Tracy McNicoll

The Summer Of Sarkozy

Don't get distracted by the whirlwind and noise. It's all part of his plan—and it just might work.

Socialist Showdown

France's next presidential election isn't until 2012, but Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë is already bidding to be the candidate of change. Delanoë claims in a new book ("Audacity") to be both "socialist and liberal." That can be an oxymoron on the French left, where some use "ultraliberal" as a slur for unbridled capitalism.

Can It Sink "Titanic"?

"Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis" is a small comedy packed with an obscure dialect. It's about to become the biggest movie in France—ever.

Sarkozy's Nouveau Style

Re-presidentialization. De-bling-bling-ation. To hear spectators on both sides of the channel tell it, you'd think French President Nicolas Sarkozy's trip to Britain last week was less state visit and more celebrity detox.

How Sarkozy Exercises Power

It's not that President Sarkozy has too much power. It's that he uses what power he has to make hasty decisions without consulting others, says former Elysee speechwriter and Erik Orsenna.

France's New Western Idea

Sarkozy aims to create a novel kind of transatlantic leader, proudly Christian with warm Muslim ties.

Repairing France's Suburbs

The country's troubled banlieus, or suburbs, are partly the product of the best post-war intentions gone awry.

Adding Fuel to the Fire

Thousands of vehicles are set ablaze each year in France. Blame the urban planners—and the media.

Christine Lagarde: An American (Style) in Paris

Christine Lagarde is a French powerhouse with an American sensibility. A former head of the global law firm Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, she is now the Finance minister of France—the first woman to hold that post in any G7 country.

The Price Of Suspicion

The French are more distrustful than almost any other nation. A pair of economists tallies the costs.

Exonerating Europe's 'Last Witch'

In the 18th century, supposedly enlightened Europeans beheaded the continent's 'last witch.' Now Anna Göldi is celebrated with a new museum and an effort to clear her name.

4 hours in…Leipzig, Germany

Once East Germany's hotbed of culture and resistance, this eclectic and energetic city is worth a look, however brief.Listen to the 800-year-old Thomanerchor boys' choir in the St.

Mme. Sarkozy Shines As First Lady

France's scene-stealing new First Lady made a spectacular foray into geopolitics last month with her controversial role in the liberation of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor from a Libyan prison.

France: Sarko's Eclectic Economics

New French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been labeled a free-market fan, a shameless interventionist and a spendthrift opportunist. So which of the labels fit?

France: Another Win for Sarkozy

Was it only six weeks ago that political suspense reigned in Paris cafés? Could conservative Nicolas Sarkozy really win the nation's highest office? People wondered if he might be thwarted by the Socialists' comely comer, Ségolène Royal.

Beyond British Petroleum

The side wall of Hurricane Katrina's eye passed directly over Shell Exploration & Production's Mars Tension Leg Platform, the largest producer in the Gulf of Mexico, battering it with waves 120 feet high and winds of 170mph for four hours.

Algeria Bombings Raise Terror Fears in Europe

Just five months ago, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika boasted proudly that his country had "definitively beaten" terrorism. On Wednesday, though, his country suffered a painful return to the past.

Q&A: Valery Giscard d'Estaing 

Former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing presided over the European constitution his compatriots rejected in a 2005 referendum. But at 81, he is still fighting for the European project.