Flamboyant France Heads To Playoffs On A High Note

1 start of the season, equivalent to 4 billion bottles, from 34.7 million hectoliters at the start of 2012-13, Philippe Janvier, in charge of wine statistics at the crop office, told reporters today. Thats the lowest since at least 2001-02, the crop office said. Last years wine-grape harvest was the smallest in at least 40 years after weather damage and disease, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Rising bulk wine prices more than made up for a drop in volumes sold in 2012-13, with the cost of bulk whites without a regional indication jumping 32 percent, FranceAgriMer data show. 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.

France will not be seeded in next week’s draw and could face difficult opposition like Portugal or Ukraine. But on this form, no team will want to face France, especially with the way Franck Ribery is playing and now that strikers Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud are both scoring. “We used the ball well, we used the width well with our fullbacks and we controlled possession,” Deschamps said. “In terms of our attacking play, our presence in front of goal, we had an enormous amount of possession. We could have scored more as we created a lot of chances.” After five matches without scoring, major doubts were raised about Deschamps’ team, but the turnaround has been spectacular since the dire first half against Belarus last month. France woke up in that game and went on to win 4-2, then thrashed Australia 6-0 on Friday night. “We are much more in control than we were before,” Deschamps said. “The players are in really good shape at the moment, as well. I hope nothing happens to any of them and that they’ll all be here next month.” In the past two games, Giroud and Benzema have scored twice – with Giroud also contributing to France’s second goal on Tuesday night when his header led to an own goal – while Ribery has been simply unstoppable. “All of the forwards showed good movement,” Deschamps said. “They have a lot of freedom in attack and their understanding was generally very good.” Having won the treble with Bayern Munich last season, Ribery says he wants to win the Golden Ball and is clearly on a mission. He scored twice against Belarus, netted one and set up three against Australia, and almost tore the back of the net out with a fantastic early strike against Finland.

From France to Texas – The Horse World takes me around the world!

Newser.com. 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.

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

Here is what Wikipedia says about French history. Stone tools indicate that early humans were present in France at least 1.57 million years ago. The first modern humans appeared in the area 40,000 years ago. The first written records for the history of France appear in the Iron Age. While I loved Mont Saint Michel, I think the most visible memories of the trip to France was the tour we took in some of the same vehicles that were used during the Battle of Normandy. As we bounced around the countryside we were the lucky ones to be able to drive around in an area that is no longer a battlefield. Yet, how can you not reminisce what it must have been like for our soldiers when they were being driven around wondering if it would be their turn next. Alas from August 23rd to September 7th Normandy will have a chance to share with its visitors the thrill of the Games and the beauty of a region. Its an event and a chance that many should take advantage of. All the details can be uncovered by visiting their web site at http://www.alltechfeiweg2014-normandy.com/. Their title sponsor is also offering a lot to help create an experience. You can learn more about what Alltech has to offer by keeping an eye on their web site a t http://www.alltech.com/ . And follow both my blog and my Examiner column as I continue to bring you regular updates leading up to the Games. Texas and the American Horse Publications Was Next! October is a busy month for me.