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February 17, 2014 | By S. Irene Virbila
Small wonder French wine producers are looking forward to this year's biennial wine fair Vinexpo Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong. According to the French wine trade body FEVS (Féderation des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux), in a story reported by the British Wine magazine Decanter , French wine exports in 2013 were down by 3.1% in volume. (The sales value was just 0.1% less.) Interestingly, the volume of low-priced exports eroded the most, a whopping 17.3%. Champagnes and higher-priced wines with A.O.C.
February 11, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Acknowledging "enormous frustration," President Obama said Tuesday that his administration "continues to explore every possible avenue" to help resolve the nearly 3-year-old Syrian civil war, although he again said he had no plans for military intervention. Appearing with French President Francois Hollande, a reliable partner in his foreign policy agenda, Obama called Syria a "crumbling" state and worried that conditions there have destabilized the region. The president also expressed frustration in another area of close cooperation with France, threatening to come down "like a ton of bricks" on businesses that would trade with Iran while international talks continue over its nuclear program.
February 8, 2014 | From staff reports
SOCHI, Russia - U.S. Figure Skating called a report it is involved in collusion to fix the ice dance result in favor of U.S. couple Meryl Davis and Charlie White "categorically false. " The French newspaper L'Equipe, quoting an anonymous Russian coach, said the United States and Russia have struck a deal that would help Davis and White win the ice dance gold and Russia win pairs and the team event. The U.S. dancers have been in close competition with Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for five seasons.
February 7, 2014 | By David Wharton
- It seems Martin Fourcade has grown tired of waiting. The French biathlete ranks among the favorites to medal when his sport begins a full schedule of events Saturday at the Laura Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Center. "Over four years we've spoken of this, of being in a 'box' that's all about training," he told the Olympic News Service this week. "And so I'm ready to leave it. I only want to get going. " Fourcade will face tough competition from two Norwegians. Emil Hegle Svendsen dominated at the 2013 world championships and Ole Einar Bjoerndalen needs one more medal to equal the record of 12 for the Winter Games.
February 6, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Philippe Jaroussky is one suave countertenor. Were there an early music Rat Pack, he could lead it. Appearing with the Venice Baroque Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday, Jaroussky, who turns 36 next week, looked the part of a Handelian Harry Connick Jr. Stylishly tuxedo-ed as if for a Las Vegas stage show of a time when class still mattered, his presence was smooth as silk. His voice is sweet as honey yet far more fluid. He left little wonder why he has become an unusually big star (for a countertenor, anyway)
January 30, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Despite the sunshine, gentle breezes and placid waters, something wicked this way comes in "Stranger by the Lake," French filmmaker Alain Guiraudie's tantalizingly erotic fable of love, passion and death. Though Guiraudie's work often circles around the complexities of sexual urges among gay men, he's never gotten as close to reality as he does in this film. At the same time, the writer-director casts a wide metaphorical net to examine that most fundamental human connection. Though the sex is fevered and explicit, the camera roaming over bodies with abandon, the questions raised are more abstract.
January 17, 2014
Re “How to torment telemarketers,” Business, Jan. 14 This column by David Lazarus about frustrating telemarketers inspired me to begin answering the phone in my native French. The first guy who called, from a company that usually calls several times a day, was so frustrated by my French that he quickly hung up. The second guy kept asking whether I spoke English, and I kept saying “Francais,” so with a loud sigh, he hung up too. My wife speaks Cantonese, so we're going to rotate the fun. Maybe we'll start having some peace and quiet now. Alain Jourdier Murrieta I certainly understand the frustration with telemarketers.
January 15, 2014 | Robin Abcarian
It's a sad day in France when the unmarried president spends the night with a woman who is not his girlfriend and sparks a national furor. Last week - as you have undoubtedly heard -  a salacious news story broke in the French press: The president cheated on his girlfriend! The French celebrity magazine, Closer, which broke the story, devoted seven pages to the scandal. Closer reported that Socialist President Francois Hollande, 59, was seen arriving at the apartment of French actress Julie Gayet, 41, by scooter late one evening.
January 14, 2014 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS -- French President Francois Hollande faced the press for nearly three hours on Tuesday but refused to answer questions about reports of an affair with an actress. Hollande said only that he and his partner, France's official First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, were going through a “difficult and painful period.” He insisted, “I have one principle, and that is private matters should be dealt with privately.” Trierweiler was admitted to hospital, reportedly suffering from shock and depression, after a celebrity magazine reported Friday on Hollande's alleged trysts with actress Julie Gayet.
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