. All of this flies in the face of American self-reliance.

How the so-called public option even made it into the original wording of the bill is a mystery, possibly even evidence of terrorist infiltration at the highest levels of the Government Printing Office. Maybe it was just there to see if anyone was paying attention. Whatever the reason, the public option never stood an albino’s chance in Tanzania of making it past both houses. The same goes for that early-admission to Medicare jazz. Who in this culture of youth-cultists would prematurely lump in with the over 65-set just to save a few bucks on surgery or medicine?

The American tradition of public health care is one of not interfering with nature, fortified with Dr. Franklin’s rhyming advice about fructiphobic doctors and the deadly perils of sleeping in. We are also home to Christian Science, whose reliance on prayer over medicine has time and again transformed a simple infection into a miraculous fatality. In crafting our new health care policy, congress seems bent on embracing these home-grown approaches, with a respectful nod to the Inuit practice of empowering the ill and elderly to fend for themselves equipped with a ration of water and a blanket. Passage of a bill combining these doctrines may at last set us on the path to real national health coverage, if it can forge a truce between Joe Lieberman and unfathomable torrent of angry voices screaming in his head. Maybe then we can put this placebic compromise behind us and start again from scratch.

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Courtney Love – ‘Domestic Violence’ Mentioned

December 23rd, 2009 admin No comments

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New allegations in the Courtney Love/Frances Bean case — lawyers have asked to seal documents relating “to a minor and allegations of domestic violence.”TMZ has obtained documents filed by lawyers for the guardianship that was established on Frances …

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Kerry Trueman: Let’s Ask Marion Nestle: Is Fido The New Hummer?

December 22nd, 2009 admin No comments

Let’s Ask Marion: Is Fido The New Hummer?

(With a click of her mouse, EatingLiberally’s kat corners Dr. Marion Nestle, NYU professor of nutrition and author of Pet Food Politics, What to Eat and Food Politics :)

Kat: Dog lovers are howling over a new book called Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living. The book claims that “the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle,” according to a report from the Agence France Presse.

The book’s authors, Robert and Brenda Vale, sustainable living experts at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, estimate that a medium-sized dog’s annual diet–about 360 pounds of meat and 200 pounds of grains–requires roughly double the resources it would take to drive an SUV 6,200 miles a year.

You’ve become an expert on the pet food industry in recent years with Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, and your upcoming book, Feed Your Pet Right. So, what’s your take on the Vales’ claims? Is Fido really the new Hummer?

Dr. Nestle: Since Mal Nesheim is my co-conspirator on Feed Your Pet Right, this response is from both of us. Hence, “we.”

We ordered this book through Amazon in the U.K. but it is taking its own sweet time getting here. So all we really know about what these authors say is what we read in the October 24 New Scientist, which not only reviewed the book (in an article titled, “How green is your pet“) but also ran an editorial that begins, “If you really want to make a sacrifice to sustainability, consider ditching your pet – its ecological footprint will shock you.”

Oh, please. We don’t think so for two reasons, one quantitative, one qualitative. First, the quantitative:

The New Scientist review says:

To measure the ecological paw, claw and fin-prints of the family pet, the Vales analysed the ingredients of common brands of pet food. They calculated, for example, that a medium-sized dog would consume 90 grams of meat and 156 grams of cereals daily in its recommended 300-gram portion of dried dog food. At its pre-dried weight, that equates to 450 grams of fresh meat and 260 grams of cereal. That means that over the course of a year, Fido wolfs down about 164 kilograms of meat and 95 kilograms of cereals.

We don’t really have all the facts at hand. We have not seen the book, we don’t know what assumptions the authors made, and we can’t be certain that the review quotes the book accurately. Still, we are puzzled by these figures.

By our estimates, an average dog does indeed need about 300 grams of dry dog food a day; this much provides close to 1,000 calories. Fresh meat supplies about 2 calories per gram, so 450 grams would yield about 900 calories. Cereals have less water so they are more caloric; they provide nearly 4 calories per gram. The 260 grams of cereals would provide nearly 1,000 calories. If New Scientist got it right, the authors of the book are overestimating the amount of food needed by dogs by a factor of two.

On the qualitative side: Most dogs don’t eat the same meat humans do. They eat meat by-products–the parts of food animals that we wouldn’t dream of eating. These are organs, intestines, scraps, cuttings, and other disgusting-to-humans animal parts.

We think pet food performs a huge public service. If pets didn’t eat all that stuff, we would have to find a means of getting rid of it: landfills, burning, fertilizer, or converting it to fuel, all of which have serious environmental consequences. If dogs and cats ate the same food we do, we estimate that just on the basis of calories, the 172 million dogs and cats in American would consume as much food as 42 million people.

But they don’t. They eat the by-products of human food production. If we want to do something to help reverse climate change, we should be worrying much more about the amount of meat that we ourselves are eating–and the amount of cereals we are growing to feed food animals–than blaming house pets for a problem that we created.

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David Harris: Iran: The Truth Hurts

December 21st, 2009 admin No comments

It’s as predictable as day follows night.

Raise the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, as I have more than once, and all Tehran’s flacks and flunkies, including Israel-bashers galore, come out of the woodwork.

They rush to Iran’s defense, portraying it as a peace-loving, law-abiding, misunderstood nation.

There is no evidence whatsoever, they allege, that Iran is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Oh, and by the way, on the off chance it is, they add, it’s strictly for defensive purposes. Iran has never hurt a soul in its history, so why the concern?

They accuse all kinds of alleged miscreants – warmongers, neoconservatives, Zionists, you name it – of besmirching Iran’s good name in pursuit of nefarious aims. The label is meant to say it all.

If heaven forbid, you’re a Zionist, as I am, then it’s abundantly clear what you must be up to. Nothing more need be said. Were it not for you, Iran would enjoy the reputation for democracy and decency it so richly deserves.

And they seek to divert the discussion to Israel’s nuclear program and a whole host of other misdeeds, falling just short of holding Jerusalem responsible for the melting of the ice caps.

You see, they contend, the problem in the Middle East is Israel, not Iran. Anything that focuses on Iran is off-limits, as it’s only a ploy to divert the world’s attention from the root cause of all evil and instability, Israel, in an otherwise serene and sedate region.

Gee, if only Israel would go away – hmm, come to think of it, that Iranian nuclear bomb just might help – the region would overnight resemble Europe or North America in its commitment to peace, development, and human rights.

All these spin doctors, whether they comment in the Huffington Post or Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News, offer a variant of these themes.

Frankly, they do themselves a disservice. Strip away the huffing and puffing and their arguments don’t amount to a hill of beans.

Iran’s stock has been dropping like a rock, and the responsibility lies solely and exclusively with Iran. Trying to blame this state of affairs on others may play to the bleachers, but won’t wash on the street.

First, consider what’s been going on.

The UN Security Council has adopted three sanctions resolutions against Iran because of its nuclear program, each with the support of the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States. And a fourth resolution appears to be just around the corner.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has censured Iran as recently as last month for developing in secret a uranium enrichment site near Qom. The vote was 25 to 3. Those voting against were Cuba, Malaysia, and Venezuela. Right afterwards, Malaysia indicated that its vote was in error, leaving just Cuba and Venezuela, quite a support group for Iran. As the saying goes, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Interpol has issued “red notices” for five Iranians, including Iran’s current defense minister. These red notices indicate that Argentina seeks the arrest and extradition of the five in connection with a terror attack against the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.

In February, Bahrain suspended talks with Iran on a gas deal after Iranian officials referred to the country as “the 14th province of Iran,” evoking memories of Saddam Hussein’s claim that Kuwait was an integral part of Iraq – and all that followed.

In March, Morocco broke diplomatic ties with Iran. Rabat accused Tehran of “intolerable interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom.”

In April, Egypt lodged an official protest with Iran over Tehran’s “blatant interference in internal Egyptian affairs.”

In June, President Barack Obama visited Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king pressed for tougher U.S. action against Iran, fearing the geostrategic implications for his country and all the Arab Gulf states of a nuclear Iran.

That’s just a small taste of Iran’s dealings with the larger world. What about inside the country?

Each day brings new reports about human rights abuses, as the current regime, besieged since the rigged June elections, tightens the noose – literally and figuratively.

Literally, as public hangings have been among the favored methods of capital punishment practiced by the Iranian government. Figuratively, as nervous leaders attempt to quash the demonstrations that keep popping up, despite efforts to intimidate and cow the protesters.

Will the whitewashers of the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime defend the government’s repressive practices against students, reform politicians, independent journalists, women activists, gays, or religious minorities?

And then there’s the Israel argument. But that doesn’t hold any more water than the others.

If Israel has a nuclear arsenal, it is for one purpose – and one purpose only. It serves as the ultimate guarantor of the security of a state that has been the target of its enemies since its very establishment in 1948.

Last time I checked, Israel, unlike Iran, had never called for the destruction of any country in the region. Israel has never questioned Iran’s right to exist. It is Iran that questions Israel’s right to exist.

And last time I checked, Israel had never resorted to the use of nuclear weapons, though faced with devastating wars since the 1950s, when reports suggest it first developed those weapons. If that doesn’t indicate rational, responsible behavior, what does?

I understand that being Iran’s lawyers in the court of public opinion these days can be rather tough. It’s not easy to find salient arguments to make. Iran has become its own worst enemy – practicing deceit and deception abroad, repression and brute force at home.

Sorry, but no smokescreens, straw men, name-calling, or truth-twisting can deny the stark, unassailable facts about Iran today.

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New Yahoo Home Page Tomorrow. Here’s What It Looks Like

July 21st, 2009 admin No comments

Remember that new Yahoo home page we previewed waaaay back in September 2008? Tomorrow it will go live for many U.S. users, and it will eventually roll out to everyone who uses Yahoo around the world. France, India and the UK are next up after the U.S.

The final version looks a little more like one of the test pages we caught in the wild in March, without the dark background coloring on the left sidebar. But it has evolved further from that bucket test page, too.

The main difference from the current Yahoo home page is that users can now customize the page with widgets/apps from third parties. Some apps have been pre-created by Yahoo and others. And others can be added as well, Yahoo will make the app based on the URL you supply (they don’t say it needs RSS, although I’m not sure how they create it on the fly without it).

The key change, besides personalized content, is the removal of the tons of links to scores of Yahoo services. Most people only use a handful of those services, says Yahoo, so it’s better to let users decide which ones are present and take up screen real estate.

Yahoo also says they will be letting users sync up the customizations between their mobile and desktop versions of Yahoo starting soon.

Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.


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