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Pippa Middleton’s father-in-law David Matthews ‘investigated over rape claim’

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Pippa Middleton’s father-in-law has been placed under formal investigation by French police over a suspected rape of a minor, reports say.

Paris prosecutors arrested David Matthews during a visit to France, but later released him and placed him under judicial control, a court source told the Reuters news agency.

Mr Matthews had been taken into custody for questioning last Tuesday by investigators from the country’s juvenile protection brigade, it is claimed.

The source said the alleged rape took place in 1998-99 and Europe 1 reported that a complaint was filed in 2017.

David Matthews
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David Matthews is being investigated

Mr Matthews, who is in his early seventies, is the father of James Matthews, the husband of Pippa Middleton.

Pippa is the sister of Prince William’s wife Kate.

David Matthews owns Eden Rock in St Barths, a luxury resort popular with the rich and famous.

His other son, Spencer Matthews, is a reality TV star.

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COVID-19: France tourist hotspots missing UK visitors as amber rating keeps holidays off the menu | World News

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It’s been a blowy, blustery day in Brittany. There was a bracing wind and a few brave souls in the sea.

It all felt very British.

But for the British desperate to get abroad, a French holiday is still effectively off-limits.

Its amber rating means people should not be travelling there for leisure trips. For those who do go, it will mean a test before leaving, two more upon return and 10 days in quarantine.

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Saint-Malo’s beaches are much quieter than normal

Saint-Malo is a coastal town that relies heavily on tourism.

Atop the old fortress wall is the town’s oldest creperie. In the 18th century the building housed soldiers, the mission then was to keep the British at bay.

But now they are welcomed with open arms and local specialities.

The owners say they’re really missing tourists from across the Channel.

“We’re used to speaking English every day,” says restaurant worker Magali Garncarzyk. “But for a year now there have hardly been any British tourists.”

Alain Cabot
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Alain Cabot says losing British visitors has been a big blow

It’s had an impact says her boss, Alain Cabot: “In terms of visitors, the British were the first who started coming to Saint-Malo, mainly due to the ferry connections, so that cuts off quite a large number of tourists.”

France is the second most popular destination for British tourists after Spain. Pre-COVID, in excess of 10 million people travelled here every year .

It won’t be that way this year and the impact is already being felt by numerous small businesses.

Mont-Saint-Michel, a tidal island topped by an 11th century abbey, is one of France’s top tourist attractions and would normally welcome 2.5 million tourists a year to its cobbled streets and quicksand bay.

This is the first weekend the French are being allowed to travel further than 10km (6 miles) from their homes.

It’s a small relief to tourist businesses, but rows and rows of car parking bays stood empty and just a handful of people strolled onto shuttle buses that would usually have seen long queues.

Julie Dion
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Julie Dion says the cost of tests for seeing family back in Wales is too expensive

In the town, cafes and shops are still shuttered, and when they reopen they’ll need custom.

Julie Dion works in the tourist office and says almost 100% of enquiries at the moment are from the French. But it may not be enough.

“It is very worrying,” she says.

“We don’t know how many people are going to arrive. It was a guaranteed place where we were very busy every day, so will there be enough tourists for the businesses to continue to run as they were?”

It’s having a personal impact for her too.

She’s originally from Wales, all her extended family are still there and she hasn’t been back for over two years.

Julie says the cost of multiple tests for herself, her husband and her three children make the journey prohibitive.

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French holidays are off the table – for now

“It’s very sad, it’s really difficult. It’ll be a long, difficult time now away from family,” she says.

Like all countries, France’s rating will be reviewed every three weeks, but while cases are still high here and vaccinations low, the chances of a French holiday remain distant.

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Afghanistan: Children among at least 40 killed by bomb near Afghanistan school | World News

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At least 40 people – including many students – have been killed after a bomb exploded near a school in west Kabul, according to an Afghan government official.

At least 50 are also reported to have been injured by the blast.

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Four-year-old boy buys 918 SpongeBob ice lollies for $2,600 on Amazon | US News

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Noah, a four-year-old from New York, loves SpongeBob. A lot.

In fact, he loves the absorbent and yellow and porous cartoon character so much that he decided to pop on Amazon for a spot of retail therapy.

Little did his mother know that he had purchased 51 cases of SpongeBob ice lollies – 918 of them to be exact – racking up a bill of $2,618.85 (£1,872).

The bulk order of popsicles was duly delivered to his auntie’s house.

Amazon initially told Noah’s mother, Jennifer Bryant, that they wouldn’t take back the ice lollies – leaving the social work student stuck with the bill.

The retail giant has since been in contact to find a solution – and thankfully, the SpongeBob saga has a happy ending.

A fundraiser that was set up to help Ms Bryant pay for the ice lollies has now raised more than $14,000 (£10,000), with contributions flowing in from across the US.

Noah is on the autism spectrum, and his family say that (once the bill has been paid) all remaining funds will go towards his education.

Ms Bryant wrote on the GoFundMe page: “Thank you SO much for your mind-blowing generosity and support.”

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