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Weekly Roundup, Friday 22 March 2019

Bet you can’t name this distinctive capital city. See item, below. Good morning“I’m sorry, I’m having difficulty understanding that right now.  Please try again later.”That was the regular response, during the last nightmarish couple of weeks, to my regular morning request “Alexa, turn on David Bed Light”.  An intermittent problem with my new Netgear router often meant it had frozen overnight, so when it came time to turn on the light in the morning as part of a regular getting out of bed routin...
Tags: Airlines, Current Affairs, Destination, Hotels, Miscellaneous, Newsletter, Science, Security Horror Stories, Weird and Wacky

CORRECTION: Forget flying carpets, flying taxis are coming your way

"People have been dreaming about it for decades on paper, and now the technology is here," said Michael Thacker, executive vice-president for technology and innovation at Bell. Thacker said his company has joined with ride-hailing app Uber and several aeronautics firms, including France's Safran, to create a fleet of flying taxis that are called vertical take-off and landing vehicles (VTOL). The Nexus, as this hybrid electric propulsion aircraft is named, was first unveiled in January at the C...
Tags: Science, France, Consumer Electronics Show, Safran, Michael Thacker, Bell Thacker

Macron woos East Africa but French companies struggle to make inroads

Two days earlier, he toured churches hewn into the rock in Ethiopia. Macron, 41, is trying to recast the style of France's engagement in Africa, where it was once a colonial power, hoping that building warmer cultural and personal ties will help boost business, trade and investment. A consortium led by Vinci secured a 30-year concession worth 1.6 billion euros to operate a highway linking the Kenyan capital and Mau Summit in western Kenya.
Tags: Science, France, Africa, Ethiopia, East Africa, Macron, Vinci

Algerian doctors call for protests against Bouteflika

Algerians are desperate for new leaders to replace Bouteflika and other veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France who dominate the country. The changes have brought no halt to demonstrations under way for more than three weeks against a ruling elite viewed as out of touch with a population suffering from economic hardship and corruption. Bouteflika, 82, has rarely been seen in public since a stroke in 2013, and protesters say he is unfit to rule.
Tags: Science, France, Bouteflika

Algerian unions refuse to support PM's efforts to form government

"We will not hold discussions with this system, we belong to the people and the people said 'No' to the system," Boualem Amora, one of the leaders of the education sector unions, told reporters. Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui has promised to create an inclusive government of technocrats, taking in the military and business representatives, in a country dominated by veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France. Many Algerians, who have been demonstrating for more than three we...
Tags: Science, France, Bouteflika, Noureddine Bedoui, Boualem Amora

Climate protests: First the students, now adults in France

PARIS (AP) — While some yellow vest protesters rioted along a famed Paris avenue, elsewhere in the French capital an entirely different scene unfolded Saturday: tens of thousands of people marching peacefully to urge faster government action against global warming.
Tags: Science, France, Ap, Paris

Climate protests: First students, now adults march

PARIS (AP) — A day after worldwide student climate protests, families and activists are marching in France to force faster government action against global warming. One group gathered Saturday near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, hoping for peaceful actions that contrast with violence at yellow vest protests nearby. Another march is expected from the […]
Tags: Business, Science, News, France, Ap, Nation, Paris, Arc de Triomphe

French leader, others urge speed in climate change fight

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — France's president and others made passionate calls on Thursday to speed up the fight against climate change, telling a United Nations environmental summit that impatience is growing among those who will inherit the battle.
Tags: Science, France, United Nations, Nairobi Kenya

Chickens Peck Intruder Fox to Death, Because They're Dinosaurs

One fox learned the hard way that it's unwise to mess with a flock of dinosaurs.The young fox, just about 6 months old, probably thought it had struck gold when it snuck into a chicken coop at dusk last week at a farm school in Brittany, in northwestern France.But chickens, like all birds, are the descendants of dinosaurs. And this particular coop held 3,000 hens. As soon as the sun set and the light-controlled, automatic hatch door closed behind the fox, the birds channeled their inner Tyra...
Tags: Science, France, Brittany, Afp, Daniel, Ouest France, Le Gros Chêne, Pascal Daniel, Peck Intruder Fox

New Algerian premier promises broad government, urges dialogue

Noureddine Bedoui laid out his plans at a news conference in Algiers three days after ailing President Abelaziz Bouteflika announced his decision not to run for a fifth term that would have extended his 20 years in power. Bouteflika's move came after tens of thousands of Algerians staged demonstrations demanding an overhaul of a political system dominated by veterans of the 1954-62 war of independence against colonial power France. "Algerians were expecting Bedoui to provide answers, which he ...
Tags: Science, France, Algiers, Bouteflika, Ahmed Ouyahia, Noureddine Bedoui, Bedoui, Abelaziz Bouteflika, Hassen Zitouni, Reuters NEW GOVERNMENT

Environmental groups take France to court over climate change inaction

Environmental groups including Greenpeace and Oxfam have filed an unprecedented court action against the French government, accusing it of insufficient policy actions to tackle climate change. The groups aim to persuade the Paris Administrative court to force the government to apply its own policies, such as the multi-year energy plan, known as the PPE, and international agreements such as the 2015 Paris Climate accord. "The state is not living up to commitments it has made itself, especially ...
Tags: Science, France, Paris, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Cécile Duflot

Climate campaigners take France to court

Four environmental NGOs on Thursday sued the French government for failing to uphold its commitments on fighting climate change, the latest in a series of high-profile cases that aim to force governments around the world into action. The foundation of Nicolas Hulot, a crusading former environment minister who quit President Emmanuel Macron's government last year over what he saw as its failure to green the economy, has teamed up with Oxfam, Greenpeace and "Notre Affaire A Tous" (It's Everyone's...
Tags: Science, France, Colombia, Emmanuel Macron, Nicolas Hulot, Oxfam Greenpeace, Netherlands Pakistan

Oil slick heading to French coast after cargo ship sinks

An oil slick was heading towards the French coastline on Thursday after an Italian cargo ship sank in the Atlantic carrying 45 containers of "dangerous materials", authorities said. France will deploy four ships to help battle the oil slick at sea and will prepare for a clean-up operation on land, he added. "For now the possible pollution risk consists mainly of the 2,200 tonnes of heavy fuel oil on board," Jean-Louis Lozier, head of the regional maritime authority, told reporters in Brest on ...
Tags: Science, France, Atlantic, Brest, Jean Louis Lozier

'Dangerious materials' in sunken cargo ship off France: authorities

"For now the possible pollution risk consists mainly of the 2,200 tons of heavy fuel oil onboard," Jean-Louis Lozier, head of the regional maritime authority, told reporters in Brest on France's Brittany coast. All 27 people onboard were evacuated on Monday night as the fire worsened, causing the ship to sink about 260 kilometres (160 miles) southwest of Penmarc'h on France's Atlantic coast.
Tags: Science, France, Atlantic, Brittany, Brest, Jean Louis Lozier, Penmarc

Italian cargo ship sinks off France's Atlantic coast after fire

An Italian cargo ship sank about 330 kilometres (200 miles) off the western Atlantic coast of France on Tuesday after rescue vessels were unable to put out a fire that broke out late Sunday, officials said. French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy told lawmakers in Paris on Tuesday that officials still did not know what the ship was transporting, but that anti-pollution measures were already being taken.
Tags: Science, France, Atlantic, Paris, Francois de Rugy

As China prevails, France's Macron shuffles his cards in Djibouti

Djibouti, strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal, hosts France's largest naval base on the continent and is home to some 1,400 personnel used to train African troops as well as to monitor the Horn of Africa and Yemen. "France considered Djibouti for too long to be a territory that was won," said a senior French diplomat based in the region. "But now the competition from China is fierce." Those comments echoed President Ismail Omar Guelleh'...
Tags: Science, France, China, Djibouti, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Horn of Africa, Ismail Omar Guelleh, Macron, Yemen France

Algerians celebrate as Bouteflika abandons plan to seek new term

Tens of thousands of people from all social classes have been demonstrating almost daily against Bouteflika's decision to stand in the election, rejecting a stale political system dominated for nearly 60 years by veterans of an independence war against France. "Our protests have borne fruit! We defeated the supporters of the fifth term!" said taxi-driver Mohamed Kaci, 50. Bouteflika, 82, has ruled for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.
Tags: Science, France, Bouteflika, Mohamed Kaci

Algeria judges refuse to oversee vote if Bouteflika participates

Bouteflika returned to Algeria on Sunday after undergoing medical treatment in Switzerland. The 82-year-old Bouteflika faces the toughest fight of his 20-year-old rule, following a tenure in which he became the north African country's most powerful president in 30 years. Algerians from all social classes have rejected his plan to secure a fifth term in April elections, a move protesters feel would perpetuate a stale political system dominated by veterans of an independence war against France t...
Tags: Science, France, Switzerland, Algeria, Bouteflika

Physicists Try to Understand Concussions by Whacking Beakers With Hammers

Concussion research is usually the domain of medical science, but a group of physicists in France decided to tackle the subject in a very... tactile way. They banged a beaker full of water with a hammer, hoping to better understand the forces and motions involved in head trauma. Read more...
Tags: Science, Medicine, France, Concussions, Aps March

The Green New Deal Is Unserious and Juvenile

Do you ever wonder why people run for office? I mean, unless you’re a total cynic, you must assume that at least part of the motivation is wanting to do good. Sure, you want fame and prestige, but you also have strongly held views and want to affect public policy, right? So why in the world would you engage in sabotage of the ideas you hope to advance?That’s undeniably what Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) have done with their juvenile Green Ne...
Tags: Science, France, Russia, National Institutes of Health, Chernobyl, Markey, Ed Markey, La Porte Texas, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ocasio Cortez, Recently the Union of Concerned Scientists, Sam Thernstrom, Energy Innovation Reform Project, United States Three Mile Island

Train and metro services halted in Algerian capital ahead of protests

Algerian authorities halted train and metro services in the capital Algiers on Friday amid heavy security ahead of expected protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Tens of thousands of Algerians, tired of the dominance of elderly veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France, have been demanding that Bouteflika step down, but despite ill health, he has submitted his candidacy papers. Mass protests are expected to start in the afternoon.
Tags: Science, France, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algiers, Bouteflika

Algeria's Bouteflika, facing demands to quit, warns against infiltration of protests

An Islamist insurgency in the 1990s that broke out after the army blocked an election victory by an Islamist party was crushed at the cost of up 200,000 lives. At the lawyers' protest, police were deployed to monitor the demonstration but as with previous protests, they did not intervene. Tens of thousands of Algerians, tired of the dominance of elderly veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France, have protested for the past three weeks to urge Bouteflika not to stand in an el...
Tags: Science, France, Algeria, Bouteflika

Algeria war veterans back protests demanding end to Bouteflika's rule

The ongoing unrest poses the biggest challenge yet to the Bouteflika and his inner circle which includes members of the military and intelligence services and businessmen. "It is the duty of Algerian society in all its segments to take to the streets," the influential National Organisation of Mujahideen - veterans who fought alongside Bouteflika in the 1954-1962 war of independence against France - said late on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of people have rallied in cities around Algeria in the l...
Tags: Science, France, Algeria, Bouteflika, National Organisation of Mujahideen

Google, Amazon Tax Shows Need for EU Majority Vote, France Says

“Finland, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden shouldn’t be allowed to block 23 countries from imposing a tax that they think is needed and just,” Le Maire said at a press conference in Paris as he presented a French tax that would apply to about 30 Internet giants like Facebook Inc. and could raise 450 million euros ($509 million) in its first year. France’s tax, which Le Maire called, “simple, targeted, and efficient,” is a temporary measure while the EU and The Organisation for Economic Cooperation a...
Tags: Science, Sweden, France, Eu, Paris, Facebook Inc, Google Amazon, Le Maire, EU Majority Vote France Says, Finland Denmark Ireland

Brazil's Vale fired inspection firm that failed to certify dam: prosecutors

After the thumbs down from inspection firm Tractebel, a subsidiary of France's Engie, Vale said it would no longer ask the auditor to perform regular inspections of the dam. It cited "divergences in the criteria utilized to evaluate geotechnological safety," prosecutors said, citing unnamed witnesses' testimony. Instead, Vale relied on Germany's TÜV SÜD , which signed off on the dam that burst and killed hundreds in January, despite evidence from its own readings that the structure was "way be...
Tags: Science, France, Germany, Brazil, Vale, Tractebel, Engie Vale

Amazon May Finally Have to Start Paying Taxes (in France)

A newly unveiled French tax proposal targets American internet companies like Amazon, a company notorious for paying zero federal taxes in the United States on multibillion-dollar annual profits.Read more...
Tags: Amazon, Science, Taxes, France, United States, Lobbying, Who Pays Taxes

Algerian students protest against Bouteflika offer to shorten new term in power

Hundreds of protesters staged small demonstrations in several cities outside the capital, footage posted online showed, continuing almost two weeks of marches and rallies against the 82-year-old leader's plan to seek a fifth term. Bouteflika's offer, made on Sunday, appeared aimed at undermining the wave of youthful opposition against his 20-year rule and shore up an establishment dominated by aging revolutionary stalwarts of the 1954-62 independence war against France. A former Algerian gover...
Tags: Science, France, FLN, Bouteflika

LeoStella satellite venture hands over CEO reins to aerospace executive Mike Hettich

TUKWILA, Wash. — Mike Hettich has finally completed his transition from chief learning officer to chief executive officer at LeoStella, the satellite manufacturing joint venture headquartered here. Hettich came to LeoStella from Kirkland, Wash.-based Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems, where he served as vice president for 19 years. For the past few weeks, he's been learning the ropes at the Tukwila development and manufacturing facility from Chris Chautard, who stepped down from the CEO ...
Tags: Science, France, Tukwila, Thales Alenia Space, Kirkland Wash, Mike Hettich, TUKWILA Wash, LeoStella, Hettich, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems, Chris Chautard

Tens of thousands of Algerians call on Bouteflika to step down

Earlier a sea of people, young and old, had thronged the streets after Friday prayers, chanting "Bye, bye Bouteflika!" and "Peaceful! Peaceful!". Large scale demonstrations - rarely seen in Algeria - against plans for Bouteflika to seek a fifth term in power in April elections began a week ago but Friday saw the biggest turnout yet. Among the crowd was Djamila Bouhired, 83, a heroine of the 1954-1962 independence war against France, who told reporters: "I'm happy to be here." After hours of m...
Tags: Science, France, Algeria, Bouteflika, Djamila Bouhired

Does Rolls-Royce Really Want to Make Jet Engines?

The “uncontained failure” of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on a Qantas A380 almost caused the plane to crash.  Subsequently all A380s with these engines had to be grounded while modifications were made. Coming from an English-heritage country (New Zealand), Rolls-Royce has always been a brand with special magic to me, and to most other people of English extraction.In decades now well past, the name Rolls-Royce was the sine qua non of highest quality, highest reliability, ultra-prestigious motor...
Tags: Travel, UK, Science, Ge, France, Miscellaneous, US, Los Angeles, Tech, Vw, Current Affairs, Sydney, New Zealand, Qantas, Airbus, Bmw

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