Thursday, May 19, 2011

19 May 2011: News of the day

Le Parisien devotes only the cover + 6 pages to DSK today! Of course, the big story for Le Parisien is "why are people so interested in DSK?" It probably has nothing to do with the fact that Le Parisien has devoted 8+8+9+6 pages to it so far...

Among the "reasons" pulled out of a "journalist's" ass, is that it's a story taking place in "puritanical America". Right. Only prudes get in a tizzy over RAPE.

According to DSK's lawyer, one of the biggest problems for DSK in prison is that he DOESN'T HAVE A WATCH! As Séguéla, former adman for Socialist François Mitterrand (and matchmaker for Carla and Nicolas Sarkozy) says: "If you're 50 years old and you don't have a Rolex, you're a failure."

In fact, French people don't care about DSK: they care about speed radar stations. In an attempt to lower road deaths, the government has decided to remove the signs warning that a speed radar was installed down the highway. Drivers are up in arms (just how they justify this is hard to understand... is there some inalienable right to drive too fast?), as are members of the UMP governing party (elections are next year!). Radar detectors will also become illegal (but 90% of those who use them will continue to do so). Yesterday a "demonstration" of drivers was organized by the manufacturers of radar detectors.

A story on the European Commission's plan to eliminate disposable shopping bags. They'll be illegal in France by the end of this year. Many stores are charging for them, usually 3 cents each. In Paris, this is total BS, because most people use their disposable grocery bags as garbage bags. I need to start stocking up.... because all that will happen when they're banned is that I will need to buy disposable garbage bags.

WWF has tested tap water and bottled water in various places in France, and found pollutants in all samples. If I'm going to drink polluted water, I'll do it from the tap, where it's cheaper and I don't have to schlep it up the hill. (But I might invest in a new Brita.)

Here in the 20th Arrondissement, a high school student has stabbed a classmate. It appears that the "victim" was a bully who was threatening the kid who stabbed him. In other crime news, the convicted drug dealing brother of Rachida Dati, liar, former Justice Minister, current bored MEP and easily irritated mayor of the 7th Arrondissement, has been arrested for sexual assault.

Story on how new stores need to be beautiful, with a focus on the new A&F store on the Champs Elysées (with the lovely shirtless sales staff). Yum. Other stores featured are Guerlain and Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysées, and Ralph Lauren and Hermès in St Germain des Prés. They all look lovely. Wish I had the taste and the means for these places. Given that I don't have the means, it's probably best I don't have the taste.

"La Conquête", a fiction about the presidential campaign of Sarkozy is out. Curious to see it.
Also in film news, Lar Von Trier says he's a Nazi, but he doesn't hate Jews, except the ones in Israel who really are a pain in the butt. Alas, I fear Mossad has better things to do than to knock of this shithead.

A story on diseases that are significantly more prevalent in the Paris area than in the rest of the country. Top of the list: HIV/AIDS, with 157% more cases than the national average! Also TB, with 93% more cases. In the city of Paris, there are 59 cases per 100,000 persons, compared with a national average of 10. Maybe the ban on blood donations from gay men should be limited to Paris...

More complaints about police abuse from the notorious Goutte d'Or police station... surprise!

Labor inspectors have sent warning letters to stores in Chinatown in the 13th (no news about our Chinatown in Belleville). They are all open on Sunday, which is not allowed. Panic! I am a big fan of laws limiting Sunday openings, but there are sometimes reasons for preserving the principle, while changing the date. I think, for example, of the covered market in the 19th that was dying until a Kosher supermarket opened up. But the City of Paris kicked them out, because the market had to be open on Saturday, according to city regulations. So the market is closed, no one can shop there, on Saturday or any other day.

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