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Bright and Brief

August 7, 1985

PARIS (AP) _ What are all those Britons celebrating?

In the first six months of this year, they’ve boosted their champagne consumption by almost 50 percent, allowing the United Kingdom to overtake the United States as the biggest export market for the sparkling French wine.

That adds up to seven million bottles of bubbly in the first half of 1985, according to statistics published Wednesday by the Champagne producers’ association. Sales to the United States amounted to 5.3 million bottles.

Industry analysts were baffled as to the reason for the surge in British consumption, though one, thinking of Britain’s recent economic problems, half- jokingly suggested that the Champagne sales might be inversely proportional to a country’s morale.

If so, where does that leave the French?

According to the figures, they bought 49.6 million bottles of champagne in the first half of this year, down slightly from last year when the industry contributed to the nation’s joie de vivre with the equivalent of two bottles for every French man, woman and child.

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - Alice Juett and Cordelia Cottrell say they like their new neighbor. But they could do without the flies attracted by Mike the Clydesdale. And then there’s the question of the odors ...

The horse, intended to pull tourists in a restored carriage on tours of historic downtown Fort Smith, moved into a newly built stable and hay barn next door to Mrs. Juett three weeks ago. Now, Mrs. Juett and Mrs. Cottrell say he has to be moved.

Mike’s owner, Phil White, says he paid $12,000 for the horse and carriage, and he plans to begin operating his tour business once the controversy is over.

The city Planning Commission says White needs a variance and two permits to keep Mike in his present quarters.

White has applied for the variance and hopes it will be approved at the commission’s Aug. 16 meeting. Mrs. Cottrell and Mrs. Juett, who have lived in the neighborhood for more than eight years, say they’ll be at that meeting.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Cottrell says, they’ve grown to like Mike. ″He’s like a big overgrown dog - he’s so lovable.″

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