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THE INTERVIEW

France's ex-foreign minister talks Syria, Iran and climate change

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FOCUS

Ghana votes in tight presidential race

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ENCORE!

Film show: 'Graduation', 'Go Home' & Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas turns 100

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IN THE PAPERS

French educational system 'as mediocre as always'

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IN THE PAPERS

Southern India bids farewell to 'Amma'

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FACE-OFF

2017 French presidential election: Can Valls unite the left?

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BUSINESS DAILY

Trump wins $50bn US investment from Japan's Softbank

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THE DEBATE

France 24 turns ten: How to cover a changing world (part 1)

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MEDIAWATCH

Interior minister takes over as France's premier

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IN THE PAPERS

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 : 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

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-12-07 education

French educational system 'as mediocre as always'

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 07.12.16: France ranks 26th on the OECD's most recent study of student assessment - neither worse nor better than its 2013 score. Right-wing daily Le Figaro...

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2016-12-07 Angela Merkel

Southern India bids farewell to 'Amma'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 07.12.16: India's Tamil Nadu province marks the end of an era with thousands attending the funeral of political icon Jayalalithaa. Her legacy will...

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2016-12-06 Syria

US President-elect Donald Trump sparks controversy with his 'improvised diplomacy'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 06.12.16: Papers around the world focus on the situation in eastern Aleppo where the Syrian regime continues to gain ground against rebel fighters....

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2016-12-06 Manuel Valls

Can Valls 'reconcile' the divided left?

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 06.12.16: After much speculation, Manuel Valls makes it official: he's throwing his hat into the crowded ring for the left-wing presidential primary. But...

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2016-12-05 Matteo Renzi

French presidential election: ‘Valls's Moment’

FRENCH PAPERS 05.12.16: For Catholic paper La Croix, this is “Valls's moment" - the prime minister is the hot ticket to win the the centre-left presidential nomination, providing...

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