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Online reactions to Kurdish referendum

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Iraq's Kurds: Will referendum really lead to independence?

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Catalonia independence vote: Tensions rise between Barcelona and Madrid

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Catalonia’s regional foreign affairs chief: ‘This referendum is not illegal’

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Judicial reforms: Polish government on collision course with EU

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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 : 2012-05-04

French election countdown

With just two days to go before the French presidential election comes to a head, one high-profile political player has thrown his weight behind Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande. But the polls have dipped just a little...before the surprise announcement.

Although François Hollande leads comfortably in the polls, Le Parisien reports that his rival Nicolas Sarkozy has narrowed the gap to five percentage points.

But good news has come for Hollande in the eleventh hour, in the form of centrist leader Francois Bayrou. Having obtained 9% of the first round vote, he announced on Thursday night that he would vote for Hollande. For Le Parisien and others, this is big news

It's the first time a centrist party has supported a party of the left. Libération asks whether Bayrou's move is a "centrist revolution." Bayrou says he is dismayed to see Sarkozy court the far-right, with rather too hard a line on immigration and border security. 

But Bayrou did not go so far as to call on supporters to endorse the Socialists, prompting some to suggest that he is trying to keep his options open. 

Finally, just when you thought the Dominique Strauss-Kahn saga was done or dormant, new legal worries threaten to perturb his temporary tranquillity.  Libération reports that the judges investigating allegations that he was involved in a prostitution ring, will now look into the possibility of indicting him for rape too.

By Kyle G. Brown

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