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FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

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#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

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THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

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#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

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FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

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ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

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REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

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BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

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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

2017-01-20 Gambia

'On Inauguration Day, respect for the office and hope for the nation'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: The volatile situation in Gambia is in the spotlight today. But the real story dominating the press is the upcoming inauguration of Donald...

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2017-01-20 Donald Trump

French papers before Trump's inauguration: 'Here we go!'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 20.01.17: All eyes are on the US today as the country gets ready to inaugurate its 45th president: Donald J. Trump. French papers are alarmed by the...

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2017-01-19 François Hollande

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: The seven candidates hoping to be the French left's presidential pick go head-to-head in the final debate before the primaries this...

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2017-01-19 climate change

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: 2016 was the hottest year on record, a phenomenon that is being blamed on human activity. Also endangered: primates who are facing...

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2017-01-18 Brexit

French papers: A small slap for Valls, a major PR blow for his campaign

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 18.01.17: French papers react with alarm to the British prime minister's highly anticipated speech in which Theresa May clarified her government's "hard...

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