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Weather Forecast

Wednesday
Sunny today. Rare fog patches on the Plateau early this morning. Cloudier North of the Alps this afternoon. Max Temps 9 on the Plain, 12 in Valais, +2 at 2000 meters elevation. Weak to moderate W-SW winds in the mountains.

Thursday
Sunny. Rare early morning Fog Patches. Max Temp 10 on the Plain. 13 in Valais.

Friday
Sunny. Bise winds on the Plateau. Max Temp 11. 13 in Valais.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
Sunny. Mild in the mountains. Probably morning Stratus over the Plateau and Ajoie, up to about 1000 meters. Bise on the Plateau. 11 on the Plain. 14 in Valais.

The extended outlook
Continued fair weather due to High Barometric Pressure over Central and Western Europe. Temperatures above average for the season.

That’s the weather from LifeStyle 74.
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From the French Papers

French rally against anti-semitism but divisions remain over how to confront it

RFI - By Mike Woods Issued on 19-02-2019 Modified 19-02-2019 to 18:54

Rallies took place around France on Tuesday evening to denounce a rise in anti-Semitic acts, but there was no consensus on the most effective way to confront it, or even describe the issue.

Fourteen political parties, including President Emmanuel Macron’s party The Republic on the Move (REM), signed a call to demonstrate from the French Socialist Party after the interior ministry reported a 74 percent rise in acts targeting Jewish people, symbols and buildings last year.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was among several government officials to attend the march in Paris.

Sacha Ghozlan, president of the Union of French Jewish Students, said he was planning to attend the rally as well, but warned it would only be worthwhile if it led to clear action.

“We need better measures to educate, to sanction those who incite hate against Jews, to hold large platforms responsible for what happens on the Internet and social networks and to ensure victims of anti-Semitism will be better received in the justice system,” Ghozlan told RFI on Tuesday morning.

“I’m calling on the government to declare a state of emergency in regard to anti-Semitism and take all of these measures into account.”

Debates over ‘old’ and ‘new’ anti-Semitism

The far-right National Rally (RN) led by Marine Le Pen was not invited to the protest, and said it would organize its own event.

The distinction between an “old” and a “new” anti-Semitism appeared in a recent parliamentary effort to draft legislation that would criminalize anti-Zionism.

While Macron appeared to rule out the possibility of such legislation on Tuesday, there was enough concern over the issue to spurn a second rally against anti-Semitism in a different part of Paris.

“What the government, and what the Israeli state and their supporters outside of Israel say is that there’s a new form of anti-Semitism,” said Richard Wagman of the French Jewish Peace Union, which was participating in the other rally.

“What they call a new form of anti-Semitism is basically, to make a long story short, those who support the Palestinian people and their rights and their struggle, and more broadly, those who oppose imperialist intervention in the Arab world and those who oppose colonialism.”

The need for a parallel demonstration, Wagman argued, stems from what he called a government effort to manipulate the issue.

“The government is proposing legislation to make anti-Zionism illegal, pretending this is part of the struggle against anti-Semitism, but it has nothing to do with it,” Wagman said. “Anti-Semitism is a form of racism, and Zionism or anti-Zionism is simply a political opinion.

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The old far-right, nationalist or ultra-Catholic Jew hatred is now reflected, as if in a distorting mirror, on the hard Left. There is also a virulent anti-Semitism promoted by Islamist activists among young Muslims, exploiting their understandable sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

In France, these different kinds of anti-Semitism breed among themselves. There is a right-left, nationalist-workerist, muslim-white anti-Semitism, which comedian Dieudonné plays on as does the former Jean-Marie Le Pen speechwriter, Alain Soral.

There is also a trendy, leftist-islamist anti-Semitism, which is popular amongst some French intellectuals, who see Jews as the praetorian guard of a capitalist-racist global elite.

The handful of young men wearing yellow high-viz vests who called Alain Finkielkraut a “dirty Zionist” from a “dirty race”, were probably from the Dieudonné-Soral school of anti-zionism.  Finkielkraut himself said that they were not “authentic” provincial Gilets Jaunes but members of one of the extremist sects which have attached themselves to the movement.

Some minor Gilets Jaunes figures and bloggers have repudiated the attack on Finkielkraut. The leading yellow vest spokespeople have so far said nothing or complained that the mainstream media is trying to tar them as racists.

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Near-empty parliament passes controversial justice reforms

RFI   By Michael Fitzpatrick Issued on 19-02-2019 Modified 19-02-2019

Late Monday night the French parliament passed the final reading of the Justice Reform Bill, by a mere 31 votes to 11.

The government has described the legislation as “ambitious” and “balanced”; the political opposition and some members of the legal confraternity have been less enthusiastic.

Among the key provisions of the new law are the establishment of an anti-terrorist court, and a revised list of penalties for those convicted of crimes.

The Justice Minister, Nicole Belloubet, admitted that she had been unable to calm all the fears expressed about this text. But she insisted that the pre-existing situation could no longer be allowed to continue.

Madame Belloubet says that those who arrive before the nation’s courts will henceforth face a system of justice which is “more comprehensible, faster and provides more protection

Most of the opposition threw in the towel and went home, leaving only 11 of their number for the final vote.

This law is too distant from the concerns of the ordinary citizen, less at their service, according to the right-wing Republicans.

Some Socialist Party deputies criticized the general vagueness of the new measures; others were annoyed that the majority had forced through key clauses, like the reform of the way minors are treated under French justice, a text which has not been touched since 1945.

A quick guide for the common criminal

Apart from the technical stuff, the new law, for example, means that no French criminal can be condemned to jail for a period of less than one month. If you get between one and six months, you won’t go to jail; but you will have to wear the electronic bracelet provided by the prison authorities. The old rule of thumb under which nobody went to jail unless sentenced to more than two years will no longer hold . . . from now on, only those sentenced to serve 12 months are sure to escape detention.

And, in case you are considering getting divorced, the new law has done away with the previously obligatory appearance of the spouses before a conciliation tribunal, an obligation considered too slow, too complex and not very efficient.
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Drink causing thousands of deaths

Alcohol caused 41,000 deaths in France last year, according to figures just released by the Public Health authorities. Only tobacco is worse.

But after a century of declining consumption of the alcoholic drinks, the French are now stuck on a sort of plateau, still among the nations with the highest consumption of alcohol in the world.

To put the latest figures in perspective, the French on average put away 26 grams of pure alcohol every day.

That’s roughly the equivalent of three glasses of red wine. When you take out kids and non-drinkers, that clearly means that the real drinkers are putting away the stuff by the bucketful.

Even the medical limit of 18 grams per day, with a minimum of two drink-free days per week, is no longer considered safe, accounting for 500 deaths every year.

Back in the 1930s, the average French man or woman was drinking 65 grams of pure alcohol daily, three times more than the current average.

The final word from the authors of the latest public health report: “drinking less is better; not drinking at all is the best”.

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More undissolved cases may be linked to French murderer - police

By RFI Issued on 19-02-2019 Modified 19-02-2019 to 18:37

French investigators said they identified some 40 unsolved disappearances and other “cold” cases potentially linked to Nordahl Lelandais, a former soldier who was arrested last year and charged with two murders in southeast France.

Lelandais has already confessed to the killing of a hitchhiking soldier in April 2017, and the abduction and murder of an eight-year-old schoolgirl in August 2017.

Lelandais has also been charged with the sexual assault of two second cousins, both minors.

After just over a year of reviewing Lelandais's background and movements, police say he could be connected with around 40 unsolved cases, mainly in the Rhone-Alpes region.

At this point, Nordahl Lelandais hasn't been formally and legally implicated in any of these cases, says the national gendarmerie military police force.

Unsolved disappearences

Most of the cases are unsolved disappearances, while fewer than a dozen involve minors, but there could be others, perhaps including the 2011 disappearance of a man at the Elements electronic music festival near the Albertville ski resort, French media reported.

A second partygoer went missing at the same event the year after, reports said.

The Gendarme said a review had determined Lelandais probably was not involved in the 2003 disappearance of 24-year-old Belgian chef Adrien Mourialme, who was working in a restaurant on Lake Annecy before he went missing in July 2017.

A source close to the inquiry later told AFP the review had also ruled out Lelandais's involvement in a famously unsolved murder case near the Alpine village of Chevaline in 2012, when a British-Iraqi family and a cyclist were gunned down in broad daylight.

No motive has been found by police in that case despite exhaustive investigations in Britain, France and Iraq.

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34 migrants rescued in Channel

By RFI Issued on 19-02-2019 Modified 19-02-2019

A British vessel rescued 34 migrants crossing the Channel on board a small motorized boat, Britain's interior ministry said in a statement. "The group were brought to Dover and have been transferred to immigration officials for interview," said the statement.

It added that men, women and children were on board and that three men were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

French authorities said that a fishing boat raised the alarm after spotting the boat off the tip of northern France.

French navy, police and customs deployed a helicopter, a tug boat and three other vessels.

However when they reached the migrants' location, they had crossed over to the British side of the Channel where they were picked up by a British vessel, said the regional authority in northern France.

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Knife attack in Marseille: police kills assailer who wounded four

Issued on 19-02-2019 Modified 19-02-2019 to 19:39

A man wounded four pedestrians in a knife attack in Marseille on Tuesday, before being shot and killed by police, officials said.

The motive of the assailant is unclear.

The attack took place in the centre of the port city, the second largest in France.

Police said they shot the assailant when he threatened them with a weapon.

According to the online version of local La Provence newspaper, the four people wounded were three men of 23, 27 and 35 years old and a woman of 52 years old. Two of them were in critical condition.

The online publication reports that the assailant was a 36 years old homeless male from the city who was known to the police in relation to a murder committed in 2003.

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KLM Boss Pieter Elbers re-appointed, but under tighter supervision.

By RFI Issued on 19-02-2019 Modified 19-02-2019 to 19:24

The board of directors of Air France-KLM proposed Tuesday to re-appoint Pieter Elbers, the chairman of the board of KLM. The group announced that the decision was made after the Dutch branch of the group expressed concerns about possible strikes if the mandate of their boss would not be renewed.

In a statement, the group said it wants to “improve governance and simplify structure," announcing the creation of a “CEO Committee” that is to be chaired by Benjamin Smith, the CEO of Air France-KLM.

Apart from Smith, the “CEO Committee” will consist of Pieter Elbers (CEO KLM), Anne Rigail (CEO Air France) and Frédéric Gagey (CFO Air France-KLM). The three of them will report directly to Benjamin Smith.

The re-appointment of Elbers had become increasingly politicized, writes Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. The Group’s board of 19 directors is dominated by the French, with only five Dutch.

Elbers is popular with KLM employees who lobbied for a continuation of his mandate that resulted in two Dutch ministers having “serious conversations” with Smith.

Elbers’ position is now secured, but he will have to work closer together with Smith, who just last month had indicated he didn’t want to continue with Elbers.

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Karl Lagerfeld, fashion's quick-witted king, dies aged 85 in Paris

The Local This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it @thelocalfrance 19 February 2019

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director at Chanel, has died at age 85 in Paris.

They called him the "Kaiser", and for decades Karl Lagerfeld.

From his perch at Chanel, the German-born designer presided over the most famous of all fashion houses like the 18th-century absolute monarchs he modeled himself on.

He put himself at the heart not just of his own label, but also of Chanel and Fendi -- the Italian house he headed for more than half a century.

A renovator rather than a revolutionary, updating classic luxury labels with street style influences.

His streetwise smarts sent Chanel sales surging to $10 billion in 2017 even as Lagerfeld entered the second half of his eighties.

Much about the Lagerfeld legend is hazy.

In 1952, his mother packed him off to Paris to complete his education, saying he could do whatever he wanted, as long as he did not become a priest or a dancer.

Two years later he shared the prestigious Woolmark design prize with Yves Saint Laurent.

That was the beginning of a friendship that would later turn to romantic and professional rivalry. Yes, both Lagerfeld and Saint Laurent were gay.

From the start, the fast-talking, lisping Lagerfeld honed his reputation as a provocateur who could play to the gallery in four languages.

He designed the shortest skirts ever seen on the Paris catwalk in 1962 for Jean Patou and later, during the hippie years, sent a model out wearing nothing but a feather in her pubic hair.

Having pushed Fendi into the big league, he was brought in to save Chanel in 1983 when only its celebrated range of perfumes was making money.

Despite being at the centre of fashion's social whirl, Lagerfeld was always a solitary figure. His only long-standing relationship was with the philandering French aristocrat Jacques de Bascher, who cheated on him with Saint Laurent.

"Karl's multilingual loquacity and his constant sociability belie a solitary nature and a visceral isolation from others," his biographer Alicia Drake wrote.

After de Bascher died of an AIDS-related illness in 1989, Lagerfeld, who said repeatedly that "I have no human feelings", gained a lot of weight, and lavished gifts on several young men with whom he became infatuated, she said.

But he later lost all the weight and more -- 42 kilos, he said -- and he wrote a bestselling diet book.

As the years went by, Lagerfeld assembled his own alternative jet-set "family" comprised of his male and female muses, including US model Brad Kroenig, whose son Hudson -- Lagerfeld's godson -- became a fixture of the Chanel catwalk.

"I have a sister in America who I haven't seen for 40 years. Her children never even send me a Christmas card," Lagerfeld complained.

Despite the company of his fashion family, and the small coterie of male models known as "Karl's Boys" who often accompanied him, Drake argued Lagerfeld "is alone in a crowd. At the centre of this solitary soul is a denial of intimacy," she added.

It was an insight that Lagerfeld himself seemed to confirm when he said, "I live in a set, with the curtains of the stage closed with no audience.

"I am like a caricature of myself. It is like a mask. For me the Venice carnival lasts all year long."

"I'm actually trying to make sure that I won't be remembered."

And in a hundred years, as with most of us, that’s likely to be the case.

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That’s News From the French Papers on Wednesday, February 20th compiled by Ron Myers for LifeStyle 74 radio.

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Beyond Switzerland and France...

California's largest power company declaring bankruptcy

RFI - 29 Feb 2019
From California, news that the Pacific Gas and Electric Company is declaring bankruptcy; that’s the biggest company collapse in the United States since Lehman Brothers went bust, bringing most of the globe down with them.

PG&E has, or had, 16 million customers. The French business paper Les Echos says the power supplier is the first major commercial victim of climatic change.

The company is suspected of having been responsible for last winter’s forest fires in California, when sparks from one of its high-tension lines set nearby vegetation ablaze.

But the greens and the State of California are partly to blame. Legislation should have been passed making it possible for PG&E to clear more timber along its power lines.

So PG&E now faces insurance claims worth over 30 billion dollars. Unable to pay, the company has filed for bankruptcy.

Wall Street is considering the implications of the case, and is said to be worried.

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The EU is Vigorously Importing Refugees Before European Elections

Big League Politics - Feb 19, 2019 By Jose Nino

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/the-eu-is-desperately-importing-refugees-before-european-elections/

The EU is praising a large rise in the number of migrants, predominantly from South America, over the last year.

Although the EU experienced an overall decrease of 10 percent in asylum applications over the last year, asylum applications from third world migrants who traveled to EU nations rose by almost a third during this timeframe, to approximately 115,000.

These numbers included 22,200 Venezuelans and 10,200 Colombians who made up the bulk of applicants from South America. 20,000 Georgians and 21,900 Albanians were the major European migrant groups outside of the EU. These four immigrant groups put together have surpassed the total number of asylum claims that Iraqi and Syrian nationals have made in the last year.

Almost a fifth of the 634,700 applications carried out in EU nations were filed by migrants coming from countries with visa-free travel to the Schengen area. According to numbers that the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) disclosed to the German media, this marks a significant increase in the proportion of migrants coming to the EU with visa-free travel compared to previous years.

The European Commission is now being urged to advance legislation that allows for countries to issue “humanitarian visas” that allows migrants from all over the globe to travel to EU nations for the purpose of asylum seeking. This same legislation was approved in December by the EU parliament with an absolute majority of 429 votes in its favor.

Globalist Members of the European Parliament are justified in their haste to pass such legislation. The rise of populist, anti-mass migration parties at the polls could be a major hindrance to their open border schemes. Juan Fernando López Aguilar worries that the next couple of months could be the EU’s last chance to enact “humanitarian visas”.

López Aguilar is well aware of right wing parties surging at the polls in his home country of Spain. Parties like Vox, who have been critical of Spain’s immigration policies, are expected to have a great showing during the European elections on May 26, 2019.

López Aguilar added:

“After more than four years of very tough negotiations, we have before us a new and possibly last opportunity to approve European Humanitarian Visas. We need to do more to help people in need, as there are currently clearly not enough legal and safe pathways to the EU for those seeking international protection.”

Despite evidence showing the corrosive mix of generous welfare states and mass migration, Europe’s political class is hell-bent on pushing mass migration at all costs.

And they have to act fast now.

The growing populist wave that is set to make a splash in the May elections could present a major roadblock to the EU’s globalist agenda for the next few years.

Come this May, EU leadership might be in for a rude awakening.

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Tennessee state lawmakers again push bill banning homosexual ‘marriage’

LifeSiteNews - NASHVILLE, Tennessee. February 12, 2019

The backlash has begun. Republican state legislators have filed a bill to prohibit “same-sex marriages” in Tennessee.

Introduced by Republican state Sen. Mark Pody and Republican state Rep. Jerry Sexton, the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act” would void U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision to legalize same-sex ”marriage”, by claiming that Tennessee has already passed a state law and amended its constitution to limit marriage to one man and one woman.

Under provisions of the bill, government officials such as county clerks who issue marriage certificates would be prohibited from recognizing any court ruling affirming same-sex “marriages,” while specifying that the officials may not be arrested for failing to comply with court orders affirming same-sex unions. In addition, the bill requires the state attorney general to defend Tennessee law regarding marriage if challenged by a subsequent court action.

The Natural Marriage Defense Act is known in the state House as HB 1369 and in the Senate as SB 1282.

Should the bill take effect, advocates for same-sex unions likely would challenge it in the courts. A federal district court could rule that the law cannot be enforced because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. It appears that the bill, if it becomes law, would require Tennessee to appeal such a ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and thence to the U.S. Supreme Court.

LifeSiteNews called Rep. Sexton’s office, where a spokesperson said the version of the bill in the Tennessee House is not on notice, which means that no committee is currently considering the bill. However, the bill may come up for consideration at a later date. In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Sexton said he believes that in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court put Tennessee in a quandary over state marriage law. He said the high court can “delete a statute, but they can’t make a statute.”

According to the Tennessean, Sexton said Tennessee and other states were left in a state of confusion over how marriage laws should be enforced. Suggesting his state no longer has a valid marriage law, Sexton told LifeSiteNews that Tennessee still has its own marriage laws on the books but, because of the Supreme Court ruling, it is now “lawlessly” issuing marriage licenses. He told LifeSiteNews that he expects to put his version of the bill on notice so that a committee can consider it. He said he expects to obtain support among his colleagues in the House, and he will coordinate with Sen. Pody as the Senate version advances.

More than 50 percent of Tennesseans are evangelical Christians, according to the Pew polling organization. Sexton told LifeSiteNews that while he is personally opposed to same-sex “marriage,” his concern is over what he sees as interference in the state by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said the Patriots Brigade of Tennessee, a conservative Christian group, has expressed support for his bill.

LGBTQ advocates in Tennessee are preparing to oppose the bill in the state General Assembly.

 

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