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French weekly magazines review

Text by: Marjorie Hache
5 min

Africa's economic growth is the main focus for Le Point. President Barack Obama's four years as president comes under scrutiny of l'Express. French history is contested by Le Nouvel Observateur. And organized crime in France is unravelled by Marianne.


Le Point is this week focusing Africa. It's glossy cover features a beautiful black woman with an Afro. The headline Is "Despite wars and tragedies, it's the continent with the biggest growth. Africa is not what it may seem." In a dossier that bigS up the continent, Le Point focuses on Africa's successes, its elite and its promise.

L’Express has meanwhile dedicated its cover to US President, Barack Obama. It reads "The Man who wanted to change the world" and looks into why he has disappointed some, what he succeeded in and failed at. The article then looks at Obama's re-election campaign. The magazine looks back at Obama’s four year’s as president and interviews experts about what he could potentially do if he got a second term.

L'Express will also take you on a delightfull tour round the French presidential gardens of Matignon and follows the ballet troup of France's prestigious Opera de Paris as it tours round the United States.

Le Figaro magazine has gone for a lazing on the beach approach to things. It's all about couples, presidential couples and royal ones. Eight pages are dedicated to the power couples of France starting of course with of course François Hollande and Valérie Trierweiler. It says it would be impossible for the president of France's Fifth Republic to govern without their wives. Napoleon III is said to have respected his wife's intelligence.

On a more serious note, the magazine also follows Handicap International to Cambodia where many have lost limbs to landmines. Le Figaro magazine follows the organisation as they meet, distribute and initiate people in the use of artificial limbs. It warns also against the use of the mines which continues to this day. Last years' conflict in Lybia is just one recent example of where mines have been used.

Le Nouvel Observateur has some very interesting features this week. The cover story looks at who France's ancestors really were and challanges preconceived ideas such as the Gaulles being Barbarians. It writes that contrary to general belief the Gaulles were a very organised society before the Roman invasion.

London Olympic Games 2012

An interesting dossier but you won't learn much if you are already passionate about French history. A more interesting piece in Le Nouvel Observateur is one about the world's last dictators entitled "The sick people who govern: What it takes to be a dictator." It focuses on the likes of Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong Un who is prolonging his father's legacy. There's also Vladimir Putin who they say is controling a "democrature"... or a democ-tatorship. Yes the word plays work better in French. Le Nouvel Obs even has a map on where to find your dictators.

On a lighter note, the weekly looks at one of the big hits of this year's Olympics games: Nail art. Some of you may have noticed the brightly coloured fingertips of some of the female athletes which were coordinated with their national flag. It's nice to have a glamorous touch during such a tough competition.

Leftist Marianne has gruelling dossier on the different kinds of organised crime here in France. They range from council estate thugs, roma gangs, traffickers from the Balkans to the Chinese Mafia. It's quite a fear mongering article or a wake up call if you like to think everything is rosy in France. Inevitably the article has been instigated by recent increase in gang crime in the southern city of Marseille. Drug related crimes, hold ups, the lot.

Well if you are living in France and worried about you're safety, you could always call upon a white witch. Indeed Marianne also has a feature on "new modern day witches". Despite the credit crunch, fortune tellers and atrologists haven't had to run down to the job center, in fact thanks to the economic crisis and the rise of the internet, more and more people are turning to them.

It's a way for people to be reassured about the lies ahead in this uncertain times not that this is necessarily an efficient way of taking control of ones future. A fortune teller interviewed by the magazine says that she could be selling loads of scoops to tabloïds and celebrity magazines . While some people who consult explain why they choose to do so. The magazine does warn against crooks and those abusing the fragile condition of some of their clients.

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