Tag Archives: France

Current Event Cat of the Day: Beauty Pageant Ban

Current Event Cat - Kitty Boo Boo Beauty Pageant Ban

The French Senate has voted to ban child beauty pageants on the grounds that they promote the “hyper-sexualisation” of kids.

The Senate approved the beauty pageant ban 197-146 overnight on Tuesday, as part of the new “equality bill” which focuses on women’s rights. The legislation must still go to the lower house of parliament for further debate plus another vote but the French seem pretty dead set on sparing their people from the French version of Honey Boo Boo (Miel Boo Boo?).


The measure was introduced as part of an effort to protect children (primarily young girls) from being prematurely forced into roles of seduction that may harm their development.

“The foundations of equal rights are threatened by the hyper-sexualization that touches children … between 6 and 12 years old,” said conservative lawmaker (and former Sports Minister) Chantal Jouanno, who authored the amendment.

“At this age, you need to concentrate on acquiring knowledge. Yet with mini-Miss competitions and other demonstrations, we are fixing the projectors on their physical appearance. I have a hard time seeing how these competitions are in the greater interest of the child.”

Under the new law, judging children under the age of 16 on their physical appearance in “beauty contests” would be a criminal offence in France, and organizers may face up to two years in prison and have to pay a hefty fine ($40,000) if they fail to comply with the beauty pageant ban.

But what about in America, the home of Toddlers & Tiaras, where creepy 5 year-olds dressed as prostitutes are plastered all over TLC?? Well, I don’t think America would ever go for an outright ban (Freeeeedom!!!) but maybe if a nice young Indian girl won they would shut the whole thing down…. (9/11!!!!)

Via: The Huffington Post & Current Event Cats

French Cartoon Angers the Japanese

The Japanese Mad About Cartoon

The Japanese and Muslims now have something in common: they both throw fits of rage over cartoons in obscure European newspapers.

The Japanese are furious after the French satirical weekly, Le Canard Enchaine, published a cartoon depicting two emaciated sumo wrestlers with extra limbs at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. The caption of the political cartoon reads: “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport”, a reference to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Fukushima cartoonA second image features two people in protective clothing conducting radiation tests by the side of a pool, along with the caption: “There is already a pool in Fukushima for the Olympics.”

The Japanese SO MAD that they plan to lodge an official compliant (gasp!) with the French embassy.

The triple meltdown at Fukushima, which is about 227 km north of Tokyo, was deemed a level seven incident on an international scale. For context, only one other incident was ever given this high of a ranking – the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Since the incident, which was triggered by the 2011 tsunami, the plant has continued to be plagued by problems, such as leaks of radioactive water from storage tanks and concerns that contaminated water is seeping into the ground.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the cartoons give the wrong impression about Japan and the nuclear plant meltdown and resulting wastewater issues are under control and will not affect the Olympics.

“It is inappropriate and gives the wrong impression about the issue of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi,” Suga said. “It is extremely regrettable.”

Relax Japan. You’ve already won the Olympic bid despite the whole Fukushima nuclear crisis/ongoing safety concerns. And you’ve got bigger things to worry about. Like developing thyroid cancer from all that radiation…

Via: The Guardian

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François Hollande Is Also Spying On The French

François Hollande

President François Hollande is looking foolish today after the French newspaper Le Monde revealed that France is the latest country to be given the Big Brother label.

Just days after François Hollande gave the United States a stern talking to, telling them to stop eavesdropping on Europe if they want progress on a trade deal, Le Monde accused France of spying on its own citizens’ phone calls, emails, and internet activity.

François Hollande gave a speech last week calling the revelations that America spies on its allies “unacceptable” and demanding an immediate assurance that survelliance would be stopped or he would block negotiations on a transatlantic free trade treaty.

“We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies,” Mr Hollande said. “We ask that this immediately stop. There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union, for all partners of the United States.”

Well the joke’s on Hollande now because he’s doing the same thing to his own constituents.In a similar style to the NSA’s Prism program, Le Monde reports that France runs a vast electronic surveillance operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens’ phone and internet activity. The program reportedly doesn’t look at individual intercepts for content, but uses the data to connect the dots and networks of communication, essentially creating a map of “who is talking to whom”.

But the French also record data from large American networks like Google and Facebook, the newspaper said. Apparently, data on “all emails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts” are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure’s headquarters in Paris.

I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that every government everywhere has some kind of surveillance system in place. Except maybe in Vanuatu – they haven’t discovered computers yet.

Via: LA Times

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You Can Take Away Le Pen’s Immunity but Never Her Racism! And Other News

Marine Le Pen

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was stripped of her European Parliament immunity Tuesday, paving the way for her prosecution in France. 

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front (FN), is accused of incitement to hatred and discrimination. French prosecutors opened a case against Le Pen back in 2011 over comments she made comparing Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation of France. Le Pen is sticking to her comparison though!

“I’m going to defend myself before the court and I’m absolutely convinced that the court will rule in my favour and protect my right to say to the French the truth about the situation, notably prayers in the streets but not only that,” Le Pen said.

She added that she “dared to say what all the French people think”. Or at least the 17.9% of them who voted for her in the last presidential election… Globe and Mail

SnowdenSnowden Watch: 2013. No one seems to want to give the 29-year-old hacker a home. Snowden has requested sanctuary from at least 21 countries but so far only Venezuela and Bolivia have responded favourably. India, Brazil, and Poland all rejected him, while Austria, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Spain said any asylum request had to be made in person and it’s a shame he’s stuck in the Moscow airport. He needs to go somewhere though – the Kremlin said he had withdrawn his application to Russia. Snowden rescinded his request from Russia after President Vladimir Putin said Snowden would have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to stay. Putin also said “It’s the same as shearing a piglet: there’s a lot of squealing and not much wool.” What? New York Times

China MOther LawAvoiding your mother is illegal in China! A Chinese court has ordered a woman to visit her mother once every two months, in the first case under a new law to protect the elderly. The new law, called the “Elderly Rights Law”, came into effect Monday amid rising concerns that elderly people are being neglected or mistreated by their children. Not only did the court order the woman and her husband to visit the 77-year-old mother, they must also provide financial help. If this makes its way to North America, we’re all doomed. BBC News 

BC BombsHappy belated Canada Day! Yesterday British Columbia police foiled a Canada Day bomb attack.  John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody from Surrey (where else!) have been arrested and accused of plotting to plant a bomb outside the provincial legislature in Victoria on Canada Day. RCMP say the contents of the improvised explosive devices included nuts, bolts, nails, washers and other materials intended to kill or maim people. The two suspects were “inspired by al-Qaeda ideology” but not connected to any international terrorism ring. Just two nuts from Surrey! CBC News

Big Catch MealAnd the winner of the worst meal in America goes to…… Long John Silver’s Big Catch meal! The batter-laden fried fish dish contains 33 grams of trans fat and 3,700 milligrams of sodium. The Center for Science in the Public Interest , who chose the Big Catch as the worst restaurant meal in America, is not a fan of the fast-food chain: “This company is taking perfectly healthy fish — and entombing it in a thick crust of batter and partially hydrogenated oil. The result? A heart attack on a hook.” Raw Story 

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Hollande Demands Journalists Back… And Other News

Hollande Demands Immediate Release

 “Give us back our journalists!” Hollande demands.

French president François Hollande has demanded the return of the two missing French journalists in Syria. The journalists, reporter Didier François and photographer Edouard Elias, had been on their way to Aleppo from the Turkish-Syrian border when radio broadcaster Europe 1 lost touch with them. Hollande fears they have been kidnapped and says their lives are at risk. He also emphasized the need for journalists in Syria so the world could keep an eye on the civil war and human rights violations. Fun fact: An Amnesty International report published last month named Syria as the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. CNN

Bieber in SpaceFinally! Someone is shooting Justin Bieber into space! The only catch? He will probably return… unless there is a mysterious mechanical failure. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson tweeted that Bieber booked a seat along with his manager Scooter on one of the company’s suborbital spaceflights: “Great to hear @justinbieber & @scooterbraun are latest @virgingalactic future astronauts. Congrats, see you up there!” The tickets require a $250,000 deposit, which is not a bad price for ridding the world of Justin Bieber, if only temporarily. Maybe we should all chip in and get Chris Brown a seat. And then work on that mysterious mechanical failure… CBC News

Gilbert Goes HomeTurns out if you pay a prostitute to have sex with you and she doesn’t put out, you’re allowed to shoot her. A jury in Texas just acquitted a man who admitted he shot an escort who took his money but refused to have sex with him. When she refused to return his $150, Ezekiel Gilbert shot her in the neck. She didn’t die but did become paralyzed – and then died seven months later. His defense team argued that his actions were justified because he was trying to retrieve stolen property: the $150. The jury agreed and Gilbert thanked God and went home. NY Daily News

Bolivia Buried AliveWell that’s one way to punish a rapist: A man suspected of rape (and murder!) has been buried alive by villagers in the southern highlands of Bolivia. The 17-year-old suspect allegedly raped and murdered a 35-year-old woman and the villagers were less than impressed. They took punishment into their own hands, grabbing Santos Ramos and burying him alive in the grave of his alleged victim. They then filled the grave with dirt and blocked the roads into the village to stop police from arriving. Well, that takes care of that! Assuming he was indeed the attacker… otherwise, that’s a rough way to go. Justice – Bolivian style! BBC News

Prince PhilipAnd Prince Philip’s 92nd birthday present is… exploratory surgery! The Queen’s husband will spend his 92nd birthday in London hospital recovering from exploratory surgery involving “abdominal investigations”. Philip was admitted on Friday, just one day after attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace in central London. The royals released a statement saying Philip was in “very good health” and the surgery had been planned in advance. But this isn’t the first time the royal couple has been hospitalized – last year Philip was in for a bladder infection and the Queen had symptoms of gastroenteritis. New York Times

Pop v SodaAre you a pop person or a soda person? Now you can know for sure with the help of an interactive map! Joshua Katz, a Ph.D student in the Department of Statistics at NC State University, has published a set of maps that show the different ways Americans pronounce these much-debated words and phrases. Apparently I’m a pop person, no one is a soft drink person, and people in the south speak funny. NBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Notre Dame Suicide

Current EVent Cat - Suicide Notre Dame

French far-right activist Dominique Venner killed himself at the altar of the Notre Dame cathedral in protest of the same-sex marriage law that came into effect three days earlier. And people say the gays are the drama queens….

On Tuesday, Dominique Venner walked up to the altar of Notre Dame, a popular tourist attraction in Paris, and shot himself in the mouth with a single-shot pistol as the jaws of 1500 visitors simultaneously dropped. After Venner blew what little brains he had left out, police quickly evacuated the cathedral, which remained closed to the public for the remainder of the day.

Dominique Venner, 78, was an essayist and activist linked with France’s far-right and nationalist group. The day before his suicide, Venner used his blog to attack the law passed by the Socialist government last week allowing same-sex marriage and adoption, which he called ‘vile’ and more “disastrous” for France than the prospect of Islamist rule. Oh yeah, he also really hated African immigration.

Venner remained silent during his suicide, but left a note behind which was read out loud by a friend on a conservative radio program:

“I believe it is necessary to sacrifice myself to break with the lethargy that is overwhelming us.”

“I am killing myself to awaken slumbering consciences.”

While many dismissed Venner as a nazi terrorist, Marine Le Pen was not one of them. Le Pen, the leader of the the far-right Front National, hailed Venner’s suicide as a political gesture.

“All respect to Dominique Venner whose final, eminently political act was to try to wake up the people of France,” Le Pen wrote on Twitter, later adding that “it is in life and hope that France will renew and save itself”.

Hundreds of other far-right sympathizers gathered in the square in front of the Notre Dame cathedral to pay tribute to the former Algerian War veteran and far-right militant Tuesday night. We can only hope their idea of paying tribute is to follow in his footsteps…

Via: Current Event Cats

Current Event Cat of the Day: Gay Marriage

Current Event Cat - French Gay Marriage

The French Senate voted today to legalize gay marriage in France, putting it on track to be legal by this summer – just in time for wedding season!!

Despite the divided public opinion on the issue of gay marriage, President François Hollande has already promised to sign the legislation.

France’s justice minister, one of the bill’s biggest fans, said the reform will “move our institutions towards ever more freedom, equality and personal respect.”

Not only will the bull allow same-sex couples to marry, it will also allow them to adopt children, which many French people object to. Opinion polls suggest that around 55-60% of French people support gay marriage, but only about 50% approve of gay adoption.

Opponents, mostly conservatives and die-hard Roman Catholics, have sought to defend traditional marriage by staging loud demonstrations throughout the bill’s passage through Parliament. But I guess they didn’t demonstrate loud enough, because Hollande seems pretty hell-bent on signing this thing.

Via: Current Event Cats

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French Mother on Trial for “I am a Bomb” T-Shirt

French Mother "I am a bomb"

 If there’s one person who shouldn’t be walking around declaring “I am a bomb”, it’s a boy named Jihad.

A French mother, Bouchra Bagour, has gone on trial today in Avignon for sending her 3 year old son to nursery school wearing a T-shirt reading “I am a bomb” on the front and “Jihad, born on 11 September” on the back.

Bagour, 35, told the court she admitted the move was “tactless” but insisted it was not meant as a provocation. Apparently she simply wanted to make note of her son’s birthday on September 11 and did not intend to reference the 9/11 attacks. Right… then where does the bomb part come in?

Bagour’s brother, Zeyad Bagour, who is also facing charges for having bought Jihad the T-shirt, told the court he had never sought to defend any cause by buying the T-shirt.

Prosecutors at the criminal court in Avignon demanded a €1,000 fine be imposed against Bouchra Bagour and a €3,000 penalty against her brother Zeyad for the offence of “glorifying a crime”.

While Jihad is not an uncommon name in the Muslim world, I can tell you one thing – you wouldn’t get away with this kind of crap in Iceland.

Via: BBC News

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