FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Among other candidates questioned by L'Express magazine, the Socialist Lionel Jospin says he splashes himself with toilet water from Guerlain and, like Chirac, plays the card game of belote. The National Front's Jean-Marie Le Pen keeps two Dobermans and several cats.
The Trotskyite Arlette Laguiller shares a liking for jazz with the Communist Robert Hue, and the right-winger Phillipe de Villiers an admiration for the German Socialist, Rosa Luxembourg, with the Green candidate, Dominique Voynet.
Some of the responses may have been prompted by public relations considerations - thus Mr Chirac now says he has just one historical hero, Cardinal Richelieu. A few months ago, he was identifying with d'Artagnan who clashed with the Cardinal's men. Never mind the inconsistency: for a man seeking to imbue himself with presidential gravitas, Richelieu is certainly a better role model than the Fourth Musketeer.
Franois Mitterrand is an agnostic at the head of a lay state. But even the President cannot trump the Catholic Church. A book of memoirs in the form of a conversation between Mr Mitterrand and Nobel prize-winner, Elie Wiesel, published last week had been expected to zoom straight to the top of the best-seller lists as the 78-year-old president, who has prostate cancer, enters the last month of his term. But he has had to take second place - to Pope John-Paul's Evangile de la vie (Evangelium Vitae). Easter seems to move book buyers more than presidential thoughts.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
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