Reports

  • Bettencourt battle back after L'Oréal heiress signs away 143 million euros

    By
    Inspirational? Liliane Bettencourt during a French TV interview. © France 3 Inspirational? Liliane Bettencourt during a French TV interview. © France 3

    Following a six-month family truce, the daughter of L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt (photo) has re-applied to have her mother placed as a ward of court amid fresh concerns over the management of the 88 year-old's personal finances, including suspicions of conflicts of interest in a business deal brokered by her newly-appointed legal protector and wealth manager. Karl Laske reports.

  • Another Icelandic eruption set to end in ashes

    By
    Two years ago, as the international banking crisis swept the world, Iceland's economy collapsed through the floor. Thousands of Icelanders regularly took to the streets during the winter of 2008 to drive out their government, disgraced by revelations of corruption. Amid an atmosphere of revolution, and excited talk of remodelling society, the unprecedented mobilisations held high hopes of creating a new democratic platform on the island. So just what has changed since? Ludovic Lamant reports.
  • The 'middle' France losing hope in mainstream politics

    By

    The median individual income in France is, after tax and welfare payment deductions, 1,500 euros. Half of income earners earn less, the other half more. Mediapart travelled to the town of Dijon to interview people who fall into this category, and who come from widely different backgrounds and professions. Here they talk frankly about their daily preoccupations, living conditions and political views. While nationwide local elections this month showed record abstentions, and barely a year before the French presidential elections, they offer a startling insight into a widening social malaise that mainstream political parties appear unable to address.

  • Tensions run high at the gates of Abidjan

    Tensions are running high in Ivory Coast, where Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president defeated in November elections is refusing to hand over power to his newly-elected rival Alassane Ouattara. A delegation of African leaders returned to the country Monday January 3rd to persuade Gbagbo to quit, amid reports they are offering him an amnesty in exchange. If he refuses, West African states have warned they will employ force to oust him. We report from a spot just outside the economic capital Abidjan, where a divided population feverishly await the next development in the crisis.

  • Muslims in France: Jennifer, a convert, now has 'duties to God'

    By
    This is the fourth in a series of portraits of French Muslims. The men and women interviewed live in La Courneuve, a suburb north of Paris notorious for the difficult living conditions in its huge, high-rise social housing projects. Jennifer, 28, raised in a Christian family, recently converted to Islam, initially via the internet. Islam "seemed like the most sensible religion at the moral and practical levels".
  • Muslims in France: 'one day they'll ban the beard'

    By

    This is the third in a series of portraits of French Muslims. The men and women interviewed live in La Courneuve, a suburb north of Paris notorious for the difficult living conditions in its huge, high-rise social housing projects. 'Abdel', one of the men sporting 'Islamic' beards at a local mosque, tells how he discovered a faith that saved him from his own "excessive" nature and of his disdain towards "those who don't practice what they say they have in their hearts".

  • Boom and doom: the Yellow River corpse merchant

    By
    Cliquer sur l'image pour lancer le diaporama. © Jordan Pouille Cliquer sur l'image pour lancer le diaporama. © Jordan Pouille
    This man makes a living from selling bodies to grieving families. He fishes them out of the Yellow River, in China's Gansu province, at the rate of 200 a year. The remains of victims of suicides and murders float down from Lanzhou, an expanding industrial city from where Mediapart special correspondent Jordan Pouille reports on a dark and hidden side of the Chinese economic boom.
  • Haiti tinderbox as cholera catastrophe looms

    By
    Dans le parc Sainte Thérèse, 2.500 réfugiés. © (F.Bt.) Dans le parc Sainte Thérèse, 2.500 réfugiés. © (F.Bt.)

    Cholera has entered the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, devastated by an earthquake in January. Mediapart editor François Bonnet reports from a country on the verge of an unprecedented health catastrophe and a major social and political crisis, amid popular fury towards the authorities accused of negligence and corruption and at the peace-keeping force for allegedly introducing the epidemic.

  • Stefan: 'After 20 years on the move, nothing gets better'

    By
     © E.Berthaud © E.Berthaud
    In contrast to the controversial French government policy this summer of organising mass expulsions of Roma, local authorities in the Greater Paris Region run six social reinsertion camps, tactfully called 'villages', aimed at integrating them into more stable social conditions. In the fourth of our five-part series, Stefan Papouka, 47, a Romanian Rom in the Montreuil camp, tells how he has "fought to give my five children a chance" since arriving illegally in France in 1994, but is now weary of "trying to find solutions, a real job, a place to live."
  • Luminata: 'I want a future for my children, not a life on the move'

    By
     © E.Berthaud © E.Berthaud

    In contrast to the controversial French government policy of organising mass expulsions of Roma, local authorities in the Greater Paris Region run social reinsertion camps aimed at integrating them into more stable social conditions. In the second of our five-part series, 24 year-old Romanian Rom and mother-of-two, Luminata Lakatos, explains how the reinsertion project is helping to bring yearned-for stability to her and her family, after eight years on the move.