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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 : 2010-03-29

Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama: renewing their friendship

President Nicolas Sarkozy has arrived in Washington for a long awaited visit with his US counterpart. And halal foods are becoming a booming market in France.

It’s been a long awaited visit : French Nicolas Sarkozy has arrived in Washington to meet with counterpart Barack. The two say they want to renew their friendship. But, the FIGARO says, it’s not that easy, calling their relationship “unaccomplished.”

Actually rather unusual, since the Figaro is a right-leaning newspaper and generally supports the French President.

The paper, for instance, compares the way the two to business. Obama generally stepping back and letting his teams get to work. Until that opportune moment, when he steps in and makes an appearance.

Nicolas Sarkozy is the complete opposite of that. He seems to be everywhere at all times, in charge of every project, etc. So, the Figaro says, that might make this new friendship difficult. Because you can be friends on a personal level and not on a professional.

But, it is still the first time a presidential couple has been invited to a private dinner with the President. So Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy will be getting some alone time with the US President. Maybe that’s a sign of friendship.

We talked about it a few months ago, when fast food chain QUICK put halal burgers on their menu.

Many said it was to “please” Muslims, but the PARISIEN says, it’s actually a huge market. In France there are around 5 million people that eat halal, which represents an estimated 5.5 billion euro profit in 2010.

Halal basically means, that an animal was killed by the rules of the Koran. For instance, it should be facing Mecca and be sacrificed in the name of God. Products are not allowed to contain alcohol and or pork residue.

So now lots of restaurants are jumping on the occasion, putting halal meals on their menus, like replacing pork or bacon by chicken and turkey, which is halal.

On Corsica , there is a prison unlike others in France, because it’s open air. Here, no one is being put behind bars.

It’s a highly selective prison, almost like the VIP version. Because to be send there, the prisoner has to show an understanding as to why he or she is serving time, as well as not be a flight risk.

This kind of prison exists in other European countries, but it is the only one in France.

In Finland, for example, 11 out 26 are “open air”

Authorities say, this type of establishment lets inmates look to and prepare for the future, and are hoping to build additional, similar models in the country. They hope to put 10 percent of inmates in such prisons.


After the regional election here in France, the left has been on the move. And the L'HUMANITÉ asks, what exactly will the left look like come the 2012 presidential election. That’s a story we’ll be keeping an eye as it unfolds. Right now, we still have two years to go till the awaited election.




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