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/ 26 April 2008

French diplomats lament tarnished image in Africa

France needs to improve its tarnished image across Africa where it was once a powerful colonial power but now competes with countries like China for influence, according to a Foreign Ministry report. The ministry asked ambassadors stationed in Africa for their views on France’s image on the continent and summarised them in a report last autumn.

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/ 28 March 2008

Justice at last for Mrs Sarko thanks to Carlamania

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday applauded the acres of admiring British media coverage of his wife during the first day of the state visit, saying he felt justice had been done after a week of ”wretched” press in Britain and in France. Some British papers had printed a 15-year-old photograph of Carla Bruni naked in her days as a supermodel.

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/ 9 February 2008

Second trader quizzed in French banking scandal

A second trader suspected of involvement in the multibillion-dollar losses at Société Générale bank was taken for questioning by judges on Saturday. The unnamed broker at Société Générale subsidiary Fimat was seen leaving the headquarters of the police financial brigade aboard an unmarked police van escorted by a car.

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/ 30 January 2008

Crisis inflicts fresh wounds, UBS cut deepest

Fresh write-offs at big European and Japanese banks on Wednesday drove investors’ attention firmly back onto the credit crunch after days gazing at Société Générale’s stunning losses, which it blames on a junior trader. With the Federal Reserve expected to cut interest rates for the second week running, Swiss bank UBS illuminated the depth of the crisis.

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/ 21 November 2007

France’s Chirac targeted in corruption probe

A French judge has placed former president Jacques Chirac under formal investigation for embezzlement of public funds during his time as mayor of Paris, Chirac’s lawyer Jean Veil said on Wednesday. Chirac, who lost his immunity from prosecution after stepping down as president in May, has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

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/ 14 November 2007

Pakistan opposition aims to unite

Pakistani opposition parties tried to forge a united front on Wednesday against military President Pervez Musharraf who insisted a state of emergency was necessary for fair elections. United States ally Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup, declared emergency rule in nuclear-armed Pakistan on November 3.

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/ 18 October 2007

French president and wife divorce

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Cecilia have divorced by mutual consent after an often tempestuous 11-year marriage, the Presidency announced on Thursday. The Elysee Palace released a statement to confirm the split as weeks of speculation reached fever pitch and newspapers for the first time devoted extensive front-page reports to the collapse of the marriage.

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/ 4 October 2007

Max Brito at end of tether after 12-year struggle

In 1995, Max Brito, a dashing, 24-year-old dreadlocked winger, arrived at the Rugby World Cup full of hope for himself and his Côte d’Ivoire team. But after just three minutes of the group game against Tonga in Rustenburg in South Africa, he collapsed under a crunching tackle from flanker Inoke Afeaki and was crushed beneath an avalanche of bodies.