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REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

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THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

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EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

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MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

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YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

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ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

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REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

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IN THE PRESS

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

2018-05-25 Ireland

Coming #hometovote to end the era of abortions abroad

Friday, May 25, 2018: The Irish Times welcomes the end of a "divisive campaign" as voters in Ireland head to the polls in a historic abortion referendum. Irish expats in favour...

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2018-05-25 North Korea

'The art of the fail'? Papers react to cancelled US-North Korea summit

Friday, May 25, 2018: For many papers, Donald Trump's abrupt decision to cancel his meeting with Kim Jong-un is the story of a bromance gone sour. US website The Daily Beast...

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2018-05-24 Ireland

Does the NFL's new ultimatum on kneeling pander to Donald Trump?

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 24: The Irish papers weigh in ahead of Friday's referendum on making abortion more accessible. In New Zealand, a university comes under fire for...

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2018-05-24 Italian politics

What's in a name? France moves to protect regional term for chocolate croissant

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, May 24: We look at reactions to the appointment of Italy’s new prime minister. Giuseppe Conte is called the “tightrope walker”. Also, Yulia Skripal...

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2018-05-23 North Korea

Philip Roth: Polarising, prolific, provocative

IN THE PAPERS - Wednesday, May 23: Obituaries pour in for Philip Roth, one of America's most polarising and prolific writers. We also look ahead to North Korea dismantling a...

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