Tag Archives: Champs Elysees

Report: Supercars seized from African dictator's son sold for over $4M in Paris auction

By Brandon Turkus

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Corruption is a big problem around the world, but perhaps nowhere more than in African dictatorships. Proof? Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries on the African continent, the citizens of Equatorial Guinea live in abject poverty. Clean drinking water is available to less than half the populous, and one in five children is dead before their fifth birthday.

As so often seems the case with dictatorships, while the citizenry suffers, the rulers of EG live in the lap of luxury. With any luck, though, justice might be catching up to “President” Teodor Obiang’s son, Teodorin, according to a report from the International Business Times.

Obiang was subject to a raid by French law enforcement in 2011 that lasted two weeks. Why did it last two weeks? Because authorities had to search the his 80 million Euro, 101-room mansion on the Champs Elysees. Naturally, the house and everything in it was found to have been purchased using state funds. If this blatant display of wealth doesn’t outrage you, let us point you back to that stat about 20 percent of this country’s citizens dying before age five.

The seizure included a fleet of luxury and sports cars, including models from Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati and Maybach. The kicker is, most of the cars had little to no mileage on them. Fine art, vintage wine, and antiques were also seized. Now, French auction house Drouot has sold several of the cars, racking up over $4 million in profits. We can only hope the funds go back to the citizens of Equatorial Guinea, but we aren’t holding our breath.

There’s more at the IBT. Give it a read if you’re interested in making yourself sick.

Supercars seized from African dictator’s son sold for over $4M in Paris auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Malian troops to open France's Bastille Day parade

Troops coming from Mali and 12 other African countries will march with the French military in an unusual Bastille Day parade in Paris, to honor their efforts against terrorism.

Beyond the triumphal display on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday, including flyovers by fighter jets, the realities in Mali suggest that President Francois Hollande’s first military intervention has had mixed results.

The mission he launched in January helped the Malian government retake control of much of the country from al-Qaida-linked extremists who had seized northern Mali and threatened the capital. The country is heading for elections July 28, but tensions involving rebel Tuaregs in the north linger, along with political instability.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Hollande faces grilling in holiday interview

President Francois Hollande will face tough questions on France’s faltering economy and a deadly train derailment in an interview to top television channels on Sunday for the Bastille Day holiday.

With the country in mourning after a deadly rail accident Friday near Paris, Hollande will be grilled by journalists from two leading TV channels after he attends the traditional military parade for France’s main national holiday.

With his popularity at rock-bottom after France fell into recession and unemployment hit record highs, Hollande will be looking to defend his first 14 months in office and to lay the groundwork for difficult reforms ahead.

He will also be keen to reassure the French after Friday’s derailment, which left six dead and dozens injured.

The SNCF state rail company said the accident at Bretigny-sur-Orge was the result of a faulty track and the transport minister complained of under-funding for outdated regional train lines.

Since taking power after his victory over right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy in May last year, Hollande’s Socialist government has struggled to meet EU-mandated spending cuts while pushing its agenda of investing in economic growth.

Sources close to Hollande said he would use the half-hour interview in the Elysee Palace to seek to convince the French he is “on the right track and fighting unemployment”.

He will highlight a few promising signs that the French economy may be recovering, including a slowdown in the rise in joblessness, the sources said.

Hollande will also touch on tough reforms the government is planning for later this year, including changes to France’s pension schemes that have already sparked calls from unions for general strikes.

Hollande will deliver a “pro-active message on returning to growth and a promising future”, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said.

In a BVA poll released on Friday, respondents said they most wanted to hear from Hollande about unemployment and economic growth, with far less interest in subjects like immigration, security or foreign affairs.

The Bastille Day military parade, down the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe, will meanwhile draw attention to one of the few Hollande decisions that has won widespread praise.

About 60 troops from Mali and a detachment from the UN peacekeeping force there will lead the march, joined by French troops who took part in the country’s military intervention against Islamist rebels in the West African nation earlier this year.

France’s surprise intervention in January helped Mali’s weak army drive out the Islamists, who had taken over the country’s desert north. About 3,200 French troops remain in Mali, as it prepares for the first round of a presidential election on July 28.

In a nod to efforts to cut government spending, defence officials said this year’s march will be slightly less grand than in previous years.

The defence ministry said this year’s parade budget was reduced by 10-15 percent, with a third fewer vehicles than last year and 12 percent fewer aircraft.

Even with the cuts, about 4,800 servicemen and women will take part, along with 265 vehicles, 58 planes and 35 helicopters from the army, navy, air force and other military structures.

Among the …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

4 accused of anti-gay attack in France

Four people have been detained on suspicion of carrying out an attack at a Lille gay bar, the Interior Ministry said Thursday, amid nationwide tensions over a bill that would legalize gay marriage.

Several other people were detained in Paris late Wednesday after a protest against gay marriage that ended with some demonstrators fighting police and damaging cars along the Champs-Elysees avenue.

Legalizing gay marriage was one of President Francois Hollande‘s campaign promises, and polls show a majority of voters support the idea, as an increasing number of governments open marriage to same-sex couples.

But opposition to the bill has mounted throughout the French legislative process, largely from conservative groups from France‘s conservative heartland. While the protests are largely peaceful, violence has occasionally erupted on the sidelines.

At the same time, gay rights groups say they are seeing an increasing number of anti-gay attacks in recent weeks and months.

Hollande urged calm, expressing concern Thursday about “homophobic acts, violent acts” related to the gay marriage bill while insisting he respects “the right to protest.”

Interior Minister Manuel Valls took a sterner tone, saying in a statement Thursday that he “condemns, with the greatest firmness, the homophobic aggression perpetrated last night in a bar” in Lille. He said the four suspects “clearly belonged to the extreme right movement” and are accused of intentionally targeting gay customers in the bar, punching the bar manager and causing material damage.

In a first reading, both houses of the French parliament have approved the bill that would legalize gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The second reading is taking place this week.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/jwN9-Sf5LI0/

Video: Police Assault Anti-gay Marriage Protesters In Paris

By NewsEditor

Paris riot police fought back crowds who pushed their way onto Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees avenue as part of a huge protest against a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Clashes Erupt at Paris Anti-Gay Marriage Protest

By Rob Quinn A massive anti-gay marriage protest in Paris ended in violence yesterday as police used tear gas and batons on activists who tried to get past police barricades onto the Champs-Elysees, which runs past the presidential palace. Hundreds of thousands of people had traveled to the French capital for what was… …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Newser – Home

List of most spectacular diamond heists

Thieves have outwitted armed guards, alarm systems and even airport security over the years, making off with diamonds and other jewelry worth millions. In Brussels, thieves cut through an airport fence, drove to a Swiss-bound plane and snatched an estimated $50 million in diamonds late Monday.

Here are some other spectacular heists in recent memory:

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2005: Thieves threaten the guards and hijack an armored car from Dutch carrier KLM‘s cargo ramp at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, making off with millions in diamonds and jewelry. Subsequent media reports put the value of the loot at up to $100 million. “It was a secured area of the airport, so it’s a big question how those people could get there,” an airline spokesman said at the time.

2003: Robbers tape over security cameras, disable the alarm system and break into the high-security underground vaults of the Diamond Center in Antwerp, the world capital of diamond-cutting, getting away with an estimated $100 million in goods. After prying open 123 of the 160 vaults, the thieves stood ankle-deep in a pile of diamonds, gold, jewelry, stocks, bonds, cash and lockboxes, police said. The bounty was so abundant they had to leave a lot behind.

2008: While Christmas shoppers stroll outside the posh Harry Winston jewelry shop near Paris‘ famed Champs-Elysees, armed thieves — some dressed as women and wearing wigs — enter the store and steal gems and jeweled watches worth up to $85 million, according to French police.

2009: Two elegantly dressed men rob the Graff Diamond Store in London‘s posh Mayfair district and carry away necklaces, watches, rings and bracelets worth more than >40 million ($62 million at today’s exchange rate), according to Scotland Yard.

1994: Machine-gun-toting thieves steal $45 million in gems from the Carlton Hotel in Cannes on the French Riviera.

2004: Twelve pieces of jewelry worth about $31.5 million, including the 125-carat “Comtesse de Vendome” diamond necklace, are stolen from a store in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

2007: 120,000 karats in diamonds, worth $28 million, are stolen from safe-deposit boxes in an ABN Amro bank in Antwerp, Belgium, according to police.

2008: Masked thieves drill a tunnel into jeweler Damiani’s showroom in Milan, Italy, making off …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

French tycoon who former justice minister claims fathered her child ordered to take paternity test

A French court has ordered a paternity test for a multimillionaire who former Justice Minister Rachida Dati claims fathered her 3-year-old daughter.

The birth of the child while Dati was in office from 2007 to 2009 made headlines and set off guessing games about the identity of the father.

A Versailles court official said Dominique Desseigne, 68, was ordered Tuesday to take a genetic test. The official wasn’t authorized to comment and asked not to be named.

Paternity tests are voluntary in France, so Desseigne, the widowed owner of the famed Champs-Elysees establishment Fouquet’s, has a choice whether to submit. He has been quoted in the past as saying he won’t. But text messages, emails and photos can also be used to prove a relationship.
Source: Fox World News  

Court orders French tycoon to take paternity test

A French court has ordered a paternity test for a multimillionaire who former Justice Minister Rachida Dati claims fathered her 3-year-old daughter. The birth of the child while Dati was in office from 2007 to 2009 made headlines and set off guessing games about the identity of the father. A Versailles court official said Dominique Desseigne, 68, was ordered Tuesday to take a genetic test. The official wasn’t authorized to comment and asked not to be named. Paternity tests are voluntary in France, so Desseigne, the widowed owner of the famed Champs-Elysees establishment Fouquet’s, has a choice whether to submit. He has been quoted in the past as saying he won’t. But text messages, emails and photos can also be used to prove a relationship.
Source: Fox World News