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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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.

French wives encouraged to cheat… as protesters march against same-sex marriage

This week, leaflets in support of this Sunday’s march against same-sex marriage in Paris were distributed to Parisians outside metro stations. But once inside, commuters came face-to-face with posters encouraging them to cheat on their partners.
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French psychiatrist convicted of manslaughter after murder by… her patient

In a verdict that could affect the way psychiatric patients are treated in France, a court in Marseille this Tuesday handed a psychiatrist a suspended sentence for manslaughter after her patient committed a gruesome murder. Read more…
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The day I met the French president - in his garden

This Sunday was only the second time that the gardens of the Élysée palace, home to one François Hollande, were open to the public on a Sunday. I decided to take a look - and managed to meet the French president in the process.

French MPs: is there a deontologist in the house?

The past couple of weeks have seen some rather strange goings-on in France's National Assembly, or lower house of parliament. This comes despite the fact that the Socialists only took power a few months ago. Read more...

Pets abandoned in their thousands: the dark side of summer in France

Summer is not a good time to be a pet in France. Between 60,000 and 100,000 furry creatures are abandoned every year when their owners go on holiday, according to animal welfare groups. Intrigued by these figures, I decided to find out more...
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'The right thing to do', or plain folly: should we intervene in Syria?

Should the West intervene in Syria? Idealists and sceptics are at odds over how best to stop the ongoing bloodshed. Here are some of their arguments.

French presidential elections: drawing a blank

Having now just about recovered from the excitement of covering the French elections, I would like to point out that France’s new president, François Hollande, did not actually win as many votes as it may appear. Find out why...

French presidential elections: Journalist provokes ire of web users for ‘insulting’ marginal candidates

This week, all ten French presidential candidates were interviewed on prime time TV. Afterwards, two political journalists were called upon to analyse their performances for viewers - and one of the two managed to kick up a huge stink online...