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    Prophet of Outrage

    How an obscure pamphlet by a former resistance fighter inspired Europe’s grassroots protesters.
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    Marine Le Pen's New National Front in France

    Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, reached historic heights by gaining 18 percent of France’s vote in the first round of the 2012 presidential election—making her a potential kingmaker. In February 2011 profile, Tracy McNicoll explains why Le Pen is not exactly Daddy’s girl.
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    Wiera Gran: Strange Saga of a Warsaw Ghetto Singer

    Amid horrific Nazi madness, Wiera Gran sang love songs in the Warsaw Ghetto. Within the walls of that grim urban cage, the 25-year-old petite Jewish beauty drew crowds to the ghetto’s Café Sztuka, crooning standards from happier times in a deep, velvety lilt. She died, many decades later, in 2007, in a Paris at peace, caged in her own filthy, darkened hovel, consumed with hatred, sick with fear. She had scrawled words on every surface in her oppressive 16th-arrondissement flat, crippled by paranoia yet determined to defend her name. A hallway wall screamed in thick red marker, “Help! Szpilman and Polanski’s clique want to kill me! HELP!”
  • France's Baby Boom

    The brooding French may be the world’s biggest pessimists—61 percent anticipated more economic hardship in 2011, more than twice the global average, according to a recent Gallup International poll—but they’re still adding new infants to their healthy broods.
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    Soccer Legend Urges French to Withdraw Bank Money

    The former soccer star Eric Cantona is beloved for his dazzling feats on the pitch and became a screen actor most celebrated when he played himself. Now he's making waves by calling for his French compatriots to withdraw their money from banks.
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    A Pyrrhic Victory in France

    Nicolas Sarkozy may well win his pension battle against the unions, but the French president will have little cause to celebrate. After weeks of strikes, fuel blockades, and street protests, the Senate finally passed his austerity bill late last week, another major legislative step toward raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 and the age at which workers can retire on full pension from 65 to 67. He needs to reassure financial markets that heavily indebted France is serious about reform. But as Sarkozy nears victory in Parliament, France’s unions are determined to keep fighting. The latest polls say a full 69 percent of the public is on their side, and new strikes and protests are scheduled for Oct. 28 and Nov. 6, just before Sarkozy signs the bill into law.
  • High-School Protesters Add to Pressure on Sarkozy

    The French president's sinking popularity continues to be battered, with a new nationwide protest expected to send more than 1 million angry marchers into the streets this weekend. The protests target Sarkozy’s pension-reform plan and are now drawing high-school students, who won't retire until at least 2058.