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French press review 23 September 2016

Why and how are increasing numbers of French youngsters under the age of 18 being recruited by Islamic State? Why are women forbidden to ride bicycles in Iran? And what have Amber Rudd and Neelie Kroes got in common?


The main story in right-wing Le Figaro looks at the impact of radical Islam on the young here in France.

The paper says nearly 2,000 legal minors have been radicalised, the figures showing a sharp increase since January, with girls now more numerous than boys in the ranks of the new recruits.

A senior anti-terrorist policeman explains that children, frequently in difficulty in school, living in broken or disintegrating families, are the victims of a technique known as "saturation". Having been put in touch with the armed Islamic State group recruiters using the coded message service Telegram, they are then sent dozens of messages and propaganda videos every day.

The names of Rachid Kassim and Omar Omsen seem to lead the list of charismatic propagandists.

At least 17 French teenagers are known to have died fighting for Islamic State in Irak and Syria.

The youngest of four suspected radicals arrested last week in Paris celebrated his 15th birthday on 9 September.

Supreme Guide says the bike is bad, cycling is sinful

In Iran, the Supreme Guide has decided that cycling is not a suitable activity for women.

This is reported in Libération. If it is true that some 19th century European doctors warned western women against using the recently invented machines, Ali Khamenei this month said that women on bikes push society towards moral corruption and debauchery. He adds that cycling is not consistent with the chastity of women and must be stopped.

What would you expect? Ali Khamenei is the dude who reminded women earlier this month that their mission was to be mothers, and their place in the home. Iranian women can neither work nor travel without their husband's permission.

There has been an internet reaction, with women unchastely cycling and then putting pictures and videos of their corrupt debauchery on the web. But Libé says there aren't too many women to be seen on bikes in public places, even wrapped in the various scarves, cloth sacks and energy shields which women must don before risking an attack on decency.

Teheran, the Iranian capital, already has 280 kilometres of cycle tracks and is trying to boost bike use in the fight against pollution. But they're for men only.

Blushes follow leak of Bahama Bonanza

Le Monde gives pride of place to the latest "leak" . . . this time from the Bahamas.

Having worn out the Panama Papers, the world's journalists are now poring over the Bahama Bonanza, the details of the real owners of nearly 200,000 offshore comapnies based on the Caribbean island and, up till now, safe from taxation.

The family of former British Prime Minister David Cameron kept their spare cash in the Bahamas.

Amber Rudd, the current Home Secretary (England's Interior Minister), who defended Cameron in April, saying the government's priority was to wipe out tax evasion, turns out to have been, herself, a director of two Bahamas-based financial firms.

Rudd has so far refused to explain her role in the two companies, or the reasons for their existence.

Amber Rudd is not alone. The former European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was on the board of a Bahamas-based company at the same time as she was ensuring fair play for Europe's businesses. Her company was set up to buy shares in the American energy giant Enron. Neelie left the commission to work for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and was earlier this year recruited by the online services company Uber.

Christine Boutin lands on her buttocks, again

Some people never learn. Le Monde looks at the strange case of Christine Boutin, former housing minister, who yesterday morning sent out a tweet announcing the death of Jacques Chirac. The real surprise is that anyone was surprised. Boutin does this sort of thing. She was daft enough to believe a satirical site which reported that next year's presidential election was being postponed because of the state of emergency . . . she has a long history of getting it wrong, and tweeting about it. Basically, the woman is famous for putting both her feet in the one shoe.

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