2012年9月20日星期四

Maritimo 0 Newcastle 0: Bigi bank pays out but Toon struggle

He is known as ‘Bigi’, and Gael Bigirimana proved he has the stature to challenge Newcastle’s more  established midfielders and forge a long-term future under Alan Pardew.
After snapping him up from Coventry City in the summer, Pardew asked the 18-year-old to shore up an injury-decimated side that contained just two players, in Steven Taylor and Davide Santon, who could consider themselves automatic starters.

So close: Shola Ameobi (centre) hits the post
So close: Shola Ameobi (centre) hits the post

Match facts

Maritimo: Salin, Briguel, Joao Guilherme, Roberge, Luis Olim, Rafael Miranda, Joao Luiz, Heldon (Fidelis 54), David Simao (Goncalo Abreu 75), Sami, Danilo Dias (Adilson 82).
Subs Not Used: Lima De Oliveira, Joao Diogo, Marcio Rosario, Igor Rossi.
Booked: David Simao.
Newcastle: Elliot, Perch, Williamson, Steven Taylor, Santon, Obertan (Marveaux 80), Bigirimana, Gosling, Amalfitano (Ferguson 76), Shola Ameobi, Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 53).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Tavernier, Abeid, Campbell.
Booked: Bigirimana,Amalfitano,Santon.
Att: 4,000
Ref: Robert Schorgenhofer (Austria).
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His response did more than  anything to stifle Maritimo’s attacking threat and left his manager enthusing: ‘There were times when the game became a bit too open, when we were  trying to win it, but nine times out of 10, Bigi was on hand to shut up shop.
‘He was so calm as well, and it is clear, at his age, that he has a great future. I thought he and Dan Gosling were terrific in  central midfield, and, considering all the injuries, the performance was outstanding.’
Pardew saw his widespread changes as a chance for fringe players to impress, but he might not have welcomed seeing his defence being subjected to quite such a rigorous examination in the early stages.
A bobbly surface hardly suited Newcastle’s passing style, but it may just have spared them the ignominy of going behind in only the second minute.
A flowing move ended with David Simao whipping in a low cross that looked tailor-made for the onrushing Heldon, until an awkward bounce sent the ball looping over his outstretched boot.
Impressive: Newcastle United's Gael Bigirimana, right,
Impressive: Newcastle United's Gael Bigirimana, right,
Floored: Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi
Floored: Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi
S close: Dan Gosling fires his shot against the post
S close: Dan Gosling fires his shot against the post


 
The Funchal team’s Dos  Barreiros ground can scarcely be confused with St James’ Park.
Until recently, it had three open sides, and though construction on new seating is well advanced, the decaying main stand remains the only means of following games.

Despite the humble surroundings, there was nothing inferior about Maritimo’s players, as they carved out three more openings before Newcastle managed so much as a glimpse of goal.
Rob Elliot produced a fine reflex save to deny Sami, from an 11th-minute corner by Heldon, and rescued his side again with a block from Sami, who had burst through with alarming ease.
Even then the danger was not over, as Taylor stuck out a leg to prevent Danilo Dias finishing off the rebound.

Newcastle were stretched again in the 15th minute, when Heldon cut in from the right and shot  narrowly wide of the far post.
Finally, they began to come to terms with a difficult surface and fired-up opponents.
Mike Williamson and Shola  Ameobi both went close in a  frantic scramble in the 28th minute, and Gosling struck the bottom of a post with a  left-foot drive seconds later.
Gabriel Obertan then saw his angled shot sail a foot the wrong side of the far post on the half-hour.
Pardew thanked locals for the warmth of their welcome, at his pre-match press conference, but there was little bonhomie on show when Joao Luiz ignored an instruction to play a dropped ball back to Elliot, after an injury to a Maritimo player.

Ouch! Dan Gosling clashes with Maritimo's defender Joao Guilherme
Ouch! Dan Gosling clashes with Maritimo's defender Joao Guilherme
Feet first: Maritimo's Brazilian midfielder Joao Luiz
Feet first: Maritimo's Brazilian midfielder Joao Luiz
Frustrated: Alan Pardew
Frustrated: Alan Pardew

IN FOCUS

Vurnon Anita
Added to Alan Pardew’s problems by flying home to be with his wife, who had gone into labour. After the game, Pardew was still waiting to hear if his midfielder had become a dad.

Rob Elliot
Made the most of his European debut with a string of fine saves to keep a clean sheet. His only other appearance was against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, 12 months ago to the day.
Wagging a finger at referee Robert Schorgenhofer, Luiz started advancing towards Newcastle’s area, and when Gael Bigirimana was booked for felling him with a late challenge, it sparked an angry row between the two managers.
They were still at it when the half-time whistle sounded seconds later, Pardew catching up with Pedro Martins and reinforcing his disgust at what did appear an unsporting gesture by the  Maritimo midfielder.
Newcastle came close again on the 47th minute, but Shola Ameobi’s curled effort hit the woodwork. But it was Maritimo who threatened from then on, most notably when substitute Fidelis shaved the post in the 59th minute and Santon deflected a Valentin Roberge header on to his own bar in the 81st minute.
Newcastle held on, and Pardew had good cause for considering a hard-earned away point an ideal start to another group campaign, given his starting line-up’s almost unrecognisable appearance.

Heads up: Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi climbs above the defence
Heads up: Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi climbs above the defence
High jump: Gosling, top, avoids Luis Olim
High jump: Gosling, top, avoids Luis Olim
Missed it: Newcastle's defender Mike Williamson
Missed it: Newcastle's defender Mike Williamson

Now controversial French first lady Valerie Trierweiler may host her own TV show

French first lady Valerie Trierweiler is at the centre of another furious debate about her role after it was revealed she may be about to host her own TV show. 
The 47-year-old lover of President Francois Hollande is regularly accused of a conflict of interest because she remains on the staff of the glossy celebrity magazine Paris Match.

Ms Trierweiler has her own office and staff at the Elysee Palace, with critics suggesting that she should choose between being the partner of a head-of-state and a journalist.
Job offer: Valerie Trierweiler (pictured here with her lover, France's president Francois Hollande, right, during a visit to the Louvre in Paris on Wednesday) has been offered a role presenting a programme on French TV
Job offer: Valerie Trierweiler (pictured here with her lover, France's president Francois Hollande, right, during a visit to the Louvre in Paris on Wednesday) has been offered a role presenting a programme on French TV

Power: Ms Trierweiler (right) has been accused of having a conflict of interest as First Lady to President Hollande (left) because of her job as a journalist. Commentators now fear a new role in TV will give her even more influence
Power: Ms Trierweiler (right) has been accused of having a conflict of interest as First Lady to President Hollande (left) because of her job as a journalist. Commentators now fear a new role in TV will give her even more influence

Influence: Ms Trierweiler (pictured here on the right with Culture minister Aurelie Filippetti) was at the Louvre to attend the opening of new galleries for the Department of Islamic Arts
Influence: Ms Trierweiler (pictured here on the right with Culture minister Aurelie Filippetti) was at the Louvre to attend the opening of new galleries for the Department of Islamic Arts
But today Canal Plus confirmed ‘informal contact’ with Ms Trierweiler to discuss hosting a cultural programme every two months.
She has TV experience, having worked on a similar Saturday programme on Direct 8 in the past.

One of her earliest assignments, in 1992, involved securing an exclusive interview with Segolene Royal, a minister and Mr Hollande’s then girlfriend, after she had given birth to the couple’s daughter.

The interview, broadcast from a hospital, was later found to have been set up by Mr Hollande, to the annoyance of Ms Royal, who was too tired and drugged-up to complain.
 

Now Ms Royal and Ms Trierweiler are even more bitter enemies, after Ms Trierweiler sent an infamous tweet supporting one of Ms Royal’s political rivals to win a parliamentary seat.

Ms Royal went on to lose the election, accusing Ms Trierweiler of stabbing her in the back, and effectively ending her political career. 
Now French commentators fear that Ms Trierweiler will have even more influence, despite the fact that she has never been elected.
Ms Trierweiler (seen her with Minister for Industrial Recovery Arnaud Montebourg at the Department of Islamic Arts) has been a controversial figure since Mr Hollande was elected president
Ms Trierweiler (seen her with Minister for Industrial Recovery Arnaud Montebourg at the Department of Islamic Arts) has been a controversial figure since Mr Hollande was elected president
In response to the growing scandal, Bruno Roger-Petit, the distinguished Paris political analyst, said that Ms Trierweiler’s proposed programme could easily include ‘artists’ who back Francois Hollande politically.
Mr Roger-Petit said that even a cultural progamme was ‘deeply political’ and that ‘it is perhaps time to define a legal framework to give status to the partner of the President of the Republic.’   
Despite her work for Paris Match, Ms Trierweiler has had no hesitation in going to court whenever she is featured in rival publications.
Earlier this month she won damages from a magazine which published pictures of her in a bikini – even though Paris Match also used them.

The farcical situation saw a judge at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris order VSD, another celebrity glossy, to pay Ms Trierweiler the equivalent of 1500 pounds.

Paris Match is full of pictures of public figures on the beach every week, but Ms Trierweiler objected to another publication capturing a swim she enjoyed with Mr Hollande in August.

Ms Trierweiler would not comment on her  plans to take on TV work today.

President Obama and first lady to make first joint appearance on The View next week (but don't expect to see Romney, who blasted 'sharp-tongued' liberal hosts)

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will make their first joint appearance on the daytime show The View next week, taping an episode Monday to air on Tuesday.
Mr Obama's appearance in July 2010 was the program’s most-watched episode ever, as he became the first ever sitting president to visit a daytime talk show. Mrs Obama most recently appeared on the show in August.
But GOP challenger Mitt Romney, who has been doing extensive damage control for his now-infamous leaked dinner party video, may not try to follow suit.
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Together: President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, pictured at a campaign stop earlier this month, will make their first joint appearance on The View next week
Together: President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, pictured at a campaign stop earlier this month, will make their first joint appearance on The View next week

Romney
High risk: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, pictured at a rally on September 19, called four of The View's co-hosts 'sharp-tonged' said it would be a 'high risk' to go on the show

Hail to the hosts: President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a daytime talk show in 2010, and appeared again earlier this year
Hail to the hosts: President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a daytime talk show in 2010, and appeared again earlier this year
Mr Romney said in private remarks to donors made public this week by Mother Jones that going on The View is ‘high risk’ because of the ‘four sharp-tongued and not conservative’ female hosts, only one of whom is a conservative.
He singled out Whoopi Goldberg, saying: ‘The last time I was on the show, she said to me, “You know what? I think I could vote for you.” I said I must have done something really wrong.’
After seeing the video footage, co-host Sherri Shepard retorted: ‘If you can’t handle four sharp-tongued women, how are you going to handle the country?’

Mr Romney appeared on the daytime talk show in 2010 to talk about his book, No Apology: The Case For American Greatness.
The View’s conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, said Wednesday that she had reached out to Romney, and the campaign said he'd love to come on the show in October.
She said she’d love it if he ‘once more join the sharp-tongued chatter.’
Still, the ladies of The View are looking forward to hosting the first couple. Co-host Barbara Walters said in a statement: ‘We are honoured to host President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
Although each of them has appeared several times on the program, this first joint appearance marks a significant milestone.’

View
Sharp tongues: Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Barbara Walters were blasted by Romney as being 'sharp-tongued;' Elisabeth Hasselbeck is the show's only conservative
TV personality Meredith Vieira
Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Opposing views: Former View co-host Meredith Vieira, left, slammed Romney while talking to Joy Behar; current co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, right, is the show's only current conservative member; she invited the GOP hopeful to appear on the show in October
According to a release, the first couple will discuss the election, their lives inside the White House, as well as their relationship.
Meanwhile, Meredith Vieira spoke out against the Republican party hopeful, saying that in his closed door fundraiser remarks, Mr Romney ‘shows more insight in that moment than he has throughout the entire campaign.’
Speaking to Joy Behar, Vieira added that the co-hosts were indeed ‘tough,’ but also ‘fair-minded.’
Both candidates will appear Sunday in separate interviews on the CBS show 60 Minutes.

Maryland ranked the richest state in the U.S., with Mississippi in last place as the poorest

Maryland is the richest state in the union, with a median household income of $70,004, a cool $20k about the national average.
The U.S. South continues to lag behind with Mississippi's median income of $36,919 putting the state at the lowest in the country.
According to the data from the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, nationwide household income in the U.S. has dropped as the economy continues to struggle - with census data showing decrease of  1.3 per cent from $51,144 in 2010 to $50,502 in 2011/
 
MapMap
While states like Maryland, Alaska and New Jersey among the higher earning states, the wealth gap is growing as Southern states like Arkansas and and West Virgina, reported income significantly lower than the national average.
The new 2011 census figures released Thursday show tepid progress in an economic recovery that technically began in mid-2009.
 

The annual survey, supplemented with unpublished government figures as of March 2012, covers a year in which unemployment fell modestly from 9.6 per cent to 8.9 per cent. 
Not all is well, however. The jobless rate remains high at 8.1 per cent. While housing sales have more recently gained, home ownership last year dropped for a fifth straight year to 64.6 per cent, the lowest in more than a decade, due to stringent financing rules and a shift to renting.
More Americans than ever are turning to food stamps, while residents in housing that is considered 'crowded' held steady at 1 per cent, tied for the highest since 2003.

POOREST STATES

1. Mississippi: $36,919
2. West Virginia: $38,482
3. Kentucky: $41,141
4. Alabama: $41,415
5. Tennessee: $41,693
Income inequality varied widely by region.
The gap between rich and poor was most evident in the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Louisiana and New Mexico, where immigrant or minority groups were more numerous.
Median household income dropped in fewer U.S. states last year than in 2010, with 18 registering a fall and one state - Vermont - notching an increase, the Census Bureau said on Thursday.
Vermont's 4 per cent rise in median household income last year was the first shown by a state since 2009, the Census Bureau said in its breakdown of income, poverty and insurance.
The biggest decline in median household income was a 6 per cent downturn in Nevada, one of the states hardest hit by the collapse in housing prices.
Household income had dropped in 35 states in the 2010 ACS.
Among states whose electoral votes could decide the November presidential election, four - Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida - showed declines in household income.

RICHEST STATES

1. Maryland:  $70,004
2. Alaska:  $67,825
3. New Jersey:  $67,458
4. Connecticut: $65,753
5. District of Columbia: $63,124
Census data showed the poverty rate was stable at 15 per cent.
Among states, New Hampshire had the lowest poverty rate, at 8.8 per cent, and Mississippi had the highest, with 22.6 per cent, the Census Bureau said.
As for big metropolitan areas, the Washington region had the lowest percentage of poor people with 8.3 per cent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas had the highest at almost 38 percent.
In terms of insurance, no state showed a decline in the insured rate for people ages 19 to 25 from 2009 to 2011. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia had an increase in coverage.

Now THAT'S a Royal Wedding! Sultan of Brunei celebrates marriage of daughter, 32, with spectacular ceremony straight out of Arabian Nights

The daughter of the Sultan of Brunei, one of the world's wealthiest men, wed groom Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini today in a dazzling ceremony at the monarch's 1,700-room palace.
Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, 32, the fifth child of the Sultan and his wife, Queen Saleha, and her groom Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini, 29, exchanged their vows this afternoon in front of scores of gathered family and friends, royals and international dignitaries.
Both the bride and groom work in Governmental roles as employees of the Sultan of Brunei, with Hafizah, who has a degree in business administration, working as an officer in the finance ministry, and Ruzaini a civil servant in the Prime Minister's office.
Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah was a vision in lilac at the ceremony ahead of her wedding
Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini looked very dapper in pink
 
Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah and her groom Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini attended a ceremony ahead of their wedding, which took place today

 
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, right, and Queen Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha at the pre-wedding ceremony yesterdaySultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, right, and Queen Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha at the pre-wedding ceremony yesterday

 
The pre-wedding ceremony and the wedding both took place at the Brunei monarch's 1,700-room palaceThe pre-wedding ceremony and the wedding both took place at the Brunei monarch's 1,700-room palace
 
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah led a ceremony ahead of today's wedding, where daughter Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah was dressed in lavish silks and prepared for today's serviceSultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah led a ceremony ahead of today's wedding, where daughter Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah was dressed in lavish silks and prepared for today's service
The Sultan is Prime Minister of the small oil-rich Muslim sultanate that has been governed for 600 years by the same royal family, and also holds the roles of finance and defence minister.
The sultan has 12 children, five sons and seven daughters, from his three marriages, and the wedding is the first involving one of the sultan’s children since 2007.
 

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei prepared to give his daughter away in a lavish ceremony yesterday, which saw the family attend a service at the Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman palace in Brunei yesterday.
The couple then exchanged their vows in front of some the most powerful people in the region including Prime Minister Najib Razak of neighbouring Malaysia.
The guest list for the wedding was not released ahead of the day, but many international royals and dignitaries were preparing to attend, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of neighbouring MalaysiaThe guest list for the wedding was not released ahead of the day, but many international royals and dignitaries were preparing to attend, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of neighbouring Malaysia

 
The opulent Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman palace played host to the service yesterdayThe opulent Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman palace played host to the service yesterday

 
The daughter of the sultan of Brunei, one of the world's wealthiest men, is set to wed this weekend in a dazzling ceremony at the monarch's 1,700-room palaceThe daughter of the sultan of Brunei, one of the world's wealthiest men, is set to wed this weekend in a dazzling ceremony at the monarch's 1,700-room palace

 
The young boys looked dashing in their handmade silk outfits as they accompanied their fathers at the ceremonyThe young boys looked dashing in their handmade silk outfits as they accompanied their fathers at the ceremony
The couple will now be officially presented to the royal court in an elaborate ceremony on Sunday that marks the climax of more than a week of wedding-related festivities.
Southeast Asian leaders and foreign royalty are expected to be among the guests at a lavish royal banquet in honour of the newlyweds in the Islamic sultanate on Sunday night, hosted by the bride’s father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 66.
This week’s festivities have included nightly vigils at the palace to bless the couple, but the monarchy will forgo a traditional public procession through the capital in the royal family’s gilded Rolls Royce.
Such weddings are typically a rare source of excitement in Brunei, which is known for its slow pace of life and lack of nightlife.
The wedding of Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah in 2004 attracted large crowds in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, and a guest list of over 2,000 people including members of the royal families of Japan, Jordan, Britain and Malaysia.
 
 
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, right, and Queen Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha have 12 children
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
 
Happy occasion: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, right, and Queen Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, who both looked delighted during the ceremony, have 12 children

 
Traditional: Brunei's Queen Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha applies ceremonial paste to Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah's hands during the week-long wedding festivitiesTraditional: Brunei's Queen Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha applies ceremonial paste to Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah's hands during the week-long wedding festivities

 
Father of the bride: Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah applies ceremonial paste to Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah in the first of his children's weddings since 2007 Father of the bride: Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah applies ceremonial paste to Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah in the first of his children's weddings since 2007

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2012年9月7日星期五

Each one killed with a single shot to the head: Family massacred in French Alps bore trademark of a professional hitman

Three adult members of a seemingly respectable family, each murdered with a single shot in the head.
A seven-year-old girl left with life-threatening injuries and her younger sister badly traumatised after somehow escaping  alive from a psychopathic killer. 
A cyclist who is believed to have witnessed the bloodbath mercilessly assassinated.
Such barbarity would be shocking in some of the world’s most lawless countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia...
But for it to happen in a car park near the tranquil shores of Lake Annecy in the French Alps makes the crime infinitely more difficult to comprehend.
And, crucially, much more difficult to solve.
What better location for a professional hit than in a remote area, with few if any witnesses likely to see the atrocity, with quick road access to airports in three countries – France, Italy and Switzerland, and even further afield.
As French police launched an extensive manhunt to find the killer or killers, investigators were officially keeping an open mind about the motive for the crime and who might have been behind it.
The ruthless efficiency with which the murders were carried out suggested strongly that Saad Al-Hilli, his wife Ikbal and the rest of his family were specific targets, and the cyclist killed because he saw too much.
Pictures of the murder scene – in an isolated forest car park, 2.5 miles from the nearest village – show how the BMW was hit with automatic fire before the victims were finished off at point-blank range.
Had Mr Al-Hilli and his family been targeted in the UK, police would probably have had access to CCTV footage and data from number-plate recognition cameras, in their hunt for the killer’s escape vehicle.
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How the brutal slaying of the family in the French Alps unfolded

But in Chevaline there has never been any need for security cameras, another possible clue that the killer may have carefully researched the best place, in terms of escaping detection, to commit the crimes.
A quick look at a local map shows he could have been out of France within minutes of the murders on Wednesday, possibly boarding a plane from Geneva within two hours.
 

Or perhaps he elected to drive several hours across Europe. Several witnesses reported seeing a car speeding away from the scene near Albertville, in France’s Haute-Savoie region, close to the Italian and Swiss borders, around the time of the attack.
No arrests were made in the immediate aftermath of the attack, nor did police report the discovery of any weapon.
Bullet-ridden: Police gather evidence from the BMW estate where Saad Al-Hilli and his family was massacred by a suspected assassin in the French Alps
Bullet-ridden: Police gather evidence from the BMW estate where Saad Al-Hilli and his family was massacred by a suspected assassin
Delayed reaction: Several hours after police arrived on scene, Mr Al-Hilli's four-year-old daughter Zeena was found alive huddling under her mother's legs inside the car
Delayed reaction: Several hours after police arrived on scene, Mr Al-Hilli's four-year-old daughter Zeena was found alive huddling under her mother's legs inside the car
Crime scene: French gendarme police escort the car involved in the shooting of a British family away from the area
Crime scene: French gendarme police escort the car involved in the shooting of the British family away from the area
But 15 spent, automatic pistol cartridges were found at the scene. ‘It was clearly an act of extreme savagery and it was obvious that whoever did this wanted to kill,’ said French prosecutor Eric Maillaud.
If Mr Al-Hilli’s family were deliberately targeted, police will want to establish how the killer knew where they were. Did he wait outside their campsite before ambushing them in the countryside?
The Iraqi-born British businessman’s commercial activities and political affiliations in his homeland will also be key lines of inquiry.
The bodies being taken away from the scene in a private ambulance escorted by police
The bodies being taken away from the scene in a private ambulance escorted by police

Tragedy: French police on guard near the site of the brutal slaying
Tragedy: French police on guard near the site of the brutal slaying

London link: The home of Saad Al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey
London link: The home of Saad Al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey
But French police, whose track record in investigating the murders of British nationals makes uncomfortable reading, would be foolish to rule out other possible explanations.
Already there has been speculation that the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity linked to drugs.
Another theory is that shots could have been fired during a bungled armed robbery, with the dead cyclist being a witness to the crime. Reports suggest the same gang may have carried out previous attacks.
Another possibility is that the crimes were racially motivated, or that the gunman is mentally ill.
The French prosecutor described the carnage as being like something seen in a film.
In most crime movies, the killer is finally brought to justice. If this was a professional hit, it will be a serious challenge for the French police to live up to that script.
The little Venice of the Alps

VIDEO: British PM David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande cow to do all they can... 



Journey to the centre of the earth: British climbers drop nearly 4,000 feet into cave once dubbed 'world's deadliest' to capture haunting images of world within a world

Once feared by explorers as a killer cave where all but the most daring feared to tread these pictures show how humans have triumphed over the underworld.

At 3,680-feet deep (about two-thirds of a mile) six people, including one-female Briton have died while exploring the Gouffre Berger limestone cave in south eastern France.

It was the first cave to be explored over 1,000 metres under the surface of the Earth and was named after the man who discovered it - Frenchman Joseph Berger.
caver ascends the Gouffre Berger
Into the abyss: The Gouffre Berger limestone cave in south eastern France was the first over 1,000 metres deep to be explored 

The Gouffre Berger cave
Subterranean wonder: Six people have died accessing the underground lakes and labyrinthine caves

Awaiting a ride in HMS Badger 1
Teamwork: A caver awaits a ride in HMS Badger 1 at the bottom of Scialet des Fees Anglaises in the Gouffre Berger
But now these stunning pictures show how safe the once deadly caves can be - with a huge group of 200-cavers descending in one huge expedition captured by British photographer Robbie Shone, 32, from Manchester.
'These cavers are adventurers descending for the thrill of it," said Robbie. 'This cave used to be considered dangerous but is now far more accessible to cavers.
'Because of how significant Gouffre Berger is in the history of caving reaching the bottom is a rite of passage for many inexperienced cavers.
Chris Blakeley climbs Puit Aldos
Setting off: Chris Blakeley climbs down Puit Aldos, one of the entrances to the feared Gouffre Berger

turquoise pool of water in The Gouffre Berger
World within a world:  This caver's grueling descent is rewarded with this stunning view of an underwater pool

Caver Sarah Payne
Martin Holroyd tackles the narrow section called the Meanders
Challenging: Sarah Payne, left, tackles the rope traverse at the head of Puit Aldo while Martin Holroyd, right, tackles a narrow section called the Meanders
'It's possible to get to the bottom in a day but I camped for three days so I could spend time on my pictures.'

Cavers, many of whom were British, used ropes to rappel down vertical shafts and swam across hauntingly beautiful underground lakes.

The adventurers were dwarfed by mighty formations as they used lanterns to navigate the huge caverns.
 

'There are sheer drops to descend,' said Robbie. 'As well as passages flooded with water. Once the bottom is reached there's a real sense of being someone very deep underground.
'There are the initials of the original explorers in the last flooded cavern. That's the end for dry cavers - those who don't cave dive underwater.
'After that if you want to go further you have to pull on diving gear and explore the totally flooded tunnels.'
British cavers kit up on the Sornin Plateau
Last minute preparations: A group of 200-cavers descending in one huge expedition captured by British photographer Robbie Shone

Chris Blakeley climbs Puit Aldos
Careful: Chris Blakeley climbs a section called Puit Aldos. Six people have died exploring the cave

Cavers crawl in the only crawling area
Rare sediment deposit in The Grand Canyon in the Gouffre Berger cave
Tight squeeze: Cavers crawl through a 10 metre stretch but other sections have lofty, cavernous spaces
First discovered in 1953 it was the deepest known cave at the time - and has a rich history of British achievement with the world record for the deepest cave dive going to British diver Peter Watkinson and his team in 1967.
Watkinson and other team members received international acclaim for reaching the deepest point possible on foot and then completing a perilous 130-feet underwater dive.
Because of Gouffre Berger's limestone walls water can penetrate the cave is liable to flooding after heavy rainfall, which caused five of the deaths, including Briton Nicole Dollimore from Oxford in 1996.
Cavers climb along a short ledge in The Great Gallery
Cavernous: First discovered in 1953 it was the deepest known cave at the time

James Alker swims through the Psuedo Sithon
Flood fears: Because of Gouffre Berger's limestone walls water can quickly penetrate the cave after heavy rainfall