France

Former Wimbledon champ Amelie Mauresmo retires

Amelie MauresmoParis, Dec 3 : Former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo said Thursday that she was retiring from professional tennis.

"This is a decision that has been thought out," the 30-year-old Mauresmo told journalists in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux. "Perhaps a certain amount of indifference has become part of me."

Rumours of Mauresmo's retirement have been frequent in French media since she called halt to her 2009 season after a 6-4, 6-0 defeat at the hands of Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round of the US Open.

French World Cup winning coach says Domenech must go

French World Cup winning coach says Domenech must go Paris, Nov 27 : The man who coached France to its first World Cup win in 1998, Aime Jacquet, has fiercely criticized the current manager, saying in comments published Friday that Raymond Domenech should already have been fired.

"When you are in a post like his, which was also mine, four years is enough," Jacquet said in an interview published in France Football magazine. "Because afterwards, it's too difficult. There are too many conditions that keep you from working well."

Nicolas Sarkozy ‘helped’ Roman Polanski get bail

Nicolas Sarkozy ‘helped’ Roman Polanski get bailLondon, November 27 : French President Nicolas Sarkozy helped Roman Polanski get bail after the filmmaker spent two months in a Swiss prison on a child sex case, it has emerged.

The director’s sister-in-law Mathilde Seigner hinted that the leader has been instrumental to the recent development.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is thanks to the President that Roman has been freed, but he has been super. The President has been very effective,” Times Online quoted her as telling Le Parisien newspaper.

Banks continue to hide huge losses, warns IMF head

Banks continue to hide huge losses, warns IMF head  Paris, Nov 25 : Banks are continuing to hide huge losses from investors, imperiling the economic recovery, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was quoted Wednesday as saying.

"Large losses remain concealed - 50 percent (of total losses) are perhaps still hidden in the (banks') books," Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, told the daily Le Figaro. "The proportion is greater in Europe than in the United States."

India-France bilateral trade hit by slowdown, says envoy

India-France bilateral trade hit by slowdown, says envoy Kolkata, Nov 24 : Bilateral trade between India and France will be hit this fiscal on account of the global economic meltdown, a French diplomat said here Tuesday.

"Our target was to reach 12-billion-euro ($18 billion) bilateral trade by 2012 from the present 7 million euros. But, I think, it will be delayed owing to the global slowdown," France's Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont told a seminar here.

Thierry Henry considered quitting France over handball uproar

Thierry Henry considered quitting France over handball uproarParis, Nov. 23 : Striker Thierry Henry considered ending his France career over the uproar that surrounded his blatant handball in last week''s World Cup playoff victory over Ireland.

"Oh yes," the France captain was quoted in Monday''s French sports daily L''Equipe as saying when asked whether retiring from international soccer had crossed his mind.

"Friday, when it all went too far, I was very worked up."

French Researchers Successful in Creating Human Skin from Stem Cells

French Researchers Successful in Creating Human Skin from Stem CellsGiving new hope to patients who have been marred by burns, researchers in France have been able to create new human skin from human embryonic stem cells, and the move is being seen as a boon for burn victims in particular.

FIFA rules no replay of France-Ireland qualifier

FIFA rules no replay of France-Ireland qualifier Zurich - FIFA Friday rejected an Irish appeal to replay the France-Ireland World Cup qualifier which was decided following an illegal hand ball by Thierry Henry.

Football's world governing body said the result of the match could not be changed and there could be no replay.

"As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final," a statement said.

Swedish referee Hansson rubbished at home over Henry handball

Swedish referee Hansson rubbished at home over Henry handballStockholm - Swedish tabloids Thursday rubbished the Swedish trio that officiated over the World Cup play-off between France and Ireland after failing to spot French captain Thierry Henry's handball.

Henry's controversial move set up William Gallas who scored in extra-time Wednesday, securing France a place in the 2010 World Cup finals.

"Bungle of a lifetime" blasted Stockholm tabloid Aftonbladet.

Irish minister calls for replay after French "handball" defeat

Irish minister calls for replay after French "handball" defeatDublin - Republic of Ireland player Damien Duff's tears summed up the mood of a nation Thursday after Irish hopes of qualifying for the football World Cup were dashed as a result of "handball" by French captain Thierry Henry.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern lashed out at the international governing body of football, Fifa, after the Republic was cruelly "robbed" of their hopes for a place in next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

US, Europe job markets to remain weak until 2011, OECD says

US, Europe job markets to remain weak until 2011, OECD saysParis - Although much of the world appears to be emerging from the economic crisis, joblessness is expected to remain high in the United States and Europe at least until 2011, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Thursday.

"It is only sometime down the line that the recovery will become sufficiently strong to reduce unemployment," the OECD said in its semi-annual Economic Outlook, issued in Paris.

Irish players gutted after handball goal knocks them out

Irish players gutted after handball goal knocks them outParis  - France needed extra-time and a controversial equalizer from William Gallas Wednesday before eventually securing a 1-1 draw against Ireland that was enough to book their place at next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg in Dublin, France found themselves in a dogfight from the moment Robbie Keane levelled the tie on aggregate 33 minutes into the first half.

France's Kouchner calls on Israel to advance peace process

France's Kouchner calls on Israel to advance peace processTel Aviv  - Israel needs quickly to advance the peace process, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday as he began a round of meetings with Israeli officials.

"The coming days area test for the Israeli government, since time is not on the side of both parties (to the israel-Palestinian peace process)," Israeli media quoted Kouchner as saying has he met Israeli Minorities Minister Avishai Braverman.

Tokyo supplants Paris as world's capital of three-star restaurants

Tokyo supplants Paris as world's capital of three-star restaurantsParis  - Paris is no longer the culinary capital of the world, if that distinction is measured by the number of restaurants honoured with three stars by the Michelin Guide.

The online edition of the weekly Le Point reported Tuesday that, with the publication of the 2010 Michelin Restaurant Guide for Tokyo, the Japanese capital now boasts the largest number of three-star restaurants in the world, 11, one more than the French capital.

In 2009, Tokyo had trailed Paris with nine three-star restaurants.

Rains spark flooding on Canary Islands

Rains spark flooding on Canary IslandsMadrid - Heavy rains sparked flooding Tuesday on Spain's Canary Islands, where rainwater inundated buildings and caused traffic jams in the Gran Canaria capital Las Palmas, emergency services said.

The rains followed heavy flooding on Tenerife, where currents swept away vehicles and sparked mudslides on Monday. Several people were evacuated from homes, schools or shopping centres, especially in the north-west of the island. Some flights suffered delays.

Several roads remained blocked, and many schools were still closed on Tuesday. The rainstorms were described as the worst since 1968. (dpa)

French company Areva to provide enriched uranium for Czech utility

French company Areva to provide enriched uranium for Czech utility Paris - French nuclear energy company Areva said Tuesday it has signed a 15-year contract with Czech utility CEZ to provide enriched uranium for its Temelin power plant.

A statement by CEZ said the contract was "a very important part" of its long-term strategy to diversify energy supply.

The Czech company operates six nuclear reactors on two sites, which provide 31 per cent of the Czech Republic's electricity generation.

Airbus sells first A380 aircraft configured to carry 840 passengers

Airbus sells first A380 aircraft configured to carry 840 passengersParis - European aircraft maker Airbus said Tuesday it had sold its first A380 airliners configured to carry a maximum of 840 passengers in a single class.

French carrier Air Austral, based in the overseas territory of La Reunion, ordered two of the aircraft to serve its high-density route from La Reunion to Paris.

The standard three-class configuration for the A380, the largest commercial airliner ever built, has room for 525 passengers.

Sarkozy to visit Saudi Arabia for talks on Middle East peace

Sarkozy to visit Saudi Arabia for talks on Middle East peaceSarkozy to visit Saudi Arabia for talks on Middle East peaceRiyadh - French President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to touch down in Saudi Arabia later Tuesday for an overnight visit to the kingdom.

Saudi media said the top item on the agenda of a meeting with King Abdullah would be the stalled Middle East peace process.

Tender Offer unveiled by Danone to purchase Bonds up to EUR1.25 billion

Tender Offer unveiled by Danone to purchase Bonds up to EUR1.25 billion
The gross debt would be slashed by French food and bottled water company Danone via the release of a public tender cash offer for some of its bonds up to a maximum principal aggregate amount of EUR1.25 billion, said the company Monday.  

At the end of the first half of 2009, Danone had EUR4.11 billion of net debt and its offer to purchase bonds is applicable to any and all of its EUR1.25 billion 5.25% notes due May 6 2011.

Rosetta comet chaser captures spectacular image of Earth

Rosetta comet chaser captures spectacular image of EarthParis, November 16 : The OSIRIS instrument on ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Rosetta comet chaser recently captured a spectacular image of the Earth.

The image was acquired with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera from a distance of 633,000 km.

The resolution is 12 km/pixel.

The image is a part of a sequence of images taken every hour through one full rotation (24 hours). The movie will be published later.

The illuminated crescent is centered roughly around the South Pole.




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