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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

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ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

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#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

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REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

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PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

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FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

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THE INTERVIEW

The fight for transparency: Democracy put to the test

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ENCORE!

Choreographer Akram Khan: 'The body speaks the truth'

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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

2016-12-09 Boris Johnson

Is Boris Johnson Britain's most undiplomatic chief diplomat?

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Friday, December 9: Boris Johnson finds himself in hot water after criticizing British ally Saudi Arabia. There's also a lot of criticism over the...

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2016-12-09 France

Paris pollution: 'Tomorrow we stop breathing'

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Friday, December 9: What can France do to combat a crippling pollution problem? Traffic in Paris is restricted for a fourth day as the city and other parts...

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2016-12-08 Paris

Paris pollution: 'What are we waiting for?'

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 08.12.16: France is facing its worst pollution spike in years, as Paris and other cities are cloaked in smog. La Croix asks "What are we waiting for?" amid...

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2016-12-08 Donald Trump

Donald Trump named Time magazine's Person of the Year

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 08.12.16: Donald Trump has been named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine. It's a controversial pick, but The Independent reminds us that far more...

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2016-12-07 education

French educational system 'as mediocre as always'

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 07.12.16: France ranks 26th on the OECD's most recent study of student assessment - neither worse nor better than its 2013 score. Right-wing daily Le Figaro...

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