Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss frame a decorative fountain, Savannah, Georgia.
The sun is hot! Yes, even in Paris. In addition to the canicule, today marks the beginning of France's presidency of the European Union. Little blue EU flags are flying from all the city buses and the Eiffel Tower has turned blue. The big news here is that the French army chief of staff has resigned. President Nicolas Sarkozy accepted the resignation, after 17 people were injured Sunday at a military show in Audes in the southwest. One soldier loaded real bullets - instead of blanks - during a demonstration of hostage-freeing techniques. An investigation is continuing.
And Solidays - the annual three-day musical festival featuring Yael Naim and numerous artists in 80 concerts to raise money for SIDA - kicks off Friday. The festivities are just across the street (yes, sleepless nights ahead) at Hippodrome du Longchamp in the Bois du Boulogne. Since last Saturday, event organisers have been busy constructing concert stages, big top tents and shelters and installing food stands, etc.
Pity the nation
Update 7 p.m. Paris time: Botswana's vice president Mompati Merfahe has called for Zimbabwe to be excluded from the African Union and regional talks.
At the African Union meeting underway in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migirohas urged leaders to try to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe. And the British supermarket chain Tesco said it will stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe while "the political crisis persists." The company buys about £1m ($1.9m) worth of goods a year, including vegetables, from Zimbabwe.
Human Rights Watch has calculated the tally of misery and abuse in Zimbabwe since its March 29 elections: at least 36 dead; hundreds tortured; thousands beaten and tens of thousands deprived of food or displaced. Read Jon Eliot's article here.
And June was the deadliest month for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.
Path sheltered by the shade of oak trees. leading away from the fountain. Click photos to enlarge.