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French and Riviera News Friday 12th October 2018

Local

Floods - The search continues for missing people following flash flooding in the Var on Thursday which killed two people in Sainte-Maxime. Two bodies were found in a car which had been tossed upside down in the water. Five cars were reportedly swept towards the sea as water levels of the River Garonette rose. Local authorities urged people not to take to the flooded roads and to seek shelter during the heavy rainfall. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has issued a statement in which he said his thoughts were with the families and loved ones of the two people who died in Sainte-Maxime and that he wished to give his full support to them in these painful circumstances. Meanwhile heavy rainfall also claimed several lives across Europe - in Spain twelve died - including a British couple - when torrential rain lashed eastern Majorca and in Italy one woman was found dead on Thursday after her car had got trapped by the flooding.

Dengue Fever - A case of Dengue Fever, also called “Tropical Flu”, has been reported in the Alpes Maritimes. The authorities have not released the location but have stated that the affected person has been cured and the surrounding neighbourhood has been fumigated.  The patient had apparently not been in a risk area for the disease within the recent past and authorities therefore say that he or she must have received a bite from a tiger mosquito, which carries the disease, in mainland France. Dengue was initially present in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world but has now spread to Europe, where the first cases were recorded in 2010.

A beautiful day - As part of a promotion for local businesses in the region the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Nice-Côte d'Azur has organized an event entitled "A beautiful day”. The event which will take place tomorrow, Saturday 13th October will see 4,000 members in 17 towns across the Alpes Maritimes participate. Shoppers will be offered a range of promotions and prizes and the city of Nice has confirmed that there will be free parking in the city as part of the event.

Strike action - Operations at the Simone Veil Hospital in Cannes have been disrupted due to industrial action by staff on Thursday. Reports say that about sixty workers are protesting about their working conditions and an alleged lack of staff.

National

Petrol pump - A change has been announced at petrol pumps in France as of Friday, October 12th petrol will change names on all pumps in the European Union, in accordance with a European Directive of 2014. Each type fuel will now be represented by a geometric figure, a letter and a number.

New robot - The city of Amiens in France has welcomed Max AI a new robot working at a recylilng centre in the city. Max takes out recyclable items and separates them from organic waste. Max is more productive than a human and can make over 3,600 movements. The robot is however, still 'in training'. At present, a human has to validate Max's final work. But engineers say it is just a matter of time before Max becomes fully autonomous. Max is a Franco-American project. The robot was manufactured in the US, while French company Veolia gave him 'life'.

Business

President Trump has once again said that the US Federal Reserve is “out of control” and that he’s “disappointed” by its policies.

While the White House is dismissing the heavy falls seen on global stock markets over the past two days,Mr Trump’s comments  are helping to stoke fears about recent interest rate rises.

Concerns about higher rates have been compounded by an escalating trade war between the United States and China  which the International Monetary Fund has warned could hurt growth.

Analysts are warning that with hundreds of firms due to report earnings forecasts in the coming weeks,investors are nervous about putting funds in when they fear the combination of interest rates and trade tensions will increase business costs and hit corporate profits.

 

The owner of the Patisserie Valerie café chain has said that the firm needs an “immediate injection of capital” to continue trading in its current form.

The statement to investors came after the company uncovered what it described as “significant and potentially fraudulent accounting practices”.

Patisserie Valerie has 2,500 UK staff  and announced earlier this week that its finance director Chris Marsh had been suspended.

It’s also been revealed that one of its subsidiaries is facing a 1.14 million pound tax bill and a winding up order by Her Majesties Revenue and Customs.

 

And-Sir Richard Branson has suspended talks with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund over its planned 1 billion dollar investment in the Virgin Group’s space companies following the disappearance of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post columnist was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October the 2nd,triggering an allegation by Turkish officials that he may have been murdered there.

Saudi officials maintain that he left the building unharmed on the same day.

In a statement issued on Thursday,Sir Richard said that “what has reportedly happened in Turkey,if proved true,would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government.

Sport

Football-The German magazine that first reported allegations of rape against the Portugal and Juventus star Christiano Ronaldo has said that it stands by its story.

Ronaldo’s  lawyers have dismissed the allegations as purely false but Der Spiegel  says that it has “no reason” to doubt the authenticity of key documents used in the story.

Ronaldo.who’s 33 denies raping Kathryn Mayorga at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Scotland were beaten 2-1 away by Israel last night as their Uefa Nations League campaign faltered.

Elsewhere Portugal minus Ronaldo were 3-2 winners in Poland  while Russia and Sweden drew 0-0.

There are more Nations League games tonight including Croatia against England ,Austria against Northern Ireland and Belgium against Switzerland.

Wales were beaten 4-2 at home by Spain in an international friendly last night.France and Iceland drew 2-2.

Cricket-Australia escaped with a draw in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai.

A battling century from Usman Khawaja saved the Baggy Greens on the last day.

He made 141 after spending almost 9 hours at the crease as Australia survived 140 overs chasing an improbable 462 to win the match.The teams shook hands and settled for the draw with Australia on 362-8 in their second innings.

Rugby Union-The European Cup gets underway tonight with one game in Pool 1.Leinster play Wasps.

There’s a full weekend of action coming up with highlights including Bath against Toulouse  in Pool 1 tomorrow and Exeter against Munster in Pool 2.

Golf-There’s a three way tie for the lead following the first round of the British Masters.

Eddie Pepperell,Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace are all on 5 under par.

Pepperell was helped by a bizarre hole in one on the 9th as his tee shot spun back into the cup after hitting the flag.He followed it on the 10th with a birdie and an eagle on the 9th.

 

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable winds.

Top temperature 24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Clear skies with highs of 23-24 degrees.

 

Finally 

You may never be stuck at a red light in the future, as Ford is creating cars that choreograph around each other instead of stopping at junctions. By slowing down one car's speed, vehicles will cross each other rather that crashing - and tests have so far been successful.

The average British driver spends 48 hours every year just waiting at traffic lights.

Junctions are also the place where 40 to 60 per cent of all road accidents occur, according to the European Commission.

Further to saving time by not stopping, Ford says that drivers will save fuel as they do not have to brake at lights and then accelerate away again.

During testing, two cars were equipped with a communication system that sends out information on their location, direction of travel and speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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