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MEDIAWATCH

The refugees of Manus Island

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EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe's opposition leader says he hasn't been called upon to be part of the new government

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THE DEBATE

Palestinian Reconciliation: Will Fatah, Hamas agreement succeed?

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FOCUS

Could Pakistan be your next holiday destination?

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THE POLITICAL BRIEF

Defeated presidential candidate Fillon bids farewell to French politics

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INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Charles Manson: Murderer and cult leader dies after 47 years in prison

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PEOPLE & PROFIT

Bricks vs. clicks: Will e-commerce finish off the high street shop?

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ENCORE!

Eastwood & Gainsbourg: Can the children of geniuses step out from their famous shadows?

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Is France a chain-smoking nation?

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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

2017-11-23 Ratko Mladic

'I got the power': Womanspreading takes hold of social media (and maybe 2018)

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, November 23: There's a lot of cynicism in the press after Ratko Mladic's life sentence from the ICTY in The Hague, a decision that's been years in...

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2017-11-23 France

What a story! France investigating Russian billionaire senator over tax fraud

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, November 23: A Russian billionaire and senator is arrested in France over tax fraud and money laundering allegations. Also, Marine Le Pen hits...

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2017-11-22 Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe resigns: 'Hip Hip Harare'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Wednesday, November 22: The Zimbabwean papers rejoice at a "new era" as Robert Mugabe resigns. But will his successor be any better? Lebanese Minister Saad...

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2017-11-22 Ratko Mladic

UN tribunal decides fate of Mladic, 'Butcher of the Balkans'

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Wednesday, November 22: The papers are focusing on the trial of Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb leader who oversaw the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. He's the...

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2017-11-21 Angela Merkel

'The End of German Stability'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 21.11.17: British and American papers sound the alarm as they ponder a "post-Merkel era" of political uncertainty. As the Guardian writes, "it could...

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