France Covers Obama’s Middle East Retreat

But the name has fallen out of favour over the last century, to the point that it ranked only 877th in the list of names given to baby boys in 2012, according to France’s official data organisation INSEE. All that is set to change in the wake of the huge interest the July birth of Prince George, the first son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, generated on the other side of the English Channel, where acres of glossy newsprint and hundreds of broadcast hours were given over to breathless coverage of the birth. “The interest and attention in France was absolutely incredible, so I have absolutely no doubt that we will see Georges shooting up the list,” said Stephanie Rapoport, the author of “L’Officiel des Prenoms”, an annual guide to the most popular baby names in France. Rapoport uses trends drawn from official registry data to predict the names parents will choose in the year ahead. “George is one of the names where I actually had to adjust what the data was saying,” she told AFP. “Before Kate and William decided to name their baby George, I’d have said we would be looking at fewer than 30 babies being called Georges in 2014. It really had fallen completely out of use. “But now I’m confident we will see it rising into the top 400, maybe even the top 200. There is so much interest in anything to do with Kate and William, there is inevitably going to be a big boost to the popularity of the name they have chosen.” Nathan and Emma still top in France The 2014 edition of L’Officiel, published on Wednesday, predicts that Nathan, which has been the most popular boy’s name for the last three years, and Emma, top of the girl’s list for nine consecutive years, will retain their crowns. The popularity of Emma is such that one baby girl in every 72 born in France next year will be given the name, Rapoport calculates. As well as the growing influence of fashions from the English-speaking world, the popularity of Nathan reflects the current fashion for Old Testament names with Gabriel (4th), Adam (13th) and Noah (16th) all featuring in the top 20. “Nathan was virtually unknown in France 20 years ago, but it has always been popular in the US,” said Rapoport. “That is an influence but it is also linked to people wanting more original names, which is why you have the retro trend with girls names like Rose and Lily coming up strongly now.” Leo (3rd), Louis (7th) and Jules (11th) refect the retro trend amongst boys while Lola and Chloe were respectively second and third most popular for girls. Mohammed, which was the second most common name in England and Wales in 2012 if all its variants are counted, does not make the top 20 in France, despite the country’s Muslim community being twice as large as Britain’s.

Associated Press An engine on an Atlanta-bound Spirit Airlines jet where passengers said they heard an explosion and saw flames sustained an especially serious type of failure, a National Transportation Safety Board official said Wednesday. Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) The G2 and the G Pad 8.3, the flagship smartphone and tablet from LG Electronics Inc., are great mobile devices that have fantastic screens, top-end cameras and ample processing power. Associated Press Venezuela authorities hunt ‘currency tourists’ By Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) – In the immigration area of Venezuela’s biggest airport, about a dozen officials in red T-shirts and baseball caps randomly check passengers leaving the country. The officials are not guards or police: they are bureaucrats at state currency board Cadivi Reuters IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MEANING OF ‘SETTLED LAW’ IS No major legislation has ever been passed like Obamacare — and I’m using the word “passed” pretty loosely.It became law without both houses ever voting on the same bill. (Say, is the Constitution considered “settled law”?) Not one Republican voted for it — and a lot of Democrats immediately Ann Coulter (10 photos) The mysterious life of elephants and a crocodilian crown: the winners of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 are revealed. The winners of this years prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have been announced today at a gala awards ceremony held at Londons Natural History Save ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When two girls, aged 12 and 14, were arrested in a bullying-suicide investigation in Florida, many wondered: Where were their parents and should they be held responsible? Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel apologized Wednesday to Medal of Honor recipient William Swenson for having to wait so long for the Army to recognize his heroism. Associated Press San Francisco (AFP) – Apple’s plan to build a verdant new campus crowned with a shimmering flying-saucer shaped headquarters was cleared for launch late Tuesday. AFP Experts question North Dakota oil spill estimates BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) Scientists who helped calculate oil spilled from a broken BP well into the Gulf of Mexico are questioning the methodology used to estimate the amount of crude that recently leaked from a ruptured pipeline into a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota. Associated Press House of fallen Army Spc.

France to take in 500 Syrian refugees

A Syrian refugees protest at the ferry terminal in Calais, northern France on October 4, 2013

Fabius was not advocating a strike, volunteering eventual French participation, or indulging in simple Obama-bashing. But he was expressing a kind of French contempt for the U.S. administration’s evasive vocabulary about the Iran endgame. Which augurs what? Enlarge Image French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and John Kerry at the U.N. on Sept. 26. Reuters When talks between Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s emissaries and diplomats of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany begin this week in Geneva, France’s medium-term choice will be between two roles. Paris could play the hard-line defender of the international nonproliferation regime, which would mean, among other things, insisting on Iran’s closure of the Arak reactor as a starting point for negotiations. Or Paris could revert to its old routine as a cranky sideline voice, watering down its stated refusal to accept a weak, ambiguous deal on Iranian nukes. Camille Grand, the director of the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research, argues that this France is different. Think of its first-in role in Libya, its successful military operation against al Qaeda in Mali, its readiness to strike Syria alongside Americaat least until Mr. Obama’s reversal, which left French President Francois Hollande “flabbergasted,” according to Le Monde.