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IN THE PAPERS

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 : 2010-02-09

“France’s greatest thinker fooled by Kant hoax”

The Times’ Paris correspondent Charles Bremner is in gleeful mood this morning recounting the woes of famous French philosopher Bernard-Herni Lévy. “BHL” as he is known is “the laughing stock of the Left Bank” having referenced a philosopher who does not exist in his latest book.

“Existential problem of the philosopher who did not exist,” says the Times headline and indeed Bernard-Henri Lévy might be going through an existential crisis after a massive gaffe in his new book “On War in Philosophy”. France’s most dashing philosopher took aim at Immanuel Kant calling him “raving mad” and a “fake” in his new book and to support his attack, he cited a little-known 20th century thinker Jean-Baptiste Botul.
 
The problem: Botul was invented by a journalist in 1999 as an elaborate joke. He even has a Wikipedia page which explains that he is a “fictional French philosopher.” Yet Lévy referred to Botul’s faked book “The Sex Life of Emmanuel Kant” saying the fictitious philosopher had proved once and for all “just after the Second World War in his series of lectures to the neo-Kantians of Paraguay that their hero was an abstract fake, a pure spirit of pure appearance.”
 
Aude Lancelin, a journalist at Le Nouvel Observateur, says that this was a “nuclear gaffe that raises questions about Lévy’s methods.”
 
She said she burst out laughing when she read the extracts from the book. Indeed, it is a particularly embarrassing episode for the prominent thinker who was a founding member of the “nouvelles philosophes” movement in the 1970s and is a regular guest on French television talk shows.
 
Other stories in today’s international papers:
 
Kommersant: Transitive start for Yanukovych
 
The Moscow Times: “Yanukovych wins, calls on rival to concede”
 
The Financial Times: “Oranges and lemons in Ukraine”
 
International Herald Tribune: French mosque vandalized
 
The Guardian: “Battle of the PM’s snacks”
 
Daily Sport: “Feeling fruity”
 

By James CREEDON

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2017-08-21 Spain

Bonnie Tyler to sing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' during total solar eclipse

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Monday, August 21: We look at the investigation in to the Spanish terror cell behind Barcelona's attack and tributes to the victims. The US and South Korea...

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2017-08-21 France

Fighting back: How can Europe protect citizens from 'soft target' terrorism?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Monday, August 21: It's 'back to work' week for Emmanuel Macron after a 10-day break. He's laying the ground for debates around the hot topic of reforming...

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2017-08-18 Spain

Terror in Barcelona

PRESS REVIEW - Fri. 18.08.17: Papers in Spain and around the world react to yesterday's deadly terrorist attack on Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona. El Mundo calls for 'unity...

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2017-08-17 Donald Trump

Lebanon repeals 'rape law', but activists say more is needed to protect women

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs.17.08.17: Donald Trump's comments on the violence in Charlottesville continue to draw criticism. The New York Times says the US president has failed...

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2017-08-17 smoking

'Why do French people smoke so much?'

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs.17.08.17: Fresh figures show that tobacco consumption in France has remained stable over the past year, despite efforts by the government to reduce smoking....

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