Lucille Fonteny

See more by Lucille Fonteny

Installing weather censors in Villeurbanne, in the suburbs of Lyon
Smarter Cities

How Sensors Promise To Change Our Lives, From Smoother Traffic To Smarter Garbage

TOULOUSE — After a year of work and five million euros in investments, Sigfox, a start-up from Labège, near Toulouse, southern France, has just finished deploying a new communications network — an Internet of Things — in 95% of the cities in France.

Sensors spread out across cities and their suburbs will be able to transmit information to a website or even receive orders. “The applications are endless,” says Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan. “We will be able to monitor pollution levels, optimize traffic flows, prevent breakdowns in urban lighting…”

Watch Video Show less
Monterrey subway, operating on bioenergy
Smarter Cities

Organic Waste Energy Fueling Latin American Cities

MEXICO CITY — Dr. Emmett Brown takes banana peels, leftover beer, and some other pieces of garbage from the trash to charge his car — a DeLorean equipped with the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor. Although in this scene from the movie Back To The Future (1985), the technology was invented in 2015, energy generated from garbage can now be seen in real life, and right here in Latin America.

The system, called biodigestion or anaerobic digestion, generates electricity from gases produced by different organic materials. While Chile and Argentina have just discovered this type of energy source, Peru and Mexico have been using it for the past for 30 years. In fact, the Monterrey subway in northern Mexico operates with electricity from garbage.

Watch Video Show less
Crime Int'l: Gambler King, Mob Violence, Lying Parents
Sources

Crime Int'l: Gambler King, Mob Violence, Lying Parents

The past week (Sep. 27-Oct. 3) witnessed a Madagascar mob, Brazilian motel mystery, the suprise end to a search in France, and other crimes and misdemeanors around the world. (photo: alvara_qc)

Syrian refugee children play at a school in Damascus on August 23, 2012.
Geopolitics

In A Damascus Classroom, Reading, Writing And Trauma

DAMASCUS — Nada, a teacher, starts her classes by asking her third-grade students to express their feelings. She is trained to deal with children who exhibit signs of trauma after living in a war zone for over two years. The school where Nada works is located in the relatively safe neighborhood of Sahnaya, in southern Damascus, but as in the rest of Syria, war is never out of mind.

On the first day of the school year, Nada distributes “face cards” to her class of mostly nine-year-olds, all showing different emotions. She asks them to pick the face that best describes their feelings. She chooses the smiling face, explaining that she is happy to meet them.

Watch Video Show less
Snapshot Of The World: Papal Saints, Santa Monica Crash, UN Vote, More
Geopolitics

Snapshot Of The World: Papal Saints, Santa Monica Crash, UN Vote, More

A quick tour of the week's news (and otherwise) from an old blood sport in Spain to a rising island in Pakistan and 15 hands that went up in New York City. And more...

Breathtaking, oxygen-producing Chiribiquete
EL ESPECTADOR

'Navel Of The Amazon' Expansion To Save Indigenous Lands And Endangered Species

BOGOTA — With the expansion of Chiribiquete National Natural Park, Colombia’s National System of Protected Areas has gone a long way to preserve an additional 1.8 million hectares (4.4 million acres) of Amazonian jungle.

The importance of this new area is not difficult to measure. In those 27,800 square kilometers of jungle located between Guaviare and Caquetá, there are 41 species of reptiles alone. There are also 49 species of amphibians, 145 different birds, and at least 13 endangered species of mammals.

Watch Video Show less
Abu Ali, an Free Syrian Army fighter, lost two of his middle fingers when he fired with an explosive bullet
Geopolitics

How Assad Forces Plant Booby-Trapped Bullets In Rebels' Rifles

JOBAR — Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter Abu Ali stood grinning and waving at me with his right hand. Two of his middle fingers were missing.

“Look at me, I’m like a Ninja Turtle now,” he said, dry humor intact.

Watch Video Show less
The Marais neighborhood in Schiltigheim (French Alsace region)
LES ECHOS

How A French Ghetto Survives Off A Bustling Underground Economy

SCHILTIGHEIM — We didn’t see the big grey sedan coming, before it had stopped in the middle of the parking lot in the downtown shopping center. There are a dozen little boys killing time between the parked cars, drinking soda and talking football.

Welcome to the Marais housing project in Schiltigheim, on the outskirts of Strasbourg in the eastern French region of Alsace. This troubled urban area is stuck between the canal that flows toward the German border and the tramway heading to the center of Strasbourg, a favorite tourist destination and home to the European Parliament.

Watch Video Show less
Hassan Rouhani at the UN General Assembly
Geopolitics

*Heroic Flexibility* - Iranian Reaction To Rouhani U.N. Speech

PARIS – It was indeed a different face for Iran at this year's United Nations General Assembly. Back in Iran, and elsewhere around the world, news outlets and regional analysts Wednesday were measuring the potential geopolitical significance of the first big strides onto the world stage made the evening before by newly elected Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.

In Iran, the President’s declarations were duly welcomed, as was a perceived change of tone toward Iran from other world leaders. IRNA cited the conservative parliamentary Speaker Gholam’ali Haddad-Adel as saying that Rouhani’s declarations were intelligent, “considered and timely,” adding that the change of tone toward Iran indicated a recognition of its sense of “resistance” and “authority.”

Watch Video Show less
A MOOC World Tour
Sources

A MOOC World Tour

Photo: Laura A. Oda - MCT/ZUMA

By The Numbers: Chinese Billionaires, NYC Bike Share, Newer Moon
Sources

By The Numbers: Chinese Billionaires, NYC Bike Share, Newer Moon

Taking a measure of things lately, we can count a rejuvenated moon, Italian cell phone drivers, Chinese billionaires and more...

(photo: dahlstroms)


After Sunday night's victory
Germany

Angela Merkel's Subtle Climb Into History

BERLIN — The all-conquering hero is traditionally a masculine figure, but in Angela Merkel it finds its feminine embodiment. Her election result is more than a victory; it is a triumph. Moreover, it is her triumph, and not her party’s. It is Merkel as an individual, as the chancellor with unprecedented approval ratings, who has won this election.

Thanks to her victory at the polls, Angela Merkel has risen almost to the level of Konrad Adenauer, the leader who won the Christian Democrats’ first and only absolute majority in 1957. That year was the high point of Adenauer’s career. For Merkel, we may one day be pointing back to 2013 as her apex. This election confirms that whatever the next term holds, her time in government constitutes an era – the era of Merkelism, of a subtle, unflashy brand of power politics.

Watch Video Show less