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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 : 2011-03-10

DSK steals Le Pen's thunder in poll

The French papers: Thursday, 10th March 2011. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn grabs the headlines. The latest poll on who could win the first round of the 2012 presidential race shows him top, although he has not even said he is in the running.

The main tabloid here France Soir looks at a survey of possible candidates for next year’s presidential race. The photos are of Dominique Strauss-Kahn - aka “DSK” - currently the IMF Managing Director and a potential Socialist Party candidate; the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy; and the far right’s Marine Le Pen. The headline is “Ca va être chaud”, “It’s going to be close”. The numbers are 29 per cent for the DSK, 23 for Nicolas Sarkozy and 21 for Marine Le Pen. That contrasts with Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France polls on Sunday and Wednesday that put Marine Le Pen top. There’s fourteen months to go, of course, before the presidential race. Many people here in the bars and cafés in France are trying to figure out who could get to a second round run-off. It is scenarios a-go-go.

Le Parisien-Au’jourd’hui-en-France has a photo with six of the main players in the opposition Socialist Party. It argues that the primaries in place to select a candidate for the 2012 are so complex that they could alienate voters and “trap” them into a defeat.

“Get down to work”, screams the left-wing daily Libération. It warns the Socialist Party that it needs to get moving with the rise in support in polls for the far-right. It says though they have been out of power since 2002, they are still struggling to convince their usual core electorate about their policies. It slams the Socialists saying almost a decade has been “wasted”.

The main article says the party is “divided” faced with the emerging challenge of the far-right. It says in its editorial that the Socialists have “nothing to very little” to say to people. It reckons if they’ve got some big ideas bubbling away in the background they better bring them to the fore now.

The main right-wing paper Le Figaro has a photo of Discovery. The Shuttle has come to the end of 27 years of service for NASA. The paper leads on the digital economy. It reports the Internet could create 450,000 jobs over the next five years and account for as much as 25 per cent of economic growth.

The paper is also looking at French diplomacy which has been lurching from one blunder to another over the last few months. It says the new Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is seeking to get France back at the forefront by pushing European countries to back a “No Fly Zone” for Libya.

Le Figaro concludes “French Diplomacy is Back” and contrasts that with Washington where Barack Obama is hesitating about the best approach. One sign of renewed vigour is today’s visit by rebel leaders from Benghazi at the Elysée.

And La Croix, the Catholic Daily, looks at clashes in Cairo in which Coptic Christians have been killed. The photo there shows a protester in front of Egyptian state television protesting against the destruction of a church last weekend.

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

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