Libya is now in flames. This might seem to be a rather hyperbolic note on which to begin, but it is true. The country is spiralling out of control, and the city of Benghazi, the former rebel capital in the 2011 revolution against the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi, has reportedly been captured by Islamist militants and declared an 'Islamic emirate'.
In France, since the European elections of May 2014, and Marine le Pen's breath-taking 25% of the vote - to the ruling Socialists' paltry 13% - she has said very little. She does not need to; between them, the left and the right are opening up a royal road for her to go through to the second round of the presidential elections in 2017...
France is now seeing widespread political disaffection, dramatic growth in support for the far-right National Front (though they too regularly endure their own scandals), and Hollande's government is regarded by most people as beyond useless. The scandal-riven republic seems to be seriously malfunctioning.
On Sunday, the English cyclist Chris Froome swept down the Champs-Élysées to win the 100th Tour de France. He is only the second ever Englishman to carry off the famous yellow jersey, following Bradley Wiggins' triumph last year. But as Froome's fans shout 'allez!' the youth of France are more likely to be crying to each other 'barrez'; which roughly translates as 'scram', 'beat it', 'get out of here'... An open letter published in Le Point magazine by a Sorbonne student called 'Clare G' claimed that half of 18 to 34-year-olds would leave France.