Oui oui: France’s presidential pooch leaves palace puddle

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Image courtesy: (guardian)
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French President's wife Brigitte Macron (C-L) speaks with colleagues, next to the president's dog Nemo (R), at the Elysee Palace in Paris, in this October 12, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 23 October 2017
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Oui oui: France’s presidential pooch leaves palace puddle

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron’s dog Nemo has been filmed casually peeing on an ornate fireplace at the Elysee Palace as the French leader met with members of his government.
Macron’s meeting with the three junior ministers was interrupted by the sound of Nemo relieving himself noisily and at length behind them, much to their amusement.
“He is doing something quite exceptional,” says Macron in the video recorded by the LCI news channel.
“It happens often?” asks one of the ministers.
“No,” Macron replies laughing, “You have triggered a totally unusual behavior in my dog.”
Nemo, a black two-year-old labrador-griffin cross, is regularly photographed accompanying Macron and his wife Brigitte on official duties.
The Macrons adopted the dog from a rescue center in August.
Nemo is not the first presidential pooch to misbehave.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s dogs reportedly caused thousands of euros (dollars) worth of damage to furniture in the palace.
And Jacques Chirac’s Maltese Bichon Sumo, apparently unable to cope with a return to the humdrum life after leaving the gilded splendour of the Elysee, had to undergo treatment for depression after biting his master three times.


Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

Updated 27 April 2018
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Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

KOLKATA: Mohammad Maqbool Ansari puffs and sweats as he pulls his rickshaw through Kolkata’s teeming streets, a veteran of a gruelling trade long outlawed in most parts of the world and slowly fading from India too.
Kolkata is one of the last places on earth where pulled rickshaws still feature in daily life, but Ansari is among a dying breed still eking a living from this back-breaking labor.
The 62-year-old has been pulling rickshaws for nearly four decades, hauling cargo and passengers by hand in drenching monsoon rains and stifling heat that envelops India’s heaving eastern metropolis.
Their numbers are declining as pulled rickshaws are relegated to history, usurped by tuk tuks, Kolkata’s signature yellow taxis and modern conveniences like Uber.
Ansari cannot imagine life for Kolkata’s thousands of rickshaw-wallahs if the job ceased to exist.
“If we don’t do it, how will we survive? We can’t read or write. We can’t do any other work. Once you start, that’s it. This is our life,” he tells AFP.
Sweating profusely on a searing hot day, his singlet soaked and face dripping, Ansari skilfully weaves his rickshaw through crowded markets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Wearing simple shoes and a chequered sarong, the only real giveaway of his age is his long beard, snow white and frizzy, and a face weathered from a lifetime plying this disappearing trade.
Twenty minutes later, he stops, wiping his face on a rag. The passenger offers him a glass of water — a rare blessing — and hands a note over.
“When it’s hot, for a trip that costs 50 rupees ($0.75) I’ll ask for an extra 10 rupees. Some will give, some don’t,” he said.
“But I’m happy with being a rickshaw puller. I’m able to feed myself and my family.”