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Fashion study sizes French as taller, heavier than before

Associated Press
Published February 3, 2006

PARIS - Memo to fashion designers: The French aren't quite as thin as you might think.

French men and women are getting taller and heavier, and the average woman in France has gone up a dress size since 1970, according to a major fashion industry study released Thursday that measured about 12,000 people nationwide using 3-D imaging.

The study, commissioned by a French fashion industry association, aims to help clothing designers understand the sizes and shapes of their clients.

The industry's last major measurement campaign was in 1970, and France's current sizes are out of date, said Jean-Pierre Mocho, head of Pret a Porter Paris, the fashion expo where the study's results were released.

"Nobody should feel confused or abnormal if he doesn't fit perfectly into the sizes that are being offered," Mocho said.

"This new notion of clothing's comfort corresponds to everyone's new expectations: the imperative search for well-being," he said. Both in inches and pounds, American men and women are ahead of their French counterparts.

Removal of more West Bank settlements possible

JERUSALEM - Israeli officials said Thursday the government is considering pulling down two more settlement outposts in the West Bank ahead of March 28 elections, a move that could spark further confrontations between right-wing Jewish settlers and security forces.

Also Thursday, the Palestinian Authority said it would delay paying its 137,000 workers their January salaries for at least two weeks after Israel suspended its monthly tax transfers to the Palestinians because of Hamas' victory in parliamentary elections last week.

Excerpts from a report released Thursday said that more than $14-billion has been spent on West Bank settlements over the years. Most of the money was spent by the government, according to the report by the independent Israeli Research Institute for Economic and Social Affairs. The government has never given a total figure for settlement spending, which is divided among various ministries in the budget.

Chavez says U.S. official will be expelled for spying

CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez said Thursday Venezuela will expel a U.S. official accused of passing secret information from Venezuelan military officers to the Pentagon and warned he would throw out all U.S. military attaches if further espionage occurred.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed it had received a communique from Venezuela's foreign ministry on Tuesday asking that its naval attache John Correa be declared a persona non grata.

"We have decided . . . to throw out of the country a military official from the military mission of the United States for espionage," Chavez said in a nationally televised speech celebrating the seventh anniversary of his government. The announcement was greeted by cheers and applause from an audience of several thousand gathered to mark the anniversary.

France deports first youth linked to wave of rioting

The French government deported a Malian involved in autumn rioting on Thursday - the first expulsion stemming from the weeks of violence that swept across France's troubled suburbs - and was preparing to send home another six foreigners.

The deportation of the man made good on promises issued by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy during three weeks of car burnings, riots and other violence that began Oct. 27.

[Last modified February 3, 2006, 01:25:14]

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