Tag Archive: Franch


LONDON (AP) — For years, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and her family had honored a French ancestor who they believed was a World War I war hero.

But the best-selling author has now discovered that her family had been mistaken about the true identity of her great-grandfather.

Rowling, 46, has recorded a television program with the BBC that shows her coming to terms with the revelation that her family had confused Louis Volant, a war hero awarded with the Legion d’honneur for his bravery during the Battle of Verdun, with her real great-grandfather, who had the same name and also fought for France.

Rowling told the BBC magazine published Tuesday Radio Times that the experience was an upsetting and emotional one. She said taking part in her genealogy research made her so emotional that she cried several times.

“There were a lot of big surprises, some wonderful, and one rather upsetting,” she said in an interview.

“However, I went into the program wanting the truth, no matter what it was, because I knew so little about my French ancestry, and I don’t regret a moment of it. I loved the whole experience,” she added.

When Rowling was awarded the Legion d’honneur for her services to literature in 2009, she described her pride being the second winner of the honor in the family, and how her accomplishments could not compare to the bravery of her ancestor and men like him.

She said that she has undertook the project because her mother Anne Volant, who died in 1990, was very interested in her French roots but never got the chance to explore them.

“A huge motivation in looking into my family history is my mother. It’s very much bound up in that loss,” she said.

The BBC show, called “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be broadcast later this month.

http://news.yahoo.com/j-k-rowling-uncovers-french-roots-tv-show-230214568.html

French Embassy: Forces arrest Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110411/ap_on_re_af/af_ivory_coast

By MARCO CHOWN OVED and SOPHIE TETREL, Associated Press Marco Chown Oved And Sophie Tetrel, Associated Press 23 mins ago

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – After a week of heavy fighting, forces backing Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized leader on Monday arrested strongman Laurent Gbagbo after he refused to leave the presidency, French diplomats said. He was seen soon after in a hotel guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.

An eyewitness at the Golf Hotel where election winner Alassane Ouattara had been trying to run the presidency said he saw Gbagbo, his wife and son enter the hotel around midday Monday. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The capture came after French military forces in this former French colony deployed tanks for the first time near a bunker at the presidential residence where Gbagbo had reportedly been hold up with his family.

A senior adviser to Ouattara said French and Ivorian forces captured Gbagbo, but Cmdr. Frederic Daguillon, the French forces spokesman in Abidjan, said French forces were not involved in Gbagbo’s arrest.

“There wasn’t one single French soldier at the residence of Laurent Gbagbo,” he said.

Ouattara’s radio station confirmed Gbagbo’s arrest. Official word first came from the French Embassy in Abidjan.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The French Embassy in Ivory Coast said strongman Laurent Gbagbo was captured Monday by forces of democratically elected leader Alassane Ouattara.

The move came after an attack by French forces earlier Monday. An embassy official confirmed the detention by phone to an Associated Press reporter in Paris, speaking on condition of anonymity because of government policy.

The United Nations certified results showing Gbagbo lost the November presidential election but Gbagbo, the incumbent, refused to acknowledge defeat. The dispute pushed the world’s largest cocoa producer to the brink of renewed civil war.

Late last month forces backing Ouattara began an offensive to oust him. U.N. and French forces joined the effort last week to force Gbagbo from his bunker in the presidential residence in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s most important city.

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