FRANCE 24's Caroline Clarkson works on the ticker desk on the TV side of FRANCE 24. Breaking news is what she does, in both French and English. In this blog she gives her point of view on one of the stories she has covered on the ticker - but this time in more than 70 characters.
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The trouble with asking the people: Thoughts on EU referenda past and present

The decision by British voters to leave the EU comes with a certain sense of déjà vu. It is reminiscent of the French decision to reject the European Constitution back in 2005. Both polls have important similarities - but also key differences.
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Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner backs far-right presidential candidate

Remember Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian skydiver who broke the sound barrier when he jumped to Earth in 2012? Well, it turns out the 47-year-old daredevil also has a keen interest in politics – but of the extreme kind.
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My Twitter highlights of 2015

With more and more buzz around “serious” news stories, Twitter is increasingly driving the news agenda and journalists ignore the social network at their peril. Here are some of my personal highlights from the Twittersphere in 2015.

Coffee from South Sudan – where else?

It’s rare to hear good news out of South Sudan, a country mired in civil war. But for the first time, its coffee is being exported abroad. It’s part of an ambitious plan by Swiss firm Nespresso to revive the country’s coffee industry.
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UK election: Will the head of Scottish Labour lose his seat?

In this Thursday’s general election, I will be voting in a key constituency. My current MP is Labour’s Jim Murphy, who is also the leader of Scottish Labour. Could he really lose his seat to the Scottish National Party, as some polls suggest?
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Why we got it wrong on Syria and Ukraine

As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, I can’t help noticing a common theme with the crisis in Ukraine.

France’s integration model: Problems in schools ‘nothing new’

After it emerged that some French schoolchildren did not respect a minute’s silence for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the emphasis is now on shoring up “Republican values” in France's schools. But is this really such a new problem?
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New French words I learned in 2014

Working at FRANCE 24 offers a good vantage point to notice “new” French words - well, new to my foreign eyes. Here is a selection of French vocabulary that cropped up in 2014 and sometimes had me “reaching” for the online dictionary.
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Are the French becoming nicer?

This Thursday is World Kindness Day, which here in France means it’s la Journée de la gentillesse. This is slightly ironic, as being nice is not usually seen as a positive trait by the French.
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5 things you didn't know about life at the Elysée palace

This week, the magazine of French newspaper Le Monde features an exclusive behind-the-scenes report at the Elysée presidential palace. For one week, a journalist and photographer were given rare access to President François Hollande and his staff.

Scottish independence referendum: The real unanswered question

In just 10 days' time, the Scottish people (well, those living there) will decide if Scotland should break away from the UK and become independent. Many questions remain unanswered. But one issue has received little attention.
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Unpopular but underestimated? Valérie Trierweiler’s legacy as French first lady

She may certainly be the most unpopular French first lady in recent history, but does Valérie Trierweiler really deserve all the criticism over her time at the Élysée palace?

6 newish journalistic keywords of 2013

As the year draws to a close, here is a look back, in no particular order, at some new(-ish) journalistic terms that often cropped up in headlines in 2013.
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'French answer to Playboy' makes heady comeback

While a UK campaign to ban so-called "lads' mags" is gathering speed, a men’s magazine with a distinctly macho flavour has just relaunched here in France. And it's selling like hot cakes.

American 'freedom fighter' Matthew VanDyke releases film on Syria

After considerable online buzz, self-styled “American freedom fighter" and documentary filmmaker Matthew VanDyke has released the short film he directed about the Syrian conflict.

Why is France's finance minister so happy?

Despite working 17-hour days in a bid to help revive the economy, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici recently said he was a "happy man”. Find out why...
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Animal rights activists march in Paris demanding closure of slaughterhouses

This Saturday, hundreds of people marched through southern Paris calling for an end to the killing of animals for food. I went along to see what the atmosphere was like.
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President Hollande: what a difference a year makes

Just one year after his election, French President François Hollande is at a record low in the polls. What has he done to deserve this? And how can he hang on for another four years?

Bad luck and political vengeance: the downfall of French budget minister Cahuzac

The downfall of France's former budget minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, who has admitted lying about having an offshore bank account, has its roots in a mixture of bad luck and political vengeance that Machiavelli would have appreciated.
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No humour, please: France’s Hollande under fire for cracking jokes

With a reputation for wisecracks, French President François Hollande has earned the nickname of Monsieur Petites-Blagues (Mr Little Jokes) over the years. But in the past few weeks, his bons mots have got the right-wing opposition all worked up.