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French press review 10 August 2013


The French press reports on a promising experimental vaccine for malaria, and all eyes are on the second round of Mali's presidential election.

We start with a spectacular breakthrough in the hunt for a malaria vaccine.  

Le Figaro reports that researchers at the Sanaria private laboratory in Rockville, Maryland in the United States are celebrating the successful testing of a new experimental vaccine against the deadly parasite which claimed 660,000 lives in 2010, according to the World Health Organization.

Le Figaro says that all six people who received strong doses of the new vaccine during the study did not develop the disease. The problem, according to the paper, is that the newly developed toxoid is intravenously inoculated and not in tablet form, which means that the researchers are still at an early stage of developing their product.

Dossier: War in Mali

Le Figaro says that Sanaria lab technicians have teamed up with Harvard University’s engineering school to develop an automated production process following international acclaim and enthusiasm generated by the discovery.

Saturday’s French papers are closely watching preparations for Sunday’s second round presidential election in Mali, crucial for the stability of the sub-Saharan region.

Le Figaro notes that Imams including hard-line Salafists have thrown their weight behind the favourite Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. “Islam rolls out the carpet for IBK” is the headline Libération also chose to raise its concerns that Mali’s National Islamic Council opted to take sides in the vote in a country where 95 percent of the population is Muslim.

For the paper, the intrusion by the powerful religious organisation makes the outcome of the race against technocrat Soumaila Cissé a foregone conclusion. A Malian comedian told Libé that Mali’s romance with religion was no accident. Thirty years ago, he said, it was the gun that ruled the country, ten years ago it was money and now it is religion.

A night after the press crowned start-studded Paris Saint-Germain the undisputed kings of French football, well before the Premier League even kicked off, some papers are swallowing their words. This is after the defending champions fought back to avoid defeat from the hands of the underestimated Montpellier. It ended in a 1-1 draw.

The sports daily L’Equipe admits it spoke to early, adding that the deal is far from done. Aujourd’hui en France found the defending champions clumsy and short in form, something that forced PSG manager Laurent Blanc to bring on star striker Edinson Cavani he had judged unfit to be in the starting line up.

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