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Eiffel Tower shuts down as workers strike over pickpockets

The Eiffel Tower has closed for the day after workers went on strike to protest a surge in the number of aggressive pickpockets at the popular tourist attraction, The Associated Press reports.

Thousands of visitors climb the iconic tower in the centre of Paris every day - but staff say they have noticed a rise in the number of tourists being targeted by petty thieves.

The Eiffel Tower is closed for the day Credit: PA

The company which manages the landmark has said it is working with police to reach a solution to allow it to reopen.

It comes just a day after authorities in the city claimed crime against tourists had dropped this year after they reinforced the police presence on the streets and increased CCTV monitoring.

The attraction is usually open every day of the year, save for the occasional bomb threat.

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Investigation into claims of child abuse by French soldiers

An investigation into child abuse allegations against French soldiers stationed in the Central African Republic is being carried out by a prosecutor in France, it has emerged.

The revelation came after a report in The Guardian claiming that a UN aid worker had been suspended for leaking an internal report to prosecutors detailing troops' abuse of children in the country.

French soldiers are in the Central African Republic as part of an international peacekeeping mission Credit: Reuters

Questioned about the report, a Justice Ministry spokesman said an investigation had been opened in July last year, and said it was "ongoing". He declined to comment further.

According to The Guardian, the confidential document outlined the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French soldiers residing in the African nation as part of a peacekeeping mission.

The UN has now said it conducted an investigation into the claims in 2014, and accused the member of staff of breaking protocol and "endangering victims and witnesses" by giving an unedited version of the report to French authorities before giving it to UN management.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist 'will no longer draw Mohammed'

A cartoonist for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo will no longer draw the Prophet Mohammed, he has revealed.

Luz has said he will no longer draw the Prophet Mohammed Credit: Reuters

Renald Luzier - known as Luz - drew the front cover of the 'survivor's edition' of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo following a massacre at its Paris office in January, showing the prophet in tears holding a sign reading "Je Suis Charlie" beneath the words: "All is forgiven".

In an interview with magazine Les Inrockuptibles, the cartoonist said he has tired of drawing the religious figure, along with former French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

I will no longer draw the figure of Mohammed. It no longer interests me. I'm tired, like with Sarkozy.

I am not going to spend my life drawing them.

– Renald Luzier, Charlie Hebdo cartoonist

Alps ski death boy named locally as Carwyn Scott-Howell

A seven-year-old boy who fell to his death while skiing in the French Alps has been named locally as Carwyn Scott-Howell, from the village of Talybont-on-Usk, near Brecon.

He is believed to have asked to ski alone on the final run of the day on the slopes in the resort of Flaine.

His body was spotted off his expected course by rescuers in a helicopter in the early evening.

The Foreign Office has confirmed the death of a British national in Flaine on Friday.

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British boy reportedly became lost in French Alps

A seven-year-old boy has reportedly died in a skiing accident in the French Alps. Credit: PA

A seven-year-old boy who died while on a skiing holiday in the French Alps on Friday reportedly became separated from his family and ended up off-piste.

Michel Ollagnon, an officer with the Bonneville mountain rescue service, told reporters that the boy fell off a rocky outcrop after apparently losing his way.

Mr Ollagnon said the boy was skiing with his mother, brother and sister, and had asked to ski alone for his last descent of the day.

His body was spotted at the foot of the cliff by an emergency services helicopter in the early evening.

'Seven-year-old British boy' dies skiing in France

The Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British national in Flaine, France. Credit: Google Maps

A seven-year-old British boy has reportedly died while skiing in the French Alps.

The boy reportedly became separated from his family as they skied in the resort of Flaine on Friday afternoon.

We can confirm the death of a British national in Flaine, France, on April 10. We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.

– Foreign Office spokesperson

Lufthansa 'under no obligation' to report Lubitz's condition

Lufthansa has indicated that it was under no obligation to report the fact that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz has suffered from depression to Germany's national aviation authority.

Yesterday German newspaper Welt am Sonntag quoted the Federal Aviation Office as saying that it was not informed about Lubitz's previous depression before Flight 4U 9525 crashed.

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz suffered from depression seceral years ago. Credit: Reuters

Lufthansa said in a statement today that, under a regulation that came into effect in April 2013, there are different rules on informing the aviation office about "certain medical issues".

It added, however, that a provision in the regulation "safeguards the position of certain pre-existing certificates of airworthiness for pilots and certificates of medical aviation medical experts" and that doctors can continue to issue extensions to such documents.

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