Paris

Eight injured in shootings at French nursery school

Eight injured in shootings at French nursery school

French statistics office says economy worse than predictions

French statistics office says economy worse than predictions Paris - The French government's statistics office Insee said on Friday that France's economy would contract in 2009 at least twice as much as the government had predicted.

French GDP will decline by 1.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year, Insee said, followed by a slight improvement to a drop of 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, because of the assumed effect of the stimulus plans initiated by the French and other governments.

ROUNDUP: Huge crowds protest Sarkozy's economic policies

Huge crowds protest Sarkozy's economic policiesParis - Up to 3 million people took to the streets of cities throughout France on Thursday to protest the economic policies of President Nicolas Sarkozy, CFDT trade union head Francois Chereque said.

The largest-ever public outcry against Sarkozy since he came to office was accompanied by a general strike in which workers from both the private and public sectors walked off their jobs for the day.

Union officials said that more than 350,000 people demonstrated in Paris, while 300,000 protested in the southern port city of Marseille.

Animated 3-D film to kick off Cannes Film Festival

Animated 3-D film to kick off Cannes Film Festival Paris - The Disney Pixar animated 3-D film Up has been selected to open the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, organizers of the event announced on Thursday.

Up was directed by Pete Docter, who also made the film Monsters Inc. and developed the story and characters for Toy Story, Pixar's first full-length animated feature film.

Up concerns an old man who ties balloons to his house and fulfills a boyhood dream by flying to South America, but with a 9-year-old Boy Scout as a stowaway. It features the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer and John Ratzenberger.

Brown and Sarkozy meet to discuss EU and G20 summits

Brown and Sarkozy meet to discuss EU and G20 summits Paris  - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The discussion was to centre on the EU summit, which opens later Thursday in Brussels, and the meeting of the G20 nations scheduled to be held on April 2 in London.

According to a source in the British government, Brown and Sarkozy were to concentrate on several issues related to the global financial and economic crisis.

Bolt to compete in Golden League meeting in Paris

Bolt to compete in Golden League meeting in Paris Paris - Triple Olympic champion and men's 100-metre and 200m world record holder Usain Bolt will compete in the Golden League meeting at the Stade de France in Paris on July 17, organizers confirmed Thursday.

It remains unclear whether the 22-year-old Jamaican will compete in the 100m or 200m. Bolt will make his European season debut in Manchester on May 17 in a 150m race in the city centre.

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