Sacré Bleu! Old-School Satirical Paper Upends French Presidential Race

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For a small duck it packs one hell of a peck.

PARIS (AP) One-time French presidential front-runner Francois Fillon is slowly finding his dream of winning the Elysee Palace under water.

And it’s because of the revelations of one old-school, eight-page satirical newspaper with ink that comes off on your hands: “Le Canard Enchaine,” or “The Chained Duck.”

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The dirt-digging weekly’s claims that Fillon’s political clout helped secure handsomely paid jobs for his wife, Penelope, and two of their children are the just the latest scoops from the 102-year-old newspaper which is showing that traditional gumshoe reporting and the ink-and-paper format still have value in the increasingly online world.

“‘Canard’ or ‘duck’ was taken from French slang for ‘newspaper.'”

With its old-school typography, puns on every page and thick, rough paper, “Le Canard” may seem like an unlikely source of hard-nosed political journalism.

But the controversy has seriously hurt the conservative Fillon and has upended the race for France’s spring presidential election. It has pecked away at his popularity as his critics cry foul. Fillon, who was France’s prime minister from 2007 to 2012, has denied any wrongdoing.

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The paper first published the allegations against Fillon on Jan. 25 and then came out with a second report containing further accusations on Wednesday. Copies of the latest edition were hard to come by in Paris.

Financial prosecutors are investigating whether Penelope Fillon actually worked, as he claims, as her husband’s parliamentary aide or whether her job was fake, which would be an illegal use of public funds.

“Le Canard Enchaine,” available in kiosques and proudly not online, is a modern anachronism that flies in the face of claims that old-school newspapers are relics of the past.

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The weekly, costing 1.20 euros ($1.29), continues to be an influential player in the French media landscape, and a go-to for whistle-blowers — despite dwindling newspaper sales across the world. The paper, which has no advertisements, is mainly financed through newsstand sales and subscriptions.

Editor Louis-Marie Horeau recently revealed his paper’s winning journalistic methods for exposing the so-called Penelope-gate scandal. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacre Bleu! Le Pen Leads New Opinion Poll 

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A new poll from Ifop-Fiducial released Tuesday shows Le Pen at first place with the backing of 26.5 percent of voters, while her moderate center-right rival Francois Fillon, of Les Republicains, would receive just over 24 percent of the vote, the poll suggested.

“He is putting in place measures I have been demanding for years.”

— Le Pen said of Trump

The new poll, which was conducted the first week of January, was based on a sample of 1,860 registered voters and has a margin of error of 1.3 percent.

The poll represents the first time Le Pen has led with voters since November, and coincides with a noticeable decline in popularity for Fillon, who was polling at roughly 28 percent in December. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacre Bleu! La Victoire de Donald Trump Envoie la Politique Française Brouiller

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The French say that things often come in threes. After Brexit, a Trump victory in the US, will Marine Le Pen win the French presidential election next May? She is certainly hoping she will be no exception to the rule.

Philip Kyle reports: “Their world is crumbling. Ours is taking shape.” It is with this tweet that MEP Florian Philippot, Marine Le Pen’s right hand man, welcomed Donald Trump’s presidential win. A few minutes earlier, Le Pen, herself, congratulated the President-elect and the “free American people”. Stunned by Trump’s historical win, the eyes of the world turned towards France.

“According to an insider, Le Pen did not believe Trump could win, nor did she believe a few months ago that the Brits would vote to leave the EU. The de-globalisation process which seems to have taken everyone by surprise, herself included, has forced all other candidates across the French political spectrum to review their campaign methods and their political discourse.”

The French say that things often come in threes. After Brexit, a Trump victory in the US, will Marine Le Pen win the French presidential election next May? She is certainly hoping she will be no exception to the rule.

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The 48-year-old far right leader has been quite discreet since the beginning of the school year. It is part of her strategy: let the conservatives and the socialists fight among themselves, sit back and watch her approval ratings soar while they do so.

“Trump’s victory was too good, however, for Le Pen to stay silent. Tweets, interviews and even an appearance on the Andrew Marr show: the leader of the National Front was keen to capitalise on the triumph of another candidate who, like her, styles himself as an “anti-elite” leader.”

Every poll has, for some months now, consistently shown that Le Pen will qualify for the second round of the presidential election. Most of them even show that she will be ahead of all other candidates after the first round. Le Pen will officially launch her campaign in February, once both the conservative and socialist primaries are over and once she knows who her main competitors are. Before then, there is no need for her to get too involved.

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“Every poll has, for some months now, consistently shown that Le Pen will qualify for the second round of the presidential election. Most of them even show that she will be ahead of all other candidates after the first round.”

Trump’s victory was too good, however, for Le Pen to stay silent. Tweets, interviews and even an appearance on the Andrew Marr show: the leader of the National Front was keen to capitalise on the triumph of another candidate who, like her, styles himself as an “anti-elite” leader.

[Read the full text here, at telegraph.uk]

According to an insider, Le Pen did not believe Trump could win, nor did she believe a few months ago that the Brits would vote to leave the EU. The de-globalisation process which seems to have taken everyone by surprise, herself included, has forced all other candidates across the French political spectrum to review their campaign methods and their political discourse.

This is particularly true of the conservative candidates who will be facing each other in the first round of the primary on Sunday. The contest seems to all come down to one question: who is best equipped to defeat Marine Le Pen next May?
Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] French Prime Minister Manuel Valls Booed at Memorial Service to Victims on Promenade des Anglais

France’s Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls was booed by a huge crowd in Nice on Monday before and after a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the deadly Bastille Day attack.

Nice residents applauded and cheered the emergency services and police, chanting “Merci, merci”.

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But there were shouts of “Murderers!” and “Resign!” as Mr Valls and two cabinet colleagues left the seafront where thousands had gathered to remember the 84 people killed on July 14 by truck driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.

Following the minute’s silence, crowds sung the French national anthem.


[VIDEO] Shows French Muslims Undisturbed By Charlie Hebdo And Supermarket Attacks

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Peter Malcolm reports: Ami Horowitz has released a video in which he asked young Muslim men in Marseilles what they thought of the massacres at the Charlie Hebdo office and the kosher supermarket, and the answers he got belie the conclusion that French Muslims overwhelmingly condemned the attacks. Marseilles has the largest Muslim population in France.

This is what Horowitz found:

One Muslim man said, “They defended their religion. They provoked the Muslim religion. They took care of it.”

Another young Muslim man said, “Already they are saying it’s a terrorist religion. Confusing terrorists and Muslims. I say it’s a government set-up. Somebody important who’s high up with money. To buy weapons, finance travel, to buy lots of things, you need money. It has to be someone high up in the government. It has to be.” Asked whether it was possible the Israeli government was behind the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermaket in Paris, he replied, “It’s possible. Yes, it’s possible. It was probably sponsored by someone in the government.”

Asked whether the Charlie Hebdo people deserve what they got because they insulted the Prophet, a black man answered, “Yes. You cannot play with the religion or the faith of people. There are some people who really love the Prophet; you cannot play.” Read the rest of this entry »


Charlie Hebdo Manhunt: LIVE REPORT

4:06 GMT – Charlie Hebdo staff – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited the headquarters of France’s Liberation newspaper Friday to “support the Charlie Hebdo journalists” who survived the attack and are being put up by the left-leaning daily.

Staff at the publication have said next week’s edition will go ahead, with a print run of one million copies, compared with its usual 60,000 a week.

Four people seriously wounded in Wednesday’s attack remain in an “emergency situation”, “but their life is no longer in danger”, according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

14:06 GMT – Media warning – French media regulators CSA have urged TV and radio broadcasters to “act with the utmost discernment” to ensure the security of their teams and to not interfere with the investigation following the Charlie Hebdo attack and latest hostage episode.

14:05 GMT – Witnesses escape – Some witnesses to the shootings at the kosher grocery targeted by a hostage-taker in Paris’s Porte de Vincennes have managed to escape, a source close to the investigations tells AFP.

The hostage-taker burst into the mini-supermarket at around 13:00pm local time armed with two machine guns. He opened fire, the source adds, killing “at least two” and taking “at least five people hostage”.

14:05 GMT – Coulibaly – The man holding hostages in Vincennes knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source tells AFP.

Amedy Coulibaly, 32, was seen with Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouachi in 2010 during an investigation into an attempted prison break in France. Coulibaly was convicted for his role and was well-known to anti-terrorist police.

14:05 GMT – PARIS HOSTAGE-TAKER ‘KNEW’ CHARLIE HEBDO KILLER: SOURCE

13:48 GMT – Elysee – New crisis talks are to be held at the French Elysee presidential palace at 15:15pm in relation to the hostage-taking at Porte de Vincennes.

13:33 GMT – Elite troops – Around 20 armed police, apparently elite troops, are positioned behind shields below the shop where the hostages are being held, says AFP’s Stephane Jourdin. According to a police source the “hostage taker is still in place”.

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13:24 GMT – POLICE RELEASE PHOTOS OF SUSPECTS

Police have released photos of a man and a woman wanted in connection with the fatal shooting Thursday at Montrouge.

The pair, named as Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, are “likely armed and dangerous”, police say. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Second Jihad Attack in Paris: Female Police Officer Shot Dead, Male Colleague Injured in New Slaughter

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Last week Muslims attempted to kill police officers in Paris – today they succeeded in yet another jihad attack in less than 24 hours.  The assailant identified the assailant as “North African” mediaspeak for Muslim.

The man opened fire with a machine gun… It happened at the start of the morning rush hour, with an M5 assault rifle believed to have been used.

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The Mirror is reporting that the gunman did escape the scene. There are conflicting reports as to whether a suspect has been arrested.

Some French media claim one gunman was apprehended at the scene and is in custody, while another fled via the Metro.

The man is 52-years-old and was wearing a bulletproof vest, and had a handgun and a machine gun, sources suggest.

“Around 8:09 he shot towards the police officers who were at the scene for a road incident,” said Mr Cazeneuve.

“The police woman – who is in very critical condition – was shot in the back.”

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The France and the UK better start arming their cops. That is madness. Sheer madness. The citizenry needs to be armed…(read more)

Atlas Shrugs


Sacré Bleu! France’s Socialist Government Dissolves in Internal Feud

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PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande dissolved the government on Monday after open feuding among his Cabinet over the country’s stagnant economy.

“Montebourg represents the hard-left Socialist base, and his departure from the government is likely to anger many of the voters who brought Hollande to office in 2012. Since that time, France’s economy has only worsened…”

Prime Minister Manuel Valls offered up his Socialist government’s resignation after accusing France’s outspoken economy minister of crossing a line with his blunt criticism of the government’s policies. Hollande accepted the resignation and ordered Valls to form a new government by Tuesday.

France has had effectively no economic growth this year, unemployment is hovering around 10 percent and Hollande’s approval ratings are sunk in the teens. The country is under pressure from the 28-nation European Union to get its finances in order, but Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg has questioned whether the austerity tack pressed by the EU will really kick start French growth.

Hollande’s promises to cut taxes and make it easier for businesses to open and operate have stalled, in large part because of the divisions among his Socialist party. Read the rest of this entry »


France: Pro-Palestinian Agitators Storm Paris Synagogue, Clash with Police

(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)PARIS (AP) — Angela Charlton reports: Pro-Palestinian protesters tried to force their way into a Paris synagogue Sunday with bats and chairs, then fought with security officers who blocked their way, according to police and a witness.

Recent violence in Gaza has raised emotions in France, home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim population and largest Jewish community. Sunday’s unrest by a few dozen troublemakers came at the end of sizable protest in the French capital demanding an end to Israeli strikes on Gaza and accusing Western leaders of not doing enough to stop them.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said two Paris synagogues had been targeted by unspecified violence that he called “inadmissible.” In a statement, he said, “France will never tolerate using violent words or acts to import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on our soil.” Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: France’s Statist, Protectionist Tea Party Is Nothing Like America’s

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This is probably the most in-depth article on this subject you’ll see on this subject, to date. I highly recommend reading the whole thing, if you’re interested in getting past the headlines, spin, and misleading reports about France’s competing political groups. Nice reporting by Mr. Synon. 

For Breitbart.com writes:  The reports have been running on both sides of the Atlantic: conservatives are mobilising in France and this may be the start of a French Tea Party Movement. But before American conservatives start to cheer and look for soul-mates across the water, they need to see just who is putting out these reports.

“…the roots of French conservatism lie in resistance to the French revolution and, among many conservatives, a yearning for king and Catholicism.”

In America, it is the left-wing legacy media such as the Washington Post. By making the link, the Post wants to denigrate the Tea Party Movement by tying it to the anti-libertarian European hard-right.

In Britain, it is again the left-wing media such as Prospect Magazine making the claim. Prospect’s editor has derided the French conservative movement (what he calls ‘zombie Catholicism’) as a ‘French Tea Party.’

“But there is another French right-wing, too. It is represented by the National Front of Marine Le Pen, which has just humiliated Hollande’s socialists in the local elections.”

In France, it is the establishment socialists, the ‘intellos’ – the intellectuals – who claim the emergence of a Tea Party Movement. They want to denigrate French conservatives by linking them with what in France are seen as intolerant American yokels.

“Individual liberty and freedom from government is not at the core of the thinking of either kind of French conservative.”

Talk of a French Tea Party took off in February, when the left-wing politician Manuel Valls, then the interior minister in President Francois Hollande’s socialist government and now the prime minister, gave an interview to a French Sunday newspaper.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! François Hollande Halts Same-Sex Parenting Law After Huge Pro-Traditional Family March

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Dr. Susan Berry writes:  In the wake of tens of thousands of people participating in pro-traditional family protests in France and throughout Europe, French President François Hollande backed down from submitting a new family-law bill to parliament that would make legal “assisted procreation for lesbian couples” and “surrogate motherhood for gay men” who want children.

According to France24, a source in Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office said Monday that France’s socialist government would no longer present a bill to modernize family law to reflect “diversity” of families.

Over 100,000 protesters in Paris and Lyon, many Catholic and some Muslim, and thousands more in Brussels, Bucharest, Madrid, Warsaw, and Rome, demonstrated in favor of marriage and the traditional family last Sunday.

The demonstrations were led by La Manif Pour Tous (Protest for Everyone), a fast-growing coalition of groups that has organized massive rallies against same-sex marriage legislation throughout Europe.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! HUGE cocaine haul seized on Air France plane in Paris

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Police at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport have seized 1.3 tons of pure cocaine on board an Air France flight from Venezuela, French officials say. Read the rest of this entry »