France

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Louvre Spending $67M to Keep You From Getting Lost

President plans to make museum more accessible to everyone

(Newser) - Ever waited in a two-and-a-half-hour line at the world's most-visited museum? Its own president has, when he tried visiting the Louvre as a tourist, the New York Times reports. Now, Jean-Luc Martinez is working to make the museum more visitor-friendly—and tougher to get lost in. He's reorganizing... More »

Uber Runs Into Big Trouble in Sydney

Accused of price-gouging in hostage crisis amid new legal trouble in France

(Newser) - Uber ran smack dab into trouble today amid the somewhat unlikely backdrop of Sydney's hostage crisis: The company's rates quadrupled , automatically soaring because, as users of Uber's app were told, "demand is off the charts." Mashable reported on the issue, and Uber subsequently made all... More »

Archaeologists' Surprise Find: Ancient, Busty Statuette

They put it together from 20 fragments

(Newser) - Archaeologists in northern France were digging for "tooled flint or bones," they say, when they came upon something stunning: what ended up being a 23,000-year-old sculpture of a woman. While digging near Amiens over the summer, they noticed some pieces amid the limestone they had found didn'... More »

5 Ancient Skeletons Found in Shackles

Child's remains among those discovered at Roman site

(Newser) - Investigating an ancient Roman burial site in southwest France, researchers came upon a creepy find: Five skeletons—one of them a child's—were stuck in shackles, the Independent reports. Iron chains were locked around the ankles of three of the skeletons, while another had shackles on its neck. The... More »

France to Pay Holocaust Survivors Sent to Camps in French Trains

They and their heirs can collect from $60M compensation fund

(Newser) - During World War II, France's state rail company transported about 76,000 Jewish prisoners to Nazi camps. Today, those who survived and made it to the US and other countries are getting some payback from the French government, reports the Wall Street Journal . France has agreed to set up... More »

Big Fail: City's 'Nazi-Style' Homeless Cards

Human rights groups compare Marseille cards to patches from Holocaust

(Newser) - A plan to help health workers identify and assist homeless people has quickly fizzled out in the French city of Marseille for one main reason: The cards that were handed out recalled the Star of David the Nazis forced Jews to wear. The city's initiative saw homeless people outfitted... More »

Families Sue Over Girls Switched at Birth—in 1994

The swap was confirmed a decade ago

(Newser) - In July 1994, Sophie Serrano's newborn was put in a hospital incubator as part of the infant's treatment for jaundice. Baby Manon wasn't alone: A second baby girl suffering from jaundice shared the incubator. When the French girls were removed, they were accidentally switched by a nurse... More »

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 »

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