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France Press review

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French press review 7 September 2017

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French papers fear for the worse as hurricane Irmi leaves a trail of death and devastation in the Caribbeans. Is global warming denier Trump listening? Is Ex-President Holande coming out of semi-political retirement? And cheers for leading French fashion labels after the unveiling of a code banning ultra-thin and under-age models.


We begin with extensive coverage of the scenes of deadly devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, claiming at least seven lives.

Le Parisien carries a photographic supplement on the scale of destruction in the French islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin reduced into rubble on Wednesday.

The paper quotes a top administrator of the French part of Saint Martin as saying that up to 95 percent of the island is destroyed.

The Prefect of Guadeloupe is quoted by Le Parisien as saying that people on the island were now without drinking water or electricity after it suffered the full fury of the Category 5 hurricane.

Libération argues that while scientists agree on the point that climate change doesn't generate storms, it seriously aggravates the impact of hurricanes.

Le Journal de la Haute-Marne calls for a dose of humility on our part despite all the know-how of meteorologists when dealing with winds blowing at 300 kms per hour and producing waves of up to 10 meters high.

For its part, l'Est Républicain underlines the irony that despite the deadly scenes of devastation left behind by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma the President of the world's most powerful nation Donald Trump, continues to renege his country's engagement in the fight against global warming.

The American President is also the subject of renewed criticism from Ouest-France, after what the publication describes as a fury of destruction and decapitation of statures of southern confederate leaders, unleashed across 30 cities in the United States.

Ouest France says Donald Trump is to blame for re-emergence of the two antithetic visions of American identity, 152 years after the war of independence.

According to the paper the racial question which has not been adequately dealt with, even after President Barack Obama's two terms of office remains at the center of the quasi civil war being fought in the United States.

Some of today's papers react to the resurgence of ex-President François Hollande elected to head a new 160-NGO- strong la France s’engage Foundation created to support "social innovation" initiatives in the country.

La Charente Libre, it was quite bizarre to see the former tenant in the 365-room Elysée Palace return under the glare of the cameras to inaugurate the 50 square-meter office of his new foundation.

According to the paper, 11 months after monsieur Hollande ruled himself out of the Presidential race, he looks increasingly like a semi-retired politician looking for work.

La Charente libre says he has not missed any opportunity to assess the first steps of his successor, every time he is in front of a microphone. 

Le Courrier Picard  agrees, pointing out, that at his installation on Wednesday, François Hollande already hinted that he had the intention to continue to be useful to be useful, without waiting to begin his new job.

The publication upholds the view that Hollande's apparent return to the political arena is fuelling rumours about his future ambitions including speculations that he may be tempted to make a come-back as saviour of the Social Democratic Left.

L'Union/L'Ardennais welcomes the new charter unveiled by a host of French-owned fashion labels spanning Christian Dior to Saint Laurent banning ultra-thin models from their advertising and catwalk shows following repeated scandals about anorexia and mistreatment.

The companies include LVMH and Kering, which own dozens of top brands between them, unveiled the charter on Wednesday "to ensure the well-being of models".

The paper says the code agreed on by the world famous fashion labels also outlaws the hiring of girls under the age of 16 to wear adult clothes at shoots or events.

The Ardennes publication it is heart-warming to see the champions of French luxury like LMVH take the lead and show respect for models and instill some order in the ruthless world of fashion where unbelievable excesses have led to a form of body slavery and unhealthy practices by designers.