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‘Le Huffington Post’ to launch in France

The Huffington Post said on Monday it will launch a French edition in partnership with newspaper Le Monde, as the influential news and opinion website continues its push to expand outside North America.

'Le Huffington Post' to launch in France
Minesweeper (File)

The new site, the web publishing giant’s first non-English language venture, will merge with a Le Monde-run website, Le Post, and launch in the second half of November at www.lehuffingtonpost.fr, the companies said.

“It will be entirely run by French journalists. It will be rooted in the French culture,” site founder Arianna Huffington told AFP.

“France has a very thriving social media culture, with some absolutely amazing bloggers, and also a great journalistic culture. So from the beginning we saw The Huffington Post as bringing together the best of traditional journalism with the best of new technologies and new media.”

The move comes after The Huffington Post launched a British edition in July as it seeks to push into international markets following its acquisition in February by Internet company AOL for $315 million (€232 million).

The Huffington Post’s blog-led model, offering a lively mix of news, entertainment and opinion submitted by academics, entertainment figures and politicians, has proved immensely popular.

Traffic to the site hit 35.6 million unique visitors in June — the first time The Huffington Post surpassed the website of The New York Times in terms of traffic.

In a statement, the companies said the Huffington Post Media Group, Le Monde and Paris-based Les Nouvelles Editions Independantes, which publishes cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles, would be partners in the project.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Huffington said the site was also looking to launch in other European markets, including Italy, Spain and Turkey.

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MEDIA

France slams Belarus’ ‘arbitrary’ crackdown on foreign media

France on Sunday condemned an "arbitrary" crackdown against the media in Belarus after the accreditation of several journalists working for foreign media was withdrawn in the wake of disputed presidential elections.

France slams Belarus' 'arbitrary' crackdown on foreign media
Belarus opposition supporters protesting against disputed presidential elections results in Minsk on August 27. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP
“The arbitrary measures taken by the Belarusian authorities against journalists violate press freedom,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.
   
“I call on the Belarusian authorities to reverse these measures without delay,” he added, saying that the crisis in Belarus requires “the establishment of an inclusive national dialogue”.
   
“Repressive measures against journalists cannot help,” he said.
   
Belarusian authorities on Saturday withdrew the accreditation of journalists working for several foreign media, including AFP, ahead of a major demonstration Sunday challenging the results of the presidential election.
   
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has faced unprecedented protests since the disputed August 9 election in which he claimed a landslide victory with 80 percent of the vote in a poll
that the opposition says was rigged.
   
 
Belarus government spokesman Anatoly Glaz said the decision to revoke the media accreditations was taken on the recommendation of the country's counter-terrorism unit.
   
He did not specify how many journalists were affected by the measure, but foreign media including the BBC, Reuters and Radio Liberty reported the withdrawal of accreditation of several of their journalists.
   
Belarusian journalists working for Agence France-Presse also had their accreditation revoked.
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