...Continued from page 1

Monsieur Quaadi had a clear shot after the 35th kilometre. Today's win assures him a place at the starting line at the Olympics in Sydney. His last best time was 2h 7' 55" - set at Fukuoka in Japan.

Today was also the first time in eight years that a Frenchman has won Paris' Marathon. Today, Abdellah Behar - also French - came in third in his first marathon; with a time about a minute behind Quaadi, also qualifying him for a starting place at Sydney.

The fastest Parisian, of 2186 registered for the race, crossed the finish line about 22 minutes after the winner. An estimated 80,000 Parisian residents and visitors turned out to watch the race.

One-Day Draft - Girls Too

The army's annual draft of 17 and 18 year-olds took place yesterday, and for the first time, included young ladies. The national service only lasts one day, so at the end of it, the 'draftees' returned to being civilians again.

However, the armed forces are looking for recruits and this obligatory day gives the military an early shot at putting across their story. It is their only 'shot,' and it seems as if they've become quite professional about it.

They tell all about what the services do, with talks and videos. In a way, it shows that the army has become more integrated into civilian life - in the sense that they have to be polite enough to convince young people to join up.

For this they need to be more than convincing; they need to say the army is more than an honorable occupation; they have to stress its career opportunities too.

There is one other thing. At some time during the day, the one-day recruits are given a literacy test. Thisphoto: fiat 500 of the week is not dull stuff. For example, the recruits may be given a TV program, and the questions and answers may be based on their comprehension of it.

And here is this week's 'Fiat 500 of the Week,' photographed at the model salon.

This is pretty easy stuff for many who are studying for their difficult BACs, but of all the boys who take the tests, 10 percent fail. Four out of ten of these are functionally illiterate.

Of the 30,000 who have been found in a 'difficult' condition in the past 18 months, 8000 have agreed to follow the plans proposed during the individual counseling that is given by the army after the tests are taken.

Odd as it may seem, only 30 percent of illiterates drop out of school - and the armed forces have been given the job of detecting the remaining 70 percent - during the one annual day of military service.

French Web Life

Le Boum de First Tuesday

Since the first Tuesday of last September, 'First Tuesday' has been organizing meetings between hungry Internet wolves and fat-cat venture capitalists in Paris.

'First Tuesday' started in London 18 months ago and has had a big success there, with some of its first attendees now being quoted on the stock markets. Meetings of 'First Tuesday' are now held in about 40 cities.

The first Paris meetings were held in the Olympic Entrepôt cinema, and at the one I attended in October there were about 300 present. photo: maison rose, bagatelleLast Tuesday's meeting had a filter that let 1500 - out of 3700 applicants - into the CNIT at La Défence; to meet with about 350 VC operators.

The Bagatelle's rose garden - the one the aluminum dwarfs were not 'promised.'

Since I was one of the 2200 not invited to the party I can only guess at what goes on these days at parties. But Le Parisien, being ever alert - and sometimes short of news - reports that the idea is to be able to make as many 90-second pitches with visiting-card backup, as quickly as possible.

On the VC side, the idea is to collect as many cards as possible and to remember as many of these 90-second commercials as possible. One suit from BNP-Paribas said he came away with 80 cards. These may represent 80 new gazillionaires next year, but I don't think so.

Paris' Peace Wall

In last week's Café column I mentioned Paris' Peace Wall on the Champ de Mars opposite the Ecole Militaire and wrote that it is supposed to be possible to send 'peace messages' to it via the Internet.

At the time I did not have the URL for the site, so here it is: 'Mur Pour la Paix,' which is a Dot-Com and not a Dot-Org. You can also learn how to read the word 'peace' in 32 languages.

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