The new driving licences were in circulation from the 16th of September

A new driving licence model to be secured to the format of a credit card will be gradually put into circulation from 16 September 2013. Its format is harmonized for all the countries of Europe.

Like other secure documents (identity card, passport), the new driving licence is produced centrally. In the majority of cases, the licence will then be sent directly to the home owners (with the exception of special cases requiring a delivery of a security at the atm by the user or, in the case where the regional tax has not yet been paid).

This new mode of production implies to adapt our conditions of instruction permit applications. The administration has anticipated this reform in the year 2013 but it is likely that its implementation involves a temporary slowdown in the processing of cases.

From 2 September 2013, all applications filed to the prefecture will obtain this new permit. Users will be asked to fill out a form for gathering additional data necessary for editing the title of driving in the format of the european Union (this document is also available as a download on the website of the prefecture and must be printed in color).

Persons having received a licence pink three strands between 19 January 2013 and 16 September 2013, will have their title priority replaced free of charge in 2014. They will be informed by the prefecture of the terms of trade.

The holders of a licence issued before 19 January 2013 have no approach to do for the moment and will be informed by the prefecture of the terms of trade when the time comes. These permits will be valid until 19 January 2033, will gradually be replaced starting in 2020.


The French House of Columbia celebrates its 100th anniversary


September 5 to October 30 on the Columbia University campus.

Opening of the exhibition on September 10 at 6 pm.

Site for the full program

The French House of Columbia is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For the occasion, a special program will animate the oldest building of the university from September 10 to October 30.

To the right of Columbia’s large library, framed by small bushes, stands a pretty plush storey house in red brick. In 100 years, the French House of Columbia has not aged a bit and intends to show it. Films, exhibitions, shows, discussions… Among these free events offered to the public for two months, an exhibition will retrace the history of the House through a rare collection of photographs, documents and archives. “It is a great honor for me to participate in this pivotal moment in the life of an institution which has contributed so much to promoting exchanges between France and the United States over the past hundred years ”, testifies Shanny Peer who has managed the French House since 2009.

The centenary of the House is several anniversaries in one: it is also that of the 100 years of Albert Camus, Aimé Césaire and the work of Marcel Proust On the side of Swann’s, as well as the 50th anniversary of Edith Piaf’s disappearance. A number of events will be devoted to them. Among them, a conference entitled “Édith Piaf in Manhattan” or a play called “Notebook of a Return to My Native Land by Aimé Césaire”.

La Maison Française was created in 1913 by Columbia President Nicolas Murray Butler “in order to offer an international openness to the university’s students and to promote French studies throughout the United States, through the allocation of scholarships in particular ”, emphasizes Shanny Peer. It also corresponded to the concern of the French elite to strengthen the links between the two countries.

In 100 years, the organization has welcomed a number of French personalities, artists, intellectuals and politicians: André Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Camus, Ionesco, Yves Montand, André Maurois or even Edith Piaf. “Since the creation of the French House, Franco-American exchanges have always been very important, note Shanny Peer. They even went through very intense periods when the organization was created or during the two World Wars. They have been strengthened over the past ten years thanks to the Alliance program which associates the university with Sciences-Po, the Sorbonne and Polytechnique. ”

La Maison Française tries to distinguish itself from other French cultural institutions in the city by taking advantage of the prestige of the university. It thus offers the public lectures held by brilliant professors specializing in France. She also seeks to create lively exchanges through round tables, performances or exhibitions.

The highlights of the centenary:
Centenary Exhibition: presentation of unpublished documents and photographs on the history of the French House, especially during the two world wars. Inauguration on September 10 from 6 to 8 pm. Exhibition until October 30.

The Thought Police: the FBI and French intellectuals. Vincent Debaene and Andy Martin recount the surveillance of Sartre and Camus by the FBI during their visits to the French House in 1945 and 1946. Wednesday September 18, 6-7:30 pm.

Proust Relu: On the side of Swann at 100 years old. Two-day conference, organized by Elisabeth Ladenson and Antoine Compagnon
Friday and Saturday October 4-5, 10 am-6pm.

Edith Piaf in Manhattan : Piaf’s biographer, Carolyn Burke, talks about the singer’s visits to New York between 1947 and 1957. During her first visit, in 1947, Edith Piaf was invited to the Maison Française. Wednesday October 9, 6-8 pm.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister for Women’s Rights, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, President of the New America Foundation: “Gender and Equality ”, Monday October 14, 6-8 pm. Moderated by Alondra Nelson.

Full program here.

Credit: Maison Française Columbia University


September 5 to October 30 on the Columbia University campus.

Opening of the exhibition on September 10 at 6 pm.

Site for the full program

Cesspool clearer: In Florida, abysses are opening up

EIt sounded like popcorn exploding, said an eyewitness later, who survived a hotel collapse in Florida. It started late in the evening last Sunday. A window shattered in the three-story building near Orlando.

Minutes later the next window pane clattered in a thousand pieces, the banister collapsed, doors could no longer be opened. The night porter hectically woke all 105 guests. Just in time, because after the building was evacuated, it began to sink into the ground. A cesspool with a diameter of 30 meters devoured around a third of the hotel complex.

The case in Clermont near Orlando made national headlines in the United States in recent days. It rarely happens that an entire house disappears into the ground. Suddenly appearing cesspools are part of everyday life in Florida.

Because of the special geological conditions of the southern state, not a day goes by in Florida without the earth somewhere. Millions of dollars in damage are incurred year after year.

Living on “Sinkhole Alley”

The Tampa area has been particularly hard hit. That is why people call the strip of land “Sinkhole Alley”, based on the “Tornado Alley” in the American Midwest, through which the cyclones sweep every summer.

A highly profitable industry has developed from the cesspool plague. The niche occupation of the “sinkhole remediator” is in high demand in Florida. “In the past five years, the demand for our service has exploded,” says Jim Flynn.

The manager works for LRE Ground Service Repair, the market leader in the removal of cesspools in Florida. In recent years the company has more than doubled its workforce to 130 employees. “Our teams go out on a new case almost every day,” says Flynn. LRE fills around 300 holes in the ground every year.

The number of incidents has tripled

If you look at the number of cesspools reported to insurance companies in Florida, the increase is dramatic. While 2360 such insurance claims were registered in 2006, in 2010 it was almost three times as many with 6694. More recent data are not available.

Some of the claims are likely to be insurance fraud, says Flynn. In the past, insurance companies often simply paid out money, and customers could then decide for themselves whether to have the hole filled, if there was one at all.

“Because fraud has increased over the past few years, the government increased the legal requirement to provide evidence of this type of damage in 2011,” says Flynn. Nevertheless, the demand at LRE is unbroken.

Porous limestone

The main reason for the enormous number of cesspools in Florida is the special nature of the soil. Florida sits on limestone in much of the state. This is both porous and brittle.

“So if, for example, heavy rain makes a hole in the limestone, a crater forms over it,” says Flynn. Like the sand in an hourglass, everything on the surface is sucked into the abyss.

But it is also human errors that cause the holes in the ground. “A few years ago we had a case where a man buried tree trunks under his building site,” says Flynn. When the wood in the floor rotted, the floor over it gave way and cracked the house.

Groundwater fell 20 meters

In another case three years ago, farmers in Plant City had pumped water out of the ground to save the strawberry harvest. In doing so, they lowered the water table by 20 meters. “As a result, around 80 cesspools opened in the area.”

One reason for the increased number of claims is the building boom before the financial crisis. “The Tampa area was barely running out of vacant lots,” says Flynn. So people should have built in areas known for their cesspool bottom. “If a hole opens in a field, it doesn’t bother anyone.” If there is a house above it, however, it can be expensive.

“Our average bill is $ 65,000 per hole.” LRE would have received up to $ 300,000 for an order. In most cases, the company’s job is to fill the hole with concrete and give the nearby houses a better foundation.

Get help early

The cesspools are often noticeable at an early stage through cracks around buildings, cracked windows and warped door frames. “We advise people to get help as early as possible.”

Only in one percent of cases does an earth crater open so quickly that there is no more time for preventive measures. That was also the case at the hotel in Clermont last weekend.

Thank goodness people are rarely hurt, says Flynn. However, a tragic accident occurred on February 28 of this year in the small town of Seffner, 25 kilometers east of Tampa. In the middle of the night a cesspool opened under Jeffrey Bush’s house. The 36-year-old was torn down along with his bed. His body was never found.


James H. Meredith, First Black at Mississippi University: Civil War for a Student – Knowledge

He did it. He, James H. Meredith, the seventh of 13 children of a small farmer from Kosciusko, deep in Mississippi, was the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi. His parents, his wife and his young son sat proudly in the audience. And yet that moment on August 18, 1963 was far less sublime than one might have expected. Meredith stood in line among 400 white fellow students until the university chancellor handed him his certificate and mumbled a congratulations, that was it. No fights, no shootings, no roar. Neither loud boos nor big cheers. But the 30-year-old didn’t feel like partying anyway: his friend Medgar Elvers, a black civil rights activist, had been murdered two months earlier.

Those who missed the historic moment on television that evening could read it on page one of the next morning in the New York Times: James H. Meredith did his bachelor’s degree in political science. A small step in his academic career – he later graduated from Columbia University as a lawyer – but a huge one for the country.

It had cost the state millions of dollars to study. 31,000 soldiers were mobilized to pave the way for him to study and his rights as an American. Oxford, the picturesque university town with a southern look, whose most famous resident until then was William Faulkner, became the scene of “the last battle of the Civil War”. 100 years after it was officially over.

Almost everyone had said he was crazy. He had to be crazy: trying to penetrate the sanctum as a black man. The last black man who tried to enroll in Ole Miss, as the university is affectionately known, was actually admitted to the insane asylum. But James Meredith knew exactly what he was doing. And he had protection from high above: “A Mission from God”, that’s what he called his memories. He wrote it together with William Doyle, who himself had written a very exciting, award-winning book about the uprising in Mississippi.

As a soldier, Meredith had seen equality

Meredith had not applied because of the academic merits of the university, which was best known for its football team, the “Rebels”. But here the elite studied. Ole Miss was the pride and joy of Mississippi, the most brutal of the racist apartheid states in the south, as well as the poorest state in the USA and the one with the highest percentage of black population.

Meredith didn’t need college. He had already studied elsewhere and had all the certificates required for the BA. But he had wanted to go to Oxford since he returned from the Air Force in Asia and Kennedy became president. Meredith’s parents had given Meredith pride and an urge to learn, and as an Air Force soldier he had experienced relative equality. And in the three years in Japan he had learned what it means to be human. Not to be treated as black, just to be treated as an American. He wanted that at home now too. Not just for yourself.

Meredith was a loner with a touch of megalomania. He vehemently emphasizes his distance from the civil rights movement, which entered its hot phase in the early 1960s. He didn’t believe in nonviolent resistance. He wanted to crack the system: the doctrine of “white supremacy”, the supposed white supremacy and supremacy. Under the euphemistic motto “separate but equal”, an apartheid system prevailed in the southern states that treated blacks like third-class people, denying them basic rights such as education. Even when the Supreme Court in 1954 declared segregation in schools unconstitutional.

The governor, a Democrat, is his bitter opponent

As a patriot, Meredith now went into his holy war, applied to the state university in 1961 and was, as expected, rejected. His bitterest opponent was the governor of Mississippi, a Democrat by party name only, who also appealed to God.

As a soldier practiced to proceed strategically, Meredith found allies: with the NAACP, one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the USA. Medgar Elvers, who had unsuccessfully applied to the university as a law student in the 1950s, placed the mediation. NAACP attorneys assisted Meredith in the litigation, which dragged through various instances for over a year. Until they finally got to the Supreme Court, which on September 10, ’62 ordered the university to enroll the applicant. Immediately.

Governor Ross Barnett never thought of it. Mississippi insisted on its sovereignty. Surely they wouldn’t let Washington tell them what to do! The fronts were as clear as in Civil War: North against South.

Boston’s godfather, Scorsese’s model, convicted of murder and racketeering

James “Whitey” Bulger, godfather of the Boston underworld in the 1970s and 1980s who inspired Martin Scorsese for his film Infiltrators, was found guilty of murder and racketeering on Monday, August 12, and is expected to spend the rest of his days in prison.

Now 83, the gangster appearing before a federal jury in Boston has greeted the jury’s decision on Monday without apparent emotion after five days of deliberation. Found guilty of eleven murders, he should know his sentence on November 13. He does not incur a death sentence.


Legendary Boston organized crime figure, model of the character of Frank Costello played by Jack Nicholson in the Scorsese film, Bulger rose to the helm of Boston’s underworld at the cost of a murderous gang war. The complicity forged with FBI officials, who shared Irish origins like him and turned a blind eye to his actions in exchange for his information on the Italian Mafia, enabled him to lock his grip on organized crime.

Warned of his imminent arrest by a corrupt federal agent, he fled Boston in 1994 and for more than sixteen years escaped the hunt by the FBI, which placed him on its list of the ten most wanted criminals. He was captured in June 2011 in an apartment in Santa Monica, California.

In two months of trial, the twelve jurors and the audience heard the damning descriptions of the crimes of which his gang was accused: shootings in broad daylight, extortion of money under threat, jaw torn off a corpse to make it harder to fight. identify. The jury found him guilty on 31 of the 32 charges against him and eleven of the 19 murders with which he was charged.


His lawyer, JW Carney, told reporters that James Bulger was happy with the outcome of his trial, noting that he had escaped the death penalty he could have faced had he been tried in court. State in Florida or Oklahoma, where two of the murders he was accused of were committed. From his arrest, he said, “he knew he would die behind prison walls or lying on a stretcher after receiving a lethal injection”.

“At no time in this trial was there any question of securing the release of Jim Bulger”, continued the lawyer who was mainly concerned with deconstructing the image of“informant” of the FBI attached to her client. However, he announced his intention to appeal, citing, without specifying the terms, a criminal immunity agreement that Bulger had concluded with federal prosecutors.

The World with Reuters

Dorset, Minnesota: Four-year-old Robert Tufts is mayor

Dorset – Robert Tufts is not even in elementary school, but politically an old hand. On Sunday, the four-year-old was elected mayor of Dorset, Minnesota for the second time in a row. In the USA the steppe is a little celebrity, has given interviews to newspapers, radio and TV stations.

Dorset has no real town council, the population is 22 or 28 – depending on whether the pastor and his family are present. This is one of the reasons why the election differs significantly from other polls. Anyone can vote, one vote costs one dollar, the voting slip with the name of the winner is drawn from a lottery wheel. The proceeds go to fund the Taste of Dorset Festival, which is where the voting takes place.

Tufts had campaigned, and he wore a button on his hat that read “Vote Mayor Tufts”. “I got up very early before everyone else,” he said. He distributed flyers on election day and focused entirely on his major campaign topic: establishing ice cream at the top of the food pyramid. When asked what was best about being mayor, he replied, “Go fishing.” Later it sounded more like a professional: “Being in Dorset makes me happy.”

The last hours before the election were very exhausting for the incumbent, said Robert’s mother Emma. She is surprised that her son has not yet had a tantrum given the media attention. Tufts celebrated his victory with a mug of ice. Then he informed the audience and his mother that he wanted to tell his friend Sophie about his victory.

In his second term in office he wants to go on a snowshoe scavenger hunt, among other things. He has also promised to build a new “welcome” sign for Dorset. That should be more than enough work, after all, Tufts will only be able to devote himself to his tasks part-time in the future: He will start preschool in September.

Icon: The mirror