France Offers Right To Asylum To Protesting Syrian Refugees

The Syrians, 20 of whom are on a hunger strike, have since Wednesday occupied the footbridge of a ferry terminal at Calais port — from where ships leave for Britain — to press London to accept them. They have voiced disappointment in France, saying they were treated worse than “animals”. “I have been in contact with the Border Force. They are coming from Britain by train,” Robin said. “The immigrants want to hold discussions with the British authorities.” Myrian Guerey, a member of the Secours Catholic charity service who served as a mediator between the refugees and the French authorities, said the Syrians — still set on making it to Britain — were “very happy” about the talks. “They have been heard and they want to have a first contact with the British authorities,” she said. In a bid to end the crisis, some 50 police from the CRS anti-riot squad moved in early Friday to try and clear the refugees from the footbridge but backed off when two of them climbed on top of a nearby building and threatened to jump off if they approached. Pas-de-Calais prefect Robin then went to the site and offered the Syrians, currently illegal immigrants, the right to asylum. “Today, the Syrians present here are caught in a stalemate. What we can do is to offer them a status on French territory…in other words to make a request for asylum,” Robin told reporters. He said each demand for asylum had “95 percent chance of success,” adding that he was in contact with the British embassy in Paris. “We cannot take any decision on their access to Britain,” Robin said. “I am not persuading them to settle in France but trying to legalise their status.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has pledged to fast-track the applications of Syrians seeking asylum. But the protesting refugees, most of whom arrived a month ago in Calais, have voiced disappointment at the way they were treated in France.

France Cuts Wine Outlook Third Time on Hail Damage in Champagne

The harvests are starting late, in September for those most advanced but for the most part the volumes should be gathered in October, the ministry wrote. The fungus botrytis is developing on white-wine grapes in Burgundy as well as grapes in Bordeaux, the Charentes region and Frances southwest, which may prompt growers to accelerate the harvest, according to the report. In the Champagne region, production is still forecast to jump 43 percent from 2012, when vines supplying grapes for the bubbly wine named after the region suffered from frost damage, mildew and the fungus oidium. The regions wine volume is predicted to jump to 2.82 million hectoliters from a previous outlook for 2.99 million hectoliters. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, based in Paris, is the worlds largest maker of champagne, with brands including Moet & Chandon and Dom Perignon . Vranken-Pommery Monopole SA (VRAP) ranks second, followed by Pernod-Ricard SA and Laurent-Perrier. 2012 Vintage Frances 2012 vintage was the smallest in more than four decades after grapes across the country suffered from drought, humidity, frost, disease and hail, with final output more than 10 percent below an initial forecast. Volume in the Bordeaux region, Frances biggest producer of designated-origin wines, may fall 19 percent to 4.43 million hectoliters, unchanged from last months outlook. Hailstorms in the Bordeaux region at the start of August damaged vines in the Libournais area that includes Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, as well as the Entre-Deux-Mers area. That caused losses estimated at about 78 million bottles. The harvest of white-wine grapes is nearing completion in Bordeaux, while gathering of the red-wine grapes started at the end of September, the ministry wrote.

Students’ connection with France growing stronger

government shutdown. Thousands of Americans flock to Normandy each year to see the beaches and sharp cliff-faces where Allied soldiers made their first entry into Nazi-occupied France during a massive invasion on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day. A year from the invasion’s 70th anniversary, many came especially to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, known for its pristine rows of white crosses, only to discover that its gates were chained shut. “Due to the U.S. Government shut-down this site is closed to the public,” read a sign on the gate. Dozens of roses had been strewn underneath by visitors. A political standoff in Washington between Republicans and Democrats over the U.S. budget has shut down non-essential government services, including the American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) that manages dozens of cemeteries for U.S. servicemen in foreign countries. The AMBC’s website said its cemeteries and memorials commemorating some 125,000 American war dead abroad were closed temporarily due to a funding gap linked to the shutdown. Visitors from the United States, some of whom said they had been planning their trips for months, blamed the political opportunism of congressmen for a gridlock that had deprived them access to the cemetery where ancestors were buried. Danny and Elizabeth Ferguson, a couple from North Carolina, said they were shocked to find the cemetery closed. “We were very very sad, after travelling so far and making such plans, to find that the government has elected to shut this place down,” said Danny, a lawyer. “We think it’s all political, and we think it’s terrible.” While 12 nations participated in the D-Day invasion, the United States, Britain and Canada provided the bulk of troops.

D-Day Cemetery Closed In France Thanks To Government Shutdown

Management courses were popular among Indian students, they added. Through this tour, the officials of the Embassy of France in India and Campus France offered students and their parents the opportunity to meet some 20 top French business and engineering institutes. The admission tour was scheduled in four cities including Pune. The Bangalore and Chennai leg of the tour was held in September while the Chandigarh leg will be held on October 5. Caroline Goeny Mentre , heading the scientific and university cooperation at the Embassy of France in India told TOI on Thursday, “In 2000, there were only about 100 students from India studying in France. About five years ago, we created a niche for ourselves in India as far as engineering and management education was concerned. In 2012, 2,600 students from India received admissions into French schools and universities for 700 courses. The rise is encouraging.” Goeny-Mentre said the master’s degree in management in finance, international relations and marketing were the most popular among Indian students. “Besides, we also offer 300 scholarships amounting to Rs 7.1 crore in a year to Indian students in various disciplines which are purely merit based and at the masters level,” she said. To attract more Indian students to France, the embassy in May 2013, eased conditions for obtaining work visas. This allowed a large number of students graduating from French business and engineering schools to extend their stay for work in France. During the admission tour, students got the opportunity to meet the institutes’ representatives followed by a 20-minute interview with the French representatives that allowed students to gain insight into curriculum as well as all scholarship options. What’s attractive – The embassy in May 2013, eased conditions for obtaining work visa after completing studies in France – Facilitate travel visa for all Indian citizens who have studied in France and applied for tourist or business visa, will be given long period visa of up to five years if the student has taken a masters or PhD degree from France – Simplified visa procedures; scholarships – Nine campus France offices in India including one in Pune for visa consultation – Proposed France-India job opportunities network to promote opportunities for Indian students who have done higher education in France