Apparently This Matters Gingers take to the street

Editor’s note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) — To call myself a true ginger is rather an insult to all the legitimate redheads of the world. You know, the super shiny ones you carefully hide from your children.

“Mommy, what is that?”

“Nothing, dear. Just a horrible genetic mutation.”

“Can we keep it?”

But, alas, I am one of them. I am a ginger.

To be fair, my hair (what’s left of it) is really more of a light brown with gentle hints of crimson. However, in a pinch, my beard can definitely be used as a warning beacon for low-flying aircraft.

“Jim, shouldn’t that bright red light be wearing pants?”

Thus, while they’ll never elect me King Ginger of the Pale, I’m definitely one among the people. Which is why I felt a certain amount of solidarity as I kept reading about the more than 100 redheads who recently marched in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the city’s annual Fringe Festival.

The UK’s first Ginger Pride Walk was actually orchestrated by a Canadian comedian named , who said, “Although it isn’t a real word, ‘gingerism’ exists, and bullying exists. … Kids are being subjected to taunts or being bullied in schools just for having red hair.”

So they marched through the streets of Scotland’s capital, stretching out like a , human laser pointer.

Despite the serious tone set by Hitchins, the event was, of course, organized to be fun. After all, if anyone knows how to have a good time, it’s someone who can’t go out in direct sunlight.

“Woo! Party over here! In the gazebo! C’mon, guys! Woo! Wear long sleeves! Woo!”

As the red-haired masses marched down the street, some held positive signs saying “IT GETS REDDER” and “GINGER AND PROUD.”

Though, one little girl warned, “DON’T Oakley On Sale Sunglasses MAKE ME MAD OR I WILL GINGER SNAP.”

I see what she did there.

Of course, Edinburgh was the perfect place to hold such an event. While the of natural redheads is only about 1% to 2%, in Scotland, it’s somewhere closer to 13%. Which is still pretty low.

And some people think those numbers may get even lower.

In 2007, suggested that, eventually, gingers might actually become extinct. Perhaps as soon as 2060.

While many disagreed with this prediction, it certainly didn’t help that, in 2011, the world’s largest sperm bank from gingers for lack of demand.

Aaaaaaand there Clear Oakley Sunglasses goes my retirement plan.

Nevertheless, Hitchins has been encouraged by all the support he’s received in his efforts to raise ginger awareness.

Especially online.

Naturally, then, I was curious what kind of resources were out there on the Web for my people. So, I did a little researching … and mostly came up with links for fetish porn.

Though, in retrospect, perhaps I shouldn’t have Googled “dirty redheads.”

But two hours later I finally got back on track and discovered a couple legitimate support sites such as and . I even found several dating options like .

“I really like your profile. What’s your SPF?”

So there’s plenty of love and support out there for us pale-skinned, red-headed folks who need a little extra encouragement.

Still, it’s kind of a bummer that some kids get teased just for being ginger. I was never THAT red, so I really don’t know what it’s like. But I’m sure it sucks, and hopefully these bullies will grow out of it and come to realize that freckles are awesome!

But, until then, if any gingers in the world need an extra boost of confidence, just remember this: .

And so are Conan O’Brien and Bonnie Raitt, and Willie Nelson and, apparently, Genghis Khan.

(But Carrot Top doesn’t count. Because I said so.)

I applaud Hitchins and his Ginger Pride Walk. And maybe next year I’ll be there in oakley sunglasses cheap person to cheer them on. From a shaded, safe distance.

I’ll be in the gazebo.

Follow Jarrett Bellini on .

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Best places to experience Native American culture

(CNN) — Think Native American culture has been co-opted by casinos, twisted by inaccurate films, relegated to the rez or buried with arrowheads?

No chance.

American Indian culture is alive and thriving in modern galleries, powwows, museum exhibits, film festivals and restaurants.

Here are some of the best places in the United States to experience Native America (arranged in a roughly east-to-west geographic order).

The National Museum of the American Indian George Gustav Heye Center (New York)

The is part of the National Museum of the American Indian.

“The Heye Center began as the personal collection of George Gustav Heye, a wealthy investment banker who collected nearly a million items that became the largest collection of American Indian items in the world,” says NMAI director Kevin Gover (Pawnee).

Heye’s will stipulates that his collection always be made available to the people of New York, and since 1994, it’s been on view for all to see in Lower Manhattan across from Battery Park, in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.

Highlights of the collection include 10 headdresses from different Native tribes and duck decoys from Lovelock Cave, Nevada (at ca. 400 B.C.-A.D. 100, they’re the oldest known in the world).

Nursing moms will especially appreciate the Yup’ik jacket that holds junior on Mom’s back till feeding time, when the jacket can be ingeniously turned forward.

Elsewhere in New York City, which, by the way, has the largest indigenous population of any city in the country, the holds the Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow, the city’s largest and oldest (July 25-27, 2014).

National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)

The is the Smithsonian Institution’s great national repository of American Indian art and culture on the National Mall.

“Our world-class collection covers cultures from North, Central and South America and totals more than 800,000 items,” says museum director Kevin Gover. “Our Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe was the first Zagat-rated museum cafe in Washington and has a devoted following.”

The museum presents a full calendar of public programs, including concerts, festivals, symposiums and theater, along with one-of-a-kind temporary exhibitions featuring the likes of esteemed Native artists such as Fritz Scholder, George Morrison, Brian Jungen and Allan Houser.

It’s Native inside and out: the design of the grounds has reintroduced a landscape indigenous to the Washington area before “contact.”

Oklahoma

You might know it as the Sooner State, but the state name Oklahoma is Indian, from the Choctaw words “okla” and “humma,” meaning “red people.”

The entire state is rich with American Indian culture.

Makes sense: Oklahoma has 39 federally recognized tribes and the second greatest percentage of Native Americans in the country.

If you know about the forced removal of the Oakley Closeouts Cherokee in 1838-1839 along the Trail of Tears (now a National Historic Trail) to reservations in Indian Territory in what is now southeastern Oklahoma, you’ll appreciate , the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

At the there’s a re-created ancient Cherokee village and a permanent Trail of Tears exhibit.

You can tour the , where the street signs are written in English and Cherokee.

More Cherokee-related museums include the , the John Hair Museum and Cultural Center and the.

In Muscogee, you can learn about the art, culture and history of the Five Civilized Tribes (the term refers to the tribes considered most able to assimilate: the Cherokee, the Choctaw, Muscogee/Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole) at the.

In the Osage Hills, 10 minutes from downtown Tulsa, the acclaimed houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West and an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts.

You’ll want to allow time for the museum and its acres of gardens.

In Oklahoma City, lots of the almost 40,000 indigenous residents turn out for the three-day every June (in 2014, June 5-7).

It kicks off with a parade and keeps Discount Oakley Sunglasses Cheap right on kicking with dancing, singing, storytelling, poetry, music and art.

In Shawnee, bring together athletes representing 70 different tribes from across the country.

The Games honor Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox), the athletic legend who was born in Indian Territory near the town of Prague, Oklahoma, and went on to become a pro baseball player, pro football player and an Olympic Gold medalist in record-setting wins of the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics.

Inaugurated in 2012 to honor the man often called The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century, the Native Games host thousands of athletes competing in 10 sports.

The 2014 Games will be held in Shawnee June 8-14.

And coming to Oklahoma City in 2017, the $10 million.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Experiencing Santa Fe’s rich American Indian culture requires more than a couple of days — and many return trips.

American Indian vendors line the historic Plaza, selling authentic silver and turquoise jewelry and other Native crafts.

Galleries like on the Plaza, on Lincoln and the many along Canyon Road are a gateway to a life-altering addiction to Native arts, from painting and sculpture, to textiles, pottery and jewelry.

The city is also filled with world-class museums: , and .

For a one-fell-swoop approach, you can hit Santa Fe during August’s world-renowned , when the parking is horrible but the historic center overflows with booths devoted to Native arts and eats.

“This is the biggest and the best venue for we Native American artists,” says sculptor Upton Oakley Cheap Deal Greyshoes Ethelbah (Apache). “Collectors arrive for the two-day show by the tens of thousands (estimates range from 80,000 to 100,000).

“Visitors to the Santa Fe Indian Market are treated to the best diverse Native American art in the country, with over 10 different classifications, from stone and bronze sculpture, which is my specialty, to pottery, beadwork, jewelry, painting, weaving and even filmmaking.”

The Indian Market is an opportunity to share cultures not only with visitors unfamiliar with Native differences, but among different tribes as well.

“There are over 562 different tribal groups in the U. S. with different languages, ceremonies and traditions,” he says. “Everyone benefits by experiencing the great variation of artwork that emerges from these many tribes and nations. Virtually every individual item offered to the collector by over a thousand Indian artists originates in tribal tradition or symbology, and artists are eager to share with the collector the inspiration and the historical or spiritual meaning of their work.”

The is an architectural re-creation of the famed Taos Pueblo.

As soon as you see it, you’ll know why it’s one of the most photographed buildings in the country.

Gathering of Nations (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

The fourth weekend of April, Native America flocks to Albuquerque for the .

Billed as the world’s largest Native American cultural event, it’s a tribal extravaganza in all its flying fringe and bodacious beading.

Where else but North America’s most prominent powwow are you going to find the crowning of Miss Indian World and more than 700 tribes doing their thing?

“The Gathering of Nations strives to be a positive cultural experience that is exhilarating for everyone,” says Derek Mathews, founder of the event, which marked its 31st year in 2014. “The powwow features thousands of dancers performing different styles from many regions and tribes, offers the finest in Native American arts and crafts in the Indian Traders Market, a delicious variety of Native American and Southwest cuisine and the best in contemporary entertainment performances.”

The Grand Entry is special — thousands of Native American dancers simultaneously enter the University of New Mexico’s arena in full regalia to the beating of hundreds of drums.

Between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the is located on the sacred lands of the Santa Ana Pueblo.

The resort offers golf, pools, spa, restaurants and all the usual upscale amenities but distinguishes itself with American Indian cultural experiences.

There are Pueblo bread-baking demonstrations by tribal members using a traditional oven called a huruna, flute and tribal dance performances on certain weekends, a cultural museum with personal tours hosted by a tribal member, hiking and riding (horses or bikes) through cottonwoods along the Rio Grande on trails used by the Tamayame people for centuries and creation stories told under the stars by a Native American storyteller (followed by s’mores).

In the city, you can stay at the funky, artsy (American Indian meets modern meets retro boutique hotel/motel) and make an extra day of the and .

Taos, New Mexico

Taos is crazy with galleries and museums highlighting Native American culture.

The is one of the best — it houses important collections of Native American arts, including pottery and jewelry.

Just outside of town is the — a settlement of adobe dwellings and ceremonial buildings that dates to the late 13th century, the pueblo is still a living community.

It’s both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark and open to the public for guided walking tours, shopping and fry bread eating. (Check ahead for hours and entry fee.)

The is located just outside of Taos.

You can cross the famous long-span bridge over the incredible 600-foot-deep gorge.

Shiprock, New Mexico/Monument Valley

With more than 17 million acres, the Navajo Nation encompasses the entire northeast quarter of Arizona, and spills into New Mexico and Utah.

Shiprock, which is much easier to pronounce than its Navajo name, Ts�� Bit?a?��, is located in the northwest corner of New Mexico.

The “rock with wings” or “winged rock,” which is said to have brought tribes here from the north, rises 1,583 feet from the plain and looks every foot the sacred and mythological heavyweight it is in Navajo culture.

The approach is practically a religious experience.

From Shiprock, it’s two-and-a half-hour drive to , on the Arizona-Utah border.

One of the world’s most famous film locations for its miles and miles of mesas, buttes and rock spires sculpted by eons of water and wind, Monument Valley is also a tribal park of the Navajo Nation.

The 17-mile scenic drive takes in Mitten Buttes, Merrick Buttes and other iconic formations. Navajo guides (compulsory if you want to get off the road) can take you into some of the park’s 92,000 acres.

At the Navajo-staffed you can watch the sun rise over the Mittens.

Phoenix

Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, and Native history and landmarks are found throughout the state, from “Sky Island” mountains and rock formations in to urban centers like Phoenix, which is home to almost 45,000 indigenous people.

Haven’t heard of The Heard? As in the?

It’s only one of the Phoenix area’s earliest and best cultural attractions, and a terrific destination for learning about American Indian arts and cultures.

“The Heard Museum offers a unique and memorable visitor experience with 11 galleries that present the best of American Indian traditional and contemporary art,” says museum director of curation and education Ann Marshall. “Within a year, six to eight new exhibits are presented, so return visits always bring something new.

The museum’s annual in March (Arizona’s largest) features more than 700 Native artists.

Just outside of downtown Phoenix, the sits on a 1,500-year-old site, which includes a short trail through a prehistoric Hohokam archaeological village complete with a partially excavated platform mound, ball court and replicated prehistoric houses.

In December, an features music and dance performances, artist demonstrations, children’s crafts and, naturally, fry bread.

Arizona is home to a number of highly regarded American Indian restaurants.

As a 2013 noted, “Talented [Native] chefs are returning to local, old-fashioned ingredients (think tepary beans, Saguaro cactus seeds, sumac and chollo buds) and adding creative twists to the traditional dishes of indigenous peoples, spurring a hot, new culinary trend.”

The Globe’s three top recommendations for American Indian dining in Phoenix: the , which, despite being “no-frills,” was “one of only five restaurants nationwide to win the 2012 James Beard American Classics Award, and the only Native American restaurant ever to receive it”; the “five-star, five diamond”; and the “health-focused” .

Mesa Verde (Colorado)

The ancestral Puebloans who lived at Mesa Verde from A.D. 600 to 1300 left behind some of the best-preserved sites in the country.

An interpretive tour of their ancient cliff dwellings and mesa-top sites is the way to get the most out of this stunning setting.

Afterward, you can get a nice meal with an incomparable view at the lodge’s Metate Room restaurant.

With rooms starting at $106, the inside the national park has spectacular vistas and stargazing opportunities.

Denver, Colorado

The is internationally known for its holdings of American Indian art, with permanent collections and exhibitions showing everything from ancient ceramics to 19th-century Arapaho beaded garments to contemporary glasswork.

The museum puts on the Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration, which celebrates its 25th year in September 2014.

There are American Indian dancers, drum groups, artists, vendors, and, need we say it, fry bread.

The Mile High City is also home to the — second largest indoor powwow after Albuquerque’s Gathering of Nations — celebrating its 40th year March 20-22, 2015, at the Denver Coliseum.

Who cooks all the Indian tacos at the Denver March Powwow?

It just might be — you can try their tacos anytime at Tocabe’s Denver restaurant.

Partners Ben Jacobs and Matt Chandra call it “fast, casual,” sort of the community-minded Chipotle of Native American food.

The shredded bison American Indian taco is a fan favorite.

Bison ribs is another signature dish.

“We’re trying to showcase American Indian cuisine in the 21st century,” Chandra says. “This is food that speaks to tradition but also shows that it can progress and have the ability to adapt and become a part of mainstream cuisine.”

Crow Fair (Montana)

Parade cars draped in serape blankets and 1,500 tepees under Montana’s Big Sky — it could only be Crow Fair.

Every third week of August, Crow Agency (60 miles south of Billings off I-90) becomes the Tepee Capital of the World when it hosts the largest modern-day American Indian encampment in the nation, and the largest gathering of the year for the Apsaalooke Nation.

Daily parades, evening powwows, All Indian rodeo, Indian relay horse races, the closing Dance Through Camp — the is a week of incredible displays of Native American culture.

Attractions in the area include (where the Sioux and Cheyenne famously defeated the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry); ; and (must-do: Devil’s Canyon Overlook).

American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco)

Seeing American Indian life through the lens of Native filmmakers is one of the best ways to understand the modern Native experience.

One of the best places to do that (aside from the indie film category on Netflix) is the in San Francisco.

It’s the mission of the American Indian Film Institute to empower American Indian media artists, and the AIFI’s annual film festival has been bringing Native stories to a growing audience for nearly 40 years.

“There are other American Indian film festivals around the country,” says festival founder and president Michael Smith. “But the AIFI festival in San Francisco is the longest-running and has the most content. Last year, there were more than 85 films.”

The 39th annual American Indian Film Festival takes place November 1-9, 2014.

If you’re lucky, you might catch filmmaker Chris Eyre (Cheyenne, Arapaho), an AIFI and Sundance favorite since his debut film, “Smoke Signals,” won honors at both festivals in 1998.

It’s hard to imagine from modern American Indian film subjects and the festival’s Bay Area setting that the lands south of the Golden Gate Bridge were once home to the Ohlone, or Costanoan, tribe, and north of the bridge, especially in what’s now Marin County, to the Miwok tribe.

For a small taste of what the region was like when American Indians inhabited it centuries before high-tech modernity, you can visit the in Novato’s Miwok Park.

It’s on the site of an actual Miwok village, in a peaceful and pristine setting that’s about as far from the influence of Silicon Valley as you can get in these parts.

The Salish Sea (Pacific Northwest)

As much as it might now be about coffee and grunge culture, the Pacific Northwest is also formline art, totem pole, longhouse and dugout canoe country.

Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia are all part of the Salish Sea.

You could do all sorts of things in the region to get a feel for the richness of its tribal past.

Blake Island has its , where you can take in a Northwest Coast Indian dance performance with a traditional salmon bake dinner.

You can pay your respects at and learn about the longhouse tradition in Suquamish, Washington, on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, where the great chief lived and died.

And you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Puget Sound Salish Tribes (particularly the Suquamish) at the new and niftily designed.

Just across the water/border in Vancouver, Canada, you can get intensely ethnographic at University of British Columbia’s with its a vast collection of Aboriginal art and artifacts, including traditional canoes, masks, jewelry, carvings, longhouse replicas and totem poles.

Not to be outdone, the in Victoria on nearby Vancouver Island has one of the most comprehensive collections of First Nations cultural material, from ceremonial and utilitarian objects to artistic masterworks.

Back in Vancouver’s , there are the much-visited totem poles, tribal dance performances, Aboriginal foods and storytelling, a through the forest and activities at the .

There’s more to experience at , where you can top off First Nations cedar chiseling demonstrations, Totem Park, and the displays and weaving and beadwork demonstrations at Kia’palano First Nations cultural center with views of the Pacific Northwest rainforest from the bridge over the Capilano River.

We didn’t come close to hitting them all. Have you got a favorite Native American location or experience? Share it in the comments section.

Dallas-based Dana Joseph is the editorial director of Cowboys & Indians magazine.

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Venezuela – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs

By Mick Krever and Ken Olshansky, CNN

Venezuela’s political deadlock presents a “delicate and complex moment” for the country, Venezuelan historian and political scientist Margarita Lopez Maya told CNN’s Hala Gorani, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, on Monday.

The country’s simmering protests could come to a full boil at any moment, with a dramatic showdown shaping up between embattled President Nicolas Maduro, the former bus driver and handpicked heir of Hugo Chavez, and opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.

Three people were killed in violent Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Mens clashes in Caracas last Oakley Sunglasses Australia week; Maduro's government blames Lopez, ordering his arrest on charges of murder and terrorism.

Lopez asserts his innocence and dropped out of sight, until last night, when he Tweeted a video call to action, saying he will lead peaceful march on the ministry of justice on Tuesday.

Lopez, though unable to break cover to appear as a guest on CNN, in which he said Venezuela stood at a “critical moment.”

CNN reached out to offer the Venezuelan government a place on the program; they chose not to appear.

“This is one episode more in our difficulties,” Lopez Maya said. “It is Oakley Goggle Sunglasses a delicate and complex moment, yes, but this is not the first time we’ve been into one of these.”

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CNN iReport – Share your story, discuss the issues

Vetting explained

iReport is a user-generated section of CNN.com. The stories in this section are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they are posted.

What does the label “not vetted by CNN” mean?
The label “Not vetted by CNN” lets you know that this story hasn’t been both checked and cleared by a CNN editor.

What does “vetted” mean?
iReport stories that have a red “CNN iReport” stamp in the corner have been vetted and cleared. That means they’ve been selected and approved by a CNN producer to use on CNN, on air, or on any of CNN’s platforms.

How can you get your story on CNN?
Start with the , story ideas from CNN.

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Rwanda – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs

By Mick Krever, CNN

Without “strong leadership,” Rwanda would have been unable to modernize and change at the pace it has in the 20 years since Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Outlet its horrific genocide, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Monday.

The country on Monday marked 20 years since nearly 800,000 people were murdered in about 100 days.

“I think it is an almost unique set of circumstances,” Blair said. “Frankly, without strong leadership, the country couldn’t have come the distance it has in the last twenty years.”

Rwanda has seen incredible modernization in the past two decades, Blair said, lifting “a million people” out of poverty, and getting huge reductions in malaria and maternal and child mortality, among other achievements.

While many credit President Paul Kagame with those successes, some also accuse the Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale Mens leader of stifling Rwanda’s opposition and having authoritarian tendencies.

In an , Kagame said she should not “worry” about whether he will Discount cheap oakley step down at the end of his constitutionally limited term of office in 2017.

Pleitgen questioned Blair � who as founder of the Africa Governance Initiative serves as an informal adviser to Kagame � about the president’s record.

“You know the threat when people are in power too long, especially in Africa,” Pleitgen said. “You know that they can become authoritarian, that there is that danger and that that can lead to instability.”

“Yes; that's absolutely true,” Blair said. “He is someone I know well. I don't think he's that type of person or leader.”

“And by the way, I discuss [these issues] very openly with President Kagame and…there's not a problem having that discussion with him.”

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Germany – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs

By Frederik Pleitgen; Berlin Correspondent for CNN

Public appearances by top German officials at mourning ceremonies for slain soldiers have become a sad new phenomenon in the country. Last weekend both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg were on hand as the military and public bid farewell to four men killed in battle in Northern Afghanistan a little over a week ago. In his eulogy Guttenberg said, “it is in these Discount Oakley Sunglasses Cheap times that we must ask you, the relatives of those who were killed, for forgiveness.”

It is the second time this month that Merkel and Guttenberg have had to attend such a ceremony. On April 2nd three German soldiers were killed in small arms fire in Kunduz province, then on April 15th four more died when their vehicle was attacked in Oakley Closeouts Baghlan province during a patrol. The attacks came at a time when public support for Germany’s mission in Afghanistan are at an all time low, with up 70 per cent calling for a fast withdrawal from the country.

Researchers like Jan Techau from Germany’s Council on Foreign Relations believe politicians have long tried to avoid a debate on the use of military force in the country and now those lapses are catching up with them.

“The fact that we have a military but don't really like it, the fact that we send soldiers abroad to do horrible things but don't really appreciate it. This is a psychological predisposition of this country."

Techau and many others believe that psychological predisposition stems from Germany’s past, starting World War II, the crimes committed during the holocaust, and finally the total defeat. It has led Germans to become staunch pacifists, Techau says, who like their Oakley Sunglass Outlet military but have never been prepared for the reverberations of the army’s actions in war zones.

Thus many of the German soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan feel a distinct lack of support from their population.

"The lack of support really worried me in the beginning, but now I have decided I want to go to Afghanistan, I don't need anyone's support, I don't care what other people say." That is what Norman, a German soldiers about to deploy to Afghanistan, whose full name we cannot print because of the army’s security policy told me shortly before deploying to Kunduz, the most dangerous area in Northern Afghanistan where Germany is leading NATO’s efforts. In the face of waning public support, Germany only pledged some 500 additional soldiers, as well as a reserve of some 350, late last year when the U.S. asked countries participating to increase their troops levels in support of ISAF commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s new partnering strategy, which saw America commit some 30 thousand additional soldiers.

Germany’s Defense Minister zu Guttenberg told CNN he knows he needs to do a better job of selling the mission to the public.

"We are trying to explain to our population what they are doing there, why they are doing it and what the key elements in Afghanistan are. It's quite important to be frank and clear and blunt."

According to Jan Techau from the Council on Foreign relations, German politicians need to start being more honest with their population now, otherwise the debate on German military power will come to them as casualties mount. Defense Minister Guttenberg made a start at the ceremony for the killed soldiers last weekend.

“In this day and wage we need to understand that more Germans will be killed abroad in Afghanistan and elsewhere,” he said speaking in a church in Ingolstadt in Bavaria.

The week before German Chancellor Merkel held a speech in parliament where she acknowledged the lapses of the best but also made a commitment not to leave Afghanistan unilaterally.

“The international community went into Afghanistan together and we will leave together. We won’t stay longer than necessary but we also won’t stay any shorter.”

German politicians have said the new strategy in Afghanistan which sees NATO soldiers partnering with Afghan units to conduct military operations and will see the expansion of foot patrols rather than riding in safer mine proof vehicle will mean more German soldiers will be harmed. At the same time the country is now realizing that for years it hasn’t adequately supplied its forces in Afghanistan with the gear they need to survive. In all of Afghanistan the German military has only eight transport helicopters and no gun ships. Meaning the troops have to rely on the U.S. army in case they get involved in heavy fighting.

This was the case on April 2nd when German soldiers were pinned down by insurgents in Kunduz and several wounded were medevaced out of the area by American helicopters as the Germans did not have adequate capacities of their own.

Last week the German Defense Minister presented Gen. McChrystal with medals of honor for the U.S. soldiers who risked their lives to save the Germans. Guttenberg acknowledged the Germans need to upgrade their soldiers’ capabilities. A difficult task at a time when most Germans want to see their soldiers leave the country as soon as possibly.

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10 best French restaurants in Paris CNN Trave

Down-market food trucks and are invading Paris.

But when looking for the best French restaurants in Paris, we want the kind of classic tables that make French dining a .

To find the most memorable Paris dining experiences, we turned to Meg Zimbeck, brainchild behind the extensive online food guide .

Zimbeck?and her colleagues lead walking tours in the French capital, and have been seeking out the best tables in the city for years.?

With her help, we compiled a list of 10 best French restaurants in the City of Light.

Bistrot Paul Bert

Simple, homey and utterly French — authentic bistro fare for those looking for a piece of old timey Paris.
��This is one of the restaurants that I always recommend when people ask for a classic bistro experience,�� says Zimbeck.

Located in the east section of the city, the bistro has a lively atmosphere and serves delicious steak frites and apple tart.

Also worth checking out: the owner recently opened up a modern version, Le 6 Paul Bert, just down the street.

?35-50 (US$40-66); 18 rue Paul Bert, 75011; +33 1 43 72 24 01; Open Tuesday-Saturday 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m.;

Septime

A perfectly poached egg with corn and parmesan at Septime. The no-choice menu changes seasonally.
Eastern Paris is where a lot of the more inventive cooking is happening, and Septime helped set this trend.

A beautiful dining room and open kitchen form the backdrop for carefully perfected innovative cuisine. It can be tricky to get a table — not surprising for one of the best French restaurants in Paris –? but it��s worth the time and patience.

��Septime’s the place where you can go and depend on having beautiful service that makes you feel special and welcomed,�� says Zimbeck.

?35-50 (US$46-66); 80 rue de Charonne, Paris; +33 1 43 67 38 29; Monday 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Tues-Fri 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.;

Chez Casimir

One of the best cheese plates in Paris is a great end to a well-executed bistro experience, a bit off the beaten path at Chez Casimir.


The little brother of renowned , Chez Casimir shares a kitchen with the pricier counterpart, though it serves more affordable fare.

Located near Gare du Nord, it’s particularly convenient for Eurostar riders or those looking for affordable dining, and what Zimbeck calls the best cheese plate in the city.

��It��s where the locals go for high-caliber bistro food,�� she discount oakley sunglasses says.

?20-30 (US$26-40); 6 rue de Belzunce, Paris; +33 1 48 78 28 80; Monday-Friday noon-2:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturday-Sunday open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.;

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Relais d��Entrec?te

Steak and fries are the only thing served up at this no-reservations institution.


For charm, ease and no-frills food, this no-reservations restaurant offers you one choice: steak frites. Though touristy, it never fails to deliver, with its brasserie-style d��cor and attentive servers.

Served with secret sauce and crispy fries, the portions seem scant until the wait staff comes around with the much-welcomed second helping.?

Families with picky eaters or those looking to avoid reservations will appreciate the restaurant��s three locations.

Price ?25-30 (US$33-40); 20 rue Saint-Benoit, Paris; +33 1 45 49 16 00; Monday-Friday noon-2:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon-3 p.m., 7 p.m.-11 p.m.;

Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand’s menu is playful and modern.


Hipster gastronomes will love the daring and innovative dishes that come with this no-choice menu.

��They take the ingredients that morning and put them together in interesting ways,�� says Zimbeck.

Reserve a table, if you can, but unless you plan far in advance, you��ll have to join the crowd on the sidewalk waiting for a spot in line. The small room and portions don��t make Cheap oakley sunglasses womens for a relaxed meal, but one that will surprise and excite.

At least a contender for one of Paris’ best French restaurants.

?60 prix-fixe menu (US$80); 129 Avenue de Parmentier, Paris; +33 1 43 57 45 95; Tuesday-Saturday 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. with reservation, 9:30 p.m. and on without reservation;

Verjus

An American twist on French cooking.


Opened by the innovative American couple behind the now-closed private dining club , this romantic restaurant is exclusive without being pretentious.

Tucked away behind the Palais-Royal, the top-notch food features fresh, seasonal flavors, not to mention one of the best fried chicken dishes in the city, available at the wine bar.

This winter, they opened a sandwich table at their wine bar for lunch.?

��There’s a lot of engagement and conversation,�� says Zimbeck.

?60 tasting menu (US$80); 52 rue de Richelieu, Paris; +33 1 42 97 54 40; Monday-Friday 6 p.m.-11 p.m.; sandwich station hours: Monday-Friday 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.;?

Semilla

Marinated portobello mushrooms served tapas-style at this industrial-chic dining room with an open kitchen.


A relative newcomer in the tourist-laden roads of St-Germain, this modern eatery features an open kitchen with a distinguished M.O.F. chef, the highest French honor for craftsmen.

With wine sourced from the nearby Derni��re Goutte wine shop, Semilla offers small production vintages alongside a large selection of full or half-sized plates.

You can get out of the three-course meal rut, says Zimbeck, with ��comforting, healthy, bright flavors.��

?35-50 (US$46-66); 54 rue de Seine, Paris; +33 1 43 54 34 50; 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-11 p.m. (until 10 p.m. on Sunday);

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L��Atelier de Joel Robuchon

The counter feels a bit like a sexy sushi bar. Go for the tasting menu.


If you’re looking for the best French restaurants in Paris and haven’t yet come here, do so.

Legendary French chef and restauranteur Joel Robuchon operates two restaurants in Paris, and if?Michelin stars are on your itinerary but you never got around to making a booking, this is the best bet for a last-minute table.?

The food is better than the ambiance. Small delectable plates of suckled pig or caviar with smoked eel potatoes won��t break the bank. Or splurge for the nine-course tasting menu. At ?199, it��s no bargain, but it��s good value.

��It��s relatively affordable for a Michelin star restaurant,�� says Zimbeck.

?199 tasting menu (US$265); 5 rue de Montalembert, Paris; +33 1 42 22 56 56; closed Christmas Eve, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-midnight;

Les Papilles

A young talented chef’s take on the classic French bistro.


This wine shop doubles as one of Oakley Closeouts the city��s most charming restaurants launched by Bertrand Bluy, who gave up a three-Michelin-star post for something more casual in the Latin Quarter.

A copious four-course fixed menu features a main dish served family-style out of a copper pot and usually a plate of cheese. The plates change daily.

��A lot of chefs like to go there on their day off because they don��t have to think about it,�� says Zimbeck. Call ahead for reservations or go around 7 p.m. to get a seat for an early dinner.

?33 (US$44) fixed menu, ?7 (US$9) corkage fee, wines ?20-60 (US$27-80); 30 rue Gay Lussac, Paris; +33 1 43 25 20 79; Tuesday-Sun noon-2:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-10 p.m.;

Breizh Caf��

An authentic Breton cr��pe stuffed with ham and cheese goes best with a glass of cider at Breizh Caf��.


No French culinary experience is complete without the mighty cr��pe.

With subtle Japanese touches in the decoration and plate presentation (think salted butter caramel with yuzu), this authentic Breton sit-down cr��perie?is the authority in Paris.

Try any of their overly stuffed buckwheat galettes made using Bordier butter and wash it down with one of their many artisanal ciders. According to Zimbeck, they��re a world apart from what you��ll find at most street side cr��pe?stands.

Reservations are required, as ususal, for the best French restaurants in Paris.?

?14-25 (US$19-33); 109 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris; +33 1 42 72 13 77; Wednesday-Saturday noon-10 p.m., Sunday noon-11 p.m.;

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