...Continued from page 1

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the FN's 74-year old leader saved his appearance for the last day, to announce that he has no intention of retiring - not for the regional and European elections in 2004, and, 'why not?' - not for the next presidential elections in 2007.

The reason, he said, is that otherwise voters will have no choice except for the 'Chirac's PS-of-the-right' and the 'PS-of-the-left.' He thinks that French voters will want an alternative, 'sooner or later.'

Mr. Le Pen therefore thinks that it is high time for the FN to become better known, to 'humanize' itself, instead of letting the press continue to treat it as a 'pariah.'

According to Le Parisien's report, Mr. Le Pen said, "The FN is not a national-socialist party, and France is not Nazi Germany."

Meanwhile, more excitable members of the FN were berating journalists for accurately quoting another slip of the tongue made by Marine Le Pen, Mr. Le Pen's daughter.

While the FN works hard on its communications efforts, it will also lose 1.5 million euros in state funds for political parties, because it didn't gather enough votes to qualify for the government's election aid. Some party workers will probably have to be laid off.

And the Winner Is...

Each summer in France there is some pop ditty that makes it to the top, and this is played non-stop wherever there are radios, car radios, café music systems or in 'discos' - which is everywhere, except in churches. The generic name of this annual bit of summer music is, 'Tube de l'Eté.'

This year's number one was titled, 'Aserejé,' and was characterized as 'flamenco-pop.' Apparentlyphoto: chair, rue beaux arts it was the hit of the season in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and in sixth place on the charts in Latin America.

The Spanish group Las Ketchup was responsible for it, and it was similar in simplicity to previous years' tubes such as 'La Macarena' by the Spanish Los del Rio group and 'La Mayonesa' by the Uruguayan group, Chocolate.

A free, Sunday seat in the Rue des Beaux Arts, with no takers.

The 'Daughters of the Tomato' as the group from Cordoba are known - 'Las Hijas del Tomate' - simply translated a hip-hop hit by the Sugar Hill Gang into phonetic Spanish. This turns into being the story of Diego, a 'rumbero' whose preferred pastime is spent in discothèques dancing to songs like 'Aserejé.'

The report adds that 'Diego' doesn't speak English, so he 'invents' his version of 'I said hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop hop, a you dont stop the rock it to me baby bang bang boogie say up the jim-jam' or something similar. Small wonder the newspaper report says it is unpronounceable in French.

Anyone for Sports?

Yesterday, the town of Carcassonne was treated to the first corrida in France since 1954, which including the killing of the bulls - which was shown on Sunday night's TV-news. Playing it safe, Le Parisien reported it today on one of its 'Vivre Mieux' pages.

As such, the report is mostly about the 170 'anticorrida' demonstrators who picketed the outside of the temporary bullring, carrying signs saying 'Corrida Torture,' 'Carcassonne Ville de Sang' and 'Assassins Assassins.'

Police were on hand yesterday to keep tempers from getting over-heated, but somebody set off a bottled-gas bomb in the arena's parking lot Saturday night. There was no damage done, and Le Parisien made no report about Sunday's bullfights in its 'sports news' pages today.

Internet Life

This section has only one tiny item, and it is for people who may be on long stays in Paris and feel a bit homesick. Check out the Web site for the Fédération Française de Base-Ball, Softball et Cricket if this is what you are missing.

More about baseball and softball can be found out by calling 'Les Patriots' club, at 01 41 47 84 92. For 'soft' footballphoto: cafe le conti, buci for kids, contact 'First Flag' at 01 42 03 23 07. Rough and tough football is played by 'Les Colosses d'Asnières.' For this, call 01 03 15 16 95. For cricket, but also baseball, call the 'PUC,' and ask for Emile Dubot, at 01 49 57 03 88.

But many takers, on all of the terraces near Buci-Saint-André.

There are supposed to be 300 cricket players near Paris, and something like 9000 American-style football players in clubs around France. And, if you are well-heeled, you can contact the Polo Club de Paris at 01 44 14 10 00.

Strictly speaking, with all these phone numbers, this is not exactly 'Internet Life.' But we all know that the people who do these things to us are trying to put the Internet into phones and phones into the Internet, so well and why not?

End-of-Summer Weather Warnings

Paris is seldom a thrilling weather area, etc., etc - but the weather has been acting odd recently, at unexpected times and in unexpected places. France-Météo's alert service is vert short-term, and its warnings should be taken seriously.

Truly dangerous weather in France is mainly outside of Paris in northern, central, mountainous, eastern, western Atlantic coast, all types of southern and offshore areas of France.

If you are curious or need to know more about France's early fall weather, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts. Check out the warning-prone 'Vigilance-Météo' area on the opening page.

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