Thursday, August 30

That River

Here we are at the River Thames near the Putney Boat House famous for rowing. In fact, this is where the Oxford-Cambridge boat race begins, stroking its way to Mortlake four miles or so down the river.

French ex-Prime Minister Pierre Messmer has died at the age of 91. Messmer was a faithful Gaullist and served under President Georges Pompidou from 1972-1974. Says President Sarkozy: "France has lost one of its greatest servants." Messmer's political career was inextricably linked to former President Charles de Gaulle. when France fell to the Germans in 1940, Messmer joined de Gaulle's Free French forces and fought in Italy, France and North Africa. After the war, he served in de Gaulle's government as defence minister.