I’ll be staying with The Beast team, reporting from Europe, the Middle East, and anywhere else I find compelling stories.
— Christopher Dickey
One story dominated all the papers at the kiosques in Paris this morning. One man. One Apple. And on the cover of Libération, a tear. Enough said.
The whimsy defense in the face of global disaster: Nobody does that better than Tracy McNicoll, as her latest Kiosque suggests.
Sure, there’s a newspaper kiosque back there somewhere, but we got held up at the nougat kiosque this morning, near the Opéra Bastille.
Another dark day for the markets. Les Echos headlines on “Bourse: The Infernal Spiral,” above stark red graphs of key stock indexes over the past month. The CAC 40, it notes, is down 16 percent since the beginning of August. Ironically perhaps, Les Echos’s front page also points to a B section piece on Champagne, with the earliest harvest ever starting today after a hot, hot spring and a cool, rainy July. There are giddy rumblings about 2011 yielding a high-quality vintage. Reason to look harder for something to celebrate, then.
The other dailies are keenly aware of the ugly markets, but seem desperate to put something else on their front pages. Barack Obama dominates Libération’s “une” (page 1) in close-up, eating a soft-serve vanilla cone against the backdrop of a deep blue sky: “Un Parfum de Campagne,” A Campaign Flavor. The left-leaning daily says Obama has disappointed – “It’s the economy, species of idiot,” in Libé’s more evocative translation of the familiar phrase – but the paper seems fairly bullish on his chances for re-election, if only because of the “outrageousness” of his Republican opposition.
Le Figaro and Le Parisien page 1 photos are of Pope Benedict XVI visiting Madrid. Curiously, Le Parisien mentions the violent protests against the pontiff’s appearance on its cover, the mix of “anger and passion,” while Le Figaro’s front page notes only “Madrid: young people enthusiastically welcome the pope” (an editorial inside does take on the protesters, calling them “ridiculous”). Otherwise, above the fold, Le Figaro features “Terrorist Attacks in Israel: Eight Dead,” and notes IDF reprisals on Gaza last night.
Le Parisien, meanwhile, seems pleased with the debut of Paris Saint-Germain’s new, young, insanely expensive Argentine, Javier Pastore, showing promise in a 4-0 win last night over Luxembourg’s Differdange. That would be cause, perhaps, for a sip of that Champagne. Unless you’re a Differdange fan (and who isn’t?), and you’re off to console yourselves with some nougat. Mmmm, nougat.
Almost all the front pages in Paris today tell us that Britain is burning: Libération headlines “The Dis-United Kingdom”; Le Parisien, “Why England’s Ablaze”; Le Figaro, “Great Britain: Political Mobilization against the riots,” and so on. L’Express, the weekly news magazine that comes out today, put the tedious history of sleaze allegedly associated with tycoon Bernard Tapie on its cover, but revealed little that was new about him or about allegations that the new IMF managing director Christine Lagarde may have cut him a break when she was French minister of finance.
Somehow all of that seemed very far away indeed on one of the most beautiful days the city has seen all summer. In fact, probably the most beautiful day, with the air fresh and clean, the sun bright, and no rain in sight. To mark the occasion tourists turned out en-masse, as you can see by the crowds walking by this kiosk on the Champs Elysées.
Sun-showers in Paris today, on the rue Saint-Antoine. Still more Paris kiosque keepers this Monday morning have left their posts in favor of the beach.
After trumpeting the excitement to come for the big-spending Paris-Saint-Germain soccer team all last week, Le Parisien has relegated the PSG to a bottom corner of page 1 today. It deems PSG’s embarrassing home opener Saturday, a 1-0 shutout to lowly Lorient in front of 40,000 fans, a “flop.”
The real attention today, of course, from Le Parisien and all the rest of the dailies, is on the markets. “The Threat of Recession,” reads Le Parisien; “Crash?” ask Libération; “Sarkozy and Merkel Mobilizing Against the Crisis,” decares Le Figaro; and the financial daily Les Echos, over the front-page photo of a pursed-lipped Barack Obama: “America Downgraded, The World Into the Unknown.”
The populist tabloid France Soir, meanwhile, pays lip service to the global economic chaos (“Stock Crash: It All Comes Down to This Week”), but devotes most of its cover to “The DSK Affair: Who’s Lying?” Scoops? Not exactly. Two full pages of a body language specialist’s take on photos of every player in the case. Consider the judge who ordered DSK to Rikers: she looks “sadistic,” apparently.
— Tracy McNicoll