Crash Investigation Springs to Life

The American Dream
If this really is the 'American Dream' then I'll take Cuba..

Criminal Police Hand 400-page Report to Judge

Paris:- Saturday, 3. January 1998:- Four months to the day after the fatal crash which killed Princess Diana in Paris, Criminal Police have turned over a 400-page report of their investigation to Judge Stéphan, who is in charge of the case.

After police investigations going through the backstage of the Hotel Ritz, the totality of the facts seem to point at the state of sobriety of the car's driver, Henri Paul, the number two security man at the hotel.

Although off-duty on the evening of Friday, 30. August 1997, he was called back to the hotel by his employer, Dodi al-Fayed, who also died in the crash. Police have witnesses and proof France-2TV that Henri Paul drank two pastis' before taking the wheel.

But from the first day of the investigation, police have known that another car was somehow involved in the crash. It is now known that two witnesses saw a white Fiat Uno leaving the tunnel, in a zig-zag fashion, immediately after the crash. Police have yet to find this car and its driver.

The Fiat was driven so erratically that it attracted the attention of the witnesses, who observed it for a short time. There was a large dog in the Fiat's rear seat, and its muffler was damaged. After they had reported to police, the police returned to the tunnel and found pieces of Fiat tail-light mixed with pieces of Mercedes' headlight glass.

New Year's in Paris

On New Year's Eve the Champs-Elysées was Nut fest in Metz cleared of traffic, the lights were turned on and 500,000 people showed up for a big party which was watched over by a police force of 1,500.

Not in Paris: the 'Nut' party in Metz.

There were 13 arrests. Firemen were required about 150 times, for incidents due to crowding and one man had a heart attack. There was also a large crowd at Trocadéro, and I saw this on the news channel, LCI.

The two number-one TV stations, TF1 and France-2, had corn-ball variety shows and their news departments did not show the Champs-Elysées at midnight.

New Year's in France

Within the past couple of years, it has become a tradition to set cars on fire in Strasbourg at New Years and this year was no exception with 53 set ablaze. For 1997, a total of 522 cars were torched in the Strasbourg region. Bus stop shelters were also hit on New Year's and 32 were destroyed as were 21 telephone cabins. Over a much wider area, 65 cars were cooked up in the Ile-de-France region.

Ramadan in France

The month of Ramadan started on Tuesday, 30. December, for an estimated four million Muslims who reside in France. They are to fast between sunrise and sunset daily for a month, and it does no harm that the days are short.

Many French employers take the - lack of - eating habits into consideration; because some may need a quick snack as soon as the sun is officially down, which is about 17:00 in Paris at this time. Some companies strike the normal two-hour lunch period entirely and work straight through the day.

Because of the long day without eating, many wives take extra effort to prepare special dishes during the month - which can make Ramadan a period to look forward to.

The beginning of Ramadan coincides with the first glimpse of the crescent of the new moon. The exact time of this varies around the world, and some Muslims begin Ramadan according to their country of origin, rather than when it officially begins in France. Next year there will be an Arab satellite which will be used to fix a unique time and date for all the world's Muslims.

Unemployed Strikers have Public's Support

Le Parisien published a poll it had ordered from CSA Opinion and results showed that 63 percent of those polled are F2TV- Montmartre Parade sympathetic to the goals of the current 'strikes' by various groups of unemployed throughout the country.

Surprisingly, this positive opinion was shared by all social groups, includig employers, who are 55 percent in favor.

From Montmarte's New Year's Day parade. With Pom-Pom girls too!.
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