Anne Penketh

Anne Penketh is a freelance journalist and columnist based in Paris. She was posted to Moscow, Paris and New York for AFP news agency before joining The Independent, where she was Diplomatic Editor until 2009.

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Francois Hollande’s approval rating is just 16 per cent

Little for François Hollande to celebrate as the French President reaches his 60th birthday

Premier keeps his anniversary quiet in effort to avoid torrent of negative headlines

Julien Bocher, founder of Radio Doudou

Frenchman goes radio ga ga with station for babies

With no breaking news and no adverts, Radio Doudou is not limited to nursery rhymes - it also aims to hook parents

Postcard from... Paris

In the midst of the tourist season, which has seen lovers flocking to Paris bridges to affix a padlock declaring undying love, city authorities have taken a brave decision.

The love padlocks have multiplied to damaging levels on Paris bridges

How Paris is trying to wean lovers off bridge locks

'We didn’t want to get into a repressive situation so we’re suggesting a social wall' says City spokesman

Postcard from... La Rochelle

There is a bit of a stink in the historic French city of La Rochelle. Earlier this week, 300 shellfish farmers dumped the shells of oysters, mussels and scallops outside the administrative offices  in protest at what they describe as the general indifference of local politicians to the “slow death of estuary and coastal ecosystems”.

French oyster farmers in places such as Étel, in Brittany, are seeing stocks denuded by disease

Great mollusc meltdown leaves French all at sea

Shellfish farmers are dumping their ruined catches outside town halls over a lack of measures to combat declining sea stocks. But disastrous environmental changes may be out of authorities’ control 

One of the two narcotics officers suspected of taking part in the stealing of over 50 kilos of seized cocaine is escorted by French police

Narcotics officer under investigation after cocaine theft from police HQ stuns France

The missing drugs have a street value of €2m

French police watch over migrants in Calais. Tensions remain high following overnight clashes between rival groups waiting to try and cross the English Channel to Britain

Ethnic riots in Calais as Albanian gangs charge African migrants for access to port area

Eritrean claims that only Sudanese are being allowed into the lorry parks has lead to clashes with sticks, iron bars and stones

Postcard from... Marseille

It was once the Champs Elysées of Marseille, a majestic tree-lined avenue heading east from the Vieux-Port, immortalised in such box office hits as French Connection II.

The stock exchange and the Canebière, circa 1900; the avenue was the centre of café life in this period and has also served as the backdrop for several films

La Canebière, once the pride of Marseilles, now the road to nowhere

Inhabited by the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics, the air is filled with the stench of urine and beer

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