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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 : 2010-10-04

Is France a target for terrorists?

In today's French newspapers, columnists are speculating about how likely it is France could be a victim of a terrorist attack after the US issued a travel warning for its citizens there. Also, the papers can't agree on how many people joined this weekend's demonstration against pension reform, and they're guessing who will be France's next prime minister.

It’s the US decision to issue a travel warning for its citizens visting France that’s made the front page of most of the French papers today-

 

Le Parisien is looking at the risk that there could be sleeper cells of al-Qaida sympathisers in France ready to launch an attack at any time.

 

They point out that so far the recent revelations of terror plots have only been at a very embryonic stage- and the reports that have been published in the British and German media, including one saying that a British citizen who had been planning a terror attack was recently killed in a drone attack in Pakistan- still haven’t been confirmed by any country’s intelligence services as their investigations are still going on.

 

Le Figaro’s headline says ‘Washington fears attacks in Europe” – the paper points out both Britain and the US have told their citizens to be extra vigilant in visiting France and the French government says the threat is real and that fear is justified.

 

The paper focuses on Pakistan asking whether the growing nulber of US drone attacks in the tribal areas- they’ve double in the last year- are actually decreasing the danger of an attack- or increasing it by stirring more resentment of the West.

 

The paper also says the Pakistani state needs to work harder to stop the Taliban moving around freely in the country.

 

Pension reform is also still on the front pages- there was another big demonstration against it on Saturday- but the papers can’t agree on how many protesters there were- communist paper L’Humanite says it was an unprecedented mobilisation with over 3 million taking to the streets.

 

They say the protesters are digging in for a long fight- but Catholic newspaper La Croix has a different take on the story- they say the demo was no bigger than previous ones and the government is still not going to back down.

 

 

France Soir is talking about who might be the next French prime minister today- incumbent François Fillon is of course expected to be on his way out in the much anticipated reshuffle- and France Soir has commissioned a poll showing environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo is the most popular candidate among centrist voters, with 36% backing him.

 

He’s known to enjoy a drink- and their headline “The new Borloo has arrived” is a play on that because it sounds like new Beaujolais, whose arrival is much anticipated every October.

 

On the subject- Le Figaro’s health column today is all about how politicians survive the pressures of their job- they say the stories that many politicians are known for their big appetites- for wine, food and sex is just a myth- and in reality most of them are on strict diet and exercise regimes.

And finally Le Figaro is talking about druids in the UK- druidism has been officially recognised as a religion- apparently there are 350 official druids in Britain who worship the sun as a god and believe in spirits in mountains and rivers- and now the decision means the British Druid Network will also benefit from some generous tax advantages.

By Elena CASAS

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