India’s Modi arrives in France as part of European tour

Updated 10 April 2015

India’s Modi arrives in France as part of European tour

PARIS: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in France on Friday as part of a trans-Atlantic tour, with French authorities hoping to further strengthen relations with the fast-growing Asian nation amid talks about a possible fighter-jet deal.
Modi was greeted by France’s foreign minister at the gilt-domed Invalides military museum — the burial place of Napoleon — and was meeting later with President Francois Hollande for a news conference, a boat ride on the Seine River, and a working dinner.
The French leader has cautioned that the bilateral relationship was more complex than just talks over a possible 12 billion euro ($15 billion) deal for 126 Rafale jets, made by France’s Dassault Aviation.
French and Indian leaders have noted strong bilateral ties in defense, space, nuclear power and technology. Modi was also meeting with French business leaders, and was visiting the National Assembly and the headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in Paris.
Modi, according to the French translation of an interview published Thursday in French daily Le Figaro, said his government sees France as “an important partner to support India’s development.” He was set to travel to the southern French city of Toulouse on Saturday to visit the headquarters of plane-maker Airbus.
The Hindustan Times, a leading New Delhi-based daily, reported Friday that India is considering a direct purchase of two squadrons of Rafales, or up to 40 jets, between governments to avoid negotiations on price that have stalled the deal.
Modi was later traveling to Germany and Canada as part of the trip.


UK PM says was obese but lost weight since virus scare

Updated 41 min 34 sec ago

UK PM says was obese but lost weight since virus scare

  • Boris Johnson: I am fitter than a butcher’s dog, thanks basically to losing weight
  • The 56-year-old spent three nights in intensive care in April after contracting Covid-19

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed Tuesday he was obese when he contracted coronavirus earlier this year, but after losing weight said he now felt much better.
The 56-year-old spent three nights in intensive care in April after contracting Covid-19, and there have been swirling questions about his health ever since.
“I am fitter than I was before, it may irritate you to know,” he said, when asked by a reporter about his health following a speech on education.
“I am fitter than a butcher’s dog, thanks basically to losing weight.
“When you reach 17 stone six (around 111 kg, 244 pounds) as I did, at a height of about five foot 10 (around 1.78 meters), it’s probably a good idea to lose weight, so that’s what I’ve done. And I feel much much better.”
An online calculator provided by the state-run National Health Service (NHS) suggests that a man with Johnson’s age, weight and height would have a body mass index (BMI) of 34.9 — classing him as obese.
It is not the first time Johnson has boasted about his health, using a newspaper interview in June to make the “butcher’s dog” analogy and even doing push-ups to prove his fitness.
But the issue has returned as a talking point amid disquiet among his Conservative lawmakers over his handling of a new uptick in coronavirus cases.
The outbreak has so far killed 42,000 people in Britain — the worst toll in Europe.
Johnson has recently been spotted running with a personal trainer in a park near his Downing Street office. As London mayor between 2008 and 2006, he was a keen cyclist.