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SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE

Podcast SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE
Podcast SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE

SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE

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  • Podcast: Pension reform fury, employment after 55, Paris Peace Accords
    A majority of French people disapprove of the government proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64-years-old. Women could come off worse than men, and it will involve addressing senior employment, which France does not do particularly well. And how the Paris Peace Accords, marking a temporary end to the Vietnam war, were signed 50 years ago in the French capital. The French government's proposed pension reform, which would raise the minimum retirement age has unleashed a new wave of strikes and protests, drawing a record 1.3 million people into the streets on 18 January. Some opponents say everyone will loose out in the reform, though an official report suggests women may fare worse by having to work on average seven extra months – compared to five for men – in order to even out the gender imbalance. On the street, women expressed anger at being asked to work longer in what are already difficult jobs. (Listen @58'') Opposition parties on the hard left and hard right are opposed to the reform, but some members of the ruling coalition are also expressing concern. MP and former environment minister, Barbara Pompili, has said that she cannot vote on the legislation as it stands, and is pushing for amendments to make it fairer, especially for people who started working young, and for older workers. (Listen @10'27'') France has a problem with employing seniors – people aged 55 and over – and this could become an even bigger issue if the retirement age is raised to 64. Hervé Boulhol, senior economist at the OECD, says that contrary to popular opinion previous increases in retirement have not led to more unemployment among seniors. (Listen @14'50'') The agreement to end the Vietnam war was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973, after nearly five years of difficult negotiations between the US and communist North Vietnam. France was a logical place to hold the peace talks because of its historical links to Vietnam – a French colony until 1954. (Listen @22'40'') Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani. Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
    1/26/2023
    29:43
  • Podcast: Senegalese riflemen, cryptocurrency woes, Napoleon III
    Long-awaited recognition for France's colonial infantry corps. Who are the French victims of the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange? Napoleon III's transformation of France. The "tirailleurs Senegalais" – riflemen from former French colonies in west Africa who fought in the French army – will be allowed to claim their French state pensions while living permanently in their countries of origin. The change in rules marks a shift in recognition for their heroism and coincides with the release of "Les Tirailleurs" starring Omar Sy. Yoro Diao, one of the few surviving soldiers, talks about the fight for recognition, and his pride in defending his country’s former colonial ruler. (Listen @2'15'') Some 50,000 to 60,000 people in France lost money in the collapse of the American cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Lawyer Ronan Journoud (@cryptoavocat) is advising some of the victims. Several of them lost their life savings. (Listen @19'23'') We look at the complicated legacy of France's first president and last monarch, Napoleon III, 150 years after his death on 9 January 1873. He expanded France's colonial empire, renovated Paris, and died in exile in England. (Listen @)14'30") Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani. Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
    1/12/2023
    30:42
  • Podcast: Football frenzy, foie gras alternatives, Proust forever
    Unpicking France's win against Morocco in World Cup semi-final; finding "ethical" alternatives to force-fed foie gras; and why it's worth reading Marcel Proust, 100 years after his death. After France beat Morocco in the World Cup semi-final, Paul Myers looks at whether it makes sense to see it as a face-off between Morocco and its former colonial power, and what a win in the final against Argentina on Sunday would mean for France – which first won the football tournament in 1998. (Listen @0') Foie gras is a delicacy found on many French tables during the festive season. But the process of making it, which involves force feeding geese or ducks to increase their liver size, can be seen as a form of animal cruelty. French scientist Remy Burcelin has discovered a way for geese to naturally fatten their livers, and his company is experimenting with making foie gras without force feeding. Meanwhile vegan chef Julie Bavant shows us how to make faux gras, or fake foie gras  and talks about why it is appealing to vegans and meat-eaters alike. (Listen @19'50'') French writer Marcel Proust, who died 100 years ago this year, spent 14 years writing his 3,000-page opus 'A la recherche du temps perdu' (In search of lost time) – hailed as one of the greatest works of 20th century European literature. Reading it is a daunting task, but Josh Landy, author of 'The World According to Proust' says it's well worth the effort. (Listen @8'45'') Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani. Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
    12/15/2022
    34:47
  • Podcast: abortion rights, living in a cemetery, Walt Disney's French connection
    As France's parliament passes a bill that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution, a new film explores the time before it was legalised in 1975. The curator of Père Lachaise in Paris on life and biodiversity in France's most famous cemetery. And Walt Disney's 11th-century French roots. France might be on the way to becoming the first country to have abortion rights protected in the constitution, after a recent vote in the National Assembly passed with a large majority. Not everyone thinks it is necessary – legal scholar Gwenaele Calves says abortion rights are already well protected in France. Meanwhile a new film, Annie Colère (Angry Annie), tells the story of the MLAC (Movement for the freedom of abortion and contraception) whose work carrying out illegal abortions in the early 70s helped pave the way for the law legalising abortion in 1975. (Listen @0') Three million people flock to Paris' Père Lachaise cemetery every year, drawn to the tombs of Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrison and other famous people buried there. But it's also home to an increasing amount of wildlife, including foxes. Laura Angela Bagnetto spoke with cemetery curator Benoît Gallot (@benoit_gallot), author of La vie secrète d’un cimetière (The secret life of a cemetery) about living in the famed graveyard and its rich biodiversity. (Listen @16') Walt Disney was born on 5 December 1901 in the US, but his distant ancestors hailed from Normandy and gave him his name. (Listen @11'50'') Episode mixed by Vincent Pora. Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
    12/1/2022
    22:54
  • Podcast: Bullfighting, civil disobedience, Vikings lay siege to Paris
    A north-south divide over bullfighting, which holds an important cultural spot in many parts of southern France, but which opponents say is animal cruelty. A French climate activist on why blocking roads and interrupting opera performances is the only way to get attention. And the 9th-century Viking attack on Paris. The bullfighting tradition is long and strong in many parts of southern and south-western France, but a lawmaker from the north of the country says it's immoral and wants to get it banned outright. A corrida in Vauvert, near Montpellier, where toreros were performing along with students from the Arles bullfighting school, suggest the issue might be more nuanced. Aficionados object to a Parisian vision of how they should or should not celebrate their culture. The violence inherent to bullfighting is also, they say, what makes it so powerful. (Listen @2'07'') Climate activists have taken to throwing things at famous paintings in European museums, to capture the public's attention over what they see as an existential threat. While French paintings have not been hit (so far), homegrown French activists Dernière Rénovation (Last renovation) have been using direct action or acts of civil disobedience to highlight the very specific issue of housing renovation. The housing sector is the second-biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in France, after transportation, and the group wants the government to pass more ambitious legislation to push homeowners to better insulate their buildings. To increase pressure on the government, they started in the summer by interrupting the Tour de France. Since then, they have regularly blocked highways around the country. Victor talks about interrupting an opera performance, and why such acts of civil disobedience are necessary. (Listen @20'00'') The Viking siege of Paris that started on 24 November 885 was the beginning of the end of the unified Carolingian Empire, setting in place the future shape of the France we know today. (Listen @16'12'') Episode mixed by Nicolas Doreau. Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
    11/17/2022
    32:30

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