Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, faces new challenges this week with French writer Tristane Banon accusing him of attempted rape in a 2003 incident. Strauss-Kahn has filed countercharges against Banon for "false declarations,"' a lawyer for DSK told CNN Monday.
This news comes amidst reports that the Manhattan DA's case against Strauss-Kahn seems to be crumbling due to credibility issues with the hotel maid who has accused him of rape.
Elaine Sciolino, New York Times Paris correspondent, discusses what Strauss-Kahn is facing politically and what impact these scandals have had on French culture on American Morning today.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/03/obama.sarkozy.getty.art.jpg caption="President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are welcomed by French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and French President Nicolas Sarkozy"]
French-American relations hit a very low point in 2003 when the French refused to support the American invasion of Iraq. Things got so bad that many Americans actually got behind a movement to CHANGE the name “French Fries” to “Freedom Fries”. Read the story. Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) actually held a press conference to pronounce that the House cafeteria would “rename the ‘French Fry’ to the ‘Freedom Fry’ because of our disappointment with the French.”
Since then the French elected a new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who embraced America so much he actually vacationed in the USA in the summer of 2007. Sarkozy was invited to speak before a joint session of Congress where he embraced “the American Dream.” Read his speech.
So, what’s with President Sarkozy now? Headlines on the eve of the G-20 Summit said that he threatened to stay away unless the United States got tough with financial regulation.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/31/art_cat.jpg caption= "Caterpillar's French staff say they are angry about a lack of negotiations over layoffs."]
From Producer Beth Rotatori and CNN Wire
Caterpillar officials are calling for the release of a group of company executives being held hostage at a plant in Grenoble, France, by hundreds of workers angry about proposed lay-offs.
“The actions that are taking place today, led by a small minority of individuals, are not helping as we work for a positive resolution of this situation,” Chris Schena, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for manufacturing operations in Europe, said in the statement released by the company Tuesday afternoon.
Caterpillar, a U.S.-based construction equipment company, would not provide the names or nationalities of the executives being held in Grenoble.
Jim Dugan, the company’s chief corporate spokesperson, told CNN that a “handful” of employees were being detained at the plant.
Police arrived at the scene two hours after the incident began on Tuesday but had not succeeded in getting the situation under control.