French press review 1 November 2010

Both lefty Libération and conservative Le Figaro lead with Al-Qaeda headlines this morning. Le Figaro recounts how Europe, the US and Saudi Arabia have mobilised against the threat of the group following the discovery of bombs on cargo planes last week. 


The paper goes as far as printing a picture of the lead suspect behind the plot. A man called Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Le Parisien quite reasonably claims that he looks set to become Yemen's most wanted man.

Libé on the other hand angles its piece on what it calls Al-Qaeda's new strategy. In a completely tasteless punning headline we're told that 'Al-Qaeda has fired two fresh cartridges', alluding to the fact that the bombs were hidden in printer cartridges. The sub-editors must have had a field day with that one.

Meanwhile the whacky off-beat story on the Figaro's front page this morning is entitled. 'When bobbies learn how to identify witches'.

No this has nothing to do with last night's Halloween festivities and everything to do with a new 300-page document published by Scotland yard in London giving officers guidelines as how not to offend people of different faiths.

Among the religions included is paganism, practised by some 42,000 people in the UK. The guidelines point out that witches carry ceremonial daggers around their waists and they should not be considered as offensive weapons. It also says that witches have no specific dietary requirements, if ever taken into custody, but notes that most of them are vegetarians. Presumably give or take an eye of toad or two.

Le Parisien this morning looks into something that will be on people's minds today and that's the cost of death.

It's All Saints Day here and that's when people lay flowers on the grave of their loved ones. The paper points out in its two page spread just how lucrative the market is - 5 billion euros to be exact.

In ten years the cost of a funeral has risen 37 per cent above the rate of inflation. Far too much the paper says.

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