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French and Riviera News Friday 13th April 2018

Local

Rainfall - Heavy rainfall in the region on Thursday has caused many river banks to overflow. In Draguignan in the Var the banks of the river Nartuby flooded causing road closures in the area and in the Alpes-Maritimes, the Brague coastal river reached alarming levels. The bad weather saw 500 households temporarily without electricity in both the Alpes Maritimes and the Var and a mini tornado which hit the town of Villeneuve loubet led to three people being rescued after the roof of their house was blown away.

Train strike - Due to another day of strike action from SNCF the region’s train network will suffer delays and cancelations today with one out of three trains in operation. The strike is to last until Sunday morning as part of ongoing strike action against the government reforms.

Tram - Meanwhile the tramway in Nice came to a standstill on Thursday evening with no trams in circulation from 8pm as tram drivers protested against the conviction of a fellow driver who was handed a 6 month suspended prison sentence for manslaughter. Unions argue that during the investigation reports showed a failing in the braking system which was later overturned in court.  

Woman rescued on the Col de Vence - A woman in her fifties has been rescued on the Col de Vence after reportedly attempting to “capture the energy from extraterrestrials”. Emergency services were deployed in the area after the woman got into difficulty at the plateau of Sainte-Barnardé on Wednesday afternoon with temperatures close to zero and a thick blanket of fog.

Nice - After being voted one of the least green cities in Europe, Nice has just acquired another less than desirable accolade, as the town in France with the worst air quality. A ranking of 100 French cities, drawn up by L’Express, says the quality of the air in Nice was mediocre to bad for 67 days last year. In Avignon the number was 60 days, 57 in Marseille and 54 Aix-en-Provence. High pollution levels are put down to densely populated coastal strips, too much traffic and long sunny spells.

Cannes Film Festival calls for “freedom of expression” - The director of the Cannes Film Festival has requested that Tehran and Moscow allow two directors whose films have been chosen to compete for the Goldern Palm to attend the world’s top film gathering in May. At a press conference on Thursday Thierry Frémaux said French authorities were supporting Cannes’ request to allow Iranian Jafar Panahi and Russian Kirill Serebrennikov to attend the festival despite both being banned from leaving their countries.

Nice Jazz Festival - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has revealed in a press conference this’s year’s lineup for the Nice Jazz festival with artist such as Massive Attack, Gregory Porter and Rag’nbone man all set to perform. The 70th edition of the festival which takes place from the 16th to the 21st July at Place Massena and the Theatre de Verdure in Nice, will also for the first time, see performances in Valdeblore and Saint-Martin-Vésubie.

OGC Nice – As part of an event organized by the Allianz Riviera organisers have announced that fans of OGC Nice will be able to meet the players in Pégomas on April 24th. Players will be training at the main stadium from 3pm giving the opportunity for fans to meet the players.

National

Syria - French President Emmanuel Macron has said that France has proof that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack last week and will decide whether to strike back when all the necessary information has been gathered.  France is expected to join the United States and Britain in carrying out air strikes or some other form of attack in response to the use of the weapons but it remains unclear when that might happen or even if it definitely will. The subject of chemical weapons’ use in Syria has been a thorny issue for Macron. He has warned that he would not accept the use of chemical weapons, which he said was a “red line” that would draw French action, even unilateral.

Macron - Emmanuel Macron is to stick to his plans for sweeping reforms, despite strikes and street protests, and says he will not govern based on opinion polls. In a rare television interview on Thursday , President Macron said the SNCF will always remain a public body, and that the States 100% ownership of the train operator, will be written into law. He said he understood the frustration of passengers and business, with the current round of strikes, but that he was committed to the need for change and would not give in.

Airbnb - The city of Paris has filed a lawsuit against home rental service Airbnb for failing to respect local laws regulating holiday rental properties. The suit also targets two other companies, Paris Attitude and Wimdu, which offer similar services. Paris authorities, like other cities around the world, have been toughening restrictions on Airbnb, faced with complaints from hoteliers as well as residents who believe holiday rentals are fuelling property speculation.

Business

Asian stocks have risen this morning on Wall Street’s coattails as anticipated strong earnings took centre stage and President Trump appeared to backtrack on his suggestion of an imminent military strike against Syria.

In another apparent change of mood,Mr Trump asked his trade advisers to look at rejoining the Trans Pacific Partnership after he withdrew the US from the trade pact last year.

The chances of a fully blown trade war with China also appear to have receded for now.

Volkswagen has replaced chief executive Matthias Mueller with Herman Diess.

Mr Diess had previously overseen the VW brand but will now assume responsibility for the entire firm.

Matthias Mueller became VW chief executive in 2015 in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal.He’s presided over a raft of restructuring but was implicated in the emissions scandal himself last year after prosecutors in Germany said that he may have known about the diesel emissions cover-up before it became public.

Herman Diess is known for cost-cutting measures and has already clashed with trade unions several times.

Volkswagen is holding a press conference at its Wolfsburg headquarters this morning where more details of management changes and restructuring will be announced.

And-The owner of British Airways is poised to make a bid for the budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Buying Norwegian would allow International Airlines Group to expand its market share amid increasing competition from low-cost carriers.

Norwegian said that it had not been aware that IAG had acquired a 4.6 percent stake in the company until it was reported in the media on Thursday.

Shares in Norwegian rocketed by 47 percent on the news while shares in IAG fell by 1.2 percent.

Sport

Football-Arsenal are through to the semi-finals of the Europa League following a 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow that gave Arsene Wenger’s side a 6-3 aggregate win.

Also through to the last 4 are Red Bull Salzburg who beat Lazio 6-5 over the two legs,Marseilles who put out Leipzig 5-3 on aggregate and Athletico Madrid who lost 1-0 on the night at Sporting Lisbon but go through 2-1 on aggregate.

The draws for both the semi-finals of the Europa League and the Champions League will be made later today.

In the English Premier League this weekend.

On Saturday Southampton play Chelsea.Burnley play Leicester.Crystal Palace host Brighton.Huddersfield play Watford.Swansea host Everton.Liverpool play Bournemouth and Spurs host Manchester City.

On Sunday Newcastle play Arsenal and Manchester United host West Brom.West Ham play Stoke on Monday.

There’s one game in the English Championship tonight.Aston Villa play Leeds United.

Athletics-Australia continue to dominate the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast with 63 gold medals in a total haul of 156.England are second with 28 gold medals with India in third with 14.

Formula 1-Sebastien Vettel will be looking to extend his lead in the driver’s championship at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in first practice this morning with Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari second and Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes third.

Vettel was down in 6th place.

Qualifying is at 8am tomorrow with the race at 8.10 on Sunday morning.

Rugby Union-There’s 1 game in the Aviva Premiership in England tonight.Newcastle play Sale while in the Guinness Pro 14 Cheetahs play Munster,Glasgow play Connacht and Ulster host Ospreys.

Tennis-The weather looks to be set mainly fine for the start of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

World number one Rafael Nadal is the defending champion and will be looking for his 11th Monte Carlo title at this year’s tournament.

Qualifying rounds take place tomorrow with some first round matches on Sunday before the big guns join the fray at the start of next week.

For ticket information please go to www.montecarlomasters.com

Racing-Aintree is all set for the Grand National tomorrow with an estimated worldwide television audience of 600 million.

Gold Present,trained by Nicky Henderson is the only horse to withdraw from the field of 40 so far with Road to Riches making the cut instead.

Anibale Fly and Total Recall are joint favourites at the moment at 11-1 while you can get 12-1 on last year’s 4th placed horse Blaklion.

Tiger Roll is at 12-1 with Baie des Iles and Seeyouatmidnight both at 16’s.

If you fancy a flutter on a rank outsider  Double Ross is at 100-1 while Tenor Nivernais is at 150-1.

Weather

Partially cloudy with a light to moderate easterly wind. Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with cloudy skies.

The week-end mainly fine with highs of 19 to 21 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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