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French weekly magazines review 3rd December 2017
This week, French magazines on focused on education, science and health but also give opinions on French President Emmanuel Macron's recent trip to Africa.
The left-leaning magazine 'L’Obs' has the French environment minister Nicolas Hulot on its cover, with the headline “why I am staying” - where he is staying, of course, is within the French government.
Hulot is quite well-known in France for working to protect the environment, and several French presidents have tried in the past to get him on board - and into their governments. But he always said no - until Emmanuel Macron asked him.
He has come under fire recently because of a delay in reducing the use of nuclear power here in France, and some people in French politics are wondering if he is really cut out for the job of minister.
The article in L'Obs says the minister is discovering just how tough the world of politics is. But he says that he “hasn’t given up on anything!”
But can Hulot can pull it off and deliver on all his promises for the country? Time will tell.
Right leaning L’Express headlines with “the truth about vaccines” - a major controversy here in France. As of the 1st of January, there will be eleven mandatory vaccines - up to now there were only three.
The government says they want the French people to have more faith in vaccines, but some people in France claim vaccines cause more damage than they prevent.
L’Express covers every angle, and talks to all sides. But even if some parents are against vaccination, if their kid is not vaccinated, he or she might not be allowed to go to school.
An opinion piece in L'Express this week looks back at Macron’s trip to Africa and how France positions itself on the continent.
Ever since Charles de Gaulle, each French president has had to define this complicated relationship: either cover all States in order to protect France’s economic interests, or defend human rights in order to protect the coherence of France’s foreign policies.
The piece points out that most of the time, presidents have gone for the first option. Until today. For the first time, Africa is being seen from a third position: how to make sure the continent does not become a complete Hell for generations to come?
What does it mean? It means that if Africa becomes an economic, climatic and political hell, then France won’t be able to find any economic outcome over there.
The cover of right-leaning Le Point asks “What should we learn?” and asks the question: “How to succeed in the artificial intelligence era?”
Le Point hears from experts in education, to try and figure out what we should be learning in school nowadays. Should we learn more languages? Should we learn how to code? Should we lean towards general knowledge? What is basically in store for future generations?
Le Point’s editorial is titled “Muslims are the also the victims of islamism!”
It says we should be watching what is happening in Saudi Arabia right now. The editorial ends with a question: will Mohammed ben Salmane, (knicknamed 'MBS') the next king of Saudi Arabia, be the one who will save Islam from itself?
Left leaning Marianne leads with what it calls “the new censors” - those who want to re-write history, those who want to change the way we write the French language, those who want to ‘control’ culture…
The article points fingers at the French minister who wants to ban cigarettes in movies or how anti-racism activists want street names changed. But with these so called "new censors", the article says, soon we won’t be able to say anything anymore.
But the article argues that censorship has most of the time proven to be ineffective. It says censorship treats the public as immature. And Marianne concludes that censorship has always known the same fate: it ends up being ridiculous.