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FOCUS

Video: Far right at the gates of power in Austria

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FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE 24 turns 10: A look behind the scenes

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EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia's Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat in presidential polls

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MEDIAWATCH

Gambians herald 'new independence' after Jammeh defeat

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Hollande, the One Term President (part 1)

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Keeps 'Em Guessing, Italian Referendum, Austrian Election, Castro's Death (part 2)

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FASHION

Discovering the winter 2016/2017 men's fashion collections in Paris

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ENCORE!

Rendez-vous on '42nd Street' as the meta musical comes to Paris

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REPORTERS

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

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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

2016-12-02 François Hollande

'Hollande's protégé steps forward after palace coup'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, 02.12.16: British paper The Times describes President Hollande's decision not to run for a second term as a "palace coup" by none other than his former...

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2016-12-02 François Hollande

French papers react after Hollande bows out: 'The End'

The press is unanimous this Friday: France's phenomenally unpopular President François Hollande was right to announce he won't be seeking re-election in 2017. But while left-wing...

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2016-12-01 Syria

'The West's Grim Failure': Papers Mourn West's Impotence as East Aleppo Crumbles

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, 01.12.16: A Guardian editorial decries Western tunnel vision in Syria - it argues that governments are more interested in fighting the Islamic State group...

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2016-12-01 Aleppo

'Aleppo's Rebel Neighbourhoods are Falling'

FRENCH PAPERS, 01.12.16: As bombs continue to fall on civilians in eastern Aleppo, left-wing paper Libération expresses its shame at "Western inaction" in the face of the...

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2016-11-30 Syria

Colombia plane crash: Chapecoense fairytale ends in tragedy

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 30.11.16: Arab-language papers lash out against the international community for its indifference towards the plight of civilians fleeing Eastern...

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