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French TV station drops Strauss-Khan’s wife

France's BFM-TV said Wednesday it had dropped Dominique Strauss-Kahn's journalist wife from taking part in election night coverage because the disgraced Socialist was once more in the media spotlight.

French TV station drops Strauss-Khan's wife

“The serenity was gone, what with the affair kicking off again this weekend,” BFM-TV’s boss Guillaume Dubois told AFP of the decision to drop Anne Sinclair, who took part in April 22 first round coverage as a consultant.

“It was better for everyone for her not to be present on Sunday evening, in the interest of both parties,” Dubois said ahead of the May 6 run-off.

Fallen IMF boss Strauss-Kahn, himself once tipped to win France’s presidential vote, embarrassed the Socialist party with the publication over the weekend of his allegation that Nicolas Sarkozy orchestrated his downfall.

He was also criticised from within his party for attending a Socialist lawmaker’s birthday at the height of the second-round presidential campaign pitting Socialist Francois Hollande against incumbent Sarkozy.

Sinclair is also the editorial director of the Huffington Post’s French website.

“Faced with the emotive and irrational climate of the second round campaign, particularly over the last week, it has been jointly decided to push this collaboration back,” Huffington Post France’s editor Paul Ackermann said.

Strauss-Kahn had been favoured to win the vote until May last year, when he was arrested in New York and accused of sexually assaulting hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo.

The charges were later dropped but a New York judge ruled on Tuesday that he should face a civil case brought by Diallo.

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crackdown against the media in Belarus after the accreditation of several journalists working for foreign media was withdrawn in the wake of disputed presidential elections.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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