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French and Riviera News Friday 15th December 2017

Local

Fatal crash at level crossing in South Western France - At least four children have been killed and 19 people injured, seven seriously, when a train crashed into a school bus at a level crossing in south western France on Thursday. The bus, which was carrying around 20 students from a local secondary school, was struck by the train in Millas about 18 kilometres west of the city of Perpignan, close to the Spanish border. Around 70 emergency workers, backed by four helicopters, were deployed as part of the rescue effort. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who flew to Millas by helicopter, said the process of identifying the victims was "extremely difficult". The accident is the third involving several fatalities on French railways in the past four years.

Accident on the A8 motorway - One man has been seriously injured following an accident on the A8 motorway. The victim was air lifted to hospital on Thursday after two cars collided with a truck at the Adrets de L’Estérel exit. Traffic was stopped during the rescue operation.The exact circumstances of the accident remain unknown.

Employment agency Adecco - The employment agency Adecco has announced that it plans to recruit more than 450 carers in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region in December. Positions on permanent contracts, fixed-term contracts and temporary appointments are to be filled. More than 220 positions are available in the Alpes-Maritimes, and close to 100 positions in Bouches-du-Rhône and the Var.

Parking - On-street parking in Nice is to be free, this and next weekend, in the run up to Christmas. The announcement was made on Thursday by the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, who also said that beginning in January, the first 30 minutes of street parking will be free, before parking charges start to apply. Both moves are to encourage more shoppers to the city.

National

High speed internet - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced that €100 million euros has been set aside to make high-speed internet available to households in the most isolated parts of France by 2022. Currently 7.5 million people in France are unable to get a high-speed connection, And some half a million have no internet at all. French president Emmanuel Macron said to the Senate this summer that he wanted to bring the deadline forward to 2020.  It estimated the scheme is at least 10 years behind its planned deadline and the target won't be achieved until 2035 if work continues at the current rate. 

Dieudonné faces trial - Controversial French performer Dieudonné is to face trial for tax evasion, money laundering and fake bankruptcy. He is accused of concealing over a million euros of revenue from his shows. The comedian and his partner, will also be charged with misuse of company assets in relation to their company Productions de la Plume, which will face charges along with its management of sales tax fraud, according to reports.

MPs salaries - An MP from the Republic en Marche has publicly complained about the decline in her income in an article published in L’Opinion newspaper. Several MPs have seen their wages fall since their election last June with one saying her salary dropped from 8,000 euros a month to 5,000 euros. Speaking to the paper the MP added that the change “had pushed her to reconsider her standard of living”.  Le Monde newspaper says that the average annual income of deputies (new or re-elected) in the last five years is close to 59,000 euros when that of the French is € 22,420, according to INSEE.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe - Meanwhile French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has seen his popularity increase by ten points in three months. The survey published on Thursday showed that 56% of French say they are satisfied with the work of Mr Philippe.

Business

The Walt Disney Corporation is to buy most of 21st Century Fox for 52.4 billion dollars in a deal that changes the face of the global media landscape.
The deal includes the film and TV studios of Fox as well as its 39 percent stake in the satellite broadcaster Sky.
Fox will now form a news-focused firm with its remaining assets.
The decision by Rupert Murdoch to sell took many media commentators by surprise as he’d always pledged to continue expanding his business empire.
Disney wants the Fox assets as it attempts to compete with Netflix,Amazon,Google and Facebook who are rapidly expanding into the video and TV markets.
Mr Murdoch denied that he was retreating in a conference call with investors on Thursday.He said that the sale heralded the “next great leg of our journey”.
The deal is likely to mean some upheaval at Sky TV in the UK with Disney eventually  expected to offer subscribers a choice of new packages and previously unavailable content.The future of the loss-making Sky News could be thrown into doubt.

The European Central Bank has raised its economic growth forecasts as GDP picks up across the Eurozone.
The ECB says that it now expects the Eurozone economy to grow by 2.4 percent this year-higher than its previous forecast of 2.2 percent.
The bank also kept its main interest rate at 0 percent and confirmed that its asset buying programme would drop from 60 billion to 30 billion euros a month from January.
The bank’s president Mario Draghi  said that he was certainly more confident about the economy than he was two months ago.
Pressure has been growing on the ECB to tighten monetary policy as the eurozone economy has gathered strength.

And-Oil prices have remained stable in Asian trade this morning as the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and ongoing OPEC-led production cuts supported crude.
Rising US output has prevented prices from rising further with Brent crude trading up 4 cents a barrel a little earlier this morning at 63 dollars 35.
Traders said that markets were overall well supported by efforts led by OPEC and Russia to withhold supply.
Bernstein Research said that it expected Brent to average 56 dollars next year following OPEC’s cut extension.

Sport

Cricket-England have been bowled out for 403 by Australia on day 2 of the 3rd Ashes Test in Perth.
Dawid Malan who reached his maiden Test century on day 1 was eventually out for 140 just after Jonny Bairstow had reached his first century against Australia.
Malan’s wicket led to a familiar batting collapse with England losing their last 6 wickets for just 35 runs.
Malan and Bairstow though shared a 237 run partnership for the 5th wicket but England will be disappointed that they didn’t make a big score on what essentially is an excellent pitch for batting.

Football-In the English Premier League this weekend-
On Saturday Leicester play Crystal Palace.Arsenal host Newcastle.Brighton play Burnley.Chelsea host Southampton.Stoke play West Ham.Watford play Huddersfield and Manchester City host Spurs.
On Sunday West Brom play Manchester United and Bournemouth host Liverpool.Everton play Swansea on Monday.

There’s 1 game in the English Championship tonight.Sheffield Wednesday play Wolves.

Cycling-The four-time world time trial champion Tony Martin has said that the handling of Chris Froome’s failed drugs test is a “scandal” and that a “double standard “ is being applied.
Froome had double the permitted level of the asthma drug salbutamol in his urine at a test taken at the Vuelta a Espana and Martin says that he should have been suspended for the subsequent world championships in September where he won 2 bronze medals.
The German says that the decision not to suspend the 4 time Tour de France winner has made him very angry.

Rugby Union-Maro Itoje will be fit for England’s 6 Nations opener against Italy on February the 4th.
The 23 year old has had two plates inserted into his face after fracturing his jaw while playing for Saracens against Harlequins on December the 3rd.
Saracens say that the player will now require 4 weeks maximum in rehabilitation and he should be fit in time for the 6 Nations.

There’s 1 game in the European Champions Cup tonight.Ulster play Harlequins.Kick off is at 8.45 French time.

Weather

Mainly fine after a cloudy start with moderate to strong south westerly wind across the region

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies and the strong wind persisting across the Var and the western Alpes-Maritimes.

The weekend-Clear skies with a high of 14-15 degrees and a brisk westerly wind continuing across the Var.

Finally 

There's a reason why many of us just can't resist a glass of wine or a chocolate snack in the evening.  Scientists say they have the 'strongest evidence yet' that willpower is a limited resource.

They claim attempting to resist temptation early in the day means we're far more likely to lack self-control at night - an effect known as 'ego-depletion'. Researchers from Texas A&M University carried out two experiments to prove that the ego-depletion effect exists.

In their study, which is publicly available on the PsyArXiv preprint website, the researchers, led by Dr Katie Garrison, wrote: 'This pattern represents unambiguous evidence for poorer attention control under ego depletion.'

 

 

 

 

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