France’s Wine Stocks Reach 12-year Low After 2012 Harvest Slide

France Scientology: Fraud leveled against Church of Scientology by high court

Paris (AFP) – France has taken in nearly 3,000 Syrian refugees since the start of the conflict, the foreign ministry said Thursday in response to rights groups’ allegations Paris is dragging its heels. French President Francois Hollande has been at the forefront of efforts for firm action against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, but Paris has drawn flak for not doing enough to accept refugees from the war-torn country. On Wednesday, France committed to take in 500 “particularly vulnerable” Syrians at the request of the United Nations. Germany, by contrast, has agreed to accept 5,000. “Since the start of the crisis, a total of nearly 3,000 Syrian nationals have been welcomed in France,” said Romain Nadal, foreign ministry spokesman. Nadal said their demands for asylum “were being considered with particular kindness”, adding that Paris was also issuing long-stay visas for some Syrians. Syrian refugees gather at the Calais port on October 4, 2013 (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen) Nevertheless, several local human rights groups have accused France of not doing enough. The issue was highlighted earlier this month when a group of about 60 Syrian refugees occupied part of the northern French port of Calais to demand entry into Britain, after alleging they were being dismissed by French authorities. The protest saw France offering them the right to seek asylum. More than two million Syrians have left their country since fighting first erupted in March 2011, mainly seeking refuge in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, placing a huge burden on these nations. With no end to the conflict in sight, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has urged EU nations to offer asylum to 10,000 Syrians this year and another 30,000 in 2014.

France says has taken in nearly 3,000 Syrians since 2011

Stocks are at historically low levels, very much below the five-year average, Janvier said in Montreuil-sous-Bois, France. Due to the weakness of supply, prices rose to a rather high level. This years wine production will probably rise less than the 6.6 percent increase to 44.1 million hectoliters forecast by the Agriculture Ministry, based on the outlook provided by various regions, according to Eric Rosaz, in charge of wine industry at FranceAgriMer. The ministry forecasts are a bit optimistic, Rosaz said. We wont be very far from 43.5 million hectoliters. 2001-02 Low Wine producers start the season with the lowest stocks since at least 2001-02, FranceAgriMer said, citing customs data. Inventories of wine with a protected designation of origin fell to 23.2 million hectoliters as of Aug. 1 from 25.8 million hectoliters a year earlier. The biggest slide in wine inventories was noted in the combined regions of Burgundy , Beaujolais, Savoy and Jura, where stocks slumped 30 percent to 1.72 million hectoliters, according to the crop office. The volume of wine held by producers in Bordeaux dropped 9 percent to 8.96 million hectoliters, while Champagnes inventories fell 6 percent to 4.22 million hectoliters, according to FranceAgriMer. In the region of Languedoc-Roussillon, Frances biggest wine region by production, stocks at the start of August fell 16 percent to 7.34 million hectoliters. The wine year in France runs from Aug. 1 to July 31.

Protestors express the same outside the Church of Scientology in France. France Scientology: Labeled a “fraud” by France’s high court. Protestors express the same outside the Church of Scientology in France. Though recognized as a formal religion in the United States and elsewhere, the practice of Scientology has just been branded as a scam and a racket in France, despite cries of religious discrimination, reports the AFP via Yahoo! News on Oct. 16. There are approximately 45,000 Scientologists in France. The obtuse religion, founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, came under fire in the European country when five former members charged the organization with coercing them into spending thousands of dollars on required reading material, questionable services and Church merchandise. The Church was initially found guilty of commercial harassment, and on appeal the charge has stood. Church officials are not happy that their easily misunderstood religion has been declared fraudulent. Scientology is a worldwide religious movement practiced in 184 nations. Its bona fide rights of its members to practice their faith unimpeded by government interference have been acknowledged by the high courts of many nations, including unanimous decisions by the European Court of Human Rights, a statement from the French Church of Scientology after the verdict reads. The conviction carried a fine of 600,000 Euros ($820,000 dollars), in addition to the Church losing any foothold as it attempts to become a recognized religion in France.