France

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Severed Head on Gate Belonged to Suspect's Boss

Body was found inside the factory

(Newser) - Yesterday's attack on a gas plant in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, France, was made all the more gruesome by the revelation that a severed head was found hanging from the factory's wire fence along with banners with Arabic inscriptions. That head belonged to the alleged attacker's boss, reports Reuters . French... More »

Decapitated Head Left on Fence in French 'Terror Attack'

1 suspect dead, 2 in custody: French officials

(Newser) - At least one person is dead and two wounded after suspected Islamist militants attacked a US-owned gas factory in France this morning, authorities say. Two men reportedly crashed a car through the entrance to Air Products' premises in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier and hit gas containers that began exploding, reports Reuters and the... More »

French Students Protest 'Impossible' English Test

Some 12K students not 'coping' well, have signed a petition

(Newser) - When teens in France recently sat down to take an English language test, they were asked a pair of questions about Ian McEwan's novel Atonement: "What are three of his concerns about the situation?" and "How is Turner coping with the situation?" That latter question was apparently... More »

France Fumes Over 'Unacceptable' US Spying

Summons US ambassador to Paris amid emergency meetings

(Newser) - Surprise: France isn't thrilled by claims that the US spied on its past three presidents , including current leader Francois Hollande, and has now summoned its US ambassador to the foreign ministry in Paris, reports the AP . Hollande, who calls the US spying an "unacceptable" security breach, held two... More »

WikiLeaks: US Spied on 3 French Presidents

Expect an angry response from Paris

(Newser) - A strange one, courtesy of WikiLeaks: The US eavesdropped on three French presidents, learning among other things that France was angry the US was eavesdropping on it. That tidbit is courtesy of a new WikiLeaks disclosure that the NSA wiretapped current French leader Francois Hollande and predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and... More »

End of Road for Frenchman Set to Die in Indonesia

Court denies Serge Atlaoui's final appeal; execution planned after July 17

(Newser) - An Indonesian court today denied the final appeal of a French citizen who faces execution for drug offenses, setting the stage for diplomatic retaliation by France after executions of other foreigners strained relations with Australia and Brazil. Eight people were executed in April; Serge Atlaoui , 51, wasn't part of... More »

2 Countries Got Into a Fight Over ... Nutella

French minister accused spread of ravaging environment

(Newser) - France's environment minister caused an international brouhaha by picking on the wrong nutty spread. Segolene Royal singled out Nutella as the cause of environmental destruction, including climate change and "massive deforestation," and said people should stop eating it because it contains palm oil, the Guardian reports, prompting... More »

Court: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Not a Pimp

Ex-IMF head acquitted on charges of 'aggravated pimping' by French court

(Newser) - Despite sometimes-tearful testimony by prostitutes who painted a sordid picture of "beast-like" sex parties, a French court today acquitted former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of "aggravated pimping" charges, the Guardian reports. The 66-year-old Strauss-Kahn, often called simply "DSK" in France, had admitted to the Lille... More »

Bartender Guilty After Guy Downs 56 Shots, Dies

Frenchman broke bar's shots record, then fell into coma

(Newser) - A bartender in France has been handed a four-month suspended sentence for manslaughter after a patron fatally threw back 56 shots to break his bar's record, AFP reports. Renaud Prudhomme, 56—and weighing 260 pounds, per the Local —was helped home from Starter bar in Clermont-Ferrand last October... More »

Eiffel Tower: Closed Thanks to ... Pickpockets

Company that manages landmark didn't open today because of worker concerns

(Newser) - The Eiffel Tower closed to the public today as workers protested a rise in aggressive pickpockets around the Paris landmark that attracts thousands of visitors daily. The walkout came a day after Paris authorities said crime against tourists in the French capital had dropped this year thanks to reinforced police... More »

France May Force Groceries to Give Food to Charity

Bill mandates that big supermarkets give unsold edibles to charities, farms

(Newser) - France's parliament has voted to forbid big supermarkets from destroying unsold food as part of a national campaign against food waste. The amendment approved by the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) late yesterday is part of a larger environmental bill and would require big supermarket chains to... More »

Boss Spends Millions Taking 6.4K Workers on Vacation

Group also reportedly broke odd world record while cavorting with shady CEO

(Newser) - Imagine your boss said he'd treat you—and several thousand of your colleagues—to an all-expenses-paid vacation in France, complete with a private trip to the Louvre and luxury shopping—and that you'd also break a world record. That's exactly what happened for 6,400 or so... More »

Snowden Who? France to Ramp Up Surveillance

After Hebdo attacks, Paris ready to embrace bulk collection of phone, email data

(Newser) - See if this sounds familiar: A nation reeling from a major terror attack puts into place sweeping new surveillance rules in the name of public safety that critics think violate civil liberties. A measure with the nickname the "French Patriot Act" cleared the lower house of Parliament in France... More »

Thieves Lift $5.4M in Jewels From Woman Stuck in Traffic

Paris raid took place in car tunnel known for 'smash-and-grabs'

(Newser) - The Landy Tunnel that runs between Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport is known for its traffic and, possibly as a result of that, frequent "smash-and-grab" crimes, where thieves bust car windows and snatch whatever they can from inside the car. A Taiwanese art collector stuck in the 0.... More »

WWI Soldiers Left Moving Legacy in French Tunnels

Huge collection of well-preserved notes found in Naours, France

(Newser) - An archaeologist in France planned to study the medieval history of a quarry—but in the process, he made a much newer, and deeply moving, find. During World War I, soldiers made almost 2,000 inscriptions in the series of underground chambers, which were a tourist attraction at the time,... More »

France: Glorify Anorexia, Go to Jail

New law cracks down on 'thinspiration' websites

(Newser) - France is cracking down on websites that encourage young women to starve themselves. An amendment to a health bill passed yesterday punishes operators of pro-anorexia websites with up to a year in jail and an $11,000 fine, the Telegraph reports. The amendment calls for penalties for those who provoke... More »

Airbus Crashes in French Alps; 'No Survivors' Expected

Germanwings plane was believed to be carrying 150 passengers, crew

(Newser) - An Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps today with an estimated 144 passengers and six crew aboard, French media are reporting. The plane, operated by Lufthansa budget carrier Germanwings, was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf; debris has been spotted near Digne, notes NBC News . Germanwings confirmed the crash... More »

'Tide of the Century' Strands Medieval Island

2 dead as thousands flock to see Mont Saint-Michel

(Newser) - What do you call a "supertide" that comes every 18 years? Why, the "tide of the century," of course—and it dazzled thousands yesterday in northern France and south-western England, the Telegraph reports. In fact, it momentarily cut off scenic Mont Saint-Michel island from the coast of... More »

France May Ban Too-Thin Models

Legislation would establish minimum weights

(Newser) - France is expected to pass legislation to outlaw ultra-skinny fashion models, reports the CBC . The legislation now being debated would set up minimum weights based on body-mass index, a formula that would require a woman 5-foot-7 to weigh 120 pounds. And the measure wouldn't just bar such models from... More »

GPS Fail Takes Tourists on 750-Mile Detour

Bus driver went to La Plagne in southern France, not La Plagne in the Alps

(Newser) - A group of 50 Belgian tourists headed to the Alps for a ski holiday were slightly confused when they woke up from their overnight bus ride and found themselves surrounded by … vineyards in the south of France. The snow hadn't melted at La Plagne ski resort, their true... More »

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