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President Nicolas Sarkozy

June 24, 2011 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
Following America's lead, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Thursday that his nation would begin to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Sarkozy did not specify the number of troops to be brought home but said French forces would start handing over areas they control to the Afghan military. He made his announcement shortly after speaking with President Obama by telephone. In a national address Wednesday, Obama announced that the United States would withdraw 10,000 of its more than 100,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and another 23,000 by September 2012.
April 17, 2011 | By Devorah Lauter, Los Angeles Times
French President Nicolas Sarkozy shocked the world by leading the push for a United Nations resolution to use force against Moammar Kadafi in his battle with rebels, and then unleashing French jets to launch the first airstrikes against the Libyan leader's forces. Perhaps more shocking, a celebrity French philosopher has been given much of the credit for sparking the chain of events. A dandied-up French slant on Hemingway, in his bold activism, literary prolificacy and habit of baring a tan chest in unbuttoned white shirts, Bernard-Henri Levy never goes unnoticed.
March 19, 2011 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
Breaking news update: U.S. launches missile strike on Libyan air defenses, Pentagon says. --AP (12:29 p.m.) French President Nicolas Sarkozy signaled the start of military action against Libya Saturday after an emergency summit in Paris of world powers. Jets from an international force were flying missions over Libya, hours after Moammar Kadafi dispatched troops, tanks and warplanes to the heart of the 5-week-old uprising against his rule in a decisive strike on the first city seized by rebels.
March 14, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on leading economic powers to gather next month and discuss the global consequences of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear threat that have plunged Japan, the world's No. 3 economy, into crisis. An emergency meeting of the Group of 20 economic and energy ministers was proposed by France on Monday night at a session of the Group of 8 powers in Paris. Monday's meeting had been convened to craft a strategy for deterring bloodshed and unrest in Libya.
October 22, 2010 | By Devorah Lauter, Los Angeles Times
The French Senate passed a hotly contested pension revision Friday night, providing a victory for President Nicolas Sarkozy and setting the stage for expected final passage by both houses of Parliament next week. Sarkozy's major policy initiative, which would push back the minimum legal retirement age from 60 to 62, passed by a vote of 177 to 153 with the backing of the conservative majority and some centrists. Friday's vote was accelerated by a government anxious to put a lid on weeks of strikes and sometimes-violent protests against the change in pension rules.
July 11, 2010 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
In a chic Paris suburb, inside the luxury villa of France's richest woman, nobody much cared what the butler saw. When L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt met her advisors or lawyers to discuss secret Swiss bank accounts or lavish gifts to a male friend, the butler would simply bring in refreshments, then leave. But what the butler heard, thanks to a cheap tape recorder smuggled in with the bone china teacups and silver spoons, has proved an explosive twist to a high-profile battle for the Bettencourt billions.
July 5, 2010 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
Two members of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government quit their jobs Sunday after a succession of scandals over lavish spending. Christian Blanc, secretary of state for the greater Paris area, who ran up a $15,000 Cuban cigar bill charged to taxpayers, and Alain Joyandet, secretary of state for overseas development, who hired a private jet at a cost of $143,000 for an official trip to the Caribbean, submitted their resignations Sunday...
May 24, 2010
France, which gave the English language the word "nuance," is offering a nuanced justification for a bill that would outlaw "concealment of the face in public." According to President Nicolas Sarkozy, the proposed measure should not be seen as an act of hostility toward Muslim women, only a small fraction of whom wear the full-face veil. Rather, the bill is designed to protect "personal dignity, particularly women's dignity," and the openness required of citizens in a republic. This rationalization, however, needlessly complicates a simple reality.
May 15, 2010 | By Devorah Lauter, Special to the Los Angeles Times
At the improbable celebration of the European currency Saturday at the French Mint museum in Paris, one image stood out: an explosion of falling golden euros, festively projected on the facade of the building. Perhaps not the best image as the euro plunges to record lows, and concerns spread of inherent flaws in Europe's shared currency. But at the French Mint, the euro was the pre-scheduled star of this year's trendy after-hours museum night, a Europe-wide event during which museums stay open until early the next day. Children played at "virtually" minting euro coins, with each stamp setting off a sparkling display of lights that hung like starry lanterns in the museum's courtyard.
March 31, 2010 | By Paul Richter
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday rebuffed an American suggestion that he keep some of his country's troops in Afghanistan after a scheduled pullout next year, reasserting that only civilians would continue in the mission. Harper reiterated his stand during a 20-minute meeting in Ottawa with visiting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Harper made it clear that "Canada will remain engaged, but this is going to be a civilian-based mission," said Dimitri Soudas, his press secretary.
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