The risk of cancer is proven and authorities should stop people using them, says France's health watchdog.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/10/18
On the eve of #MeToo’s first anniversary, as Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court looked more certain, a group of Hollywood women came together to cope, vent — and to learn how to treat trauma.
Many survivors of sexual abuse were already on edge because of the anniversary of The New York Times story about sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein. The looming confirmation didn’t help.
“It’s been a ride and it’s a new ride all over again,” Katherine Kendall, who was one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, told TheWrap. “I have been through the wringer this week and I finally had to stop the pain and just keep telling my truth and stay on track.”
The event Thursday, was held at SAG-AFTRA’s headquarters by Women In Film, which advocates for women working in entertainment industry, and Echo, a nonprofit that trains parents and professionals in trauma and resilience. It is led by Louise Godbold, who offered what she called “mini-training on trauma and resilience.”
“Several people called me saying that they were so triggered by the Kavanaugh story that they weren’t sure they could make it,” said Godbold.
Last October, Godbold came forward with her own story of sexual misconduct by Weinstein, who has denied any nonconsensual sex with anyone.
She said that as the #MeToo movement expanded, she quickly realized the need for trauma training for survivors.
“Once the danger is over, the trauma remains in our body,” Godbold explained. “It continues to wreak havoc on our immune system and can lead to long-term health issue and mental health issues.”
The two hour-event started with a panel of #MeToo activists, including Kendall. It included tools for regulating the nervous system, which Godbold called “nervous system hacks.” One technique included singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” while rubbing one’s forehead, shoulders and palms together to create “soothing energy.”
“It doesn’t matter what you’re singing,” Godbold said. “It’s just a way to get you out of the hamster wheel of the mind.”
Godbold said the aim is to look at the impact of trauma on the body and the brain to better understand our behaviors.
“We look at what lies beneath certain behaviors that we’re apt to judge or dismiss, not realizing that trauma is the root cause,” Godbold said. “For example, we use the label ‘control freak,’ but if someone got hurt and they had no control of the situation, it makes sense that they would want to control their environment so they don’t get hurt again.”
Melissa Schuman, one of the panelists, said the last few days have been particularly hard. She said she was raped by former Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, who denies any wrongdoing.
“I think we’re all just feeling a lot,” Schuman told TheWrap. “The whole thing is incredibly triggering and I find myself disassociating a lot.”
Schuman planned to spend Friday avoiding TV and listening to “worship music.”
“I go to God,” she said. “That’s where I go to recharge.”
Caitlin Dulany, who accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in Cannes, France, in 1996, told TheWrap that the weeks leading up to the anniversary have been “intense.” Weinstein, like Kavanaugh, has denied any wrongdoing.
“My heart has been heavy,” she said. “I have felt a lot of anger towards Kavanaugh and those that support him.”
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www.thewrap.com | 10/6/18
French startup Alan is expanding beyond health insurance by offering telemedicine appointments directly from Alan . The company is partnering with Livi, Kry’s French subsidiary. While a handful of European countries already let you talk to a doctor using video calls, France’s national health system just started allowing remote appointments. If you need to renew […]
techcrunch.com | 10/3/18
A day after paying heartfelt tribute to deceased Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Jim Carrey turned his artistic talents toward more somber matters on Friday.
Much more somber matters.
Actor/artist Carrey tackled the deadly airstrike in Yemen last week that reportedly killed 40 children on a school bus, calling the incident “Our crime.”
“Forty innocent children killed on a bus in Yemen,” Carrey wrote in accompaniment of the art. “Our ally. Our missile. Our crime.”
The image itself was unquestionably grim, depicting a bus full of terrified children, helpless as a missile marked with the American flag and “USA” hurtles toward them.
According to USA Today, health officials in Yemen said 51 people, including 40 children, were killed in the strike last Thursday.
The outlet reported that the strike was launched in the northern Yemen province of Saada by a coalition led by the Saudis against the Houthi group of rebels. According to the report, the U.S., U.K. and France “provide logistical and intelligence support” to the campaign.
See Carrey’s latest work below.
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www.thewrap.com | 8/18/18
The Latest on Europe's heat wave (all times local): 12:50 p.m. France's health minister says only about 4 percent of the visits to hospital emergency rooms across the country are linked to the current heat wave, which the government considers a relatively low level.
www.foxnews.com | 8/5/18
The close friends and family of British snowboarder Ellie Soutter are still trying to process her death, a week after she disappeared in the ski resort of Les Gets, France.
Soutter – who was recently selected to represent Team GB at the 2022 Winter Olympics – was found dead, deep in the woods last Wednesday, on her 18th birthday.
“Everyone is still in shock and can’t understand why it happened,” close friend Ryan Pelluchon, 22, tells PEOPLE. “We still — as a group — find it very hard to understand. It’s just devastating really.”
Authorities have yet to announce an official cause of Soutter’s death, but her father, Tony Soutter, 53, told the BBC that the intense pressures of elite sport, coupled with his daughter’s pre-existing mental health issues, may have contributed to her ending her life. “She wanted to be the best,” Tony told the BBC on Tuesday. “She didn’t want to let anybody down.”
Now, friends are struggling to make sense of Soutter’s sudden death.
Says Pelluchon, “The last people who saw her, left her and she was in a good mood. A few of her friends went out for her birthday at midnight, and then left her in her bed. Her dad said, ‘happy birthday’, left for work and that’s the last we heard.”
Soutter’s funeral is scheduled to take place in Les Gets on Thursday, followed by a private cremation. It is expected that hundreds of mourners will attend, following the huge outpouring of emotion since her death. Last Friday, Soutter’s tight-knit group of ski and snowboard buddies also commemorated her life in their own, very touching way.
“We had a big thing planned on Friday for her birthday, but we still went to the same place and let go of about 120 lanterns in the sky for her in the mountains,” says Pelluchon — who describes her dad, Tony, as being “very strong” during the tribute.
“He is as good as he can be,” he adds. “We’ve just got to be there for him now.”
Together with Soutter’s mother, Lorraine Denman, 50, Tony Soutter has launched a new GoFundMe campaign, to “continue fundraising under Ellie’s name for young winter athletes that need financial assistance to achieve their potential and dreams – in much the same way as Ellie” did.
“The fund that her dad has put together for British future athletes is, I think, very special,” says Pelluchon. “It’s great because Ellie always struggled a tiny bit. My father owns a restaurant here and we always did some fundraisers and stuff like that, which helped her a lot. So, I think that fund’s very important.”
In the meantime Soutter’s friends are planning another personal tribute for when the winter snow arrives in Les Gets later this year.
“We’re going to do a big ride for her,” adds Pelluchon. “We’ve spoken about it already.”
“Ellie was always smiling, always wanting to do stuff — but a completely different person when she was on a snowboard. Just how determined she was to follow you on a snowboard and how determined she was in life was pretty impressive.
“She would get in the zone. The Ellie we knew snowboarding was a bit different to the Ellie we knew without the helmet. Just way more determined to do everything as well as possible.”
Pelluchon continues, “Speaking one day to such a mature and wonderful person and not being able to speak to her the next … is what hurts the most.”
people.com | 7/31/18
Health officials in the Netherlands, which borders the country, have warned travellers to pack their own condoms and that holiday romances can be risky.
www.dailymail.co.uk | 7/24/18
Dozens of people who spoke out during the #MeToo movement have signed a statement of solidarity in support of Asia Argento, calling out “internet trolls” who have targeted her since the suicide of her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain.
“Asia has now found herself on the receiving end of vicious cyberbullying and repulsive slander at the hands of internet trolls who hold her responsible for Anthony’s death,” the statement reads. “She has been accused of everything from causing her boyfriend’s suicide to trying to use her “survivor status” and the #MeToo movement to advance her career.”
After Argento told The New Yorker‘s Ronan Farrow that Weinstein had “forcibly performed oral sex on her” in 1997, Bourdain became an fierce advocate for victims of sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement.
The statement, obtained by TheWrap, was signed by 45 of #MeToo’s most visible names, including Rosanna Arquette, Zoë Brock, Terry Crews, Paz De La Huerta, Lucia Evans, Rose McGowan, Olivia Munn, Anthony Rapp, Johnathon Schaech, Mira Sorvino, Jessica Barth and Lauren Sivan.
Argento, one of the first women to come forward with her accusations of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein, was dating Bourdain when the famed chef was found unresponsive in a hotel room in France last month.
“We are here to ask those who are angry and grieving the loss of Anthony to find a healthy outlet for their pain. Asia is a survivor, just as we are, and her fame and outward show of strength does not make her any less vulnerable. Asia is not a headline — she is a human being, and she is in horrific pain,” the statement went on to say. “There has long been a traditional narrative of blaming, vilifying and martyring courageous women. We reject that narrative.”
The letter concludes by saying that, “standing up for [Argento] is standing up to any and all bullies. We implore you to be kind to each other, to believe survivors, to stand up for survivors, to encourage, support and sympathize with them.”
Read the full statement below.
On June 8, we lost a rare, great man. Anthony Bourdain was a lightning rod of cultural connectivity. He brought disparate, marginalized people together and made the unknown accessible — some of the many gifts that made Anthony such a valuable presence in our collective lives, whether we knew him or not. An unwavering supporter of women and the #MeToo movement, Bourdain’s loss was a tragedy on so many levels, to so many people who saw him as a beacon of a new way of being. We share that grief and deepest sadness for his family and those closest to him whose pain must be unimaginable.
One of the most vocal and unwavering figures in the #MeToo movement has been Asia Argento. At the center of our community, Asia has stood, her fist in the air, fighting daily not just for justice for those of us she has come to know, but for abused people the world over.
Asia has now found herself on the receiving end of vicious cyberbullying and repulsive slander at the hands of internet trolls who hold her responsible for Anthony’s death. She has been accused of everything from causing her boyfriend’s suicide to trying to use her “survivor status” and the #MeToo movement to advance her career.
There has long been a traditional narrative of blaming, vilifying and martyring courageous women. We reject that narrative. If there is one thing we know with unwavering confidence, “sexual violence victim” is not a title anyone wants attached to themselves. Being known as a sexual assault victim isn’t a badge of honor or career booster; it’s a highly difficult, sometimes traumatizing and humiliating experience. All of us who have taken the risk of coming forward — and it is truly a risk to us, our reputations, relationships and mental health — have faced harsh criticism and often outright anger and hatred online, in our respective communities and, for some, within our own families. Yet we come forward in the hope that we can change things for others and end the sexual violence and abuse that has flourished with impunity for millennia.
We are here to ask those who are angry and grieving the loss of Anthony to find a healthy outlet for their pain. Asia is a survivor, just as we are, and her fame and outward show of strength does not make her any less vulnerable. Asia is not a headline — she is a human being, and she is in horrific pain.
We are proud to stand together as silence-breakers. We are so grateful for the foresight and compassion of #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and every member of the community of survivors whose pain deserves equal attention. We are indebted to and linked with every person who has come forward to report their own experiences with sexual harassment, abuse and rape. We are proud of the courage of each and every person who has decided to speak their truth, just as we support those who do not wish to speak. We are proud of the work that is being done, but we are not finished; we have only just begun.
We understand sexual harassment and assault are global epidemics. Our request for Asia is a request for any and all survivors. Our standing up for her is standing up to any and all bullies. We implore you to be kind to each other, to believe survivors, to stand up for survivors, to encourage, support and sympathize with them.
We ask you to stand with us, as we stand with Asia.
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www.thewrap.com | 7/12/18
Health insurance startup Alan has launched a new product in France called Alan Map. It’s a dead simple way to find GPs, dentists, ophthalmologists and more around you. You first type your address and the name of a doctor or the type of doctor you’re looking for. There’s a big map front and center with […]
techcrunch.com | 7/3/18
Vanessa Paradis has a ring on it.
Johnny Depp’s former companion married film director Samuel Benchetrit in a discreet ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
This is the first marriage for the French singer and actress. Paradis and Depp’s two children — daughter Lily-Rose, 19, and son Jack, 16 — were also in attendance.
According to the French newspaper Le Parisien, the couple married in a small schoolhouse town hall in Saint-Simeon, a commune located one hour west of Paris in north-central France.
The bride, 45, carried a bouquet of pink roses while wearing a lacy cream-colored gown with an embroidered veil. Her hair was styled down, with flowers among her tresses.
The couple became engaged last November, a source tells PEOPLE, after they worked together on the film Chien, which screened this May at the Cannes Film Festival.
RELATED: Lily-Rose Depp Says ‘There Wasn’t Really Anything to Rebel Against’ Growing Up with Famous Parents
Approximately two dozen guests were invited to the ceremony, according to eyewitness reports.
Since the couple went public last fall, several locations were thought to have been on the short-list for the ceremony this summer.
Saint-Simeon, a tiny country village of less than 900, was selected for its discretion as well as the attachment Paradis has for the village. She has a country estate nearby, and until his death last year, her father owned a small restaurant in the quiet country commune.
Paradis is a superstar in France, where she began her career as a 14-year old child pop star following the international success of her single “Joe le Taxi.”
RELATED: Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis’ Son Jack Is ‘Fine and Doesn’t Have a Health Issue’: Source
She and Depp were a couple for 14 years until their 2011 breakup.
Depp, currently on tour across Europe with the Hollywood Vampires, is scheduled to perform Saturday evening in Klam, Austria.
people.com | 6/30/18
A court in Paris has halted the closure of BuzzFeed France and demanded that the company provide more information about the circumstances surrounding its decision, employees said in tweets Wednesday.
The news was reported by BuzzFeed France journalist David Perrotin, who said that the decision had come from the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris, the country’s largest court.
“BuzzFeed will comply with today’s ruling and provide the Court with additional information, which we believe will further validate our decision to reevaluate our current operations in France,” the company said in a statement. “We remain firm in our intent and committed to providing our employees with the support they need throughout this process.”
“In the French law, when people are projected to be fired for economic reasons, the employer has to provide justifications for the employee representative(s) to give an informed opinion on the project,” a BuzzFeed France employee told TheWrap.
“We did not think that the justifications were sufficient, so we asked for more. First directly to the company, then we ask a judge to suspend the process until our demands are met. He agreed with us on this and suspended the process until some documents on BF fr’s financial health are given to us. If and when they are, the process will be restarting from scratch.”
Earlier this month, TheWrap reported that BuzzFeed would close its French operation and shed at least a dozen employees. The news came as a surprise to BuzzFeed staff in the country, with many members of editorial tweeting their dismay with the decision.
“Brutal and completely unexpected decision,” tweeted BuzzFeed France journalist Stephane Jourdain at the time. “It’s very sad.”
In a statement to TheWrap at the time, the company said it was reconsidering its presence in the country.
“We are taking steps to reconsider our operation in France given the uncertain path to growth in the French market,” BuzzFeed said. “We have begun a consultation process with BuzzFeed France and will follow up when we have more information to share.”
In December, BuzzFeed laid off dozens of employees from its office in the United Kingdom, which had been plagued by faltering traffic and budget woes. Talk of an IPO this year largely tapered off as well after the company fell more than $70 million short of a $350 million revenue target for 2017.
Growth has, however, been stronger in recent months.
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www.thewrap.com | 6/27/18
In an open letter on Monday addressed to “Fellow Humans,” actress Rose McGowan urged people not to seek to blame Anthony Bourdain’s girlfriend, her friend Asia Argento, for his death by suicide last week.
“Many of these people who lost their ‘friend’ are wanting to lash out and blame. You must not sink to that level. Suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that person’s choice,” she wrote.
“Anthony was part of a ‘pull up your bootstraps and march on’ generation. The a ‘strong man doesn’t ask for help’ generation,” McGowan wrote in the letter, which she said was sent at the urging of Argento herself.
“I know before Anthony died he reached out for help, and yet he did not take the doctor’s advice. And that has led us here, to this tragedy, to this loss, to this world of hurt,” McGowan noted. “Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame. Anthony’s internal war was his war, but now she’s been left on the battlefield to take the bullets. It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony.”
Argento, who had been publicly linked to Bourdain for more than a year, had become the target of some online trolls speculating about the state of their relationship.
Hours before Bourdain’s body was found in a hotel room outside Paris, People reported, Argento had posted a now-deleted Instagram post of herself wearing a t-shirt that read “F— Everyone” with the caption “You know who you are.”
McGowan said that Bourdain and Argento “had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on. Asia is a free bird, and so was Anthony.”
McGowan also urged fans to focus on the unique challenges of depression as a mental illness. “Anthony was open with his demons, he even wrote a book about them,” she wrote. “In the beginning of their relationship, Anthony told a mutual friend, ‘He’s never met anyone who wanted to die more than him.'”
She added that Argento herself shared some of the same mental-health issues. “Through a lot of this last year, Asia did want the pain to stop,” she wrote. “But here’s the thing, over their time together, thankfully, she did the work to get help, so she could stay alive and live another day for her and her children.
“Anthony’s depression didn’t let him, he put down his armor, and that was very much his choice,” she wrote. “His decision, not hers. His depression won.”
Read her full letter here:
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www.thewrap.com | 6/11/18
A recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation in the UK found that the NHS lags significantly behind health services in European countries like Germany and France
www.dailymail.co.uk | 6/7/18
A lot can change in a year. Just ask Harvey Weinstein.
One year ago to the day that he was arraigned on three felony charges of rape and a criminal sex act, Weinstein and his then-wife, Georgina Chapman, dressed to the nines for the amfAR Gala Cannes 2017 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, France.
Weinstein had been a fixture at the annual charity benefit for years, often appearing onstage with his stable of movie stars to auction off items to support the charity’s work on behalf of AIDS research.
The May 25, 2017 black-tie gala raised $20 million and featured performances by Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, DNCE and Diana Ross.
Weinstein was a no-show at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for the first time in decades. He is under a cloud of scandal since the wave of public accusations of sexual misconduct over the course of decades.
Within weeks of the first reports by the New York Times and New Yorker last October, more than 80 women came forward to accuse the indie mogul of improprieties ranging from harassment to rape. Weinstein was fired from the film and TV studio he founded, The Weinstein Company, and expelled from the academies behind the Oscars, the Emmys and the BAFTAs.
Chapman also filed for divorce, eventually winning primary custody of the couple’s two young children.
Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sex.
On Friday, he pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges, for which he faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Weinstein’s role with amfAR, a charity co-founded by the late Elizabeth Taylor in 1983, has also come under suspicion in the last year following decades of helping to wrangle celebrities for the event.
Last November, the Times reported that federal prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation into potential fraud from the auction at the 2015 edition of the Cannes amfAR gala. Prosecutors are looking into $600,000 from the amfAR event that went to the nonprofit theater that produced his Broadway-bound musical, “Finding Neverland.”
The matter remains under investigation, though no charges have been filed.
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www.thewrap.com | 5/25/18
Following the sudden death of Swedish DJ and producer Avicii on Friday, two post-mortem examinations showed “no criminal suspicion,” according to a police source with Oman’s Royal Police.
“Two autopsies were carried out, one yesterday and one today and we absolutely confirmed that there is no criminal suspicion in the death,” the police told Agence France-Presse.
A spokesperson for the late DJ has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
“We have all the information and details regarding the death and this incident,” the source said, adding that the police would not be making any public statements related to the case.
Tim Bergling, also known by his stage name Avicii, died on Friday at the age of 28 in Oman.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his rep Diana Baron said in a statement. “He was found dead in Muscat, Oman, this Friday afternoon local time, April 20. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”
Also Read: Avicii, Swedish DJ, Dies at 28
In 2016, the musician announced that he would retire from live performances due to health issues, citing a need “to make a change that I’d been struggling with for a while.”
Avicii’s hits include “Wake Me Up,” “Hey Brother,” “Levels,” “I Could Be the One,” “Without You,” “My Feelings for You” and “Fade Into Darkness.”
He released two studio albums — one in 2013 and one in 2016. Avicii was ranked third on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs in 2012 and 2013 and was nominated twice for a Grammy. In a statement on his website last year, the musician said he had begun work on another release.
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www.thewrap.com | 4/21/18
Karl Schmid, an on-camera reporter for ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate, came out as HIV positive on Friday night in a powerful Facebook post about stigma and acceptance.
The 37-year-old Australian import covers human interest stories and Hollywood on ABC7, reporting from events like the Academy Awards and the annual Vanity Fair Oscar party. After a decade living with HIV, Schmid said he came forward despite numerous industry peers urging him to stay quiet.
“For 10 years I’ve struggled with ‘do I or don’t I?’ For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, ‘don’t! It’ll ruin you,”’ wrote Schmid.
“But here’s the thing. I’m me. I’m just like you. I have a big heart and I want to be loved and accepted. I may be on TV from time to time, but at the end of the day I’m just an average guy who wants want we all want. To be accepted and loved by our friends and family and to be encouraged by our peers,” he said.
The post tagged charity T-shirt project The AIDS Memorial, which shares stories of “stories of love, loss and remembrance” of those affected by the disease.
“Labels are things that come and go but your dignity and who you are is what defines you. I know who I am, I know what I stand for and while in the past I may not have always had clarity, I do now. Love me or hate me, that’s up to you. But, for anyone who has ever doubted themselves because of those scary three letters and one symbol, let me tell you this, you are somebody who matters,” he concluded.
While HIV visibility is still scarce in entertainment, filmmakers have gone back to the roots of the epidemic to great success in recent movies. Robin Campillo’s triumphant “BPM,” about early AIDS activists in Paris in the 1980s, won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year and took Best Picture at the César Awards, France’s Oscars.
Weeks ago at SXSW, Yen Tan’s “1985” captivated with its narrative about a gay, closeted, HIV-positive man (Cory Michael Smith) going home for Christmas for what is likely the last time.
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www.thewrap.com | 3/24/18
Après des années d’austérité, le National Health Service, sous énorme pression, paie des médecins français pour réaliser certaines interventions chirurgicales à sa place.
www.nytimes.com | 3/17/18
After years of austerity, the National Health Service is under enormous strain, so it is paying French doctors to perform some operations on its behalf.
www.nytimes.com | 3/17/18
Robin Campillo’s “120 BPM (Battements Par Minute),” which was released in the United States as “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” has been named the best film of 2017 at the Cesar Awards, France’s version of the Oscars.
The drama set among AIDS activists in Paris in the 1980s and 1990s also won awards for actors Antoine Reinartz and Nahuel Perez Biscayart and for its screenplay, original score and film editing.
The film was France’s official submission into the Oscars foreign-language race, but it did not make the nine-film shortlist.
Other films to win multiple awards at the Cesars, which were held on Friday in Paris, include Hubert Charuel’s directorial debut, “Bloody Milk,” which won for actors Swann Arlaud and Sara Girardeau and was named Best First Film; and director Albert Dupontel’s period piece “See You Up There,” which won for direction, adapted screenplay, cinematography and production design.
Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Loveless,” an Oscar nominee in the foreign-language category, won the Cesar for best foreign film.
The complete list of Cesar Awards winners:
Best Film: “120 BPM (Battements par Minute)”
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www.thewrap.com | 3/3/18
Robin Campillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” a bold group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists at ACT UP in the early 1990s, scooped six Cesar Awards, including best film, original script, male newcomer, supporting actor and music at tonight’s ceremony which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. […]
variety.com | 3/3/18
The top figure skating pair teams in the world came together in PyeongChang on Tuesday night for the 2018 Olympic Games’ pairs short program.
Going into the event, all eyes were on Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, the sole U.S. pair team at the Olympics.
The two-time U.S. national champions had already picked up a bronze medal in the team event, for which they skated both the short and long programs. But for Tuesday’s short program, the couple — who began skating together in 2012 and married in June 2016 — was considered a bit of an underdog team. They’d only placed as high as seventh at world champions, and fifth at their Grand Prix assignments in Japan and the U.S.
The skate ended with China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong claiming the top spot with a score of 82.39, followed by OAR/Russia’s Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov’s 81.68, and Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford’s 76.82.
Although it wasn’t their strongest skate, scoring only a 65.55, the Knierim’s celebrated the opportunity to be on Olympic ice on Valentine’s Day —something they also celebrated on social media prior to their skate.
“We were soaking it in,” Alexa told NBC after their skate. “We promised we would be present every single second.
Chris also said he whispered “great job and Happy Valentine’s Day” to her after their short program.
Her response? “I told him the only thing that would top this is having a child on Valentine’s Day!”
The pair also have a dramatic personal story, with Alexa Scimeca Knierim overcoming a rare and potentially deadly gastrointestinal condition less than two years ago.
“This competition’s very meaningful for us,” Scimeca Knierim, 26, told PEOPLE earlier this week. “We’ve kind of been lacking the joy and lightheartedness of life for about two years now, from all the struggles we’ve been through, so being here together, Chris and I are kind of just enjoying it.”
She credits her faith for getting her through, and when asked whether such a competition feels like a celebration, having made it through the lows of Alexa’s health struggles, the couple is quick to reply yes. “One-hundred percent,” Chris, 30, told PEOPLE.
The event also featured the debut of North Korean skaters Ryom Tae-ok, 19, and Kim Ju-sik, 25.
But the ones to beat were Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, of Canada. Like most competitors on Tuesday, the pair had a sea of wins under their belt — including the 2015 and 2016 world champions, seven Canadian national championship titles, victories at the Autumn Classic and Skate Canada, and bronze medals at Skate America and the Grand Prix Final.
Most importantly, Duhamel (who made headlines for rescuing a dog headed to the South Korean meat trade) and Radford already struck gold in PyeongChang — winning the short and long programs for Canada in the team event and topping the competition in the free skate.
Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics
Still, Duhamel and Radford had stiff competition coming their way. Mainly, there was Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, who won the Grand Prix Final in December, as well as gold in the U.S. and silver in Canada.
Savchenko is a seasoned Olympic pro, with two bronze medals from past pairings over her four previous Olympic games. Her pairing with Masson put her at the front of the pack this time around — though she and Masson chose to skate to last season’s short program Tuesday night, telling reporters it felt more comfortable to them.
Behind them were OAR/Russia’s pair Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov and China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong — the two teams who were also on the podium at December’s Grand Prix Final.
Tarasova and Morozov are two-time European Championships gold medalists and the reigning Russian national champions. Earlier at the Olympics, they earned a silver medal for their contribution to the team event’s short program. They also had history on their side, as Russian pairs have won gold in every Olympic Games from 1964 to 2006.
PEOPLE‘s special issue The Best of Olympic Figure Skating is available now in the Time Inc. store, on Amazon, and wherever magazines are sold.
Wenjing and Cong perhaps had the most to prove on Tuesday, having missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics when they weren’t selected to the team. Since then, Sui underwent surgeries on both of her feet — operations that forced her to learn how to walk and skate again. She came back alongside Wenjing with a vengeance. They won gold at the 2017 Shanghai Trophy, took silver medals at the Grand Prix final, and have two Worlds silver medals on their trophy case. They are the reigning world champions.
And then there is France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres, who competed in their second Olympics together. Though they nearly spoiled a Russian podium sweet at the European Championships (missing the bronze by 0.01 points), the duo had been fighting hard through their Olympic season. They scored a victory at the Autumn Classic, and nabbed silver and bronze in the Canada and France Grand Prix series.
But it’s been a tough journey in PyeongChang so far. James and Cipres failed to advance to the free skate earlier and finished sixth in the team event for France. At the Sochi Olympics, they placed tenth.
RELATED VIDEO: The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Is on… and It’s Really, Really Cold!
Now that a victor has been selected, the pairs will next take on the free skate competition, set for Wednesday.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.
people.com | 2/14/18
Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s four-day Scandinavian royal tour is coming to a close!
On the final day of the tour on Friday, the royal couple learned about Norwegian pop culture when they visited with some of the country’s most popular teen stars from the hit drama series, Skam.
Will and Kate traveled to Hartvig Nissen School, which was where the series filmed, and were joined by Prince Haakon and Princess Mertens-Marit on Norway. Each season of this popular show, which ended after its fourth season in 2017, focused on topics ranging from relationship difficulties, identity, eating disorders, sexual assault, homosexuality and mental health issues.
The royals met students to learn about the effect Skam had on bringing challenges teenagers face out into the open, and the role played by social media.
Kate wore a purple Dolce and Gabbana coat when she arrived, and chatted with students as she made her way inside. During one exchange, Kate talked with a female student about science classes she took in school before heading to university.
“I went to a school called Marlborough College and then onto university which is where I met William,” she said. “St. Andrews University in Scotland. Miles away, freezing cold. But I can’t complain about that being here. It’s much colder here.”
She also spoke with 19-year-old Shaun Ondo and his friend Alfred Strande, 18. “I told her that her coat was burgundy and she said I had very good English,” Ondo says. “It was nice to see them in real life and nice to see they are such friendly people.”
Strands adds, “We don’t know much about the royal people from England. It was good that they took the time to say hello and shake hands.”
Inside the school, the two royal couples met with actors in Skam and discussed how the show had changed perceptions of young people’s problems.
Tarjei Sandvik Moe, who plays a character who comes out as gay and also has a mother suffering from mental problems, told William: “People from China, South Korea, France and Spain come to visit this school.”
William, who was taking part in a group discussion with students and actors accompanied by Princess Mette-Marit, asked them, “Does it feel that a lot of young people are afraid of the issues, and what you’ve done is brought it to life?”
Tarjei replied: “The issues are hard for people to take. We live in a society where people expect you to deal with problems on your own.”
Meanwhile, Kate, who took part in another discussion with Prince Haakon, asked how the series — which was broadcast in real time, with school scenes streamed during the day, and party scenes released at night — had changed the school.
The students told her it had had a big effect on the school, with teachers picking up on the slang used by pupils in the show and incorporating it into Norwegian language lessons.
Prince Haakon added that the series, which was originally aimed at the teenage audience, had changed the way the different generations interacted with each other, with parents and teachers watching the show, sometimes with their children.
Later, Will and Kate further cemented their burgeoning friendship with Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit when they were invited for lunch at the couple’s official home, Skaugum. The royal couples hadn’t met before William and Kate stepped off their plane in snowy Oslo on Thursday.
But by the afternoon, when they strolled through the sculpture park and visited some young entrepreneurs, it was clear they were getting along royally.
Later on Friday, they will take a short tour of the Holmenkollen ski museum before ascending to the top of ski jump to talk with and observe junior ski jumpers from Norway’s national team.
Kate and William will treasure their first official visit to the Scandinavian country. In his speech at a dinner at the Royal Palace on Thursday, William warmly praised their hosts.
“Thousands of people cross the North Sea in each direction every year,” he said. “Friendship is the hallmark of what prompts them to make this journey. Catherine and I are delighted that, now, we too have made that journey; we too have experienced the warmth of that friendship on this very special visit.”
people.com | 2/2/18
Selected by France for this year’s foreign language Academy Award consideration, the French-language, early AIDS-era depiction of ACT UP-Paris, “Beats Per Minute” is the best film opening in Boston today.
feedproxy.google.com | 2/2/18
Robin Campillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” Albert Dupontel’s “Au revoir là-haut,” Mathieu Amalric’s “Barbara,” and Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s “C’est la Vie” lead the nominations for the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars. “BPM,” a sprawling and intense drama following French AIDS activists in 1980s Paris, will vie for a record 13 Cesar […]
variety.com | 1/31/18
UPDATE, writethru : France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma unveiled its nominations for the César Awards this morning in Paris. The races for the country’s Oscar equivalent are led by Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner BPM (120 Battements Par Minute ) and Albert Dupontel’s drama Au Revoir Là-Haut with 13 each. The Robin Campillo -directed AIDS activist drama BPM has been warmly embraced by critics, although it failed to score a berth on the Best Foreign Language Film…
deadline.com | 1/31/18
James (Jon) Castle - 7 December 1950 to 12 January 2018
Over four decades Captain Jon Castle navigated Greenpeace ships by the twin stars of ‘right and wrong’, defending the environment and promoting peace. Greenpeace chronicler, Rex Weyler, recounts a few of the stories that made up an extraordinary life.
Captain Jon Castle onboard the MV Sirius, 1 May 1996
James (Jon) Castle first opened his eyes virtually at sea. He was born 7 December 1950 in Cobo Bay on the Channel Island of Guernsey, UK. He grew up in a house known locally as Casa del Mare, the closest house on the island to the sea, the second son of Robert Breedlove Castle and Mary Constance Castle.
Young Jon Castle loved the sea and boats. He worked on De Ile de Serk, a cargo boat that supplied nearby Sark island, and he studied at the University of Southampton to become an officer in the Merchant Navy.
Jon became a beloved skipper of Greenpeace ships. He sailed on many campaigns and famously skippered two ships during Greenpeace’s action against Shell’s North Sea oil platform, Brent Spar. During his activist career, Jon spelt his name as "Castel" to avoid unwanted attention on his family.Right and wrong
Jon had two personal obsessions: he loved books and world knowledge and was extremely well-read. He also loved sacred sites and spent personal holidays walking to stone circles, standing stones, and holy wells.
As a young man, Jon became acquainted with the Quaker tradition, drawn by their dedication to peace, civil rights, and direct social action. In 1977, when Greenpeace purchased their first ship - the Aberdeen trawler renamed, the Rainbow Warrior - Jon signed on as first mate, working with skipper Peter Bouquet and activists Susi Newborn, Denise Bell and Pete Wilkinson.
In 1978, Wilkinson and Castle learned of the British government dumping radioactive waste at sea in the deep ocean trench off the coast of Spain in the Sea of Biscay. In July, the Rainbow Warrior followed the British ship, Gem, south from the English coast, carrying a load of toxic, radioactive waste barrels. The now-famous confrontation during which the Gem crew dropped barrels onto a Greenpeace inflatable boat, ultimately changed maritime law and initiated a ban on toxic dumping at sea.
After being arrested by Spanish authorities, Castle and Bouquet staged a dramatic escape from La Coru?a harbour at night, without running lights, and returned the Greenpeace ship to action. Crew member Simone Hollander recalls, as the ship entered Dublin harbour in 1978, Jon cheerfully insisting that the entire crew help clean the ship's bilges before going ashore, an action that not only built camaraderie among the crew, but showed a mariner's respect for the ship itself. In 1979, they brought the ship to Amsterdam and participated in the first Greenpeace International meeting.
In 1980 Castle and the Rainbow Warrior crew confronted Norwegian and Spanish whaling ships, were again arrested by Spanish authorities, and brought into custody in the El Ferrol naval base.
The Rainbow Warrior remained in custody for five months, as the Spanish government demanded 10 million pesetas to compensate the whaling company. On the night of November 8, 1980, the Rainbow Warrior, with Castle at the helm, quietly escaped the naval base, through the North Atlantic, and into port in Jersey.
In 1995, Castle skippered the MV Greenpeace during the campaign against French nuclear testing in the Pacific and led a flotilla into New Zealand to replace the original Rainbow Warrior that French agents bombed in Auckland in 1985.
Over the years, Castle became legendary for his maritime skills, courage, compassion, commitment, and for his incorruptible integrity. "Environmentalism: That does not mean a lot to me," he once said, "I am here because of what is right and wrong. Those words are good enough for me."Brent Spar Action at Brent Spar Oil Rig in the North Sea, 16 June 1995
One of the most successful Greenpeace campaigns of all time began in the summer of 1995 when Shell Oil announced a plan to dump a floating oil storage tank, containing toxic petroleum residue, into the North Atlantic. Castle signed on as skipper of the Greenpeace vessel Moby Dick, out of Lerwick, Scotland. A month later, on 30 April 1995, Castle and other activists occupied the Brent Spar and called for a boycott of Shell service stations.
When Shell security and British police sprayed the protesters with water cannons, images flooded across world media, demonstrations broke out across Europe, and on May 15, at the G7 summit, German chancellor Helmut Kohl publicly protested to British Prime Minister John Major. In June, 11 nations, at the Oslo and Paris Commission meetings, called for a moratorium on sea disposal of offshore installations.
After three weeks, British police managed to evict Castle and the other occupiers and held them briefly in an Aberdeen jail. When Shell and the British government defied public sentiment and began towing the Spar to the disposal site, consumers boycotted Shell stations across Europe. Once released, Castle took charge of the chartered Greenpeace vessel Altair and continued to pursue the Brent Spar towards the dumping ground. Castle called on the master of another Greenpeace ship, fitted with a helideck, to alter course and rendezvous with him. Using a helicopter, protesters re-occupied the Spar and cut the wires to the detonators of scuppering charges.
One of the occupiers, young recruit Eric Heijselaar, recalls: "One of the first people I met as I climbed on board was a red-haired giant of a man grinning broadly at us. My first thought was that he was a deckhand, or maybe the bosun. So I asked if he knew whether a cabin had been assigned to me yet. He gave me a lovely warm smile, and reassured me that, yes, a cabin had been arranged. At dinner I found out that he was Jon Castle, not a deckhand, not the bosun, but the captain. And what a captain!"
Again, British naval police evicted the occupiers, but Castle and the crew kept up pursuit. Then the Spar suddenly altered course, heading towards Norway. Shell had given up. The company announced that Brent Spar would be cleaned out and used as a foundation for a new ferry terminal. Three years later, in 1998, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) passed a ban on dumping oil installations into the North Sea.
"There was no question among the crew who had made this possible, who had caused this to happen," Heijselaar recalls. "It was Jon Castle. His quiet enthusiasm and the trust he put into people made this crew one of the best I ever saw. He always knew exactly what he wanted out of a campaign, how to gain momentum, and he always found the right words to explain his philosophies. He was that rare combination, both a mechanic and a mystic. And above all he was a very loving, kind human being."Moruroa
After the Brent Spar campaign, Castle returned to the South Pacific on the Rainbow Warrior II, to obstruct a proposed French nuclear test in the Moruroa atoll. Expecting the French to occupy their ship, Castle and engineer, Luis Manuel Pinto da Costa, rigged the steering mechanism to be controlled from the crow's-nest. When French commandos boarded the ship, Castle stationed himself in the crow's-nest, cut away the access ladder and greased the mast so that the raiders would have difficulty arresting him.
Eventually, the commandos cut a hole into the engine-room and severed cables controlling the engine, radio, and steering mechanism, making Castle's remote control system worthless. They towed the Rainbow Warrior II to the island of Hao, as three other protest vessels arrived.
Three thousand demonstrators gathered in the French port of Papeete, demanding that France abandon the tests. Oscar Temaru - leader of Tavini Huiraatira, an anti-nuclear, pro-independence party - who had been aboard the Rainbow Warrior II when it was raided, welcomed anti-testing supporters from Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Philippines, and American Samoa. Eventually, France ended their tests, and atmospheric nuclear testing in the world's oceans stopped once and for all.“Moral courage”
Through these extraordinary missions, Jon Castle advocated "self-reflection" not only for individual activists, but for the organisation that he loved. Activists, Castle maintained, required "moral courage." He cautioned, "Don't seek approval. Someone has to be way out in front... illuminating territory in advance of the main body of thought."
He opposed "corporatism" in activist organisation and urged Greenpeace to avoid becoming "over-centralised or compartmentalised." He felt that activist decisions should emerge from the actions themselves, not in an office. We can't fight industrialism with "money, numbers, and high-tech alone," he once wrote in a personal manifesto. Organisations have to avoid traps of "self-perpetuation" and focus on the job "upsetting powerful forces, taking on multinationals and the military-industrial complex."
He recalled that Greenpeace had become popular "because a gut message came through to the thirsty hearts of poor suffering people ... feeling the destruction around them." Activists, Castle felt, required "freedom of expression, spontaneity [and] an integrated lifestyle." An activist organisation should foster a "feeling of community" and exhibit "moral courage." Castle felt that social change activists had to "question the materialistic, consumerist lifestyle that drives energy overuse, the increasingly inequitable world economic tyranny that creates poverty and drives environmental degradation," and must maintain "honour, courage and the creative edge."Well loved hero
Susi Newborn, who was there to welcome Jon aboard the Rainbow Warrior way back in 1977, and who gave the ship its name, wrote about her friend with whom she felt "welded at the heart: He was a Buddhist and a vegetarian and had an earring in his ear. He liked poetry and classical music and could be very dark, but also very funny. Once, I cut his hair as he downed a bottle or two of rum reciting The Second Coming by Yeats."
Newborn recalls Castle insisting that women steer the ships in and out of port because, "they got it right, were naturals." She recalls a night at sea, Castle "lashed to the wheel facing one of the biggest storms of last century head on. I was flung about my cabin like a rag doll until I passed out. We never talked about the storm, as if too scared to summon up the behemoth we had encountered. A small handwritten note pinned somewhere in the mess, the sole acknowledgment of a skipper to his six-person crew: ‘Thank You.’” Others remember Castle as the Greenpeace captain that could regularly be found in the galley doing kitchen duty.
In 2008, with the small yacht Musichana, Castle and Pete Bouquet staged a two-man invasion of Diego Garcia island to protest the American bomber base there and the UK's refusal to allow evicted Chagos Islanders to return to their homes. They anchored in the lagoon and radioed the British Indian Ocean Territories officials on the island to tell them they and the US Air Force were acting in breach of international law and United Nations resolutions. When arrested, Castle politely lectured his captors on their immoral and illegal conduct.
In one of his final actions, as he battled with his failing health, Castle helped friends in Scotland operate a soup kitchen, quietly prepping food and washing up behind the scenes.
Upon hearing of his passing, Greenpeace ships around the world - the Arctic Sunrise, the Esperanza, and the Rainbow Warrior - flew their flags at half mast.
Jon is fondly remembered by his brother David, ex-wife Caroline, their son, Morgan Castle, born in 1982, and their daughter, Eowyn Castle, born in 1984. Morgan has a daughter of eight months Flora, and and Eowyn has a daughter, Rose, who is 2.
feedproxy.google.com | 1/26/18
Google announced today that it's expanding its AI research efforts, setting up a new research team in France that will work with the country's AI research community on issues ranging from health to the environment. Google says the team's work will be...
www.engadget.com | 1/22/18
The year 2018 represents a tipping point for the Internet and its governance. Internet governance risks being consumed by inertia. Policy decisions are needed if we want to prevent the Internet from fragmenting into numerous national and commercial Internet(s).
Geopolitical shifts, in particular, will affect how the Internet is governed. The Internet is made vulnerable by the fragmentation of global society, which is likely to accelerate in response to the ongoing crisis of multilateralism. If this crisis leads to further restrictions in the movement of people, capital, and goods across national borders, the same is likely to happen with the digital economy, including the cross-border flow of data and services.
Filling policy gaps
The first sign of a crisis in multilateralism in digital policy was the failure of the 5th UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) to reach consensus on a final report. Towards the end of 2017, the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to agree on any mandate for e-commerce negotiations during the WTO Ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires.
The gaps in global rules are increasingly being filled by bilateral and regional arrangements, in particular on cybersecurity and e-commerce. Plurilateral digital trade arrangements are being considered as an alternative to the shortcomings of the WTO e-commerce negotiations.
In 2018, national legislation and courts will have a major impact on the global Internet. The main regulation with global impact will be the entry into force of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation on 25 May, which will determine how data is governed beyond the shores of Europe.
Using divergences to reach convergences
There are a few elements on which to build constructive solutions and some optimism.
First, interests in digital policy are now more clearly defined than a few years ago, when digital ideologies focused only on blue-sky thinking and an 'unstoppable march into a bright digital future'. Governments need to deliver prosperity, stability, and security as part of their social contracts with citizens. The industry needs to make a profit, whether it is by selling services online or by monetizing data. Citizens have a strong interest in having their dignity and core human rights protected online as they should be offline. A common thread binds them all: actors have a strong interest in preserving a safe, stable, and unified Internet.
A clear delineation of the interests of all actors, a healthy interdependence, and complementarity between those actors is a good basis for negotiations, compromise, and ideally, consensus, on how the Internet should further develop as a technological enabler of a stable and prosperous society.
Secondly, the diversity of the Internet is reflected in the diversity of interests and, ultimately, negotiating positions in digital geo-politics. While the USA, China, and Russia disagreed on the future of cybersecurity regulation within the UN GGE, they did agree about the need for digital commerce regulation in the WTO. All three countries are part of the WTO plurilateral negotiations on digital commerce. This variable geometry in the positions of the main actors in digital policy could create more space for potential trade-offs and compromise.
The 2018 forecast of the 10 main digital policy developments is set against this broad backdrop that makes progress and retreat equally possible. It draws on continuous monitoring of digital policy carried out through the GIP Digital Watch observatory and further discussed during the GIP's monthly briefings.
For a more in-depth analysis, read the full article.
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1. GDPR: Data in the centre of digital politics – Data will dominate digital policy in 2018. Entering into effect on 25 May, the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will reshape the way companies, and institutions handle data in Europe and beyond. Its main impact will be on the Internet industry's business model, which is based on data monetization. More broadly, data will also move to a higher place on the agendas of international organizations dealing with health, humanitarian, and development issues, among others.
2. Cybersecurity geopolitics: The search for new governance mechanisms – 2017 ended with increasing cybersecurity risks and a lack of multilateral solutions to deal with them after the failure of the UN GGE. In 2018, the search for new policy mechanisms will intensify. The following solutions are being considered: a 6th UN GGE with a specific mandate, a UN Open-ended Working Group, a Conference on Disarmament, a Committee on the Peaceful Uses of ICT, or an Expert Group on International Telecommunication Regulation.
3. Digital trade and the Internet economy – The growth of e-commerce worldwide has not been matched with the development of policy frameworks. In the aftermath of the failure of the WTO Ministerial Conference to initiate e-commerce negotiations, some countries will develop plurilateral regimes. One of the main challenges will be to delineate core trade from other digital policy issues that affect trade, such as cybersecurity and data protection. The Internet economy will also be impacted by data protection, taxation, and labor regulations worldwide.
4. Courts: Active maker of digital rules – In the search for solutions to their digital problems, Internet users and organizations will increasingly refer to courts. Judges could become de facto rule-makers in the field of digital policy, as was the case with the right to be forgotten. The CJEU ruled that Uber is a transportation (not information) company with far-reaching consequences for Uber and the sharing economy. Courts in Canada, Australia, Austria, France, and other countries are following this trend in shaping global digital policy rules.
5. Artificial intelligence: Between philosophical considerations and practical applications – Artificial intelligence (AI) features highly in public debates, with a wide range of views put forward, from being 'the best or worst thing to ever happen to humanity'. This debate involving entrepreneurs, philosophers, politicians, and the general public will continue in 2018. On a digital policy level, AI will be addressed in the interplay with big data and the IoT. Other questions will include the automation and future of jobs, robot tax, privacy protection, and regulation of the use of lethal autonomous weapons.
6. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: Between boom and bust – The fast growth of cryptocurrencies opened many regulatory questions. Is this growth inflating a bubble that may soon burst? What should be the role of financial regulators in preventing a potential bust? In 2018, governments will focus on initial coin offerings and the risk of misusing cryptocurrencies for money laundering, tax avoidance, and illegal financial transactions.
7. Content policy: Fake news and violent extremism online – 'Fake news' was the word of the year in 2017. It will remain high on policy agendas in 2018 together with other content policy issues. France would like to introduce a new law against fake news in election time. Other countries are considering similar proposals. The main criticism is that fake news regulations may open possibilities for censorship and reduce freedom of expression. Researchers in civil society advise that a regulatory approach should be used only as an exception, while the focus should be on building a digital culture and critical thinking among citizens.
8. Net neutrality: Global impact of new US regulation – The US decision to end net neutrality triggered debate in December which spilled over to the new year. The main issues are how net neutrality will be protected in the USA, and since content transits mostly through the USA, and whether this will affect other countries worldwide. Net neutrality and zero rating will also remain high on agendas in some developing countries, while platform or data neutrality may move higher.
9. Encryption: More pressure on backdoor access – In 2018, governments worldwide will continue to put legal and policy pressure on Internet companies to provide backdoor access to users' data, or reduce levels of encryption. Users' data is the Internet companies' main commodity, and losing users' trust could endanger their business model. They will try to find a predictable regulatory framework for sharing data with law enforcement agencies, which would shield them from political and ad hoc pressure by governments.
10. ICANN: Online identities, jurisdiction, and governance – ICANN is likely to remain outside the policy limelight in 2018. Two issues that may resurface are related to broader online identities and jurisdiction. In a time when politics focuses on identities and symbolism, online identity may resurface as a major political issue. In particular, it could happen around the question of .amazon. While it is unlikely that there will be further impactful discussions or decisions on the US jurisdiction of ICANN, we might see more focused debate on the topic of 'limited, partial, relative or tailored immunity for ICANN'.
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Based on the original article, A tipping point for the Internet: 10 predictions for 2018, published on 11 January 2018. Read the full article.
Written by Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation & Head of Geneva Internet Platform
www.circleid.com | 1/13/18
It would be easy to miss just how commitedly Sally Potter’s first film in five years operates as trenchant political satire, because that’s an incomplete definition for what she’s achieved. “The Party” is foremost a brilliant clockwork farce, brimming with wit and bile, the way Molière would do it, or Edward Albee. Featuring a veteran cast in top form and running just 71 minutes, this post-Brexit chamber piece hits like a fast jab to the face — one that bruises and draws blood.
It’s probably possible (especially for an American viewer) to coast through this film on its comedic set-ups and payoffs alone. The dialogue bristles like the iron spikes inside a medieval torture device, while Potter maneuvers her starry ensemble through a series of riotous interpersonal explosions with a born farceur’s callous glee.
“The Party” of the title is nominally a celebration hosted by and for Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas), a career politician who’s just been selected “shadow minister of health” by an unnamed and seemingly permanently out-of-power political sect. We know something’s darkly wrong from the plot proper’s first shot, which is of Janet’s political mastermind and husband Bill — an aging drunkard played by Timothy Spall with a ghastly glaze of horror in his eyes — fumbling for the needle on an audiophile turntable.
The guests arrive quickly, brandishing bitter bon mots like longswords. April (Patricia Clarkson) is Janet’s old friend and unoffical advisor, a bluntspoken “truth teller” whose deadpan brutishness always seems to be stifling a scream. Her trippy boyfriend Gottfried (Bruno Ganz) chants bromides like mantras. (April’s putdown likening Gottfried’s aromatherapist belief system to the Nazis might be this hilarious movie’s biggest laugh.)
Jinny (Emily Mortimer) rushes in with life-altering news for her aging partner Martha (Cherry Jones): Jinny’s in vitro-fertilization treatments have yielded a bumper harvest of male embryos, in triplicate. Meanwhile, the “wanker banker” Tom (Cillian Murphy) carries a gun beneath his jacket, plus apologies that his wife Marianne is running late. They will wait for her to arrive, the way Vladimir and Estragon once waited for Godot.
All four couples are enmeshed in a hidden rondelay of betrayals past and present, and as they tear at each other as if pulling off scabs, Potter skewers them like a social vivisectionist. The collective is a grim microcosm of the Obama-era Atlantic alliance: vaguely leftist Americans and Brits, plus one out-of-place German. Janet is totemically New Labor; Bill a Christopher Hitchens-esque secular humanist declaiming socialistic cant while skeletons dance in his eyes.
Everyone stands for something, until their assumptions get challenged or they feel a threat. Then the “bare poor forked animal” Shakespeare wrote about writhes to the surface, spitting blood through its fangs almost literally; in an early tip off, Bill looks up at the glass door leading to the garden and sees a trembling fox.
In the era of Brexit and alt-right internationalism, Potter bypasses the obvious targets for subtler ones. Forget Trumpism and Farage-ism: the dithering of the international liberal elite is the object of her unrelenting ire. Like Jean Renoir, who presciently anatomized pre-Vichy France in his deathless “Rules of the Game,” Potter takes aim at the self absorption of the leadership class, the ones who were supposed to save us all from the armies of the night.
Renoir lived to see French democracy crushed under the boot-heel of Adolph Hitler. Things in Britain and America haven’t gone quite that far. But a movie that begins with a character offhandedly stating “Democracy is over” and ends with a bloodstained caress and the words “How did we end up like this?” is clearly sounding an alarm.
For all its brittle hilarity, Potter has shot her film in black and white. In context, it plays as an avatar of artistic seriousness. Or a warning with implications worth heeding.
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www.thewrap.com | 1/8/18
JERUSALEM — Two Palestinians were killed in renewed clashes with Israeli forces, Gaza's Health Ministry said Friday, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged France and Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts amid continued fallout over President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The fresh violence came a day after the U.N. General Assembly resolution denouncing President Donald Trump's decision.
feedproxy.google.com | 12/22/17
[The Conversation Africa] Most HIV-positive people in France under treatment take a daily dose of antiviral drugs for life. However, a major trial is currently underway that may confirm that patients could omit several days of treatment a week without risk to their health.
allafrica.com | 12/21/17
France, like other countries in Europe, has a system of universal health care largely financed by government through a system of national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "best overall health care" in the world. In 2005, France spent 11.2% of GDP on health care, or US$3,926 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the US. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government. Most general physicians are in private practice but draw their income from the publicly funded insurance funds. These funds, unlike their German counterparts, have never gained management responsibility. Instead the government has taken responsibility for the financial and operational management of health insurance (by setting premium levels related to income and determining the prices of goods and services refunded). It generally refunds patients 70% of most health care costs, and 100% in case of costly or long-term ailments. Supplemental coverage may be bought from private insurers, most of them nonprofit, mutual insurers. Until recently, social security coverage was restricted to those who contributed to social security (generally, workers or retirees), excluding some poor segments of the population; the government of Lionel Jospin put into place "universal health coverage" and extended the coverage to all those legally resident in France. Only about 3.7% of hospital treatment costs are reimbursed through private insurance, but a much higher share of the cost of spectacles and prostheses (21.9%), drugs (18.6%) and dental care (35.9%) (Figures from the year 2000). There are public hospitals, non-profit independent hospitals (which are linked to the public system), as well as private for-profit hospitals. Average life expectancy at birth is 81 years.