French press review 16 August 2012
French support to band the new American NBC reality show 'Stars Earn Stripes'; a call to urge the French government to take a strong stand against rioters; and how to savour the spirit of the Olympics in your own bedroom, literally.
On its international pages, Le Figaro reports on a new American reality show on NBC called Stars Earn Stripes. The programme has provoked a massive public debate in the United States as it features nine stars who are being trained by a special forces soldier or a SWAT policeman to compete in various challenges.
To top it all, the retired four-star general Wesley Clark, who is the former commander of US forces in Europe, “supervises” the candidates. The show is supposed to raise money for war veterans.
“The good intentions are there”, says the paper, but it has led to angry demonstration in front of NBC offices. What’s more, the article reports that a petition to cancel the show has gathered 26,000 signatures. Eight Nobel peace prize winners have also called on the channel to cancel the show. “It is true", ruefully admits Le Figaro, that the “video game culture is gaining ground, separating society from real life”.
“The necessary choice”, is the front page editorial in the christian La Croix, which calls on the government to show intransigence towards rioters.
The editorial refers obviously to this week's riots in the northern French city of Amiens. “The republican order is neither right wing nor left wing”, says the piece. But its editorial points out what it considers to be the underlying causes for violence.
“Security and employment are in the heart of the French people's concerns. But neither conservatives nor socialists appear capable of successfully dealing with them” says La Croix. The paper notes that two out of three young inhabitants of the northern parts of Amien are unemployed. “This is not an excuse", says the paper, "we should be aware of this", it concludes.
The Olympic games are barely over, and the popular Aujourd’hui en France already tells us how to buy the furniture from the Olympic village. And not just any furniture. Depending on whether you are a man or a woman, you could buy the bed from the god-like-body swimmer Camille Lacourt, or spend your nights on the bed of pentathlon beauty Elodi Clouvel, says the paper. The paper found out that an Australian furniture company, (http://www.remainsofthegames.co.uk/), is behind the Olympic furniture sales.
The paper says this is the first time that more than 11 000 beds, 15 000 bed side lamps and other Olympic games items are being sold on the web. So, why not pay just 126 euros for the complete bedroom set of Michael Phelps…
A corruption scandal involving a major European conglomerate, EADS, is featured on the inside pages of the business daily Les Echos. The paper reports on the investigation into one of EADS subsidiaries by the UK Serious Fraud Office and the conditions in which it won a security telecommunications contract with Saudi Arabia’ national guard.
“A million euros with a pair of tweezers” says the popular Aujourd’hui en France, with regards to the incredible story of a massive cash distributor fraud happening across France. According to the article, “a team of extremely wily and dynamic thieves" have been roaming France in recent weeks.
They discovered a weakness in certain types of ATM machines and devised a technique that allows them to block a terminal with a pair of tweezers and withdraw up to a thousand euros each time. And even though about 15 members of the gang have been identified, the police don’t seem to be able to catch the evasive gang.
“Can’t wait for life to get back to normal”, writes the popular sports daily L’Equipe who regrets the lack of enthusiasm with the new French national football team under management by former team captain Didier Deschamps.
The paper bemoans the indecisive performance by the French last night during the friendly match with Uruguay. “We’ll have to wait till the World cup 2014 qualification match in Finland on 7 September to understand what the team is really worth, says the paper.