Berets, Baguettes And Brutal Blood Sport: Welcome To France!

“In France, there’s a culture of caution. If you fail with a company, it’s almost impossible to get a bank loan again whereas in the United States, it’s considered a ‘guarantee’… that you won’t make the same mistake again,” said Scellier. “Crowdfunding in France is a very good thing, it will make access to funds easier for entrepreneurs.” Globally, the crowdfunding market grew 81 percent in 2012 and raised $2.7 billion, a figure expected to shoot up to $5.1 billion this year, according to research firm Massolution. North America is by far the leader in this innovative form of funding, which broadly falls under three categories — donation-based financing, peer-to-peer lending and buying equity in a company. In France, the trend emerged around 2008 with the rise to fame of Gregoire, a singer who financed his first album via the My Major Company crowdfunding platform. It has slowly gathered momentum. Some 33 million euros ($45 million) were raised in the first six months of 2013 — more than the whole of last year — with more to come. “Growth (in France) will be around 150 percent this year, compared to around 100 percent at a global level,” said Francois Carbone, head of the French crowdfunding association. “This shows that there is strong interest in France for this mode of funding, and that it is rising quickly.” Last week, the country’s Socialist government announced a series of new proposals aimed at facilitating crowdfunding, which until now was in regulatory limbo. These include the creation of a new legal status that would ease regulatory burdens for online crowdfunding platforms — a first in Europe according to innovation minister Fleur Pellerin. “We all know how much banks can be unadventurous, scared of new ideas from inventors and those with projects,” Pellerin said at a conference announcing the measures, which if adopted will kick in in early 2014. “This is a problem, particularly in a context of crisis where we actually need to encourage audacity, and test groundbreaking solutions to create more jobs. “For young or new entrepreneurs, (for) all those who…

France calls on Alcatel-Lucent to review plan for mass job cuts

Employees of Alcatel-Lucent walk past an entrance at the company site in Orvault near Nantes, western France, October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Although their divorce was final in 2007, France filed a lawsuit in September 2008 alleging that Megan broke the terms of their divorce when it came to visitation rights, the hiring of nannies and the confidentiality clause. NASCAR chairman Brian France (AP Photo) MORE: France deals with credibility crisis | Sponsor questions NASCAR’s integrity Because he contended she broke the terms of the divorce, he had withheld $6 million in payments, according to court documents. The lawsuit, filed in North Carolina District Court in Charlotte, was dismissed Sept. 26, according to the clerk of court docket database, although the actual order of dismissal wasn’t immediately available from the clerk’s office. “The parties have voluntarily dismissed all pending litigation and amicably resolved all existing disputes on confidential terms that are consistent with the best interests of their children and their respective families,” Brian France attorney Johnny Stephenson said in a statement. “There will be no further public comment about these private matters.” The case file showed the massive wealth of Brian France, who succeeded his father as Chairman and CEO of NASCAR in 2003. In 2005 at the time of their marriage — the second between them — Brian France listed assets of $554 million and loans of $26 million, according to documents in the case. He earned $9.05 million in 2004 as NASCAR chairman and CEO. As part of the divorce, Megan France kept a $3.2 million Charlotte home and a $2 million vacant lot. Megan France argued in the case that Brian was not as involved in the life of their children as he should have been and had held back payments for some prep school fees for her daughter from a previous marriage. OLDER

NASCAR chairman Brian France ends lawsuit against former wife

Credit: Reuters/Stephane Mahe Tue Oct 8, 2013 2:39pm EDT PARIS (Reuters) – French president Francois Hollande called on Alcatel-Lucent on Tuesday to save as many jobs as possible in France after the telecoms equipment maker said it plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide, about 14 percent of its entire workforce. The announcement by the Franco-American group, which plans to cut as many as 900 posts in France, was criticised by Hollande’s government which is having to battle with record levels of unemployment across the country. “In the framework of the decisions to be taken, the restructuring plan, it should be examined how the job cuts can be limited as much as possible,” Hollande told reporters in the central town of Saint-Etienne, where he was promoting government efforts to cut unemployment. Other government officials acknowledged measures were needed to save the group in which France has a 3 percent stake. Alcatel-Lucent said the job cuts represented its last chance to turn itself around and stem losses. The product of a 2006 transatlantic merger aimed at creating a global giant, Alcatel-Lucent told a European works council meeting it intends to axe nearly one in seven of its employees. “Everyone knows this plan is the last chance. The company is in a very serious situation,” Chief Executive Michel Combes, the latest of three CEOs since the merger, told Le Monde newspaper. The group plans to focus on high-growth areas ranging from 4G mobile to high-speed broadband, and to lower fixed costs by more than 15 percent, saving a total of 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion). Including past measures, the total cost of the “shift plan” is 1.2 billion euros, an amount the company expects to fund through asset sales. Alcatel’s share price rose 2 percent after the news but closed down 4 percent at 2.71 euros as the government’s opposition to its plans intensified.

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He thinks that at last his suffering is over and he is being set free — instead, he runs into the bullring to face his killers and a jeering mob.” This is the only form of animal abuse that has absolutely no reasonable excuse–no excuse of harming animals for science, medicine, for warmth or food. They are torturing animals for fun and this is why I am putting my life on the line to attend the next protest. In Rodilhan, on October 27, sadists will torture two bulls and two calves to death. It’s a small town of in southern France, right outside Nimes–a four hour drive each way from Nice but I can’t not go. For the animal rights movement, Rodilhan is ground zero. This is our Birmingham, our march on Selma. I’ll be going with friends–American and French, joining Alliance Anti-Corrida , CRAC Europe and other animal rights organizations. We’ll be marching under the flag of Friends of Animals , an international animal protection organization. We will march for peace and an end to the violence inflicted on animals. We plan to be a thousand strong. If they hit us, we are not to hit back. We must be beyond reproach; we will remain non-violent. I’m really scared.