China has reportedly vowed to improve human rights for its 1.3 billion people, within two years - better social, cultural and economic rights.
The move comes a few months away from the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.
Le Figaro (France)
Pékin édicte son plan pour les droits de l’homme (Beijing announces its human rights plan)
French newspaper, Le Figaro, remains sceptical about China's decision to improve its "human rights reputation". The article says that Beijing has admitted it will be "difficult”. Many government opponents are locked up in jail without being tried. The article says that it will be a long time before any political rights are improved.
China has already said it “will not copy the West”, when it comes to human rights - on communications rights, for example. The newspaper talks about a Chinese writer, Liu Xiaobo, detained since December. According to Le Figaro, the Chinese just cannot express themselves freely.
China Daily (China)
As a result of the above, some 100 million Chinese are now using blogs on the internet. But the China Daily says blogs will soon disappear. According to the article, there are fewer bloggers. It quotes the Statistical Report on Internet Development in China, saying that only 35.2% of internet users updated their blogs, out of 162 million Chinese net users.
The China Daily interviewed the founder of a blog, Fang Xingdong, who says that most Chinese blogs don't have great content, and that most are used for entertainment rather than information.
Les Echos (France)
Premiers signes d’éclaircie pour l’économie française (First sign of light at the end of the tunnel for the French economy)
It seems the French economy is on the road to recovery. “Signes d’éclaircie”, says the headline of the French newspaper Les Echos – the light at the end of the tunnel.
The paper says that production in the country is starting to stabilise, after tumbling for the past five months. It says the year 2009 could turn out to be better than expected.
La relance par l’or, un rêve californien (The California gold dream is back)
Whilst many people have lost their jobs in the crisis, others have decided to change careers.
In California, many Americans have turned to gold digging. Entire families have gone up in the mountains, just an hour away from Los Angeles' city centre, ready to have water up to their knees and dig the ground. It’s worth it, they say… one gold nugget is worth around 900 dollars.
Miami Herald (United States)
After Obama olive branch, next move is cuba
“Libertad" - freedom… That's what Barack Obama wants in Cuba. The American president wants to lift restrictions on the island. It's the most significant sign of overture in nearly fifty years.
The Miami Herald tried to predict the future for Cubans and for Cuban-Americans. They could soon be able to travel freely, and transfer money to their loved ones. In return, says the article, President Obama hopes that the Cuban government will improve human rights and democracy on the island.
Daily Express (UK)
Will’s mistake grounds plane
He flicked the wrong button and broke a multi-million pound fighter plane. That’s Prince William's latest gaffe in the Royal Air Force. According to the Daily Express, the Prince “overcooked” the engine... boiling it to 700 degrees centigrade. Buckingham Palace claims that Prince William has not damaged any other planes during his twelve weeks' training.