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Business activity in France has contracted following the gilets jaunes protests, a survey suggests.
www.bbc.co.uk | 12/14/18
The Yellow Vest protests roiling the country have cost businesses billions of euros and threatened President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy for growth.
www.nytimes.com | 12/11/18
The 'yellow vest' protests have been "a catastrophe" for the French economy...
macdailynews.com | 12/10/18
President Emmanuel Macron is facing unprecedented pressure to roll back his overhauls of the French economy after a fourth consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests unleashed another torrent of rioting despite stepped up security.
www.wsj.com | 12/10/18
The French economy will grow more slowly than originally projected in the last quarter of the year due to the violent protests, adding to pressure on President Emmanuel Macron to deliver a strong response in a highly anticipated address to the nation.
www.wsj.com | 12/10/18

It’s not every day that the president of the world’s most popular gay dating app is accused of making homophobic remarks.

But on Friday, Scott Chen, Grindr’s top boss, was forced to defend comments he made on a Facebook post last week, in which he said marriage was a “holy matrimony between a man and a woman.”

“The reason I said marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman is based on my own personal experience,” Chen wrote in the comments section of an Into article that first picked up the story. “I am a straight man married to a woman I love and I have two beautiful daughters I love from the marriage. This is how I feel about my marriage.”

Also Read: Gay.com, LGBT 'North Star' Worth Millions, Donated to Charity

“I am a huge advocate for L.G.B.T.Q.+ rights since I was young,” he added. “I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr.”

The imbroglio started last week after Chen posted a lengthy message on Facebook — which was originally written in Chinese and translated to English — in response to the crushing defeat of a same-sex marriage referendum in Taiwan. In the post, Chen criticized Taiwanese consumer electronics HTC, which he perceived as anti-gay, vowing to never buy its products for “the rest of my life.”

But one line, in particular, seemed to stand out.

“Some people think that marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman, I think so too, but that’s your own business,” he wrote.

Also Read: '4 Days in France' Review: Sex-App-Based Road Trip Loses Direction

The story was first reported by Into, a publication owned by Grindr and was later picked up by major news outlets. An article in LGBT magazine Out was headlined: “The President of Grindr Just Said He’s AGAINST Gay Marriage.” British site The Gay UK proclaimed: “If you need a reason to delete Grindr, this might be it.”

Chen responded in the comments section, saying the article was “unbalanced and misleading” and excoriated his own publication for not reaching out to him for a comment before publication. (Into insists it did reach out to Grindr for comment but did not get a response).

Zach Stafford, the editor of Into and Grindr’s chief content officer, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. But on Thursday he told The Guardian that Chen’s comments did not match the app’s core values: “Grindr’s goal as a company is to help seek the full equity of all LGBT people’s rights around the world, especially when it comes to dating and love. And marriage for many is an end goal to our app.”

Also Read: Daily Beast Pulls Grindr-Baiting Reporter From Rio, Olympic Committee Says

Stafford, a former Guardian reporter, added that the publication stands by its reporting.

Here is Mr. Chen’s full post, translated from Chinese:

Some people think that marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman, I think so too, but that’s your own business.

Some people think that the purpose of marriage is to bring up children with your own DNA, but that’s your own business.

But there are people who aren’t the same as you, and desperately hope that they can also get married; they have their own reasons for wanting that.

Getting married is personal. If you have money, can’t you donate to people suffering from poverty, hunger, war or natural disasters, those who are truly in need of it? Why do you spend so much money to prevent people in love from getting married? Aren’t there other important things in your life?

It’s true, I won’t buy HTC products for the rest of my life, and I won’t donate any money to Taiwan’s Christian groups ever again for the rest of my life!

Chen was tapped as Grindr’s chief technology officer in January after the company was sold to Kunlun Group, a Chinese gaming company. He became Grindr’s president in August.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Casual' Star Tommy Dewey Talks Dating Apps, Failed Relationships (Video)

Not OK, Cupid: How a Math Wizard Hacked Online Dating to Find Love (Podcast)

Trump.Dating Failed to 'Make Dating Great Again' for Me (Commentary)

www.thewrap.com | 11/30/18

Macron has declared the Internet to be under threat. Without stepping back to question and explore the underlying causes of those threats, he uses them as a justification to propose a different approach to, albeit limited, current Internet Governance processes. Here we explore his proposals and some of the issues they generate.

He acknowledges that Civil Society and the private sector have been core drivers in the creation of the Internet. He argues that its benefits and existence are endangered by predatory practices. He proposes that, in order to maintain the Internet and save it from itself, governments must assume leadership through the instrument of regulations.

Throughout the speech, Macron replaces key digital values with governance values:

Multilateralism, (a formal alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal), displaces multistakeholderism (the current joint management of core Internet resources by governments, business and the civil society in their respective roles), as the driving force and core model for Internet Governance.

The proposition of Net Neutrality is replaced by "universal values" as defined in a pre-digital age. Macron references the creation and validity of universal values for real-world governance, but without recognizing the historical fact of their conditionality depending on context. He then argues for freely transposing these values, and associated governmental mechanisms, onto the digital realm. In doing so, he fails to acknowledge that the nature of the Internet transcends the concepts of nation-states, and that policy making and governance require their own consultative dialogues to reach consensus on the values and governance mechanisms necessary to enable the dignity and integrity of the global digital citizens.

As justification for his approach, Macon forwards two main arguments:

a) Protection through regulation is a government's core activity. If denied this role, governments are unable to protect their citizens and this lessons their reason to exist. He completely overlooks that the first task of government is to empower its citizens, to ensure their integrity and dignity in jointly designed policies, including their protection. It is the role of government to enshrine the rights and duties of citizenship, and then do everything necessary to protect that citizenship. Protection is about empowerment of personal dignity and integrity and not just protection from perceived threats. Protection without something that is worth protecting is meaningless. Does Macron want to engage in cyber war through regulations? Does it make sense to go to war for the very thing that undermines what we try to protect: the dignity and integrity of digital citizenship?

b) The challenge is regulation that "safeguards the vision of the founding fathers." What happened to the founding mothers? Women played key roles in the early development of the Internet, but the choice of language seems to leave them victims to a chauvinism that devalues the role of women and women's minds in technological change. As a façade of democracy, civil and private sector roles as whistle-blowers and implementation partners are proposed. His speech is an example of political "backward engineering." What he wants is power over the Internet. To gain this power, he needs to introduce regulations and taxes. In order to justify them, he must present them as measures that save an Internet that is under threat from itself. In order to realize his ambition, he declares existing Internet Governance efforts and structures outside his control as illegitimate and failing. He then introduces new Internet Government mechanisms or favors empowering existing ones that are already under his control. There is no place for engaged citizenship in the policy-making process.

Macron fails to acknowledge or consider the fundamental differences between the sovereignty of nation states and the scope of cyberspace on the Internet. People now live a dual national and digital reality calling for a global digital citizenship with its respective rights and responsibilities. Both citizenships are intermingled, but they are fundamentally different. Digital Citizenship exists within the sovereignty of global virtual spaces. There is a need to develop and implement governance structures where persons, entities and even governments are engaged stakeholders. All stakeholders — be they private users, NGOs, corporations or governments — are digital citizens with rights and responsibilities. No one stakeholder is more equal in the design or execution of those rights and responsibilities.

Macron observes that we had thousands of years to develop governance structures that foster and protect humankind in the literal world, but that we have had only a few decades to do the same for our digital citizenship within the Internet ecosystem. While various national, regional and international entities are engaged in Internet policy making, much of the focus is on privacy and security, on intellectual property, and on cybercrime and cyberwar. Less has focused on defining the digital rights and duties of stakeholders or embraced the notions empowered digital citizenship without which there is no basis for just and legitimate Internet Governance, leaving the integrity and sustainability of the Internet ecosystem at risk.

Macron, at best, is misguided and premature. One way or another there is a role for some of what he is proposing but not as government regulations dictated from above. They will best come from awareness and collaboration from below, and governance models that come out of truly engaged stakeholder dialogue.

One fear with Macron's starting point is regulations designed free of stakeholder engagement, saved by those who already have entitled access to policymaking, will soon lead to wider and wider regulation of the DNS itself. In the absence of a multistakeholder process, even to underpin multilateral policies, all stakeholders (Registries, Registrars, bloggers, etc.) will confront direct government interference, and not just in the domain name aspects of their businesses.

There are many areas that will target ICANN.org's core remit. Issues involving Internet oligopolies and the Internet fringes of the Internet ecosystem are rich in DNS-linked problems. The French Government has made its intentions clear when it recently demanded rights on second-level domain names like France.com. There are worries about a "China Internet" while, at the global level, China is just another stakeholder in the Internet ecosystem. There are both educational and governance challenges there.

There is much hallway chatter around the issues of Internet governance; about the risks of a wolf in the hen house (to borrow from Children's literature). Can you imagine the security, stability, and resilience of a UN-run Internet? Can you imagine the same run by the ITU? Can you imagine ICANN trying to cover all the bases of Internet ecosystem governance or even just downstream consequences of DNS deployment? I can't! But can you imagine a sustainable Internet ecosystem in which the UN, the ITU, ICANN, or Country X are not engaged as stakeholders in the governance processes? I can't! This is not exactly a case of hold your friends close and hold your enemies closer, but it is one of building knowledgeable and engaged stakeholder citizen communities.

Written by Klaus Stoll

www.circleid.com | 11/28/18
A delegation of business leaders from France is scheduled to arrive in the island today for a two-day visit to explore viable opportunities for companies in France and Jamaica in the areas of water sanitation, water distribution, energy and...

This blog by Ira Magaziner, often called the "the father of ICANN," is part of a series of posts CircleID will be hosting from the ICANN community to commemorate ICANN's 20th anniversary. CircleID collaborated with ICANN to spread the word and to encourage participation. We invite you to submit your essays to us in consideration for posting. (You can watch the video interview of Magaziner done for ICANN’s History Project here.)

* * *

My story begins in ancient times when dinosaurs ruled the earth. It was a time when you could download a movie onto your desktop computer through your 56k dial-up connection if you had a few days. It was a time when more people were on the Minitel in France than on the Internet globally and when the Republic of Korea could fit all of its internet users into one small hotel room. I know because I met them all in that room.

In early 1995, then United States President Bill Clinton asked me, as his senior advisor for policy development, to help recommend what steps he could take if re-elected in 1996 to accelerate the long-term growth of the US economy. I suggested that we set a policy environment in the U.S. and globally that could accelerate the growth of the newly developed Internet, we could help fuel a global economic transformation.

I realized that the Internet had great potential, but that its future was very precarious, balanced on a knife’s edge between two extremes that could delay it or even destroy it. On the one side, if the Internet was too anarchic with no publicly accepted guidelines, it could engender constant lawsuits, scaring away investors and people who wanted to help build it. On the other side, if typical forces of bureaucracy took over with a mass of government regulations and slow intergovernmental governing bodies, the creativity and growth of the internet would be stifled.

We formed an inter-departmental task force and over the next few years: passed legislation and negotiated international treaties with other countries that kept Internet commerce free of tariffs and taxation; recognized the legality of digital signatures and contracts; protected Internet intellectual property; allowed the market to set standards rather than regulators; kept Internet telephony and transmission in general free from burdensome regulation; and empowered consumers to use the Internet affordably, among other measures. We aimed to establish the Internet as a global medium of communication and commerce that could allow any individual to participate.

As we did all of this, there was one problem that concerned us deeply: how could the technical coordination of the Internet succeed and scale in the face of the complex political and legal challenges that were already beginning to undermine the legitimacy of the Internet as it then existed?

At that time, IANA was housed in a small office at the University of Southern California (USC) and run by Jon Postel under a contract the University had with the U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

From a small office filled with large stacks of paper and books on the floor, on tables, and hanging off of shelves on the walls, it was Jon who decided what the top-level prefixes were for each country, and who in each country should be responsible for administering the Internet.

The A-root server was run by a company called Network Solutions in Virginia under a contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce. It had a virtual monopoly to sell domain names. It worked with Jon to synch up numbers with names.

But, Jon and the leadership of Network Solutions did not get along. There were constant disputes. They were so frustrated with each other that on more than one occasion I found myself trying to referee disputes between them at the request of the Department of Commerce and DARPA who, as administrators of the contracts, were often caught in the middle.

Internet infrastructure was also insecure. I went on a tour to visit some of the servers that ran the Internet. Some were in university basements where I literally could have walked in and pulled the plugs on the servers. There was no security.

The tenuous nature of these arrangements led to significant concerns which came to a head one fateful week in early January 1996. During this week, the following events occurred:

  • The head of DARPA called me saying that it would no longer oversee the contract for IANA when it expired because there was too much controversy.
  • The President of USC called saying that they could not take the lawsuits being directed against them and wanted out of their contract.
  • Our legal counsel visited and described more than fifty lawsuits around the world challenging the validity of the Internet technical governance that could tear the Internet apart.
  • The International Telecommunication Union approached me demanding to take over the Internet after a decade of opposing the adoption of the Internet protocols.
  • A delegation of U.S. Congressmen and Senators visited and insisted that the U.S. Government had created the Internet and should never give up control of it.
  • Several delegations of representatives from over 100 leading IT and media companies, and 10 trade associations visited saying that Internet technical coordination and security had to be brought into a more predictable global environment before they would invest any further in it.
  • A European Union delegation spent two hours telling me that they would pursue their own regulation of the Internet routing system for Europe.
  • Representatives from the Internet Society told me that the Internet Society governed the Internet and they would resist any attempts by others to take control.
  • The US government security task force on the internet delivered a report saying that the internet was in danger of fracturing from the lawsuits and lack of agreed upon coordination mechanisms.

It was quite a week. We clearly had to do something.

I went home that Sunday, and while watching my favorite U.S. football team lose terribly on the television, I drafted the first concept memo of what an organization could look like that could successfully solve the current and potential challenges.

The idea of setting up a global, private, non-profit, apolitical institution, staffed by technical experts, that would be a grassroots organization accountable to Internet users and constituencies, while also being recognized by governments, was unprecedented and risky. When I discussed it with my interdepartmental taskforce, we knew it would be difficult and somewhat messy to implement, but we felt it offered the best chance to allow the Internet to grow and flourish.

The organization would have a government advisory group that could ensure the views of the collective governments were at the forefront, but that the governments would not control it. The organization would provide a strong focal point recognized by governments to combat any lawsuits. It would be flexible enough to evolve as the Internet evolved. It would generate its own independent funding by a small fee on each domain name registration, but it should never get too big. It would be stakeholder-based, and its legitimacy would have to be renewed regularly by its ability to persuade the various Internet constituency groups that it remained the best solution.

After two years of consultation, vigorous debate and many helpful suggestions and excellent modifications, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was born in 1998.

Grassroots democracy is by its nature contentious and there have been bumps along the way. Overall, thanks to the efforts of many people who have played pivotal roles like Becky Burr and Andy Pincus who worked with me in the U.S. Government to establish ICANN, Esther Dyson, Vint Cerf, Mike Roberts and Steve Crocker who guided ICANN at key points, and the efforts of many others too numerous to mention who did the hard work of building the organization, ICANN has succeeded.

The political, policy and technical controversies that threatened to stifle or even destroy the Internet in its infancy in the late 1990s did not do so. The Internet is alive and well.

Billions of people now use the Internet. It accommodates a myriad of languages and alphabets. Wi-Fi, mobile devices, applications, and the “Internet of Things,” have all been incorporated. Despite almost unimaginable amounts of data and more addresses and domain names than we ever contemplated, one never reads about technical or legal problems that caused the Internet to break down.

While serious issues of privacy, security and equity must be addressed, no one can doubt that the Internet has created a positive transformation in the way the world communicates and does business. The Internet economy has grown at ten times the rate of the regular economy for more than twenty years now.

Congratulations to all of the people who have made ICANN a success over the past twenty years and to those of you working with ICANN today who will ensure its success over the next twenty years.

Written by Ira Magaziner

www.circleid.com | 10/25/18
LYON, France  — As part of its efforts to improve the distribution and cross-border consumption of European film, the European Commission on Thursday unveiled its new directory of European films. Presenting the project at the Lumière Film Festival in Lyon, Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said the directory was the […]
variety.com | 10/19/18
French President Emmanuel Macron appointed several cabinet ministers in an attempt to stabilize his government and stem a decline in public support for his push to overhaul France’s economy.
www.wsj.com | 10/16/18
French President Emmanuel Macron shuffled his cabinet in an attempt to stabilize his government and stem a decline in public support for his push to overhaul France’s economy.
www.wsj.com | 10/16/18

Fox has its own version of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” picking up “Big Bounce Battle,” an obstacle course competition series based on a European format.

The reality competition series will be produced by Endemol Shine North America. Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman will executive produce.

Originally created by Endemol Shine Netherlands and co-developed with Endemol Shine Germany for RTL, “Big Bounce Battle” features trampoline obstacle courses that contestants have to complete as fast as they can. The trampoline tracks become more difficult as the series progresses toward the final where the fastest contestant wins a cash prize.

Also Read: Fox Orders 9 More Episodes of 'The Resident' Season 2

The format made its debut earlier this year, under the name “Big Bounce — Die Trampolin Show,” on Germany’s RTL. TF1 has also commissioned a version of “Big Bounce Battle” in France.

“Big Bounce Battle” joins “Mental Samurai,” “Spin the Wheel” and “The Masked Singer” (also produced by Endemol Shine North America) is new unscripted formats picked up by Fox.

You can get a taste of “Big Bounce Battle” by watching the trailer for the German version below:

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Business and Saudi-Owned Al Arabiya Are Last Media Partners of Saudi Business Conference

'Lethal Weapon' Picked Up for 2 More Episodes at Fox With Damon Wayans

'This Is Us' Star Sterling K. Brown Signs Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV

www.thewrap.com | 10/15/18
Faced with the rising competition from global streaming services and the inflation of sports rights, French networks such as TF1, France Televisions and Canal Plus have ramped up their investment in international drama series in a major way to sustain ratings, boost their brands and lure millennials. Public broadcasting group France Televisions is spending €280 […]
variety.com | 10/13/18

Bethenny Frankel has a new man in her life!

The Real Housewives of New York City star was in Boston over the weekend, when she was spotted getting affectionate with a mystery man, according to photos obtained by TMZ.

On Sunday, Frankel was photographed holding hands with a man while waiting at a crosswalk in Boston. He sported an all-black outfit with sneakers while she kept it casual in a cream sweater, dark grey pants and high heel sneakers. A day later, the mother of one was snapped kissing him on Monday morning near Boston College, where she grasped his face with her left hand as he leaned in for a smooch.

According to Daily Mail, the man is 29-year-old tech startup investor and advisor, Ben Kosinski, who Frankel, 47, follows on Instagram. Kosinski graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in economics in 2011 and is a managing partner at Kosinski Ventures, his LinkedIn profile states.

Frankel’s rep had no comment and PEOPLE is out to Kosinski for comment.

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel Says Late Boyfriend Dennis Shields Would Have Been ‘Cheering Her On’ at HSN Debut

The Skinnygirl mogul documented her trip to Boston and Boston University on her Instagram Story Monday, including Warren Towers, the residence where lived. “I lived here! This is Warren Towers! I went to B.U. for two years and so did Andy Cohen. Andy Cohen and I both lived in this building. This is it! Hi Boston, hi B.U. Look at this,” she said.

She also shared footage of the bar where she worked as a cocktail waitress. “I was always in the cocktail business. Who knew? Midnight to 2 a.m., you could make like almost $1,000 because there were so many European, international, wealthy people ordering sex on the beach shots. That’s how I was able to bring money to live in France for a semester,” she explained about her “old stomping grounds.”

While driving, Frankel drove past a restaurant called Papa Razzi. “How about we not eat at that restaurant today? Would that be a good idea?” she said on her Instagram Story. She then added with a smile, “I didn’t even know they had paparazzi in Boston,” possibly hinting at the photos captured over the weekend.

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel Says She’s ‘Going Through an Emotional Storm’ as She Mourns Dennis Shields

Her new romance comes nearly two months after Frankel’s late boyfriend Dennis Shields was found dead of a suspected overdose in his Trump Tower apartment at age 51.

It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so. It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories. Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo

— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) August 26, 2018

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so,” she tweeted, 16 days after his Aug. 10 death.

“It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant ?s & memories,” wrote Frankel. “Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy & move through it w tears & close friends. Xo.”

His death has also taken a physical toll on Frankel, who confirmed that she’s lost weight as a result of the grieving process.

Responding to a fan last month who asked “how/are you losing weight?” the reality star replied, “Death will do that to a person.”

“#griefdiet I don’t recommend it,” added Frankel, who revealed over the weekend that she accidentally texted her late boyfriend.

people.com | 10/9/18

One year after the launch of the #MeToo movement with the New York Times’ and the New Yorker’s award-winning exposés of indie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood insiders say that there have been some significant changes to address sexual misconduct in the industry.

Many studios, networks and other entertainment companies have tightened contract language and increased employee training programs to prevent harassment in executive offices, on film and TV sets and even in audition rooms, executives and entertainment lawyers said.

Despite the career downfall of high-profile men such as Weinstein, CBS CEO Les Moonves and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, though, questions linger about how effective these steps have been to change Hollywood’s culture.

“The law has remained the same. What’s different is the volume of reporting is just exponentially more,” Elsa Rama, an entertainment lawyer, told TheWrap.

Also Read: #AfterMeToo: 12 Accusers Share What Happened Next, From Firing to More Trauma

“More people are reporting bad behavior and employers are more sensitive to handling it and adhering to the law, whereas before our industry was probably a bit too casual about it,” she added.

And many companies are trying to get ahead of the accusation wave by educating employees about acceptable behavior with mandatory training sessions across departments. Angela Reddock-Wright, a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in sexual harassment and discrimination, estimated that the number of prevention trainings that she gives has increased 50 percent in the last year.

“In light of what’s happening, companies and studios want to make sure they are re-educating their managers and supervisors on what to do when issues of sexual harassment are reported to them,” she said.

Also Read: Lee Daniels and Whitney Cummings Developing #MeToo-Themed Comedy for Amazon

Contracts have also come under focus in the last year. Although sexual harassment was always considered a breach of contracts, experts told TheWrap that legal language that was purposefully broad before #MeToo is now being tightened to provide clearer consequences for cases of sexual harassment and assault.

“[Many contracts] are much more specific in terms of providing a sexual harassment policy that’s curtailed to production setting, having a reporting mechanism that’s very clear, but also having the ability for grounds for termination, as well as what to do with allegations outside the workplace environment,” Rama said.

Another entertainment attorney, who asked not to be named, told TheWrap that the main differences have come at the negotiating table. Whereas agents once had more leeway to negotiate morality clauses out of contracts for talent, studios are now more likely to insist that they remain.

Moreover, the attorney said that morality clauses were previously intended to address criminal convictions and actors going to jail, but now they are getting broadened to include various forms of sexual misconduct that may not require legal outcomes.

Also Read: Sally Field and Jane Fonda, Rebels and Role Models for #MeToo Generation (Guest Blog)

Reddock-Wright said the effectiveness of any policy change is ultimately dependent on people’s willingness to follow it — or not. “So the real question is — if we have had laws and policies against sexual harassment in the workplace for years, why does harassment continue to happen? Why is the #MeToo movement so prevalent?” she said.

“It ultimately comes down to power — those who use their power and influence to exercise control over individuals, and to make individuals believe that if they do not succumb to their sexual propositions, they will not make it in this town,” she said. “Some use their powers for good. Others use them to take advantage of others.”

The advent of the #MeToo movement has raised general awareness of the issue — which has taken down both executives like Weinstein as well as on-camera stars like Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K.

Stars and prominent Hollywood figures like Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon and Shonda Rhimes helped launch the Time’s Up initiative, a fund that aims to support employees who encounter sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace.

Also Read: #MeToo Advocate Alyssa Milano Attends Kavanaugh-Ford Hearing

The major Hollywood guilds have also released new guidelines since last fall intended to protect their members from harassment and other abuse — though many are not legally or contractually binding. In April, SAG-AFTRA released a guideline calling on producers to refrain from holding professional meetings in hotel rooms and private residences, and urged actors to avoid high-risk locations as well.

The move came after Weinstein was accused by several women of misconduct inside hotel rooms in cities around the world, from Beverly Hills to New York to Cannes, France. (He has denied any accusation of nonconsensual sex.) These guidelines were contractually adopted by the Network Television Code in July, which SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris described as a “real victory.”

The union is also working to develop rules that will better protect actors during on-screen nudity and sex scenes.

Also Read: Spike Lee, Jeffrey Katzenberg to Be Honored by SAG-AFTRA Foundation

“There’s so much more exposure to your body and there’s more [on-screen] intimacy taking place,” Carteris told TheWrap. “Our conversations actually deal with the whole process of being a performer… and the vulnerabilities you have, and then we’re creating structures around those vulnerabilities.”

Even Carteris admits she does not know whether #MeToo advocates can make lasting change to how Hollywood does business.

“I know there’s been a shift. It’s happening in the audition room, it’s happening on set,” she told TheWrap. “We’re going to have to wait and see if it’s a sustainable shift. Kudos to those people who really recognize that there needs to be a change.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

#AfterMeToo: 12 Accusers Share What Happened Next, From Firing to More Trauma

Sean Penn Says 'Spirit' of #MeToo Movement 'Is to Divide Men and Women' (Video)

Rose McGowan Slams Media for Reducing Her 'Life's Work to a Hotel Room Rape'

Russell Simmons Accuser on How #MeToo Has Rocked the Music Industry: 'There May Be No Bottom' (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 10/5/18

Roman Polanski apparently has something to say about a man being wrongfully convicted of a crime. The infamous director has started production on his next film “J’accuse,” his first project in the #MeToo era.

The film tells the story of the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal in which Jewish French captain Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason in 1894, and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s island.

Polanski, a French-Polish filmmaker, fled the U.S. in 1977 after pleading guilty to the statutory rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He was imprisoned for 42 days, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned the judge planned to revoke the plea deal, the director fled to Paris before the sentencing.

Also Read: Roman Polanski Loses Bid to Have Sexual Assault Case Tossed

Since the accusations and revelations of roughly 30 years of sexual harassment and assault against former power producer, Harvey Weinstein came to light nearly a year ago, the #MeToo movement has toppled a number of powerful men in the industry. The accusations against Bill Cosby have led to the comedian serving anywhere from three to ten years in prison.

Polanski, however, has managed to not only stay out of jail but continue to write, produce and direct films.

“J’accuse” will begin filming this fall in Paris. Louis Garrel will star as Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the real-life French-Jewish soldier wrongly convicted of spying for the Germans. While imprisoned, evidence arose identifying the actual culprit, but it was suppressed by the French military, which then falsified documents used to accuse Dreyfus of further crimes. Dreyfus became a cause celebre however, and after more than a decade was fully exonerated. But the matter exposed deep strains of antisemitism in France with profound effects during the following decades.

Also Read: Roman Polanski Says #MeToo Movement Is 'Total Hypocrisy'

Academy Award-winning actor Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) will star as the counter-espionage officer who vindicated Dreyfus. Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet, and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner round out the cast. Polanski has been developing the film since 2012, from a script penned by British novelist Robert Harris.

Polanski has already let his opinion be known on the subject of the #MeToo movement, calling it a “Total hypocrisy.” Now he’s getting the chance to explore a man reeling for a wrongful accusation through his art.

In May, Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, along with Cosby. He was expelled 15 years after his film “The Pianist” took home Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor at the 75th Academy Awards. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Chicago.”

The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter

Related stories from TheWrap:

David Lynch on Louis CK and Roman Polanski: 'This Subject Is Tricky Business'

Roman Polanski Victim Thinks Film Academy Was 'Ugly and Cruel' to Eject Him

Natalie Portman 'Very Much' Regrets Signing 2009 Petition to Free Roman Polanski

www.thewrap.com | 9/29/18
The French government unveiled billions in tax cuts as it seeks to revive flagging public support for President Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to overhaul France’s economy.
www.wsj.com | 9/24/18
The French government unveiled billions in tax cuts as it seeks to revive flagging public support for President Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to overhaul France’s economy.
www.wsj.com | 9/24/18
France Monday joined Lebanese leaders in underlining the urgency for the quick formation of a new government as an essential move to carry out economic reforms demanded by the CEDRE conference to rescue Lebanon’s ailing economy.
French President Emmanuel Macron planned to focus this month on promoting his policies to reshape the economy.
www.foxnews.com | 9/4/18
Syria: False Flag being planned by USA and supporters? By supporters, read terrorists undermining the democratically supported Syrian government and fellow members of the FUKUS Axis. Kids kidnapped as bait Syria. Peaceful towns and villages where people of different ethnic groups and creeds and races intermingled for tens of thousands of years in peace, sharing figs and olives and bread, celebrating their religions and customs in peace, thrown into chaos as the FUKUS Axis (France-UK-US) once again stuck its ugly nose into other people's business and started supporting splinter terrorist groups with dubious and violent backgrounds to create chaos in the Middle East and impose their model for the area. More lines on maps.

ABC has given a straight-to-series order to the crime drama “Reef Break,” executive produced by and starring “Without a Trace” star Poppy Montgomery.

The hour-long drama will star Montgomery as Cat Chambers, a thief turned fixer for the governor of a stunning and seductive Pacific Island paradise. Described as “impulsive, reckless and irresistible,” Cat’s less-than-perfect past gives her an instinctive gift for understanding crime and criminals as she becomes enmeshed in fast-paced, high octane adventures and island intrigue.

The 13-episode series is based on an idea of Montgomery’s, with former “Numb3rs” showrunner Ken Sanzel attached to write and executive produce. It is slated to premiere next summer.

Also Read: 'The Middle' Spinoff Ordered to Pilot at ABC

The series is a French-co-production and hails from ABC Studios and ABC Studios International in partnership with M6, where it will air in France.

“We’re thrilled to add this new series fronted by Poppy Montgomery to our Summer 2019 slate. It’s an exhilarating and suspenseful ride set against some of the most beautiful locations,” said Channing Dungey, President, ABC.

“ABC Studios International is very excited to be in business with Poppy Montgomery and Ken Sanzel, the dream team behind this fantastic new series. We anticipate a series that will engage audiences around the world and are thrilled to work with our partners, M6 and ABC Network on this truly global initiative,” said Keli Lee, Managing Director, International Content, Platforms and Talent, ABC Studios International.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Nne Ebong Departs as Head of Drama Development at ABC Studios

'The Middle' Spinoff Ordered to Pilot at ABC

ABC's Channing Dungey Says Kenya Barris Was 'Frustrated' by Limitations of Broadcast TV

www.thewrap.com | 8/23/18
Muriel Pénicaud has one of the toughest jobs around: overseeing a revamp of France’s voluminous labor code.
www.nytimes.com | 8/15/18

“Mighty Ducks” actor Shaun Weiss has been netted by law enforcement again.

Weiss, who played Goldberg in 1992’s “The Mighty Ducks” and its subsequent sequels, was arrested early Saturday morning for “being under the influence of drugs,” law enforcement in Oroville, California, said Monday.

According to a Facebook post by the Oroville Public Safety Department, “On August 4th, at 12:47 a.m., officers contacted Shaun Weiss near a business located on the 1700 block of Oro Dam Blvd. Weiss was arrested for being under the influence of drugs.”

Also Read: NASCAR CEO Brian France Takes 'Indefinite' Leave of Absence After DUI, Drug Arrest

Weiss, whose other acting credits include “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “The King of Queens,” was arrested for intoxication only and no further criminal proceedings are desired at this time,” according to the Facebook post.

This isn’t Weiss’ first brush with the law. Last August, Weiss was sentenced to 90 days in county jail after being arrested on a methamphetamine charge, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department told TheWrap at the time.

Also Read: Farrah Abraham Charged With Battery After Hotel Arrest

Weiss’ Aug. 2, 2017, arrest on the methamphetamine charge came just days after he was released from jail on a petty theft charge. Though Weiss was sentenced to 150 days in Los Angeles County Jail, he was released after 12 days due to overcrowding at the jail.

TheWrap has reached out to a representative for Weiss for comment on his most recent arrest.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Mighty Ducks' Star Shaun Weiss Sentenced to 90 Days After Meth Arrest

'Mighty Ducks' Star Shaun Weiss Arrested on Meth Charge

'The Mighty Ducks' TV Series in the Works

www.thewrap.com | 8/7/18

Five weeks after Anthony Bourdain‘s death, his estranged wife Ottavia Busia continues to be a rock for their 11-year-old daughter Ariane.

Busia’s best friend Doug Quint, who is a co-founder of Big Gay Ice Cream, gave an update on how the mother of one is doing following Bourdain’s suicide on June 8. Tweeting a series of statements from his company’s verified account, Quint alluded to Bourdain, though he was not mentioned directly by name.

“Five weeks ago my best friend’s husband killed himself. Five weeks ago the father of the ring-bearer at my wedding killed himself,” Quint’s first two tweets read.

“For five weeks I have watched my best friend display more poise and grace than I could ever imagine, in the face of a global publicity s–t-storm,” another tweet read.

RELATED: ‘I Like Being a Father — No, I Love Being a Father,’ and Everything Else Anthony Bourdain Has Said About Daughter Ariane

“For five weeks I have seen the best mothering imaginable. This whole f–king thing sucks so horribly and it always will but I discovered she’s not just my best friend,” Quint wrote in follow-up tweets.

Concluding, “Ottavia is my idol.”

Although Bourdain and Busia separated in 2016 after nine years of marriage, their divorce was not finalized before his death. (Bourdain and girlfriend Asia Argento began dating after meeting during the filming of his CNN show Parts Unknown in 2016.)

RELATED: Inside Anthony Bourdain and Ottavia Busia’s ‘Unconventional’ Split

Bourdain often supported Big Gay Ice Cream, famously christening the franchise’s East Village store in 2011, dressed as a priest.

He also wrote the foreword for the company’s 2015 cookbook, Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream, which was written by Quint and Bryan Petroff, who is both his romantic and business partner.

RELATED: Remembering Anthony Bourdain’s Illustrious Life and Career in Photos

Bourdain was found dead of suicide in his hotel room in Kaysersberg, France, while in the country filming an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown with his close friend, French-born chef Eric Ripert.

A source previously told PEOPLE the culinary star was cremated in France five days after his death on June 13, and his ashes were flown back to the United States.

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain’s Ex Says Daughter, 11, Is ‘Brave’ As She Performs at Concert After Chef’s Death

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Nominated for 6 Emmy Awards After Chef’s Death

Earlier this month, Bourdain’s will, which was written in 2016, revealed that the majority of his $1.21 million fortune will be left to his only child Ariane while the executor of his estate will be Busia.

Bourdain also gave his “accumulated frequent flyer miles” to Busia, and asked her to “dispose of in accordance with what believes to have been my wishes,” according to the outlets. The same instructions were stated for his cars, furniture, books, clothing and household items.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

people.com | 7/14/18
India's GDP reached $2.597 trillion in 2017, while it was at $2.582 trillion for France, the World Bank said.
www.dnaindia.com | 7/11/18
“If you want to share the cake, you’ve got to have a cake,” Mr. Macron said in defending tax cuts for the rich and the loosening of labor regulations.
www.nytimes.com | 7/9/18
[RFI] Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga kicked off a European tour in France Wednesday, in a bid to revive bilateral relations in the fields of economy and security. His visit has been marred by allegations of abuses by security forces that may be fuelling violence.
allafrica.com | 6/28/18
[The Exchange] The Government of France continues to show its prevalent support and interest in East Africa region by unveiling plans to cater for the water infrastructure investment in the east of Kampala. The region is experiencing robust growth of population with water shortages set to increase. The business gap in the region has prompted French investor to step in and take the opportunity.
allafrica.com | 6/18/18
Jake Bright Contributor Jake Bright is a writer and author in New York City. He is co-author of The Next Africa. More posts by this contributor Africa Roundup: African startup investments turn to fintech this winter season Nigeria’s Piggybank.ng raises $1.1M, announces group investment product Weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a $76M African startup […]
techcrunch.com | 6/18/18
President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business overhaul of France shifted up a gear as the government announced plans to privatize state assets and pour funds into risky technology investments.
www.wsj.com | 6/14/18
France's parliament will approve a bill on Wednesday overhauling the indebted state-run rail company SNCF, handing a significant victory to President Emmanuel Macron in his bid to outwit the unions and reform the economy.
www.dnaindia.com | 6/13/18

One of the restaurant businesses that was given Anthony Bourdain‘s seal of approval is thanking the late chef and TV host following his death from an apparent suicide on Friday.

Jason Wang — the CEO and son of the founder of Xi’an Famous Foods — recalled how Bourdain changed the future of their family business when he stopped by their eatery in Flushing, New York, for the Travel Channel’s No Reservations back in 2007.

“Today’s a day of extreme sadness for us here at Xi’an Famous Foods,” Wang wrote on social media along with a photo with the beloved chef. “I’ve lost a dear friend today, and we mourn with the rest of the world.”

To honor Bourdain’s memory, Wang announced that his company would be donating all of their profits from Friday to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

“Please cherish all of our lives and help those who may be struggling,” he wrote. “Rest in peace, Tony, and the most sincere condolences to Tony’s beloved family.”

RELATED: Inside Anthony Bourdain’s Final Days: ‘He Seemed Normal’ and ‘Just Like Himself,’ Says Chef

Wang said that he had profusely thanked Bourdain him for helping to launch the business, and the host said he was simply telling the truth.

“I remember years later in 2015 after interviewing together for an article, I approached Tony and told him, while he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream,” the restaurateur recalled. “We were able to grow our business and provide great food for our guests, and opportunities for our employees. I looked at him in the eyes and said, this is something we will always be thankful for, Tony.”

Wang continued, “And he simply replied, ‘I’m just calling out good food like it is, that’s all.'”

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain’s Shocked Mother Speaks Out After Son’s Apparent Suicide: ‘He Had Everything’

On Friday, Bourdain, 61, was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Kaysersberg, France, by his close friend Eric Ripert, according to CNN. Both were filming an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown.

Speaking with PEOPLE, French prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny previously said there was no evidence of violence in Bourdain’s death.

“Nothing suggested the involvement of a third person,” Rocquigny continued, adding that “an autopsy is the priority” as police in Colmar, France, continue investigating the TV host’s death.

Speaking with the New York Times hours after the news of Bourdain’s death, his mother Gladys Bourdain said she had no indication that her son may have been thinking about suicide.

“He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” she told the publication.

Gladys also said she spoke to Ripert, who told her that “Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

people.com | 6/10/18

Although Anthony Bourdain was well-known for traveling to unique places on his show Parts Unknown, his fans are paying tribute to him in the wake of his death at the place where it all began: Les Halles.

Bourdain, 61, who died of an apparent suicide in France on Friday, spent decades working in restaurant kitchens, and worked as the executive chef of the French brasserie for eight years when he submitted an essay to The New Yorker that focused on the misconceptions of the restaurant industry and its darker side. In 2000, that essay sparked a memoir that rocked the industry entitled Kitchen Confidential.

Les Halles had two locations in New York City, the first of which was on Park Avenue and closed down in 2016, and the second FiDi location followed suit in 2017, but on Friday, the signage was still up on both, despite the doors being locked and windows boarded up. Fans visited both locations of the former restaurant to mourn Bourdain’s death, placing bouquets of flowers in the door handles and taping handwritten cards and photographs to the storefront.

Oh man…outside the former Les Halles today. pic.twitter.com/kstSL6o7UV

— Dan Ackerman (@danackerman) June 8, 2018

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People who visited the growing memorial posted close-up pictures of some of the messages on Twitter.

RELATED: Padma Lakshmi, José Andrés and More of Anthony Bourdain’s Close Friends Mourn His Death

“1956-2018. Rest in Peace Mr. Bourdain,” one message reads. “You are loved and will be sorely missed.” The note, which was placed under a smiling picture of the Parts Unknown host, also shared the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline with the phrase, “you are not alone.”

Another message thanks the chef for bringing a “respectful view” of Palestinians, Libyans, Iranians, and people of other Middle Eastern countries. “You brought people together,” reads the message, before offering condolences to Bourdain’s 11-year-old daughter Ariane and girlfriend Asia Argento. “Ariane and Asia, you have all of our love.”

RELATED VIDEO: Chrissy Teigen, Gordon Ramsay and More Mourn Death of Anthony Bourdain: ‘Be at Peace Now’

Took a break from work today to go downtown and pay my respects to an incredible man who will be deeply missed. RIP Anthony Bourdain #leshalles pic.twitter.com/G03PCDmmta

— Nora Baron (@noramariebaron) June 8, 2018

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Fans continued to crowd around the store all afternoon, and in one photograph posted on Twitter, it seems a fan placed a pack of Marlboro Reds, Bourdain’s smoke of choice, in front of the restaurant’s doors.

Stopped by Les Halles in NY, where people are paying their respects to Anthony Bourdain. pic.twitter.com/KC7FuClHgE

— DJ Judd (@juddzeez) June 8, 2018

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People are leaving flowers in the grates at Les Halles (it’s gone out of business)on John Street. #AnthonyBourdain #tributes #leshalles pic.twitter.com/f7wwasGhsO

— Valerie Sylvester (@laikasputnik57) June 8, 2018

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The beloved chef died from an apparent suicide at a luxury hotel in Kayersberg called Le Chambard, French police confirmed to PEOPLE, who said “at this stage, nothing suggests the intervention of a third party.”

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said in a statement. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

people.com | 6/8/18

BuzzFeed is set to lay off 20 staffers and then hire more than 45 new employees, the company’s chief revenue officer Lee Brown revealed in an internal email obtained by TheWrap. The new hires will not be journalists per se, but rather be directed toward “Creative, Strategic Planning, and Pricing.”

The move comes as Brown takes charge of a newly-expanded portfolio, which now includes managing the branded content, research, distribution and marketing teams. While announcing the upcoming layoffs, Brown encouraged affected employees to apply internally for other open spots in the company, according to the internal documents.

“In a handful of cases, the changes we’re making will unfortunately result in some roles being eliminated,” he said. “Most of those eliminated positions will be converted to new open positions in other areas of the org, and we’re encouraging impacted employees to apply for new positions for which they are qualified.”

Also Read: BuzzFeed France to Shut Down, Company Cuts at Least 12 Jobs

The cuts are seemingly unrelated to the slashing which has taken place on the editorial end of the BuzzFeed spectrum, with the toughest cuts coming to the website’s international operations in France and England.

On Thursday, news emerged that BuzzFeed would shut down their operations in France and lay off at least 12 employees. The cuts were swift and unexpected, with the site’s acting editor-in-chief, Stephane Jourdain, calling it a “brutal and completely unexpected decision.”

Décision brutale et complètement inattendue. On sort de quatre super mois en terme de trafic et d’infos. @sayseal avait constitué une équipe géniale, hyper impliquée, des super gratteurs que j’ai adoré diriger. C’est très triste.

— Stephane Jourdain (@s_jourdain) June 7, 2018

In a statement, BuzzFeed said they had reconsidered the wisdom of the French office.

“We are taking steps to reconsider our operation in France given the uncertain path to growth in the French market,” a spokesperson for the company told TheWrap on Thursday. “We have begun a consultation process with BuzzFeed France and will follow up when we have more information to share.”

In December, BuzzFeed axed dozens of other employees from the London office amid revenue shortfalls and declining traffic. Last year the company fell $70 million short of a $350 million earnings target, though the 2018 picture has been rosier.

A company insider said the business reorganization initiative from Brown was unrelated to the staff cuts abroad.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dear David': That Buzzfeed Ghost Story We Said Should Be a Movie Is Gonna Be a Movie (Podcast)

BuzzFeed France to Shut Down, Company Cuts at Least 12 Jobs

'Dear David': 'It' Producer, BuzzFeed to Develop Horror Film Based on Viral Ghost Story (Exclusive)

R Kelly Sex Abuse Documentary From BuzzFeed News to Air on Hulu

www.thewrap.com | 6/8/18

BuzzFeed will close its entire French operation and lay off at least a dozen employees, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

“We are taking steps to reconsider our operation in France given the uncertain path to growth in the French market,” a spokesperson for the company told TheWrap on Thursday. “We have begun a consultation process with BuzzFeed France and will follow up when we have more information to share.”

“Brutal and completely unexpected decision,” tweeted BuzzFeed France journalist Stephane Jourdain. “It’s very sad.”

Also Read: BuzzFeed Chief Defends Trump Pee Dossier: 'I'm Proud We Published'

“And I thought that my biggest concern during this maternity leave would be the amount of diapers to change,” the site’s editor-in-chief Cecile Dehesdin, tweeted from maternity leave.

Décision brutale et complètement inattendue. On sort de quatre super mois en terme de trafic et d’infos. @sayseal avait constitué une équipe géniale, hyper impliquée, des super gratteurs que j’ai adoré diriger. C’est très triste.

— Stephane Jourdain (@s_jourdain) June 7, 2018

Et moi qui pensait que mon plus gros souci pendant ce congé maternité serait la quantité de couches à changer…

— Cecile Dehesdin (@sayseal) June 7, 2018

The closure was also reported in the French newspaper Le Monde. Staffers at BuzzFeed France were informed Thursday morning of the news and that the company was re-evaluating the operation in that country.

BuzzFeed France learned the office is closing after a meeting this morning. Management told staff it was part of a “transformation process” at BuzzFeed. All 14 staff expecting they’ll be made redundant.

— Mark Di Stefano ???????? (@MarkDiStef) June 7, 2018

“We are taking initial steps to reconsider our operations there,” said Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed’s vice president of international growth in a company-wide email obtained by TheWrap. “We have questions about whether we can build a sustainable business in France.”

The France decision is the latest in a string of bad news to buffet the company’s international operations. In December, BuzzFeed laid off dozens of employees from its office in the United Kingdom, amid budget shortfalls and declining traffic. The cuts in both offices likely stem from a more than $70 million revenue shortfall of a $350 million target for 2017. Talk of an IPO also tapered off around the same time. Growth has been stronger in recent months.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dear David': 'It' Producer, BuzzFeed to Develop Horror Film Based on Viral Ghost Story (Exclusive)

R Kelly Sex Abuse Documentary From BuzzFeed News to Air on Hulu

Netflix Partners with BuzzFeed for New Documentary Series

Michael Cohen Withdraws Libel Suits Against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS

www.thewrap.com | 6/7/18

Discovery and the PGA Tour have struck a massive $2 billion deal for tournament rights outside of the United States through 2030. That’s a lot of green — and we’re not just talking about the putting surfaces.

The pricey (and lengthy) alliance, which tees off next year, will result in about 2,000 hours of content annually and nearly 150 tournaments, including The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs, and the Presidents Cup. It will grant Discovery the exclusive non-U.S. television and multiplatform rights to all PGA Tour golf events by 2024 — here is a timetable for implementation:

Date
Markets
2019
Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain
2020
Poland, South Korea
2021
Belgium, China, Germany, South Africa
2022
Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Sweden, UK
2024
France

Also Read: Former 'Deadliest Catch' Skipper Blake Painter Found Dead at 38

About those multiplatform rights: Together, Discovery and the PGA Tour will develop a new PGA Tour-branded OTT video streaming service to serve 220 markets and territories.

“Today is a fantastic day for golf fans around the world as Discovery proudly partners with the PGA Tour to create something that has never been done before,” David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said. “The long-term partnership between the PGA Tour and Discovery will create the new global Home of Golf, including delivering over 2000 hours of live content year-round and this prestigious sport’s greatest moments, stories and athletes. Following our successful first Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Discovery will contribute its strong global distribution and promotional infrastructure, in-market relationships, global sports expertise with direct-to-consumer platforms and brands to create a valuable new long-term Home of Golf offering in every market outside the U.S.”

“This is an exciting next step for the PGA Tour, which presents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate and expand our media business outside the United States, better service our international broadcast partners, and drive fan growth with a deeply experienced strategic global partner,” added Jay Monahan, commissioner, PGA Tour. “This partnership aligns very well with the opening of PGA Tour offices in London, Tokyo and Beijing in recent years and will support our long-term objectives of growing the game of golf. It also will deliver more value to our sponsors as it presents a tremendous opportunity to engage new and diverse audiences around the world.”

Also Read: Jon Hamm's Impression of Ray Romano Playing Golf Is Simply the Best (Video)

The partnership will be led by Discovery’s Alex Kaplan, who is president and general manager of the new Discovery and PGA Tour venture. His management team will include the PGA Tour’s Thierry Pascal as head of distribution.

Kaplan previously was an executive vice president at Eurosport Digital, where he helped grow the Eurosport D2C business to over 1 million subscribers. Prior to joining Discovery, Kaplan was a senior vice president of global media distribution for the NBA.

“I am incredibly excited to work with David Zaslav and JB Perrette to take international coverage of PGA Tour golf to the next level,” Kaplan said. “We can’t wait to get started and build a world-class global platform and long-term distribution strategy to turn the vision of this partnership into a reality. By joining forces with the outstanding PGA Tour team, led by Jay Monahan and Rick Anderson, we have a unique opportunity to build an amazing product that will serve the fans with the golf content they love on every screen.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Discovery Lost Money in Q1 Due to Huge Scripps Deal

Discovery Boss David Zaslav's Pay Rose Above $42 Million Last Year

Rich Ross Out at Discovery: Company Unveils Post-Scripps Senior Executive Team

www.thewrap.com | 6/4/18

Sofia Richie is no longer living with Scott Disick, a source tells PEOPLE.

Although multiple insiders have said there’s a good chance for a reconciliation despite the duo’s split, a source tells PEOPLE that the 19-year-old model left the 35-year-old reality star’s home to stay with her father, music icon Lionel Richie.

“Sofia has moved out of Scott’s house,” the source explains. “She has been living at Lionel’s house for the past couple of days. She is looking for her own place.”

As for how Sofia is adjusting to the breakup, “She seems to be doing okay,” says the insider. “She is surrounding herself with girlfriends and keeping busy.”

Sofia and Disick’s split news on Saturday came after Disick was spotted looking flirty with a mystery woman at Kanye West‘s Ye listening party in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Thursday night. Disick reportedly told guests that he and Sofia were no longer together, according to TMZ.

Another source close to the former couple tells PEOPLE that Sofia ended the relationship after confronting Disick about cheating on her — but Lionel condemned the relationship long before Disick’s alleged infidelities.

“Lionel hasn’t approved of the relationship since the beginning,” says the second insider. “He joked about it publicly but he was livid.”

Want to keep up on the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.

The source says Sofia and Disick’s romance is “likely not totally over,” though.

“They’ve broken up multiple times since they started dating and always ended up back together,” the insider explains. “No one would be surprised if they’re out again together in a few days or weeks.”

Another source echoes the sentiment, saying, “Scott seems fine. He even thinks she might change her mind. He isn’t really taking it seriously.”

While a source previously told PEOPLE that Sofia’s famous father Lionel wasn’t too pleased about the relationship — “Lionel knows Scott’s playboy ways, and he doesn’t want to see his daughter get hurt,” the insider said — the model had previously insisted that her dad was on board.

“He’s good — he’s been very nice,” she told E! News at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards in Beverly Hills, California, in November.

“He’s very supportive, whatever that means,” she added as Lionel, 68, jokingly pointed a gun-shaped hand gesture at his head.

“I am into her business, and she’s trying to keep me out of her business,” he said.

Sofia and Disick — who shares three kids with ex Kourtney Kardashian — first sparked romance speculation in May after they were pictured cuddling up aboard a yacht in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival. At the time, Sofia — who previously dated Justin Bieber — adamantly denied anything romantic was going on, tweeting that the two were “just homies.”

Months later, the two had become “inseparable,” a source told PEOPLE in mid-September. They confirmed their romance shortly afterwards with friends in Miami, capping off the trip with a few PDA-packed days in Mexico.

people.com | 6/3/18

Scott Disick and Sofia Richie are over, PEOPLE confirms.

According to a source, Richie, 19, ended the relationship with Disick, 35.

“Sofia broke up with Scott,” the insider tells PEOPLE, adding that Disick’s “old issues” contributed to the split.

“When Scott drinks, he is a sloppy mess and fools around,” the source says.

As for how Disick is dealing with the break up, “Scott seems fine,” the insider tells PEOPLE. “He even thinks she might change her mind. He isn’t really taking it seriously.”

The news comes amid heightened speculation about their relationship status after Disick was spotted looking flirty with a mystery woman at Kanye West‘s Ye listening party in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Thursday night. Disick reportedly told guests that he and Richie were no longer together, according to TMZ.

Richie and Disick — who shares three kids with ex Kourtney Kardashian — first sparked romance speculation in May after they were pictured cuddling up aboard a yacht in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival. At the time, Richie — who previously dated Justin Bieber — adamantly denied anything romantic was going on, tweeting that the two were “just homies.”

Months later, the two had become “inseparable,” a source told PEOPLE in mid-September. They confirmed their romance shortly afterwards with friends in Miami, capping off the trip with a few PDA-packed days in Mexico.

In the months that followed, the couple spent much of their time traveling together, enjoying a romantic Italian getaway and another trip to Mexico. They also spent time together stateside and were regularly spotted in Los Angeles and New York City.

While a source previously told PEOPLE that Richie’s famous father Lionel wasn’t too pleased about the relationship — “Lionel knows Scott’s playboy ways, and he doesn’t want to see his daughter get hurt,” the insider said — the model had insisted that her dad was on board.

“He’s good — he’s been very nice,” she told E! News at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards in Beverly Hills in November.

“He’s been very cool,”  she added. “He’s very supportive, whatever that means,” she added as Lionel, 68, jokingly pointed a gun-shaped hand gesture at his head.

“I am into her business, and she’s trying to keep me out of her business,” he said.

Throughout their relationship, Disick and Richie’s went through ups and downs. A source told PEOPLE in early November that it was “starting to fizzle.”

“They’re starting to argue more, and it’s bothering Sofia,” said the source. “She thought he would be more serious about their relationship and is finding herself to be more frustrated with him as time goes on. Everything everyone has been telling her to look out for, she’s now starting to see for herself. It’s really upsetting for her, but she is trying to work through it.”

But just weeks later, another source told PEOPLE the two were “very serious” and that Richie has been a positive influence on Disick, who is known for his late nights out and has openly struggled with alcohol abuse.

“She’s been great for him,” the source said. “She’s made a big impact on his life and hasn’t partied at all since they met.”

“His friends adore her and nobody notices the age difference,” added the source. “She is very mature, she grew up in Hollywood and has always been in older situations. They seem really happy.”

people.com | 6/3/18
NetApp’s global research has found that IT decision makers across the USA, UK, France and Germany believe GDPR will benefit their business when it comes to giving them the competitive edge. But while almost half (44%) believe GDPR will improve their position amongst all competitors, business readiness for the regulation is at odds with its [&hellip
What would you do if you were Kim Jong-un? The big option facing Kim Jong-un, Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is whether or not he can trust the West. Is the USA good for its word? In studying topics such as the North Korea issue, one has to see the big picture. And that inevitably revolves around the e-word, economics. And this is where the heart of Washington, the champion of the market-oriented economy, pulsates. The policy of Washington is not dictated by the President of the United States of America, it is dictated by the $inister $ix $isters, or the BARFFS lobbies (Banking, Arms, eneRgy, Finance, Food, pharmaceuticalS and drugS) which in turn shape the policies of the FUKUS Axis (France-UK-US) and the ASS (Anglo-Saxon Syndicate). NATO is involved.

Looking to read your favorite local paper while on your summer vacation to France? That might not be an option anymore.

Several major U.S. newspapers have blocked readers from their own online sites in Europe, after sweeping new data privacy laws went into effect on Friday. Multiple people in Europe told TheWrap they could not access websites for papers including The Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and The Chicago Tribune.

Those and many more media outlets have now started greeting readers with a warning that their content is unavailable in European Union countries. The BBC first reported the story.

“Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries,” reads the L.A. Times notification. “We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solution that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”

The reason for the block? The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which hits companies with big fines for not following certain guidelines on handling user data.

The GDPR aims to make companies more transparent with how data is collected, how its being used, and also forces companies to delete data once its no longer useful. The new regulation applies to every business in Europe, from newspapers to tech companies to banks — and comes with a stiff penalty if it isn’t adhered to. The EU can now fine companies up to 4 percent of their global revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is greater, for violating its policy.

Rather than deal with the potential repercussions, Tronc, the owner of the L.A. Times, and other major media outlets have decided to block its papers in the EU. Lee Enterprises, which owns nearly 50  newspapers in the U.S., has also followed suit.

A Tronc representative did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on if there’s a timeline for when its outlets will be available again in Europe.

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www.thewrap.com | 5/25/18
On the second day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a plenary meeting was held, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and IMF head Christine Lagarde took part.During his welcoming speech, President Putin said that such meetings, which have already become traditional events held in a very friendly and warm atmosphere, are especially important now, against the background of highly intense international relations. "Such a discussion, informal dialogue is especially important today, when the system of international political, economic and trade relations is undergoing a serious test of durability. Conditions for doing business, the share of investments, and everyday life are changing dynamically," Putin said. Until recently, he said, the core of the world economy was based on two most important principles. "First off, it is the freedom of entrepreneurship, trade and investment - an integral part of the rules in international relations. Secondly, it is sustainability and predictability of these rules, secured by legal mechanism. However, today we are witnessing not just erosion, but the demolition of these grounds. This system is breaking down. Today's rule is to violate rules. One thing is clear: violations have become an official tool for many countries, and many countries are forced to take mirror measures and adapt themselves," Putin said. "Today, it is impossible to agree even on symbolic steps in the world economy. The era of global "free trade" is coming to an end. Today, it goes about a new version of protectionism. Protectionist measures and trade restrictions are taken under the guise of national security references. The twisted spiral of sanctions and restrictions continues spiralling further, affecting an increasing number of countries and companies, including those that were certain that the regime of trade restrictions will never affect them. Yet, arbitrariness and lack of control inevitably leads to the temptation of using instruments of restriction again and again, broader and broader, to the right and to the left, at any occasion, regardless of all talks about political loyalty, solidarity, previous agreements and long-term cooperative ties. On a global scale, such behaviour of centres of power is fraught with negative, if not catastrophic, consequences. This confluence of factors may lead to a global systemic crisis, which humanity has never encountered yet. "Such a system of global mistrust may take the world market to a state of subsistence economy. Rules should be uniform and transparent and legitimate for all players of the world market. We do not need trade wars today, we need full-fledged trade peace. It is important to maintain respect for each other: Russia stands for freedom of trade and world integration, for free dialogue on the way to development. We encourage our partners from Europe, America, Asia and other regions of the world to move together towards sustainable development," Putin said. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke next. Macron supported Vladimir Putin's initiatives and  called to be even more flexible and bolder in economic cooperation. He quoted a few excerpts from "War and Peace," and then stated that "in France courage returned to us in our minds. Let us be as flexible as in judo. We need to fight what Solzhenitsyn called the dawn of boldness ... one must be brave!" Macron said. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was more reserved, but more specific. He spoke in favour of Japan's participation in the project of creating a transport infrastructure for the delivery of Russian liquified natural gas to Asian markets via the Sea of Japan. He also made a subtle allusion to the issue of the Kuril Islands dispute.  Abe ended his speech by saying that Asia should become a peaceful, prosperous and developing region, noting that one needs to address the North Korean question accordingly. Vice Chairman of the People's Republic of China, Wang Qishan, also devoted his speech to the "economy of trust." "One needs to respect each other to create the atmosphere of trust," Mr. Qishan said. He strongly condemned the "baton of sanctions", because such a policy poses a threat to the global market.The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, also said that the rules and transparency of trade and economy were indeed in jeopardy.  She said that Russia was coping with difficulties and achieved an incredible breakthrough. However, she called for greater integration of Russia into the world economy and said that Russia needs to abandon the "raw material economic model". Christine Lagarde also spoke about the danger of globalisation and said that it was not a fair process at all times. That was an unprecedented statement for the head of the IMF to make.

There were bigger yachts docked in the harbor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but production company Saban Films is returning to Hollywood with more movie acquisitions than any other bidder at this year’s international film market.

The division, part of billionaire Haim Saban’s media empire, racked up five total  by the end of the festival: the Gerard Butler psychological thriller “Keepers,” Keanu Reeves’ romantic thriller “Siberia,” “Berlin, I Love You” with Kiera Knightley and Helen Mirren, Nicolas Cage’s “Between Worlds” and the historical action film “Viking Destiny.” 

The spending spree comes weeks after its parent company sold the Power Rangers and other longtime Saban brands to toy giant Hasbro in a cash-stock deal worth $522 million.

TheWrap caught up with Saban Films President Bill Bromiley to discuss the gems they found in the South of France, their theatrical distribution ambitions and the increasing importance of finding films in their infancy.

Also Read: Cannes Film Market 'Healthy' as New Players Fill Streaming Giant Void

What was the game plan headed into the festival?
We targeted a lot of films earlier on, so we knew about these titles and they were things we really wanted. When we head into a market, we usually don’t go in blindly. We don’t always get them, of course, but sometimes we do. It was a good one for us.

Domestic film markets have been pretty glacial in the last year, starting at Toronto continuing through this past Sundance. What surprised you most about the Marche?
There seems to be a lack of the very big films — the ones that would typically come from a studio, and usually wouldn’t affect our business, per se. The market lacked a little bit of pizazz that it had in the past. For us, from a business point of view, we found a bunch of product. We have a handful of others we’re still pursuing.

No one could decide how they felt about the level activity — everyone said it was dead, but we wrote multiple acquisition stories every day. What’s your take?
People associate activity with the big players spending a lot of money and buying movies for big price tags. Sometimes that can be a little misleading. We didn’t have much of that in this market. There are a lot of projects out there, and we had to dig a little deeper this year. The market is very healthy on the domestic side, and obviously our sales reflect that.

Also Read: The Cannes - Oscar Connection: How Strong Will It Be This Year?

How does the sale of the “Power Rangers'” franchise to Hasbro impact you?
The Hasbro sale has nothing to do with [Saban Films], to be perfectly clear. Even though the Saban brands division is in our building and they’re colleagues of ours, it doesn’t affect our business whatsoever.

You have been distributing your films through Lionsgate. Any desire to strike out on your own?
We will continue our partnership with Lionsgate — it’s been very strong. We will increase our output this year slightly, and we want to do the same next year. We’re staring to slowly and carefully get into the theatrical business.

We bought something out of Sundance this year called ‘Lizzie,’ and we partnered with Roadside Attractions who is taking that out. And we have another title that will most likely go out traditionally. We are carefully growing our business.

And by “entering the theatrical business” you mean true co-releases, with marketing approvals and so on?
Correct.

Also Read: The Cannes - Oscar Connection: How Strong Will It Be This Year?

Do you fear the streaming giants when you bid for films?
They certainly have the pockets to do it, and they can if they want to. If Netflix or Amazon wants a movie and we want it as well, in most cases they’re going to get it — because we’re not going to spend stupid money and try to outbid them. We’re happy doing the business model the way we do it.

Is the Marche activity encouraging as we look to Toronto in the fall?
We’ve never panicked that there was going to be a lull in the availability of films. What we’ve had to do the past couple of years is get involved in projects earlier. We’re happy to do so, and we’re finding that more than 50 percent of the product we now buy is at an early stage. That’s as early as script, or in production.

Are packaging teams like Endeavor Content, CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film crucial to your long-term plans?
I think so, yes.

Also Read: Hasbro Acquires Saban Brands' Power Rangers and Other Entertainment Assets for $522 Million

You bought a majority of standalone films with high-profile names like Keanu Reeves and Nicolas Cage. Do you see Saban gravitating back to franchise IP?
You see a trend in the movies we bought in Cannes, and that trend is cash-driven, commercial films that lean domestic. We feel there’s a big need for that kind of product.

The smaller films are difficult. There’s less space to exploit them, now that DVD is a shrinking marketplace. There’s a lot less space to play with these. But the mid-range films still have a lot desire behind them and, in some cases, can be very successful. That’s our specialty, where we’re going to stick.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Cannes Film Market 'Healthy' as New Players Fill Streaming Giant Void

The Cannes – Oscar Connection: How Strong Will It Be This Year?

Asia Argento Condemns Harvey Weinstein During Cannes Awards: 'This Festival Was His Hunting Ground' (Video)

Is the Cannes Film Festival in Decline? Not to the French

www.thewrap.com | 5/21/18
[News24Wire] The Junior Springboks got down to business on Monday at a holding camp as they get ready to depart to France for the World Rugby U20 Championship, with the 28-man squad assembling at their training base in Stellenbosch to fine-tune their game for the international spectacle.
allafrica.com | 5/21/18
The head of France's business lobby in Iran said Friday he feared a mass exodus of European firms following the U.S. decision to impose new sanctions and that EU government efforts to protect their companies were unlikely to be enough.
Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson said Monday he will discuss ways to protect companies doing business with Iran at a meeting with counterparts from France and Germany on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

This article addresses the current economic situation of France. For historical information, see Economic history of France. France is the world's fifth largest and wealthiest economy. It is the second largest economy in Europe (behind its main economic partner Germany). France's economy entered the 2008-2009 recession later and left it earlier than most comparable economies, only enduring four quarters of contraction. As of September 2010, France's economy has been growing continuously since the second quarter of 2009. Between January and March 2011, France's GDP growth has been stronger than expected, at 1%, one of the best figures in Europe.


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