A man claiming to be an al-Qaeda militant, who has taken hostages in a French bank, has fired a shot and could be holding up to four people, according to sources.
In March, an al-Qaeda-inspired gunman shot dead three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse. The man was later shot dead by police after a standoff at his home in the city.
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Philip Hammond has dismissed concerns that abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers will push up house prices.
Elsewhere it will be largely sunny, though with gusty winds at times, and a few showers likely in places.
Heavy rain has caused widespread flooding and travel disruption across north west England and North Wales.