France

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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 »

Robbers Grab $9.5M in Jewels From Armored Cars

Authorities in France say holdup took place at toll booth

(Newser) - Finesse can help in a jewel heist, but brute force is handy, too. Police in France say about two dozen "heavily armed and battled-hardened" robbers attacked two armored cars at a highway toll booth, securing a payday of $9.5 million in jewels, reports the Guardian . Not a single... More »

French Sports Stars Dead in Helicopter Crash

Helicopters collided, officials in Argentina say

(Newser) - Two helicopters carrying passengers filming a popular European reality show crashed yesterday in a remote area of northwest Argentina, killing eight French passengers and two Argentinian pilots, authorities say. The crash near Villa Castelli in La Rioja province, about 730 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, killed all 10 people on... More »

Policewoman Among 4 Held in Paris Terror Attacks

At least 1 reportedly linked to gunman Amedy Coulibaly

(Newser) - Four people are in custody in connection with the Paris terror attacks in January, the AP reports via unnamed officials. At least one man held is reportedly linked to Amedy Coulibaly, who was killed by security forces after he killed a policewoman and four people at a kosher supermarket. Another... More »

Paris Stumped by Second Night of Drone Flybys

Officials to investigate footage of devices

(Newser) - The City of Lights is abuzz a second day over mysterious drones that flew over Paris landmarks again last night, the BBC reports. Five drones were spotted in a three-hour period last night at locations like a military museum, city gates, and Place de la Concorde. Authorities plan to review... More »

Mystery Drones Over Major Sites Rattle Paris

Devices seen near Eiffel Tower, US embassy

(Newser) - Paris remains edgy after terror attacks earlier this year, and the appearance of five unexplained drones overnight isn't helping. "It could be a coordinated action, but we don't know yet," a police source tells the Telegraph of the devices, which were seen at well-known sites including... More »

France: 200 Graves Trashed at Jewish Cemetery

French president denounces 'odious and barbaric' act

(Newser) - Hundreds of graves have been vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France in what President Francois Hollande calls an "odious and barbaric" anti-Semitic act against French values. The vandalism comes at a time of growing insecurity among French Jews and amid general religious tensions in Europe, after Islamic... More »

How 'Upscale' Orgies Made a Comeback

Dominique Strauss-Kahn isn't the only one

(Newser) - Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a French court last week that, hey, he's only been to 12 sex parties over the past three years. And "six girls at once did not seem a considerable number," he adds. Not considerable? While his trial on aggravated pimping charges continues, the Telegraph... More »

Topless Protesters Swarm DSK Trial

He takes the stand today in French prostitution trial

(Newser) - Topless protesters swarmed outside the French courthouse where Dominique Strauss-Kahn was to testify today in a trial involving orgies and an alleged prostitution ring . Police tackled the protesters from the provocative group Femen as they shouted and climbed onto what appeared to be the arriving car of the former head... More »

80 Monopoly Sets Made With Real Money Inside

They're among 30K new sets printed in France

(Newser) - It's been 80 years since Monopoly first made its way to France, and to celebrate, manufacturers are hiding 80 games with real money in a new printing of 30,000 sets. While 69 of the 80 will have five 10-euro notes and five 20-euro notes, and another 10 will... More »

France Aflutter as DSK's 'Aggravated Pimping' Trial Opens

French former finance honcho accused in orgies with prostitutes

(Newser) - France isn't usually too concerned about the intimate details of its leaders' lives, but for Dominque Strauss-Kahn , the public is making an exception, the Financial Times reports. Ever since he was accused of sexually assaulting a maid in New York in 2011—charges were eventually dropped—the former head... More »

French Police Question Boy, 8, Over Terrorism Remarks

He wouldn't participate in moment of silence at school

(Newser) - Just how on edge is France after the Charlie Hebdo attack ? This might provide a clue: Police in Nice questioned an 8-year-old boy for a half-hour because he refused to take part in a moment of silence at his school and instead praised terrorists, reports AFP . “In the... More »

French Court: You Can't Name Your Kid 'Nutella'

'Strawberry' rejected for another baby

(Newser) - Baby Nutella has a new name. A French court has banned parents from using their planned name, saying it's not healthy for the child, Time reports via La Voix du Nord . "The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread," the... More »

France's Terror Plan: Hire 2,600 Officers, Monitor 3K

Country to spend $490M over 3 years

(Newser) - France announced sweeping new measures to counter homegrown terrorism today, and one set of numbers is getting a lot of play: In an intelligence agent hiring spree, the country will hire some 2,600 counter-terrorism officers, 1,100 of them specifically for intelligence services. Anti-terror surveillance is needed for 3,... More »

Paris Hero Granted French Citizenship

Mali-born worker hid supermarket customers from gunman

(Newser) - Lassana Bathily, the Mali-born worker who saved several people when a gunman attacked a kosher grocery store in Paris earlier this month, is now a Frenchman. The 24-year-old Muslim, who has been in France for nearly a decade and filed his citizenship papers last year, had his application fast-tracked and... More »

Paris Gunman Buried in Unmarked Grave

Said Kouachi is buried in Reims over mayor's objections

(Newser) - City officials in Reims say one of the terrorists responsible for attacks last week that killed 17 people was buried in the eastern French city over their objections and despite concerns that the grave could become a shrine for extremists. Said Kouachi, the elder of the two brothers who gunned... More »

Al-Qaeda in Yemen on Charlie Attack: It Was Us

But subsequent violence was coincidental, statement says

(Newser) - Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in an online video called "Vengeance for the Prophet: A Message Regarding the Blessed Battle of Paris," the New York Times reports. The group says it "chose the target, laid the plan, and... More »

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