Eleanor Beardsley

Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in June 2004, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy.

In the spring of 2007, Beardsley covered the French presidential campaign and election of President Nicholas Sarkozy, and has been busy following his flurry of activity and reforms since then. She reported on the riots in French suburbs in 2005 and the massive student demonstrations in 2006. Beardsley has followed the Tour de France cycling race and been back to her old stomping ground — Kosovo — to report for NPR on three separate occasions.

Prior to moving to Paris, Beardsley worked for three years with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. She also worked as a television producer for French broadcaster TF1 in Washington, DC and as a staff assistant to Senator Strom Thurmond.

Reporting from France for Beardsley is the fulfillment of a lifelong passion for the French language and culture. At the age of 10 she began learning French by reading the Asterix The Gaul comic book series with her father.

While she came to the field of radio journalism relatively late in her career, Beardsley says her varied background, studies and travels prepared her for the job as well as any journalism school. "I love reporting on the French because there are so many stereotypes about them that exist in America," she says. "Sometimes it's fun to dispel the false notions and show a different side of the French. And sometimes the old stereotypes do hold up. But whether Americans love or hate France and the French, they're always interested!"

A native of South Carolina, Beardsley has a Bachelor of Arts in European history and French from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and a Masters Degree in International Business from the University of South Carolina.

Beardsley is interested in politics, travel and observing foreign cultures. Her favorite cities are Paris and Istanbul.



Tue July 5, 2011

Strauss-Kahn To Face New Sex Charges In France

Just as pressure on former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is easing in New York, it is ramping up in Paris. A young novelist, who says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2003, is officially bringing charges against him. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers announced he will counter-sue for defamation of character.


Fri July 1, 2011

For Strauss-Kahn, Fresh Political Hope (Perhaps)

Originally published on Sat July 2, 2011 7:58 am

Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves a hearing at New York State Supreme Court on Friday after being released on his own recognizance. Many wonder whether Strauss-Kahn, once a strong contender to become France's next president, can make a political comeback.
Mario Tama Getty Images

France once again woke up to stunning news about Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Because of his accuser's lack of credibility in several areas, New York prosecutors no longer think they have a solid case against the French politician.

Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, had been under house arrest while fighting the charge that he sexually assaulted a hotel housekeeper in May. Friday, after prosecutors said they had found inconsistencies in his accuser's story, he was released on his own recognizance (though he must stay in the U.S.).

Read more


Fri July 1, 2011

Monaco Welcomes Guests For Royal Wedding

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:41 am

Move over, William and Kate. Monaco will have its own royal wedding when Prince Albert II and his fiancee, Charlene Wittstock, marry this weekend. The pair attended Britain's royal nuptials in April.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

The tiny European territory that lost its beloved Princess Grace in a car crash in 1982 is finally getting a new princess. Prince Albert II of Monaco, 53 and a longtime bachelor, will wed South African Charlene Wittstock over a weekend of royal ceremonies and celebrations.

Monaco hasn't seen an event like this since Albert's mother, Hollywood icon Grace Kelly, married his father, Prince Rainier, 55 years ago.

Read more


Wed June 22, 2011

Volatile Food Prices Grab G-20's Full Attention

Earth from a beet field in northern France hit by drought — the country's worst in 50 years. Crop shortages in Europe and the U.S. have led some experts to predict a rise in grain prices like those that sparked riots in 2008.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Agriculture is topping the G-20 agenda for the first time as agriculture ministers from the world's largest economies gather in Paris beginning Wednesday.

Ever since a dramatic spike in world food prices in 2008 sparked panic and deadly riots in countries across three continents, agriculture and food security have become issues of global, political importance.

And crop shortages this year have some experts already predicting another rise in grain prices like that of 2008.

Crops Hit By Drought

Read more


Mon June 20, 2011

Paris Air Show Features Newcomers, New Technology

The Paris Air Show opened Monday with more than 2,100 exhibitors from 45 countries taking part in the week-long event. Most of the attention will be focused on the annual battle between Airbus and Boeing over who will sell the most airliners.


Wed June 1, 2011

In Rich Algeria, Youth Face Meager Future

Clashes erupted between security forces and students demanding political change at a protest in Algeria's capital, Algiers, on May 2. Small protests in the city are quickly put down by well-equipped riot police.
Farouk Batiche/AFP/Getty Images

The North African country of Algeria borders both Tunisia and Libya, but after being scarred by a civil war during the 1990s, Algerians have not rebelled like their neighbors.

But that could change. And observers warn that there could be an explosion if the government's promise of change doesn't come fast enough. Seventy percent of the Algerian population is under the age of 30, and its discontent is growing.

Read more


Tue May 24, 2011

Strauss-Kahn 'Earthquake' Shakes Up French Election

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, appears for a bail hearing on May 19 in New York. Many had expected Strauss-Kahn to beat French President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential elections.
Richard Drew Pool/Getty Images

Before he was accused of sexual assault in New York earlier this month, Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been expected to run for president of France as the Socialist Party candidate. And his abrupt exit from the scene has thrown the French political world into chaos.

It seemed almost everyone had expected Strauss-Kahn to beat the currently unpopular president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also expected to run in the 2012 election. Now things have changed, says Dominique Moisi of the French Institute for International Relations.

Read more


Tue May 17, 2011

IMF Chief Arrest Leads To Soul Searching In France

France has entered a period of self-examination after the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In particular, people are asking if the long tradition of turning a blind eye to the sexual peccadilloes of the French elite has allowed men in powerful positions to abuse women with impunity.


Mon May 16, 2011

IMF Head Strauss-Kahn To Be Arraigned In New York

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested over the weekend in New York on suspicion of attempted rape. The charges relate to an assault on a chamber maid at a New York hotel. Strauss-Kahn, who denies all the charges, had been expected to run for president of France.


Sun May 15, 2011

IMF Chief's Arrest Stuns France

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest Saturday has shocked France, where he was widely expected to run for the French presidency next year.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, for alleged criminal sexual behavior against a hotel maid in New York City has shocked France where he was widely expected to be the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party a year from now.

Read more


Sat May 14, 2011

Family Law At The Crux Of Algerian Women's Futures

An Algerian family enjoys a picnic in Tipaza, a vacation town about 40 miles from Algiers. Many Algerian women say that wearing the veil is not an issue in their emancipation; what matters is their family situation, which is influenced by a strict code that governs marriage and family life.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Algeria, which shares a border with both Tunisia and Libya, is so far just watching the upheaval across the Arab world. Most Algerians say their country is still too scarred by a decade of violence in the 1990s to endure another uprising.

Nearly every Algerian now calls that a lost decade, but no one feels it more acutely than Algerian women.

Read more


Thu May 12, 2011

France Moves To Ban Shale Gas Drilling

Lawmakers in France's lower house of parliament have voted to ban a controversial gas and oil drilling technique. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is widely used in the United States, but environmentalists say it can pollute ground water.


Wed May 4, 2011

Libyan Rebels Hang On To Strategic Border Crossing

A strategic border crossing from western Libya and Tunisia came under fire twice over the weekend, falling briefly back into the hands of troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. The crossing is a lifeline for Libyan rebels and citizens.


Thu April 28, 2011

Refugees Stream Into Tunisia To Flee Libya Fighting

There have been reports over the past 10 days in Libya of heavy fighting between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and anti-government rebels in a mountainous region southwest of Tripoli, prompting civilians to flee for Tunisia through a border post that was captured by the rebels last week.

Less than a week ago, the desert border post was controlled by Gadhafi's forces. But in a nighttime battle last Thursday, rebels took it.

Read more


Mon April 25, 2011

Algeria's 'Black Decade' Still Weighs Heavily

Islamist radicals killed more than a dozen Algerian soldiers last week in a rare flare-up of violence between Muslim extremists and the Algerian state.

During the 1990s the government fought a brutal civil war against an Islamist insurgency that it eventually won. But at an enormous cost: the death of some 200,000 civilians.

Algerians say it's the memory of those years of violence and upheaval that has kept people from demonstrating in the streets against their government; even if they face some of the same problems as other Arab nations.

Read more