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‘French CNN’ to bow in ’05

Gov't may announce E30 mil investment by end of week

PARIS — Gaul’s 24-hour news channel, dubbed the “French CNN,” could get a long-awaited greenlight in the next few days for a 2005 launch.

Project has been held up for more than a year by squabbling among France’s public service news organizations over which should be involved.

But President Jacques Chirac is impatient to see the web up and running, and Gallic officials said Tuesday that the government could announce before the end of this week that an initial E30 million ($40 million) of public money has been earmarked for it.

Instead of trying to incorporate foreign news services ranging from Radio France Intl. to Agence France Presse, the government is expected to stick to the originally proposed joint venture between leading commercial broadcaster TF1 and pubcaster France Televisions.

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