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A Fake Heart, a Bad Joke and More Highlights From This Week’s French News

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Curious about what’s in the French news these days but too busy to hunt down the best nuggets? Here are some highlights of recent French papers and France-related items (with links to the original articles if you feel like stretching your brain).


Cognac Still on Americans’ Top Shelf

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so let’s begin with spirits. Rémy Martin, Hennessy, Courvoisier: they’re household names stateside, so you  might be surprised to find that the French themselves aren’t too hot on the drink, which relies heavily on the US to stay afloat. Slate has a piece exploring Americans’ relationship with the meal-ending (end sometimes evening-ending) libation, and specifically its rise in popularity through rap music. “Pass the Courvoisier,” anyone?

Read the full article on Slate.


Successful Implantation of French Artificial Heart a World First

By successfully implanting a completely artificial heart in a patient, French doctor Christian Latrémouille and his team have made medical history. An editorial in Le Monde celebrates this triumph, noting “even though more patients will need to receive and tolerate the device to confirm its viability, the way is now open.”

Read the full editorial on Le Monde.


Gaffe is Actually a French Word

François Hollande put his pied in his bouche this week when he appeared to make an off-color joke about Algeria. Commenting on the return of his Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls from the country, with which France has a long and prickly history, the President said that Valls had come back “safe and sound,” before adding “C’est déjà beaucoup,” roughly translated as “That’s no small feat.” It didn’t help that the remark was made before a conference of representative of French Jewish institutions. Hollande has apologized.

Read the full story on Rue 89.


Entrepreneur is also a French Word… for Now

George W. Bush was supposed to have said, “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur,” and while that statement is literally wrong, the sentiment behind it may ring true for some small business people in France who enjoy the status of “auto-entrepreneur.” The current Socialist administration is proposing new income restrictions on people in the category, which was created by former French president Nicholas Sarkozy and allows independent workers to declare themselves as such with a simple internet registration.

Read the full story on Bloomberg.


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