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Le Parisien claims that the minions in the prime minister's headquarters are very annoyed that the president is trying - even pretending! - to look like a human being.

I don't know whether this is true or not. What is true, is the President of France does have a functioningphoto: red stop sign, may day and well-oiled PR machine. If it does have a script for him to follow - this I don't know - he is following it - this I do know - and is doing very handily in the polls with it.

Another Monday scene - this from 'ignore red-light day.'

It is the nature of the Prime Minister's job that prevents him from being Mr. Good Guy all the time. He is running France on a day-to-day basis - a job nobody in their right mind would want - and his poll results go up and down depending on random factors such as the weather forecasts.

According to Le Parisien, another thing that ticked off the prime minister's helpers, was the president wearing moccasins without socks. Do you believe this?

What's In a Promenade?

The Promenade d'Australie beside the Quai Branly near the Bir-Hakeim bridge was inaugurated last Thursday - during the Café Metropole Club meeting - in pouring rain.

Australia's Prime Minister Mr John Howard was assisted by Paris' mayor Jean Tiberi, for the unveiling of the impressive signs indicating the previously unnamed 500 metre stretch of greenery between the Quai Branly and the Porte de Suffern.

Le Parisien's claim that the 'Place d'Australie' would become the 'Place de Sydney' in a rare double-name change, turned out to be a fantasy because there never has been any Place d'Australie in Paris.

Café Metropole Club member Carmel McKenzie said the 'Place d'Australie' was marked on her map, but I couldn't read the small type without a telescope.

On Friday I toured the newly-named promenade - in the rain - and searched in vain for a possible location for a 'Place d'Australie.' In this area of Paris, between the Rue de Suffern and the elevated métro line over the Boulevard de Grenelle, andphoto: lily of the valley east of the Seine, there is simply no place for a 'place' other than the Place Dupleix.

I have looked for fictitious places before, so not finding any 'Place d'Australie' came as no big surprise.

The reason for naming a bit of Paris landscape after Australia is to honor it and New Zealand in the memory of its soldiers' sacrifices on behalf of France in the two world wars.

Which has also been Lily-of-the-Valley day.

Since Anzac troops fought in North Africa, the Promenade d'Australie is appropriately located near the Bir-Hakeim bridge which has a plaque honoring Free French troops.

There is also a monument between the bridge and the new promenade, dedicated to those who fell in the battles in North Africa and elsewhere.

Sports News

The only sports news I can think of this week involves a full-sized Formula One racing car made out of chocolate. This can apparently be seen at a place called 'La Route du Cacao' which is located on a barge tied up at the Quai de la Gare, in front of the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, Paris 13. This unusual sports item was supplied by Café Metropole Club member Jadine Brown.

French Web Life

With e-business - or is it I-business? - taking up so much attention, there seems to be a falling off of mentions about unusual and new Web sites. This is a shame because they reflected individual yearnings to share enthusiasms. Has the spark died?

I've found that readers of this magazine often do far more surfing for 'new stuff' in France than I do.* If you have found French Web sites you think other readers should know about, pass them on to me and I'll include them here - with sparkles around your name.

*I don't do much Web surfing at all. Every available space in Paris that isn't already covered with graffiti, is plastered with URLs - 90 percent of them for commercial sites. Even though I don't look at these, I suspect that once you've seen one, you may have seen all there is.

8th Prix Möbius Reminder, Yet Again

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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