Published: 20 Feb 2013 13:46 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 20 Feb 2013 13:46 GMT+01:00
A new urban ‘scooter-bike’ designed by Frenchman Philippe Starck was unveiled in the French city of Bordeaux this week. The Pibal, as the hybrid bikes have been named, will be rolled out on the streets of the city later in the year.
The ‘Pibal’, named after the regional nickname for a baby was officially launched this week by Starck, who was accompanied by the former French prime minister Alain Juppé, now the Mayor of Bordeaux.
The hybrid scooter-bike is a lightweight cycle, painted grey with bright yellow wheels.
"I hope it moves like a fish in water – with harmony,” said Starck, a world famous designer whose creations have ranged from toothbrushes to hotels, appliances, furniture and in 2012, a $300 million (€223 million) yacht.
“Making a high-quality product that’s lightweight, long-lasting, reliable, with automatic brakes and speed settings, and that won’t break down, all for a good price – that’s complicated," the designer said of his latest creation at Tuesday's unveiling.
Peugeot Cycles has agreed to construct a first wave of 300 pibals – at a cost of €420 each – by September, but no plans have yet been made to roll out the vehicle beyond Bordeaux, according to France's TF1 TV.
Ultimately, it’s hoped that the Pibal will replace the city’s fleet of 3,500 bicycles, which are currently free to use for Bordeaux residents and visitors.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was evacuated for the second time in two days on Wednesday when a topless feminist staged a mock suicide in front of the altar the day after far-right historian Dominique Venner shot himself in the church. READ () »
France is to shell out millions of euros on increasing security around its embassies in Africa and the Middle East, the French foreign office announced on Wednesday. The move comes after a car bomb attack on its Libyan embassy last month. READ () »
There is no egalité when it comes to France’s ruling class, which is dominated by an elite clique where a ‘jobs for the boys’ culture prevails, argues British author Peter Gumbel in his new book. Here he tells The Local how this elitism is holding France back. READ () »
Boos rang out at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday for a blood-spattered revenge tale starring Ryan Gosling as a US fugitive running a Bangkok drugs racket and Kristin Scott Thomas as a cross between "Lady Macbeth and Donatella Versace." READ () »
The fight by French workers against Britain-based steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has inspired a new online game in which strikers can attack police. The game is called "Kill Mittal", despite its creators insisting it is not designed to incite violence. READ () »
French police fear a gang of robbers is specifically targeting wealthy women in Paris after the second victim in a matter of weeks was kidnapped and forced to hand over tens of thousands of euros worth of valuables. READ () »
The French President François Hollande’s bid to clean up French politics suffered an early setback on Wednesday when one of his parliamentary deputies was jailed for embezzling public money. READ () »
The French government is planning a controversial change in the law to allow more university courses to be taught entirely in English, in a bid to attract foreign students. Author Frederic Werst, one of a group of writers against the project tells The Local why the idea is "deluded". READ () »
A highly contentious proposal to allow more courses at French universities to be taught in English will be discussed in the French parliament today as the minister behind the plan slams the “hypocrisy” of those opposing it. READ () »
French prosecutors investigating corruption are set to decide this week whether to charge IMF chief Christine Lagarde over her handling of a row that resulted in a €400 million payout being paid to disgraced businessman Bernard Tapie. READ () »