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 Versailles on 21. March was at the edge of the limit.

It is not news there are all sorts of regulations, governing exchanges and trade between different parts of the world. What is still news is the extraordinary effort of the kids in Fayettville, GA to help out Versailles decimated forest.

Sports News - PSG Does It Again!

Before the crucial match, Saturday's edition of Le Parisien had one of their biggest headlines. The paper is published in tabloid format, but the headlines are never as big as tabloids in Britain, which sometimes manage to fit a whole two words on their front pages.

"Le PSG Veut une 9e Coupe" translates as, 'PSG Wants a 9th Cup.' In yesterday'sphoto: cafes ile st louis case, the cup in question was the French League's Cup.

The paper warned PSG to be humble against their second division opponents, the Gueugnon club, known as the 'Forgerons.' The paper said PSG was the 'logical' favorite to win.

Café terraces were full whenever it was more sunny than rainy last week.

Not only this, PSG was apparently 'proud' to be playing this final, not in their Parc des Princes home stadium, but the in nearly new and still huge, Stade de France, in Saint-Denis.

For today's edition, Le Parisien went back to its type box and found an even bigger typeface, because they needed only one word: "Incroyable!"

Just as the mudville fourth-division team Calais smashed first division Bordeaux a week ago - launching a hangover that exceeded any in the Guinness Book of Records - the 'Forgerons' of Gueugnon demolished PSG by a score of 2-0.

This is the first time a second division club has won the French League Cup, and qualifies Gueugnon to go on and try for the UEFA Cup, which is some sort of European prize.

Le Parisien called it a 'collective disaster' but I doubt if the Gueugnon players and fans see it this way. But to show its heart is in the right place, the paper did devote its first two pages of the "Incroyable!" edition to PSG's loss, and only half of page four to F. C. Gueugnon's win.

TV-news briefly flashed Gueugnon's location on the screen. I think it is north-northwest of Mâcon, but my maps are not strong enough to pinpoint it. So, bravo Gueugnon; wherever you are!

French Web Life

Sartre Lives On, In France

Around the time of Jean-Paul Sartre's death 20 years ago, the newspaper Libération putphoto: spring tulips, latin quarter together everything it knew about him.

For the 20th anniversary of as they say - in France - the 'disappearance' of the philosopher with the running tab at the Deux-Magots, Libération has reissued its 'dossier,' this time on the Web.

20 years after, and it is another springtime for Jean-Paul Sartre.

As for Mr; Sartre's thoughts, they are online too, on the 'Philagora' Web site. If you are planning to visit any of Paris' Cafés Philosophes, this may add bonus points to your 'deep thinker' credentials.

8th Prix Möbius Reminder

Each year the International Möbius Festival seeks to award the world's best multimedia productions - based on CD-ROMs, DVDs or Web sites. This year the festival takes place at the Centre Cultural Pompidou and the public is invited on Friday and Saturday, 5. and 6. May.

For a preview, give the Prix Möbius Web site a glance, but be sure to have 'Flash' installed before you decide to take a look at your multimedia future.

Paris' Peace Wall

The URL for Paris' Peace Wall on the Champ de Mars 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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