France

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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 »

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 »

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