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France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over sub deal

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France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over sub deal

PARIS — America’s oldest ally, France, recalled its ambassador to the United States on Friday in an unprecedented show of anger that dwarfed decades of previous rifts.

The relationship conceived in 18th century revolutions appeared at a tipping point after the U.S., Australia and Britain shunned France in creating a new Indo-Pacific security arrangement.

It was the first time ever France has recalled its ambassador to the U.S., according to the French foreign ministry. Paris also recalled its envoy to Australia.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the French decision, on request from President Emmanuel Macron, “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by Australia and the United States.

He said Australia’s decision to scrap a big French conventional submarine purchase in favor of nuclear subs built with U.S. technology is “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners.”

Ambassador Philippe Etienne tweeted the announcements are “directly affecting the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.”

The Biden administration has been in close contact with French officials about the decision to recall Etienne to Paris, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.

“We understand their position and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences, as we have done at other points over the course of our long alliance,” she said in a statement. “France is our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners, and we share a long history of shared democratic values and a commitment to working together to address global challenges.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price also stressed the value the U.S. places on its relationship with France and expressed hope that talks between the two sides will continue in the coming days, including at the United Nations General Assembly next week.

Macron, however, for the first time since he came into office in 2017, won’t be making a speech to the annual meeting of world leaders. Le Drian will instead deliver the French address.

The decision to recall the ambassador represents a shocking turnaround for France under Macron, who — after an increasingly bitter relationship with former President Donald Trump — warmly clasped hands with Biden at a G-7 summit in June and confirmed that “America is back.”

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Unsettled weekend weather with severe storms possible Sunday

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Unsettled weekend weather with severe storms possible Sunday

ST. LOUIS – Unsettled weekend weather with multiple rounds of rain and storms forecast to impact the area, including a threat for severe weather for St. Louis on Sunday.

Saturday morning into the afternoon expect scattered rain and a few rumbles of thunder mainly south of I-70 to continue spreading eastward. This activity gradually tapers off through the afternoon.

Later Saturday evening into tonight showers and storms develop across central and east central Missouri and lift north ahead of a warm front as we head into early Sunday morning. These storms could produce some hail along with heavy rain. The front stalls across northern Missouri and west central Illinois where heavy rain and storms will continue for much of the day on Sunday. Our far northern counties could be impacted by multiple waves of heavy rain through the day with amounts to around 2”.

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Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s to raise awareness and funds for research

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Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s to raise awareness and funds for research

ST. LOUIS – The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is back this year. The goal is not just to raise awareness about the disease but to also to raise funds for research.

The walk is happening at the Enterprise Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

So far, the Alzheimer’s Association has raised more than $800,000, not too far away from reaching its goal of $1.3 million.

This progressive disease affects millions of Americans. In fact, the CDC says in 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65. That number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.

During the walk you’ll see people carrying flowers of different colors, each color representing the person’s connection to the disease.

A purple flower is for those who have lost a someone to the disease. A yellow flower represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s.

Registration for the walk is at 7:30 a.m. There will be a ceremony at 9:15 and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

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‘Holy grail‘ of American folk art discovered St. Louis yard

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‘Holy grail‘ of American folk art discovered St. Louis yard

ST. LOUIS – Art historians are calling it the holy grail of a find, a rare work of art found in a St. Louis front yard. What looked like a lawn ornament is now headed to a museum in New York.   

It’s a sculpture of two sisters that sat in the front yard of a St. Louis home that’s been on quite a journey. First rediscovered in 2019 by a gentleman named John Foster, an art historian.     

For years the sculpture entitled “Martha and Mary” sat on a bench in the city of St. Louis before an art historian saw it while out on a stroll. 

“That didn’t look like the commonly seen concrete lawn ornament that we are used to seeing,” said Valerie Rousseau, senior curator American Folk Art Museum & Exhibition chair. 

Sally Bliss had inherited this Martha and Mary sculpture, and it sat outside her home in New York when she was a ballet dancer. Years later after her first husband died, she moved to St. Louis when she met her second husband, Jim Connette. 

“I had it and put it out in my garden in Long Island, which was our main house, and brought it with me and put it on the bench,” Bliss said.

“I knew it was valuable. But I knew that nobody would steal it because it looked like it was part of the bench and would be really difficult to pick up that bench and steal the whole thing.” 

This lawn sculpture was originally made by artist William Edmondson, the famed black sculptor from Nashville, Tennessee.

The ‘two sisters’ sculpture had been featured at the Museum of Modern Art in 1937 in New York and later Paris, France. 

Today, William Edmondson is considered a preeminent black sculptor, although he didn’t start sculpting until 1934 when he was 60 years old, and only made 300 sculptures over the course of 15 years. 

Using limestone from demolished buildings.  

“Like most museums, we have to have supporters to acquire such artwork,” Rousseau said. “Prices for Edmundson sculptures can be $350,000 to $800,000.”   

And after some conversations and a cleaning, Martha and Mary are headed back to New York. This time, the sculpture will be the centerpiece of the American Museum of Folk Art. Debuting this January on the celebration of the museum’s 60th year. 

Thanks to the generosity of a man named Brian Donnelly, this sculpture and its wild ride of a story will reside in the Big Apple.  

“I was sad,” Bliss said. “But I knew that this was the right place for it to go and especially to New York and so many people will see it and he will get his due and to me, that’s more important than me having to be sad because I’m losing that work of art.” 

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