Coen Brothers Take Home France’s Top Cultural Prize

France expels schoolgirl to Kosovo after class trip; Hollande’s government under fire

Men react as they struggle against a strong wind and rain caused by approaching Typhoon Wipha at a business district in Tokyo October 16, 2013. A once-in-a-decade typhoon threatened Japan on Tuesday, disrupting travel and shipping and forcing precautions to be taken at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Paris could play the hard-line defender of the international nonproliferation regime, which would mean, among other things, insisting on Iran’s closure of the Arak reactor as a starting point for negotiations. Or Paris could revert to its old routine as a cranky sideline voice, watering down its stated refusal to accept a weak, ambiguous deal on Iranian nukes. Camille Grand, the director of the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research, argues that this France is different. Think of its first-in role in Libya, its successful military operation against al Qaeda in Mali, its readiness to strike Syria alongside Americaat least until Mr. Obama’s reversal, which left French President Francois Hollande “flabbergasted,” according to Le Monde. Writing for the World Today magazine, Mr. Grand describes a France that is troubled about the dwindling prospect of Western countries “enforcing” peace and security. “This more interventionist and Atlanticist France,” he says, “sees U.S. leadership often lacking resolve, hesitant, tempted by strategic retrenchment.” It’s a view that jibes with France’s experience with Mr. Obama’s erratic policy. Last October, the White House contacted both France and Britain to say that America would move to an interventionist position on Syria akin to theirs after the November U.S. election. Pfft.

France Covers Obama’s Middle East Retreat

Before Inside Lleweyn Davis takes home any major awards this season, sibling auteursJoel and Ethan Coen are already walking away with one of the globe’s biggest honors. our editor recommends Ethan Coen to Premiere First Full-Length Play, ‘Women or Nothing,’ Off Broadway Today, the duo received France’s top cultural honor, bestowed with the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.The award is given by the French government to people who “significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.” Past recipients in 2013 include Bruce Willis, Wong Kar-wai, Bono, and James Lipton. “Sometimes life plays jokes on you. Some of them are very unfortunate. Some of them are very fortunate. This is one of the most fortunate jokes I think that life has played on us. We’re very, very grateful for it, Joel Coensaid during the ceremony. French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti was on hand to present the brothers with their awards. Despite being distinctly American filmmakers — having written films like Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit — the Coen brothers are no strangers to France. Eight of their films have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, with 1991’s Barton Fink taking home the Palme d’Or. In 2006, the two were part of the Paris tribute anthology Paris, je t’aime.

Kosovo is one of Europes poorest regions. The Dibrani family fled Kosovo about five years ago because they are Roma, or Gypsies, and faced discrimination and few opportunities, according to French activist Jean-Jacques Boy, who works with immigrant families in the Doubs region in eastern France, where the family lived. The Interior Ministry said the familys application for asylum had been rejected, so it no longer had the right to stay in France. The ministry said the family repeatedly refused to leave, so police detained the father and expelled him to Kosovo on Oct. 8. Police detained the mother and five of their children Oct. 9, but Leonarda was away on a school field trip. The ministry says police met the girls school bus when it returned from the trip later that day. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault ordered an investigation into how she was taken into custody and said that if any violations are found, the family will be brought back to France and their case will be further examined. The association Education Without Frontiers Network said the expulsion was a setback for their efforts to keep children living in the country illegally in school and to protect them from police intervention. Conservatives defended the expulsion, saying police were enforcing the law. But Frances education minister said schools should offer sanctuary, not expose children to arrest. The expelled father, Reshat Dibrani, said he has yet to announce to his family that France doesnt want them. I dont know how I will keep lying to the kids, he said.

France, Portugal among eight nations set for UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs

France beat Finland 3-0 in its last Group game, but Spain’s win over Georgia ensured Les Bleus were consigned to second, while Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates finished a point behind Fabio Capello’s Russia in Group F. The one UEFA group runner-up that will miss out on a playoff spot due to its worst record against the first-, third-, fourth- and fifth-placed sides is Denmark due to there only being eight spots up for grabs. Group B’s race for second between four teams – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Armenia and the Danes – went down to the wire, and the way the countries took points off each other worked against them in the end. Sweden was the only team heading into the final round of matches to be guaranteed to be in the playoffs, with Germany a distant Group C winner, no teams challenging for second place and the bottom-placed team already decided. The second team to know its playoff fate was Greece, as Bosnia and Herzegovina won to deny the Euro 2004 winner automatic entry to the World Cup. Croatia already bagged second place in Group A and was able to avoid missing out on the playoffs despite losing 2-0 to Scotland in its final game on Tuesday. Iceland, which has never reached a major international tournament in its footballing history, will be delighted to have a crack at World Cup 2014 qualification after Slovenia was defeated 1-0 by Group E winners Switzerland, meaning the Scandinavians’ 1-1 draw with Norway was enough to finish second. Turkey’s 2-0 defeat to Netherlands ensured that Romania finished ahead of its Group D runner-up challengers, and Fatih Terim’s men slipped from second to fourth, with Hungary hopping into third with its 2-0 win over Andorra. The final spot on Tuesday went to Ukraine, which hammered San Marino 8-0 but was pipped to first place in Group H by England. The draw for the two-legged ties will take place Oct. 21 in Zurich. The seeded sides are Croatia, Portugal, Greece and Ukraine, with France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland set to be the unseeded four sides. Sports & Recreation