France

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Artist Begins Weeklong Stay ... in a Boulder

Abraham Poincheval hopes to 'find out what the world is'

(Newser) - A French artist has kicked off a weeklong stay inside a 13-ton boulder. Sounds awful, right? Well, it's only the start of what Abraham Poincheval calls "an inner journey to find out what the world is." After seven days confined to a sitting position in a limestone... More »

Le Pen Won't Wear Headscarf, Cancels Meeting With Muslim Leader

'I will not cover myself up'

(Newser) - Marine Le Pen backed out of a meeting with the religious leader of Sunni Muslims in Lebanon on Tuesday while refusing to don a headscarf, Reuters reports. According to CNN , the French far-right presidential candidate showed up to the meeting with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian but left without... More »

4 Skiers Dead in France; Rescuers Try to Save 5

Avalanche strikes in Tignes

(Newser) - At least four skiers were killed in an avalanche Monday in the French Alps near the resort of Tignes, and rescuers say they're trying to dig out five others. Many in the group are reported to be related. By mid-afternoon, the town of Tignes said the chances of finding... More »

Man Says Cop Raped Him, Cops Suggest It Was Accident

4 French officers charged after arrest last week

(Newser) - A 22-year-old French man says a police officer used a baton to rape him during an arrest in a Paris suburb, leaving him to undergo emergency surgery for injuries to his rectum. According to one of the involved officer's lawyers, the baton might've slipped into the man's... More »

Paris Plans Glass Wall Around Eiffel Tower

It would replace anti-terror metal fencing

(Newser) - Paris authorities say they want to replace the metal security fencing around the Eiffel Tower with a more visually appealing glass wall. A statement from Paris City Hall issued Thursday said see-through panels could replace the existing fences at the north and south of the famed monument that were installed... More »

Soldier Opens Fire on Paris Attacker

Machete-wielding man shouted 'Allahu akbar'

(Newser) - A French soldier shot and seriously wounded a man in a shopping mall beneath the Louvre Museum on Friday after he tried to attack a patrol and shouted "Allahu akbar," officials say. The man was carrying two backpacks and had two machetes, and when soldiers and police officers... More »

Guy Says He Threw $100M Worth of Stolen Art Away

But no one's really buying Yonathan Birn's story

(Newser) - A co-defendant in one of the world's biggest art heists testified in court Monday he destroyed and threw away five art masterpieces worth more than $100 million that were stolen by a thief nicknamed "the spider-man" by French media. Yonathan Birn, accused of receiving stolen goods, was among... More »

France's Left Picks Politician Who Calls Bernie a Role Model

Benoit Hamon will represent Socialist Party in country's presidential election

(Newser) - A French politician who names Bernie Sanders among his left-wing role models won an easy victory in the country's Socialist primary runoff against Manuel Valls on Sunday. Benoit Hamon will represent France's ruling Socialist Party in the country's presidential election in April-May against Conservative Francois Fillon, far-right... More »

Polanski's Gig Hosting France's Oscars Met With Outrage

France's minister for women's rights calls it 'shocking'

(Newser) - The pick of Roman Polanski to lead the jury for the annual Cesars—France's version of the Oscars—was met with outrage this week, AFP reports. France's minister for women's rights calls it "surprising and shocking" and the "banalization of rape." Polanksi pleaded guilty... More »

Cyclist Born in 1911 Sets World Record

105-year-old Robert Marchand is an old hand at records, says he 'could have done better'

(Newser) - A French cyclist has set a new record for riding 14 miles in one hour. If that doesn't sound so remarkable—the world record is 33.8 miles—consider the category in which Robert Marchand was competing: over 105. The retired firefighter did it the first time riding in... More »

Number of French Organ Donors Just Shot Up

New law presumes consent unless you opt out

(Newser) - French people who die will become organ donors unless they specifically opt out before their death, under a new law that took effect on the first day of 2017. Previously, the families of French citizens who had not specified whether they wanted to be organ donors were contacted after their... More »

Finally Country Takes Stand on Checking Work Emails at Home

France's 'right to disconnect' law goes into effect Sunday

(Newser) - In what may be the best French innovation since kissing and/or toast, the country has given its workers the right not to check work emails while at home. The Independent reports the new "right to disconnect" law takes effect Sunday for companies with more than 50 employees. The law... More »

Frenchwoman Who Killed Abusive Husband Is Pardoned

Jacqueline Sauvage says she had been physically abused for nearly 50 years

(Newser) - A woman who killed her husband in 2012 was released Wednesday after receiving a full pardon from the president of France, the BBC reports. According to the Guardian , 69-year-old Jacqueline Sauvage shot her husband three times in the back with a hunting rifle the day after their son killed himself.... More »

Once Humble, the Beret Is Now Tres Chic in France

Longtime peasants' hats in Laulhere's new Paris shop selling for more than $1K

(Newser) - What's next, a designer accordion? The humble French beret has gone upscale, with one of the oldest makers of the classic French hat opening a chic boutique in Paris, the Guardian reports. Laulhère , which has been making berets for 170 years, has hung a shingle on swanky rue... More »

France's PM Steps Down to Run for President

Manuel Valls makes presidential run, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve steps in as new PM

(Newser) - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stepped down Tuesday to focus on running for president in next year's election and was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a man who embodies the fight against Islamic extremism, the AP reports. Valls resigned a day after announcing his candidacy in the wake... More »

Fillon Wins French Primary, Vows 'Change of Software'

Handily beats Alain Juppe in conservative runoff

(Newser) - Francois Fillon won France's first-ever conservative presidential primary Sunday after promising drastic free-market reforms and a crackdown on immigration and Islamic extremism, beating a more moderate rival who had warned of encroaching populism, the AP reports. "President! President!" chanted the former prime minister's supporters as he... More »

Man Discovers $3.7M Worth of Gold in His New House

'It was under the furniture, under piles of linen, in the bathroom ... everywhere'

(Newser) - Inheriting a house from hoarders isn't so bad when the stuff they hoarded is ... a whole bunch of gold. The AFP reports a man inherited a house in France from a deceased relative only to discover $3.7 million worth of hidden gold. “It was under the furniture,... More »

Woman Murdered at French Home for Missionaries

Police aren't sure whether attack linked to terrorism

(Newser) - French police have launched a massive manhunt for a masked gunman who murdered a woman at a retirement home for Catholic missionaries Thursday night. Montpellier prosecutor Christophe Barret says a woman called police to say she had been attacked at the facility in the village of Montferrier-sur-Lez, the Guardian reports.... More »

Paris Thieves Nab $5.6M in Highway Heist

Luxury car with two Qatari sisters is forced off the road

(Newser) - Armed robbers near Paris made off with $5.6 million Monday—from a highway, not a bank. Police say two Qatari sisters in their 60s were traveling along the A1 motorway from Paris' Le Bourget airport when robbers forced the driver of their Bentley to pull over near a service... More »

French Voters Reject Sarko Comeback

He unexpectedly loses party primary

(Newser) - Nicolas Sarkozy isn't going to get a second shot at the French presidency: The former president was unexpectedly defeated in a primary for the center-right Republican party, reports Reuters . After his defeat, Sarkozy endorsed former prime minister Francois Fillon, who will face Alain Juppe, another former PM, in a... More »

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