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France : A country of western Europe on the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel. It was settled by the Franks after the retreat of the Romans, who had conquered Celtic Gaul in 58-51 B.C. Charlemagne made it the center of his Empire of the West after A.D. 800. In the Middle Ages France was split into numerous fiefdoms and kingdoms, most of which were incorporated into the royal domain by the time of Louis XI (reigned 1461-1483). Widespread poverty and discontent led to the French Revolution (1789) and the end of the monarchy. The First Republic (1792-1804) was followed by the First Empire (1804-1815) under Napoleon Bonaparte, a period of constitutional monarchy (1814-1848), and a succession of republics broken by the Second Empire (1852-1870) under Louis Napoleon. Much of France was occupied by Germany in World War II. Paris is the capital and the largest city. Population: 54,334,871.

Paris discreet amid hopes for release of two French hostages in Iraq (AFP via Yahoo! News)
Paris remained tight-lipped about the fate of two French journalists abducted over a month ago in Iraq following the release of up to 10 hostages there, including two Italian female aid workers.

PARIS DISCREET AMID HOPES FOR RELEASE OF TWO FRENCH HOSTAGES IN IRAQ (The Tocqueville Connection)
P ARIS, Sept 29 (AFP) - Paris on Wednesday remained tight-lipped about the fate of two French journalists abducted over a month ago in Iraq following the release of up to 10 hostages there, including two Italian female aidworkers.

France welcomes Italians' release in Iraq, highlights French journalists' plight (TurkishPress.com)
PARIS, Sept 28 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarain hailed the release Tuesday of two Italian aid workers taken hostage in Iraq and said he hoped two French journalists who remain in insurgents' hands there would also be freed.

Paris warns oil price could hit French growth (Expatica Netherlands)
ARGENTEUIL, France, Sept 28 (AFP) - Budget Minister Dominique Bussereau said Tuesday that French economic growth would be reduced by one percentage point if oil prices stayed at USD 50 per barrel throughout 2005.

French 'envoy' says deal on freeing journalists in Iraq, Paris denies (AFP via Yahoo! News)
A purported French envoy seeking the release of two French journalists held hostage in Iraq told Al-Arabiya television he had seen the pair and a deal had been reached for their release.

Most French against Turkey in EU (The Washington Times)
Paris, France, Sep. 28 (UPI) -- Most French don't want Turkey to join the European Union anytime soon, a poll finds.

French interior design ready to storm U.S. homes this fall (Omaha World-Herald)
Forget the memories of "freedom fries," pouring French wine into the gutter and boycotts of vacations to Paris and Provence. This fall, American as well as European manufacturers are vying for your home furnishings dollar with the lure of France's unmatched sense of style.

No pact on turban, say French Sikhs - The Times of India (The Times of India)
LONDON: France's Sikh community has tartly rejected Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh's benign assurance that their controversial plea had been heard by Paris and French Sikh schoolchildren will be allowed to wear substitute headgear in place of the recently-banned turbans.

 

 
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