France | KNKX

France

Roman History, Ancient Passages Greet You In Lyon

May 10, 2018
Matthew Brumley

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley has been leading tour groups through Europe for more than 20 years. So even he was surprised when he realized he’d never been to Lyon, France. He corrected that, finally, and sent us his first impressions for this week’s Going Places

“I’m not sure what took me so long,” he said. “It’s got world-class wines, some of the best cuisine in all of France, fantastic archeological sites, and these really odd, winding passageways that make their way underneath the city, called traboules.”

The EU's highest court ruled on Tuesday that France can bring criminal charges against Uber managers for running an illegal taxi service. France can do that without first notifying the European Commission, said the judges.

Gobee is a no-go — at least in France.

France's first dockless bike-sharing program, which launched in October, has shut down operations across the country, citing "the mass destruction" of its fleet.

The decision to shut down on Saturday was "disappointing and extremely frustrating," the Hong Kong-based company wrote in its announcement. "We hoped for the best. But we were wrong ... In 4 months, 60% of our fleet was destroyed, stolen or privatized, making the whole European project no longer sustainable."

Elise Morin moved to the Seattle area from France when she was 16. Her parents opened a bakery in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Bastille Day, July 14, marked a turning point in the French Revolution in 1789. These days, it’s marked as a day of national celebration.

We’re using it as a good reason to talk to our friend Elise Morin, who was born and raised in France and moved to the United States just a few years ago, at age 16, when her family came to open La Parisienne bakery in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

If Marine Le Pen is elected president of France in May, she says she promises to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union. Her EU-skeptic stance is an unlikely vote-winner in France, where the EU is still very popular. That's especially true in eastern France, near the border with Germany, but even there Le Pen has some supporters.

With France's presidential election less than two months away, the race is coming down to two options, as political newcomer Emmanuel Macron, who is running as an independent, is neck and neck with far right candidate Marine Le Pen in polls released Wednesday.

On a September day in 1940 while much of Europe was engulfed in war, four teenagers were walking through a forest in southern France when their dog fell down a hole.

As they called for it they heard an echo. Crawling in to rescue the dog, the boys discovered a cave with hundreds of prehistoric animals painted across its walls and ceiling. It turned out to be one of the world's best examples of prehistoric art.

When a political scandal explodes in France, there's a good chance it's Wednesday. That's the day satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchainé hits newsstands.

The fiercely independent weekly, known for its incisive and derisive reporting and more than its share of scoops and bombshells, turns 100 this year.

French security forces have started evicting the thousands of migrants living in a notorious camp known as "The Jungle" near the port of Calais.

Authorities intend to dismantle the squalid camp that, despite its poor living conditions, has housed thousands of people fleeing wars or poverty for a better life in Europe. Many hope to reach the U.K. — which lies just 26 miles away across the English Channel. Others are seeking asylum in France.

What leads some people to say no — rather than yes — to vaccines? A survey of nearly 66,000 people about attitudes toward immunization has found some surprising results. In France, 41 percent of those surveyed said they did not have confidence in the safety of vaccines. By contrast, in Bangladesh, fewer than one percent of those surveyed expressed a lack of confidence.

The burkini has had a controversial summer in France.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he's running once again for the presidency — years after a failed re-election bid that was seen as a rebuke to his leadership.

The conservative politician announced his decision to run in 2017 elections by publishing on social media an excerpt from his soon-to-be-released book. Reuters has this quote from the announcement:

"I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at a troubled time in our history. ... The five years that come will be full of danger, but also of hope."

One of the first things a visiting American may notice in France is the large number of people smoking. Especially young people. In a common after-school scene, teenagers sit at an outdoor café, smoking.

Some say they've been lighting up for about two years now and are up to a pack a day. Some of their parents know, but don't realize the extent of it.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET with detail on one of the suspects

Two men attacked a church near Rouen, France, on Tuesday, taking several hostages and killing a priest in his mid-80s before the attackers were shot to death by police.

The self-described Islamic State, through the group's Amaq news agency, claimed responsibility for the attack in the small town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray.

It's vacation season. Your suitcase is packed and you've got your tickets in hand. And if you're heading overseas, you may want to check to see if the State Department has issued a travel alert or warning for your destination. Hardly a week goes by that some warning isn't issued, about everything from natural disasters to terrorist threats. These warnings can have a sharp impact on travelers — and diplomatic relations.

Lawmakers investigating the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last year have laid out a long list of failures on the part of French authorities — and proposed dozens of reforms to prevent future attacks in France.

The militants responsible for attacks in January and November of 2015 were known to various government agencies, according to the commission investigating the attacks.

But intelligence failures marked the lead-up to the attacks, which killed nearly 150 people, the lawmakers found.

French authorities launched a surprise search of Google's offices in Paris early Tuesday morning as part of an inquiry into the tech company's tax dealings in France.

Prosecutors said in a statement that the raid, which also involved 25 computer experts, is part of an investigation launched in June 2015 into possible tax evasion and money laundering.

Politically, there's much they disagree on. But 17 prominent French women, former government ministers representing a wide range of political parties, have stepped forward to announce there's one belief they all share:

Sexual harassment is not OK.

A new law in France makes it a crime to pay for sex.

Under the law, passed Wednesday, "customers will face fines and be made to attend awareness classes on the harms of the sex trade," The Associated Press reports. Clients will be fined about $1,700 for the first offense — and that increases to more than $4,250 on the second.

France's sex workers union strongly opposes the legislation, saying it puts them at greater risk. The new law, which has been billed as a comprehensive approach to reducing sex work, has received a mixed response from rights groups.

French President Francois Hollande is abandoning a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed the government to strip convicted terrorists of their French citizenship.

"A compromise appears out of reach on the stripping of terrorists' nationality," Hollande told reporters, according to AFP. "I also note that a section of the opposition is hostile to any constitutional revision. I deeply regret this attitude."

As soon as I walk into the squalid, unofficial migrant camp known as "the Jungle," outside the northern French city of Calais, I meet Amran, a 13-year-old Afghan boy staying here on his own.

The badge denoting a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the star worn by Knights of the Order of the Bath and other famous British medals are slated to be produced in France next year — a decision that has brought criticism from Britons who don't want their country's highest honors made on foreign soil.

In what's being called one of the deadliest crashes in France's history, a bus carrying 50 people collided with a truck near Bordeaux, killing 42 people. Most of the bus's passengers were senior citizens; it had recently departed from a nearby village for a sightseeing trip.

The accident happened on a narrow and curvy country road outside the village of Puisseguin. After what's being reported as a head-on collision, both vehicles burst into flames.

Today, the three Americans who helped subdue a gunman on a Paris-bound train last month were honored by President Obama in the Oval Office.

"Because of their courage, because of their quick thinking ... a real calamity was averted," Obama said, saying the trio "represent the very best of America."

The three men — Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, and Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone — are high-school friends who were traveling in Europe when the incident occurred.

Paul Stankavich/KPLU

Seattle Times Food Writer Nancy Leson is back from her KPLU Travel Club trip to Paris, where she ate…and ate…and, well, you get the idea.