By Linda Hall •
Published: 27 Nov 2023 • 18:45
UNHAPPY: Paris booksellers’ stalls will be removed during the 2024 Olympics
Photo credit: CC/Ninara
FRANCE: Olympic wrath PARIS booksellers are furious about plans to remove the same stalls they have occupied since the 19th century for the 2024 Olympics opening ceremony. In a trial run, irate stallholders looked on as cranes lifted their kiosks, with one telling Le Monde that the Olympic Games would succeed in making them disappear, something that two wars could not achieve.
Heaven-sent STRASBOURG’s fire department, called out after smoke was seen coming from a 50-centimetre diameter hole in the roof of a car parked on the outskirts of the city, decided it was caused by a meteorite. There was no trace of whatever had pierced the bodywork and fuel tank “either because the object was so small that we couldn’t find it, or because it disintegrated on impact.”
Denmark: Long-term APPROXIMATELY 40,000 Ukrainian refugees now live in Denmark were displaced following Russia’s invasion of their country. A comprehensive study by the DARECO organisation found that one in three show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, while 50 per cent told researchers that they had built good lives in Denmark and hoped to remain there once the war had ended.
Vietnam visitor CROWN PRINCE FREDERIK met Vietnam’s vice-president, VoThi Anh Xuan, during her recent visit to Denmark. Speaking in Copenhagen on November 22, the prince said Xuan’s visit would contribute to the consolidation of the relations between Denmark and Vietman, while working to implement agreements within the framework of their Green Strategic Partnership.
Norway: Be prepared WHILE emphasising that Norwegians lived in a safe and stable society, the government pointed out that the country was vulnerable as it depended on power, water supply and the internet. It was vital for all households in Norway to ensure they had a store of basic supplies, including food and fuel, that could support them for at least three days “if a disaster or crisis occurred.”
Test case NEW but mild Covid variants have infected thousands of Norwegians in recent weeks with previously quiet vaccination centres filling up and a sevenfold rise in sales of self-testing kits. The Health ministry changed the status of Covid to “no longer especially dangerous” on November 22 and doctors are now saying that for most people it was not necessary to test for the virus.
Italy: Whistle stop FRANCESCO LOLLOBRIGIDA, brother-in-law of Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni, faced criticism for ordering a Naples-bound high-speed train which was already running late to make an unscheduled stop after it was delayed again south of Rome. The minister and his entourage alighted in Ciampino where a waiting car drove them to Caivano near Napoles for an official engagement.
Pope speaks GENDER-BASED violence took the lives of 50 women this year in Italy and the murder of 22-year-old of student Giulia Cecchettin by a possessive boyfriend earlier in November demonstrated the need to educate men in forming healthy relationships, Pope Francis said. “To communicate is to form people. To communicate is to form society,” he declared while speaking to journalists.
Belgium: Naming names LAST year 1,120 people changed their surname in Belgium in a long and expensive procedure, although a bill put forward by the country’s Green parties has now been approved by the Parliamentary Justice Committee. Under the new law, everybody will be given the right to change their surname once in a lifetime if they switch to their other parent’s family name or a combination of both.
E-tandem launch THE e-bike and electric scooter-share company Pony announced plans to launch its tandem e-bike, the Double Pony, in Brussels early next year. The world’s first and only two-seater e-bike, which is designed to resemble a motorcycle, has been specifically engineered for shared use enabling to people to travel comfortably for up to 100 kilometres at speeds of 25 kilometre per hour.
Germany: Snakes alive THE German Association for Herpetology and Terrarium Science (DGHT) named the endangered common European adder, the only snake found beyond the Arctic Circle, as its “Reptile of the Year.” Adders are severely threatened in Germany as they are at risk from climate change, the DGHT said, since they thrive in colder environments and should be protected by conservation measures.
Russian links GERMAN publisher Hoffmann und Campe announced that it will stop selling books by Hubert Seipel, a leading author, filmmaker and an expert on Russia. Information arising from the Cyprus Confidential investigation into offshore services, revealed that Seipel had received at least €600,000 in undisclosed payments from companies linked to Alexei Mordashov, an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin.
Netherlands: Buzz off TIGER mosquitoes from Asia, have spread throughout the Netherlands apart from the most northerly provinces, food standards agency NVWA said. Stop Invasieve Exoten campaigners explained that the mosquitos were often found in used tyres, suggesting that drivers had inadvertently brought them back home from holidays in southern Europe where they are becoming endemic.
Going Dutch AFTER the UK left the European Union, universities in the Netherlands seized the opportunity of attracting more students from the EU and elsewhere by offering more courses in English. If a proposed parliamentary bill goes through, this will require universities to conduct fewer classes in English and oblige them to switch most of their coursework back to Dutch.
Finland: Cost conscious HIGHER food prices, which have risen by around 20 per cent in two years, are influencing both consumer choices in Finland and cashflow for the food supply chain, a recent survey found. Seventy-two per cent of respondents said price was a factor in their purchasing decisions while a preference for domestic products was a major consideration for 46 per cent of consumers.
Record winter FINAVIA, Finland’s airport operator, has opened 24 new direct flights to more than 130 global destinations throughout the winter months as well as numerous new international connections. Finavia is also seeing record numbers for Lapland flights with airlines offering an additional 240,000 additional passenger seats this winter, of which 150,000 were allocated to Rovaniemi Airport.
Ireland: Join the club IRELAND’S government is submitting a formal application to join the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as an associate member. Research minister Simon Harris announced that CERN will consider the application in mid-December and declared, “I really want to thank my department officials for all of their work. We are on the cusp of something significant.”
Debs’ delight DEBS or Grads are formal balls for school leavers and each year Debs Ireland organises a search to find Ireland’s Best Dressed Debutante, with the list now whittled down to 10 finalists before voting begins. This year’s overall winner, selected by Debs Ireland, Assets Model Agency and website votes, will win a holiday for two to New York and an Assets Model Agency contract.
Portugal: Pricey street RUA GARRETT in Chiado (Lisbon), where yearly rentals for shops and restaurants cost €1,500 per year per square metre, is the country’s most expensive street according to the Main Streets Across the World survey by consultants Cushman & Wakefield’s. Rua Garrett was ranked 29th worldwide, with first place going to New York’s Fifth Avenue rentals at €20,384 per square metre per year.
Scoot along SIXTY-NINE per cent of electric scooter users in Portugal are men, most of whom use them to get to work and college or as a complement to public transport, technology company Bolt found. Average age is between 18 and 34, which Bolt saw as positive, since it demonstrated that mobility was increasingly adopted by more people who were also using them for longer journeys.
Sweden: Losing battle TESLA employees in Sweden are on strike, the first time this has happened to the company anywhere in the world. The country has one of Europe’s strongest labour movements and as more than 90 per cent of workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements supported by employees and employers, observers predict that the company has picked a fight it cannot win.
Written words THE 39 volumes of Swedish Academy’s dictionary have just been sent to the printers, 140 years after work on their 333,111 pages first began. Not only will the earliest tomes eventually need to be revised to include modern terms but only 200 sets of the multiple volumes will be printed primarily for use by researchers and linguists, although the text will also be available online.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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