When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Jean Marcel Maillard

See more by Jean Marcel Maillard

Saint-Denis's monument to the victims of slavery

France Facing Demons Of Its Own Slavery History

SAINT-DENIS - Those going through the Legion d'Honneur Square, not far from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis, in the northern Seine-Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, will perhaps wonder about the presence of a globe-shaped monument in the middle of a flower bed.

As they come closer, they will see that names, surnames and numbers have been etched onto colorful medallions. A plaque at the foot of the monument will tell them that these are the names of former slaves, along with their identification number. There are precisely 213 of them. And if they read to the end, they will learn that these names are also the names of French West Indians, who added their ancestors – found through genealogy – to the list.

Watch VideoShow less
Rolex, for a limited time...

Not Just Cars Anymore: New *Lease* On Life Now For All Kinds Of Stuff

PARIS - Baptiste Langlais shows off his new watch proudly. “In my sector, we like beautiful mechanics,” jokes the car salesman from the Paris region.

His latest whim? An 8,500-euro Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch. “A big investment, especially these days,” he admits. But he has found a way to reconcile reason and passion.

Watch VideoShow less
Algerian riots two years ago over high unemployment and food prices

Algeria At A Crossroads: Time For Ailing, All-Powerful President To Step Aside


ALGIERS - The confusing communication strategy orchestrated by supporters of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika around his recent hospitalization in Paris -- and the mystery surrounding the actual state of his health -- have led the Algerian press and the opposition parties to denounce the lack of transparency and secrets that are so characteristic of Algerian politics.

Watch VideoShow less
Rehearsing at Paris's prestigious "cours Florent" drama school

Florent Dreaming: Inside France's Most Famous Drama School

PARIS – It is past 9 a.m. when Laurence Cote arrives, and throws her things on her desk.

The 20 or so students scattered around the room, far from falling silent at once for the arrival of their teacher...getting even louder instead. They run, shout, trample. “Does anyone have a blazer?” asks someone. “I do. You lucked out,” someone answers.

Watch VideoShow less
Cedric Denaux's "snails and violet flowers"

The Gatherer: Cedric Denaux's Secrets To Wild Cuisine

SAINT-PAUL-TROIS-CHATEAUX - Three steps in from the side of the path are enough for Cédric Denaux to identify a veritable pantry. Where we only see a field of flowers and weeds exploding in springtime chaos, this botanist-cum-cook spots the pointed flower of the buckhorn plantain, the bubble-shaped one belonging to the bladder campion, a tuft of goosefoot with the looks of spinach or a specimen of pellitory growing between stones.

Tearing a few leaves, he crumples them to smell them better, before making us taste this savory chlorophyll.

Watch VideoShow less
Gamcheon – officially known as Gamcheon Culture Village
food / travel

Welcome To Gamcheon, The Korean Machu Picchu

GAMCHEON - It has been called the "Lego village," the "Korean Machu Picchu," the "Santorini on the South Sea…”

Gamcheon, in South Korea’s southern port city of Busan is indeed all of these – a multicolored village that looks like it was made out of candy, with its little green, yellow and blue hillside cubicle houses aligned in a terraced layout over a port and maze of narrow passageways in which to get lost.

Watch VideoShow less
Testing, testing - Bordeaux Primeurs 2013

It Takes A Vintage - Can You Judge A Bordeaux Ahead Of Its Time?

BORDEAUX - There are always a handful of professional wine-tasters who will question the legitimacy of the Bordeaux "primeurs" week. Still, the event not only endures, but actually gets bigger and better-attended every year.

The skeptics note that the entire process is built around rating a wine that is only just beginning to age in less than a minute. What a heresy! From this precocious and hasty judgment emerges a ranking that helps determine prices.

Watch VideoShow less
Praying in the night

The Far-Reaching, Ever Fluid Shia v. Sunni Battle For The Soul Of Islam

Mirroring the Catholic-Protestant battles of the past, intra-Islamic violence has global reverberations far beyond faith. Right now, it's coming to a head in Syria.

PARIS - Is this the new epic war of religion? A denominational civil war, finding its source in doctrinal and religious differences, but turned into a geopolitical conflict, a scramble for hegemony over a continent and a prevailing model of the state rule. Just like the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 17th century Europe, the war opposing Shiites with Sunnis is re-drawing the Middle Eastern map at the dawn of the 21st century -- and defining the future of political Islam on a global scale.

It would be a mistake to view the current standoff as simply a return to the succession quarrels that pitted Ali's supporters (Shiites) against the keepers of tradition (Sunnis) shortly after the Prophet's death. The Shia and Sunni Islams in place today are political paradigms and geographical blocs, more than religious beliefs. But, as in any religious war, one must be careful with identity appearances: the long rivalry between Shia and Sunni Islams must not inevitably be bound to end in blood and bombs, in spite of the anti-Shiite anathema cast by Ibn Taymyya a renowned theologian from the 13th century, which still inspires Saudi Wahhabism, Salafism, and Jihadism.

Watch VideoShow less
Serving up the charm at the Lutece Bar in Berlin

Meet The Pro Pick-Up Artists Helping German Men Get The *Fraulein*

That's just one way to say, "getting in the sack...," which is all they're about. Are you impressed?

BERLIN - Alex has bright blue eyes that he keeps focused on the table when he talks.

This gives the 25-year-old six-foot man with an athletic build -- a social education student -- an endearing and misleading look of shyness. Because Alex (not his real name) is not really shy. In fact he’s a big hit with the ladies. So what’s he doing on this sunny afternoon sitting in a hotel bar being coached on how to pick up women?

Watch VideoShow less
Lobster fishermen in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile

Stranded On Robinson Crusoe Island? Enjoy The Lobster

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA - For days, Teresa Maldonado has only had bad news for waiting passengers. "No room on the plane today! We’ve got to fly the lobsters out!”

Showing the lady a valid ticket issued by the plane company does not help. The lobsters have priority; they have to get to Santiago alive. Nobody wants prematurely dead lobster with their Champagne.

Watch VideoShow less
Indian soldiers on patrol in Srinagar, Kashmir.

On Edge In Kashmir, Where Neither War Nor Peace Reigns

SRINAGAR - An eagle boldly splits the air, to and fro, between disputed territories. On the ground, an electrified fence hurtles down the jagged flank of the mountain, bumps into the river, then resumes its straight race up heights.

In the Uri district, in Silikot, the fence sharply cuts an odd borderline: dividing the Muslim province of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the Line of Control (LoC) embodies the confrontation of two nuclear powers that waged two wars over this rugged Himalayan region.

Watch VideoShow less
Turning humans into boxing robots?

Stack, Pack, Repeat - Undercover Inside An Amazon Warehouse In France

A French journalist upset by the shuttering of local book shops gets a temp job with Amazon, where only the "supermotivated" survive to work under conditions that violate labor codes.

MONTELIMAR – After watching his favorite local book shops close down in his French hometown of Toulon, Jean-Baptiste Malet, 26, decided to take an interest in American online retailer Amazon.

"I wanted to see what was replacing these friendly stores that I liked so much," said Malet, a journalist for Golias, a Progressive Christian magazine in France. The diehard book lover set out to interview employees at the Amazon warehouse in Montelimar, in the south of France. But his attempts to get people to talk were in vain.

Watch VideoShow less