Daily Archives: October 16, 2016

Today’s Holiday:Kawagoe Matsuri

Today’s Holiday:
Kawagoe Matsuri

Only during the Kawagoe Matsuri can festivalgoers view the enormous floats of old Edo (the old name for Tokyo). More than 20 richly decorated parade floats, thought to be reproductions of floats from Tokyo’s Kanda-jinja Shrine, are carried through the streets of Kawagoe. In the evening, the floats come together and bump into one another in the center of town. Hyashi bands—which play traditional Japanese music on the flute, drum, shamisen (three-stringed lute) and other instruments—also spar with one another, trying their best to interrupt the others’ rhythm.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday:William Orville Douglas (1898)

Today’s Birthday:
William Orville Douglas (1898)

Douglas, a US Supreme Court justice and author, practiced and taught law early in his career, before becoming a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1936. As SEC chairman, he engineered the reorganization of US stock exchanges, instituted measures aimed at protecting small investors, and began government regulation of the sale of securities. In 1939, the president appointed him to the Supreme Court. For what controversial act did Congress attempt to impeach Douglas?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History:Marie Antoinette Guillotined (1793)

This Day in History:
Marie Antoinette Guillotined (1793)

The daughter of Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, Marie Antoinette was the queen of France and wife of King Louis XVI. Her devotion to Austria, reputation for extravagance, and connection to scandals made her unpopular and helped to provoke the French Revolution. After the storming of the Tuileries palace, she and Louis were accused of treason. The king was executed, and Marie was tried, found guilty, and guillotined. Did she really say “Let them eat cake”?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day:L. Frank Baum

Quote of the Day:
L. Frank Baum

Folklore, legends, myths, and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous, and manifestly unreal.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day:Taiko

Article of the Day:

Though taiko simply means “drum” in Japanese, the word is often used outside of Japan to refer to the relatively recent phenomenon of ensemble taiko drumming, and to the drums it employs, which are among the world’s largest. In fact, some of these drums are so large that they remain in a single location and are never moved. Although modern taiko was established in 1951, its first recorded use was on the battlefields of ancient Japan. How were the drums used in warfare?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day:gaunt

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Thin and bony; angular.
Synonyms: cadaverous, haggard, pinched, skeletal, wasted
Usage: A gaunt Wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened to meet a House-dog who was passing by.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

what about the Moon?

Check out @Telegraph’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/Telegraph/status/787674227742769152?s=09

Watch “The Who – My Generation” on YouTube

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Watch “The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun Mafia III Trailer 3 Suicide Squad, Casino !!!” on YouTube

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Watch “The Doors – GLORIA – dirty version (music video, fantasy cut)” on YouTube

Watch “Iron Butterfly [Full Version] In A Gadda Da Vida – Digitally Remastered” on YouTube

Watch “Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love (Farewell Concert – Extended Edition) (1 of 11)” on YouTube

Watch “The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Foxey Lady (Miami Pop 1968)” on YouTube

Watch “Jimi Hendrix Sgt Peppers” on YouTube

Watch “Jimi Hendrix – National Anthem U.S.A (Woodstock 1969)” on YouTube

Watch “MELANIE Spiritual revolution or drug revolution?” on YouTube

Watch “HD “Zou bisou bisou” Zubi Zubi Zu Mad Men” on YouTube

France 24 : The Passion of Carl Dreyer: Paris celebrates cinema’s ‘forgotten’ master

The Passion of Carl Dreyer: Paris celebrates cinema’s ‘forgotten’ master


“The Passion of Joan of Arc” was regarded as a miracle of cinema long before its original print resurfaced in a Norwegian mental institution. A new retrospective at the Paris Cinémathèque helps rediscover its revered director.

The sheer quantity and variety of films on offer throughout the year is one of the great marvels of Paris. Whichever day, whatever the time, whether one fancies spaghetti western, theNouvelle Vague or martial arts, at least one of the city’s 431 screens is bound to oblige.

Screenings of century-old silent movies can be harder to come by, even in the city of light – but not this autumn. Last month, viewers were treated to a new release of Murnau’s 1927 classic “Sunrise” (“the most beautiful film in the world”, as François Truffaut put it). Next up is a chance to rediscover the work of another of cinema’s masters, who accompanied the transition from silent film to sound.

“Carl Dreyer is undoubtedly one of the great names of cinematography – so great he sometimes seems a little intimidating,” said Jean-François Rauger, head of programming at the Cinémathèque française, the Paris film archive and museum that is hosting a comprehensive retrospective of the Danish director’s work.

“We noticed that Dreyer’s films were seldom shown in cinemas, that a body of work so crucial to the history of cinematography had vanished somewhat,” Rauger told FRANCE 24. “It is important to make sure young generations can see these films that are never shown on TV.”

Rauger said it was the role of the Cinémathèque, a largely state-funded institution, to “remind viewers why some filmmakers are regarded as the great masters of the art”, particularly when their work is rarely screened.

While “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (“La passion de Jeanne d’Arc“), Dreyer’s 1928 masterpiece, is regularly ranked by critics among the finest movies of all time, its director has been largely forgotten by the general public. In part, this may be down to the fact that his extraordinarily varied body of work is difficult to categorise.

Dreyer’s repertoire encompasses comedy, social realism, period and horror. His work is sometimes furiously paced and elsewhere languid. It can be loquacious or use dialogue with parsimony. Some films are centred on searing close-ups, where others favour long shots and painterly compositions.

“He made few films, but every one of them is unique and singular and fundamental for the art of cinematography,” said Rauger.

Dreyer is best remembered for the six feature films he shot in the thirty-six years between the “Passion of Joan of Arc” and his last work “Gertrud” in 1964, four years before his death. Most were commerical flops, forcing him into long spells during which he wrote about cinema, but could not shoot.

It wasn’t always so. In fact Dreyer started off as a hugely prolific filmmaker, releasing eight films between 1918 and 1925, when the golden age of Danish cinema was coming to an end. He later dismissed his early work; but its success at the time paved the way for the job offer that would change his career and, to some extent, the medium itself.

A ‘landscape of human emotions’

His appointment to shoot a French film about Joan of Arc – France’s national heroine, who had just been made a saint in 1924 – was scoffed at by many nationalists, who noted that the filmmaker was neither Catholic nor French. Rumours that Hollywood star Lillian Gish would take on the lead role only heightened their disdain.

Dreyer’s detractors were right to suspect his film would be anything but a patriotic show. He soon cast aside the script he was handed and poured over the court records of Joan’s trial for heresy, condensing its four months into a single day. Out went the 15th-century battle scenes and epic triumphs, leaving only the tussle between the future saint and a dogmatic church.

The Dutch director spent a large part of his enormous budget building a fake castle in a country littered with very real ones, and then reduced the fabulously expensive set to an abstract, claustrophobic décor that appears to conspire against the Maid of Orléans, like her inquisitors.

He dug holes in the set to achieve the low camera angles that enhanced the interrogators’ threatening gaze, and elaborated an extraordinarily dynamic montage for Joan’s cross-examination, in which hostile faces surround and prod her.

Dismissing the celebrity candidates put forward by producers, Dreyer eventually found his Joan in stage actress Renée Jeanne Falconetti (credited as Maria Falconetti in the film), in whose unvarnished, life-weary features he foresaw the passion and suffering of France’s martyr-heroine.

Throughout the shooting, he filmed his lead actress at mercilessly close quarters, insisting that Falconetti wear no make-up and agree to have her hair shorn. The result of their collaboration is a performance so absorbing it continues to amaze audiences almost a century on.

Under Dreyer’s gaze, “Falconetti’s face becomes a landscape of human emotions,” said the Cinémathèque’s Rauger, highlighting the filmmaker’s ability to “discover radically new expressions through narrow close-ups”.

“The Passion of Joan of Arc” has enjoyed cult status over the years – it is Falconetti’s tears that prompt Anna Karina to shed tears of her own in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Vivre sa vie” –, but the film was a commercial fiasco at the time, and its tormented history would go on to mirror the trials of its protagonist.

Dreyer was powerless to prevent government censors and the archbishop of Paris from slashing whole scenes, and then a series of fires destroyed the original negative as well as subsequent cuts. The full movie was thought to be lost forever, until a perfect print miraculously resurfaced in the closet of a janitor for an Oslo mental institution in 1981 – though the filmmaker was dead by then.

In later films, including “Vampyr” (1932), “Day of Wrath” (1943) and “Ordet” (1955), Dreyer continued to explore the themes of faith, intolerance and death that he tackled in his earlier masterpiece.

His depiction of Joan’s ordeal has been likened to the Stations of the Cross; and though Dreyer died before he could fulfill his lifelong dream of filming a life of Jesus, the passion of Christ permeates so much of his work it is as if he had done it already.

The Carl Dreyer retrospective runs from October 12 to November 6, 2016, at the Cinémathèque française in Paris.

France 24 : France’s first safe drug injection site to open in Paris

France’s first safe drug injection site to open in Paris


France’s first supervised injection site (SIS) for drug users will open in northern Paris on Monday after years of advocacy on the part of health experts and despite objections from local residents.

Despite seven years of debate and protestsfrom neighbourhood residents, the controversial “shooting gallery” – as it’s known in France – was inaugurated on October 11 by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and French Health Minister Marisol Touraine. The SIS will open at the Lariboisière Hospital in Paris’s 10tharrondissement (district).

No ‘miracle tool’

“This isn’t some kind of miracle tool, it’s a practical one,” Nathalie Latour, general director of the French addiction counselling groupFédération Addiction, told FRANCE 24. The group, which works regularly with drug addicts, said the SIS should help addicts “regulate the frequency of their consumption”.

“It’s a big step,” said Latour, who added that the facility could significantly reduce the risks linked to drug consumption.

The SIS will have an entrance separate from Lariboisière Hospital’s main doors. The space will only be accessible to adult drug users, who will be given sterile materials to inject the products that they bring themselves. A convention signed by the justice and interior ministries ensures that using the facilities will not have legal repercussions. The site can accommodate about 50 people at a time plus at least six staff members including a doctor, a nurse and a security guard.

Open all afternoon, the SIS will offer a front desk, a room for consumption, a workshop on safe injection and several counselling offices. There is also a rest area so that “no one has to leave while still under the influence”, Elisabeth Avril, director of the SIS, explained to FRANCE 24. The aim is to put drug users in contact with health and social workers who can help them.

>> Watch more on FRANCE24.com: Safe injection rooms for drug users?

Local complaints versus international examples

However, some people who live near the Lariboisière Hospital are concerned about the consequences for their neighbourhood. Several banners protesting against the “shooting gallery” can still be seen on the facade of the building across the street.

Serge Lebigot, president of the organisationParents contre la drogue (Parents Against Drugs), is one worried neighbour. He says he’ll be watching the SIS carefully, and encourages other residents to do the same. He even put up a website where anyone can “report incidents” that they see at the hospital.

Since 2010, a group of experts at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research(Institut national de la santé et de la recherché médicale) has emphasised the role such sites can play in reducing the risk of overdoses and the spread of AIDS and Hepatitis C. According to 2011 statistics from the ministry of health, more than 10 percent of drug users suffer from AIDS and more than 40 percent from Hepatitis C, a situation the ministry called “very worrying”.

Similar spaces, also known as drug consumption rooms and fix rooms, have existed in other countries for years. Switzerland has provided injection sites for the past 30 years and has seen a reduction in both the spread of infectious diseases and the frequency of drug use. Germany, Australia, Canada, Spain, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherlands all offer safe injection spaces as well.

France 24 : Obama lifts limits on rum and cigars from Cuba

Obama lifts limits on rum and cigars from Cuba


Americans traveling to Cuba will be allowed to bring home more of the island’s cigars and rum under new measures announced by the U.S. government on Friday to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions that have been in place for decades.

Cuba welcomed the steps, part of President Barack Obama’s effort to make his historic opening to Cuba “irreversible” by the time he leaves office in January, but said they did not go far enough.

The latest in a series of new rules since the former Cold War foes began normalizing relations in 2014 will allow Cubans to buy certain U.S. consumer goods online, open the door for Cuban pharmaceutical companies to do business in the United States and let Cubans and Americans do joint medical research.

For American travelers, the biggest change is the removal of limits on the amount of rum and cigars they can pack in their luggage, strictly for personal use.

“You can now celebrate with Cuban rum and Cuban cigars,” U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice quipped as she laid out the policy changes in a speech to a Washington think tank.

U.S. law still bans general tourism to Cuba, but the administration has used previous regulatory packages to make it easier for Americans to visit the island under 12 officially authorized categories.

The latest measures are part of an executive order on Cuba through which Obama seeks to sidestep the Republican-controlled Congress, which has resisted his call to lift Washington’s economic embargo after more than 50 years.

Republican critics say Obama is making too many concessions to Cuba for too little in return, especially on human rights issues. “After two years of President Obama’s Cuba policy, the Castro regime has made out like bandits,” said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American lawmaker from Florida.

The steps allow Cuban pharmaceutical companies to apply for U.S. regulatory approval, let U.S. firms improve Cuban infrastructure for humanitarian purposes and authorize them to provide safety-related aircraft services in Cuba, where U.S. airlines are beginning regularly scheduled flights.

Also under the new rules, after docking in Cuba, some foreign ships carrying certain cargo will be permitted to travel directly to U.S. ports to load or unload freight. Until now, such vessels have been required to wait 180 days, a restriction that Cuban officials say hinders their import export trade.

Josefina Vidal, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, told a news conference in Havana the measures were “positive but of a very limited nature”.

Making the opening “irreversible”

“Today, I approved a Presidential Policy Directive that takes another major step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with Cuba,” Obama said in a statement.

Less than a month before the Nov. 8 presidential election, Obama said his goal was to “make our opening to Cuba irreversible.”

The latest package, the administration’s sixth, is likely to be the “last significant tranche of changes” during Obama’s tenure, said a senior official, who asked not to be named.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton backs the policy of rapprochement with Havana. Republican Donald Trump has vowed to roll back Obama’s executive actions.

Vidal criticized Obama’s directive for making it clear the U.S. aimed to “promote change in Cuba’s economic, political and social system”, failing to respect its sovereignty.

In March, Obama made the first visit to Havana by a U.S. president in 88 years. His trip was made possible by his breakthrough agreement with Cuban President Raul Castro in December 2014 to cast aside decades of hostility that began soon after Cuba’s 1959 revolution.

Since the opening, Obama has repeatedly used his executive powers to relax trade and travel restrictions, while pushing Cuba to accelerate market-style reforms and boost political and economic freedom.

“The changes announced to Cuba regulations are, by definition, significant because they are new,” said John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. “Whether they will be relevant depends upon the government of Cuba’s willingness to permit United States companies and institutions to engage.”
“This new directive consolidates and builds upon the changes we’ve already made,” Obama said. He added, however, that “challenges remain – and very real differences between our governments persist on issues of democracy and human rights.”

At the same time, the U.S. embargo against Cuba has remained in place, a major irritant in relations. Only Congress can lift the embargo, and the Republican leadership is not expected to allow such a move anytime soon.


France 24 :  Trump challenges Clinton to drugs test before next debate

Trump challenges Clinton to drugs test before next debate


Donald Trump on Friday sarcastically dismissed women accusing him of sexual misconduct — even as two more came forward with lurid accounts — and denounced what he called an international political and media plot against him.

The unsubstantiated attack from theRepublican nominee came as he accused “corrupt” media of seeking to rig November’s vote in Clinton’s favour, by reporting snowballing claims of sexual misconduct that have thrown his presidential campaign into chaos.

Trump has trampled all conventions in his treatment of his opponent, vowing if elected to jail her over her email practices as secretary of state — and making “Lock Her Up” a rallying cry for his fired-up supporters.

His campaign has actively fuelled right-wing conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health, seizing on her bout of pneumonia last month to suggest she is concealing a major health problem, and is unfit for office.

In a bizarre new attack, levelled without proof, he suggested she had taken drugs during their last debate, and called for her to be tested ahead of their final duel Wednesday in Las Vegas.

“I don’t know what is going on with her,” the 70-year-old told a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“At the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning. At the end, it was like, ‘Take me down,’ she could barely reach her car.”

“Athletes, they make them take a drug test. I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate. Why don’t we do that?” Trump said.

Saturday’s broadside against his Democratic rival marked yet another escalation of Trump’s scorched-earth electoral strategy heading into the final weeks of a race that has defied all political norms.

‘Steal the election’

As the Manhattan billionaire tanks in the polls —abandoned by part of his own camp — he has spent the week claiming the media and a “global elite” are working against him, alleging that Clinton plotted to destroy the sovereignty of the United States.

“Hillary is running for president in what looks like a rigged election,” he charged in New Hampshire.

“The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president.”

Ten women have now come forward to say they were the victim of unwanted advances by the real estate mogul.

Trump’s latest accuser, 63-year-old Cathy Heller, told The Guardian that he had grabbed and kissed her against her wishes during their first and only meeting 20 years ago.

Trump staunchly denies the women’s allegations, insisting in one of a barrage of tweets to his 12 million followers: “Nothing ever happened with any of these women. Totally made up nonsense to steal the election. Nobody has more respect for women than me!”

A confident Clinton has meanwhile scaled back her campaign commitments, keeping a low profile as her rival battles the incendiary allegations, triggered by the release last week of a video of him bragging about groping women.

But the Clinton camp issued a swift response to Trump’s latest comments on the election, accusing him of seeking to erode public faith in the vote.

“This election will have record turnout, because voters see through Donald Trump’s shameful attempts to undermine an election weeks before it happens,” her campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement.

The nation’s top elected Republican, House speaker Paul Ryan, who last week declared that he would no longer “defend” the party’s shoot-from-the-hip nominee, also rebuked Trump over his comments questioning the validity of the election process.

“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” said a statement issued late Saturday by Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong.

The virulence of Trump’s attacks on the Clinton camp has raised concerns about whether the real estate mogul would even acknowledge a defeat, and how his legions of supporters would react should he lose.

President Barack Obama — who along with First Lady Michelle Obama stepped up this week as a heavy-hitting surrogate for Clinton — echoed those concerns at a rally Friday, warning democracy itself was at stake in next month’s vote.

“This is somebody who… is now suggesting that if the election doesn’t go his way, it’s not because of all the stuff he’s said, but it’s because it’s rigged and it’s a fraud,” said the US leader, whose second term ends January 20.

“In a democracy, you have a contest, but if you lose then you say congratulations and you move on.”


France 24 :  Dissent and desperation amid food shortages and rising prices in Egypt

Dissent and desperation amid food shortages and rising prices in Egypt


Despite a widespread government crackdown on dissent, some Egyptians are resorting to drastic measures to express their desperation over the food shortages and double-digit inflation that have made many of life’s necessities hard to come by.

Nearly six years ago, a frustrated and destitute Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself ablaze, sparking a series of popular revolts across the region now collectively known as the Arab Spring.

Following on the heels of Tunisians, Egyptians took to the street in January 2011 and succeeded in overthrowing President Hosni Mubarak, the repressive military dictator who ruled the country for almost 30 years. But whereas Tunisians managed to build a functioning, if flawed, democracy in the aftermath of their revolt, Egyptians today find themselves under an even more repressive military regime coupled with dwindling food supplies and skyrocketing prices. The price of rice has gone up by 48 percent over the past year while the cost of cooking oil – which is increasingly hard to find – has gone up 32 percent.

And despite a draconian clampdown on dissent, Egyptians are increasingly expressing their desperation.

On Saturday, a 30-year-old taxi driver named Ashraf Mohammed Shaheen self-immolated in front of an army centre in Alexandria. According to press reports citing witnesses, he criticised the government and rising prices before dousing himself in gasoline and setting himself alight. He suffered burns on 95 percent of his body and was rushed to a nearby hospital. News of the incident spread quickly on social media under the Arabic hashtag #Bouazizi_Egypt, a reference to the Tunisian vendor who took similarly desperate measures nearly six years earlier.

“The economic situation in Egypt continues to intensify and worsen – and in a country where the majority is around the poverty line, that has meant the impact is felt the most by the most vulnerable,” said HA Hellyer, senior nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Tuktuk driver goes viral

Shaheen’s desperate act followed an interview with a tuktuk driver that went viral this week after he spoke for much of the country in expressing his rage over the dire economic situation. The unidentified driver slams the government for spending millions of dollars on lavish ceremonies and mega-projects while ordinary people suffer.

“Before the latest presidential elections [in 2014] we had enough sugar, enough rice, and we even used to export it. So what happened? Where did the sugar go?” he demands. “They waste our money and spend it on so-called national projects, which are useless, and education in Egypt is very bad, even worse than you can ever imagine.”

“This country will rise if there is enough care for education, health and agriculture to provide us with food,” he says.

The interview was aired on the private, pro-government Al Hayat television channel on Wednesday evening and immediately went viral, hitting 6 million views on the channel’s official Facebook page in less than a day, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.

Al-Hayat quickly pulled the video, but by then it had been uploaded elsewhere. On another Facebook page the video racked up 2.2 million views by Thursday night, according to the Associated Press. By Sunday that number had risen to 4.4 million, with the video being shared more than 230,000 times.

The host of the show that aired the footage has since left for what the network is calling a three-week “personal vacation”, according to Egyptian media reports.

Rachel Scheier, editor-in-chief of Business Today, an English-language monthly magazine based in Cairo, told FRANCE 24 that the tuktuk driver merely echoed what she has been hearing on the streets. “People in Egypt have been getting steadily poorer since the revolution, and in the meantime prices have gone crazy,” she said.

When Abdel Fattah el-Sisi deposed Egypt’s first democratically elected but unpopular president, Mohamed Morsi, in June 2013, the public greeted him with outsized enthusiasm and seemingly boundless support. Sisi was elected president in 2014 with 96 percent of the vote. But as the economic situation deteriorated and inflation rose to roughly 15 percent, faith in Sisi dwindled.

“After Morsi was removed there was a feeling of goodwill and hope,” Scheier said. “But six months ago there was a palpable shift … All the government does is talk about these mega-projects; meanwhile, people can’t find enough sugar or cooking oil. You can’t buy basic foods at a reasonable price anymore.”

Calls for protest on November 11

Over the weekend another video surfaced on social media sites of a woman blaming the army for the rise in food prices – a brave move in a country where even the slightest hint of criticism of the ruling regime can land one in prison.

“What does it mean that the army says it will subsidise red meat?” She demands. “Why does the army control electricity? Why do they control gas? Why do they control the sewers?”

A Facebook page called Revolution of the Poor has been calling for mass protests on November 11, but it remains to be seen if such demonstrations can go forward in the current climate of repression.

“On the one hand, people are angry and there’s palpable discontent,” Scheier said. “On the other hand, I don’t think anybody thinks the military government is going to allow this protest to actually go anywhere.”

And the public simply may not have the stomach for another popular uprising.

“Things can change quickly in Egypt – so perhaps November 11 will surprise us all. But as of yet, it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of momentum behind them,” Hellyer said. “I think that is testimony not to the idea that the population is not hurting – it is hurting via the economic pressures – but that the space for political organisation has shrunk, and that the population is less inclined to go down the route of mass protests anyway after the tumultuous period of the last five years.”

France 24 : Thousands in Paris demonstrate against gay marriage

Thousands in Paris demonstrate against gay marriage


Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to demonstrate against gay marriage and to call for candidates in next year’s presidential election to support “traditional family values”.

The march was briefly interrupted by six topless feminist protesters from the Femen group who were quickly surrounded by demonstrators before police intervened.

The “Manif pour Tous campaign” has been re-activated two years after it last held a sizeable protest.

Protesters held signs with slogans such “A father and a mother — it’s hereditary” as they made their way towards the Trocadero concourse in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Police said up to 24,000 people took part while organisers put the number far higher.

The target of their anger is the 2013 law legalising same-sex marriage introduced by the then justice minister Christiane Taubira.

One protester attending the march on Sunday, 72-year-old retired engineer Michel Delaune, said: “I am against gay marriage and against the crappy leaders who oppose the power of the people.”

Three years ago, Manif pour Tous mounted a vigorous campaign against same-sex marriage — at one point claiming to have brought 1.4 million on the streets of Paris.

But Socialist President Francois Hollandedefied the protests and in 2013 France legalised same-sex marriage.

The movement then faded away, but its leader Ludovine de la Rochere said it now had “a bright future” because Hollande’s Socialist government had “destabilised families”.

But none of the leading candidates for the right-wing nomination for next year’s presidential election have said they have any intention of repealing same-sex marriage if they are elected.


Watch “Shivaree – Goodnight Moon – With Lyrics” on YouTube