France

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Deep in a Cave, Neanderthals Did Something Remarkable

Two stone rings up to 16 inches high that were intentionally made

(Newser) - For tens of thousands of years, the secrets of France's Bruniquel Cave went unknown, its mouth closed off by a rock slide. That began to change in the late '80s, the Atlantic reports, when a boy named Bruno Kowalsczewski started clearing away what obstructed the opening; three years... More »

Eiffel Tower To Be Converted Into Rental Apartment

For a limited time only

(Newser) - Four lucky competition winners are set to be the first people in history to use the Eiffel Tower as a vacation home next month, the AP reports. Rental company HomeAway is taking over part of the first floor of the iconic 984-foot-tall landmark for the duration of the UEFA Euro... More »

EgyptAir: We Found Wreckage

Egyptian official believes it's more likely crash was from terrorism than from malfunction

(Newser) - Debris from EgyptAir Flight 804 has been found in the waters near Greece's Karpathos Island, ABC News reports via a statement from the airline. The country's Ministry of Civil Aviation was sent an official letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirming the find; EgyptAir says family members... More »

Man Sues Former Boss for Making His Job Boring

Frédéric Desnard says he was unfairly sidelined

(Newser) - Bored at work? Then consider Frenchman Frédéric Desnard, who is suing his former employer for allegedly boring him out of his mind and damaging his health, the Guardian reports. The 44-year-old Parisian claims he suffered from "bore out" (a twist on "burn out") after his... More »

'Horror Dentist' Learns His Fate

Jacobus van Nierop sentenced to 8 years in jail

(Newser) - France's " horror dentist " won't get close to a patient's teeth again. Dutchman Jacobus van Nierop, 51, was convicted of aggravated assault and fraud in the French town of Nevers on Tuesday, banned from practicing dentistry, sentenced to eight years in jail, and fined $11,900,... More »

Family Investigates Attic Leak, Makes $136M Find

The graphic painting depicts Biblical heroine Judith beheading an Assyrian general

(Newser) - Art experts may never agree on whether it is an authentic Caravaggio, but a painting one family found when checking a leak in the rafters of an old house in southern France may turn out to be worth upward of $136 million. The large canvas, which measures 56 inches by... More »

How Two Women Decided the Fate of Paris Attack's Mastermind

Abdelhamid Abaaoud relied on his cousin for help

(Newser) - The mastermind of the Paris attacks was nearly saved by one woman and had his fate sealed by another, the Washington Post reports. Documents from French investigators show that terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, turned to these women for help two days after the November attacks—and while one did help,... More »

Belgium Authorities Think They've Got 'Man in the Hat'

'Several arrests' made in Belgium linked to Paris, Brussels terror attacks

(Newser) - Mohamed Abrini, one of the suspects in the November Paris attacks (and said to be likely involved in last month's Brussels attacks ) was arrested Friday in Brussels, unnamed sources tell Belgian broadcaster VRT, via Reuters —and he's likely the mysterious "man in the hat" seen... More »

France Makes It Illegal to Buy Sex

But prostitution remains legal

(Newser) - France just made it illegal to pay for sex, despite selling it remaining legal, the New York Times reports. According to the BBC , the law passed Wednesday creates punishments including fines up to $4,300 and classes about the horrors of prostitution for anyone caught buying sex. Supporters of the... More »

Boy, 8, Has Been Detained at Paris Airport Nearly 2 Weeks

Officials arrested him when fake passport was allegedly found

(Newser) - A mother who wanted her 8-year-old son to have a better life put him on a plane to France, where he has relatives, but authorities have held him at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport ever since he arrived on March 21 because of his fake identity papers. Along with his... More »

Lawyer: Paris Suspect Ready to Cooperate

Salah Abdeslam to accept extradition to France

(Newser) - A lawyer for Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam says he's finally ready "to cooperate with the French authorities," reports the Independent . At a Thursday hearing in Belgium—where Abdeslam was captured in the basement of a distant relative on March 18—his lawyer says the alleged terrorist... More »

UK Wants Joan of Arc Ring Back, France Does Not Care

The Brits say without an export license the ring is subject to more bidding

(Newser) - A ring said to belong to the French martyr Joan of Arc triumphantly returned to France , after French donors raised $425,000 to buy it at an auction last month in the UK—where it had resided for nearly 600 years since she was burned at the stake. But just... More »

Paris Suspect Salah Abdeslam Charged With 'Terrorist Murder'

His lawyer says he plans to fight extradition to France

(Newser) - Belgian authorities have officially charged Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam and another man with "participation in terrorist murder" and in the activities of a terrorist organization, the AP reports. Three other suspects were also picked up during Friday's police raid in Brussels that finally nabbed Abdeslam after his four-month... More »

French Teens Can Now Smoke in School

Officials say they're an easy target for terrorists when outside

(Newser) - Smoking is officially banned in schools in France, where the legal smoking age is 18, yet even underage high school students easily get away with the habit. One 15-year-old tells the Guardian he takes three smoke breaks a day on his school's playground, where he's encouraged to smoke... More »

91-Year-Old Earns PhD 30 Years After She Started

Colette Bourlier admits she 'took breaks'

(Newser) - The next time you feel tempted to say you're too old to start something, think of Colette Bourlier. The Frenchwoman began working on her PhD thesis 30 years ago, and she finally finished it up this year at the age of 91 to complete her degree, the Guardian reports.... More »

World's Largest Cruise Ship Sets Sail

It will hold 6K passengers with a crew of 2K

(Newser) - The world's largest cruise ship just got its first taste of the open ocean, setting sail from France for a trial run on Thursday, the Guardian reports. The Harmony of the Seas, which will make its debut for Royal Caribbean International in May, is 1,187 feet long, 210... More »

'Horror Dentist' Goes on Trial

He's accused of mutilating more than 100 French patients

(Newser) - Newspapers have dubbed him the "horror dentist," former patients in a small French town call him the "butcher"—and if you have dental phobia, Jacobus van Nierop may soon feature in your nightmares. The Dutchman went on trial Tuesday in Nevers, France, accused of intentional violence... More »

Joan of Arc's Ring Back in France After 600 Years

The ring fetched some $400K at auction

(Newser) - A ring said to have belonged to Joan of Arc is back in the medieval peasant-turned-warrior's native France nearly 600 years after she was burned at the stake. The ring, which had been in England since the 15th century, sold at auction for more than $400,000 (about 30... More »

Airbnb Renters Find Rotting Corpse

Cops say woman may have been dead for several weeks

(Newser) - A 19th-century Airbnb rental in the Paris suburb of Palaiseau came with three stories, seven bedrooms, a swimming pool, a "lovely forest with a jogging trail"—and a badly-decomposed corpse. Friends who rented the property to host a birthday soiree on Saturday had to cancel their plans when... More »

French Outraged by Spelling Shake-Up

Officials changed the spellings of 2,400 words to make them easier for children

(Newser) - France is in uproar over reports that the official spellings of 2,400 words are being changed to make them less confusing for schoolchildren just learning the language, the Guardian reports. For example, "ognon" is now a fine way to spell onion in addition to the more familiar "... More »

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