Blast Kills Mcdonald's Employee

photo: bistro a st malo, montparnasse

A lively bistro in the centre of Monparnasse.

Trees Returned To Donors

Paris:- Sunday, 23. April 2000:- Last Wednesday morning, a bomb with a faulty timer exploded at a McDonald's outlet in the town of Quévert, near Dinan in Brittany. The blast killed the fast-food outlet's shift-manageress, Laurence Turbec, who was 28 years old.

The same morning, police anti-bomb experts removed a bomb from a post office in Rennes and rendered it inactive. Within hours, anti-terrorist specialists from Paris were at the two crime scenes.

On 28. September of 1999, eight tons of the explosive 'Titanite' were stolen from the manufacturer. Five tons were rapidly recovered, in the possession of suspected members of the ETA terrorist group.

Investigators suspect that extreme elements of Breton nationalists were responsible for the bombing. Meanwhile Bretons universally condemned the blind attack.

This comes at a time when Breton identity is successfully stepping aside fromphoto: oldest tree in spring its Frenchness, in favor of an older regionalism. Although not recognized by Paris, the Breton language is being taught informally.

Paris' oldest tree seems to be coming back to life with help from spring weather.

A bilingual TV station is expected to be operational this summer; and many musicians from Brittany will be taking part in this coming week's Salon de la Musique at La Villette.

The bomb has discredited the majority, who are peacefully striving for a regional identity.

According to a map in Le Parisien, the stolen 'Titanite' which has not been recovered, has been used in six cases of terrorist attacks since it was stolen; four in Spain and two in France.

Laurence's funeral was yesterday. Bretons turned out by the thousands to mourn, and to march in bitter protest against the terrorists. No one has claimed responsibility for the murder.

McDonald's closed its outlets in Brittany yesterday, but reopened them for business as usual today.

Donated Trees Returned

You may remember back a couple of weeks ago to the story of the collection organized by schoolkids in Fayetteville, GA, to help Versailles re-tree itself.

Schoolkids called corporations and pestered everybody for donations, and they got the Georgia Forestry Association to contribute 5000 trees. They even got mature trees as donations from corporations; including a rare tulip poplar.

In a ceremony in Versailles on Tuesday, 21. March, four of the schoolkids, who had come over from Georgia, helped plant this poplar and a number of other trees.

A day later, 3202 of the 5000 seedlings organized for donation by the Georgia kids were refused entry into Europe and shipped back to the United States.

French Agricultural Ministry officials said the imported treesphoto: notre dame, paris violated three EU regulations - all of which are too arcane to bother mentioning, except to say that the US has similar regulations - and without mentioning California at all.

Notre Dame puts on its new face for Easter's visitors.

The French say the Americans should have found out about the regulations in advance. The Americans say the nursery they got the trees from was supposed to do the paperwork.

Apparently, the nursery did ship trees that were not on the list that was supplied beforehand by Versailles' gardeners.

A week or two ago I noted here that proper tree replanting won't get underway in Paris until the coming fall, because the season is too late for it now. The attempt at Versailes on 21. March was at the edge of the limit.

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