images-1French conservative presidential candidate, François Fillon, said on Monday at a Paris press conference that he will not stand down despite an investigation by magistrates on suspicions of corruption.

After nearly two weeks of blistering attacks for allegedly using taxpayer money to pay his wife €830,000 for a fictitious parliamentary assistant’s job, the former Premier struck back, saying his wife was paid for real work. He did however admit that, although it is a common and legal practice for parliamentarians to hire family members, it was an error.

Nouakchott, Mauritania: The reddish sand from the Sahara still blows across the streets of this sprawling capital of perhaps 800 thousand people where the palaces of wealthy White Moors grow like mushrooms next to the countless Blacks and Touregs sleeping in the streets or in makeshift dwellings without water and electricity.

But the authorities, and their western backers, would have us believe that when five private press groups get a license to broadcast radio and TV for the first time this October, it will represent a major change.  This opening of the airwaves is Sahara sand in our eyes to hide the real racial nature of a regime which has become an important actor in “the war on terrorism”.