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German coal, French air pollution and energy disharmony

After well over a week of heavy air pollution across most of the country, France on Monday brought in a rarely used measure to limit traffic, allowing only vehicles with number plates ending in odd numbers on the roads on pain of a 22-euro fine. By midday Airparif, the body charged with monitoring the capital’s air quality, said that pollution levels were sharply down. 

A tale of two cities, or how transport misery crossed the Channel

Perhaps it is just as well Paris didn’t win the bid for the 2012 Olympics, if the current state of its public transport is anything to go by. The French capital used to be a dream for getting around, with metro trains every few minutes and the RER regional express train network linking far suburbs on each side of the city in unbeatable times. But like the hare and the tortoise, London seems to have caught up while Paris took its eye off the ball.

Facebook, JP Morgan Chase and a failure to learn lessons

It was revealing to see Facebook’s stock market debut flopping in the same week as JP Morgan Chase announced gigantic trading losses in late May. Both showed that planet finance is as out of control as ever and has learned absolutely no lessons from the financial crises of the 2000s.

Guéant, Sarkozy and the dangers of doctrines of superiority

 

There are moments in history when the men and handful of women who occupy positions of leadership take a stance that will turn out to be historical. It is possible that one of these moments has arrived in the campaign for the French presidential election this spring.

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