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French weekly magazines review


In this week's French press; tyrannic leaders, the DSK-Banon affair, the French Socialist Party, the devastating famine in Somalia, and the secrets of various French counties.


Le Point publishes a most fascinating dossier about the follies of tyrants. It's a tale of tyranny repeatedly told starting from the time of Caligula during the era of the Roman Empire, running up to Moamer Kadhafi’s Libya and from Hitler to Mao.


The paper takes its readers on a journey through so-called “Tyrannistan”, where “barbarism and buffoonery reign supreme”, nurtured by “megalomania and mass murders”. Le Point explains that the “power structure” of tyranny has not changed since the renaissance.

According to Le Point the blood-thirsty tyrants orchestrate chaos in the world through radical ideological diversions. Nowhere are their crazy designs most evident than in architecture, what the magazinecalls their “favorite dance”, their “soft spot”.

It is “tropism” that can easily be explained, holds the journal. The tyrant it says is always in defiance of time, never worried about his downfall. The 19-page dossier is abundantly illustrated by exclusive pictures of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot including a giant ground painting of Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi, described as one of the “new monster” of our time.

There are photographs of Nicolae Ceausescu’s 'People’s House', considered the world’s largest building, (beating the Pentagon). Kim Jung Il’s 3000 bedroom Ryugyong hotel in Pyongyang is another attraction. The 105 storey pyramid is described by experts as the “worst monument in the history of mankind”.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

L’Express tries to keep the Strauss-Kahn/Banon affair alive with an article on the alleged crime scene. The right-wing magazine caught up with Alain Serge Vieux who rented the posh apartment on the eastern banks of the river Seine in Paris, where Tristane Banon claims DSK tried to rape her.

Vieux is a Stamford-groomed hi-tech Silicon Valley expert and former adviser to Strauss-Kahn, during his tenure as minister of the economy. L’Express found out that DSK helped him find the apartment which remained mostly vacant as Vieux shuttled between Paris and the United States.

Alain Serge Vieux who lectured at the Sorbonne now lives and works in the West Coast of the United States. He has refused to comment about the matter and told L’Express, he owes Strauss-Kahn all the respect he deserves.

The journal says investigators are interested in finding out from him, what he may know about the Banon affair.

Marianne examines the battle within the Socialist party to pick their flag bearer for the 2012 presidential elections. The battle promises to be a two horse race, pitting front runner François Hollande against the party’s leader Martine Aubry.

But Marianne raises what it says, is the “question of the summer”: “what if Hollande reconciles with his children’s mother” Ségolène Royal to isolate Aubry? That’s a likely “hypothesis”, says the journal. Marianne explains that while the couple is at loggerheads on several issues, that didn’t stop them from making four children.

Le Nouvel Observateur takes up a humanitarian tragedy taking place in Somalia. It's “hell in the open skies”, holds the newspaper, as hundreds of thousands flee famine and al-Shebab militias controlling the south of the war-ravaged country.

They left their villages, hoping to reach Daabab camp on the Kenyan border. Le Nouvel Observateur reports that UN and humanitarian agencies are overwhelmed by the scale of the influx, as Islamist rebels infiltrated the camp eating the refugees’ food, leaving them in hunger and fear.

It’s vacation season and this week’s issue of Le Nouvel Observateur is all about French records. It's a “Tour de France” of stunning performances. Look out for Marnes-la-Coquette a small village of 1600 inhabitants rated as the richest place in France.

The magazineexplains that the tiny borough just outside Paris has been a haven for the bourgeoisie since Napoleon III. The little town of Mende, in La Lozère region, is one place in France with the least job seekers.

The magazine says the French employment agency had to shut down its offices there, after months of inactivity. Corsica is the “no go” area par excellence. The island remains hostage to a culture of tit-for-tat killings perpetrated by criminal gangs and the mob.

Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris is the county with the “most educated” residents. Le Nouvel Observateur, discovered in its study that Tour, has become the stronghold of the French Masons while Mulhouse is worst-hit by unemployment.

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