Today, we are going to talk about Euro 2016. The football tournament will kick off at the Stade de France on June 10 when France play Albania.
England will face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B. The Republic of Ireland will meet Italy, Sweden and Belgium in Group E, which is also known as the ‘Group of Death’.
Hosts France have got a favourable draw against Romania, Switzerland and Albania in Group A, while European Champions Spain will face the Czech Republic, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.
France was in a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday following Friday night’s attack in Paris from Islamic State. It comes just 10 months after the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack where 12 people were killed.
The latest terrorist incident was the worst such attack Paris has experienced since World War II. The French President Monsieur Hollande called the coordinated attacks “an act of war.”
ISIS has claimed responsibility. They said eight ISIS militants wearing explosives belts and armed with machine guns attacked precisely selected targets in Paris.
Today’s English lesson looks at the terrible events that took place in France recently. “Je suis Charlie” – “I am Charlie” is the phrase or slogan given in support of the French cartoonists who were killed by attackers in Paris on Wednesday 7th January at the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Events began at 10.30am when two masked gunmen raided the offices of the French satirical magazine. The gunmen killed 11 people including the magazine’s editor, and a policeman in a nearby street. The gunmen were identified as brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently were saddened by the “grotesque and unjustifiable invasion of privacy” by a French magazine which published topless photos of Kate. The French magazine ‘Closer’ printed the pictures of the Duchess, taken during their private holiday in France.
The Royals immediately decided to take legal action over the case. The editor of ‘Closer’ hit back saying the couple were “visible from the street” and the images are “not in the least bit shocking”. Prince William has always been absolutely determined to protect the privacy of his wife.
Category: Royal Family / Duchess of Cambridge / Photos
Today, let’s talk about the unwritten rules French waiters use to get customers to part with their cash in order to get a good tip. These Gallic waiters have an impressive array of tricks and techniques to effortlessly do this.
The unwritten rule book on how “garçons” from Paris and the rest of France manage to lengthen diners bills without raising their hackles has been set in stone by the rue89 website. In their headline “Seven serving tips to increase the bill” rue89 says that waiters and waitresses are taught skills, such as, showing diners to a table right by the front door or window in an otherwise empty restaurant to attract more custom.
A golden rule is never to place bread on the table before an order, as diners are likely to get full too fast for several dishes. A French waiter called Romain explains: “My boss wants me to give it after bringing the dish, even if it means forgetting it entirely so customers will be hungry for dessert.”
Category: France / Restaurants / Waiters
Paris - After a decade in retreat Marks & Spencer the British retail clothes and food giant has reopened in France. Yesterday, it opened its doors in the French capital. The new three storey shop lies in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. Its new £50m 10-year lease makes it one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in eurozone territory.
Marks and Spencer will also launch five other stores in Paris and is now searching for suitable premises for its Simply Food outlets. A French language website has also been launched. While some French housewives pouted their cheeks and shrugged off the opening of the new outlet, other loyal followers of well-heeled French housewives were pressing their noses up against the windows in anticipation yesterday.
“We love their sandwiches, little cakes, shoes, trousers,” said Chantal Bruno and Nicole LeClerceq yesterday. “When the shop closed before, we went to London, because we couldn’t bear not to have M&S clothes. Paris is not the capital of style, Marks & Spencer is.” The French you see have a peculiar love affair for the British retailer.
Category: France / Paris / Marks & Spencer
Sections of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall in France are being restored by enthusiasts. But should it be preserved? Should the Nazi fortification be fully embraced as part of the country’s image?
The so-called Atlantic Wall – Hitler’s defensive system against an expected Allied attack – stretched all the way from the Spanish border to Scandinavia. It was in France where the most extensive building took place. In fact 1,287km (800 miles) of French coast have substantial and evocative vestiges of war-time Europe. However, in France up till now there has been no effort to preserve this extraordinary historical landmark.
The French, have it seems, been quite happy to see the German defences rust away and crumble over time. But now it appears a new mood has emerged. Recently, several local associations dedicated to safeguarding portions of the Wall have been set up in France. Times have moved on, memories of the war have lapsed, and a new generation no longer feels pain or guilt, but curiosity.
Category: History / France / Hitler’s Atlantic Wall
Whilst flicking through the British newspaper The Times recently an interesting charity advert caught my eye…
- ‘Bratislava or Bust!’ July 22-26 2011. Meningitis Trust.
- Set yourself a challenge with a difference for 2011. 1 car. Your friends. 5 days. 6 countries. 1,000 mile road trip of a lifetime. 1 fantastic challenge. 1 fantastic cause. For more information visit www.meningitis-trust.org/BoB Reg charity Nos. 803016/SC037790
Further investigation revealed it’s a charity event for students of all ages! The money raised is for the charity the Meningitis Trust. The event is a car rally that starts in St Omer in northern France. This is where a driver and co-driver check in.
The rally lasts for three to five days. It offers a fun-filled adventure that will see participants wind their way through France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Slovakia. Teams can choose to stop in Italy or go the whole hog and finish in Bratislava. Naturally, it is no ordinary road trip!
Along the way participants will be set a series of daily challenges delivered by the organiser’s man in a white coat, which will test driver’s ingenuity, their co-driver’s map reading skills and the driver’s ability to barter and negotiate in a foreign language! Master the art of the challenges and you will be rewarded with riches and glory.
Category: Car Rallies / Fund Raising / Meningitis
French President Nicholas Sarkozy sparked a bitter European Union row by suggesting that the European Commissioner who compared his Roma policy to Nazi deportations should offer to host expelled gypsies in her native country of Luxembourg. The French President’s policy’ on expelling the Roma from their illegal encampments in France has created tension in the EU. It has ruffled feathers between heads of State, EU governments, the EU Commissioner and his deputy, who made the accusation against the French Presidents policy with that of the Nazi deportations.
Viviane Reding, a Luxembourger and the EU’s Justice Commissioner had on Tuesday (14th September) threatened legal action and described Mr Sarkozy’s treatment of Roma as a disgrace that reminded her of Second World War ‘round ups’ of gypsies and Jews. Brno Sido, a French senator said his country’s leader would personally raise the “scandalous criticism at the EU summit on Thursday”. He added that he was only applying European Regulations, French laws, and France was irreproachable in the matter but that if the Luxembourgers want to take them he had no problem.”
Category: Europe / European Union / Roma
Deep in the forests of central France something totally unique is happening. A knight’s castle is under construction. It’s the vision of one man, Michel Guyot, whose idea was to build a complete 13th century castle by using only authentic tools and locally sourced materials.
Every detail of the project is made as accurate as possible, even down to the clothes worn by the workers. If ropes are needed they are made on site; when stone is needed it needs to be quarried out of the ground etc. It’s actually the first castle of its kind to be built for nearly 800 years.
The Château de Guédelon, near the village of Saint-Fargeau in Burgundy, is probably the world’s most unusual building site. It is an exercise in archaeology in reverse, as it is discovery by building up, not by digging down. The foundations were laid back in 1997. It is due to be completed in 2025, when it will be a full-sized castle with battlements and a moat and six towers. According to Monsieur Guyot it is based on the period of 1228.
Category: History / France / Medieval Castle