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US President Donald Trump has cancelled his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent North Korean statement. North Korea carried out what it said is the demolition of its nuclear test site Thursday.

France

French weekly magazines review 21 January 2018

media __ DR

On the day after the first anniversary of his inauguration, there's a lot about Donald Trump in this week's magazines, but not as much as we might have feared. There's also a look inside the human brain, a feminist appeal by men, and both good and bad news for President Emmanuel Macron.

The good thing about this week's magazines is that they're not full of Donald Trump.

But the editors do keep the first anniversary of his election in perspective, relegating the critical analysis to the back end of their various publications.

Marianne thus gives the Donald three pages between Tunisian corruption and an editorial on feminism. They call him "the madman".

L'Express gives the president a single page, accusing Trump of "shrinking America" with his sexist, racist comments, his lies and approximations, his arrogant, stupid simplification of complex situations.

Le Nouvel Observateur is perhaps even more harshly critical of the year-old US leader, accusing him of killing American democracy.

L'Obs wonders if the institutions which it says have made the United States great - a free press, a respected political opposition, the right to dissent - will survive the presidency of a man they present as a dangerous clown.

I particularly like the Obs cartoon by Wiaz, with a strait-jacketed Trump being led away by the men in white coats and screaming "I'm a genius, I'm a genius . . . and I'm stable as well!"

Le Point turned the Trump job over to their resident philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy. He's a class act.

We get a year's worth of Trump's mortal sins in one ringing paragraph. It's beautiful. The lines almost rhyme! This is followed by a torrential downpour including references to Alfred Jarry, Ubu Roi, Lady Macbeth, King Wenceslas, Dada, Mallarmé, Julius Caesar, Louis XlV, Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. To mention just the ones I recognised.

And there's a lot of "shit", in reference to the American leader's scatological vision of 55 African nations and Haiti. Lévy knows how to talk like one of the guys, eh? Even if he can't tell shit from a shithole.

And, apart from that . . .

So, now that you know what's NOT in the magazines, here's a quick glance at what is:

  • Le Point looks at what the latest neuroscientific discoveries offer to those afraid of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. Exercise is the answer, not walking, dummy! Put muscles on your grey matter! Sardines, memory exercises and dreaming are what the doctor orders.
  • Marianne keeps the pot of feminist rage bubbling angrily with a cover story calling for men's liberation, at least in the verbal sense. There are lots of pleas for men to be allowed to continue to contribute to the sexual debate in the wake of Harvey Weinstein. And all the articles are signed by . . . men.
  • Le Canard Enchaîné reports the latest findings of the French Economic Observatory on spending power, and it's bad news for Emmanuel Macron who's trying to live down the label of "president for the rich". Thanks to government tax changes, the worst-off five percent of French households will see their available income reduced by an average of 60 euros this year. The richest five percent of families will find themselves with an additional 1,730 euros. Pass the Dom Pérignon, my good man!
  • L'Express looks at the timid signs of French economic recovery, saying that things really have turned around but warning that we still have a long way to go. And the crucial element needed to validate the upswing is a reduction of state spending, it says. Without that, warns L'Express, we'll all be back to square one.
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