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French weekly magazines review

Will the pope's resignation lead to change in the Catholic church? Are ex-MNLA fighters reliable allies? And do you really need to control your cholesterol?


Between the horsemeat scandal and the pope’s resignation, satirical Le Canard enchaîné has got a lot to feed on.

Dossier: War in Mali

The numerous Mali specialists on French TV channels were swiftly replaced with pontiff specialists, the paper points out. They praised Benedict  XVI and his decision to retire at the “tender age of 85” when he could have gone on ad vitam - rather ironic to the French, notes the paper, given the heated debate on raising the retirement age here.

Le Canard enchainé also notes that Benedict XVI's departure got stronger reactions than his arrival in office and has been hailed by many as a sign of change for the church. But, the satirical paper notes, that, judging by some of the people put forward to take over, change in the church will remain a pious prayer.


Le Figaro magazine has also dedicated its top story to the Benedict XVI's resignation. The headline is more modest - “The story of a pontiff who made an impact” - and features a photo album of the "pope philosopher". According to Le Figaro magazine, commentators never understood this very intelligent pope.

An article on Mali’s Tuaregs who were once part of the separatist MNLA asks whether they are reliable allies now for France.

Like secrets? Find out about the Hidden Paris

Over at Le Nouvel Observateur, the main question is “The truth about cholesterol… What if it wasn’t dangerous? “

Just in case you have never heard of cholesterol, and you are very lucky indeed if that’s the case, “it’s an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes and is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity in our bodies" - something very useful for the body.

It’s made mostly by our livers and affects our health because there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Obviously the bad cholesterol comes from delightful fatty foods and, eaten in excess, can contribute to blocking arteries.

A number of campaigns over the last decade have called for people to keep their cholesterol in check. But Le Nouvel Observateur features a big interview with Professor Philip Evans who believes the whole hype around cholesterol is just propaganda to fill laboratories and that in fact it doesn't actually have any medical impact.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Apparently, he’s gone back with a calculator and studied all the figures and research carried out on the matter. And apparently cholesterol has opened up the way to one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical markets ever.

His book The truth about cholesterol comes out in 10 days. He’s not the only sceptic out there, writes Le Nouvel Obs. Every year a number of doctors from around the world meet to discuss this. They believes that, with the exception of certain cases, there is no need try and control one’s cholesterol. Who to believe? Everything in moderation maybe?


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