Europe

French Movie Goers Shun French Films: France’s New Cultural Exception?

French films may still be popular with cultural polyglots in New York, London, and other cosmopolitan capitals–and, of course, remain a staple of the global art house circuit. But there’s one crowd that the cream of le cinéma français is no longer thrilling, charming, or luring to theaters with trademark marathon dialogue, …

In France, A Risky Business May Get Riskier

Given French society’s reputation of unbridled sexual attitudes and libertine habits, it’s probably not surprising that a new proposal to combat prostitution is provoking considerable push-back. On the face of it, the initiative appears to be generating heat by sending two pillars of French life clashing in conflict: France’s …

NATO Members Feud While Gaddafi Forces Batter Misratah

It’s increasingly looking like the only factor capable of resolving the international community’s dilemma in Libya is also the one element to that will never cooperate in finding a solution: Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi himself. Because as the meetings, summits, and declarations of coalition partners come and go, it becomes …

Hugh Grant’s Finest Acting Role: As a Journalist

The actor’s name is associated with many things—English charm (Hugh Grant can “twinkle for Britain,” the screenwriter and director Richard Curtis told me as I researched this piece about Grant’s on- and off-screen rival Colin Firth); a weakness for beautiful women including Elizabeth Hurley and Jemima Khan; and a weakness for less

After Gbagbo’s Arrest, What’s Next for the Ivory Coast?

Laurent Gbagbo, Ivory Coast’s isolated and besieged strongman, was finally seized by opposition forces in the country’s biggest city, Abidjan. His arrest follows weeks of bloodletting and mayhem in the West African country, fueled in large part by Gbago’s stubborn refusal to accept the verdict of elections held last November and by …

France’s Burqa Ban Comes Into Force With Much Noise, Little Impact

It sparked the protest, denunciation, and even arrests many had feared, yet as France’s legal ban of the burqa took effect April 11, it had many viewing the interdiction of facial coverings in public as one of the strangest and least enforceable laws in the long and cluttered French history of trying to legislate every aspect of …

Washington Seizes Up and Suddenly Coalitions Don’t Look So Bad

On May 5, Britons are invited to vote in a referendum about voting. They will decide whether to abandon the U.K.’s current first-past-the-post elections (FPTP) in favor of an Alternative Vote (AV) system, which isn’t really much different from FPTP except that voters rank candidates in order of preference, and as candidates are …

U.S. Faces a Libya Stalemate, What are its Options?

That which has been obvious for some time now is finally being officially acknowledged: Libya’s power struggle is stalemated, and is likely to remain that way on the basis of the current level of NATO commitment. That was the grim assessment in congressional testimony Thursday by General Carter Ham, the U.S. commander who led the initial …

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