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Demonstrators across France have defied calls from the French government for them to stay at home. | 12/15/18
The French government is seeking candidates to replace Renault's embattled boss Carlos Ghosn, sources told Reuters, as board members began to voice doubts about keeping him in office following his indictment in Japan for suspected misconduct.
A shooting in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday killed four people, wounded several others and is being treated as an act of "terror," police and government officials said, adding that the gunman is on the run. | 12/11/18
France has been rocked by violence again, anti-government protesters battling police and triggering damage in the heart of Paris and elsewhere. | 12/9/18
A selection of the most striking images as anti-government demonstrators clash with police. | 12/8/18
Prized Paris monuments and normally bustling shopping meccas locked down Saturday and tens of thousands of police took position around France, fearing worsening violence in a new round of anti-government protests. | 12/8/18
Lebanon risks wasting the international support that peaked at the CEDRE conference if there is further delay in forming a government, France’s ambassador to Lebanon warned Friday.
As France braces for another round of violent protests this weekend in Paris and other parts of the country, embattled French President Emmanuel Macron is a missing man, as he leaves his government to handle the chaos caused in part by his unpopular plan to hike gas taxes. | 12/7/18
As anti-government protests rage through France and Paris locks down, fearing new riots, the man whose presidency has unleashed the anger is nowhere to be seen. | 12/7/18
Lebanon needs to form a government as soon as possible so it doesn’t lose the support of the international community, France’s ambassador to Lebanon said Friday.

The French government says it fears "major violence" in Paris on Saturday as the national "yellow vests" protest movement shows little sign of easing. The government said it was scrapping the fuel... | 12/6/18
As French President Emmanuel Macron faces the biggest crisis of his presidency -- in the form of massive, and frequently violent, widespread protests -- his government is frantically backtracking on a controversial gas tax detested by demonstrators and considering shifting the tax burden to the rich. | 12/6/18
The Latest on France protests (all times local): 1 p.m. French left-wing opposition parties are seeking a no-confidence vote in President Emmanuel Macron's government amid growing protests and fears of violence. | 12/6/18
Despite a major reversal on fuel taxes, "yellow vest" protests are still planned for Saturday. | 12/6/18
Climate policy should be about solving problems, not salving consciences. | 12/6/18
The French government is weighing whether to reinstate a wealth tax, a key demand of yellow vest protesters who accuse President Emmanuel Macron of favoring the rich over the working class. | 12/6/18
The French government is weighing whether to reinstate a wealth tax, a key demand of yellow vest protesters who accuse President Emmanuel Macron of favoring the rich over the working class. | 12/6/18
The government drops the measures it had initially postponed for six months after weeks of protests. | 12/5/18
French President Emmanuel Macron has canceled a planned fuel tax increase after three weeks of nationwide protests that left four people dead and sparked the worst anti-government riot in Paris since 2005. | 12/5/18
Prominent members of the protest movement that has rocked Paris are threatening to snub talks with the government of Emmanuel Macron, frustrating the French president’s attempts to defuse the crisis. | 12/4/18

Filed under: Government/Legal,Green

133 hurt, 412 arrested in riot over taxes intended to help environment

Continue reading France's Macron learns the hard way: Green taxes carry political risks

France's Macron learns the hard way: Green taxes carry political risks originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Dec 2018 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments | 12/3/18
A government spokesperson says a state of emergency could be imposed after a day of violent protests. | 12/2/18

WARNING: Contains major spoilers for “The Favourite” Do not read unless you’ve seen the movie.

Historical accuracy isn’t exactly what Yorgos Lanthimos is going for in his latest film, “The Favourite.” Much like Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of Stalin,” Lanthimos is bending the facts of his period piece in the service of a gripping narrative with a dark moral… namely the corrupting nature of power.

But while the details of the rivalry between Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham for the affections of Queen Anne — like Sarah being poisoned — might have been creative license by Lanthimos and screenwriters Tony McNamara and Deborah Davis, the subject of whether Queen Anne had a secret romance with either of those two women was one that influenced her reign.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Crowned With Indie Box Office's Largest Screen Average in Two Years

According to the biography “Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion” by Anne Somerset, the Queen, contrary to the portrayal of her in “The Favourite,” was a reserved, almost stoic figure even as she became physically frail in her old age. While those displeased with her in court might have agreed with Lanthimos’ take on her as a timid monarch afraid of rocking the boat and choosing a side between the Whigs and Tories in Parliament, historians tend to view her unwillingness to commit to one side as a refusal to allow anyone to sway her decisions.

But that didn’t stop Sarah Churchill. Somerset and other historians agree that the Duchess had a very deep and personal relationship with Queen Anne, and that she tried to use that relationship for political ends, as seen in “The Favourite.” Somerset describes Sarah as someone who was able to influence Anne in a way almost no one else could. Whether or not that relationship — and the Queen’s later relationship with Abigail — was romantic is something that isn’t made clear in Anne’s letters, and was the subject of court gossip.

Somerset writes in her book that homosexuality was, of course, frowned upon in 18th century England, but was usually seen as something practiced in more sinful countries like France, where “young ladies are that way debauched in their nunnery education.” On the other hand, impassioned, seemingly romantic letters like the ones shared between Sarah and Anne were simply seen among the English patriarchy as the sort of emotional interactions women shared with each other. So it would be possible for women to hide their romance in plain sight… unless you were the Queen of England.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce

In Anne’s case, she was the target of rumors spread by those displeased with her decisions that she was swayed easily by her “favourites,” and that she was emotionally and even sexually dependent on them. As Abigail Masham began to rise in Anne’s favor, Sarah tried to regain her former position by threatening to fan the flames of those rumors.

Yes, the scene in “The Favourite” where Sarah blackmails Anne with the threat of publishing her personal letters really did happen. Somerset, who believes that Anne and Sarah’s relationship wasn’t sexual, also notes that Sarah spread rumors that Anne and Abigail were sharing a bed.

When Anne heard that these rumors were going around, Sarah wrote a letter to her suggesting that she quash the rumors by kicking Abigail out of court. As in the movie, this ended up backfiring, as Anne sent Sarah packing, accusing her of “saying shocking things” about her both in their personal exchanges and to the gossipmongers at court.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Tops BIFA Nominations for British Independent Films

Whether her repulsion at these “shocking things” was out of a fear of being outed as a lesbian or because she was truly repulsed at such false accusations is open to interpretation. Somerset sided with the latter view, noting that Anne cared deeply for her husband, Prince George of Denmark — whom isn’t in “The Favourite” at all — and that Anne herself viewed homosexuality as a “disgusting vice.”

But whether or not Queen Anne really was caught in a heated lesbian love triangle, history shows that the core theme of “The Favourite” still rings true: Truth can easily be twisted and weaponized by those who seek power, and those who are disgruntled with the way of government can be open to having their political defeats be explained by salacious rumors and character smears.

But as the Sarah Churchill of real life and the Abigail Masham played by Emma Stone in “The Favourite” learned, there is such a thing as too much deception. Try to work your lies and manipulations at the wrong time or in the wrong way to the wrong person, and you could be branded as someone who is never to be trusted again.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Favourite' Crowned With Indie Box Office's Largest Screen Average in Two Years

'The Favourite' Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce

'The Favourite' Tops BIFA Nominations for British Independent Films | 11/30/18
Government officials from Senegal and the Ivory Coast ask for African treasures to be returned. | 11/30/18
Traditional politics have been decimated. What’s left behind is worryingly unstable. | 11/28/18

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'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 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 | 11/28/18
French counterespionage authorities have detained a senior French civil servant on suspicion of spying for the North Korean government, a French judicial official said. | 11/28/18

Over the past few years, the term "open internet" has become popular among politicians in Washington and Europe. It is bandied about in political pronouncements that assert that everyone needs to somehow support the open internet without ever actually defining it. It is sometimes used as a synonym for Net Neutrality.

In fact, it is a bogus public relations term that is rather like saying you believe in the Tooth Fairy. Furthermore, it vectors the focus away from more serious needs such as effective cybersecurity defense, and all too evident threats by adversaries who are using the open attributes of some internets to mount attacks on facilities and data repositories. It is time to stop using the term.


The term "open" in the context of communication networks invokes potentially hundreds of different parameters. The first significant use of "open" occurred forty years ago with the emergence of the massive Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) initiative that governments and industry mounted in the ITU, ISO, and numerous other venues. The work led to massive numbers of standards, including in the U.S., the Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP) specifications that profiled open networking products. Indeed, an open and relatively secure OSI internet was rolled out using the internet protocol CLNP. Ironically, it was the DARPA internet for closed and carefully monitored R&D networks based on TCP/IP in the early 1990s that were pushed out into the public infrastructure by Clinton and Gore without any real security that has been recently politically advanced for openness.

Furthermore, the basic current construct of openness is fundamentally nonsensical. It is exemplified with a hypothetical conversation. "You have a smart phone and lots of computer devices, and probably a home network. Are you willing to allow everyone and anyone in the world to have unfettered access and usage? No?" Well, you get the idea now. It led to the Cato Institute dubbing this as the "What's Yours is Mine" philosophy.

Thus, lies the conundrum and absurdity of advocating unfettered openness of networks and devices. Advocating "openness" is equivalent to suggesting that all computer and network resources belong to everyone in the world for the taking and exploitation. No rational person, organization, or nation is likely to buy into that proposition.


Next, there is the oft-bandied term "internet." There is no singularity that exists as "the internet.". Many different internets have existed since Louis Pouzin developed the concept in France nearly fifty years ago, and will continue to exist. Indeed, after years of legal wrangling over IPR ownership of the term INTERNET, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in its landmark year 2000 order, legally recognized that INTERNET is a meaningless term and free for anyone to use for anything they choose.

Throughout the world, there are countless networks that at multiple levels are enabled to process and route digital packets among devices within their architectures. Many have varied gateways with other networks. Innumerable internets and related services coexist as virtual overlays among them. Increasingly in the rapidly emerging NFV-SDN-5G world, these will be network slices orchestrated from data centres that are gatewayed as needed using the most efficient protocols and endpoint addresses.

Even if one focusses on one of the most politically popular of the internets based on IPv4, the only real measurement of the topology by CAIDA is fuzzy to say the least, and comprising roughly 50 million routers, 150 thousand links, and 50 thousand autonomous systems. As CAIDA notes, it is also highly U.S. — centric.

By comparison, the GSM global mobile internet currently has nearly 9 billion connected devices and 5 billion users and growing at an exceedingly fast rate — offering substantial openness at higher security levels.

Open Internet

An obvious consequential question is how the term "open internet" originated and why it persists. The phrase is generally associated with the Obama Administration's Net Neutrality initiative — which itself was largely initiated by Over the Top (OTT) providers that rely on the DARPA internet's U.S. centricity to pursue offshore markets — especially for mining available information and directly reaching end users. The term's use was almost unknown prior to 2008, although it was the political successor to the Clinton Administration's Internet Freedom strategy.

In Washington lobbying circles, the term has been co-opted by almost everyone as a kind of political mantra without ever explaining details — even with the reversal of FCC Net Neutrality policy. Oddly, the U.S. State Department is still promoting the term abroad - even as the Trump Administration's Net Neutrality policy has changed domestically. However, incongruity is a stable of life in Washington and no one expects intellectual or policy consistency.

In the European Union, the term Open Internet is tightly bound to Net Neutrality, and has special significance in efforts to bring about a common market. Elsewhere in the world, it is not apparent that anyone really cares, as the global mobile internet infrastructure is more important.

What has changed?

Over the past several years, the exponential increase in the placement of malware and exfiltration of sensitive information via open networks should have re-vectored the Open Internet rhetoric. The DARPA Director who approved its R&D internet development in the 1970s began sounding the alarm in a continuing series of initiatives and papers to senior U.S. DOD officials beginning in the late 1990s. Evgeny Morozov at the political level began raising concerns in 2011 with his famous book, "Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom." The WikiLeaks Assange activism about the same time should also have been a wakeup call as to the ease and harms of massive data exfiltrations. Even the theft of the U.S. government's OPM clearance data failed to lessen the fervor for open internets.

However, it appears that a series of recent events in the U.S. have finally begun to heighten concerns about the dark side of internet openness. This began with the revelation in 2016 that Putin hoisted the U.S. on its own open internet petard in actively intervening in the U.S. elections and the U.K. Brexit vote. The confirmation by the Mueller indictments of FSB and GRU officers underscored the clear and present danger to the most critically important, existential governance of the nation. Subsequent events have amplified the concern with the emergence of neo-Nazi social media sites bringing about the mass murder at a Pittsburgh Synagogue and Facebook's being co-opted in active political influence campaigns as a service.

So today, the Open Internet mantra is a hard sell — especially to foreign countries who likely have no interest in suffering the same experiences of the U.S. The mantra should be discarded and re-focused on providing something of considerable current value - effective cyber defense for all communication networks. In many cases, that requires internets that provide effective cyber defense at network gateways and considerably greater attention to the threat vectors like the so-called Pervasive Encryption protocols that exacerbate data exfiltration and malware placement. In many cases involving critical infrastructure, it means ensuring totally closed internets.

If a communication freedom mantra is needed, political leaders should return to the proven legacy norms such as "reachability" and "universality."

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC | 11/17/18
France's prime minister on Friday sounded the alarm over a sharp rise in anti-Semitic acts this year, pledging to increase efforts to punish perpetrators and police hate speech online. | 11/9/18

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 | 10/25/18
President Macron’s government is considering giving parents a secular alternative to intertwined Arabic and Islamic instruction in mosques by prodding more public schools to offer Arabic lessons—without religious content. | 10/24/18
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has assured that the Government will assist the Reggae Girlz in their build-up to the Women's World Cup in France next year.The team qualified for the FIFA tournament for the first time yesterday evening, after a nail-... | 10/18/18
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. | 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. | 10/16/18
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri Thursday held talks with a French official who had led preparations for the CEDRE conference in a meeting to follow up on developments and pass on the concerns of the international community that pledged funds at the event.
The French government froze the funds of the interior security section of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry as well as those of two Iranians on Tuesday, including one diplomat who is a suspect in an alleged aborted bid to attack an Iranian exile group. | 10/2/18
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. | 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. | 9/24/18
Movie productions with anywhere from four to eight women in key positions will be eligible for higher government subsidies. | 9/22/18
The government hopes the move will get students to pay more attention in class and talk more to each other. But some doubt whether the ban can be enforced. | 9/20/18
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.
France has recognized the use of torture by its military during the Algerian War in an attempt by the government of President Emmanuel Macron to heal the wounds of its colonial past. | 9/13/18
France has recognized the use of torture by its military during the Algerian War in an attempt by the government of President Emmanuel Macron to heal the wounds of its colonial past. | 9/13/18

It’s difficult to ask hard questions about change and technology and progress — particularly to consider whether “progress” is actually progress or not — without sounding like a cranky old man, but writer-director Olivier Assayas has now done it twice. 2008’s “Summer Hours” contemplated a world in which new generations seemed uninterested in preserving art history and cultural treasures of the past, and now a decade later, with “Non-Fiction,” he asks similarly pointed questions about the future of books and literature in the internet age.

That he does so with a minimum of breast-beating and a surfeit of sparkling wit no doubt helps the message go down, particularly since it’s clear that he’s not offering answers but instead merely asking the questions.

The film introduces us to a group of friends, lovers and colleagues, all of whom engage in spirited conversations about the state of writing, acting and politics, areas that have been forever changed by online habits. Alain (Guillaume Canet, “Tell No One”) runs a venerable publishing house, trying to weigh the benefits and consequences of pivoting to digital. He’s having an affair with Laure (Christa Théret), the woman running that digital transformation, even though she has extreme ideas about what counts as literature (she equates tweets with haiku) and about the extinction of books and libraries.

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Alain’s actress wife Selena (Juliette Binoche), spinning her wheels on a police drama, knows he’s cheating and rekindles a fling with author Léonard (Vincent Macaigne, “The Innocents”), whose latest manuscript Alain does not want to publish. Léonard is infamous for writing novels that are merely thinly-veiled accounts of his own life and love affairs — he insists it’s “auto-fiction” — and Selena lobbies for the publication of his book even though she inspired one of the characters. (It’s telling that Alain seemingly never notices this.)

“Non-Fiction” is Assayas’ talkiest film to date, but it’s also probably his funniest. (There’s a running gag about a movie-theater sex act and Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” that keeps paying off brilliantly.) Assayas seems to be channeling the spirit of Éric Rohmer and his marathon dialogue-fests, but this is smart, insightful talk, delivered by an exemplary ensemble of performers (which also includes Nora Hamzawi as Léonard’s girlfriend, who works for an idealistic politician).

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Assayas is undoubtedly snobby about popular culture — the bit we see of Selena’s cop show looks as dreadful as the superhero movie that Binoche goes to see in “Clouds of Sils Maria” — but he’s never overly precious about the topic at hand.

Books are, of course, wonderful things, but when Laure and other characters make a case for cheaper, more accessible e-books, the movie doesn’t necessarily disagree. “Non-Fiction” makes just as many barbs at the current state of the book industry, where authors sell books via controversy caused by writing barely-concealed roman à clefs about their real lovers and enemies.

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Unlike Rohmer, who favored long takes and frequently locked down his camera, Assayas keeps these many conversations vibrant with the help of editor Simon Jacquet, who keeps each scene vibrant without ever overplaying his hand, as well as cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (“A Bigger Splash”), who captures the warmth of the characters’ bourgeois surroundings but also clearly had a blast faking that cop show.

As with “Summer Hours,” “Non-Fiction” traffics in ideas and concerns without handing out leaflets; first and foremost, this is an empathetic and charming character piece, featuring top-notch actors (Binoche revels in a rare opportunity to be funny) enjoying richly clever dialogue. And if it encourages viewers to support their local indie bookstore afterward, then so much the better.

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A version of this story on Lynn Novick first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

Lynn Novick has worked with Ken Burns on a series of celebrated, epic-length documentaries: “Baseball” in 1994, “Jazz” in 2001 and “Prohibition” in 2011 among them.

Their latest collaboration is “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part examination of the war in Southeast Asia that took a decade to make and includes interviews with 79 different witnesses from all sides of the conflict.

The show’s four nominations include one for Novick and Burns for directing Episode 8, which deals with the stormy period in 1969 and 1970 when opposition to the war intensified in the U.S. and protests on college campuses were met with violence.

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What was the biggest challenge of the series?
On some level, I would say the biggest challenge was that it’s unsettled history — controversial, divisive, untested and traumatic, both for us and for Vietnam. The second biggest challenge was working as hard as we could to go beyond an American perspective, to represent a variety of Vietnamese perspectives despite language and culture barriers.

If the history is still traumatic, how do you get people, particularly in Vietnam, to open up and talk about it honestly?
Clearly, anyone who didn’t want to didn’t talk to us. So anyone who met with us already knew why they were meeting with us. But it’s one thing to meet, it’s another thing to discuss extremely painful and difficult experiences.

It seemed clear, the more times we went there, that there was a hunger for talking about a subject that is difficult to talk about there, which is what the war was really like. The price they paid and the internal conflict. It was a war of liberation as a civil war.

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When you started working on the series, did you realize it would be in 10 parts over more than 17 hours?
I suspect it might be shocking how unformed a project like this at first. At the beginning, it really is a paragraph, which is, “We’re going to make a film about the Vietnam War from as many points of view as possible. We’re not going to interview boldface names. We’re going to try to understand the politics in the U.S., Saigon and Hanoi. We have to start somewhere, so let’s say it’s going to be 12 hours long.”

And as we collect the material, we start to shape it. The narrative of the people and their stories happens in the edit room. I think we originally said it will be six or seven shows, somebody said eight or nine, and by the end we had 10.

Why should we learn about Vietnam now?
When Ken and I started working on this film in 2007, we couldn’t have imagined the situation we find ourselves in now. But we did have a sense of how polarized our society is, and we asked ourselves, “What lies underneath it?” A lot of the culture wars and divisiveness and cynicism and mistrust came forth in a violent way during Vietnam, and we’ve never gotten past it. It’s been there just below the surface, and it’s definitely present in what’s happening now. We hear so much conversation these days about who’s a patriot, who’s a hero, what does it mean to love your country and what our leaders are capable of, good and bad.

It seems as if Vietnam was the war where we started to ask a question that we’ve asked in every subsequent conflict: “What are we fighting for?”
Yes. Exactly. I suppose people did ask that question during the First World War, the answer being, “I’m not sure.” That obviously had an effect on our reluctance to get involved in World War II, and World War II had an effect on our willingness to get involved in Vietnam.

It was extremely healthy for our democracy and extremely inspiring to see the American public challenging the government and saying, “Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing.”

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This year’s Emmys have 40 male directing nominees and only four women. What’s wrong with that picture?
I think there’s more opportunity for women in the documentary world than in the scripted world. But even in the doc world, there are structural problems in who gets to be in charge, who gets to speak, who’s deemed to have the authority to tell a story. If you’re a director, you’re telling other people what to do, and you have to assert a certain kind of authority and purpose. And I fear that in our unconscious bias, we tend to accord that responsibility more readily to men.

I think we’re seeing more awareness of that, but going from awareness of a problem to opening up opportunities to different kinds of people is a slow process — way too slow.

To read more of TheWrap’s Down to the Wire issue, click here.

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France is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, in which the President of France is head of state and the Prime Minister of France is the head of government, and there is a pluriform, multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the government, Senate and National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

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