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Massif Central

The Massif Central is a highland region in the middle of Southern France, consisting of mountains and plateaus. It covers about 15% of mainland France. Subject to volcanism that has subsided in the last 10,000 years, these central mountains are separated from the Alps by a deep north–south cleft created by the Rhône River and known in French as the sillon rhodanien; the region was a barrier to transport within France until the opening of the A75 motorway, which not only made north–south travel easier, but opened up the massif itself. The Massif Central is an old massif, formed during the Variscan orogeny, consisting of granitic and metamorphic rocks, it was powerfully raised and made to look geologically younger in the eastern section by the uplift of the Alps during the Paleogene period and in the southern section by the uplift of the Pyrenees. The massif thus presents a asymmetrical elevation profile with highlands in the south and in the east dominating the valley of the Rhône and the plains of Languedoc and by contrast, the less elevated region of Limousin in the northwest.

These tectonic movements may be the origin of the volcanism in the massif. In fact, above the crystalline foundation, one can observe many volcanoes of many different types and ages: volcanic plateaus and small recent monogenic volcanoes; the entire region contains a large concentration of around 450 extinct volcanoes. The Chaîne des Puys, a range running north to south and less than 160 km2 long, contains 115 of them; the Auvergne Volcanoes regional natural park is in the massif. In the south, one remarkable region, made up of features called causses in French, consists of raised chalky plateaus cut by deep canyons; the most famous of these is the Gorges du Tarn. Mountain ranges, with notable individual mountains, are: Chaîne des Puys Puy de Dôme Puy de Pariou Puy de Lassolas Puy de la Vache Monts Dore Puy de Sancy Monts du Lyonnais Pilat massif Crêt de la Perdrix Mounts of Cantal Plomb du Cantal Puy Mary Forez Pierre-sur-Haute L'Aubrac Signal de Mailhebiau Monts de La Margeride Signal de Randon Monts du Vivarais Mont Mézenc Mont Gerbier de Jonc Cévennes Mont Lozère, the highest non-volcanic summit Mont Aigoual, near Le Vigan, Florac Monts de Lacaune Montgrand Monts de l'Espinouse Sommet de l'Espinouse Montagne Noire Pic de Nore Causse du Larzac Plateau de Millevaches Plateau de Lévézou Causse du Comtal Causse de Sauveterre Causse de Sévérac Causse Méjean Causse Noir Causse de Blandas The following departments are considered as part of the Massif Central: Allier, Ardèche, Aveyron, Corrèze, Gard, Haute-Loire, Haute-Vienne, Hérault, Lot, Lozère, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Tarn.

The largest cities in the region are Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Étienne. Geography of France Media related to Massif Central at Wikimedia Commons

Flemish Secession hoax

Tout ça or Bye Bye Belgium called "The Flemish Secession Hoax," was a hoax perpetrated by the French-language Belgian public TV station RTBF on Wednesday, December 13, 2006. Regular programming on the channel La Une was interrupted for a news bulletin claiming that the Flemish parliament had issued a unilateral declaration of independence from the Kingdom of Belgium, mimicking the Belgian secession from the Netherlands some 175 years earlier. Interviews with prominent Belgian politicians as well as staged footage of the evacuation of the royal family as well as cheering crowds holding the Flag of Flanders were included so as to add credence to the news report; the broadcast of the report led to widespread consternation in French-speaking Belgium. A hotline set up by the station was swamped by 2,600 calls, whilst RTBF's website crashed. Thirty minutes into the broadcast, on demand of the media minister of the French-speaking community in Belgium, Fadila Laanan, an on-screen message identified it as a fiction.

The hoax was the creation of the journalist Philippe Dutilleul and had been prepared over a period of 2 years under the codename BBB for Bye-bye Belgium. Its goal was to show Belgians the intensity of the country's issue, the real possibility of a split of Belgium. In the years coming to the hoax there was rising Flemish separatism and the Vlaams Belang party received strong support in the regional elections; the hoax became reality in 2007 after a major political crisis drove many to believe that the country's division was certain. Prominent Belgian politicians, including Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, Flemish Minister-President Yves Leterme and Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo, condemned the report as "irresponsible." International reaction included an angry statement by Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, who said, "This is not the kind of issue you play around with." Partition of Belgium BBC news report Belgian viewers fall for TV hoax announcing breakaway state International Herald Tribune article documenting the hoax.

RTBF's website

David Andrews (actor)

David Andrews is an American actor, known for his role as Lieutenant General Robert Brewster in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Andrews was born on November 1952 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he attended Louisiana State University as an undergraduate and spent a year at the Duke University School of Law and two at Stanford Law School, from which he graduated in the late 1970s. His first major role was in the 1984 horror A Nightmare on Elm Street. For the rest of the 80s Andrews did not have any major hits focusing on a TV career including the BBC detective series Pulaski in 1987, he was the lead in Cherry 2000. In 1990 he starred in Stephen King's Graveyard Shift and in 1994 he was James Earp in Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp, his career was boosted by starring in the TV series Machine. In 1995 he played astronaut Pete Conrad, in the space drama Apollo 13. In the late 90s Andrews concentrated on more television projects and starred in TV films such as Our Son, the Matchmaker and Pregnant, which starred Kirsten Dunst, the hit TV film Switched at Birth.

In 1998 he played Frank Borman, in the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. In the 2001 Band of Brothers miniseries, he had a brief role as Major General Elbridge Chapman, the division commander in 1945, of the 13th Airborne Division. Andrews appeared in Fight Club. In 2000, Andrews starred in Navigating the Heart before moving on to the sequel of the cannibal series Hannibal, starring Anthony Hopkins. In 2002 he appeared in A Walk to Remember, in 2003 he starred in Two Soldiers, The Chester Story and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, he replaced John M. Jackson in the final season of JAG, playing Judge Advocate General Major General Gordon'Biff' Cresswell, he was Edwin Jensen in the TV Movie The Jensen Project. Andrews played the role of Scooter Libby in the 2010 film, Fair Game, based on the Valerie Plame affair. David Andrews on IMDb David Andrews at AllMovie