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The world is relieved that Muammar Gaddafi was killed Thursday by forces loyal to Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC). Gaddafi was the Arab world’s longest-serving ruler. His dictatorship began with a bloodless coup in 1969 and ended in a bloodbath 42 years later. There are many theories as to how he died and his burial has been postponed until that can be resolved.
People are discussing Libya’s future. According to Voice of America, Abdul Karim, who is also general-secretary of the NTC, believes Libya has a bright Democratic future. “I trust the Libyan people. I believe they will unite to build the new Libya, where there will be justice with democracy and equal rights.” Let’s hope.
Politics and François Hollande
Socialist François Hollande will be the party’s candidate in next spring’s French presidential elections opposing conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In the second round, Hollande won 56% of the votes against his opponent Martine Aubry. According to France 24.com, the Socialist party hopes he will be a candidate with sufficient voter appeal that he’ll be able to end the party’s presidential losing streak. Some question whether or not someone who’s never held a government post will be successful.
At approximately 8 p.m. last Wednesday, French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gave birth to a baby girl, her second child and husband President Nicolas Sarkozy’s fourth.
The infant is the first to be born to a serving president in the history of the French Republic. The couple confirmed their daughter’s name is Giulia, the Italian form of Julia.
Press was camped out for two weeks prior to the baby’s birth as close to the Clinique de la Muette in the Paris 16th as permitted. The child’s birth was prematurely announced via Twitter and more than one publication announced it.
The President stopped by to see his wife when she was in labor, leaving 30 minutes later for a meeting in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He returned to the clinic the following afternoon saying how delighted he is over the baby’s birth. The First Lady has been adamant the baby will not be a “public baby” and by no means a campaign tool.
After today’s meeting in Brussels, where it was hoped finance ministers and representatives would come to a conclusion as to how to shore up EU banks and economies, another meeting has already been scheduled to take place before Wednesday. The BBC reports President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a crisis strategy will be discussed and adopted at the next meeting.
EU leaders need to agree about Greece and its financial crisis, how to recapitalize banks and establishing a larger bailout fund.
France losing its prime rating
France is likely to lose its top rating according to Standard & Poor’s. Bank ratings for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Portugal have already been downgraded and it may be France’s turn. Bloomberg News has an informative article about the situation.
Air France in Motion
Amid declining earnings and questions regarding the pilots’ culpability in the 2009 crash that originated in Brazil and resulted in the 228 people dying, Air France-KLM CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon resigned following a board meeting last week. The board’s chairman Cyril Spinetta, 68, will oversee the operation until Air France-KLM adopts a unified corporate structure. “Spinetta represents a safe pair of hands in a difficult period,” Andrew Lobbenberg, a London-based financial analyst told Bloomberg News.
DSK remains in Hot Water
According to the New York Post, sources told the French newspaper, The Journal du Dimanche, that the 62-year-old Dominique Strauss-Kahn is among a group of politicians, lawyers and business leaders whose names were found in the ring’s “black book’’ of clients.
French cop Jean-Christophe Lagarde also allegedly escorted ladies of the evening all the way from the French city of Lille, where the ring was headquartered, to New York for DSK.
Strauss-Kahn’s personal prostitutes were allegedly selected for him by a 62-year-old procurer named Dominique “Dodo’’ Alderweireld, who made several trips to New York when DSK was there, the French paper said.
Dodo has since been arrested.
Early Monday, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said the former IMF chief wanted to be questioned by police so that he can debunk claims he was linked to a suspected hotel prostitution ring.
Lawyer Frederique Beaulieu says Strauss-Kahn “is asking to be questioned to put an end to these insinuations and extrapolations.”
L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt declared mentally unfit
Liliane Bettencourt has been declared mentally unfit to manage her affairs by a Judge in France. The decision grants control of her financial affairs to her only child, daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, and grandsons Jean-Victor and Nicolas. Bettencourt-Meyers has been fighting for years to protect her 88-year old mother, who has been victim to financial exploitation to the tune of more than one billion dollars, according to an earlier lawsuit. To read more about one of the world’s richest women, access this article in Forbes.
France loses to NZ in Rugby World Cup
New Zealand beat France 8-7 to win the World Cup in New Zealand this morning.
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