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The majority of these stolen pieces of houses were exported to Belgium, Italy, Great Britain and even the United States, where they are thought to have fetched prices of from $8,000 to $40,000 each. Investigations are continuing.

Interns Out for Third Week

While the A2-TV news photo shows people who look like hospital people in what looks like a hospital room, interns were joined by doctors in Thursday's street demonstration in Paris.

As usual police reported 3,000 marchers and the labor organizers claimed 20,000. All the same, the tail of the marchers was composed of Interns still on strike ordinary hospital workers, most of whom are organized by the regular unions.

There have been on and off 'negotiations' on a nearly non-stop basis, but neither the government nor the strikers are budging a centimetre. Next demo is slated for Sunday, 13. April and independent doctors, and 13 labor organizations are supposed to take part in it.

While medical workers are unlikely to cause problems for visitors, bank employees are getting ready for another round of labor actions. The government has said that it will suspend a 1937 decree, which limits banking days to five per week.

With the decree lifted, banks would be allowed, in theory, to operate seven days a week. This would cause employees to have irregular hours, and they object to this. Some banks are now operating 'robot' branches seven days a week; with ATMs, which permit a variety of operations in addition to cash withdrawals.

In the Ile-de-France, banks in Paris are generally open from Monday to Friday. Outside of Paris, banks are more likely to be open from Tuesday to Saturday. Post office banks are generally open from Monday to Saturday noon. Le Poste's ATMs accept all the usual plastic, by the way.

Outside of the Ile-de-France, ATMs are not nearly so widespread, so be sure to stock up on enough cash to get through a weekend that may include Monday

Like Beetlebomb, Here Comes the Sports News

Sunday Update:- This morning as I am staggering drowsily into my clothes, the radio station France-Info is blaring, "...at the two-hour mark the fastest runners are crossing the finish line of the ZZth Paris Marathon, following the leader, ...zzzKXtzz... by zplaxt minutes..." and my brain kicked over a half-revolution The sports news that wasn't and remembered the plugs I was giving to the marathon back in December; when there was deadline for entering it.

While eating breakfast, radio FIP didn't say anything about it that I could hear. The weekend sports roundup is at 17:45 on A2-TV and the marathon report came on within ten minutes and lasted about 45 seconds, but did not show the winner nor mention his name (so far as I could hear).

The big evening news on A2-TV at 20:00 had a much longer report and the video-cut was better, but it didn't show the winner either, or mention the winning time. The last finishers crossed the line about six hours after the start - which was at 9:00 this morning, I believe.

During the day I set sheets of paper and pens around the flat in case there was any impromptu news on the marathon, and I believe I once got the time as being XYZ seconds? minutes? slower than last years,' but I don't know last years' time either. Now I can't find any of these notes and the pens have been 'disappeared.'

Saturday's Le Parisien seems to have no pre-report about the marathon, although I think I heard there were some really big-name, serious contenders entered.

I am telling you all this nothing because I think it is odd that there can be a major sporting event with 20,000 contestants - not spectators: contestants! - and they tie up a world super-city for half a day - and the 'score' seems to be of no importance whatsoever to local news organizations.

As a protest, I think I will boycott the World Cup matches in Paris next year. Of better yet, here are the scores for all World Cup games next year: all games, zero-zero, in sudden-death overtime shootouts.

Final *** Monday update:- First-time Paris Marathon runner, the Kenyan John Kembol scooped up a surprise victory on Sunday, with a time of 2h10'14." This was 11 seconds off the rocord time set in 1992. The favorite and expected-to-win, Swartbooi from Nambia, finished but his place has not been given. The first woman across the line was Russia's Helena Razdroguina, and her time was not given either. I thank Monday's edition of Le Parisien for the information.

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