...Continued from page 1

Fact two: the price at the pump has dropped 10 centimes. Fact three: a litre of super costs me about 6.60 francs.

France Info did the calculation for me and said the price for the equivalent amount of fuel in the US would cost exactly 1.60 francs.

The Papon Trial: the Accusation Makes a Case

Beginning last Monday, the first of the civil lawyers addressed the court. At the head of a line of 23 of them, Gérard Boulanger, is the one who first made the first charges against Maurice Papon in Bordeaux, in December 1981.

He spoke for five hours, saying that Papon was an 'office-killer,' a 'killer with a pen' and his entire defense was a Vichy leitmotif, to justify the State collaboration. If Papon did not know about the 'final solution,' Boulanger said, 'Makes no difference. The man on the street knew. How could high functionaries not know?'

On Tuesday, it was Arno Klarsfeld's turn. Inposter: rpr, udf 'balladur' part he said, ' [He] chose to deliver the children to the barbaric Nazis, when he could have, without personal risk, dispersed them.' Le Parisien described Mr. Klarsfeld having done a 'titanic' work of memory, in animating the photos of 220 children, transferred from Mérignac to Drancy, then deported to Auschwitz and death.

At the end of the week, Maurice Papon had read a lot and written almost as much, in preparation for his turn before the assize court, probably on 26. March. He also dozed and even pretended to sleep - during Arno Klarsfeld's appearance. He did not want to hear the 20 lawyers who spoke during the week. All the civil lawyers demand a sentence of life imprisonment - although this is for the Minister of Justice to decide.

One civil lawyer, Mr. Tubiane, set Papon off. He is not to speak at this time; his turn comes last. Next week the last of the civil attorneys will speak on Monday, and will be followed by a district attorney and the chief prosecutor

Web Sites With Contents About the Papon Trial:

The Matisson family were the first to launch a civil case against Maurice Papon, in 1981. Jean-Marie Matisson runs the website, and reports from the courtroom. At the website, click on 'Affaire Papon.'

Another website of interest contains daily coverage of the trial by the Bordeaux paper, the Sud Ouest.

The Dead French Pop Star

If France had an Elvis, then his name would be Claude François, and he would be 59 years old if he hadn't electrocuted himself while taking a bath on 11. March 1978. At the time, after 15 years in show business, he was number one.

Today, clips of his TV shows are rerun endlessly on TV, partly because of his 'Clodettes,' whoposter: generation ecologie appear to be five tall and healthy girls, who dance energetically while wearing fewer textiles than most Lido dancers. This may be part of the reason fans still buy 700,000 copies of his records annually.

He had his first hit single in 1962, headlined at the Olympia for the first time in 1963 and went planetary with 'Comme l'Habitude,' which became 'My Way' in English.

The general opinion is that if he were alive he'd be running a TV network by now. I've seen some of the clips. If he'd kept up that pace, he would have burnt out before reaching 50. Burnt something out.

The World Cup SportsBar Now Open Forever

Real SportsFans gather at the SportsBar seven days a week, at the Football Café to discuss the finer points of the game of feet and balls, without getting too 'psychopsycho' about it. If the game takes longer than 35 hours, SportsFans go into terminal beer shock, for which the only cure is pretzel injections. Salt peanuts cool. Popcorn too.

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.

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