Politics, scandal, gastronomy… Give the French a topic and they’ll give you an opinion. With a window on the world from inside one of Europe’s most opinionated nations, join FRANCE 24 journalist Sophie Pilgrim in decoding French news and views.
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Lights, camera... kitchen appliance: French minister turns pin-up

A French minister has both humoured and excited the country after posing for a tabloid magazine with a Moulinex food blender...
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France, where people still take Boris Johnson seriously

London Mayor Boris Johnson might be delighting the Brits with his cheeky jibes and jovial manner, but across the channel he is deemed a Francophobe who doesn’t know his history after making a silly jibe targeting President François Hollande.

'Missing Megan': Why the French didn’t care to know

While the tale of a runaway schoolgirl and her teacher excited and horrified Brits in equal measures, the French barely noticed it. A case of child abduction or an ill-fated love affair? The cross-Channel viewpoint couldn’t have been more different.
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Hollande, far from diplomatic with ex at UN

François Hollande and his former partner, Ségolène Royal, found themselves in the same room at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, but failed to say “hello”. So why was the French president so desperate to dodge his ex?

'Anti-white racism': The talk of the town

A conservative politician hoping to take Nicolas Sarkozy’s place as top dog at the UMP party has promised to target what he calls “anti-white racism” in the suburbs of France’s major cities, edging the party further into National Front territory.
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Become a friend of Sarkozy for just €25

Nicolas Sarkozy might no longer be your president, but he’ll always be your friend... For just 25 euros, you too can call yourself a “Friend of Sarkozy”.

Where no cars go: Paris’s pedestrianised motorway

Taxi drivers and motorists alike have been left incensed by a local government project to convert a stretch of Paris’s busiest road into pedestrian heaven. The plans look pretty, but the resulting traffic jams won’t.

After banning the burqa, French lawmakers target floral dresses

An embarassing spectacle took hold of France’s parliament on Tuesday after rightwing lawmakers catcalled Housing Minister Cécile Duflot when she took to the podium in a floral dress.
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On Hollande’s first Bastille Day, expect family fireworks

What can we expect from François Hollande’s first Bastille Day as president? Three things are for sure: crap weather, a rare appearance from his catty girlfriend, and – supposedly – the last word on the “Tweetgate” family feud... Or so he hopes.
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The bad, the bad and the ugly in National Front campaign posters

The National Front might be more popular than ever, but it is unlikely to win more than three seats in the French parliament - if it wins any at all. Why so? Surely these frankly dangerous-looking candidates aren't to blame?

France's presidential portraits, from the garden to the library – and back

French President François Hollande posed in the palace gardens for his “official portrait”, released on Monday. The picture will be hung in official buildings across the country for the rest of his term. How did his predecessors pose for their own?

DSK’s wife: ‘No different from a woman who wears the burqa’

Publishing the first interview with Anne Sinclair since the arrest of her husband in May, French magazine Elle has sparked outcry among some French women, who describe her as both a “victim” and an “accomplice” for standing by her shamed partner.

Sarkozy’s arch-enemy crashes into presidential battle

Dominique de Villepin, the man who President Nicolas Sarkozy once said he wanted “hung on a butcher’s hook”, announced his bid for the French presidency Sunday sending the incumbent’s camp into panic mode despite his low polling.

The return of France’s polygamous Muslim butcher

France’s infamous ‘polygamous Muslim butcher’ was back in the headlines Monday, this time because his 'wives' were caught wearing the niqab in public. The development is the latest twist in a surreal tale that we have yet to hear the last of.
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Outcry as 'fat' French pupils forced to cut down on fries

The French are up in arms over a school canteen policy that limits fried potatoes to one serving per week. It’s something we know only too well in 'larger' countries like the UK and US, but it’s proving a hard sell in Europe’s slimmest nation.
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World’s biggest protesters shun world’s biggest protest

Speed cameras, foreign wine, dog turds – if something is deemed offensive to the French, they’ll have it plastered across a cardboard banner and bouncing up and down in the middle of a protest before you know it. So what of the financial crisis?

Extremist arsonists 0 – Satirical weekly 1

While a couple of short-sighted extremists were busy deeming themselves victorious after fire-bombing the offices of a French satirical weekly in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the magazine itself was eyeing a substantial boost in readership.
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No ‘bling bling baby’ for Sarkozy – the French don’t give a hoot

When Carla Bruni-Sarkozy told the BBC this week that the French didn’t find her pregnancy interesting, we thought she was being modest. Take a look at the response from French web users however, and it’s all too clear.

Why ‘Mademoiselle’ is an insult to French women

“Is that Madame... or Mademoiselle?” It’s a question often asked in France, whether you’re opening a bank account, voting, or even booking a train ticket. But French feminists argue that France needs to stop defining women by their marital status.

Strauss-Kahn steers clear of pimps in latest sex scandal

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is caught up in yet another sex scandal. This time, the former IMF chief is alleged to have paid for sex. But that’s not a problem – legally – if only he paid the prostitute, and not her pimp.