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Urgent

The trial of RFI's Hausa-language correspondent in Cameroon, Ahmed Abba, has been postponed for a month, by which date he will have spent 17 months in prison, because experts had failed to provide a report on the contents of his computers and mobile phone at today's hearing. France Médias Monde again called for his release and the dismissal of complicity with terrorism charges.

France

French press review 13 January 2016

media DR

Several papers attempt to relate yesterday's explosion in Istanbul to failures of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration, notably Turkish policy in Syria and Kurdistan. Le Figaro is worried that the fragile return to growth of the European industrial sector could be smothered by cheap goods from China.

Libération describes Turkey as "Europe's Timebomb" in the wake of yesterday's apparent suicide attack in one of the main tourist areas of Istanbul.

The left-leaning paper says Ankara is in the front line in the Syrian conflict, struggling not only against the Islamic State (IS) armed group but also worried about strategic gains being made by Kurds anxious for independence.

Click here for our coverage of Turkey election 2015

Says Libé, Turkey is losing its standing as a stable neighbour, wisely combining Islamism, democracy and economic growth. Under the tense and tenuous presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country has slowly drifted towards an increasingly authoritarian style of government, provoking an increasingly violent reaction by various opponents.

Libération also makes the point that, in attacking the Sultanahmet district, crucial to Istanbul's tourist industry, the attacker clearly sought to do maximum economic damage.

Catholic La Croix offers a superficially simpler analysis of the Turkish situation, blaming yesterday's attack on the failure of the Erdogan government to propose a clear policy on Syria. Superficially because, of course, the Kurdish question is one of the main reasons for that failure.

Erdogan wants to see the end of the Assad regime in Damascus; he wants to contribute to the defeat of Islamic State; but the achievement of either or both of those aims looks like strengthening the hand of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting Ankara since 1984.

Although there has been no claim of repsonsibility for the attack, right-wing Le Figaro accepts the Turkish government announcement that the attack was carried out by IS with a view to further destabiling Erdogan.

The right-wing paper's editorial says it is time for the Turkish president to wholeheartedly join the Western alliance against the holy warriors in Syria and give up his policy of illusion and compromise.

Le Figaro's main story worries about a new Chinese threat to the fragile recovery of the European industrial sector.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Today the European Commission will start trying to decide if China is a "market economy". If the answer is yes, than China will change from its current World Trade Organisation status as a "non-market economy", forcing the rest of the world to drop a raft of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy penalties. Says Le Figaro, the world market risks being submerged in cheap products "made in China". Millions of jobs will be at risk in Europe.

Communist L'Humanité is unhappy to see eight trade unionists from the former Goodyear tyre factory in northern France sentenced to nine months in jail for their part in holding two senior managers hostage for 30 hours when jobs at the site were threatened.

Both the company and the two men at the centre of the affair withdrew their complaints, but the case against the eight went ahead, leading to yesterday's sentences - the first-ever case in which French trade union members have been treated as common criminals, says L'Humanité, and further proof for the communist paper of the government's determination to make worker action in defence of employment a crime.

One trade union official in Libération remembers his own passage before the courts in 2010, when the prosecution asked for him to be given a suspended sentence of five months. He got off with a fine of 4,000 euros.  "And that was under Sarkozy," he points out.

The CGT union has promised that it won't take the latest court decision lying down.

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