Amid ongoing concern about the risks of terrorism around the world, France has reduced its own terror alert status to the lowest level, saying that the risk of terrorist attacks in France has diminished. The country has been on alert since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. and raised its alert level in May after suicide bombings in Casablanca.

Using FranceÂ’s favorite method for making a point, the countryÂ’s 34,000 tobacconists have gone on strike to protest increases in cigarette taxes. Prices have been raised by half in the past year in an effort to discourage smoking, and tobacconists fear that they may be run out of business. Cigarette prices in France are now the third highest in Europe, behind Norway and the U.K.