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WEATHER FORECAST Wednesday Aug 15th

Wednesday, August 15th

Sunny today.  Max Temps in the upper 20s. 0 at 4000 meters.

Tomorrow Thursday
M/S. Highs around 30 C. Chance of thunderstorms in the Alps.

Variable cloudiness. Chance of showers or thunderstorms, especially in the mountains. Weather calming by evening. Not as warm. High around 26 C.

M/S. Chance of thunderstorms during the afternoon. Max Temp 26 C.

M/S. High around 28 C. Isolated thunderstorms towards end of the day.

Monday and Tuesday
Probably sunny and quite warm. Chance of isolated Thunderstorms in the mountains.

That’s the weather on Wednesday, August 15th, from RADIO 74 « The Answer », bringing hope, comfort and encouragement in these disturbing times.

Learn more at our website: www.radio74.org

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News About France… Wednesday, August 15th

 French minister joins call to save Ukrainian filmmaker from Russian jail

By RFI Issued on 13-08-2018 Modified 13-08-2018 to 16:21

French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen has joined over 100 actors and cinema directors in a call to free Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who has been on hunger strike in a Russian jail for nearly three months.

The film directors claim that Oleg Sentsov’s life is in danger, and they have called on the EU and UN to try to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to free him.

Sentsov, age 42, is serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted of terrorism almost three years ago.

The Russian justice system found Sentsov guilty of committing arson in his native Crimea, during the period when Russia annexed it from Ukraine following a referendum of the Crimean people who are mainly ethnic Russian and Russian speaking.

Held in Siberia

He is being held in a prison in northern Siberia.

Sentsov's lawyers say he has lost 14 kilos since starting his hunger strike on May 14th, and on Friday they said he was "ready to die".

Last week his cousin warned that his health was "catastrophically bad", prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to take up his case in a telephone call with President Putin.

Russian authorities deny that his condition is serious.

The prison service said he was "not seen to be underweight and a worsening in his state of health is not observed" in a statement on Saturday, adding that his health is "satisfactory" and "all necessary measures", including giving him nutritional supplements, are being taken.

Sentsov has refused to be taken to hospital.


Malta to allow Aquarius migrant boat to dock

By RFI Issued on 14-08-2018 Modified 14-08-2018 to 15:39

Malta on Tuesday said it would allow the rescue boat Aquarius to dock with the 141 migrants it has picked up in the Mediterranean. Earlier political leaders of the French island of Corsica and the president of a southern French port authority said they were ready to receive the boat, although the French government seemed reluctant to do so.

Italy has refused to allow the boat to dock, as it did last June when the Aquarius rescued 629 migrants off the Libyan coast.

This time it is carrying 25 people picked up on a small boat off Libya on Friday and 116 on a larger one later in the day.

The migrants are mostly from Somalia and Eritrea and about half of them are children, according to SOS Méditerranée, the NGO that operates the Aquarius.


Corsica, French port offer to take Aquarius migrant boat

By RFI Issued on 14-08-2018 Modified 14-08-2018 to 13:40

The French island of Corsica and the president of a southern French port authority have said they are ready to allow the rescue boat Aquarius to dock, as it tries to take 141 migrants picked up in the Mediterranean to dry land. But the decision rests with the French government in Paris, which has contacted other EU nations to find a destination for the NGO-run ship.

Malta and Italy have again refused to allow the boat to dock, as they did last June, saying their countries are already overwhelmed by refugees.

This time it is carrying 25 people picked up on a small boat off Libya on Friday, and 116 people who were on a larger boat later the same day.

The migrants are mostly from Somalia and Eritrea.

The president of the Corsican Assembly, Jean-Guy Talamoni, on Tuesday repeated the offer made in June to accept the Aquarius at one of the island's ports, as did the chairman of its executive committee, Gilles Simeoni.

Talamoni, like Simeoni a Corsican nationalist, called on the French authorities to "ensure that these people are accepted".

Simeoni, who chairs a committee of representatives of European islands, tweeted that he had written to the heads of the 23 local authorities in the group to urge them to demand a "real European policy for humanitarian aid in the Mediterranean".

Also on Tuesday Communist former transport minister Jean-Claude Gayssot, who now chairs the port authority of the southern French town of Sète, said he was ready to allow the boat to dock, while pointing out that he needed a green light from Paris to do so.

Meanwhile, the offer drew a negative response from right wing Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Rally.

"It's not up to the communist Jean-Claude Gayssot, president of the port of Sète, to decide our migration policy by accepting the Aquarius," she tweeted.

The National Rally on Tuesday called for Tunisia to take the Aquarius, a call echoed by the mainstream-right Republicans, both parties claiming that accepting its passengers would encourage people smuggling.

A further twist to the saga was added by the authorities in Gibraltar, who on Monday announced that it would stop the boat using its flag, if it did not stop its rescue missions, on the grounds that the ship was registered as a research vessel.

Asylum-seeker injures 4 in knife attack in south-west France

By RFI Issued on 14-08-2018 Modified 14-08-2018 to 14:31

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested after stabbing four people in a drunken attack in the French town of Périgueux. One of the victims was seriously injured.

The young man, who was known to have psychological problems according to local officials, first lashed out at vehicles outside his home in the sleepy French town, kicking and banging them with his fists then "rounding on female motorists", according to the head of the local ambulance service, Jean-Jacques Girard.

Two paramedics intervened to try to calm him down but he disappeared inside his home, returning with a knife and stabbing them in the head and neck.

He then attacked two of his neighbour, brothers aged 64 and 66, leaving one with a perforated lung and the other with stab wounds in the back.

One of the brothers eventually overpowered him with the help of a man of Cameroonian origin, who helped take the knife away from him.

The two brothers were sent to hospital and the man has been placed in custody on charges of aggravated violence.   Police have ruled out a terrorist motive.


Two Austrians 'killed in French Alps glider crash'

The Local This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it @thelocalfrance 13 August 2018

Two Austrians -- a man in his fifties and a teenager -- died Sunday when their glider crashed to the ground in the Champsaur valley in the southern French Alps, sources said.

Two rescuers and a doctor were sent to the scene, but the exact circumstances of the accident were not yet known.

The accident happened at a place called Roche Rousse, at an altitude of 2,515 meters. Weather conditions had been "good".

The pair had taken off from a local aerodrome earlier Sunday, a source close to the inquiry said.


Residents of ultra-chic Paris quarter outraged by 'bad taste' open urinals

The Telegraph   David Chazan, in Paris 11 August 2018 • 5:41pm

The stench of urine in the streets has long been one of the annoyances of life in Paris, but new urinals that expose users to public view have shocked many residents.

The French often joke about being less “prudish” than Britons, but even permissive Parisians have taken exception to open 'pissoirs' installed on pavements with nothing to screen users from passers-by.

One model, in letterbox red, topped by a flower-box and installed on the ultra-chic Ile Saint-Louis, one of the city’s most select quarters, has caused particular indignation.

The island in the River Seine, normally a haven of relative calm in the heart of Paris, has become an unlikely hotbed of protest. Residents and shopkeepers have written to the mayor demanding the urinal’s immediate removal and say they are about to launch a petition.

Paola, a local shopkeeper, said: “I’m ashamed, you understand. Planting a plastic urinal like that beneath the windows of the Lauzun mansion, one of the most beautiful on the island, where [the poet] Baudelaire lived, its such bad taste. Paris is making itself ridiculous.”

Paola acknowledged that residents had long been urging the authorities to install urinals because young people who spend the long summer evenings on the banks of the Seine had taken to urinating in the streets.
“But this model, 20 meters from a primary school, is not suitable at all.”

Wouter, age 43, a visitor from Amsterdam, said he had used it, but felt uncomfortable. “Public toilets are usually more hidden. At first I thought it was a modern art installation because of the flower box on top.”

The urinal is “environmentally friendly”, according to its manufacturer, the Faltazi design agency, because it “stores urine in a bed of dry material, straw, which is then used as compost for the flowers”. The straw reduces odor, and eliminates the need for the urinal to be connected to the sewer.

Four minimalist urinals installed in Paris in the past six months have drawn similar reactions. A fifth is planned this week.

The mayor’s office said they are “a response to the needs of shopkeepers and residents”.

Victor Massip, the inventor of the model installed on the Ile Saint-Louis, said: “People urinating on the streets of France is a serious problem, and we knew there was a demand for a solution, so we’ve come up with one.” He has named it the “uritrottoir”, combining the French words for ‘urinate' and ‘pavement'.

Bill Wilson, age50, a visitor from Leicester, said: “I think this wouldn’t be allowed in the UK. Only in France!”


Aristocrat sues France for £314m over his family's claim to Monaco throne

An aristocrat is suing the French state for €351 million in damages for allegedly depriving his family of the throne of Monaco, in order to stop it falling into the hands of a German.

Louis de Causans says that in the early 20th century France threatened to annex the wealthy Mediterranean principality, if it did not change its rules of succession.

Monaco complied, thus depriving Mr de Causans’ branch of the family of his birthright, and giving another offshoot of the Grimaldi family control over the city-state on the Riviera.

"Normally, in my milieu, we remain discreet and we don’t like to stir up this sort of thing. But the truth must be established. It’s a question of honour,” said Mr de Causans.

But he insisted that he was not aiming to dethrone his cousin Prince Albert, the current monarch of the principality and head of the princely house of Grimaldi, despite the fact that he believes that his own uncle should be on the throne today.

“I have nothing against Prince Albert, who had nothing to do with all of this. It is France which caused the damage,” the 44-year-old told Le Parisien newspaper.

The dispute dates back to just over a century ago when the then Prince Louis II of Monaco had no official heir.

This meant that the next in line for the throne of Monaco was his first cousin Wilhelm, the Duke of Urach, a German nobleman.

"But for France, on the brink of World War I, the idea of a German ruling Monaco was simply unacceptable,” said Jean-Marc Descoubès,
Mr de Causans’ lawyer.

The throne should then have passed to Mr de Causans’ branch of the Grimaldi family, the aristocrat argues.

Instead a law was passed in 1911 recognizing Louis’ illegitimate daughter, Charlotte, the daughter of his cabaret singer lover Marie-Juliette Louvet, as his heir, and making her part of the princely family.

This law was later declared invalid but another one was passed in 1918 that established Charlotte as the heir.

France and Monaco also signed a treaty, that stated that the French government would henceforth have the final say on all future contenders for the Monégasque throne.

Mr de Causans’ lawyer says that it is clear that the current rulers of Monaco are in their position solely by the will of the French state.

This is the base of his claim for the €351 million in damages he believes his client is entitled to, which he points out is a mere fraction of the entire wealth of the Grimaldis who rule Monaco.

He has sent his claim to the French foreign ministry, which has two months to respond.   If no satisfactory response is received within that time, the case will likely go to court. “What I want is for the truth to come out, and this injustice done to my family by France to be put right,” said Mr de Causans.


Cost of fruit and veg in France 'not reality'


The cost of fruit and vegetables in France is “disconnected from reality” due to artificially high prices and the sale of foreign produce, the president of French vegetable federation Légumes de France has said.

In an interview, Jacques Rouchaussé said that the hot summer had allowed supermarkets to dupe consumers, into paying prices that were far from the real cost of fruit and vegetables, and that selling produce from foreign countries was allowing supermarkets to pocket artificially-large profits.

He said: “Supply and demand is unbalanced. There is a disconnect compared to the real price that consumers should have to pay.”

Mr Rouchaussé referenced melons that cost €5.50 each, and tomatoes sold at €8 per kilo.

“Farmers produce and sell their melons for between 40 and 60 centimes each, so when we see the cost at €5.50, for me, that’s unacceptable. Farmers sell their tomatoes for 80 centimes per kilo to the distributor. When I see 8 euros per kilo in the supermarket, I fall out of my chair,” he said.

He admitted that some products are more sensitive to weather conditions than others, and that some price rises were due to genuine supply and demand, but he explained that low prices for farmers should translate into low prices for customers.

“Otherwise, it does not encourage people to eat vegetables,” he explained. “We know that in recent weeks, because of the climate, we should have seen more people eating more fruit and vegetables, and we are beside ourselves when that doesn’t happen.”

He added: “We have found some supermarkets, such as Auchan and Intermarché, who - because it has been hot outside and the demand high - were artificially jacking up their prices.”

Mr Rouchaussé also condemned the sale of fruit and vegetables from
other countries, especially in areas of France well-known for similar produce.

He said: “In Nîmes, where there is significant production of melons, we see Moroccan and Spanish melons. That is totally unacceptable. It is because in these countries, the product is cheaper, and when it appears on shelves, in defiance of market prices, that is when we see the middle men, the supermarkets, pocketing money.”

He concluded: “I would like to see consumers demanding French-grown produce, and, if they see products from abroad, choosing not to buy them.”


That’s News About France on this Wednesday, August 15th.
I’m Ron Myers reporting for RADIO 74 “The Answer”.



News About France… Tuesday, August 14th

Air France shares fall after new strike threat

By RFI Issued on 13-08-2018 Modified 13-08-2018 to 15:21

Shares in Air France slumped on Monday morning after a pilots' union leader threatened new strikes, if the company's new boss refuses to negotiate a pay rise. The company has been without a CEO since May, and Air Canada's Benjamin Smith is said to be the favorite to take over the reins.

Air France-KLM shares fell 5.27 percent to 8.478 euros as trading opened in Paris on Monday.

They have fallen about 40 percent since the beginning of the year as the company has chalked up heavy losses, due to 15 days of staggered strikes by unions demanding pay rises.

In an interview on Sunday Philippe Evain, of the pilots' union SNPL, threatened 15 more days of strikes if the company refuses to reopen negotiations on the unions' demand.

Former CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned in May after an employee ballot he organized himself rejected the company's pay offer.

His successor should be appointed at the end of this month, or the beginning of September.

Last month the board offered to triple the CEO's salary to attract candidates.

Canadian reported favourite

The favored candidate is Benjamin Smith, the deputy head of Air Canada, according to Le Monde newspaper.

Evain criticized the alleged choice, saying it was "a shame that we can't find a French CEO for Air France".

"With this nomination we are pleasing the Americans and the Chinese and I'm not sure it is in the interests of Air France or of French passengers," he told Le Parisien newspaper, adding that it would allow some executives who should have left with Janaillac to stay because of Smith's ignorance of the European market, and the way the company works.

Smith, who started his career with regional airline Air Ottawa in 1990, joined Air Canada in 2002 and is best known for developing its low-cost arm, Air Canada Rouge.

He has a reputation for putting shareholders' interests first, and has little experience of industrial disputes, according to Le Parisien.

The representative of pilot-shareholders on the Air France-KLM board, Paul Farges, wrote in another newspaper on Sunday, that the company does not need any more "candidates who are ambassadors of outside interests".


Two charged over 'racist' shooting in Burgundy

By RFI Issued on 13-08-2018 Modified 13-08-2018 to 11:59

Two men have been charged with an allegedly racist shooting in France's Burgundy region after being on the run for two weeks. One of them has also been charged with attempting to murder a police officer, whom he knocked over while fleeing arrest in his car.

The two men, who are both 31 years of age, were transferred to Dijon, Burgundy's administrative centre, on Saturday from Avignon, in the south, and charged on Sunday.

Seven wounded in attack

The pair have been charged in connection with an attack in a working-class area of the Burgundy town of Beaune in July.

At 2.00 am that day a Renault Clio tried to mow down a group of young people in Saint-Jacques but failed to hit them.

But the two attackers returned a 4.20 am in a Mercedes and shot at them with a rifle, prosecutors said in a statement.

Seven people, aged between 18 and 25, were wounded, two of them seriously although not life-threateningly.

Although a large number of police were set on the attackers' trail, they had difficulty finding them because they had fled the region.

Prosecutors have concluded the attack had a racist motive and 150 people attended a protest by anti-racist campaign SOS-Racisme at the scene last Friday.


Indian confesses to killing, chopping up French lover

By RFI Issued on 13-08-2018 Modified 13-08-2018 to 13:44

An Indian student has confessed to killing a 68-year-old French tourist and dismembering his body, police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu said on Monday. The pair appear to have been homosexual lovers.

The 29-year-old, identified in the Indian media as C Thirumu-guran hit the Frenchman in an argument that broke out, while they were drinking, according to reports.

"The student got frustrated and hit him on the head with a wooden stick and he [the tourist] collapsed," senior police officer Senthil Kumar told the AFP news agency.

Thirumu-guran then panicked, chopped up the body, tried to burn it, stuffed into a sack and dumped it in a canal, according to the Dev-discourse website.

Indian media have given two different identities for the Frenchman, whose passport is reported to have been in his suitcase, which was found by local people.

Thirumuguran's name was mentioned in a diary that was also in the suitcase, leading to his arrest and confession after being questioned on Sunday night, according to the Hindu newspaper.

The killing took place in Thanjavur, a district known for its temples, including the 11th-century Brihadeeswara Temple which is famous for its frescoed interiors.

The practice homosexuality is illegal in India under British-era legislation,
that describes it as "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" and allows for jail terms of up to life.

Sodomy laws are currently being challenged in India’s top court.


French migrant rescue ship Aquarius stranded again

The Local This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it @thelocalfrance 13 August 2018

The French operators of the migrant ship Aquarius on Monday called on Europe to find a safe haven, for 141 people rescued in the Mediterranean, saying Italy and Malta had again refused to let it dock.

The Aquarius, which was left stranded with 630 migrants aboard in June after being turned away by Rome and Valletta, resumed rescue operations off the Libyan coast last week.

On Friday, it picked up 141 people in two separate operations, half of them children, but again could not find a port willing to allow the migrants ashore.

Sophie Beau, president of the vessel's operator SOS Mediterranee, said the ship, which is currently situated between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa, had again received "official negative replies" from the two countries.

Italy's new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has regularly turned away rescue ships operated by foreign NGOs such as the Aquarius, accusing them of playing into the hands of people smugglers.

On Saturday, he said the Aquarius would "never see an Italian port" again.

His hardline stance has sparked a row among EU members, underscoring their failure to come up with a common approach to the influx of people trying to get into Europe. In June, Spain stepped in and welcomed the Aquarius.

France, which was within closer range, but did not allow the boat access, took in 78 of the migrants after they landed.


Parker Solar Probe’s French connection

By RFI Issued on 12-08-2018 Modified 12-08-2018 to 17:25


One of the instruments aboard Nasa’s historic Parker Solar Probe, which was launched from the US on Sunday, was developed by French researchers from the University of Orleans.

Thierry Dudok de Wit couldn’t hide his pleasure on Sunday after witnessing the probe’s successful launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. He and his colleagues from the physics and chemistry lab of environment and space (LPC2E) at the University of Orleans have developed a magnetometer, which, along with other instruments on the probe, could increase knowledge about the sun’s atmosphere.

The magnetometer will measure the fluctuating magnetic field in the sun’s atmosphere. These fluctuations are “key to understanding what causes the solar corona to be so hot”, he said.

Scientists have long been puzzled by the curious nature of the sun’s atmosphere -- also called corona -- whose temperature can reach above a million degrees Celsius, while that of the surface is only 6,000 degrees Celsius. Understanding this mysterious phenomenon is essential for multiple reasons.

The discoveries could also improve understanding of scientific phenomena here on earth. For example, understanding the nature of corona could also help us learn more about solar wind.

The Parker Solar Probe is expected to come within 6.2 million kilometers of the sun’s surface. In order to protect the instruments from the intense heat and radiation, the probe will have a powerful heat shield measuring just 4.5 inches thick. The sunlight will heat the shield to around 1,400 degrees Celsius. But the inside of the spacecraft will stay at just 30 degrees Celsius.

The probe is set to make 24 passes through the corona. When it nears the sun it will travel at some 692,000 kilometers per hour, relative to the sun.


'Back to school' money paid out this week

Families eligible for the Allocation de Rentrée Scolaire (ARS) to help pay for ‘back to school’costs, will start to receive their money from Thursday this week.

The ARS this year is €367 for children aged six to 10, €388 for those aged 11 to 14, and €401 for those aged 15 to 18.

If you have previously had the payment and your child will be aged under age 16 at the end of this calendar year then there is nothing to do to claim it – it should be paid into your bank account.

If your child will be aged 16-18 you must declare that your child will still be in education or an apprenticeship under the Mon Compte section at caf.fr or via the mobile phone application Caf-Mon Compte

However if you have not received the payment before and are not registered with Caf (Caisse des Allocations Familiales) for benefits, you need to apply for the ARS by downloading a form and sending it to your local Caf (or apply to the MSA if you work in agriculture).


Those with children who are entering the CP year of primary school this rentrée, but who will have their sixth birthday next year need to send the Caf a certificat de scolarité from the school.

The ARS is means-tested, based on 2016 incomes declared in 2017. Ceilings for full amounts are €24,453 for one child, €30,096 for two or €35,739 for three, then an extra €5,643 per child. Those with incomes a little above the ceilings may be eligible for a reduced amount.

You’ll find these stories on the front page of the RADIO 74 website: www.radio74.org


That’s News About France on this Tuesday, August 14th.
Reporting for RADIO 74 “The Answer”, I’m Ron Myers.


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