Briefs, September 26, 2012

Abu Hamza al-Masri addresses a rally in London. Photo: Reuters

Patient with Sars-like illness remains critical

Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 4:10am

'Brainwashing guru' stands trial in France

Thierry Tilly met the family in the 1990s. Photo: SCMP

A "guru" who is accused of cheating three generations of a wealthy and aristocratic French family out of their fortune has gone on trial.

For a decade Thierry Tilly brainwashed 11 members of the de Vedrines family into believing that their lives were threatened by a secret masonic plot from which only he could save them, investigators say.

26 Sep 2012 - 5:01am

More Asians buying into dream of owning property in France

Le Beffroi with guesthouse, located in the serene countryside of romantic France.

In the rush and bluster of our busy world, who hasn't entertained the occasional thought to swap it all for a life less harried?

Such notions don't come much dreamier than the thought of running away to the French countryside where, say those who have gone before, the wine and laughter flow in equal measure, and the biggest decision of the day is whether to dine indoors or out.

3 Oct 2012 - 11:46am

France's supertax and the flight of the rich

Workers protest against lower taxes for the rich in Belgium. Photo: Reuters

At the Louis Vuitton flagship store on the Champs-Elysées, the Japanese tourists jostle over the famous monogrammed leather bags as if they are going out of fashion.

23 Sep 2012 - 11:58pm

Merkel, Hollande meeting to mark watershed speech by de Gaulle

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: AFP

The leaders of France and Germany, who will meet on Saturday to mark a watershed 1962 speech by Charles de Gaulle to German youth, have forged a pragmatic bond against the odds for the sake of the euro.

20 Sep 2012 - 2:25pm

Briefs, September 19, 2012

Workers protest at Anglo Platinum mine. Photo: EPA

Two-horse race to succeed Sarkozy

19 Sep 2012 - 4:27am

France furious over top tycoon Bernard Arnault's plan to seek Belgian citizenship

Illustration: Craig Stephens

When France's richest person, LVMH's billionaire head Bernard Arnault, announced his decision to seek dual Belgian citizenship just as his homeland was about to introduce tough taxes on the rich, the comments he received were scathing.

"Get lost, rich jerk," opined France's left-leaning Liberation daily in a front-page headline.

16 Sep 2012 - 4:13am

France's richest man denies bid for Belgian nationality is for tax reasons

France's richest man, LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, said he was not becoming a tax exile, despite seeking Belgian nationality as Paris moves to impose a 75 per cent wealth tax.

11 Sep 2012 - 9:30am

Frenchman takes PCs to the lap of luxury

Two computers extravagantly decorated in a Louis XVI style at entrepreneur Georges Chirita's workshop near Paris. Photo: AFP

Does your laptop clash with your Empire-style interior? No problem. A French entrepreneur has signed up a team of traditional craftsmen to turn out PCs fit for a royal home.

10 Sep 2012 - 3:06am

Three members of British family shot dead in car in French Alps beauty spot

A policeman delivers flowers to the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey. French police say they have no motive for the brutal killings. Photo: Reuters

A four-year-girl who was in a car when her parents and grandmother were shot dead stayed hidden under her murdered mother's skirt for eight hours after police arrived.

Firemen and police officers, under orders to leave the British-registered BMW untouched pending the arrival of forensic experts, failed to spot her.

7 Sep 2012 - 4:30am

There is always a dark side to love

Photo: AFP

Is there a particularly French idea about l'amour? Political analyst Agnes Poirier thinks so.

2 Sep 2012 - 8:50am

World briefs, August 29, 2012

Romania's Traian Basescu after the referendum. Photo: Reuters

France starts probe into Arafat's death

29 Aug 2012 - 3:42am

France 'protected' Armstrong from a 2005 police anti-doping raid

Lance Armstrong, branded a drug cheat and banned from cycling by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada), narrowly escaped a police raid on his hotel during the 2005 Tour de France because he was being "protected in France", a French lawyer has said.

27 Aug 2012 - 5:28am

Merkel, Hollande in spotlight ahead of crucial Greek meetings

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will try to present a united front when they meet Thursday ahead of a fateful few weeks for Greece’s eurozone future.

As leaders of the bloc’s top two economies, the pair carry the weight of expectations that they will drive decisive action to remedy the near three-year crisis, despite their differences.

22 Aug 2012 - 12:03pm

Minister jostled on visit to northern French city of Amiens after riots

Interior Minister Manuel Valls (second left) struggles to make his way through a crowd in a riot-hit neighbourhood of Amiens. Photo: Reuters

Youths jeered and jostled the French interior minister yesterday in the northern city of Amiens, where he met local officials after overnight riots in which buildings were torched and police were fired at with buckshot and pelted with missiles.

15 Aug 2012 - 4:23am