French and Riviera News Friday 3rd May 2019

Local

Farmer dies in accident - A 47 year old farmer and father of four has been killed after the tractor he was driving fell several meters landing on top of him leaving him trapped underneath. The accident occurred in Blausasc situated between Peillon and Berre Les Alpes in the hills behind Nice. Emergency services were unable to save the victim and the mayor of Blausasc confirmed the death and paid respect to the victim calling it “a terrible accident” claiming the life “of a charming man”.

The jewel of the Mediterranean under threat - Nine associations in Corsica are calling for urgent action from the government to save the Scandola reserve. Located in Southern Corsica, with its 1,000 hectares at sea and its rare protected species, the Scandola is considered to be the “jewel of the Mediterranean”. However the reserve is now threatened by the influx of tourists threatening the wildlife due to noise and pollution. The associations are requesting new measures be put in place to control the number of visitors and a restriction of the number of boats allowed to penetrate in the area.

Road accident paralyzes Voie Mathis in Nice - A collision between a minibus, a truck and two cars has caused chaos on the Voie Mathis in Nice. The accident happened on Thursday afternoon at Les Bosauets Magnan eastbound completely paralyzing the dual carriageway for several hours. Emergency services intervened reporting that 7 people had been injured with 5 needing hospital treatment. The circumstances of the accident remain unclear as police continue the investigation.

Speed cameras - Meanwhile according to reports this morning there will be no new speed cameras installed in the Alpes Maritimes until the end of 2020 as authorities are focusing on the repairing those which have been damaged as part of the “yellow vest” movement. While the news may be good for some motorists, figures have shown an increase in the number of speeding offences in the region with 2% of offences committed exceeding 50km an hour seeing those speeding driving at 160km/hr instead of the 110.

The consumption of alcohol has been banned in the Ardèche gorges until the end of September. The order by the prefect, which covers both hikers and boat users in the region, said that the measure was intended to prevent accidents due to drunkenness and to avoid fights and dangerous behaviour.  Regular checks will be carried out and penalties levied on those in violation of the order. 

Extended Monaco – During the opening presentation of “Extended Monaco” his Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco declared a “new phase of our history, to redefine our landmarks and our habits, in the hope that the entire Monegasque community will come together around the project”. “Extended Monaco” a digital transition, intends to push the capacities and borders of the Principality “while remaining human, dynamic and faithful to our transitions”. “Extended Monaco” aims to bring Monaco into the digital world to develop new sources of income and promote a new economy. Examples such as “cleantech”, technologies that use natural resources and “real estate tech”, the environment around the real estate market. As well as the development of autonomous vehicles, with a test phase expected in the summer, along with the launch of 5G and the first e-health platform, to be launched in the fall with the possibility of making appointments with all medical professionals in four languages.

Cannes Film Festival - The Cannes Film Festival has announced that Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood is going to be presented in competition at this year’s festival. The film is Tarantino’s ninth feature film and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. It’s understood that some of the actors will also be present at the festival.

National

European Elections – With just one month to go before the European Elections a recent poll has shown that the National Rally tops the poll with 22.5% ahead of the Republic en Marche with 21.5%. The poll published on Thursday shows that the far right National Rally party have in one week gained one and a half points with their main opposition the Republic en Marche losing one.

French in favour of new “civil service” bill - Meanwhile a second survey published on Thursday has shown that a majority of French poeple support the main reforms presented by the government's "civil service" bill yet they do not wish to see the number of civil servants reduced. More than eight in ten French people (85%) are in favor of increasing the weekly working time of French civil servants, which is currently less than 35 hours. The reduction in the number of civil servants over a five-year period was part of Emmanuel Macron's campaign promises. But at his press conference on April 25th, the president said he was ready to "abandon" this goal.

Leonardo da Vinci 500th anniversary - French president Emmanuel Macron and his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella have paid their respects to the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci with a visit to the Clos Lucé in Amboise where da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. Leonardo da Vinci's died in France on May 2nd, 1519, and this year marks the 500th anniversary. The joint celebrations follow months of diplomatic differences between Paris and Rome over the policies of Italy's populist government and its support for France's anti-government Yellow Vest protesters. At one point during the deteriorating relations, France briefly recalled its ambassador from Rome.

Business

The billionaire investor Warren Buffett has said that his Berkshire Hathaway firm has been buying Amazon stock for the first time.

Mr Buffett said that the purchasing of Amazon had been done by one of his investment managers  and that details would be reported later this month at Berkshire’s quarterly report on its US stock holdings.

The purchase of Amazon stocks marks a U-turn for Mr Buffett  who has resisted buying although he’s been a fan of the firm’s chief executive Jeff Bezos.

Shares of companies often rise when Berkshire reveals its support through new stakes.

The Amazon purchase adds an additional bond between Mr Buffett and Mr Bezos  whose firms teamed up last year with JP Morgan Chase to form the new Haven venture which is a vehicle aimed at reducing employees healthcare costs.

 

Shares in the vegan burger maker Beyond Meat have soared on their Wall Street debut as investors bet on the increasing popularity of plant-based foods.

Beyond Meat stock climbed 163 percent on its first day of trading, valuing the firm at nearly 3.8 billion dollars.

The firm’s shares were priced at 25 dollars each on the first day of trading and closed at 65 dollars 75.

Beyond Meat says that it has aggressive plans to expand outside the United States and the money raised from the listing will give the company the financial firepower to compete with rivals.

 

And-Barclays has seen off an attempt by a rebel investor to join the board.

Only 12.8 percent of shareholders backed a bid by Edward Bramson to become a director of the board.

Mr Bramson wants Barclays to shrink its investment  bank to boost returns.

The bank says that its performance is improving with earnings rebounding by 15 percent last year.

Sport

Football-Arsenal and Chelsea were both in action in the semi-finals of the Europa League last night.

Arsenal beat Valencia 3-1 at the Emirates in the first leg of their tie while Pedro scored what could be a vital away goal for Chelsea against  Eintracht Frankfurt with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.

In the English Premier League this weekend,there’s one game tonight with Everton against Burnley.

On Saturday Bournemouth play Spurs.West Ham host Southampton.Wolves play Fulham.Cardiff have a must win game against Crystal Palace and Newcastle play Liverpool.

On Sunday Chelsea play Watford.Huddersfield play Manchester United and Arsenal play Brighton.

Manchester City play Leicester on Monday.

Cricket-The England director of cricket Ashley Giles has said that Alex Hales would still be part of the squad if his suspension had not become public.

Hales was dropped after the Guardian newspaper reported that he’d been suspended for 21 days for recreational drug use.

Giles said that the fact that the story entered the public domain meant that the player had to be dropped rightly or wrongly.

Rugby Union-There are two games in the Gallagher Premiership tonight. Bristol play Sale and Harlequins host Leicester.

Golf-Rory McIlroy shares the lead  following the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

McIlroy fired a first round 5 under par 66 to share the lead with John Dahmen of the United States.

Martin Laird of Scotland has a share of second place.

Weather

Sunshine and showers with moderate westerly winds in the Var.

Top temperature 19  degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with some showers in places.

The weekend-Sunshine and occasional showers.Highs of 18-21 degrees.

Finally 

When you think of sexy accents, which ones come to mind? 

Maybe its the Italian accent, or  French , which only deserves its title of "the language of love".

But  an extensive poll looking into the world's sexiest accents ranked the New Zealand or "Kiwi" accent in first place.

According to an extensive poll conducted by Big 7 Travel, the Kiwi accent is "outrageously charming", and officially the sexiest in the world. 

On their website, the travel company announced that the accent is even above its Australian cousin.

 

 

 

 

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