If you love the smell of arson in the morning, we hope you were somewhere in France on New Year's Day. That's when you could have awoken to the charred skeletons of 940 vehicles set alight the night before by restive youth and insurance fraudsters. That's down by either 12 percent or 21 percent from last year, depending on which numbers you go with: the French Interior Ministry said there were 1,193 blazing bolides last year, other outlets say the number was 'just' 1,067.

But hey, what's 126 smouldering husks entre amis? A double-digit decline in this kind of behavior is a good thing no matter what. It looks like the first time since 372 cars were set alight in 2008 that the number has come in below quadruple digits, but we can't be sure since ex-president Nikolas Sarkozy had a don't-ask-don't-tell policy about the issue for a few years. We still think the most startling statistic in all of this is that the government counters believe 80 percent of the fires are started by people looking to make an insurance claim, to which we say, Zut!


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