French-American duo take Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday, October 9, to Frenchman Serge Haroche and American David Wineland for their work on “quantum optics” allowing for the manipulation and measurement of light and matter, Le Figaro, Scientific American and BBC reported. The day before, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to British John Gurdon and Japanese Shinya Yamanaka for work to discover that mature cells could become pluripotent stem cells, according to Le Monde.
Two U.S. scientists, Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday, October 10, for their study of “G-protein-coupled receptors,” as covered by Le Figaro
.Three days into the weeklong series of awards given annually, Haroche became the 55th
French recipient. 243 Americans have recieved the prize explored by Le Parisien
Anti-Islamist raids kill one, puts France on alert
Early on Saturday, October 6, police carried out raids on alleged young, radical Islamists in the Paris region and in several cities across the nation, leading to 11 arrests and the shooting death of one Strasbourg man suspected of a grenade attack on a Jewish market, The Chicago Tribune, France 24 and Le Nouvel Observateur reported. On Sunday, October 7, President François Hollande met with Muslim and Jewish leaders to discuss the events and promise tighter security in religious centers, as the nation was placed on alert for radical Islamists, according to The New York Times and Le Point. La Croix explored the response from Muslim leaders, who are working to make clear their support for religious tolerance and distance themselves from radical individuals.
French parliament approves European budget pact
The French National Assembly voted 477-70 in favor of the European budget pact to set limits on national deficits, L’Humanité, Le Figaro and The LA Times reported. The passage of the bill came as little surprise, as the majority Socialist Party was joined by centrists and members of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement. However, members from the far-left and far-right voted against the measure, as did the Green party, whose alliance with the ruling Socialist Party was brought into question when party leaders voted not to support the bill in the past weeks.
Government likely to back down on taxes after business leaders fight back
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici announced on Thursday, October 4, that the government would likely ease tax hikes proposed as part of the 2013 budget after business leaders not only protested but threatened to leave the nation if faced with tax rates as high as the controversial 75-percent income tax proposed for all people earning more than €1 million per year, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg and Reuters reported. The New York Times looked at the change in attitude on the part of French business leaders, who recently acknowledged that higher taxes would be necessary to curb the nation’s deficit. Those same people are now saying that the September 28 budget put forth by President François Hollande’s cabinet exceeds reasonable and bearable levels.
ECB satisfied, while IMF warns of future trouble for France, Spain, Europe
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced on Thursday, October 4, that the eurozone’s central bank would not change interest rates, expressing satisfaction with the institution’s actions, including the much debated debt-buying program launched in September, Le Parisien and La Tribune reported. However, the International Monetary Fund warned that European economies remain in danger when it released its semiannual Economic Outlook on Tuesday, October 9, saying the ECB might need to cut interest rates further in the near future, according to Bloomberg. The IMF lowered its predicted global growth from 3.5 to 3.3 percent for 2012 and set its prediction for 2013 at 3.6 percent. The report expressed concern that France would not be able to lower its deficit to European target levels, forecasting instead 4.7 percent of GDP this year instead of the previous 4.5 percent, and 3.5 instead of 3 percent for 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal and Le Nouvel Observateur.
Merkel receives mixed welcome on first visit to Greece
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Athens on Tuesday, October 9, for her first official visit since the beginning of the European debt crisis to reassure leaders of her commitment to the European Union and to supporting Greek stability, Les Echos and The New York Times reported. However, the response on the streets did not reflect the sense of solidarity being promoted in official meetings, as tens of thousands gathered in protest of the considerable austerity Greece has been forced to accept to secure European and International Monetary Fund bailouts, as covered by Reuters and La Tribune.
NATO, U.N. back Turkey as Syrian violence flows beyond border
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced on Tuesday, October 9, that Lakhdar Brahimi, special envoy to Syria, would soon visit the nation to propose an all-out ceasefire nearly a week after tensions spilled beyond Syrian borders into Turkey, Reuters reported. Five people were killed in Turkey when Syrian shells crossed the border on Wednesday, October 3 creating an ongoing cross-border dispute which resulted in a U.N. Security Council condemnation the following day as Turkey’s parliament voted to permit armed forces to enter Syria if violence continued, according to CNN, Le Nouvel Observateur and The Wall Street Journal. Le Figaro reported that NATO quickly backed member-nation Turkey in condemning Syria’s violence not only inside its borders but also in neighboring nations.