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French weekly magazines review 18 February 2018

__ DR

Cars in space, the French president's poll slump and the plight of the Rohingya all interest the French magazines this week.


Le Point carries a long feature on Space X’s latest and perhaps the most spectacular rocket launch with a Tesla roadster as its payload.

The article states that the car, which is currently in an elliptical orbit around the Sun, has become the world’s most famous automobile.

However, as the article points out, the show wasn’t just about the spectacular launch of the car. Perhaps more significant was the successful simultaneous landing of two rockets back on earth.

The feature also has couple of interesting infographics including one that compares the dimensions of different launch vehicles throughout history including Space X’s next rocket The Big Falcon and Saturn V, the legendary launch vehicle used for Apollo missions.

There is also a profile of Space X founder Elon Musk who is mentioned as a competitor of Jeff Bezos in the conquest of space, of Renault-Nissan through Tesla electric cars and soon France's high-speed train, the TGV, through Hyperloop.

Macron suffers February freeze

Le Point also carries an article titled "A cold spell for the president",  referring to French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity ratings. According to the survey carried out by the magazine and Ipsos, Macron's ratings have gone down among low income groups but have been growing among executives.

Overall, Macron lost five rating points this month to 35 per cent.

The article points out that February is a freezing month for new presidents as far as ratings are concerned. It was the same for Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande in 2008 and 2013 respectively.

Additionally, the article states that Macron suffers from a lack of political capital, unlike Sarkozy who could count on the loyalty of right-wing voters and Hollande who could rely on the Socialist electorate.

Rohingya caught between anguish and misery

L’Express has a photo feature on the plight of the Rohingya, Myanmar's Muslim minority who have been victims of violence recently, headlined "The wanderings of Rohingyas".

The five-page display contains photos of the Rohingya refugees living in unhealthy camps close to the Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

It states that barely one in 10 returned to Myanmar this year, adding that the refugees no longer have the right to hope as there is nothing but anguish for those who return to Myanmar and misery for those who remain.

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