American Pastoral novelist Philip Roth at his home in Warren, Connecticut. Picture: AP Source: AP FRANCE has awarded the US writer Philip Roth its highest decoration, the Legion d’honneur (Legion of Honour), with the country’s foreign minister bestowing the award in New York. At a ceremony on Friday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in the Big Apple for the United Nations General Assembly, praised Roth’s prolific career as one of the leading men of American letters. The distinction, first established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to give recognition to civilians and soldiers, has five degrees and Roth, 80, was given the title of Commander. “This highest honour is a wonderful surprise,” Roth said. Then, speaking in French, he said that he was “absolutely delighted.” Fabius, describing Roth’s “huge success” in France, added: “France is giving you back what you have given to my country.” Roth achieved fame with his sexually explicit novel Portnoy’s Complaint in 1969, and is well known for mining the Jewish-American experience as source material for his work. He is the author of nearly 30 novels, including The Humbling (2009) about an aging actor and erotic desire, and Nemesis, framed on a 1944 polio epidemic, which was published came in 2010. Roth’s numerous US literary prizes include two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, three PEN/Faulkner awards, and the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for American Pastoral. Roth, who told French magazine in 2012 that he would no longer write fiction, said that he learned French when he was a teenager but has since forgotten most of it.
British student killed in France as he tried to cross a motorway to get to a nightclub
One of the victims, aged 23, died at the scene, while a second, aged 22, was ‘wounded in the legs’, according to a police source in the southern city of Montpellier. The pair – who have not yet been named – had been part of a group of six friends trying to make their way to a nightclub in the city, which is hugely popular with British students. They are believed to have been struck by a car. Fatal: A British student has been killed in France today and another badly injured as they tried to cross the busy A9 motorway (pictured) in Montpellier, France A driver was arrested shortly after the incident, which happened at about 1.25am. The students were last seen in the central reservation of the three-lane A9 motorway, which runs between Orange, near Avignon, and the Spanish border. Burglar who smashed policeman against lamppost by reversing with car door open in attempt to escape is jailed for 12 years ‘The fatal accident happened on the main motorway, which was briefly closed shortly afterwards,’ said a police source. ‘It is thought that the car hit the two students as they tried to get across one of the carriageways. Popular: Montpellier, the capital of France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region and the Herault department, is hugely popular with British students – many of whom are university undergraduates on the year abroad of their French degrees ‘The second victim was badly injured, but the leg injuries are not life threatening. The victim was taken to the university hospital in Montpellier.’ He added: ‘We are unable to release the names of the victims until their families in England have been informed.’ The driver of the car, who is in his 30s, was treated for shock at the same hospital. He has now been formally placed under criminal investigation. Night out: The pair had been part of a group of six friends trying to make their way to a nightclub in the French city (pictured) A spokesman for local prosecutors said the suspect – who has not yet been named – was being questioned on suspicion of ‘manslaughter and causing injuries’ in a police station in Montpellier. He said results of tests for alcohol and drugs were not yet known. Montpellier, the capital of France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region and the Herault department, is hugely popular with British students – many of whom are university undergraduates on the year abroad of their French degrees.
“The Iranian foreign minister discussed the heart of the matter … he spoke about taking a year to move forward, but I reminded him that his president had spoken about three to six months, and he said that he’d be pleased if things could be done more quickly,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in New York. “I told him that we had to move quickly and that’s one of the issues that needs to be dealt with, because does nuclear production continue during the negotiations?” Fabius added. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his counterparts from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States at the United Nations to discuss the nuclear issue on Thursday. Zarif, promising to address concerns within a year, made a presentation about the next steps that Iran and the six powers might take to try to resolve the standoff, which has eluded a solution for a decade. French President Francois Hollande was the first Western leader to meet new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly this week, warning that Paris expected “concrete gestures” by Iran to show it will give up a military nuclear program. France has been a strong advocate of sanctions to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking nuclear bomb-making capability despite Tehran’s insistence that its program has only peaceful aims. “We can’t find ourselves in a position where the discussions last a year and during this time the number of centrifuges increase, and to enter the technical details that the Arak reactor progresses, which would be a problem,” Fabius said. Hollande told the U.N. General Assembly he was encouraged by the words of the new Iranian government but he now wanted Tehran to follow through with concrete action.