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FOCUS

Arms race: Delegations eye lucrative deals at Abu Dhabi military fair

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

France's Salon de l'Agriculture: Celebrating a struggling sector

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INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil: Carnival in a time of crisis

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ENCORE!

A long way from home: 'Lion' stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel hit the red carpet

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IN THE PAPERS

'Pineapple Pizza Tests Limits of Presidential Power in Iceland'

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IN THE PAPERS

French papers react to alliance between centrists Macron and Bayrou

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BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot's profits double as Opel takeover eyed

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MEDIAWATCH

Bayrou decides to march with Macron

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THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 1)

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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

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Archives

2017-02-23 Mexico

'Pineapple Pizza Tests Limits of Presidential Power in Iceland'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 23.02.17: US officials receive a "chilly" welcome in Mexico with tensions running high over immigration. Meanwhile, British papers wonder if their...

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2017-02-23 François Bayrou

French papers react to alliance between centrists Macron and Bayrou

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 23.02.17: Papers react to yesterday's surprise announcement of a centrist alliance between Emmanuel Macron and longstanding centrist politician François...

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2017-02-22 Donald Trump

93 candles for Robert Mugabe

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 22.02.17: In the US, President Donald Trump directs his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, drawing mixed...

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2017-02-22 jihad

French Senate report: Govt policy to 'de-radicalize' jihadists is not working

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 22.02.17: A French Senate report scheduled to come out today assesses the government's efforts to help individuals brainwashed by Islamists. According to...

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2017-02-21 North Korea

'The Evolution of the Presidential Portrait'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 21.02.17: Papers focus on Iraq's campaign to take back the western section of its second-largest city, Mosul, from the so-called Islamic State group....

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