Are you watching, listening, Macron?
Are you watching, listening, Macron?
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This is Francky Zapata and his flyboard air. Been showing it off around the Cannes Festival all week.
Thanks, Mike. Woo-hoo!
It is a dream come true for U.S.-based climate scientists — the offer of all-expenses-paid life in France to advance their research in Europe instead of in the United States under climate skeptic President Donald Trump, two of the winners say.
American scientist Camille Parmesan and British scientist Benjamin Sanderson are among the 18 initial winners, including 13 based in the U.S., of French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” climate grants…
A scientist from the University of Texas at Austin, Parmesan is a leader in the field on how climate affects wildlife. She lived for a few years in Britain for family reasons and was considering returning to the U.S. until Trump’s election.
“He very, very rapidly has been actively trying to erode science in the U.S.A. and in particular climate science,” she said. “And it’s hard for two reasons: Funding is becoming almost impossible, and in a psychological sense.”
Parmesan answered with enthusiasm Macron’s appeal for climate researchers to come work in France, minutes after Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate accord. “It gave me such a psychological boost, it was so good to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do,” she said.
One positive result of commercial and economic globalization is the spread of technology, the role science and skills play in building healthier, more economically sound worldwide commerce. Now, every time some dolt like George W Bush or his successor at stupid, our Fake President Trump, wins the ignoranus election special – that becomes an opportunity for some other nation with an educated outlook to entice our best and brightest to move their studies and research to their land.
❝ Young children whose mothers were exposed to pyrethroid insecticides while pregnant showed increased rates of behavioral difficulties, a small retrospective French cohort study found.
❝ After adjusting for certain potential confounders, there was a positive association between high prenatal concentrations in maternal urine of certain neurotoxic chemicals found in insecticides, on one hand, and on the other, internalizing behavioral difficulties at age 6 in offspring, reported Jean-François Viel…and colleagues.
Moreover, there was a positive association between high concentrations of certain chemicals in children’s urine and externalizing behavioral difficulties at the same age…
❝ Pyrethroids are a class of insecticides that were designed because of concerns about organophosphate insecticides — with pyrethroids “purportedly a safer alternative for humans and the environment.”
The authors had previously used the PELAGIE mother-child cohort to examine prenatal and childhood exposure to pyrethroid insecticides and neurocognitive abilities. They found a link between childhood exposure and poorer neurocognitive abilities, but there was no association between prenatal exposure and neurocognitive abilities in objective testing…
❝ The pyrethroid metabolite trans-dimethylcyclopronane carboxylic acid was found in nearly all mothers (99.9%) and children (96.5%), followed by cis-dibromonovinyl at 68.3% of mothers and 85.2% of children.
But it was high concentrations of prenatal cis-DCCA that were associated with internalizing difficulties in children, and high concentrations of 3-phenoxybenzoic acid in children that were linked with externalizing difficulties.
❝ The authors also found that there was a more than twofold increased risk of abnormal or borderline social behavior associated with children who had the highest 3-PBA levels…
They concluded that the results, along with the prior study that linked pyrethroid insecticides with cognitive disabilities, support a “potential risk to neurodevelopment from pyrethroid insecticides,” and that remediating the potential causes of these neurodevelopmental deficits is “of paramount public health importance.”
Yes, doctors aren’t always the most entertaining authors. Even when they discover that the latest solution to endangering human life and living – from chemicals that increase agricultural profits – seems to have produced a whole new batch of dangers.
After the fact, of course. Everything previously approved in tidy political fashion. Satisfying farmers and agri-chemical producers alike.
❝ France employees are getting the legal right to avoid work emails outside working hours…The new law, which has been dubbed the “right to disconnect”, comes into force on 1 January.
Companies with more than 50 workers will be obliged to draw up a charter of good conduct, setting out the hours when staff are not supposed to send or answer emails…
❝ The measure is part of a set of labour laws introduced in May…It was the only one of the laws – which also made it easier for firms to hire and fire employees – that did not generate widespread protest and strikes.
I’ll second that emotion. For most occupations, companies requiring email attention on your own time are folks I wouldn’t recommend working for.
Yes, there are exceptions. That’s not what this is about.
❝ It’s a logical move for a country known to revel in the finer things. France this week became the first country to pass an all-out ban on plastic cutlery, plates, and cups.
The new law is set to take effect in 2020 and will be part of France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, which has already set a ban on disposable plastic bags throughout the country. The law will only allow disposable tableware made from 50% biologically-sourced materials that are compostable at home. The restrictions on plastic products follow the global climate agreement reached in Paris in 2015, a meeting of nations looking to curb the effects of climate change.
❝ Plastic production requires the use of fossil fuels, which evidence has shown to have played a role in climate change. Once produced, plastic products are not biodegradable and can wind up languishing in garbage dumps and polluting the ocean and waterways, which often have adverse effects on wildlife.
Human use of plastic has become so commonplace that scientists have estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. In fact, mankind has created so much plastic that some say it will likely show up in future fossil fuels.
❝ French president François Hollande said the new law against disposable plastic tableware would make his country “an exemplary nation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying its energy model and increasing the deployment of renewable energy sources.”
Its detractors say blah, blah, blah.
Overdue. Yes, there always has to be a first. Surely took a long time to get here, though.
Any bets on how long before the US climbs on board?
The refugee crisis in Europe, the ongoing war in Yemen, Serena Williams at the French Open, Zinedin Zidane manages Real Madrid to Champions League glory – the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week.
Shi’ite fighters take a selfie while mounting an artillery attack on Isis militants.
A protestor uses a tennis racket to return a teargas canister during a demonstration against the government’s assault on labour rights.
There are few things as fascinating as seeing what people in the past dreamed about the future. “France in the Year 2000” is one example.
The series of paintings, made by Jean-Marc Côté and other French artists in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910, shows artist depictions of what life might look like in the year 2000. The first series of images were printed and enclosed in cigarette and cigar boxes around the time of the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, according to the Public Domain Review, then later turned into postcards.
Cool. I love stuff like this. Sometimes folks come close.
France has summoned the US envoy in Paris over claims that the US spied on President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors…
Whistleblower website Wikileaks reports the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Mr Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac between 2006-12.
Mr Hollande called the allegations “unacceptable” and is expected to speak with President Obama over the claims.
The US said it would not comment on “specific intelligence allegations”.
Is there any reason to expect the United States to tell the truth about trust and honesty?
The French president called an emergency meeting to discuss the issue and insisted France would “not tolerate” acts that threaten its security…
The NSA has previously been accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on Brazilian and Mexican leaders…
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has summoned US Ambassador Jane Hartley to discuss the latest claims…
A statement from the French presidency said the US must respect a promise not to spy on French leaders. The statement came after the emergency meeting of security chiefs in Paris.
A senior French intelligence official is meanwhile expected to visit Washington to discuss the spying claims…
The NSA has come under increased scrutiny since revelations by former employee Edward Snowden…One of the files, dated 2012, is about Mr Hollande discussing Greece’s possible exit from the eurozone. Another one – from 2011 – alleges that Mr Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, possibly without US involvement…
According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington and Mr Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser discussed Mr Sarkozy’s plan to express his “frustration” over US unwillingness to sign a “bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement”.
“The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France,” the intercept says.
“Lafayette we are here” no longer describes the arrival of American forces coming to aid of our oldest ally. France, the one nation that stood beside American rebels in our struggle for freedom and democracy.
Not anymore, man.