We take a look back at a big year for France as the country elected a new President, celebrated at the Oscars and came face-to-face with terrorism. Looking to the future, the government wants to requisition empty buildings to deal with the country's housing crisis and we look at how some French districts are turning to private detectives to put an end to neighborhood nuisances.
In this week's music section: Beyoncé shakes her booty for a soft drink. Plus, there's Yuletide singing with Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart. But first, we discover the pre-Oscar nods for the best original song of 2012.
Pierre Schoendoerffer, an acclaimed French filmmaker and war reporter whose camera captured France's military defeat in Indochina, has died near Paris at the aged of 83. Schoendoerffer won an Oscar for his 1967 documentary on the Vietnam War.
Two months ahead of the presidential election, the candidates try to butter up France’s farmers at the Paris Agriculture Fair. Meanwhile, there’s trouble in France's tropical overseas department, Reunion Island. Riots spread as angry locals complain prices are too high. Finally, it’s a loud and clear victory for the star of a silent film. Jean Dujardin becomes the first Frenchman to win an Oscar for his role in "The Artist".
There's one man on all France's front pages - the conquering hero Jean Dujardin. We take a look at what makes "The Artist" so special, the clever marketing strategy that got it there, and whether other French films can follow in its wake.
As the bombs continue to fall on Homs, Syria organises a referendum on a new constitution. The government says it will pave the way to a new democratic era, but Western powers dismiss the vote as a charade. Meanwhile, the Syrian strife sends ripples through Lebanon. We report on sectarian tension in the northern city of Tripoli. Finally, Iran triumphs for the first time at the 84th Academy Awards as the divorce drama "A Separation" wins an Oscar.
INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, Mon. 27/02/12: International papers react in different ways to the Syrian constitutional referendum. The Independent calls it "Assad’s ultimate insult" and "a farcical vote". Meanwhile, Putin’s jailed opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky pens a piece for The Guardian and the International Herald Tribune. He says "real political change in Russia is unavoidable."
FRENCH PAPERS, Mon. 27/02/12: It’s the annual agricultural show here in Paris, a mandatory stop on the campaign trail. Candidates are eager to woo the farming constituency. Meanwhile, Libération investigates the "forgotten topic" of the campaign: the country’s rough housing projects. And "The Artist" steals the show at the Oscars.