A shelter for him instead of tax dodgers?

LUXEMBOURG â€" This tiny country has long been known for its unsavory status as a tax haven. But now Luxembourg may be on its way to forging a new title: as animal rights capital of the world.

A new government bill aims to protect the “security and dignity” of animals, and recognizes that they possess “certain rights,” reports Le Quotidien, a prominent daily in Luxembourg.

The government boasts that if the measure is passed, it would provide the strongest animal protections in the world. Those convicted of mistreating their furry friends could face prison time ranging from eight days to three years, and fines up to 200,000 euros, a far more severe penalty than what was outlined in a 1983 law on the subject.

The government proposal, which animal rights groups helped draft, argues that animals possess rights because they have “a nervous system with the ability to feel pain and other emotions,” thereby broadening the definition of mistreatment to include “anguish and suffering.”

The bill, however, doesn't appear to address the "anguish" of cattle that may wind up on your dinner table. As noted in another Luxembourg newspaper L’Essentiel, the bill prohibits raising animals for slaughter primarily for their skin, fur, feather or wool, and bans the practice of killing economically unviable male chicks. It also aims to stop animals from being offered as prizes or gifts and reserves the sale of dogs and cats to breeders that guarantee the welfare of the four-legged creatures.

“This law is more than necessary,” says Marie-Anne Heinen of ASBL, a Luxembourg-based animal rights group, adding that violence against animals has risen in the last 25 years. “It will help associations like mine continue to carry out their work.”

If the bill becomes law, animals would find a friendly home in Luxembourg. It’s the kind of haven taxpayers around the world can rally behind.

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Boris Johnson tells France — not so eloquently — to prenez un grip

Bertrand Hauger


-Essay-

PARIS — I'll admit it straight away: As a bilingual journalist, the growing use of Franglais by French politicians makes my skin crawl.

Not because I think this blend of French and English is a bad thing in and of itself (it is!), or because the purity of the French language should be preserved at all costs (it should!) — but because in a serious context, it is — at best — a distraction from the substance at hand. And at worst, well …

But in France, where more and more people speak decent English, Anglo-Saxon terms are creeping in everywhere, and increasingly in the mouths of politicians who think they're being cool or smart.

Not that long ago, Emmanuel Macron was dubbed "the Franglais president" after tweeting "La démocratie est le système le plus bottom up de la terre" ...

Oh mon dieu

They call it Frenglish

It is much rarer when the linguistic invasion goes in the other direction, with far fewer English-speaking elected officials, or their electors, knowing more than a couple of words of French. (The few Brits who use it call it Frenglish)

Imagine then my horror last night watching British Prime Minister Boris Johnson berating France over the recent diplomatic clash surrounding the AUKUS submarine deal, cheekily telling UK media from Washington: "I just think it's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break."

Cringe. Eye roll. Facepalm.
Here's the clip, in case you haven't had your morning cup of awkward.
Grincement de dents. Yeux au ciel. Tête entre les mains.

First, let me offer a quick French lesson: Sorry, BoJo, you needed the "infinitif" form here: "It's time for [us] to prendre un grip about this and me donner un break."

But that, of course (bien sûr), is not the point in this particular moment. Instead, this would-be bon mot is not just sloppy and silly, it is incredibly patronizing, particularly when discussing a multi-billion deal that sparked a deep diplomatic crisis in the Western alliance.

The colorful British politician is, alas, no stranger to verbal miscalculations and linguistic gaffes. He's also (Brexit, anyone?) not necessarily one who cares about preserving relationships with longstanding partners. This time, combining the two, even for such a shameless figure as Mr. Johnson, only one word came to my bilingual brain: Vraiment?

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