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2019 Jun 29 - European Heatwave

20190629
This week in Southern Europe, the wave of political populism gave way to the wave of heat, a heat wave, as temperatures crept high enough that the trees are beckoning dogs over to them. Yes, the mercury in the thermometers would be rising to the top, if the EU hadn't banned the use of mercury thermometers years ago. Remember that supposedly silly scene in the 4th Indiana Jones movie where he climbs into a lead-lined fridge, well that seems like a sensible idea now, it's probably quite cold in that fridge.

In France they recorded their highest recorded temperature - 45.9C (115F) and authorities have warned people not to venture outside at mid-day, a rule that the Spanish government has seemingly had in place since records began. That new heat record was measured in the southern village of Gallargues-le-Montueux which is actually quite close to Nimes, although I can imagine that the French deliberately made the recording in that village in order to make fun of British newscasters struggling to pronounce it. Perhaps they can retaliate by recording a world-beating rainfall record in an unassuming Welsh valley. Go on Jean-Paul, give it your best shot!

And of course, queue a line of politicians saying that this is all mankind's doing, including many who would single out the men in "mankind" There's even the occasionally utterly shameless ones who jumped on an airplane and flew there to make their point. They're usually the same sort of people who travel first class to Venice to warn people that the city is sinking, that's kind of the whole point of Venice really. Mind you, the weather does seem a lot hotter than it was back in January so maybe there's something in it after all.
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2019 Apr 20 - Notre Dame & London Protests

20190420
This week started with the sad news that a fire had almost led to the destruction of Notre Dame, and certainly Quasimodo will have to spend the next couple of years living on the Phantom of the Opera's sofa. The atrocity drove to people around the world pledging hundreds of millions of Euros to rebuild and President Macron says it may be rebuilt in just a couple of years, presumably because there's an election in 2022 and he'd like to reopen the cathedral as a last act of office before he's kick ......

2018 Dec 09 - Paris Yellow Vest Protests

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It's the run up 'til Christmas and rather than the 2 calling birds or 3 french hens, the French government dispersed tear gas in Paris. Police fired into the crowd as a fourth weekend of anti-government protests turned violent. 8000 police and 12 armoured vehicles have been deployed in Paris and if you think you hear 12 drummers drumming, it's probably the sound of those 12 armoured vehicles being pelted with rocks, or possibly oyster shells and wine bottles because it's Paris and why not enjoy ......

2018 Apr 27 - Royal Baby + Trump + Macron

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This week the UK saw an assault of royal commemorative plates being launched with Kate giving birth to another child and Prince Charles cracking open a tincture of homeopathic champagne to celebrate. The baby weighed just over 8 pounds making it just slightly heavier than the special commemorative supplement you'll be removing from this week's Sunday paper; I guess it's up to you whether you use it for lighting the barbecue or stash it away in a cupboard as an investment, it could potentially tr ......

2017 Apr 27 - French Election 2017

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This week I thought we’d take a look at France: they take a more laid back approach to life there and are sometimes slow to copy things that the UK did years ago, like modernising employment law or discouraging children from smoking but this week they were quick to crank up the election fever just like us and soon we’re going to have a new French President sworn in – before the UK’s even had a chance to vote. And unlike the UK election, nobody knows who’s going to win the French one. S ......

2017 Mar 30 - Article 50 Triggered

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Article 50 has finally been triggered! It’s like the starting pistol of a race going off, if that race was about 400 miles long and nobody had gone near a gym in years and everyone was already bored hearing about it.

So what else has been happening? Well we’re a currently a few weeksinto Lent and for those who are curious, Theresa May decided to give up crisps for 6 weeks. Shortly afterwards, true story, Walkers Crisps announced that they were closing their factory in County Durham with the ......