France In Demand Again As Central Africa Crisis Deepens

France says no known health impact from mobile phones

“All the seeded teams have their own qualities but I still think France is a formidable team and no one wants to play us,” Lloris said Monday. “Of course Portugal are among the big teams and Sweden are strong and have a great player (Zlatan Ibrahimovic).” France has struggled for consistency since Didier Deschamps took charge after last year’s European Championship, but has found its attacking verve with 10 goals in two games – including a 6-0 thrashing of Australia on Friday. France’s ranking is a fair reflection of the team’s overall slide since the 2006 World Cup – the last time it reached a major final. “It shows the work that we still have to do. France should be a seeded team. We have a lot of history, experience,” Lloris said. “It’s a bit of a handicap, but unfortunately we have to put up with that. It means we should work harder and the players must surpass themselves.” Another win against Finland, and more of the attacking flair shown against Australia, will send France into the playoffs on a high. “We’re trying to create a positive dynamic and we had a very good result on Friday, where we scored a lot of goals,” Lloris said.” We showed a lot of initiative, played high up and played with a lot of freedom. When we play like that we can cause problems for other teams.” Since striker Olivier Giroud replaced Karim Benzema, the team has played with a sharper focus. Giroud scored twice against Australia and his ability to hold the ball up or lay it off, combined with his excellent touch, make him easier to find than Benzema, who tends to drift wide when he is not getting on the ball and has also lost confidence recently. Deschamps hinted that Giroud has now established himself as the first choice. “You don’t need to ask me the question because he’s started the last two games and has played more than Karim,” Deschamps said. “Yes, we’ll play with one center-forward. I think that’s the system where we’re strongest.

President Hollande we want your help!” read one banner as cheering locals welcomed France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to Central African Republic at the weekend. Plunged into chaos since mostly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in the mostly Christian country in March, the nation is facing sectarian violence, malnutrition and a near total collapse of state rule. Fearing their plight has been eclipsed internationally by conflicts in Syria and Mali, some see France as their best hope. “We’ve seen coups before, but nothing like this,” said local Bangui journalist Steve Niko. “In Mali the population suffered in one area, but here we’re suffering everywhere. It’s like our crisis has been forgotten.” The landlocked nation is rich with minerals ranging from uranium to diamonds. But decades of instability and official corruption have meant those potential riches have been little exploited and have far less been of help to the population. As violence including murder and rape drives more than 440,000 people from their homes, there are just seven surgeons in a country of 4.6 million people to deal with bullet and machete injuries and one in 10 children die at birth. “The Seleka rebels came with weapons, hurt us, burnt our houses and then there were reprisals from Christian militias,” said a woman called Dore at one hospital in Bangui, recounting how she fled hundreds of kilometers on foot with three children all under the age of six. Long seen by many in Central African Republic as meddling in its affairs after independence in 1960, France has intervened in the past, for example when it supported Bozize in 2006 against an earlier incarnation of northern rebels. But official French policy now is for a more “hands-off” stance in such conflicts. Paris is all the more reluctant to be left to deal with another African hotspot after it felt allies such as the United States were hesitant to help it in Mali.

France’s safety watchdog said on Tuesday it was standing by existing recommendations for mobile phones, wifi and cellphone relay antennas, saying their emissions had “no demonstrated impact” on health. Caption PARIS: France’s safety watchdog said on Tuesday it was standing by existing recommendations for mobile phones, wifi and cellphone relay antennas, saying their emissions had “no demonstrated impact” on health. The National Agency for Health, Food and Environmental Safety (Anses) said that in lab tests, electromagnetic emissions had had a “biological” effect on cells, although evidence for this was “limited”. But it saw no grounds for recommending any changes to existing laws as there was “no demonstrated impact” on health. It said, though, it would make a recommendation that children and big users of mobile phones limit their exposure to the devices. The report was issued by a panel of 16 experts, who looked at more than 300 scientific studies that have been published since 2009, when the recommendations were last assessed. The panel noted some studies that have suggested a higher long-term risk of brain cancer for heavy users of mobile phones, Anses said. “In the light of current knowledge, given the rapid evolution of technologies and their uses, Anses recommends limiting the population’s exposure to radio frequency energy — in particular for mobile phones, and particularly for children and heavy users — and to control general exposure to relay antennas,” it said. Dominique Gombert, head of risk assessment at Anses, said that heavy use of mobile phones was considered to be 40 minutes a day in conversation. Options for consumers include using a hands-off kit or selecting a phone with lower electromagnetic emissions, Anses said. Mobile phones are the biggest single source of everyday exposure to electromagnetic radiation, the agency said.