This is simply the most recent chapter of a centurylong debate over the place of informality and immodesty in our dress: how short can that skirt be? Should the first lady be able to don a tank top? What about wearing sneakers to prom?
The battle for influence in the sparsely populated Pacific matters because each of the tiny island states has a vote at international forums like the United Nations, and they also control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean.
When Samir Constantini got the idea to import Aleppo soap to France, it took years to sell his first batch. Now, he's operating a factory and warehouse outside of Paris, helping keep the soap-making tradition alive.
In France, government-funded agencies help people save their loved ones from so-called cults. But that list includes groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and, not too long ago, Baptists. Some of them are now fighting back in courts.
It's Nobel Prize season. While scientists throughout the world will be awarded this prestigious prize, there's a good chance all of their research was written up in English. Michael Gordin, a professor of the history of science at Princeton, wrote a new book, "Scientific Babel" that explores the intersection of the history of language and science.
The new NOVA special, "Vaccines: Calling the Shots," explores the lingering global resistance to vaccination campaigns. Case studies from around the world explain just how bad the impact can be when groups opt out of childhood shots.
Public pool rules in France say your swimsuit can't be something you could be found wearing outside the pool. That means no trunks, Bermuda shorts, T-shirts or anything that is not strictly meant for swimming. But bust out all the Speedos you want.
Because the word's origins are murky, it's difficult to know just how insulting calling someone a "coonass" used to be. Today, some Cajuns view the word as an ethnic slur, while others have embraced it as a badge of honor.
There's nothing like a little American exceptionalism to roil some feelings in Europe. Perhaps you've seen the latest Cadillac ad — a tour de force in American pride. But it's engendering a pretty cold reaction from reporter Gerry Hadden's French in-laws.
The Soviet Union sacrificed a lot during World War II. Millions of Russians died, more than from any other country. And for them, the D-Day invasions were an answer to their appeals to the West to relieve pressure on the Soviet forces who were battling the Nazis.
In the United States, we speak easily of different ethnic and religious communities. But the reality is far different in France, where the Charlie Hebdo attacks have brought religion and its place in French society back to the top of the agenda.
In 2004, France banned the wearing of all conspicuous religious symbols in grade schools. Then, in 2010, France enacted the so-called "burqa ban," making it illegal for Muslim women to wear the traditional face and body covering in public. These rules, based in France’s extreme separation of church and state, have stirred debate over whether France is protecting secularism or stifling religious freedom.