IMF lowers forecast for French economy

France-EuroParis, June 4 : The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday lowered its forecasts for the French economy by 0.1 percentage point respectively in 2013 and 2014.

The organization said France's gross domestic product (GDP) would contract by 0.2 percent this year and grow by 0.8 percent in 2014, instead of the previous predictions of 0.1 percent contraction in 2013 and a 0.9 percent growth next year, reported Xinhua.

"We expect a gradual turnaround of economic conditions in the second half of this year, but risks of a more prolonged stagnation in Europe remain elevated," the organization noted.

French Open: Kirilenko reaches quarters

Maria-KirilenkoParis, June 4 : Russia's Maria Kirilenko beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinals of the French Open.

It took Kirilenko, the world No. 12, more than two hours for the 7-5, 6-4 victory Monday, reaching her first-ever quarterfinal at Roland Garros.

The Russian started the match down 0-3, but managed to pull out the first set despite five double faults and 17 unforced errors.

Paes-Melzer lose at French Open

Paes-MelzerParis, June 1 : Ninth seeds Leander Paes and Jurgen Melzer were shown the door in the men's doubles second round at the French Open here Saturday.

The Indo-Austrian lost to Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and Argentine Horacio Zeballos 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 on court 17 of Roland Garros.

Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna play their opening mixed doubles matches later in the day.(IANS)

China's Li Na enters Round 2 at Roland Garros

Li-NaParis, May 27 : Former champion Li Na beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in straight sets to reach the second round of the Roland Garros here Monday.

Li, the sixth seed, who held a 1-4 record previously, won 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 44 minutes over the 61st-ranked Spaniard, reports Xinhua.

The 31-year-old Li won the red clay tournament in 2011 to become Asia's first Grand Slam champion.(IANS)

Nadal complains about cold weather in Paris

Rafael-NadalParis, May 25 : Seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal said that he is in good shape for the tennis tournament but the only problem that could affect him is cold weather.

Nadal, playing his first Grand Slam event after losing in the second round at Wimbledon, was drawn in the same half as world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, which means he could meet the Serb as early as at the semifinals, reports Xinhua.

"When I came back, I played well," said the Spaniard. "I had a very good few tournaments. I am here back another year and just be there is a very positive news for me. The only negative thing is this cold weather."

Singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki dies

Singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki diesParis, May 24 - Singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki died Thursday in the French Mediterranean city of Nice, his family said. He was 79.

A Greek native, Moustaki grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, and arrived in Paris in 1951.

He began performing at nightclubs and came to know masters of the "chanson française" such as Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg.

Moustaki met Edith Piaf in the late 1950s and was soon writing songs for the legendary singer, including "Milord".

Need more freedom for filmmaking in India: Anurag Kashyap

Anurag-KashyapCannes, May 20 : India's rising star director Anurag Kashyap has complained that filmmakers in in the country still do not enjoy the kind of freedom of space and expression that would allow them to make meaningful films.

"Today, we are forced to treat our audience as children of less than five years and hence we have to only make goody-goody films with a huge dose of escapism. I want to have the option making films that tackle the issues of Indian society head on, rather than being obliged to refer to them in an oblique fashion," Kashyap said at a discussion on the future of Indian cinema at the Cannes Film Festival here.

Sharara re-elected ITTF president

Adham-ShararaParis, May 16 : Canadian Adham Sharara was re-elected as president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) during the World Championships here.

Sharara, who has held the position since succeeding Chinese Xu Yinsheng in 1999 to become the sixth ITTF chief, beat his only rival Stefano Bosi of Italy, the chief of European Table Tennis Federation, 149-53 in a vote at the ITTF General Meeting Wednesday.

An electrical engineer by trade, Cairo-born Sharara was last re-elected in Yokohama, Japan, in 2009.

Carrefour, Walmart set to review India investment plans

Carrefour, Walmart set to review India investment plansFrench retail chain Carrefour and U. S. retail giant Walmart could review their plans to set up stores in India, in case the government doesn't relax some of the "tough" norms in its foreign investment policy.

Both Carrefour and Walmart have reportedly written to the Indian government, expressing their reluctance to make investments in the Indian multi-brand retail market due to uncertainties around the FDI policy.

World TT Championships attract record entry

Table-TennisParis, May 13 : The 52nd edition of the world's premier table tennis event will be held in Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy May 13-20 with a record 463 men and 360 women participating.

The players are from 130 countries and regions competing for the five gold medals on offer - men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles, reports Xinhua.

First case of SARS-like virus in France

First case of SARS-like virus in FranceParis, May 8 : France has identified its first case of coronavirus infection, a virus akin to SARS, the health ministry announced Wednesday.

"This is the first and the only case confirmed in France to date", with an infection by a new virus from the coronavirus family, the ministry said.

It said the infected person had stayed in the United Arab Emirates before returning to France, and is now placed in isolation, reported Xinhua.(IANS)

Renault's revenue go down

RenaultParis, April 25 : France's second largest carmaker Renault has said its revenue fell by 11.8 percent to 8.26 billion euros ($10.75 billion) during the first quarter amid persistent economic downturn in the European bloc.

In a statement issued by Renault Wednesday, the company said it sold 608,455 vehicles in the first three months of 2013, down by 4.7 percent for the same period last year as "in Europe, the market was tougher than expected", where the group reported 10-percent fall in its sales.

As to the automotive division, it contributed negatively to the group total revenue with 7.73 billion euros, down 12.6 percent, reported Xinhua.

Archos unveils three new no-contract, fully unlocked Android smartphones

Android-smartphonesFrance-based device manufacturer Archos has recently unveiled a new line of three impressive no-contract, fully unlocked Android smartphones - the Archos 35 Carbon; Archos 50 Platinum, and the Archos 53 Platinum.

Though, of late, the Archos brand has chiefly been associated with bargain tablets, the unveiling of the new Android smartphone line by the company hints at its apparent attempt to target all consumer levels in the smartphone market.

TCS acquired French IT firm Alti for Rs 533cr

TCS-logoTata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Tuesday announced that it acquired a 100 per cent stake in French IT services firm Alti SA in an all-cash deal worth Rs 533 crore (_75 million).

The strategic acquisition of Alti, which is owned by its management and private equity funds IDI and CM-CIC LBO Partners, will help the India software firm expand its presence in Europe.

Dassault wants different contract with HAL in fighter jet deal

Dassault wants different contract with HAL in fighter jet dealFrench firm, Dassault, which emerged victorious in India’s search for a supplier of fighter aircrafts in a multi-billion dollar deal, has told the government officials that there should be separate contracts for 18 aircrafts that will be flown to the country by Dassault and 108 aircraft to be produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in the country.

Messi, Mascherano injured as Barca play draw in Paris

Lionel-Messi-Javier-MascheranoParis, April 3 : FC Barcelona have paid a heavy price for the 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie away to Paris Saint Germain after star player Lionel Messi had to be substituted at the halftime break and defender Javier Mascherano too being stretchered off late in the game.

Bolisetti 13th in Eurocar race

Bolisetti 13th in Eurocar raceNogaro (France), April 1 : Indian driver Sailesh Bolisetti of team Scorpus Racing finished a credible 13th on his first eventful race outing in the Euro Racecar series here at the Circuit Paul Armagnac.

Having qualified 18th, Bolisetti immediately put his underlying pace to good use and set out to claw his way back up the grid in the 450 bhp Chevrolet Corvette here Sunday.

After passing a couple of cars on the opening lap, he seemed to have the pace for a top-10 finish but some mechanical issues with the braking system prevented him from making required progress.

Eiffel Tower gets bomb threat, evacuated

Eiffel Tower gets bomb threat, evacuatedParis, March 31 - Paris' iconic Eiffel Tower Saturday evening was the target of a bomb threat, leading police to evacuate about 1,500 people from the wrought iron structure raised in 1889, police sources said.

Police evacuated the world famous monument after receiving an anonymous call of bomb attempt made from a phone booth, Xinhua reported.

Around 6.30 p. m., the police advised all the people on the site to leave. In less than an hour later, around 1,500 visitors and employees were evacuated peacefully.

Study: TV continues to attract more people hunting for news than smartphones, tablets and PCs

Study: TV continues to attract more people hunting for news than smartphones, tablets and PCsAccording to the findings of a study by BBC World News, television continues to the primary device for users on the news front, especially in `Breaking News' situations; notwithstanding the increasing usage of smartphones, tablets and PCs for hunting news.

Hollande vows to boost employment, economy

Hollande vows to boost employment, economyParis, March 29 : French President Francois Hollande has said that his priority is to tackle unemployment, the biggest headache for the Socialist government since he took office 10 months ago.

In a live television interview on France 2 Thursday, Hollande reiterated his commitments to the French people although his popularity plummeted in latest poll surveys and the country's economy continues to deteriorate.

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