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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 : 2010-11-01

The Death Business

It’s a long weekend in France and many people are laying flowers at cemeteries for their dear departed. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France reports on “Le business de la Toussaint” saying certain funeral parlours are taking advantage of people’s distress. That’s the focus in today’s French press review: MONDAY, 1ST NOVEMBER 2010

It’s Toussaint in France – All Saints’ Day. The long weekend is a time to go to cemeteries and pay respects. Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France headlines on « Le business de la Toussaint ». It says prices are up by a third, a funeral costs between 2,500 and 4,000 euros. The cartoon shows a couple wondering if they are going to have to work longer to pay for it, which is a reference to the strikes and intense debate about the government’s bid to bump up the retirement age from 60 to 62.

Le Figaro looks at the threat by al-Qaeda operatives following two foiled bomb attempts on Friday. It says Paris is worried because security measures in place to monitor freight traffic (used for the package delivery on Friday) are relatively poor. It points out the same explosive was used in the bomb attempt at Christmas last year, on an Amsterdam-Detroit flight. It describes Yemen as a new epicentre of the Al-Qaeda threat

Libération says al-Qaeda has a new strategy. The paper says the organisation has shifted from using suicide bombers to counting on isolated individuals who are hard to locate. Its editorial says al-Qaeda has failed in its goal of keeping westerners out of Islamic countries.

Libération also looks at the Ivory Coast election and one of the main candidates Alassane Ouattara. It points out that he was excluded in 2000 because of questions about his nationality but could emerge in a strong position with his “Rally of the Republicans” as he battles for power with Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent, and Henri Konan Bedié, a former president. The paper says Laurent Gbagbo’s anti-French rhetoric during the campaign appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Away from the hard political news, Le Parisien has a look at the War of the Beauty Queen competitions here in France. One of France’s most recognised personalities, Geneviève de Fontenay, has set up a rival competition after arguing with the company in charge of the competition.

France’s only tabloid France Soir leads on its front page with a look at the new Miss World who is American. Alexandria Mills, 18, is from Kentucky. Its other headline shows Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who is caught up in new allegations of sexual relations with a woman under 18 known as Ruby. The headline reads: “Hot Latin”.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

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