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Driver Detained After Almost Hitting French Soldiers

Police have detained two people after a group of soldiers was almost hit by a car while they were jogging near their barracks in south-eastern France.

Soldiers of the 7th Mountain Battalion managed to avoid the oncoming vehicle in Varces-Allières-et-Risset.

The driver shouted in Arabic at the soldiers before the attack, and sped off afterwards in what reports said was a Peugeot 208 with fake number plates. Reports suggest a woman was also in the car. No-one was harmed.

Police tweeted to say a man had been detained in a Grenoble market after a search operation. In a separate tweet, police said they had also detained the owner of the car in Échirolles, a suburb south of Grenoble.

Prosecutors in Grenoble said the attack was not being treated as a terrorist incident. The incident came the same day that four victims of a hostage-taking at a supermarket in the south-western town of Trèbes were buried.

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National Memorial Service Held For French Police Officer

Tributes have been paid across France to the police officer who died after he offered himself in exchange for a hostage in an Islamist attack.

The coffin carrying Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame was driven in heavy rain through Paris, where hundreds of people joined a national memorial service.

President Emmanuel Macron said the officer, who was 44, symbolised the “French spirit of resistance”. Three other people were also killed in Friday’s attacks in southern France.

Col Beltrame’s widow and his friends, family and colleagues attended a ceremony at Les Invalides in the French capital. “To be willing to die so that innocent people continue to live, this is the heart of a soldier’s promise,” Mr Macron said in his eulogy as the coffin draped in the French flag laid in the cobbled courtyard.

“To be ready to give your own life because nothing is more important than the life of a citizen, this is the ultimate effect of the transcendence he bore.”

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National Security Strategy In Review After Skripal Attack

Threats from Russia and organised crime are the focus of a new national security strategy for the UK.

In what the prime minister has called a “fusion doctrine”, the plan will combine intelligence and the Army with economics and diplomacy to defeat UK enemies.

Theresa May said “every capability” would be used against increasing threats on national security. The review was completed before the Salisbury attack on a Russian ex-spy.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned with a nerve agent in the Wiltshire city three weeks ago. The UK, US and many EU leaders agree it was highly likely Russia was behind the poisoning, but Russia denies any involvement.

Announcing the strategy, Mrs May said the “reckless act of aggression” and last year’s terror attacks in London and Manchester showed the need for tougher and multi-faceted action. “These people should be in no doubt that we will use every capability at our disposal to defeat them.”

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Report Finds Handling Of Manchester Arena Bombing Was Chaotic

Firefighters who heard the Manchester Arena bomb go off were sent away from the scene despite a paramedic arriving within 11 minutes, a report says.

“Out of the loop” crews took two hours to attend the scene of the deadly blast, which killed 22 people last May.

A report by Lord Kerslake found poor communication meant chief fire officers were “risk-averse” and kept emergency trained responders away. The fire service’s chief apologised “unreservedly” for the failures.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a home-made device at 22:31 BST as 14,000 people streamed out of an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May, leaving more than 700 injured. According to the report, the first North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) paramedic arrived at 22:42 and was told the incident was a “suicide bomber” by police.

A police duty inspector declared Operation Plato, a plan for dealing with a suspected marauding armed terrorist, and wrongly assumed others were aware.

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More Than Twenty Countries Align With UK Over Russian Poisoning

The United States and its European allies are expelling dozens of Russian diplomats in a co-ordinated response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.

It is said to be the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.

Twenty-one countries have aligned with the UK, expelling more than 100 diplomats. Russia vowed to retaliate to the “provocative gesture”.

Russia denies any role in the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, southern England. The pair remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

EU leaders agreed last week it was highly likely Russia was behind the nerve-agent poisoning.

Mrs May said: “President Putin’s regime is carrying out acts of aggression against our shared values and interests within our continent and beyond. “And as a sovereign European democracy, the United Kingdom will stand shoulder to shoulder with the EU and with Nato to face down these threats together.”

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