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French and Riviera News Friday 17th August 2018

Local

Airport evacuated - Toulon-Hyères airport has been evacuated. Police intervened shortly after 7.30 on Thursday evening after they received reports of a man making threatening remarks. All services at the airport were halted as police arrested the individual who remains in police custody for questioning.  

Genoa Bridge disaster - Stories of narrow escapes from the Genoa bridge disaster have emerged. At least 38 people died and 15 were injured when the bridge fell. Between 10 and 20 people may still be missing under the rubble.  French authorities have opened a criminal investigation for in-voluntary homicide’, after the bridge collapse killed four French national. Meanwhile Italy’s Interior Minister has accused the EU for being responsible for the lack of maintenance on Italian infrastructure. He said if the EU budget deficit limit of 3% prevented Italy from spending on safe roads, then they should ignore the limit. Italy will observe a national of day of mourning on Saturday.

Eric Ciotti condemns meeting at Elysee - In a letter published by the newspaper L'Opinion the deputy of Alpes-Maritimes Éric Ciotti has accused his rival Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, of having committed "a serious political betrayal" by participating in a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in early August. Estrosi, who distanced himself from The Republicans without formally leaving the party, went to the Élysée on August 1st to attend a meeting organized by France urbaine, an association for French cities. Ciotti argues that the meeting shows a step in favour of the “En Marche” movement.

Rodin sculpture auctioned in Cannes - A small sculpture given by Auguste Rodin to Claude Monet has been sold at auction in Cannes for 108,000 euros. The two 19th-century artists were born just two days apart and were close friends Signed by Rodin and dedicated to "the great master, Claude Monet", the plaster was bought by Paris's Musée Marmottan, where it was recently on show as part of the exhibition Monet Collector.

Meanwhile a poster promoting the first public screenings of film, providing glimpses of late 19th-century Paris life, is coming up for auction. Sotheby’s in London is selling 164 rare film posters including one that can lay claim to be the world’s first.

National

Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President – French President Emmanuel Macron and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have reportedly agreed in a phone call to foster trade ties, as the lira slides and tensions between Ankara and Washington escalate. "Both leaders emphasised the importance of fostering economic and trade relations as well as mutual investments,". They also agreed on a meeting between the two countries' finance ministers "as soon as possible".

Inquiry into French doctor - Switzerland has opened an inquiry into a French doctor who claims he can treat homosexuality with alternative therapies like homeopathy. Regional health minister Mauro Poggia asked a commission overseeing health professionals and patients' rights to open an investigation into the practice of Dr Jean-Yves Henry. The move has been sparked by social media uproar over an article Henry wrote in 2009 in which he said that homosexuality is "not a pathology but a special symptom". The 71-year-old general practitioner describes attraction to a person of the same sex as a "symptom", for which homeopathy can offer a "remedy" and recommends different methods for boys and girls. Swiss gay rights are planning to take legal action.

New Air France CEO - Canadian Ben Smith looks set to be named the new CEO of Air France, despite trade union opposition to a foreigner heading the national carrier. The French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that the Canadian, who is currently president of airlines and chief operating officer at Air Canada, has an "excellent profile". The state has a 14.3 percent share of the company and Le Maire said that government representatives would vote for Smith. Smith concluded a 10-year agreement with flight crew unions at Air Canada's low-cost company, Rouge, and is credited with transforming Toronto Airport into the centre of the company's international operations.

Business

Shares in the operator of the section of motorway that collapsed in Genoa slumped as much as 24%, wiping more than €4.6bn (£4.1bn) off its value. The exact price of Atlantia stock was difficult to calculate as it was so volatile in opening Milan trading that traders were not able to get a fixed price. Under stock market rules, trading is suspended if the shares rise or fall by more than 10% in value. Toll-road group Atlantia has come in for sustained criticism from politicians, following the disaster on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Google employees have written to the company to protest against plans to launch a "censored search engine" in China. They said the project raised "urgent moral and ethical questions" and urged the firm to be more transparent. Google, which has never spoken publicly about the plans, has declined to comment.

An investigation has been launched into concerns social media stars are not properly declaring when they have been paid to endorse goods and services. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned media influencers, who have millions of followers watching their channels, may be falling foul of consumer protection laws that require posts to be properly labelled. It is also worried followers may place trust in a product endorsed by a star and may think it is their own personal view.Online endorsements from celebrities and influencers can help brands reach target audiences and boost sales.

Sport

Formula One - Carlos Sainz has signed a multi-year deal to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren from the 2019 season. Alonso, twice world champion, announced on Tuesday that he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the year. Fellow Spaniard Sainz, is currently on loan at Renault from Red Bull and said it was a "childhood dream" to join McLaren.

Football – There’s more Premier League action this weekend on Saturday Cardiff play Newcastle, Leicester play Wolverhampton, Tottenham play Fulham, West Ham play Bournemouth and Chelsea play Arsenal. On Sunday Burnley play Watford, Manchester City play Huddersfield and Brighton play Manchester United finally on Monday Crystal Palace face Liverpool. Here’s more football news from BBC sports

Cricket - Coach Trevor Bridge says that the decision to add Ben Stokes to the England squad for the third Test against India starting on Saturday was taken for the all-rounder's "wellbeing". However, he said he would take time before deciding whether the 27-year-old would play at Trent Bridge. Stokes was involved in a fight in Bristol last September but was found not guilty of affray on Tuesday.

Tennis - Serena Williams says she discovered that the man convicted of killing her half-sister had been released on parole just minutes before her match with Johanna Konta last month. Briton Konta inflicted the worst defeat of Williams' career, winning 6-1 6-0 in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic. Williams' elder half-sister Yetunde Price was shot dead in 2003.

Cycling – It’s been confirmed that Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at next month's Tour of Britain. They will line up on the start at Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire, on Sunday 2 September.

Weather

Clear skies across the region becoming increasing cloudy by this afternoon with storms forecast inland. Highs of 29 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 33 in the Var with a light south easterly wind.

This evening going down to 21 degrees in Nice and 18 degrees in Saint Tropez.

Saturday mainly cloudy with sunny intervals showers forecast inland. Sunday sunny intervals highs of 30 degrees with possibility of light showers for coastal areas in the Var.

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