The French may duly proclaim and agree with gender equality and modern feminist notions. But in practice, those ideas run up against a powerful, culturally sanctioned 'old-boy mentality.'
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a Russian passport to the famous French movie star in what some see as part of an escalating war of words between Russia and the West.
Two days after recognizing new Syrian opposition group, France said it would float giving rebels defensive weapons. But even with the French push, such arms shipments look far from imminent.
Peter Ford, who covered Lance Armstrong's winning streak at the Tour de France for the Monitor, writes that Armstrong's doping has 'tainted some of my happiest memories of reporting in France.'
Aside from isolated protests in Afghanistan and Iran, the response to publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad has been mild. But tomorrow could bring a larger reaction.
Riots in the northern city of Amiens have revived concerns about minority grievances and unrest in France.