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French President Nicolas Sarkozy

January 29, 2010 | By Devorah Lauter
French judges on Thursday acquitted former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on charges of conspiring in a campaign to slander French President Nicolas Sarkozy and prevent his victory in the 2007 presidential election. The ruling was expected to boost De Villepin's position as the conservative most capable of challenging Sarkozy's near monopoly of the moderate right that now dominates French politics. "It's been a nasty birthday for Sarkozy," said Gael Sliman, political commentator and deputy director of France's BVA polling institute.
December 17, 2009 | By Gaelle Faure and Henry Chu
The French government Wednesday proposed a hefty tax on bankers' bonuses similar to one instituted in Britain to discourage rewards for a sector that now relies heavily on public funds to stay afloat. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde unveiled a onetime 50% levy on any bankers' bonuses exceeding about $40,000. The tax, on reward payments made in 2010, would be paid by the employers rather than the bonus recipients. Lagarde's announcement, a week after the British government put forward an almost identical tax scheme, was widely expected.
November 29, 2009
1 Netherlands When Rotterdam's artists and musicians talk about a place they care about, they inevitably point to Worm, the 500-year-old converted soap factory. Five years ago, members of the Worm artist collective cleaned up the abandoned, fire-damaged building, opening its doors to host and produce a daring mix of cutting-edge concerts, films and multimedia arts within a puzzle of intimate spaces redesigned using converted trash. Today, architects as well as revelers come to admire the award-winning interior design of the brick structure set on the banks of a charming canal and across from an old windmill west of the city center.
November 12, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
French and German leaders joined together on Armistice Day for the first time to remember their war dead and pledged to work more closely as partners in Europe. To the sound of the national anthems of the two former enemies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy laid down a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was the first time a German leader had attended France's Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I hostilities on the western front on Nov. 11, 1918.
November 4, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Claude Levi-Strauss, the French philosopher widely considered the father of modern anthropology because of his then-revolutionary conclusion that so-called primitive societies did not differ greatly intellectually from modern ones, died Friday at his home in Paris from natural causes. He was 100. Part philosopher, part sociologist and entirely humanist, he studied tribes in Brazil and North America, concluding that virtually all societies shared powerful commonalities of behavior and thought, often expressing them in myths.
October 31, 2009 | Devorah Lauter
A French magistrate Friday ordered former President Jacques Chirac to stand trial on charges of misusing millions of dollars in public funds as mayor of Paris by allegedly paying friends and colleagues for work they did not perform. Magistrate Xaviere Simeoni led the investigation into allegations that Chirac invented job contracts for several friends and colleagues while he was mayor from 1977 to 1995. He is accused of paying them more than $5 million in public-funded salaries.
June 2, 2009 | Achrene Sicakyuz and Sebastian Rotella
Relatives waited in anguish for word of their loved ones late Monday after officials said there was little hope of finding any survivors of the Air France jetliner carrying 228 people that disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. The Airbus A330 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris flew into a wall of tropical thunderstorms, encountering heavy turbulence and experiencing an electrical failure, shortly before disappearing Monday morning, authorities said.
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