Rare Tintin comic set to fetch over $400,000 at auction in Paris

UNTV News   •   September 19, 2019   •   574

An original Tintin comic strip by Herge from 1942 is expected to sell for up to 400,000 euros ($442,000) at auction in Paris on Wednesday (September 18).

An artwork comprised of three strips from the comic “The Mysterious Star” will go on sale at the Piasa auction house in the French capital.

The work, drawn in Chinese ink, was the first design in a new format for the Tintin comics to be printed on thinner sheets due to a wartime shortage of paper supplies.

The buyer will receive an extra perk: Herge’s blood, which dripped on the comic strip after the artist injured himself with a compass at his drawing desk.

Tintin has already broken world record sales for a comic – a page from the 1954 book ‘Explorers on the Moon’ fetched 1.55 million euros ($1.71 million USD) at auction in 2016.

At a Paris auction in 2017, an original drawing from the 1939 “King Ottokar’s Sceptre” and the 1941 “The Shooting Star” sold for 505,000 euros ($557,000 USD) and 381,800 euros ($421,000 USD) respectively. (REUTERS)

(Production: Kathryn Carlson, Antony Paone)

France to reopen on Monday, Paris region to unwind lockdown more slowly

UNTV News   •   May 8, 2020

France is ready to start unwinding its coronavirus lockdown from next Monday as planned, the prime minister said on Thursday (May 7), although some regions including the Paris area where the disease is still circulating would keep some restrictions.

The country has made enough progress in slowing down the spread of the virus and reducing strain in hospitals to gradually return to normal, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told a news conference. Schools, cafes and most shops have been shut for nearly two months.

Beyond the Paris area, administrative regions around Calais, Strasbourg and Dijon will also remain classified as “red zones”, where some restrictions will remain – such as keeping parks, gardens and secondary schools shut.

In other parts of France, secondary schools, cafes and restaurants may open from early June if the infection rate remains low, Philippe said.

In Paris, commuters will need permission forms from their employers to use the metro or buses at peak hours and across France the wearing of masks on public transport will be compulsory and enforced by a fine of 135 euros.

Next week, about 1 million children and 130,000 teachers will return to school, the education minister said.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that following the lifting of the lockdown the country’s borders would remain closed until further notice.

Philippe said on Thursday that the government would reinforce restrictions if the spread of the new coronavirus accelerated again.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in France was up 178 or 0.7% to 25,987 on Thursday, the lowest rate of increase in four days. (Reuters)

(Production: Johnny Cotton)

Eiffel Tower closed as France braces for major strikes

UNTV News   •   January 9, 2020

Paris – The Eiffel Tower will remain closed Thursday as France braces for a fourth consecutive day of major cross-sector strikes against pension reforms.

Teachers, health workers, lawyers and railway personnel are participating in a strike called by unions to demand the total withdrawal of a pensions reform bill which was announced in December.

Transport will continue to be affected by strike action with both the national railway network (SNCF) and the transport in the Paris region offering reduced services.

This will be the 36th day of strike action affecting the transport sector, the longest in history.

The SNCF expects traffic to be very disrupted with more than half of train services cut, as well as the Paris subway.

The French Civil Aviation Authority also warned of disruptions and delays and urged companies to cancel a third of their flights to or from Toulouse (southern France).

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower will be closed on Thursday, according to the company that manages the monument, as some of its workers have joined the strike.

From the first day of action on 5 December, when between 800,000 people (according to the Ministry of Interior) and 1.8 million workers (according to the unions) flooded the streets of France to demand the government to reverse a pension reform bill.

According to a survey published on Sunday by Le Journal du Dimanche, more than half of the population (55%) want the government to withdraw the reform.

However, rejection of the strikes has also grown, the effects of which can be seen in the rail and metropolitan transport sector of Paris.

Thursday’s industrial action is the first mobilization of the year and will serve as a test to verify the support behind the protests after strikes on 10 and 17 December failed to raise the same level of support as the first one.

Trade unions have called for “the withdrawal of the reform project and the opening of constructive negotiations to improve the current regime”.

But the clash over pension reforms has seen one of President Emmanuel Macron’s key policies to transform the labour market come under fire.

Macron has led on several labour reforms in an attempt to create a more flexible market reminiscent of Nordic models, but his move to streamline the complex pensions system under one points-based model has triggered the largest unrest of his presidency.

The largest union in the country, the reformist French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT), has opposed setting the retirement age of 64 but has backed the move to create a universal system to replace the current one which has 42 different pension plans in place.

The Government is still negotiating with unions until the reform goes to the Council of Ministers on 24 January.

So far, some concessions have been made such as an earlier retirement for professions deemed dangerous, a revaluation of teachers’ salaries, a delay in the implementation of the plan in the railway sector and for the dancers of the Paris Opera, which since 5 December has been forced to cancel more than 60 representations. EFE-EPA

mdv/ch

Filipinos warned of rampant pickpocketing when in France

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2019

PARIS, France – The Philippine Embassy in Paris on Monday (October 28) issued safety guidelines for Filipinos traveling in France as incidents of petty street crimes occur throughout major cities in the country.

“Filipinos traveling to Paris are advised to be extra vigilant and to be alert to avoid being victims of break-ins, robberies, snatching, and pickpocketing,” the Embassy said in an issued advisory.

The Embassy advised Filipino travelers to secure personal belongings even when walking or riding public transportations even those in hotels and apartments as thieves just roam around spying for a possible victim.   

Specifically, the Embassy advised Filipinos to keep their passports and other valuables safe and be wary of people using diverse methods to divert your attention to catch you off guard.

Also, Filipino travelers are reminded not to bring bulk of cash and make sure to hide your bags when inside vehicles as robberies happen even in broad daylight during traffic jams.

“Make sure to follow the instructions of police and military personnel in case of any incident,” the Embassy reminded.

For assistance, Filipino tourists may visit or reach the Embassy through its 24/7 hotline at +33 6 20 59 25 15 or send a message through its e-mail paris.pe@dfa.gov.ph.

Travel Advisory https://parispe.dfa.gov.ph/images/Travel_Advisory-as_of_28_October_2019.pdf

Posted by Philippine Embassy in France on Monday, 28 October 2019

According to the world’s largest database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide, www.numbeo.com, Paris’ crime index rate is at 51.58 as compared to its safety index which is only at 48.42 as of midyear of 2019.

This brings Paris at 105th place among 352 cities in terms of crime rate index in the world.

Caracas in Venezuela tops the list with 84.76 crime rate index while Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is considered the safest with only 11.10 crime rate index.

The Philippines is at the 40th spot with a 64.46 crime rate index and only a 35.54 safety index, according to the database.

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