Francois Hollande Meets with Pope Francis

Hollande may use visit to rebuild ties with Catholic community

  • Share
  • Read Later
Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

French President François Hollande and his partner Valérie Trierweiler accompany guests following a meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Oct. 1, 2013

French President François Hollande met privately with Pope Francis on Friday, in his first overseas visit since reports of his alleged affair with an actress.

The visit was covered live by Vatican Television, which showed the motorcade arrival in the Apostolic Palace courtyard, the president’s walk with Swiss Guards and his greeting with Pope Francis in his private study.

Hollande may be hoping the visit will improve how the French perceive him, since a majority of the country is Catholic. The president has suffered historically low approval ratings in recent months.

The president’s personal life was thrust into the spotlight when Closer reported Hollande was having an affair with actress Julie Gayet. The magazine published photos of a man it claimed was Hollande, being driven on a scooter to a reported tryst with Gayet.

His partner of several years, Valerie Trierweiler, checked into a hospital for exhaustion following the reports. It’s not yet clear whether she will join him for a state visit to Washington D.C. on Feb. 11.

Hours before his arrival, a small homemade bomb detonated near a French foundation that manages architectural finds in Rome. The Carabinieri military police reported no one was injured despite shattered windows and three damaged cars nearby.

[CNN]

11 comments
famulla555555
famulla555555

French President Francois Hollande opted not to unblock any more chapters in EU accession talks on a “historic” trip to Turkey.


EU officials late last year expected him to do it in order maintain a positive momentum after France lifted its veto on chapter 22, on regional policy, allowing the accession talks to restart in November.


But Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan in December shocked Europe by launching a crackdown on police and judges who tried to investigate high-level corruption.


He also tabled a law that gives him control over judicial appointments in violation of EU norms on judicial independence.Hollande is the first French head of state to visit Turkey since Francois Mitterand 22 years ago


He said little on Turkey’s political crisis at a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, the increasingly authoritarian country’s more acceptable face, on Monday (27 January).


But when asked if he is ready to lift his veto on any of the four chapters still blocked by France, he said it would be better for Cyprus to lift its veto on chapters related to law and order.


“The chapters which I think should be under discussion are precisely those which concern the subjects which currently pose questions for Turkey - the separation of powers, fundamental rights, rule of law, justice,” he said.

helendrummond89
helendrummond89

I can't get past the atrocious choice of music used in the movie. The effect of the soundtrack completely destroys the mood of the story...www.Bay87.ℂℴℳ

famulla555555
famulla555555

The new total means that since December 28th enrollment is up about 850,000. If we assume the three million milestone happened mid-week then the total at the end of January should be in the neighborhood of 1.1 million. That's including 3 days which are properly part of December (29-31).

What are we to make of this? On the one hand, the pace of enrollment is definitely down from December. If the 1.1 million figure is correct then enrollment is off more than 35 percent compared to last month. That's in keeping with what seemed to be happening in states that reported their own numbers mid-month.

However, it's important to note that HHS had always predicted a decline in January after the first big deadline in December. Specifically, they expected to see about 1.1 million enroll in December which is about half of what they expected for December. What this means is that the administration will likely claim January met or exceeded expectations even though they are still behind overall.

famulla555555
famulla555555

In an audio recording released Thursday, the leader of Al QaedaAyman al-Zawahri, called on Islamist brigades in northern Syria to stop fighting one another, to focus on toppling President Bashar al-Assad and to form an Islamic court to arbitrate disputes. Fifteen days of infighting between rebel brigades and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is inspired by Al Qaeda, had killed nearly 1,400 people as of Wednesday, according to a count kept by the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Mr. Zawahri has little sway over most of the groups fighting in Syria.

famulla555555
famulla555555

Discussions about the outcome of upcoming polls and the advent of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were major talking points.


"Everyone is more positive about economic recovery in different markets and there is an increasingly positive mood in Davos this year. About India, everyone is waiting for the elections and people are in watch mode," N Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD of India's largest IT firm TCS told PTI. 

"What I am telling the Indian ministers here is that they should use platform like Davos to tell the world about their showcase projects that they have delivered," Hinduja Group's Prakash Hinduja said. 

According to Hinduja, a noted businessman, there is a perception the Indian government has done little, but that is far from the truth as government has indeed done many things. 

Global real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle's (JLL) India head Anuj Puri said the mood about India is "something like subdued optimism or dissatisfied optimism". 

Participating at WEF, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had said foreign investors continue to remain bullish on India and government's steps to fast track project clearances have given a boost to the growth story.

famulla555555
famulla555555

Therein lies the fundamental difference between then and now - that the images of children learning how to properly and safely operate guns is "shocking."  We think this without pausing to consider why it's supposedly shocking.  It's because we've spent the last 50 years in deep and progressive moral decay where the core values of the children and their parents in these pictures is very, very different from the core values of children and their parents today.  Overtly liberalized and "progressive" parents borne out of the Sixties have been variously indoctrinated in the beliefs that capitalism is evil, Republicans are evil, sex has no consequences, killing infants in the womb is proper under the guise of a "right to privacy," ending the lives of the elderly is likewise acceptable because it's difficult to deal with infirm old people, the nebulous category of the rich should be taxed until they are broke (then we should go drain their bank accounts, too, to get our "fair share" as Obama and numerous bumper stickers proclaim), we should actively be creating a government-centric Socio-Communist utopia that its citizens must worship lest they be trapped in the meat grinder of disapproval (for example, being Christian, or against that utopia, or against unfettered acceptance of sodomy as a moral basis for usurping marriage, or failing to believe that the government does not always act in our best interest), or purporting that disincentivizing an entire generation of already shiftless and disaffected young people utterly lacking in what might remotely be called a moral compass (see the UK and Europe in general for this reality writ large).   In fact it's a stipulation of our new covenant:  That we have no God, no controls, we are amoral automatons shunted about by the random happenstance of the universe, that we are essentially meaningless voids grasping at meaning, finding none.  These photographs are deliberately held up by the "journalists" of today as though they were some sort of amazing anthropological find - "Look how retrograde the world was back then!  Children learning gun safety in a school!  Hideous!  Shocking!"  We are supposed to nod our heads in all gravitas, pointedly agreeing with the mocking tone informed by our faux civility and tissue paper moral superiority to that deeply ignorant generation who were in fact were our parents and in many cases our grandparents.  What should be most shocking is that we lack the fundamental moral fortitude, insight, and even crude self-awareness to see the quiet intelligence and wisdom of a generation that had no qualms about exercising its basic Constitutional rights (you remember those, don't you?) and that would never have imagined that they or their children or their children's children - raised properly and uprightly and according to natural law - would ever have remotely considered that the guns they were learning to operate safely would ever be used by dark, twisted, demonized young men to slaughter people.  They saw such darkness for what it naturally was clearly and it never would have occurred to them to confuse the devil inside the hearts and minds of men with the shockingly ignorant point of view of modern liberalism that it is possible to legislate away the darkness hiding in the souls of men.  


famulla555555
famulla555555

While private investors showed a voracious appetite for gold in the wake of a sharp drop in prices, professional investors were absent from active buying, a trend expected to persist through this year. But a short-covering rally in the first quarter of this year isn't being ruled out and this could contribute to the recent stabilisation at  a little more than $1,185/oz.


Tapering of the bond-buying programme in the US by the Federal Reserve didn't have a major impact on the gold market, as prices fell in the second quarter. The result was while exchange-traded fund (ETF) investors sold 880 tonnes through 2013, bar hoarding in East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and West Asia stood at 1,066 tonnes.

It is expected tapering in the US will continue till the end of this year and by then, some interest rate guidance is expected to emerge. Improving economic fundamentals are expected to continue to improve investor appetite for risk and prevent hefty gold investment.

"With investment activity muted, gold is likely to show a more seasonal pattern than has been the case in recent years. This points to the possibility of a brief test of $1,000, should there be any further investor retreat in the second and possibly the third quarters of the year. But physical demand is expected to be robust enough to defend any test of this level and any such dip will be short-lived," said Rhona O'Connell, head of metals research and forecasting at Thomson Reuters.

Gold to take a back seat to other asset classes this year, but strong physical demand will sustain elevated average price this year. China was the world’s largest jewelry fabricating nation in 2013 with 33% of the world total, while Indian government restrictions choke off local growth; China and India form 51% of world jewelry fabrication. Net of scrap, global jewellery fabrication gained 48% year-on-year in 2013.

famulla555555
famulla555555

CAN WE HAVE PEACE NOW NO NO NO NO   Lithuanian, Polish and Swedish ambassadors repeated their country’s calls for EU sanctions on Ukraine at a meeting of the bloc’s Political and Security Committee in Brussels on Thursday, EU sources say.

But the rest followed Germany’s line that EU diplomacy should concentrate on stopping violence instead.

“The overall assessent is that at this stage precedence should be given to diplomatic engagement,” one EU contact noted.

“There was overwhelming support for engagement. The situation is not black and white. It’s very complex and we have to take things forward in a way to end violence, so that no more people are killed,” the contact said.

The source explained that Ukraine is split between western Ukraine, where there is greater support for the opposition, and eastern Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych’s heartland, where he still has support.

“The solution must meet the aspirations of all the people,” the EU contact added.

The internal EU debate comes amid renewed threats by Yanukovych’s security chiefs to use force.

"The events of the last days in the Ukrainian capital have shown that our attempts to solve the conflict peacefully, without recourse to a confrontation of force, remain futile," interior ministry Vitaliy Zakharchenko said in a statement on Saturday.

famulla555555
famulla555555

Libyans like to say their country will one day be seen as “Dubai on the Mediterranean” -- rich, successful and advanced. But as their country struggles with a fitful political transition from autocracy to democracy amid storms of militia violence, political squabbling and lawlessness, they are now hearing for the first time talk that Libya could go bankrupt.


That could happen in four years, according to Revenue Watch Institute, a New York-based think tank.

In a study by its economic analyst, Andrew Bauer, a former member of Canada’s G7 and G20 delegations, Libya has all the oil resources it needs to become the richest country per capita in North Africa but “if current trends continue, the nation of 6.5 million may well go bankrupt by 2018.”

Libyan government officials scrambled to dismiss the forecast but just a few days ago, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Libya, Ali Salem, warned that Libya’s overdependence on oil “could become a nightmare.” Directly addressing the hopes of Libyans of an Emirate-style future, he cautioned at a seminar in Tripoli that Dubai’s enormous wealth comes not just from oil, but is generated by a diversified economy.

Because of economic policies pursued during the 42 years of Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s dictatorship, Libya lacks a diversified economy and has only a fledgling private sector. Half of all of those in the labor force are on the government payroll.

NotiAtamelang
NotiAtamelang

LOL... I wonder if he confessed?

Oops, I forgot the French are not the riddled with hypocritical sin complexes the way we are in the US.