Signi Livingstone-Peters

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FANUC Robot Assembly Demo
Japan

The Giant Japanese Robot Company You've Never Heard Of

FANUC churns out 6,000 industrial robots per month, double that of its closest competitor. For a company on the cutting edge, it's surprisingly conservative.

PARIS — Earlier in the decade, when Elon Musk was looking to equip his Tesla factory in Fremont, California, he naturally approached FANUC, the Japanese industrial-robotics giant, for machine parts. Price was not an issue, but the US entrepreneur did have one requirement. He wanted the robots that would assemble his futuristic sedans to be bright red — to impress both investors and the media.

At FANUC's corporate headquarters in Oshino, a village at the foot of Mount Fuji, management politely replied that they would be happy to provide Musk with the proper gear, but that their robots had always been yellow and would remain that way. In the end, Tesla got its red robots, albeit from another supplier: the KUKA group of Germany.

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Daniel Cohn-Bendit (center) was eager to bring the issue of sex into the public arena.
Geopolitics

May 1968, Month One Of The Sexual Revolution?

France will be marking 50 years since the month-long student uprising that challenged the establishment on so many fronts. But some historians now question whether it was really the birth of sexual liberation.

PARIS — During the May 1968 student uprising in Paris, one of the movement's top leaders Daniel Cohn-Bendit raised the question of the "sexual problems of the youth" in a public confrontation with France's Minister of Sports. Still, the issue was seldom discussed at length during the monthlong confrontation. Only later, did it become association with the epochal events in the French capital 50 years ago.

"Climax without hindrance," "The more I make love, the more I want to start a revolution. The more revolutions I start, the more I want to make love ..." The graffiti adorning the walls of Paris in May 1968 have helped build a myth: That month marked the beginning of the sexual revolution.

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Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, Europe's power couple
Geopolitics

The World Needs A Strong France-Germany Alliance More Than Ever

In a time of Trump, Putin, and Xi Jinping, Europe represents a democratic ideal alone—respectful of both humanity and the planet. And Europe needs a revival of the Berlin-Paris alliance to make it possible.

-Analysis-

PARIS — On paper, the ritual was faithfully respected. The Chancellor's fourth term begins as it should, with a mandatory first foreign visit to Paris. And this time, the conditions for a relaunch of the Franco-German alliance do indeed seem auspicious. A semblance of balance has been restored between Berlin and Paris: Germany still reigning economically, while France returns to the world stage, driven by the energy and charisma of their new young president. To put it in sports terms, Germany and France are back on the same playing field.

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A burger and frites from Le Camion Qui Fume in Paris
Society

Street Food To Haute Cuisine, How The Burger Conquered France

PARIS — At the Ritz palace overlooking the Place Vendôme, the "Ritz Burger" beaufort cheese, fries and a green salad is sold for 42 euros. At the Crillon bar, the chef's mini burgers are sampled until 6 pm, for a cool 28 euros. A longstanding symbol of junk food, the burger seems to have found its nobility: In just a decade, it has earned a seat at some of the most beautiful tables in France, including the Parisian address, Meurice, which The New York Times anointed as the maker of the world's best hamburger.

The burger, which first spread through the United States early last century, has prompted a revolution in the land of baguettes and foie gras: Sales last year exceeded those of the classic jambon-beurre (ham-and-butter) sandwich, a French staple. About 1.46 billion burgers were sold, 9% more than in 2016, according to Gira Conseil firm. Even if this tidal wave of burger sales is driven by an explosion in fast food sales, burgers are now also a must in traditional sit-down French restaurants. The dish is now featured on the menu at some 85% of 145,000 restaurants around the country, with owners opting for what is seen as both a "premium" and easy-to-eat offering.

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Watching Northern Lights in Greenland
Sources

Glamping Like A Viking, How To See Greenland's Tundra In Style

The summer season in Greenland is fleeting. As the snow melts into the tundra, modern day Eskimo descendants reconnect with their ancestral habits. There is also the deluxe option for tourists.

KITAA — Atop the garnished table, cinnamon scented candles diffuse a warm, amber light. The ravioli of lobster and Madagascar green pepper are bathed in a perfumed parsley foam, later joined by a fillet of halibut, served on zucchini caviar. All will be topped by a generous serving of ivory-heart cheesecake drizzled with a red fruit coulis. Far from the glitzy ambiance of an exclusive Parisian restaurant, this tantalizing meal takes place in quite literally, it is polar-opposite setting: under the canvas of a tipi near the edge of the vast Greenland tundra.

Comfortably seated on plush sheepskin, the remarkable ease of the gourmet dining experience paints a stark comparison to that of ice-clearing European explorers who, just a century or so ago, were warming themselves by the flame of a stove powered by nothing but seal fat, huddled under a makeshift shelter, chewing the leather of their belts, their bodies ravaged by scurvy.

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 Roger Federer’s tears made the whole world cry
Switzerland

Crying Roger, Federer Serves Feminine Side For Men's Tennis

The male god of tennis cried (profusely) after his Australian Open win. Not just his tears, but the place he gives his family, show a different way to be a sports hero.

LAUSANNE — His tears made the whole word cry, and won't be forgotten anytime soon.

After Roger Federer won his record 20th Grand Slam tournament Sunday, in Melbourne, the tennis champion broke down. And we are not talking about a single tear, shed and immediately brushed away, as an English Lord might show. No, the tennis champion let loose a river of tears, a torrent that told the story of his joy, liberation of tension, and amazement at his own feat. The Swiss athlete cried like a little boy. Or, a more touchy comparison in today's context, Federer cried like a womanunafraid of showing her emotions.

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