What Does France Have Against Amazon?
France on Monday criticised a decision by Amazon to ban the sale of foie gras on its British website, following an animal rights campaign accusing producers of the delicacy of “very un-British” cruelty. Caption PARIS: France on Monday criticised a decision by Amazon to ban the sale of foie gras on its British website, following an animal rights campaign accusing producers of the delicacy of “very un-British” cruelty. Activists have for years campaigned against the sale of foie gras, saying the practice of force-feeding ducks or geese in order to make the French gourmet item is cruel and amounts to torture. “I regret Amazon’s decision,” Guillaume Garot, France’s minister for agribusiness, told AFP. “I once again want to point out the efforts made by French producers over the years to maintain real product quality while respecting the animal’s well-being,” he said. The site Amazon.co.uk, which on Monday added “foie gras” to a list of prohibited animal products including “whale, dolphin and shark parts”, would not comment on the reasons behind the ban. But animal rights campaign group Viva! said the move followed pressure by the organisation, which earlier this year presented the US online retailer with “evidence of the abject suffering” caused by foie gras production. A petition against the sale of the delicacy was also signed by more than 10,000 Amazon customers and Viva! supporters. Foie gras – which literally means fatty liver – is hugely popular in France, where it is eaten at Christmas and on other special occasions, but ongoing controversy over production of the delicacy has given it a bad name in other parts of the world. The sale of foie gras has been outlawed in California, while Britain’s House of Lords has taken it off the menu.
Cabaye feared for his France future during summer
The country’s lawmakers signed a bill last Thursday that will prevent the online retail behemoth from combining free book deliveries with discounts of up to 5% — the ceiling on book discounts set by the French government in 1981. The bill was approved unanimously, and it was the outcome of an anti-Amazon sentiment that’s sweeping through the country. A couple of months ago in a speech to booksellers in Bordeaux, culture minister Aurelie Filippetti blasted the company for its disruptive policies. “Amazon, through dumping practices, smashes prices to penetrate markets only to raise prices again, once they are in a situation of quasi-monopoly,” she said. While her outburst was, more or less, understandable, I can’t help but wonder what’s worse: allowing a quasi-monopoly to emerge or supporting outdated businesses like traditional bookstores? More importantly, is protectionism the answer for not being competitive and creative enough? Regulate your way back to innovation France is fed up with Amazon not just because it considers the online retailer as the “destroyer of books,” but also because Amazon has been dodging taxes by exploiting loopholes in the European states’ tax regimes. It reports most of its European sales through a Luxembourg-based holding company, cashing in on this state’s comparably low corporate taxes for earnings outside its borders. The French government is pushing for the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, to revamp tax rules for digital companies, ensuring profits they make on the continent are subject to taxation. However, that’s not all there is to it. The Wall Street Journal, citing French briefing documents ahead of an EU summit later this month, notes that France also wants the EU to regulate a small number of platforms for Internet and digital applications. Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple are in the crosshairs. “The current situation makes it difficult for European champions to emerge at a global scale,” French digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin said in a recent interview.
His lack of match fitness meant he was overlooked by France coach Didier Deschamps for a friendly against Belgium in August and he was then left out of World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia last month. “Those are the ups and downs of football, but it wasn’t easy staying at home when the national team was playing,” Cabaye said Monday at France’s training camp. France hosts Australia in a friendly on Friday and Finland in its final World Cup qualifier four days later. Asked if he had been worried about his future with France, Cabaye replied frankly. “Yes, of course, things change so quickly. Even when you’re in (the squad) there are no guarantees you’ll stay,” he said. “It’s better to be called up as often as possible rather than staying at home for whatever reasons. I’m full of determination and confidence and hope to be in the team on Friday and Tuesday.” He has not played a full 90 minutes since the penultimate game of last season for Newcastle. “But I’ve trained a lot. I feel good, I lost weight over the summer and I’m ready to play,” he said. “Maybe not 90 minutes in both games, but I feel good. I played most of the game at the weekend.” Newcastle coach Alan Pardew accused Arsenal of showing a lack of respect by lodging a bid for Cabaye only hours before his team’s opening Premier League game against on Aug. 19 – a 4-0 loss against Manchester City. Cabaye missed it because Pardew said he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play, and he only made his first appearance as a substitute at home to Fulham 12 days later, amid reports that he had refused to train.
Sebastien Ogier celebrates world title by winning Rally France; Loeb’s last race ends in crash
6, 2013, near Cleebourg eastern France. Both men were not injured. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)The Associated Press STRASBOURG, France Sebastien Ogier celebrated his world title by winning the Rally France on Sunday while nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb’s last race ended in a crash. Ogier took the overall lead by winning the three morning stages before containing his rivals in the three afternoon stages. The Frenchman clinched the world title on Thursday when Thierry Neuville of Belgium failed to win the power stage. Ogier finished the race 12.2 seconds ahead of Dani Sordo of Spain. Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland took third place, 19.5 seconds off the pace. Thierry Neuville of Belgium placed fourth, more than a minute behind Ogier. In the rain-soaked stage 15, Loeb’s Citroen DS3 slid wide on a corner and rolled before landing on its roof. The French driver was not injured in the crash.