Flooding after heavy rain storms hits Pas-de-Calais in northern France | AFP

Ten municipalities in the Pas-de-Calais region were hit by flooding on Monday night following heavy rain storms that caused the Liane River to burst its banks. The river flows into the English Channel at Boulogne-sur-Mer. In Saint-Etienne-au-Mont, 10 people were evacuated and 120 homes were affected. IMAGES

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US swimmer criss-crosses English Channel in 54-hour feat | AFP

An American breast cancer survivor became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times non-stop in a 54-hour feat of endurance. Sarah Thomas, 37, an open water marathon swimmer from the US state of Colorado, can be seen in a video posted to Facebook arriving at Dover on the southern English coast with a group of supporters cheering her on.

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Frenchman achieves ‘dream’ of first hoverboard Channel crossing | AFP

A French daredevil who spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard zooms across the English Channel, fulfilling his quest after pulling off a tricky refuelling manoeuvre that cut short his first attempt 10 days ago. Franky Zapata blasted off on his “Flyboard” from Sangatte on the northern coast of France at 8:17 am (0617 GMT) for the 35-kilometre (22-mile) trip to St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover. of the landing

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Frenchman attempts to fly across channel

French television is reporting that a man who tried to cross the English Channel on a homemade “flyboard” has failed in his attempt. (July 25)

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“Flying man” Franky Zapata practices ahead of Channel crossing | AFP

French inventor Franky Zapata practices on his jet-powered “flyboard ahead of a daring attempt later this week to soar across the English Channel. The former jet-skiing champion has pledged to go ahead on Thursday on his device, which can reach speeds up to 190 kilometres an hour (118 mph). IMAGES

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Paratroopers perform tribute jump on eve of D-Day anniversary | AFP

On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, paratroopers leap out of C-47 aircraft over the English Channel, in tribute to the soldiers who participated in the Allied Landings in Normandy on 6 June 6 1944. IMAGES

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AP with D-Day vet as he speaks to French students

D-Day veteran Ray Lambert told French students he still hears voices when he looks out on the English Channel. AP is following the 98-year-old D-Day vet as he returns to France. Lambert says kids are the key to history never repeating itself. (June 4)

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Cardiff striker Sala missing after suspected plane crash

British Premier League club Cardiff City’s record new signing, Argentina-born striker Emiliano Sala, was on board a light aircraft that disappeared over the English Channel on Monday night, police sources say.

Why James Blunt Is Campaigning For Sustainable Fishing

James Blunt is best known as a singer, but he’s also an outspoken advocate for ocean conservation. Blunt sat down with Jim Edwards, editor-in-chief of Business Insider UK, to discuss why he’s campaigning for sustainable fishing and why he is a spokesperson for the Blue Marine Foundation.

Following is a transcript of the video:

James Blunt: 90% of the larger fish in the ocean are gone. We’ve taken them through overfishing, unsustainable overfishing.

Jim Edwards: You’re known as a singer obviously, and a surprisingly dangerous and funny presence on Twitter. But you’re less well known for your interest in fish, how did you first become interested in ocean conservation?

James Blunt: My father was based in Cyprus, he was in the army and so I grew up on and in the Mediterranean. I live in Ibiza now and have done for 14 years and I call it my home, and as such, I can really see the changes that have happened there over my lifetime. I think anyone who goes on holiday in the Mediterranean will ask the same question as me when you jump in the water, which is where are the fish? I mean there are so few now compared to when I was a child I think people really recognize that plastics are a problem, we go into our supermarkets now and I hope that we’re all more aware that by purchasing goods covered in plastics it will end up with them being in the ocean. But I think people have realised that is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem. The problem is not just plastics, but climate and also our huge amount of overfishing in an unsustainable manner. 

Jim Edwards: What is the single worst thing that’s happening in the sea right now?

James Blunt: I don’t think you have to look very far, in Dogger Bank which you will have heard about from the weather reports. Dogger Bank is where we’re supposed to have one of Europe’s largest marine conservation areas and instead what’s going on there is this remarkable thing, this terrible thing called pulse fishing, where they literally send a pulse down into the seabed. In doing so that snaps the spines of larger fish, kills up to a quarter of the young cod and indiscriminately kills all marine life on the seabed, in the mud and is destroying an ecosystem.

Jim Edwards: So they’re literally just electrocuting the sea?

James Blunt: Absolutely and it sounds as bad as it is.

Jim Edwards: So who’s at fault for all this, who’s doing this type of fishing?

James Blunt: Well I think we’re not talking about small fishing boats in the English Channel, we’re talking about large-scale industrial fishing which is literally going with enormous great nets and taking everything they can out of the ocean. 

Jim Edwards: So shouldn’t we just eat less fish?

James Blunt: Well I think if we continue to in the way that we have there simply won’t be any fish at the end of it but I think the answer for us is to question where our fish is coming from and ask, is it from sustainable sources, is it locally-sourced? 

Jim Edwards: So, who’s standing in the way of this?

James Blunt: I don’t think anyone’s standing in the way of it, it’s just about action or inaction. Sometimes we can be focused on other things we just need to focus our minds and focus our pressure on ourselves, on business, on governments to act on this.

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Why James Blunt Is Campaigning For Sustainable Fishing

Migrant Emergency: UK and France struggle to stem tide of immigrants using English Channel

Britain and France say they are to increase joint patrols in an effort against illegal immigration into the UK after an unexpected rise in refugees arriving in Britain across the English Channel over the past two weeks.

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More and more migrants try to cross English Channel by boat

French authorities dismantled the “Jungle” migrant camp at the end of 2016, but the port of Calais continues to attract people desperate to reach the UK by any means possible. Recently, there has been a spate of attempts to cross the English Channel by boat, a risky process which requires navigating one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, often under the cover of darkness while trying to escape detection.

Money well spent? Royal Navy $1.7mn Russian fleet escort mission

A Royal Navy operation to monitor a Russian fleet of warships as it sailed through the English Channel last year cost taxpayers £1.4 million ($1.76 million). RT’s correspondent Laura Smith has the story.

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NATO, EU ships ‘mark’ Russian fleet as it passes through English Channel

NATO and EU ships were put on full alert along the British coast as a Russian naval fleet passed through the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean.

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UK Navy pledges to ‘man-mark’ passing Russian fleet

Britain’s navy has pledged to keep her shores ‘safe’ as a Russian fleet passes the British Isles bound for the Mediterranean Sea.

The aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ will be accompanied by a number of smaller vessels and it is not yet clear if it will move through the North Sea and English Channel or pass Britain via the west of Ireland.

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UK to build €2.3mn concrete wall around Calais camp to keep migrants out

Britain will soon begin building a “big, new wall” at a cost of £2 million (€2.3mn/$2.6mn) in an attempt to halt the flow of migrants and refugees crossing the English Channel, Britain’s new immigration minister has confirmed.

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Heighted Security: Border checks cause traffic jam for cars, trucks at English Channel

Travelers seeking to cross the English Channel to enter France were facing severe delays on Saturday because of heightened French security checks.

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Who Would Migrants Vote For? – The British Election

British politics hasn’t been this concerned with immigration for decades. As the general election looms, UKIP, a controversial right-wing political party, is predicted to woo one in 10 voters due to its uncompromising anti-immigration policy — which includes only accepting Christian refugees. Even the left-leaning Labour party has made controls on immigration a central point of its manifesto.

For more than 10 years, Calais, a port town in the north of France, has been a stop off point for migrants and refugees seeking a better life in the UK. Surviving in shantytowns and squats, they risk their lives scrambling onto moving trucks in an effort to get into Britain illegally.

VICE News travelled to Calais to see what life is like in this limbo overlooking the English Channel — and find out who the migrants and refugees would vote for if they could participate in the election.

Watch “Behind the Political Spin: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1QiWfih

Read “‘England’s Most Precious Institution’: Election Battle Lines Are Drawn Over the UK’s Beloved Health Service” – http://bit.ly/1E5i25q

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Migrant Crisis in Calais: Britain’s Border War (Dispatch 1)

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Refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, and Eritrea steadily descend on a migrant camp in the French coastal town of Calais. They hope to gain entry to the UK, just 21 miles away across the English Channel. But in May, French police destroyed their camp and told the migrants to go elsewhere. And so they moved… across the street. With the few tents and blankets they’re able to salvage, the refugees formed the Salam camp, which now holds about 400 people.

Every night, the migrants — many of whom have been forced to flee war and conflict in their home countries — attempt to sneak aboard trucks headed for Britain; eight migrants have already died this year while trying to make the journey. Inside Salam, things have gotten so bad that some occupants are hunger striking in an attempt to draw attention to their plight. But the French authorities do little to help, while the UK government turns a blind eye.

VICE News spent time in the Salam camp to find out why hundreds of displaced people are being allowed to live in squalor — and even die.

Watch Dispatch 2: http://bit.ly/1s3YGwI

Migrants in France Are Threatening to Set Themselves on Fire: http://bit.ly/1lAhydl

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