French and Riviera News.Friday.08.03.2019

Airport delays-Customs officers at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport have joined strike action being taken by colleagues at northern ports to protest over the effects of a no-deal Brexit.

Passengers are being advised to make extra time for journeys as officers are carrying out more rigorous passport checks for both arrivals and departures.

Customs officers are unhappy about the extra work load that they’ll be forced to undertake in the event of a no deal Brexit.There have been long queues of traffic at northern ports in the country this week as officers carry out extra checks.

 

Allergies-Health experts on the Cote d’Azur say that allergies due to high levels of pollen in the air are at maximum levels.

Pollen from Cypress trees is causing big problems for allergy sufferers  and the Alpes-Maritimes and Var are both in the “red zone” with levels due to mild temperatures and clear skies.

Allergy sufferers are advised not to walk anywhere near Cypress trees,to wear protective sunglasses when outside and to wash thoroughly including hair before going to bed.

A nasal spray can be used to rinse pollen out of the nose  with sufferers advised to take anti-histamine medication if symptoms become unbearable.

 

Italian rail strike-Delays to train services between Les Arcs and Ventimiglia are likely today owning to strike action called by Italian rail unions.

There will be no services to Ventimiglia or Menton Garavan today and delays along the line are expected.

In addition,an electrical fault on the line at Cannes is causing problems for passengers.Services are likely to be delayed as a result.

Further information is available by going to www.ter.sncf.com/paca

 

Jail strikes-Prison guards in the region are continuing to protest following a vicious attack on  two fellow officers at a high security jail in Normandy on Tuesday.

Officers from Arles to Grasse are taking part in the protests by blocking access to jails for staff and visitors.Prison officers unions want the government to take immediate action to protect their members from rising numbers of attacks.

There have been 102 recorded incidents of attacks on prison guards around the country since the start of the year including the most recent in which two officers suffered serious stab wounds after being assaulted by a radicalised inmate at the Conde-sur-Sarthe jail on Tuesday.

 

Fire restrictions-Owing to the worrying number of forest fires in the south of France at the moment, the prefect of the Alpes-Martimes has extended fire restrictions until the 18th of March.

The burning of waste,including garden waste is banned anywhere in the department and there’s a smoking ban in force anywhere in or near forest or woodland.

Barbequing is only permissible with permission from the local town hall and the setting off of fireworks is forbidden without express permission.

The Alpes-Maritimes has seen a number of damaging forest fires so far this year because of extremely dry conditions and mild temperatures.

 

Speeding-Two motorists have had their licenses confiscated after being caught doing speeds in excess of 120 km/h on the coast road between the Fort Carre and the Siesta.

Police clocked one of the offenders at 124 km/h in a 50 km/h zone and the other at 126 km/h in a 70 km/h zone.

Officers have been carrying out extra speed checks on the coast road all week and so far more than 100 motorists have been caught breaking the limit.

 

Information-Gendarmes in Fayence are appealing for information about an incident in Montaroux last weekend.

Officers want to hear from anyone who saw a group of youths on the chemin Engueiraou between 4.30 and 5.30pm last Saturday the 2nd of March.

Anyone who saw the group and has information is asked to call officers in confidence on 04.94.39.16.40

 

In National News.

 

Cardinal convicted-A high ranking French church official has been handed a six month suspended jail term for failing to report the sexual abuse of minors to authorities.

Lawyers acting for Cardinal Barbarin said that they’d immediately appeal against the sentence which was passed by a court in Lyon on Thursday.

The trial was marked by the silence of 5 members of the Cardinal’s former diocese and graphic testimony from several victims.

The case emerged after 9 men accused a French priest,Father Bernard Preynat of sexually abusing them when they were children.A legal complaint was then filed against the Cardinal and others who failed to report the priest’s offences.

Cardinal Barbarin says that he’ll be offering his resignation to the Pope.

 

Entente Cordiale ?- The French Europe Minister has met with a number of pro-EU British conservative MP’s to discuss their ideas for resolving the Brexit crisis.

Nathalie Loiseau met with Dominic Grieve and other pro-remain minded MP’s in London on Thursday.

Some reports say that France would be in favour of a 21 month extension to the Article 50 deadline in order to allow the UK to find a way through the impasse.

A crunch vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Bill is set to come before Parliament next week with signs suggesting that she doesn’t have the numbers to get it through.

The French Minister also held a meeting with the Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay and said it was time for the UK to step up to the plate and publish concrete proposals.

 

Business.

 

Interest rates in the eurozone will not rise until next year at the earliest, the European Central Bank has signalled amid evidence of a slowdown in the 19 countries using the single currency.

The ECB also unveiled a round of fresh stimulus, offering banks cheap loans to try to help revive the economy.

The unexpected moves came as the bank made sharp cuts to its forecasts for both growth and inflation this year.

The announcement sent the euro down by 0.6% against the dollar.

Against the pound, it dropped by 0.1%.

 

The Home-renting company Airbnb has bought HotelTonight, an app for finding hotel rooms at a discount, as it wades deeper into the hotel-booking business to attract a wider variety of travelers ahead of a hotly anticipated initial public offering.

The acquisition, which Airbnb announced on Thursday, expands the company’s inventory by adding a number of listings from hotels, long viewed as the arch enemy of Airbnb, and is part of a strategy to win over travellers who have shied away from the risks and quirks of renting a stranger’s home. The bid to become a one-stop travel service for more mainstream sightseers puts Airbnb more squarely in competition with large travel sites such as Expedia Group  and Priceline.

 

And-Bail conditions imposed on ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn as part of the $9 million bail that freed him from jail have been published.

Mr Ghosn must reside in Tokyo.He can’t travel abroad and must surrender his passport to his lawyer.

He’ll need court permission to go on a trip for more than two nights and will have to have surveillance cameras at the entrances of his residence.

Other conditions include a ban from accessing the internet or using e-mail and the use of a personal computer only at his lawyer’s office that is not connected to the internet.Failure to comply will see Mr Ghosn returned to jail immediately.

 

Sport.

 

Rugby Union-It’s the penultimate weekend of the 6 Nations Championship with Wales looking to take another step towards the Grand Slam when they face Scotland at Murrayfield.

Wales have made only one change to the side that beat England two weeks ago while for Scotland scrum-half Greg Laidlaw drops to the bench and fly-half Finn Russell returns after a head injury.Kick off is at 3.15 French time.

England will be looking to rack up a big score when they host Italy at Twickenham.Coach Eddie Jones has gone for power in a bid to blow the Italians away.Kick off is at 5.45 tomorrow afternoon.

Ireland play France on Sunday-kick off at 4pm.

 

Football-Chelsea beat Dynamo Kiev 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last night in the first leg of their round of 16 Europa League tie.Arsenal lost though-3-1 at Rennes.

 

In the English Premier League this weekend.

On Saturday Crystal Palace play Brighton.Cardiff face West Ham.Huddersfield play Bournemouth.Leicester host Fulham.Newcastle play Everton.Southampton play Spurs and Manchester City play Watford.

On Sunday Liverpool play Burnley.Chelsea host Wolves and Arsenal play Manchester United.

 

Formula 1-The sport’s managing director Ross Brawn has said that it’s “frustrating” that Formula 1 and Silverstone have yet to reach an agreement to save the British Grand Prix.

Silverstone’s contract expires following this year’s race and talks on a new deal have stalled.

Brawn says that Formula 1 wants to find a solution for Silverstone but there are differing views on what is reasonable.

He added that Formula 1 was “determined” that a British Grand Prix would remain on the calendar.

 

Cricket-West Indies play England in the second Twenty20 international this evening.Play starts at 9pm French time.England lead the series 1-0.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies with moderate to strong westerly winds and a high of 19 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear  skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine but remaining windy.Highs of 17-21 degrees.

 

Finally.

 

The Queen has posted a photo on the official royal family Instagram account for the first time.

She was applauded after sharing an image of a letter from 19th century inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage to Prince Albert.

The Queen used an iPad to share the photo as she looked at exhibits in the Science Museum's summer exhibition - Top Secret.

The museum's director said it was a "nerve-wracking moment".

The Queen's post read: "In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention, the Analytical Engine, upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron

 

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