...Continued from page 1

Late Sunday Update

Much to my surprise, I did get it 'right' and there was voting today for the Departments - the 'Cantonales.' There were no new posters put up during the week and there are no political ads on television. What was on, was all about the Friday voting for the Presidents of the Regional Councils.

With nearly 45 percent of the voters avoiding the polling station, at 23:00 leftist parties had picked up 11 Departments, giving them a total of 31, while the right managed to hold 75 Departments. Nine Departments remain undecided at this time.

In the Paris area, two Departments were retained by the left, and one switched from right to left - giving each side three Departments, plus Paris.

Meanwhile, Jean-Marie Le Pen has demanded support from the centre-right parties, for his election as President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur Region, known as PACA. In return, he has promised that the Front National will support RPR-UDF candidates who are facing challenges from the left - such as in Paris.

The Week's Other News

Prosecution Demands 20-Year Sentence for Papon

'Guilty,' said attorney general Henri Desclaux, ' But not responsible for the crimes of others.' This was the reasoning behind a less than maximum sentence for a conviction on charges of crimes against humanity.

Characterized as an indispensable cog in the Vichy machine; he was nevertheless, not the 'author' nor the 'instigator.' The sentence asked for was one of armed robbery.

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 SNCF and RATP Renew Bicycle Service

Starting today, the RATP is again renting bicycles at five locations around Paris. This service will continue until 11. October.

For the occasion of Bicycle-Pedestrian Day in Paris tomorrow, the SNCF will be renting bicycles at the Montparnasse, Lyon and Gare de l'Est stations, and at the Champ de Mars, near the Quai Branly - avenue Suffren corner.

The efforts by these two public transport organizations are a renewal of similar services operated last year.

Alain Delon Retires

The actor who is 62, made this announcement on Thursday, at the end of the evening news on TF1. Starting the comingblossoms sq tino rossi Wednesday, you will be able to see him in a new film, made with Jean-Paul Belmondo, 28 years after the duo appeared in 'Borsalino.'

He said he had always been against doing 'one too many,' but didn't consider the new film, 'Une Chance sur Deux' to be this. He is looking on it as a closing of the circle.

However he is not quite finished with the theatre, as he will be appearing at the end of this year in 'Variations Enigmatiques,' which played at the Théâtre Marigny in the fall of 1996. This year it will be at the Théâtre de Paris.

Mr. Delon's first film role was in 1957 when he played in 'Quand la Femme s'en Mêle,' directed by Yves Allégret. After that he was in movies directed by René Clément, Luchino Visconti, Jacques Deray, Terrence Young, Joesph Losey and Bertrand Blier. The latest film is directed by Patrice Leconte.

SportsNews: Just a Tiny Bit This Week

Wednesday's Le Parisien screams on its front page, 'Révolution au Paris SG.' I looked at this for a long time before it occurred to me that 'Paris SG' is the Parisian football team usually known as plain, old 'PSG.'

Since this team does not win many crucial games, or even unimportant ones - and has been doing this for 845 years - the management, which seems to be a pay-TV company, has decided the team needs a new manager.

I swear, the 'old' management tried to win games by paying huge sums to foreign players. The only result this produced, was the enrichment of these foreign players - none of whom apparentlybouquiniste ever scored a crucial goal, nor many unimportant ones. What they did do, was go back to the successful teams that sold them, bought back for a nickel on the dollar, and resumed scoring goals.

So the pay-TV company has its own manager who is responsible for football, and instead of hiring a top-notch foreign manager, they have decided to shove this one across town and shove the old manager out of town.

There seems to be something about Paris which is unfriendly to football. In a area in which there are from nine to 12 million inhabitants, depending on the time of day, not more than 30,000 of them will go to see their home team play.

Other cities with this wealth of bodies could probably support two or three major teams. One has to ask oneself, if maybe it isn't the fault of the pay-TV company - which first bought the right to broadcast the games and then bought the team.

By charging 145 francs a month the pay-TV Johnnies have raked in a bundle of cash, but maybe they've deprived their team of fans at the same time. Those who can't afford the fees don't watch the games on TV; and they are probably so turned off, they don't go to the stadium either.

I think 'Paris SG' needs some other town for a home, and Paris itself needs another pay-TV company - one that broadcasts home-town football game 'in clear' as a public service for soccer fans.

The World Cup SportsBar Now Open Forever

Real SportsFans gather at the SportsBar seven evenings a week, at the Football Café to discuss the finer points of the game of feet and balls, without getting too 'psychophilo' about it. If the game is shorter than 35 hours, SportsFans go into terminal beer mellow, for which there is no cure needed. Salt peanuts, salt peanuts.

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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