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IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-10-19

Olympic judo champion Douillet wins seat in French Parliament

He’s on the front page of Le Parisien: David Douillet, France’s newest MP. The former Olympic judo champion won 52% of the vote for the ruling UMP Party in a by-election in Yvelines.

Does this mean a string of recent controversies affecting the Government has not shaken right-leaning voters? The election of David Douillet, a former judo champion, as a UMP MP would appear to indicate that that is the case and it will come as a reassurance for Nicolas Sarkozy. The President has been under strain after a spate of recent controversies, in particular the probable election of his 23-year-old son to a plum administrative job.

Le Parisien says sportsmen converting to politics is nothing new in France. Douillet is the latest in a long line of sporty MPs and ministers. The previous Sports Minister in France was Bernard Laporte who trained France’s rugby team.

Other stories covered in this morning’s French papers:

Libération
The Interior Minister has given the green light for police databases that will information on suspects as young as 13. The databases will also allow for information on “geographic origins” of suspects to be noted. Libération says this goes against civil liberties and deplores the fact that the Parliament was bypassed in introducing this measure.

Le Parisien
Despite a ban in French law, between 10,000 and 20,000 fathers use DNA testing overseas each year in order to verify their paternity.


France Soir

A convicted pedophile writes to Nicolas Sarkozy asking to be castrated.

Le Figaro
Hugo Chavez is trying to eradicate golf in Venezuela saying the land can be put to better use.


 

By James CREEDON

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