France

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Pope: Europe Is 'Elderly and Haggard'

Francis warns EU that it risks 'losing its own soul'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has been rather nice to gays and atheists , but Europe, look out. The Wall Street Journal reports that the pope took Europe to task today during a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, calling the continent "elderly and haggard" and "no longer fertile and... More »

30K Birthday Cards Arrive for Man With Down Syndrome

30-year-old has well-wishers from Chicago to Hong Kong

(Newser) - With Manuel Parisseaux's 30th birthday coming up, his mother sent out a quick note on Facebook requesting a few cards for her son, who has Down syndrome. The results were stunning: Dozens of cards started arriving at the family's home in Calais, France. Then the dozens turned to... More »

France Still Hunting Elusive 'Big Cat'

But authorities no longer think it's a tiger

(Newser) - French authorities have entered a third day in their hunt for a "big cat" that sparked panic this week after being sighted in the Paris suburbs. Montevrain town hall official Cedric Tartaud says the "danger level" has dropped for residents, but authorities still can't say what kind... More »

France Mystified by Drones Buzzing Its Nuclear Sites

Spate of 15 or so illegal flights in the past month

(Newser) - French security chiefs are investigating a spate of mysterious, illegal flights by tiny unmanned drones over the nation's nuclear power stations. A government official says that authorities have counted about 15 drone flights over a half-dozen nuclear sites since Oct. 1. "Drone overflights are currently being carried out... More »

Evil Clowns Run Amok in France

Rash of violence blamed on people dressed as clowns

(Newser) - A rash of violence by a bunch of decidedly sinister clowns is turning France into a nation of coulrophobes: Cops arrested a gang of 14 teenagers dressed as clowns outside a high school in southern France on Saturday, reports the Guardian ; the teens were carrying pistols, knives, and baseball bats.... More »

Ship That Doomed France's Colonial Land Grab Is Reborn

La Belle sunk in 1686 as La Salle failed to settle Texas, Southwest

(Newser) - A 17th-century shipwreck rebuilt inside a Texas museum will let visitors walk the deck of a frigate whose sinking some 330 years ago explains why no one speaks French in Texas, the AP reports. The doomed La Belle was France's last hope to settle Texas and the American southwest,... More »

Soldier's Room Still a Shrine 96 Years After WWI Death

Parents insisted bedroom be kept as it was for 500 years

(Newser) - Hubert Rochereau became a casualty of World War I some 96 years ago, and his mother and father are long gone as well. But one part of the French soldier lives on: his bedroom, which his parents preserved as a shrine to the young man after his death, the Guardian... More »

Eiffel Tower's $38M Facelift Will Give You Vertigo

Glass floor panels apparently seemed like a good way to mark 125th anniversary

(Newser) - The Eiffel Tower has been given a vertigo-inducing face lift as organizers celebrate the Paris monument's 125th anniversary. The 1,063-foot tower now has see-through glass floor panels on its first level. The four small viewing sections, which cost $38 million, were unveiled to visitors yesterday. Though the first... More »

Man Survives Crash, Is Killed When Wife Comes to Help

She loses control on same curve

(Newser) - A man who lost control of his van and crashed in Carville, France, survived the Wednesday night accident only to be struck and killed by his wife's car when she came to pick him up. The 54-year-old victim and his 16-year-old daughter walked away from the first crash, in... More »

Video: ISIS-Linked Group Beheaded French Hostage

Herve Gourdel was kidnapped Sunday in Algeria

(Newser) - Algerian extremists allied with the Islamic State group have decapitated a French hostage after France ignored their demand to stop airstrikes in Iraq, according to a video released by terrorism watchdog SITE Intelligence Group. A group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah said after abducting Herve Gourdel on Sunday that he would... More »

World Plots Against ISIS in Paris

Conference opens in France today

(Newser) - The world is discussing the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Paris today, with President Francois Hollande opening a conference attended by leaders and diplomats from 25-plus countries by saying "there is no time to lose. Iraq's combat against terrorism is also ours." Or so hopes Iraqi president Fuad... More »

Younger French Women Reject Topless Sunbathing

Once-familiar beach sight is no more, says Elle magazine

(Newser) - France's summer is fast becoming a memory, and so is one of its iconic beach sights: the topless woman. As few as 2% of French women under 35 now say they want to bare their breasts, according to an Elle magazine poll this summer. It's a far cry... More »

Your Car Could Someday Park Itself

Valeo unveils automated valet parking at Detroit conference

(Newser) - Technology may soon eliminate one of life's little annoyances: looking for a parking space. That's the vision of French auto parts maker Valeo, which demonstrated Park4U —automated valet parking—at an intelligent-vehicle conference in Detroit yesterday, the AP reports. The system kicks into action when the driver... More »

Messages Sent From Brain to Brain Over 5K Miles

First-of-its kind experiment relays 'hola' and 'ciao' from India to France

(Newser) - A team of neuroscientists tapped into brain-wave-reading gear, binary code, and the Internet to transmit thoughts from a subject in India to three human "receivers" in France—about 5,000 miles away, reports Popular Science . The four participants, ages 28-50, were hooked up to equipment that looked like it... More »

Jilted Boyfriend Called, Texted His Ex 21K Times

Frenchman gets 4 months, $1.3K fine

(Newser) - A Frenchman has paid the price for texting and calling his ex-girlfriend 21,807 times over a 10-month stretch, France24 reports. The 33-year-old was sentenced to four months in jail and told to pay a roughly $1,300 fine. He admitted in court that he was trying to reach her... More »

Parents Who Yanked Son From Hospital in UK Arrested

Ashya King, 5, suffers from brain cancer

(Newser) - When Brett and Naghmeh King pulled their 5-year-old son, Ashya , who is suffering from brain cancer, out of a British hospital, international authorities launched a hunt for the family. This weekend, the parents were arrested in Malaga, Spain, CNN reports; their charges may include cruelty. They headed to France with... More »

Cops: Parents Took Ailing Boy From Hospital

Britain's Ashya King has brain tumor, was last seen in France

(Newser) - Police are searching for a 5-year-old British boy with a severe brain tumor whose parents took him out of a British hospital and were last seen in France. The press office for Jehovah's Witnesses said today that Ashya King's parents were followers, but that there was no indication... More »

3 More Climbers Die in Falls on Mont Blanc

Incident follows tragedy days ago

(Newser) - Just days after six climbers died on Western Europe's tallest mountain—marking the deadliest accident there in two years, AFP notes via the Raw Story —three more have died at the site. This time, two climbers and their guide fell some 2,600 feet, police say; their bodies... More »

5 Climbers Dead on Western Europe's Tallest Mountain

Guide missing on Mont Blanc, site of many recent deaths

(Newser) - Another tragedy has struck at the peak of climbing season on Western Europe's highest mountain: Five climbers have perished on Mont Blanc in France and their guide is still missing, reports the AP . Word went out that the climbers had disappeared yesterday evening when they didn't come back... More »

Cops: Laborers Steal $1.2M in Hidden Gold

They found it buried at construction site in France, police say

(Newser) - A secret stash of gold coins and bars is the stuff of fantasies. And when three construction workers found $1.2 million worth on the job in Normandy, police say stealing it from the landowner proved too tempting to resist. Several days into their work leveling land, the laborers found... More »

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