Libération devotes a special edition to everyday life in Syria where five years of war have cost the lives of at least a quarter of a million people.
Communist L'Humanité attempts to understand government reaction to Wednesday's protests against proposed changes to French labour law. The government is listening, says L'Humanité, but is not neccessarily hearing the right message. The cosmetic changes proposed won't be sufficient to avert further planned strikes and demonstrations.
Refugee crisis tests Merkel's political survival
Catholic La Croix looks at the German struggle to deal with the European refugee crisis, on the eve of regional elections which could prove crucial to the political survival of chancellor Angela Merkel.
Senate defies French government over stripping nationality
Le Monde reports that the French upper house, the Senate, yesterday decided to ignore the fancy verbal gymnastics of their colleagues in the National Assembly on the question of whether you can deprive anyone convicted of a terrorist offence of his or her French nationality, or only those terrorists already possessing a second nationality.
The debate separates those who say it is unconstitutional to use the law to create stateless persons and those who say the binationality refinement is unfairly discriminatory towards French nationals who may also have citizenship of, for example, a predominantly Muslim north African country.
Le Monde says it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a compromise between the Senate and the Assembly.
The reason this is more than usually significant is that the proposed change involves rewriting the French constitution, something which can be done only with the support of three-fifths of all parliamentarians, senators and deputies united. With the senators rejecting the draft and the assembly already deeply divided, the law depriving persons of their French nationality now looks increasingly unlikely to make it onto the statute books.
Macron may be going places
Right-wing Le Figaro gives pride of place to Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, suggesting that his capacity to advance his personal interests while ignoring criticism is beginning to get on the nerves of his Socialist colleagues. Worse, there are signs that Macron is slowly building the sort of network necessary to launch his own assault on the political summits.
Le Figaro says Macron's growing public popularity is mirrored by a decline of his stock among government colleagues who wonder why he has to express opinions on migrants, the nationality debate or Britain's possible departure from the European Union, none of them strictly in his field of interest. Except that Macron is busy carving out an image as a serious statesman, if not a very serious socialist.
The conservative paper's editorial says Macron's every utterance is being echoed by contenders for the right-wing presidential nomination, thus enriching the debate. What a shame, says Le Figaro, that such a talented young politician should be condemned to live in the shadow of "reactionary" figures like former Socialist labour minister and current Lille mayor Martine Aubry and Left Party leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Several papers note the second successive victory of Google's computer programme over the South Korean champion in the strategic board game Go.
Le Monde says artificial intelligence is going to be the next big thing, if it isn't already.
Catholic La Croix takes a darker view seeing this exercise as a public relations sweetener for an organisation that has been buying up patents in biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence for years. Google, says La Croix, seems to have blind faith in the potential of technology and limitless finance, without any consideration for the social and moral consequences. Ordinarily intelligent humans should be concerned.
Hollande not to blame for rain
Le Monde's team of decoders has been looking at the claim, broadly advanced as self-evident, that the weather in France has, like nearly everything else, gone to the dogs under the presidency of François Hollande.
Like good journalists, they have examined the facts.
It turns out that the wettest French president in recent history was Jacques Chirac, in his first seven-year stint, with a torrential 706 mm of rain per year. By that standard, Hollande can hang up his umbrella with the assurance that his current average is a respectable if not drought-inducing 616 mm.