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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 06:11 am
What gives you a better grasp of the realities of Europe today? The front-page reports on the G8 and the U.S.-EU summit? The in-depth profile of Jacques Chirac or Dominique de Villepin? Or the small space-filler about a French police lieutenant promoted to captain despite spending 12 of the last 18 years on “paternity leave,” in the course of which he wrote three books about the Beatles.
As a summation of contemporary Europe that could hardly be improved …
Speaking of which:
Police deployed 4,000 reinforcements as marauding youths torched at least two public buses Friday, the anniversary of the deaths of two teenagers that ignited weeks of riots in largely immigrant housing projects across France …
Thierre Ange, a 19-year-old witness, said four men attacked the bus, “made everyone get off, then they hit a woman and dragged out the bus driver by his tie” and torched the bus with a gasoline bomb in a bottle. The blackened carcass of another bus that was burned earlier stood across town in Le Blanc Mesnil.
Some 100 cars were torched nationwide overnight, half of them in the Paris region, police officials said. The figure was higher than usual – police say between 30 and 50 cars are set on fire during an average week, though some weekends the figure jumps to 100 … Attackers forced passengers off four buses before torching them in recent days, besides the two buses reported burned on Friday.
Some specialist manufacturers don’t even build 50 cars per week.