Wednesday, June 8, 2011

8 June 2011: News of the day

The top story of the day? Social unrest? Rampant crime? DSK? The 2012 presidential election? Nope...

The next story is a full page on a missing teen in southwestern France. He texted his father at 10:45pm to say he would be home by 11 and that he hadn't had dinner. Then nothing. His bike has been found, locked with a lock that is not his. Localizing his last cellphone position has not yielded useful info. He had no problems, was well adjusted. His only problem was his Justin Bieber hairdo.

Former Socialist minister Emmanuelli gave PM Fillon the finger during a session at the National Assembly. Chirac has published the next volume of his memoirs, where he's not nice to Sarkozy. This gives the paper an opportunity to remind readers that Chirac will soon, after years and years of delays, be heading to court for corruption charges.

Rachida Dati is trying to protect "her" seat in the National Assembly (read HERE) from the covetous Fillon. She is crying sexism and "respect for diversity" (I guess that means that the National Assembly needs more people whose brothers have been convicted of various crimes).

It looks like dual nationality, a principle contested by the National Front and by those in Sarkozy's party who wish it were more like the National Front, is safe. Sarkozy has said so, perhaps because his wife has dual nationality (French and Italian).

There's a proposal to extend paternity leave, which is now only 11 days. Mothers have 16 weeks total, before and after birth. The new plan is to offer 12 weeks before birth to women, and 4 weeks to each parent after birth.

50 MPs presented a petition to Air France telling them the firm should buy Airbus plans rather than Boeings. I think the passengers and shareholders of the firm think the firm should buy the plane that offers the best product for the best price. And I wonder if Airbus is keen to engage in illegal favoritism that would immediately be attacked by Boeing.

UGH! It seems that convicted persons who are offered community service can do it BUILDING A CATHOLIC MONASTERY!!!! Please don't give me any "laïcité" bullshit. (And French people: you may now shut the fuck up about "In god we trust".)

After the most recent riots in Corbeil, near Paris, where media-military-industrial mogul Serge Dassault runs the show, there are complaints that the failure to make payoffs usually given to idle youth to keep them quiet is part of the "problem". Last year's crop of fake employees were fired after violence against city workers. These riots are one way to put pressure on the right-wing mayor to rehire the thugs for the summer. (Dassault is a supporter and a member of Sarkozy's "tough on crime" party.)

After rumor-mongering about a pedophile ex minister, Luc Ferry is now in trouble because this ex minister of Education is supposedly a university professor (at least he gets paid as one), but rarely shows up to give a class. He's now been summoned by the university president.

In DSK news, the victim's lawyer has called on all women abused by DSK to come forward. One who won't be is the "journalist"/novelist who turned DSK's attempted rape into such delightful cocktail chatter, before trying to get another 15 minutes of fame by recalling it after DSK's arrest. (I'm convinced he assaulted her, but have no respect for a victim who did not file a complaint at the time, and has since been dining out on her story, and now repeats it, while still refusing to file a complaint. One reason she wants to avoid testifying in the US is that she would look pretty crappy on cross examination making light of this crime on TV.)

The police came with an investigating magistrate yesterday morning to interview the richest woman in France, Liliane Bettancourt, on her illegal financing of right-wing political campaigns. She refused to respond to summons to testify on medical grounds, and now her physician and a clinic where she was treated are being investigated.

A while ago I said I was surprised at some good initiatives by Frédéric Lefebvre since he was named minister of commerce and small businesses. But he's back to his old tricks as a creepy demagogue, supporting shops in Montmartre that open in total illegality on Sunday. Should a minister be supporting an illegal action? Among the reasons for the Mayor's refusal to make an exception is the (true) argument that it will only encourage the transformation from traditional shops to endless clothing stores.

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