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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 : 2010-02-16

French nuclear tests in 1960s “used soldiers as guinea pigs”

Le Parisien/ Aujourd’hui en France says that in the 1960s, France used those doing military service as guinea pigs to see the effects on the body of nuclear tests.

 

In the 1960s in the Sahara Desert, the French Army conducted tests simulating nuclear warfare and according to a secret military report acquired by Le Parisien/ Aujourd’hui en France, those doing military service were used as guinea pigs to see what the psychological and physical effects of nuclear warfare were on soldiers.

The shocking revelations have thus far received little coverage. The magazine Le Nouvel Observateur reported on these tests in 1998 but the press has not spoken extensively on the issue.

The Association for Veterans of Nuclear Tests (AVEN) was set up in 2001 for those affected by nuclear tests conducted by the French military during this period. The paper spoke to some of those veterans such as Lucien Parfait who lost his nose allegedly due to exposure to nuclear radiation. According to AVEN, 55% of its members suffer or have suffered from serious illnesses, 35% have suffered from cancer and only 10% are in good health.

Other stories in today’s French papers:

Le Figaro: “20 years of embarrassment in the Socialist Party”

L’Humanité: “Why Sarkozy is sparing the French employers’ union (Medef)”

La Croix: “The Vatican is firm with Irish bishops”

Libération: “The mysteries of Tutankhamen unveiled”
 

Libération: “Cashmere toilet paper!”

 

By James CREEDON

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