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French and local news Wednesday 20.12.17

 

Letter from London-The British Prime Minister Theresa May has written a letter to British nationals living in Europe in which she says that from the very beginning of the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union she has been consistently clear that protecting the rights of both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU is her first priority.

Mrs May writes that she made it clear from the start that any deal guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK would be dependent on such an offer being reciprocated for UK nationals in remaining member states.

The Prime Minister says that she’s delighted to announce that in concluding the first phase of negotiations,that is exactly what we’ve achieved.

The letter goes on to say that your rights as residents in the EU will be protected in the Withdrawal Agreement,so that you will be able to receive healthcare rights,pension and other benefits provided as you do today and concludes that  the constructive way in which these talks have been conducted gives me confidence  that we will achieve a final deal that reflects the strong partnership between the UK and our European partners.

The Prime Minister signs off by wishing  all British nationals living in the EU and their families a great Christmas  and a very happy New Year.

 

Suicide attempt-A 40 year old woman has attempted to commit suicide by jumping out of the window of her apartment on the rue Auguste-Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Police,who were in the area to oversee the morning school run rushed to the woman’s aid on Tuesday morning after she jumped out of the window on the second floor of the building.

She was taken to Pasteur hospital in Nice suffering from leg and back injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

People with depression are urged to discuss their problems in confidence before taking drastic action.

SOS Suicide Phenix has many offices around France and can be reached locally on 06 77 20 59 45.

 

Serial burglar-A man has appeared in court in Toulon charged with committing 26 separate acts of burglary.

The 24 year old was arrested last year following a spate of break-ins and car thefts in the area between Bormes-les-Mimosas and Le Lavandou.

Most of the crimes were committed in the summer of last year with several vehicles stolen.

The case continues.

 

Winter Sales-The winter sales in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var will be held between the 10th of January and the 20th of February.

Retailers have already been discounting heavily in the run-up to Christmas with sales reported as ‘brisk’ across the region.

The French National Statistics Office INSEE reported recently that consumer confidence has risen strongly in the 4th quarter.

 

Wintry conditions-Patches of ice and fallen rock have been causing a number of  road accidents over the past few days with motorists urged to drive prudently.

On Tuesday,a car ended up on its roof after sliding on ice on the RD98 between Cogolin and La Mole in the Var.

Temperatures have been falling well below freezing in many areas over the past few nights with the cold snap expected to continue until the end of the week at least.

 

Traffic nightmare-Residents in the Pasteur area of Nice have formed a committee to try and force local authorities to act on that they describe as “ intolerable traffic conditions”

Residents from Pasteur,Saint-Pons and the Corniche Frere-Marc have written to Nice city hall to say that something must be done to reduce congestion and cut down on dangerous driving.

The area has major road links to the A8 and inland areas and residents cite numerous speeding vehicles and flagrant illegal parking,often in double lines as issues that need to be urgently addressed.They also say that many motorists illegally use their car horns at night which is disturbing sleep for many.

 

What’s in a name ?-Residents in the south of France are being reminded that the area is now known as ‘Region Sud’ and not the ‘Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur’.

The regional council has recently voted on the name change although,somewhat confusingly,the full title of the new name is Region Sud Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur.

The president of the regional council,Renaud Muselier was the driving force behind the name change after describing the acronym PACA as “meaning nothing and devaluing the area”.

The region is made up from 6 departments,the Alpes-Maritimes,Var,Bouches-du-Rhone,Alpes-de-Haut-Provence and Hautes-Alpes.

Mr Muselier says that the new name has been chosen to describe “the sun,sea,mountains and good living”.He thinks it will help boost the region’s image.

 

In National News.

 

Property sales up-The association of French notaries has said that sales of existing property rose by 15.5 percent in the 12 months to the end of September.

The Paris region saw sales increase  by 15.1 percent with more than 181,000 properties changing hands.Sales in provincial France rose by 15.6 percent to 770,100.

The professional estate agents body the FNAIM has projected total property sales for the year at 986,000.

Competitive interest rates and the Pinel and PTZ laws are seen as part of the reason for the increase with increasing numbers of French residents putting their faith in bricks and mortar.

Prices have increased by as much as 12.1 percent in Bordeaux thanks to its new high-speed rail link to the French capital while the price increase in Nice was far more modest at between 2 and 5  percent depending on the desirability of the property and area.

 

More police !- Despite the popularity of President Macron increasing sharply in the latest opinion polls,one area where French people think he’s not doing a proper job is in daily policing requirements for the country.

An opinion poll carried out by Fiducial/Oxoda for Le Figaro has shown that 90 percent of the public wants to see community policing beefed up substantially.

The poll found that 70 percent had no confidence in the government’s ability to reduce crime particularly burglary and assault while 66 said that they didn’t feel safe in France.

The government has promised to increase the police presence across the country with the Interior Minister Gerard Colomb due to make an announcement in the new year.

 

Business

 

US Congressional Republicans hit a snag last night as their attempt to pass the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years required them to hold another vote today delaying what’s still likely to be President Trump’s first major piece of legislative success.

The Republican controlled House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday afternoon and then sent it to the Senate.

However, an official then ruled that three provisions of the House bill did not comply with Senate rules.

The Senate is voting on an amended bill and is expected to send it back to the House for another vote today.If approved,the bill will then be sent to President Trump to sign into law.

The bill’s main components include big tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals which have been heavily criticised by opposition Democrats who say that the new tax laws will only benefit the rich.

 

The BBC is reporting that the Bank of England is to unveil plans allowing European Banks to operate in the UK as normal post-Brexit.

Under the plans,banks offering wholesale finance would operate under existing rules.That would allow them to continue to offer money and services to businesses as well as each other.

The Bank will say that the rules will apply even in a “no deal” scenario.

The proposals would mean that EU banks operating through branches in the UK can continue without creating subsidiaries.

 

And-YouTube has signed a multi-year agreement with Universal Music  as it continues with plans to expand its subscription business.

The deal follows a similar agreement reached with Warner Music in May.

Universal Music Group which represents artists including Taylor Swift and Jay-Z said that the deal would provide its musicians with more flexibility and pay.

Bloomberg is reporting today that the latest deal comes ahead of YouTube’s launch of a new paid music service in the spring of next year.

Sport.

 

Football-Pep Guardiola has played down Manchester City’s chances of pulling off the quadruple after his side scraped through to the semi-finals of the League Cup last night after beating Leicester on penalties.

The other quarter final tie last night ended Arsenal 1 West Ham 0.

The remaining two quarter final ties are being played tonight.Chelsea play Bournemouth and Bristol City of the Championship host Manchester United.

Athletics-The World champion sprinter Justin Gatlin has said that he’s “shocked and surprised” at doping allegations made against his coach and agent.

Athletics anti-doping officials have launched an investigation into what the president of the IAAF Lord Sebastien Coe described as “serious allegations” on Monday.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper first reported that Robert Wagner,an agent linked to Gatlin had offered to supply “illicit supply performance-enhancing-drugs” to undercover reporters while the athlete’s coach Dennis Mitchell said that competitors are able to get away with doping because the drugs that they use can’t be detected by tests.

Both men deny the allegations.

Cricket-Ben Duckett has been left out of the England Lions squad to tour the West Indies in February and March next year.

The batsman was suspended for pouring a drink over James Anderson in a Perth bar while on tour with the Lions in Australia.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that disciplinary action means that he’ll miss the tour.

Tennis-Marion Bartoli is to return to the WTA tour next season after coming out of retirement.

The 33 year old won Wimbledon in 2013 and retired in the same year after citing personal injury.

She’ll make her comeback at the Miami Open in March.

Rugby Union-England’s injury problems are mounting ahead of the 6 Nations with both Elliot Daly and Nathan Hughes rated as doubtful for the opening match against Italy on February the 3rd.

Both players picked up injuries while playing for Wasps against La Rochelle last weekend in the European Champions Cup.

 

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 11 degrees.

Overnight lows of 4 degrees on the coast and -3 degrees inland with a widespread frost.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 11-13 degrees.

 

Finally.

Canadians spent about C$6bn  on cannabis in 2015 - almost as much as they did on wine.

The estimate comes from Canada's bureau of statistics, which studied marijuana consumption between 1960 and 2015.

The government has promised to research the drug's affect on the economy and society as it ramps up its plans to legalise cannabis next summer.

The report also found that use has gone up over the years as it has become more popular with adults.

In the 1960s and 1970s cannabis was primarily consumed by young people, according to Statistics Canada.

But in 2015, only 6% of 15-17 year olds smoked cannabis recreationally, compared to two thirds of adults over 25.

Canadians consumed about 697.5 tonnes of cannabis in 2015.

 

 

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