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South African court rules Jacob Zuma should face corruption charges

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A Royal Challenge from the Obamas

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Lights go out in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia goes green (part 1)

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Stalemate in Spain and Protests in Paris (part 2)

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FRANCE IN FOCUS

Cinema, a French love affair

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REVISITED

Nepal revisited, one year after the deadly earthquake

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France's River Charente, a rich ecosystem

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FOCUS

Libya: Who's running the country?

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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.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2012-07-03

Grim news and alarming psychoanalysis

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apologises...to Turkey for shooting down a fighter jet. Also, Human Rights Watch investigates Syian torture centres. And there’s speculation about criminal prosecution of the Barclays bankers who rigged interest rates. For one paper that would not be enough, given the distorting effects that unconstrained power has on the brain activity of those running a virtually unregulated banking industry.

Human Rights Watch has investigated two dozen torture centres across Syria, and The Brisbane Times highlights witness accounts in which we read of stapled chests and electric shocks.

In the UK, the Barclays bankers responsible for rigging inter-banking rates could be prosecuted for criminal behaviour. The Independent argued the Chairman’s head should not have rolled though, as interest rate manipulation would have been below his level of oversight. CEO Bob Diamond should be the one to go. (Someone was listening, as Diamond has since stepped down).

In an essay on The Psychology of Greed, the Guardian cites studies which look into the effects of power on the human brain. Bank bosses are more powerful than most elected officials – particularly after decades of deregulation, and holding onto power changes brains by boosting testosterone, which increases the dopamine in the brain's reward systems.

While moderate amounts encourage people to be more strategic and bolder, the logic goes, extreme forms distort personalities, making them egocentric, unempathetic and greedy for financial, sexual and material rewards.

All the while, the excess of unchecked power dulls their perception of risk, even when a storm is brewing.

By Kyle G. Brown

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Archives

2016-04-29 Syria

London's new naked restaurant

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 29.04.16: Papers across the world focus on renewed fighting in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, a major crisis within the British Labour party over...

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2016-04-29 protest

Protesters and police clash violently: Who is to blame?

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 29.04.16: Papers in France focus on yesterday's protests against the government's plan to reform the labour code. Violence broke out between police and...

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2016-04-28 Salah Abdeslam

Salah Abdeslam: From wanted man to wanted prisoner

FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, April 28: From wanted man to wanted prisoner, Salah Abdeslam is finally extradited to France. But a lot of questions remain about his testimony and what...

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2016-04-28 Venezuela

Venezuela is so broke it can't pay to print more money

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thursday, April 28: Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis is quickly becoming political, with a petition calling for Nicolas Madura to leave. Also, Donald...

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2016-04-27 football

Hillsborough tragedy: After 27 years, justice

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 27.04.16: Papers in Britain focus on the results of a new inquest into the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool...

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