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Transcript of FRANCE
The tricolor flag is an emblem of the Firth Republic. It has its origins in the union, at the time of the France Revolution, of the colors of the King(rs of the flag (white) and the city of Paris (blue and red). Some say the colors of the flag representative of the three main social classes of the Ancien Regime.
History of the Flag Of France
France is located in Western Europe , bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, Belgium and Spain, southwest of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain.
Geography and Demographics
0-14 years 18.7%
15-24 years 11.9%
25-54 years 38.9%
55-64 years 12.6%
65 year & over 17.9%
Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winter and hot summers in the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind know as mistral
French is the main language.
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities.
HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate: 0.4%
People living with HIV/AIDS: 150,000
HIV/AIDS Deaths 1,700
Obesity Rate in Adults: 18.2%
Roman Catholic makes up about 83-88%
France's National Anthem
"La Marseillaise" (The song from Marsille)is France's National anthem. Originally titled "Chant de guerre pour I'Armee du Rhin" ( War song for the Amy of the Rhine) it was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lise in 1792. Was adopted by the French Republic as its anthem in 1795
Joan of Arc leads French troops against the English at Orleans, Ending a siege by the British during the Hundred Year War between France and England.
The France Revolution
France is the largest country in Western Europe and is the 3rd largest in Europe as a whole. France has been a major power with strong, economic, military and political influence in Europe and around the world.
65,951,611 people call France there home.
The Effie Tower and the Arc de Trimphe
Islam is the second most growing religion in France 5-10% of the national population
Protestants makes up 2%
Jewish makes up 1%
Mantes La Jolic Mosque
United Protestant Church
Synagogue in Cean
Port de la Calandre the Jewish Quarter in Avignon
Cathedral of Rouen
Roman Catholics parade a boneless skell
It is a destination country for trafficking in people from Eastern Europe, West Africa, and Asia. Women and children are forced into prostitution, forced labor, and domestic servitude. The government fully copies with the minimum standards for the ending human trafficking. France continued to train judges to make better use of France's anti-trafficking laws.
Paris is the Capital of France and one of the most visited cites in France.
NEWS IN FRANCE
Chinese human trafficking ring
busted in Spain, France
Spanish and France police say they have dismantled a human trafficking ring that smuggled Chinese migrants into Europe and the United State, charging up to 50,000 euros ($72,000) per person. A total of 75 suspects including two "main operatives" based in Barcelona were arrested, including 51 in Spain and 24 in France after a two-year joint investigation, a police statement said.
French workers take to streets
over pension reform
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Paris on Tuesday to protest against the government's plans to impose new pension reforms. However, the turnout was still much lower than in past battles over retirement in France. Four trade unions, including the hardline umbrella union CGT, had called on their members to take part in the strike, with demonstrations to be held at 180 locations across the country. The CGT estimated that 370,000 workers, youth and retirees were at the demonstration on Tuesday, while police put the number much lower at 155,000. Unions are angry at proposals by Hollande's Socialist government to reform France's heavily indebted pension system by increasing the number of years workers must make contributions to receive a full state pension from 40.5 to 43 years by 2035. The reforms, set to be debated in parliament next month, aim to wipe out an annual deficit that will otherwise hit 20 billion euros ($26.5 billion) in 2020. Critics say the reforms place an unfair burden on workers and unions have branded the proposals as "anti-youth".
France money system is the Euro banknotes and coins. France is surrounded by countries that participate in the Euro zone: Italy, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Map of France
58- 51 B.C.
Roman emperor Julius Conquers Gaul, which is now France
A tribe called the Franks rules the region. France is named after this tribe.
Louis XIV, the Sun King, reigns longer than any other French ruler. France gained power throughout Europe.
A Military hero Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself emperor after leading France to victory over Europe's strongest. In 1815, Napoleon is finally defeated at Waterloo in Belgium
Marie Antoinette was born on November 2, 1755, in Vienna. She helped provoke the popular unrest that led to the France Revolution and to the overthrow of the Monarchy in August 1792, in part with her famous quote addressing the starving French populace: "let Them Eat Cake." As a 20 year Consort to Louis XVI, she was beheaded nine months after he was, on October 16,1793, by other of the Revolutionary tribunal.
"LET THEM EAT CAKE
There is no one factor directly responsible for the France Revolution; with years of fiscal mismanagement contributed to a French society that was ripe for revolt. With economic spiral in the late 1700's King Louis XVI brought in financial advisers, they all came up with the same thing that the France needed a radical change in the way it taxed the public. The King appointed Charles de Calonne, as controller general of finance. He suggested France begin tax the nobility;with this the nobility refused. A rift slowly grew between the radical and moderate assembly members, while the common laborers and workers began to feel over looked. When Louis XVI was caught in a foiled escape plot, the assembly became especially divided. The moderate Girondins took favor in retuning the constitutional monarchy, while the radical Jacobins wanted the King out of the picture. In January 1793 the convention tried and executed Louis XVI on the grounds of treason. Despite the creation of the Committee of Public Safety, the was with Austria and Prussia went poorly for France and foreign forces pressed into French Territory. Maximiliem Robespierre took control France then he became paranoid about counterrevolutionary influences embarked upon a Reign of Terror in the late 1793-1794, which he had more then 15,000 people executed at the guillotine. He was arrested in July 1794 then executed.
France to ban "sexuality" child beauty pageants?
The French Senate voted early Wednesday to ban beauty pageants for children under 16 and to imposes up to two years in prison and a steep 30,000 euro in fines for adults who try to enter children into beauty pageants. The senators who voted in favor of the measure argue that it will protect children from being prematurely "sexuality" through the use of heavy make-up and often provocative attire. "Let us not make our girls believe from a very, young age that their worth is based only on their appearance," the author of the report, former minister and current senator Chantal Jouanno, said in an interview with free French daily "20 minutes" last year. Controversy surrounding the issue peaked in December 2010, when French Vogue published a photo spread featuring images of a 10-year-old Thlane Loubry Blondeau, decked out in a tight dress, jewelery, high heels and make-up. The magazine argued that the photos were meant to capture a classic fantasy of young girls to dress up like their mothers. But the images sparked outrage both at home and a broad. If the bill is signed into a law, the annual pageant "Mini-Miss" will not take place in Paris, but the pageant's creator says he might move the pageant to Belgium and close the pageant to French contestants.
Calls to free French jeweler who killed armed robber.
The case has reignited debate in France over what constitutes legitimate self-defense and sparked a massive outpouring of sympathy for jeweler Stephan Turk, from Nice. Mr Turk was charged with murder on Friday for shooting the 18-year-old in the back as he and another robber escaped on a scooter. A Facebook page set up anonymously and titled "Support the Nice jeweler" was getting hundreds of "likes" every minute and by Sunday had garnered a total of 1.45 million. Debate raged on social media about the authenticity of the "likes", with accusations flying that many had been bought or created without their owners' consent. But the comments written on the page showed that many "likes" were real. Examining magistrates rejected Mr Turk's call for a manslaughter charge, who claimed he fired in the heat of the moment after the robbers had punched and kicked him before forcing him to open his safe at gunpoint on Wednesday. Mainstream politicians have generally avoided comment on the case, saying it is a matter for the courts. But the far-Right National Front (FN) has seized on the Turk case to argue that President Francois Hollande's Socialist government is failing to get a grip on crime. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the firebrand former FN leader, was pictured on the front page of Sunday's Journal du Dimanche with his fist held up as though holding a pistol. "I would have done the same thing" as Mr Turk, he told the paper. His daughter and current party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday: "When people feel obliged to defend themselves with such dramatic consequences, it is a sign that they no longer have any confidence in the state or the forces of order." The FN denies that it set up the Facebook support page for Turk.
French man arrested for 'provoking' terror online
France has arrested the webmaster of a jihadist site on charges of "provoking" terrorism, prosecutors said Thursday, just as the government warned that hundreds of homegrown Islamist militants were signing up to fight in Syria. The 26-year-old, identified as "Romain", was detained Tuesday for his role as administrator of the Ansar al Haqq website, a "reference" for the radical Islamist movement, and as a translator of magazines put out by militant group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Paris prosecutors said. The announcement comes as French Interior Minister Manuel Valls warned that more than 300 French nationals or residents were either fighting in Syria's devastating civil war, planning to go or had recently returned from there. Most of them were young men, often with a delinquent past, who had become radicalized, he said. "This is a phenomenon that worries me because they represent a potential danger when they return to our soil," Valls said. "We have to be extremely attentive." Detained by intelligence officers in his native Calvados, a region in northern France, Romain said he converted to Islam when he was 20, prosecutors said. The Ansar al Haqq website that he manages "has more than 4,000 members including 685 that are active" and Romain published statements from Al Qaeda's north African branch AQIM on it, they added. They said an investigation also found that the suspect had "an active role in the translation into French and the distribution of the 10th and 11th editions of the magazine Inspire." Inspire is an English-language propaganda magazine published by AQAP that offers theological support and praise for jihadists. Romain’s wife told France Inter radio on Friday that she could not understand why her husband had been arrested. “He was simply giving people the other side of the story, which the mainstream media don't provide,” said the woman, who was not named in the broadcast. “He’s not a radical Islamist, and in any case there is no difference between moderate Islam and radical Islam. There is only Islam,” she added.
France arrests Paris woman for 'al Qaeda links'
Officers with France’s DCRI domestic intelligence agency arrested a Paris woman on Tuesday suspected of having links to a regional branch of al Qaeda based in the Arabian Peninsula. The 21-year-old was arrested as part of an investigation by officers with France’s Central Directorate of Homeland Intelligence, or DCRI, into a case of "criminal association in connection with a terrorist enterprise", said a source close to the investigation.
The source said the woman was arrested around 6:30am at her apartment in the working-class Belleville district of northern Paris. She was the first to be arrested as part of a preliminary investigation that began in March 2013 into a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts.The suspect is a reader of “Inspire” -- an online magazine published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- and will be questioned about her suspected contacts with the group. Based in Yemen, AQAP is considered one of the deadliest franchises of the international militant network. “Inspire”, which aims to radicalism young Western Muslims and has included instructions on bomb making, has been linked to a number of attacks, including the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15 last year. Copies of “Inspire” have been seized in other arrests of suspected radical Muslims in France. Earlier this month, French authorities arrested the webmaster of a site that published French-language translations of the magazine. Security efforts have been stepped up in France following a series of attacks launched by al Qaeda-inspired gunman Mohamed Merah that killed seven people in and around the city of Toulouse in March of last year.
French health agency warns of energy drink risks
Children and adolescents should avoid consuming energy drinks, which should not be paired with alcohol or consumed during intense physical activity, France’s Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) said in a report published on Tuesday.
Children and adolescents are at risk of sleep disorders, feeling drowsy during the day, and of developing addictions to other psychoactive substances if their caffeine intake is too high, ANSES said.
Energy drinks were also ruled dangerous for pregnant women (risk of slowing fetal growth) and women who breastfeed (milk contaminated by caffeine), as well as for those with certain cardiovascular problems, psychiatric or neurological disorders (such as epilepsy) or people suffering from renal failure or severe liver disease. The report highlighted hundreds of cases of people who suffered from adverse reactions after consuming energy drinks; some 257 cases were reported, of which 212 could be analyzed.
"The role that caffeinated energy drinks [played] in 25 of these cases, or 12 % of the reports, was considered likely or very likely," ANSES Deputy Director of Health and Nutrition Franck Fourès told AFP.
Currently under investigation due to suspicion that they cause adverse reactions (such as heart conditions), energy drinks almost always contain caffeine (on average, the equivalent of 2 espressos per standard 250 ml can) and are likely to contain a combination of ginseng, taurine, guarana, vitamins and herbs. In France, almost 9 million people over the age of 14 consume so-called 'energy drinks', a term that serves a purely marketing purpose without being subject to specific regulatory controls, according to ANSES. The agency called for “moderate” consumption of caffeinated beverages, and for their promotion to be regulated, especially in contexts considered “risky” (such as at parties and for athletes). France consumes around 40 million liters of energy drinks per year
Al Qaeda-linked group claims murder of French journalists
Al Qaeda-linked militant group AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) has claimed responsibility for the murder of two French journalists killed in Mali on Saturday, according to Mauritanian news agency Sahara Medias. Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who worked for FRANCE 24’s sister station Radio France Internationale (RFI), were found dead 12 km outside of Kidal in northern Mali just hours after being kidnapped by gunmen. Sahara Medias, which is often sent statements by Islamist militants in Mali, said it received the claim in an email from fighters loyal to Abdelkrim al-Targui, a senior commander in the region. “This operation was a response to crimes committed by France against Malians and the work of African and international forces against the Muslims of Azawad,” the email said. France launched a major ground and air military operation in Mali in January aimed at reclaiming territory seized by Islamist militants and Tuareg separatists in the north of the country. The AQIM statement added that the killings were "the minimum debt" owed by the French people and President François Hollande "in return for their new crusade". ‘Malian commander led attack’ Sahara Medias said the murders had been carried out by a unit led by Targui, one of the few Malian nationals who has risen to prominence inside the al Qaeda branch, led almost exclusively by Algerian jihadists. Targui is a native of the Kidal region and is believed to be responsible for the previous kidnappings of two French nationals, Philippe Verdon and Serge Lazarevic, who were grabbed from the town of Hombori in northern Mali in 2011. Lazarevic remains in captivity. Verdon was executed earlier this year. AQIM grew out of a movement launched in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists who sought the overthrow of the Algerian government and to replace it with Islamic rule.
The organisation linked up with al Qaeda in 2006 and has spun a tight network across tribes, clans, family and business lines that stretches across the vast Sahel region abutting the southern Sahara desert. France, meanwhile, said on Tuesday it had sent seven investigators, including intelligence and police officials, to Mali to assist in the hunt for Dupont and Verlon’s killers. A member of the Malian security forces said that "at least 35" suspects had so far been arrested in connection with the murders, while a local government source in Kidal put the figure at "a few dozen".
‘Hands off my whore’ campaign outrages France
A “Manifesto of the 343 bastards” against laws seeking to punish prostitutes’ clients has caused an uproar in France amid an intense debate over legislation on buying and selling sex. The movement's slogan, "Hands off my whore" ("Touche pas à ma pute") echoes the catchcry of a 1971 campaign by 343 women supporting legalistic abortion. The men's group opposes government moves to punish the buying of sexual services. The petition says the signatories, who include prominent figures such as author Frederic Beigbeder and lawyer Richard Malka, are all men who “have used or are likely to use the services of prostitutes”. "We do not defend prostitution, we defend freedom," reads their petition, to be published in monthly opinion magazine Causeur in November. "And when parliament gets involved in adopting rules on sexuality, everyone's freedom is threatened." The text continues, "We consider that everyone has the right to freely sell their charms – and even to enjoy doing so. All together, we declare: Hands off my whore!" Under current rules, prostitution is legal in France, but soliciting and pimping are prohibited. A bill to be debated at the end of next month seeks to penalize clients instead of sex workers in a bid to phase out prostitution.
Halloween in Paris
Halloween is definitely a much smaller affair in France that the U.S. For family Friendly all of the month of October, Disneyland Paris decorates their park with pumpkins. They also have Villain Parade, Disney bad guys get the spot light. If you want a more scary Halloween in Paris. You can visit Pere Lachaise or any other eerie Paris Cemetery. Also there are no haunted houses but you can tour the "Ghost Tour" called Mysteries of Paris.
With over a million kilometer of roads. 12,000 kilometer of auto route system consists largely of toll roads.
France is the world in railway technology as well as trailblazer in development in the area of modern tramways. There are a total of 32,000 Kilometers
France has a large merchant navy. Operates over 1,400 vessels
Waterways & Canal Systems
Waterways & Canal systems is over 8,5000 kilometers.
France has over 500 airports.
Aeroports de Paris tow mosted used airports are Charlesde Gaulle & The Orly.
Two French journalists held hostage in Syria
French journalists Pierre Torrès and Nicolas Hénin (pictured above, left to right) disappeared in Syria on June 22, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault revealed on Wednesday during an interview on French radio. While the incident took place months ago in northern city of Raqqa, the families of the abducted Frenchmen initially convinced the government to keep the news from going public. However, responding to a question about the fates of reporter Didier François and photojournalist Edouard Elias – two other captive French nationals – PM Ayrault unveiled the two additional abductions. Nicolas Henin, 37, has worked for the past seven years for television news agency Solas Films, covering Africa and the Middle East. Pierre Torrès, 29, is a photojournalist who covered the Libyan revolution and was on his second trip to war-torn Syria at the time he was taken captive.
Edith Piaf continues to inspire, 50 years after her death
When Edith Piaf died on October 10, 1963, she was France's biggest international star and the first to conquer America, with her melancholy music becoming an indelible part of the soundtrack for the post-war generation. Piaf's cabaret songs about carrying on living in the face of adversity – such as "Non, Je ne Regrette Rien" (I Regret Nothing) and "La Vie en Rose" (Life Through Rose-Tinted Glasses) – reflected the difficulties in her own life, which was marked by tragic loss and struggles with addiction. Even Piaf's early years were difficult, with her mother, also a singer, abandoning her to be brought up by her grandmother. Piaf’s only child, a daughter born when Piaf was only 17, died at the age of two from meningitis. And the love of her life – French boxer Marcel Cerdan, who was married to someone else – died in an October 1949 plane crash while travelling from Paris to New York to see her. Piaf allegedly wrote one of her most famous songs, Hymne à l'amour (Hymn to Love), for him. Known in France as the "Little Sparrow", Piaf struggled most of her life with alcoholism and drug addiction and survived three near-fatal car crashes. Following her death, the Archbishop of Paris denied requests for a funeral mass, citing Piaf's irreligious lifestyle. Nevertheless, thousands of fans followed her funeral procession through the streets of Paris before her burial in the famed Père Lachaise cemetery, where many of France’s most celebrated artists are interred. Piaf remains one of the best-known French performers abroad, with a 2007 film about her life entitled "La Vie en Rose" earning an Academy Award for French actress Marion Cotillard as Piaf.
A choreographed death
Piaf’s personal photographer says that even as she lay dying, she carefully controlled her public image. At 47 and suffering from fatal liver cancer, Piaf insisted that only Hugues Vassal would be allowed to capture the images of her final days. Tearing up as he recalled taking his last pictures of the diminutive star, Vassal told AFP that even at the end of her life, Piaf insisted on personally approving each photograph. "She knew she would go down in history and she wanted control over the photographs that we would keep of her," said Vassal, 80, who was Piaf's photographer during the last six years of her life. It was a final act of choreography from a star whose phenomenal success was based not only on her prodigious talent but also on her carefully managed public image and prevailing myths about her life that persist to this day. After she died, Vassal worked with a who's who of the French stars that followed in her wake, including Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg and Johnny Hallyday. Robert Belleret, author of the just-published "Piaf, a French Myth", said the star was born Edith Gassion at a hospital in Paris's working-class 20th district on December 15, 1915.
The book draws on scores of unpublished letters written by Piaf to her confidant, poet Jacques Bourgeat, among other personal papers and correspondence. "She had an incredible magnetism," Belleret said in an interview with AFP. And the Piaf myth continues to influence modern artists. Marc Jacobs, the US designer who modernised Louis Vuitton into a global fashion giant, cited Piaf among his inspirations in dedicating his final show for the Parisian luxury brand last week to "the women who inspire me and the showgirl in every one of them". Jacobs listed Edith Piaf among his greatest inspirations, which included Jane Birkin, Betty Catroux and Catherine Deneuve.
Exclusive: France must resist Iran, Netanyahu says
France must remain strong against Iran and its Prime Minister Hassan Rohani to prevent the country from reaching nuclear weapons capability, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 on Thursday. France "should be tough on Iran, with or without Rohani’s smiles", Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 Jerusalem correspondent Gallagher Fenwick. "What Iran is putting forward with this smile campaign is an old position… they need the enrichment, the centrifuges and the heavy water plutonium reactor for one thing - to produce nuclear weapons, and we don’t want to give them that." He suggested Rohani’s recent movements towards détente with the West were insincere. “If they really wanted to dismantle their nuclear weapons programme, they’d come out with it,” he said. Netanyahu likened the softening of Iran’s diplomacy to the trustworthiness of a hypothetical offer by Syrian leader Bashar al Assad to get rid of 20 percent of his country’s chemical weapons. “Would you accept that? Would anyone accept that?” he asked, “Of course not!” “You don’t dismantle 20 percent, you dismantle 100 percent. This is not my position alone. This was the French position, the EU’s position,” he said. Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 he does not fear that his comments will put Israel in a difficult situation. “I don’t have any problem telling the truth even if it’s not popular. It so happens that I’m not isolated - Israel is not isolated,” he said. “Just about every country in the Arab world agrees with our position; some say so openly, some say that less openly. There’s one country who doesn’t agree with us: Syria’s Assad, of course, because he supports Iran’s regime that continues to help him in the mass murder of women and children.” Netanyahu for now also ruled out the possibility of beginning dialogue with Rohani. "Call him an honest deceiver…You don’t normally call somebody who openly calls for your annihilation."
When asked whether Israel would strike Iran on its own, without the help of ally the United States, the Israeli Prime Minister refused to discuss his country’s military options. "The Americans have great capacities, certainly greater than anyone else, but I wouldn’t cut short Israel’s capacities either."
France summons US ambassador over 'spying'
The US National Security Agency (NSA) secretly recorded millions of phone calls made in France, French daily "Le Monde" reported on Monday, citing documents leaked by former NSA intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
The US spy agency taped 70.3 million French phone calls in just a little under a month in the period from December 10 last year to January 8, 2013, "Le Monde" reported on its website. The paper said the NSA automatically monitored communications from certain phone numbers and recorded text messages under a programme that was code named "US-985D". "Le Monde" said the documents indicated that the NSA targets not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics. The revelations prompted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to summon the US ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, for "immediate" talks on Monday. US authorities declined comment to the French daily on the classified documents. "Le Monde" has previously reported on the French government's vast spying network, which it says stores the metadata on “all emails, SMSes, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts” in a massive three-floor underground bunker in Paris. Snowden, who has taken temporary refuge in Russia, is wanted in the United States on espionage and other charges after leaking details of the NSA's monitoring activities to journalists at Britain's "The Guardian" newspaper.
On 13 October 1946, a new constitution established the Fourth Republic. The Fourth Republic consisted of a parliamentary government controlled by a series of coalitions. During the next 16 years the French Colonial Empire would disintegrate. Israel was established in 1948, and France was one of the fiercest supporters of the Jewish state, supplying it with extensive weaponry it used during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The French Republic needed an alliance with Israel to secure the Suez Canal from potential threats in a context of decolonisation. In Indochina the French government was facing the Viet Minh communist rebels and lost its Indochinese colonies during the First Indochina War in 1954 after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Vietnam was divided in two states while Cambodia and Laos were made independent. France left Indochina only to be replaced there by the United States, which would soon be engaged in the long Vietnam War.
France and WWI
France was one of the Triple Entente powers in World War I, fighting alongside the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States and smaller allies against Germany and the Central Powers. The war was fought in large part on French soil, with 1.4 million French dead including civilians, and four times as many military casualties.
France arrests dozens in arms trafficking crackdown
May 11 - May 26
British and French army forces begin defensive preparations in Belgium in an effort to stave off the German advance. A long line of strategic defenses is constructed.
Panzer Corps XV and XIX break through the Allied defenses at Sedan, allowing German forces to completely bypass the formidable defenses at the French Maginot Line.
German Panzer Corps cross into the north of France.
Allied forces are in full retreat of the Germans, making their way towards the French coastline.
Sensing a catastrophic loss in the making, Winston Churchill orders preparation of vessels to evacuate the British Expeditionary Forces from northern France.
Compounding battlefield losses across France and the Low Countries force a change at the helm - General Maxime Weygand replaces General Maurice-Gustave Gamelin as supreme Allied commander.
An Allied counterattack against the German Army near Arras ends in failure as the attack is itself countered by another advancing German land force.
In a stunning move, Hitler orders his forces not to cross the Lens-Bethune-St Omer-Gravelines line, allowing the retreating Allied forces more time to reach the French coast.
German Luftwaffe bombers hammer Allied defensive positions in and around the French port city of Dunkirk.
The German Army takes Boulogne
More and more retreating Allied units arrive at the French port city of Dunkirk.
Over 850 British civilian vessels take part in assisting military forces off of French soil to awaiting transports in what would become the largest military evacuation in history.
Operation Dynamo - the all-out evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk
Hitler orders his army forces towards Dunkirk for the final blow to the Allied cause.
May 28 - July 6 1940
Some 25,473 British soldiers have been evacuated from France.
With the fight gone out of them, the Belgian Army surrenders to the German 6th and 18th armies. Their actions, however, supply the evacuating Allies with much-needed time.
King Leopold of Belgium orders his army to surrender to the Germans. By this time, his government has already relocated to Paris, France.
With Belgium out of the way, German Army elements begin making their way towards the French coastline in an attempt to completely eliminate Allied forces for good.
Another 47,000 British troops are evacuated from Dunkirk.
6,000 French soldiers join some 120,000 total Allied soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk
Over 150,000 Allied soldiers (including some 15,000 French) arrive in Britain.
Defense of the outlying region near Dunkirk now passes to French XVI Corps.
Some 40,000 French soldiers are taken prisoner by Germany at the fall of Dunkirk.
German Luftwaffe bombers cease bombardment of Dunkirk.
Operation Dynamo - the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk - officially ends. 338,326 total soldiers are saved including 113,000 French troops.
July 6thGerman ships begin operating out of captured bases along the French coast.
May 20th -November 15th 1942
May 20th, The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight. May 27th, The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim holds off the German progress. June 10th, The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim can hold no more and retreat under the mounting German pressure. July 7th, Bad weather cancels this original date for Operation Rutter. Discussions begin on whether or not to nix the entire endeavor. It returns to the planning stages under a new name - Operation Jubilee. July 7th, this date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France. August 19th, at 5:35 AM, Allied armor makes it to the beach. Over half of the tanks are lost in the action. August 19th, by 2:00 PM, all survivors of the Dieppe invasion have been rescued. Left behind are 3,367 casualties, wounded, prisoners of war or missing. August 19th, at 5:20 AM, the main invasion force - made up of the 14th Army Tank Regiment, the Essex Scottish Regiment, and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry - come ashore. August 19th, by 11:00 AM, disaster has completely befallen the invaders. Many are trapped, forced back or dead to a prepared German defense. August 19th, operation Jubilee is officially put into action. August 19th, at 4:30 AM, Canadian soldiers wade ashore and take on the German coastal batteries at Berneval, Puys, Pourville and Varengville. August 19th ,at 3:48 AM, several Allied invasion vessels run into a German convoy, which actively engages the ships, ruining any chance the Allies held in the element of surprise. This event is a fore-telling of the day to follow. August 19th, 4,962 Canadian soldiers, along with 1,000 British troops and a 50-man contingent of American US Army Rangers set sail on no fewer than 237 boats towards Dieppe. August 19th, this date is targeted for Operation Jubilee. August 21st, Nazi-allied French leader Marshal Petain celebrates the German victory over the Allied invasion at Dieppe. November 8th, the US Western and Central task forces tangle with Vichy French opposition. November 8th, at Oran, French coastal guns destroy US transport with 200 soldiers aboard. November 8th, French General Mast surrenders to the British Eastern Task Force. November 9th, the first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco. November 9thUS forces tangle with a surprisingly stout French defense. It was believed that the two country's histories would have brought France to surrender rather than fight a former ally. November 11th, French Admiral Jean Francios Darlan joins French General Alphonse Juin in calling an all-out cease fire for French forces throughout Africa. November 11th, the British Eastern Task forces capture the strategic airfield at Djidjelli via Bougie from Algiers. November 15th, American paratroopers land at the airfield near Youks les Bains
January 11th - June 4th 1944
January 11th, the first major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched. January 11th, French Expeditionary Corps assail the outer defenses at Cassino, achieving modest gains. January 16th, the US IC Corps and the French Expeditionary Corps arrive at Rapido River. February 11th, a blanket retreat is enacted by the Allies in an attempt to regroup and plan a new strategy to take Cassino. February 15th, following the Allied aerial bombardment, the second major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched. February 19th - March 13th, the Italian winter makes its arrival and postpones any further Allied offensives for the next month. March 15th - March 21st, positions on Monte Cassino are officially in Allied hands. March 15th, a third major Allied offensive is put into action. March 15th, Artillery guns open up on Cassino while 600-plus Allied bombers attempt to shake the German defenders. March 22nd, with mounting losses in both manpower and tanks, further Allied thrusts are called off. March 23rd - May 10th, a lengthy six-week period allows the Allies to rebuild their forces - though this period allows the Germans to increase their defensive foothold. April 1st - June 5th, allied bombers increase their sorties across Northern and Western France in preparations of the D-Day landings. Targets include the vital railways, railyards, bridges and roads dotting the French landscape. These facilities will prove crucial to the German response to the invasion. May 11th, the fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action. May 17th, June 5th is selected as the next official launch date for D-Day. May 17th, weather on May 17th cancels the D-Day operation. Leaving the next best weather window of opportunity to be June 5th. May 17th, this date became one of the two best weather options for the Allied invasion of France. May 18th, Monte Cassino falls to the Allies, costing some 50,000 casualties along both sides of the battlefield. June 4th, Official word comes down that the June 5th landings will be postponed due to inclement weather across the North Sea.
June 5th 1944- January 20th 1945
June 5th, some 6,000 naval vessels depart from the south of England towards France. June 6th, at approximately 6:30AM, American Army forces begin landing at two key beaches, codenamed Utah and Omaha. June 6th, the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division makes its way towards Juno beach. The German defenses, heavy seas and underwater obstacles cause a loss of 30 percent of the landing craft. The onshore result is equally grim as the Canadians are assaulted by the prepared Germans. June 6th, American forces at Utah beach hold pockets of land totaling just over 6 miles. June 6th, the first town in France - Ste Mere Eglise - is liberated by the Allies, this honor falling to the American forces from Utah beach and paratroopers from the previous day's drops. June 6th, Omaha statistics are grim and the group holds the least amount of real estate at just 4.3 miles across and 1.2 miles inland. However, they do hold positions in Vierville sur Mer, Colleville and St-Laurent sur Mer. June 6th, the Allied elements at Sword beach hold onto a 6-by-6 mile piece of land though they are still cut off from the Allies at Juno. June 6th, the British and Canadian forces out of Gold and Juno beaches enjoy the largest footholds in France, encompassing land holdings some 9 miles wide and 6.2 miles inland. June 6th, by midnight, D-Day is more or less over. Not all objectives are captured but progress is made nonetheless. June 6th, by 8:00PM, the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division out of Juno beach connects with the British 50th Division out of Gold beach. This union becomes the largest Allied-held pocket in the north of France to this point. June 6th, the German 21st Panzer Division is repelled by a combined Allied armor and air assault, saving further actions at Sword. June 6th, the German counter-attack reaches the beachhead at Sword. June 6th, at 4:00PM, the mobilized German 21st Panzer Division launches a counter-attack. June 6th, British and French Special Forces elements out of Sword beach connect with the British paratroopers holding the key bridges over the Orne River. June 6th, near the town of Pouppeville, the US 4th Infantry Division at Utah beach connects with the 101st Airborne Division paratroopers. June 6th, despite the confusion on the part of the misdropped Allied paratroopers, the defending Germans are thrown into an equal level of confusion, noting Allied airdrops all around them. June 6th, at approximately 10:00AM, British forces out of Gold beach take La Riviere. June 6th, US Army forces arriving at Utah beach find themselves some 2,000 yards away from where they should be. The result is the force finds little German opposition at Utah. Their original landing zone was to be centered around Les-Dunes-de-Varreville. Total casualties from the landing are 300 personnel. June 6th, Elements of the US 82nd and 101st airborne divisions land across the Cotentin Peninsula. Despite all the planning, their dropzones are widely scattered. June 6th, British paratroopers of the 6th British Airborne Brigade land near Benouville. June 6th, the British paratroopers take the bridges over the Caen Canal and the Orne River. June 6th, British paratroopers destroy the coastal fortifications at Merville. June 6th, no less than five key bridges over the Dives River are blown up by British paratroopers. June 6th, the Canadians out of Juno beach take Bernieres at about 11:00AM. June 6th, Allied naval warships open up with their guns on German defensive positions along the French coast. June 6th, in preparation for the arrival of the regular armies by way of amphibious landing, British and American airborne paratroopers arrive in France just after midnight. June 6th, the US Army forces arriving at Omaha beach face a prepared, stout and veteran defense made possible by the German 352nd Division. After 2,400 casualties, the 1st US Infantry Division holds a beachhead. June 6th, at approximately 7:25AM, forces of the British and Canadian armies wade ashore at beaches codenamed Gold and Juno. June 6th, the combined British and Canadian forces at Gold face little opposition and claim their objectives with little incident. June 6th, the British 50th Division pushed some 6 miles inland. June 6th, the British 3rd Division arriving at Sword beach faces a stouter German defense but are able to overwhelm the enemy and establish a foothold. June 6th, by 8:00AM, most of the German defenders at or near Gold and Sword beaches have been cleared or are on the run. August 26th, Brigadier-General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces, leads a contingent of Allied troops on a march down the Champs Elysees to a thunderous reception by liberated French citizens. January 20th, Hitler orders his 6th SS Panzer Army out of the Ardennes forest on the West Front towards Budapest, Hungary in the east.
The Paris prosecutor said Thursday that the man suspected of going on a shooting spree in Paris is now well enough to be questioned and has been placed under formal investigation on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. The suspect, named by police as Abdelhakim Dekhar, was caught after a major three-day manhunt following a shooting at the offices of left-wing newspaper Libération on Monday, which left a photographer’s assistant in a critical condition, and a subsequent shooting in the business district of La Défense. France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced Thursday that DNA samples taken at the scenes of the shootings matched the DNA of a suspect found by police in a car park north of Paris on Wednesday. A police source told FRANCE 24 that officers had found a “rambling” letter on the car seat next to him, in which he complained about social problems in France and the wars in Syria and Libya. The letter demonstrated a “clear lack of mental coherence”, the source said. It has emerged that Dekhar, 48, was previously jailed for four years in 1998 for his role in a "Bonnie and Clyde" style murder spree that left four people dead, horrifying France in the 1990s. He was arrested at around 7:00pm (1800 GMT) on Wednesday in a vehicle in an underground car park in the northwestern Paris suburb of Bois-Colombes, where he appeared to have taken an overdose. “My colleagues noticed he was not very lucid. They deduced that he had taken medicine, because of the capsules nearby,” police union official Christophe Crépin told reporters. Dekhar was taken directly to a Paris hospital. “He’s incarcerated but in a medical environment,” Crépin said. Valls praised the police for securing Dekhar's arrest. Dekhar was previously convicted in 1998 of buying a gun used in the 1994 shootings by student Florence Rey and her lover Audry Maupin, in which three police officers and a taxi driver were killed. Dekhar claimed at the time that he had been hired by the Algerian secret services to infiltrate the French far-left, with which Rey and Maupin were involved. 'I've made a stupid mistake' Wednesday’s arrest came after a witness contacted the police. The police on Tuesday released a new photograph of Dekhar to the press and received hundreds of calls from members of the public. The key witness who came forward had recently housed the suspect before seeing him on police appeals, Crépin said. The witness said Dekhar told him, “I've made a stupid mistake”. Dekhar opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun at the offices of Libération early on Monday, shooting a 23-year-old photographer's assistant in the lobby, and subsequently firing another blast that hit the roof before fleeing the scene.
Paris Shooting Suspect Faces Attempted Murder Charge
The unions also complained of, "ever more demanding environmental laws, increasing checks and stronger regulatory mechanisms." Many local cereal growers are also furious at the EU’s decision to focus aid on poorer livestock farmers and the French government’s support of this change. This latest protest increases the pressure on President Francois Hollande's government which has already been forced into an embarrassing climb down on a planned new environmental "ecotax" on commercial vehicles after violent protests in Brittany, a predominantly agricultural region in northern France. Opponents of the tax, which critics say unfairly penalises remote areas dependent on deliveries by road freight, are demanding it be scrapped altogether. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would introduce reforms to fix inequalities in the tax system
French fireman dies at farmers’ blockade
Armed men raided a luxury jewellery store near the iconic Place Vendôme in Paris, making off with luxury watches worth some €800,000 ($1 million), a source close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday. The robbers brandished handguns and threatened the shop's employees, the source said. France has seen a series of robberies at upscale jewelery stores in recent months, including a brazen attack in which axe-wielding men stole high-end watches worth hundreds of thousands of euros from a Vacheron Constantin store, also near the Place Vendôme. Several heists took place during the Cannes Film Festival in May, including one at the Carlton Hotel in which jewel thieves made off with $1.4 million in jewels that were due to be loaned to movie stars.
Armed Robbers Strike Paris Jeweler in Latest Heist
French authorities have arrested 45 people across France and in French overseas territories as part of an operation targeting international arms traffickers, police said Monday. Thirty-eight people have so far been placed under formal detention and more arrests are expected, French police said in a statement. Some 300 officers were involved in the sweep, which targeted military-grade arms, ammunition and weapons parts trafficked into the country from the Balkans and Slovakia since 2009. The investigation into a possible smuggling ring was launched after military-grade handguns and rifles were seized during an arrest in the Haute-Marne region in February 2012. The inquiry initially implicated a Slovak arms trafficking syndicate, with links later discovered to another smuggling group based in the Balkans. An influx of military-grade weapons, particularly Kalashnikov assault rifles, has been blamed for a rise in gang-related shootings in the southern port city of Marseille in recent years.