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Magnitude 5 earthquake felt in southeastern France

NICE, France (Reuters) - A magnitude 5 earthquake was felt in southeastern France on Monday, according to a provisional reading from the National Network for Seismic Monitoring. The quake, at 3.27 p.m. ET (1927 GMT), was centered about 50 km (30 miles) inland from the Riviera city of Nice and was close to the Italian border, at a depth of 5 km. No damage was immediately reported, Pierre-Martin Charpenel, mayor of Barcelonnette, a town near the epicenter, told BFMTV. Strong earthquakes are rare in France.

Man contaminated with rabies in Mali dies in France

A man contaminated with rabies on a trip to Mali died on his return to France where the disease has been officially eradicated since 2001, French health authorities said on Thursday. "A man who was in intensive care in a hospital in the Paris region died today from rabies," the social affairs ministry announced in a statement, adding that the patient was contaminated during a lengthy stay in the west African country.

Cold nights, warm days trigger pollution alerts across France

Nearly a third of the 22 regions in mainland France on Wednesday were on a maximum pollution alert including a swathe of the country's north, centre-east and the Paris region. The prevalance of particles with a diameter of less than 10 microns were reported by regional air monitoring centres in the affected areas. A lack of wind during the anticyclonic period and cold nights followed by balmy days triggered the phenomenon, they said. In addition, there were emissions from cars and from heating in buildings and factories.

France to return Nazi-looted art

France will on Tuesday return three paintings seized by the Nazis to their rightful owners, just the tip of an iceberg in a country where nearly 2,000 such artworks remain unclaimed. All works of art identified as having been stolen by the Nazis are kept in French museums that are required to report them and put them on display in the hope that the previous owners, their heirs or assignees will spot and claim them.

Northern France beats heat records at weekend

Residents in several parts of northern France enjoyed the warmest Sunday ever reported at this time of year, weather authorities said, with Paris beating a previous record held in 1880. The French capital, where outdoor terraces filled up with sun worshippers, saw temperatures soar to 21.6 degrees Celsius (70.9 degrees Fahrenheit) -- beating the 1880 record of 20.7 degrees Celsius -- Meteo-France said Monday. Other cities in northern France also enjoyed record temperatures for early March, it added.

RugbyU: Scotland v France Six Nations result

Result of Six Nations match between Scotland and France played at Murrayfield on Saturday: Scotland 17 France 19 H-t: 14-9 afp

Record cocaine haul in France, four arrested

French police said Friday they had seized a record 1.4 tonnes of cocaine and four people had been arrested in a "severe blow" to an international drug trafficking chain. French police sources said the drugs were seized on Wednesday at the northern port of Le Havre and were hidden in tyres on a cargo ship from Valparaiso in Chile. Two Spaniards were arrested in France after the seizure, which came after a "long and thorough" investigation, police said.

Hollande bids to woo foreign investors back to France

President Francois Hollande sought to woo sceptical investors back to France on Monday, telling global business chiefs his government had no fear of foreign capital. Anxious to bring the French economy back to sustained growth and turn around his record-low poll numbers, Hollande met some 30 top executives at the Elysee Palace for talks on France's business climate. The heads of leading companies including Volvo, Bosch, Siemens, Samsung, General Electric, Intel and Nestle were joined at the talks by chiefs of sovereign wealth funds from Gulf nations and China.

Obama to go to France for June D-Day 70th anniversary

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday he will travel to France in June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings of allied forces in Nazi-occupied Europe. Obama said he had accepted an invitation to make the visit from French President Francois Hollande, after the two men met at the White House. col/dc

France announces 1.5-billion-euro anti-cancer plan

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday announced a 1.5 billion euro ($2 billion) anti-cancer plan aimed at reducing inequalities in treatment of the disease. The 2014-2019 plan aims to give "the same chances to everyone everywhere in France" in preventing and fighting cancer, Hollande said in a speech to medical professionals. His announcement comes a day after the United Nations warned that new cases of cancer will rise by half by 2030, reaching 21.6 million per year compared to 14 million in 2012.
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