French President Francois Hollande won’t seek re-election His popularity had hit rock bottom after a term in office marked by terror attacks, high unemployment and embarrassing revelations about his private life. FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS Hollande has announced he will not seek re-election next year as he bowed to historically low approval ratings after a troubled five years in power.The 62-year-old Socialist leader put a decisive end to speculation in a solemn televised statement from the Elysee Palace in Paris.“I have decided that I will not be a candidate,” Hollande said.“In the months to come, my only duty will be to continue to lead my country.”Hollande’s popularity had hit rock bottom after a term in office marked by U-turns on major policies, terror attacks, high unemployment and embarrassing revelations about his private life.A poll yesterday predicted he would win just 7% of votes in the first round of next year’s election in April — strengthening critics in the Socialist party who view him as a lame duck.Voter surveys currently tip rightwing Republicans party candidate Francois Fillon to win the election, with the far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen seen as his closest challenger.But with the full range of candidates still unknown and the role of independents such as 38-year-old ex-minister Emmanuel Macron difficult to predict, analysts urge caution about the forecasts.Divided Socialists Hollande’s withdrawal leaves the field open for France’s divided ruling Socialist party which began accepting candidates today for a party primary race due on 22 and 29 January.Arnaud Montebourg, a leftist former economy minister, has already submitted his name while ambitious Prime Minister Manuel Valls would also be expected to run.Hollande, who has some of the lowest approval ratings for a French president since World War II, came to power after defeating right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012.He took office promising to be “Mr Normal” after what were seen as the excesses of the years under Sarkozy, who married supermodel Carla Bruni and was often pictured with millionaire friends.But his presidency has been anything but normal.France has faced three major Islamist-inspired terror attacks since January 2015 — firstly against the Charlie Hebdo magazine, then in Paris in November and in Nice in July.On economics, Hollande started with a leftist programme that included a wealth super-tax of 75% on top-earners, but he shifted course mid-way through his term to embrace pro-business reforms.And his colourful personal life has never been far from the headlines, leading his opponents to claim he has demeaned one of the most powerful political offices in Europe.In January 2014, celebrity magazine Closer published pictures of him arriving on a scooter at an apartment near his official residence for secret trysts with a French actress, Julie Gayet.The revelations led to the break-up of Hollande’s relationship with partner Valerie Trierweiler, who went on to write an eviscerating book which claimed the president mocked poor people as “the toothless”.Criticism The left-leaning Le Monde newspaper had more harsh words today for the president, whose leadership was described as “pathetic” by Republicans’ candidate Fillon at the weekend.Le Monde wrote in an editorial that the Socialists risked tearing themselves apart ahead of the presidential election in April and May and parliamentary polls in June.“The person who is most responsible is Francois Hollande, who has not given a meaning to his time in office, occupied the job with authority or imposed himself as the legitimate candidate for his party,” it said.And there could be more bad news to come.Hollande’s embittered former aide Aquilino Morelle has announced a tell-all book to be published around the same time as the primary about the president’s first few years in power. Its title? The Abdication.© AFP 2016Read: Hostages rescued after standoff with gunman in FloridaRead: Six bodies believed to be from same family found in Austrian house Image: Francois Mori AP/Press Association Images http://jrnl.ie/3114808 42 Comments Dec 1st 2016, 7:59 PM Thursday 1 Dec 2016, 7:59 PM By AFP 7,551 Views French President Francois Hollande Share35 Tweet Email Short URL French President Francois Hollande Image: Francois Mori AP/Press Association Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
￼Come October and it is time for celebrations and festivals throughout India. As the autumn sky turns poetic, the cool breeze ushers in, a season of good times and festivities begin. It is time for gaiety and joviality, amusement and togetherness.It is the moment of triumph of good over evil. We witness the Ram Leela in the glory of Lord Rama followed by Dusshera where the effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad are blown away with the celebration of fireworks. These Navratris are also celebrated as dandiya utsav where the night is to be danced away. For all us Bengalis, it is Pujo time!￼Durga PujaWhen suddenly you can see shuili phool ( commonly known as night flower) growing in wilderness, you know it is the time of the year when our mother descends from her husband’s majestic galaxy to visit her parental home. Ma aschhen.The humble earth rejoices. Flowers bloom in brilliant colours, the birds merrily chirp away and the sounds of dhak and the aroma of dhunochi turn the atmosphere heavenly.To match the glamour and glitz we all complete our Pujo shopping in time to look our best in front of our dear Ma who has come to bestow us with good blessings and health for a year.As young girls, my sister and I would excitedly wait for parcels of presents or money sent by my loving Dida and Masi from far away Agartala to complete our Pujo shopping. We would accompany our Mother to markets and fondly choose dresses for the Pujo.Pujo meant waking up early in the morning, one fine day and finding Daddy tuning our Radio to harmonious and powerful Mahalaya renditions.Pujo meant school breaks and visiting pandals doing idol hopping, offering pushpanjali and eating khichdi prasad during the day.Pujo meant being dazed by the joyous sounds of Dhak, witnessing the splendorous Aartis and enjoying the cultural extravaganza at night.Pujo meant tempting mouth-watering food and more food! From delicious double egg rolls to sumptuous mutton biryani.As we grew up, our other non-Bengali friends would also heartily accompany us to the beautifully decorated pandals and be awestruck. We would all giggle away in our sarees and idle away our time, forgetting any seriousness; just being in the present and frolicking to the heart’s delight.Now, is that time of the year again. Let us all get ready to soak in the glorious atmosphere, to cherish the feverish merriment and be a part of the ever-increasing maddening crowds!Happy Durgo Pujo. Bolo bolo Durga Mai ki Jai.
French football club Lyon has announced the signing of Manchester United striker Memphis Depay although it did not specify the amount paid in the transfer.Depay was one of the revelations of the last FIFA World Cup, yet he did not convince Man United coach Jose Mourinho to use him in the squad, reports Efe.”I hope to make you all proud,” the 22-year-old tweeted on Friday.The Dutch player won the Eredivisie title with PSV Eindhoven in 2014 thanks in part to his 22 goals, after which he became one of the figures of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.After that good performance he was signed by United, then under the helm of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, for 34 million euros ($36.2 million).Welcome @Memphis !!#Memphis9 ?????´?? #teamOL pic.twitter.com/NDbIYCsapN Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) January 20, 2017Snap ? ol-officiel #Memphis9 pic.twitter.com/1mh7d2pcqt Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) January 20, 2017
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the Broadway League has announced a further delay to the reopening of shows on the New York stage. All Broadway productions will now stay on hold—and will offer refunds and exchanges—through May 30, 2021. Dates for each returning and new Broadway show will be announced as individual productions determine the performance schedules for their respective shows.“With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so. We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League.Shows were initially set to be shut down through April 12, then through June 7, then through September 6 and then through January 3, 2021. The coronoavirus outbreak has caused the temporary closure of theaters worldwide, including in London’s West End, off-Broadway and across the United States. Shows that have announced they will not return after Broadway resumes performances include Hangmen, the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the musicals Beetlejuice and Frozen. Some productions previously scheduled to play during the 2019-2020 season have delayed their runs, including Flying Over Sunset, How I Learned to Drive, Caroline, or Change, Birthday Candles, Plaza Suite, The Minutes and American Buffalo. The new extension also impacts new shows that had rescheduled spring and summer openings. The upcoming revival of The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, has shifted its start date to December 2021. As previously reported, the Metropolitan Opera has announced that the company has canceled its 2020-2021 season. The plan will keep the opera house dark until September 2021.Nominations for the digital Tony Awards, will be announced on October 15, but no date has been set for an awards ceremony at this time. View Comments (Photo by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com)