French rebel mayors defy government by imposing illicit pesticide bans

Dozens of French mayors have taken the law into their own hands and illicitly banned pesticides near populated areas in their towns and villages. The rebel move has angered France’s agriculture minister who says it threatens French food production.

It all began when Daniel Cueff, the mayor of Langouët in Brittany, on May 18 climbed onto a wooden box dressed in white protective gear and announced to his village that he had imposed a ban on pesticide use within 150 metres of the district’s homes and workplaces. “It is legitimate for a mayor to take action when there is incompetence by the state,” he said, referring to the 2009 European Union directive that requires member states “to take steps to protect residents from pesticides”. [ . . . ]

Source: French rebel mayors defy government by imposing illicit pesticide bans

The stencil of Banksy in front of the Pompidou Center in Paris was stolen 

Yet protected by a plexiglass, the work of the British artist who represents a rat was stolen in the night from Sunday to Monday. The cultural center lodged a complaint “for theft and degradation”.

Works a little too coveted. After a graffiti stolen from Bataclan and an anti-Brexit fresco that mysteriously disappeared from Dover in England, the Pompidou Center “noticed the theft” of a work by the famous street-artist Banksy, “made on the back of the entrance panel “From its underground parking, said the Paris cultural center in a statement. The robbery took place in the night from Sunday to Monday, according to LCI information that revealed the crime on his site. The chain of continuous news states that the police were alerted around 4:15.

Source: The stencil of Banksy in front of the Center Pompidou in Paris was stolen 

Tatihou Festival: concerts on an island cut off from the world

Un festival musical au gré de la clémence des marées. C’est ainsi que se résume le festival de Tatihou dans la Manche, inauguré mercredi 28 août.

A mile and a half separates Tatihou from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue in the English Channel . At high tide, the 28-hectare island dominated by a Vauban tower is cut off from the world. At the Reville campsite, lovers of the Tatihou festival meet every year. When the sea begins to retreat, they put on proper clothing and shoes and go on a procession to Tatihou Island. The crossing lasts between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the pace of walking. A strange transhumance in the middle of oyster beds discovered by the tide.

Dazzled artists

Scottish singer Julie Fowlis is dazzled by this human tide. She is from the Hebrides. ” It’s really beautiful, I have a lot of songs rooted in the life of the islands, songs that talk about the sea, life at the seaside, with the sea, so I feel like home here “, she explains. The concerts are organized between two tides, which leaves about three hours. Under the marquee with 1,200 seats, the magic operates.

2012 video

Watch France2 Video: Festival de Tatihou : des concerts sur une île coupée du monde

August Is When Uptight Paris Unbuttons a Few More Buttons

The French capital empties out in August, but still has energy—just a different sort.

August in Paris is over, and I miss it already. The deadest month, the most quiet, the month when Parisians leave on their endless holidays and the city empties out like a resort in the off season, only less melancholy. Traffic thins; shops close, sometimes for the entire month; restaurants shut; there are seats to be found on the metro; and in the evening, stragglers (not everyone can afford to go away) emerge from their stuffy, un-air-conditioned apartments and gather along the banks of the Seine.

In August, this uptight city unbuttons a few more buttons.

One warm evening, I walked a good stretch of riverfront promenade, and the scene was joyous. Families out for a walk; kids climbing on climbing walls; couples embracing; friends at picnic tables eating from Tupperware; tourists taking pictures of wounded Notre-Dame, without her spire, encased in scaffolding; South Asian men selling bottles of beer and chilled rosé from backpacks—“Du vin, madame?”—people of all ages and colors dancing with abandon to Michael Jackson’s Thriller on a makeshift dance floor near the Pont Neuf, like wild teenagers letting it loose while their parents are out of town.

The bakery near my apartment was closed for the first three weeks of August. Three weeks! For a while, when I looked out my apartment windows in the evenings, nary a light was on in the building across the street. Even Google knows it is August in Paris. Gmail recently offered some canned responses to an invitation I’d received. Its options: “I’ll be there!” “I’ll come!” and “I’m on vacation!” I managed to get a table, without waiting, at one of the best restaurants in Paris

The French government shuts down in August, too. It is not uncommon for high-level officials with sensitive dossiers in important ministries to take three or four weeks off, without checking email. The entire country operates on what’s basically an academic schedule. In May and June, people start making appointments for after the rentrée—that is, September. Employees have seven weeks of paid holiday time (albeit with lower pay than their counterparts elsewhere).

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