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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Participate in UNAEAUSTRALIA NEPALESE IDOL 2013

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 21, 2013

Idol series, one of several television shows that give formerly unknown persons an opportunity to become stars. The Idol series began in the United Kingdom and has since spread around the world – AustraliaSingaporeCanadaFranceGermanyIndia, the United StatesDenmarkNorwaythe NetherlandsFinlandSwedenSouth AfricaWest African countriesIndonesia, and many other countries. Japanese idol, a heavily promoted and merchandised singer or actor,a model that will later heavily influence the conception of “Idol” in Other Asian countries Pop Culture (Such as: Hong Kong,South KoreaTaiwanSingapore …).

Simon Cowell was given the role of judge on the first series of Pop Idol in the UK by then ITV Controller of Entertainment Claudia Rosencrantz in 2001, he was then judge on the first season of American Idol in 2002. With his notoriously critical reputation, Cowell is likened to TV personalities such as Judith Sheindlin and Anne Robinson. Cowell also appeared on the one-off World Idol programme in 2003, where it became clear that each country’s version of the Idol had attempted to come up with its own “Simon Cowell” type personality. In 2003, Cowell placed No 33 on Channel 4‘s list of the all-time 100 Worst Britons. Cowell’s S Records signed the top two finishers of the first season of Pop IdolWill Young and Gareth Gates, both of whom went on to have No 1 UK hits. Efforts begun in 2001 materialised in 2004, when Cowell returned to his group manufacturing roots with his latest brainchild, the internationally successful operatic pop group Il Divo, consisting of three opera singers and one pop singer of four different nationalities. Inspired by the success of Il Divo, Simon created a child version, Angelis, beating competition from many similar groups emerging at Christmas 2006.

On 11 January 2010, Cowell’s exit from American Idol was made official. The 2010 season was Cowell’s last on the show. It was also announced that FOX had acquired the rights to The X Factor USA, an American version of Cowell’s popular British show, The X Factor, which began in September 2011.

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Nepal’s Mustang is third best tourist destination across the world

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 25, 2012

mustang-nepal-top-destination

mustang.jpg.570x570_q85Australia: Nepal’s trans Himalayan district, Mustang has succeeded to be the third best tourist destination across the world.

Of the best ten tourist destinations across the world, Mustang was picked for its untarnished natural beauty and scenarios by the Lonely Planet.

Tagged as “Little Tibet” and “The Last Forbiddent Kingdom”, the organisation said that one should visit Mustang before breathing his/her last breath on this planet.

The agency has said that though being a part of Nepal, the Mustang territory shares culture, language with Tibet and that its topography and climate has similarities. Read the rest of this entry »

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French police raid home of former president Nicolas Sarkozy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 4, 2012

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (AFP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (AFP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure)

Police officers have carried out a number of raids in Paris – on the villa Nicolas Sarkozy shares with his wife Carla Bruni, on the law offices of the former president’s attorneys and on the apartment provided to him by the government.

Judge Jean-Michele Gentil and financial police searched the Sarkozys’ villa Montmorency, located in the French capital’s most luxurious district, the offices of Arnaud, Claude and Associates, in which Sarkozy is a shareholder, and an apartment given to the former president by the government.

The raids are reportedly linked to a campaign finance corruption scandal involving billionaire L’Oreal heiress Lilian Bettencourt.

Bettencourt, France’s richest woman, is alleged to have illegally contributed two payments of 400,000 euros each to Mr Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign, despite the fact the legal limit on individual donations being 4,600 Euro.

Both were traced to Swiss accounts, and one was allegedly received by Sarkozy in person in Paris, in return for offering the cosmetics magnate  tax breaks once he came to power.  Read the rest of this entry »

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G-8 or G-Zero? Why the West No Longer Sets the Global Agenda

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

MARK WILSON / GETTY IMAGES
G8 foreign ministers (L-R), Koichiro Gemba of Japan, Guido Westerwelle of Germany, Sergei Lavrov of Russia, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alain Juppe of France, John Baird of Canada, Giulio Terzi Di Sant’Agata of Italy, and Catherine Ashton of the European Union, pose for a group photo on April 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton hosted this year’s G8 Foreign Ministers conference at the Blair House

The spectacle of some of the most powerful leaders in the world gathering at Camp David on Friday for the G-8 summit and then for this weekend’s NATO anniversary in Chicago won’t disguise the fact that things seem to be gradually falling apart. These once mighty symbols of international leadership appear almost paralyzed before the tides of economic, financial and political change. The opening of William Butler Yeats’ 1921 poem that found the best devoid of conviction and the worst filled with passionate intensity reads as if crafted as an elegant introduction to an analysis of the global political moment.

(MORE: The G8 Summit at Camp David: This Time, It’s Important)

The G-8 convenes as the euro zone is threatening to unravel, most immediately in the showdown over Germany’s insistence that Greece either swallow the toxic austerity medicine that could kill its economy or see itself banished from the euro zone, potentially triggering global financial losses on the order of $1 trillion. But the forum is unlikely to settle the fate of Greece, much less the underlying tension over policies of austerity to cut spending debt and stimulus policies to revive growth.

When the G-7 was founded in the 1980s its goal was to gather the leaders of the world’s most successful, dynamic economies to plot pathways to further prosperity. Russia was later added to its guest list as a reward for casting off communism rather than as a vote of confidence in its economy. But today, confidence in the group is low. Few seem to believe that the leaders of the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada are equipped to tackle the problems facing the world economy. (They effectively admitted their limitations in 2008 when a far wider forum, the Group of 20 — which included the major emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, Turkey and others — to tackle the global financial meltdown.) Read the rest of this entry »

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France Elections: Sarkozy Gaddafi Donation Claim Weighs On French President’s Campaign

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 29, 2012

By BY ANGELA CHARLTON AP

Sarkozy Gaddafi Donation

PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday fiercely rejected reports that he was offered campaign funding from late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, as new challenges piled up for Sarkozy a week before France’s presidential runoff.

Sarkozy also rebuffed leftist critics who compared his campaign rhetoric to that of France’s Nazi collaborators, as ugly wartime memories surfaced in what has been a particularly bitter presidential race.

Polls predict Sarkozy will lose the May 6 runoff to Socialist Francois Hollande, who promises government-funded jobs programs and higher taxes on the rich – pledges that resonate with a recession-weary electorate.

The campaign funding allegation originates from a year-old claim by Gadhafi’s second son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, that Libya financed Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential bid. The allegation came as Sarkozy was campaigning for international airstrikes against Gadhafi’s forces to stop his crackdown on Libyan rebels.

Although no evidence has emerged that the funding ever took place, French website Mediapart reported Saturday that it had obtained a 2006 Libyan document signed by Gadhafi’s then-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa with an offer by the regime to spend (EURO)50 million on Sarkozy’s campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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Government Plans for Kathmandu Metro Railway

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 30, 2012

Korean consulting firm Chungsuk Engineering Company to prepare a Detail Project Report (DPR) for the construction of Bardibas-Birgunj section of Mechi-Mahakali Electrical Railway system and negotiations with the same firm are underway for the feasibility study of the proposed metro train service in the Kathmandu valley.
The committee is engaged in final negotiations with the same Korean firm (Chungsuk Engineering Company) to finalize the contract agreement after evaluating its technical and financial proposals for the feasibility study of metro railway – a Mass Rapid Transit (underground and elevated railway) system for the capital.
The government pushed for a Mass Rapid Transit system in the valley about two years ago in a bid to manage the worsening traffic conditions in the capital due to unchecked rise in the number of vehicles and poor transport infrastructure. An estimated Rs 80 million is needed to complete the feasibility of the Metro railway line.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarkozy ‘Received £42m From Gaddafi To Fund 2007 Election Campaign’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 12, 2012


Everything possible in politics:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy received £42m to fund his election from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, it was claimed today.

Published on investigative website Mediapart, a governmental briefing note refers to several visits to Libya by Sarkozy’s election team.

The documents make specific reference to Ziad Takieddine, a middle man in huge arms and petrol contracts between France and various Middle Eastern countries.

It is claimed Takieddine went to Tripoli 11 times to supervise the transaction in 2005, “the year where a payment of €50m (£42m) would have been concluded between the Libyans and Sarkozy camp.”

It also claims Brice Hortefeux, Sarkozy’s long time friend, advisor, and later interior minister, “intervened personally” in the financial operations. According to Mediapart, Hortefeux has denied any involvement in the events. Read the rest of this entry »

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Strengthening the UN’s Ability to Maintain International Peace and Security

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 15, 2012

By Lawrence Wittner

Conservative politicians often portray the United Nations as a powerful monster, poised to gobble up the United States and other countries and put them under alien rule.

The reality, of course, is quite different. When it comes to international peace and security, the United Nations is notably lacking in power. Its resolutions along these lines are often ignored or go unenforced. Frequently, they are not even adopted. This situation leaves nations free to pursue traditional practices of power politics and, occasionally, much worse.

The weakness of the United Nations was illustrated once again on February 4, when Russia and China joined forces to veto a UN Security Council resolution dealing with Syria. The resolution was designed to halt eleven months of bloodshed in that nation, where more than 5,400 people had been massacred, mostly by government military forces. Backing an Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, the resolution was supported by 13 members of the Security Council. But, with Security Council rules allowing even one great power to veto action, the resolution was defeated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why American Kids Are Brats

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 11, 2012

And their parents might be getting just what they deserve
Marcelo Santos / Getty Images
MARCELO SANTOS / GETTY IMAGES

Warner’s latest book is We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication.

Amidst all the talk this past week about Pamela Druckerman’s new book, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, there was one phrase that immediately lodged itself in my mind. It was in a sidebar that ran with the Wall Street Journal adaptation of her book,“Why French Parents Are Superior,” and it said this: “Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren’t the only ones with feelings and needs.”

That statement points directly to what I see as one of the most meaningful differences between the French and (contemporary) American style of parenting. I don’t happen to believe, as the Journal pushed Druckerman’s argument to say, that French parenting is necessarily superior, overall, to what we do in America. I don’t think French children are, overall, better or happier people — such generalizations are silly. But it is true that French kids can be a whole lot more pleasant to be around than our own. They’re more polite. They’re better socialized. They generally get with the program; they help out when called upon to do so, and they don’t demand special treatment. And that comes directly from being taught, from the earliest age, that they’re not the only ones with feelings and needs.

(MORE: Warner: Girl Scout Cookies: The Latest Controversies)

I say all this based on many years of extended hanging out time with French families, both before and after my own girls — who, like Druckerman’s children, were born in France — came along. In fact, that experience — and the contrast with the American way of parenting I discovered when I moved back to the States — inspired my book Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxietythe main argument of which Druckerman recapitulates at the very beginning of Bringing Up Bébé. (Fuller disclosure: she interviewed me for the book as well.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarkozy Unexpectedly Calls Earlier French Troop Exit From Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 29, 2012

By BRUCE CRUMLEY

JOEL SAGET / AFP / GETTY IMAGES French soldiers from the 1st Infantry Regiment return to the Nijrab FOB (Forward Operating Base) military base in Tora, in the Surobi province in Afghanistan, on Dec. 31, 2011.

So it turns out France is indeed leaving Afghanistan earlier than planned, and will seek to bring the last of its current 3,900 troops home by the end of 2013. Despite signs earlier in the week from French government officials indicating no premature pullout was in the works (and stories like mine explaining why that was the case), French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday announced he’d draw French troops down a year ahead of the current 2014 NATO departure date—and will moreover urge Alliance partners to replicate France’s stepped-up hand-over of security duties to Afghan forces.

Sarkozy’s decision came after a meeting with visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai. It also occurred one week after Sarkozy threatened to pull French forces from Afghanistan after four unarmed French troopers were gunned down in a fortified base by an allied Afghan army soldier. Infuriated at those killings—which came less than a month after two other French soldiers were killed by presumably friendly Afghan forces—Sarkozy suspended training of and joint patrols with Afghan units. He also said he’d consider withdrawing France’s entire contingent rapidly if the risk from  Afghan allies couldn’t be diminished. In making their comments in Paris Friday, Karzai and Sarkozy sought to allay fears that moves were afoot to bring the NATO operation to an end before its current 2014 deadline. But they also said the ability and numbers of Afghan forces had increased to the point where they could now assume responsibility for the country’s security ahead of the current NATO time table. Read the rest of this entry »

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Salma Hayek Knighted In France

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 4, 2012

Film star Salma Hayek arrives for the Australian premiere of the new animation feature "Puss in Boots" in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

 

Meet France’s newest Chevalier: Salma Hayek. The Mexican actress is one of more than 800 people who were selected by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to be knighted and join the country’s Legion d’Honneur, or Legion of Honor.

In the government’s official journal, Hayek was lauded as a “director and producer (and) active member of charitable foundations for 23 years,” The Telegraphreports. Yet many are up in arms about the honor.

The French president holds the final word on who will join the ranks of the prestigious order. The legion was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, but the selection process has raised eyebrows recently.

Henri Torre, former French minister and also on the list of recipients this year, refused his award. He told the French television station TFI that the distinction is too often used for political goals.

Others have questioned the long list of Hollywood celebrities who have won the award that was initially created to honor services to the French state. When Liza Minnelli received the award in 2011, the New York Times wrote that “the French government tends to hand out Legion of Honor medals like bonbons.” Famous names who have also been bestowed with the award include Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, David Cronenberg and Steven Spielberg.

Salma Hayek will receive her medal in a ceremony in the French presidential palace, according toThe Telegraph. Her father-in-law, Francois Pinault, will be honored in the same ceremony

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Margaret Thatcher Iron Lady Archives Reveal Behind The Scenes Battles Hidden For 30 Years

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 30, 2011

Margaret Thatcher’s bitter battles within her cabinet over the economy, with the military over defence cuts, the Argentinians, the French and their concerns about the abuse of parliamentary expenses have been laid bare in secret documents published for the first time.

VOTE: Thatcher was good for Britain. Agree or not?

The remarkable records reveal how the former prime minister faced a near carbon copy of problems faced today by David Cameron.

The files, released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule that governs the publication of official government papers, come as interest in Thatcher has been re-ignited by the soon to be released biopic The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.

Previously unseen, the documents cover the divisive leader’s 11-year period in power between 1979 to 1990, which saw a radical transformation of British society and economy.

While famous for insisting she would stick by her economic policies, declaring that “the lady’s not for turning” and expelling the so-called “wets” who opposed a squeeze on spending from her cabinet, the files reveal some of Thatcher’s supporters in cabinet apparently feared she was in danger of “going soft” herself.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Why Qatari Owners of Paris’ Soccer Team Hanker For Aging Englishman Beckham

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 22, 2011

By BRUCE CRUMLEY

Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham fights for the ball against Emelio "Chieffy" Caligdong of the Philippines national football team Azkals during their friendly match at the Rizal Memorial football stadium in Manila December 3, 2011.

Why does perennially under-performing Paris Saint-Germain of France’s anemic professional soccer league see hiring a fading star at over $1 million per month as vital to assuring its future? Because the aging player in question is David Beckham, whose marketing and financial allure is considered as important as his footballing skill by PSG’s Qatari owners. And even if Beckham’s representatives are denying reports that the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder has come to an unofficial agreement with PSG, there are reasons to suspect the resurgent rumors may yet come to fruition. After all, the Paris club is only one part of a mix with which Qatari VIPs are looking to boost the Emirate’s prestige through the world’s most popular sport. And despite his advancing age and slowing gait, Beckham remains not only one of the biggest global draws in the game—but just the kind of meta-star capable of mesmerizing celebrity-crazed, sports-fickle inhabitants of Paris.

French media was again abuzz Wednesday with reports that the 36-year-old Beckham has agreed to sign an 18-month contract with PSG once his Galaxy deal expires Dec. 31. According to dailies le Parisien and l’Equipe, Beckham has accepted a league-topping $1.05 million monthly salary whose total value could be nearly doubled by $22.3 million in performance bonuses—most of those based on Beckham’s merchandizing potential, rather than footballing potency. Indeed, in addition to Beckham’s iconic and hunk status that’s expected to broaden PSG’s appeal to a far wider base of Parisians (a population infamous as fair weather fans who demand big matches, lots of glitz, and the likelihood of victory to even start caring much about sports), the association with the former England hero might well allow Paris Saint-German to finally establish a true brand identity abroad. And that, it’s hoped, could mean millions in new income from PSG jerseys selling alongside the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona merchandize in foreign markets–particularly in Beckham-mad Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia to support India’s bid for permanent UNSC seat

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 16, 2011

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)

Russia will back India’s bid for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) if a decision to expand the body is made, President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

The Russian leader said that Moscow considers India “a strong, and real” candidate for joining the body as a permanent member.

The statement was made Medvedev’s joint conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their talks in the Russian capital.

“India is a privileged partner for us,” Medvedev pointed out. He stressed that “all UN countries should agree and reform the Security Council according to a jointly approved scenario.”

“There is no need for India to doubt Russia’s support,” Medvedev assured Singh, as cited by Interfax.

Currently, there are five permanent members with veto power in the UNSC – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. Ten other members of the body are elected once every two years.

An expansion of the council – which was established back in 1946, shortly after WWII – has been discussed for years now. Many agree that it is time to reform the UNSC, since the world has changed a lot and so have the challenges that the international community faces. Several countries are now seeking permanent seats on the council, including the so-called G4 group, comprised of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jacques Chirac, France Former President, Found Guilty Of Corruption

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 16, 2011

PARIS — As French president, Jacques Chirac was called all sorts of names, not the least for his vociferous opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Now, he has a moniker that will stick: Convicted criminal.

The avuncular 79-year-old on Thursday became France’s first former leader to be convicted since Marshal Philippe Petain, who headed the Nazi collaborationist regime during World War II, in 1945. Chirac will not go to prison, but received a two-year suspended sentence for corruption linked to his 18-year term as the mayor of Paris.

In a statement hours after the decision, Chirac said though he “categorically contest(ed)” the verdict, he would not appeal.

Despite the “pain and the profound sadness this verdict has inflicted,” the statement said, “I sadly no longer have the necessary strength to lead before new judges the combat for the truth.”

He said that as mayor, “it is up to me and me alone to take responsibility,” but stressed that “above all, I affirm with honor: I cannot be blamed for anything.”

“I leave (judgment) to my compatriots, who know who I am: an honest man who never had any other desire or motivation than the unity of the French people, the greatness of France, and action in favor of peace.”

The verdict was an uncomfortable coda to Chirac’s four-decade career as a fixture of French politics, and could aid efforts by critics to rid the political system of its cushy cronyism. It also tarnishes the lofty image that French presidents often enjoy at home just as the country gears up for another presidential race.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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