Au Courant Weekly: September 5, 2015

Sep 05, 2015

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The Simple Sophisticate, episode #59


~Eurostar trains were turned back to Paris and Britain late Tuesday and early  Wednesday due to migrants climbing onto the tracks and some even onto the top of the trains. Migrants at the port city in France of Calais are attempting to flee to England as France has far more stringent immigration expectations. Two trains were sent back, three were delayed and one was stopped at Calais as migrants are trying to sneak through the tunnel which is 31.4 miles in length.

~China announced they will be decreasing their military by 300,000 personnel. On Thursday, China’s President Xi Jinping announced that the 2.3 million man military would be reduced in size. Due to modern military demands and an on-going anti-corruption probe into certain military individuals, the need for revamping was deemed necessary by the government.

National: United States

~President Obama visited Alaska and renamed Mount McKinley. The 20, 237 ft. mount is now officially named Mount Denali as it was originally named by Alaska Natives prior to the renaming to honor President William McKinley who never visited the area known now as the state of Alaska. The White House’s official statement as to why the change occurred is to “recognize the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.” While the official order was signed last Friday by the President (August 28th), it was announced publicly on Monday when President Obama arrived for his three day visit.

The struggle to change the name has been ongoing since 1975 as Alaska Natives have, until now, run up against a bipartisan effort by a Ohio congressional delegation introducing bills to block the change as McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, and is buried in Canton.

~A Kentucky county clerk in Rowan County, Kim Davis, was ordered to jail by a federal judge on Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, for being in contempt of court. The 49-year-old Democrat who was elected to her post last year, took a stand along with two other county clerks (of of 120 in the state) against the Supreme Court ruling this summer stating same sex marriage is constitutional “contend[ing] that [her] religious beliefs keep [her] from recognizing same-sex nuptials”. Federal Judge David J. Bunning’s decision exceeded “the wishes of the couples who sued the clerk this summer; their lawyers had asked that she be fined,” as reported by The New York Times. 


~Enough votes have been established to secure the Iran Nuclear agreement in the U.S. Senate. Confirmed on Wednesday, President Obama now has the 34 Democratic votes needed in the Senate to override a filibuster attempt and allow the Iran Nuclear deal to be passed. Now you may be wondering, doesn’t he need a majority? No. Remember, back in May the Senate passed the precise language that allows the agreement to go forth even if a majority of the Senate disagrees. At this point the President can veto, and so long as there are enough no votes in the Senate (34) to avoid a filibuster, the deal is secured. Why would the Senate agree to such a deal? Elections! Such an agreement allows politicians to be on the record as standing against the deal all the while allowing it to pass.


~Bottled water wasteful? The Washington Post reported that nearly 35 million gallons of bottled water are consumed in the United States over the course of one year. Compared to 15 years ago the amount has doubled. The good news is more people are consuming bottled water rather than soda, but the bad news is only one third of bottles are being recycled.

~The world’s tree population, as reported by a recent Yale study, reached 3.04 trillion trees. The good news, 3 trillion trees is seven times more than was originally estimated, but experts believe the earth’s tree population has been cut in half since human civilization began due to drought, insects and deforestation.

Arts & Entertainment

~A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte opened yesterday. As discussed on yesterday’s This & That, the duo walked much, but not all of the 2000 mile Appalachian trail as they adapted Bill Bryson’s best-selling memoir for the screen.

~Dirty Weekend starring Matthew Broderick opens in limited release this weekend. Broderick and Alice Eve star as co-workers stuck in Albuquerque on a lay-over. A Nate LaBute film, it is part comedy, part mystery as the duo sets out to solve a mystery prompted by a note Broderick’s character is carrying around in his pocket which only contains the word “Zorro”. With Eve’s brains and beauty along with Broderick’s wicked charm and witty humor, it looks to be worth an evening of viewing.

~Stephen Colbert begins his reign as the host of CBS’ The Late Show on Tuesday September 8th with guest George Clooney and Jeb Bush. Future guests throughout the week are Scarlet Johansson, Joe Biden and Amy Schumer.

Bendite Event of the Week

~The annual Friends of the Library Book Sale takes place this weekend at the Sunriver Library. As it kicked off yesterday, you can still stop by today from 10 am to 5pm.

~Singer Ben Harper comes to Bend this Sunday with his original band the Innocent Criminals. It has been seven years since they have toured together and tickets are still available for their Les Schwab Amphitheater performance at 6pm. $45 for tickets, doors open at 5pm and the opening act will be Benjy Ferree.

French Word of the Week

La rentrée

Bonjour, this is Géraldine from Comme une Franç I’m here to share the latest French Word of the Week: a simple very French word for your Simply Luxurious Life in France.

September in France is synonymous with “la rentrée des classes” (the start of the school year). “Rentrer”, the verb, literally to “re-enter” means “to go back”.

You will see “les élèves” the students with “des cartables”, going back to school, happy or crying, holding hands with their parents or, for the older ones, going on their own.

On this first day, “le professeur” that we just call “le prof” will present himself or herself to “les élèves”. “La rentrée” to each school : “la maternelle” for the small ones, “l’école primaire” then “le collège” and “le lycée”, is a very important day in the life of a child in France.

And on this first day, the only thing they’re ALL looking forward to is “les vacances” : the next school holidays.

If you want to add more French in your Simply Luxurious Life, join me on Comme une Franç for weekly video tips to sound French, even to the French! And it’s free.

Thought to Ponder


~Link to the film A Five Star Life~


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