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French and Riviera News Friday 18th August 2017

Local

Terror Attack - Spanish police say they have killed five people in the town of Cambrils to stop a second attempted van attack after an earlier one in Barcelona. Thirteen people died and dozens were injured when a van ploughed into crowds in Barcelona's Las Ramblas area on Thursday afternoon, in an attack that bears striking similarity to that on Nice last year during Bastille Day celebrations. The driver of the van fled and is reportedly still at large. The authorities are now linking the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils with an explosion at a house on Wednesday evening in the town of Alcanar that left one person dead.

Yacht - 11 passengers and four crew have been rescued from a yacht which caught fire off the coast near Nice Cote d’Azur airport on Thursday afternoon. The yacht, the 39 metre ‘If Only’ had just arrived from Italy, when the fire started five miles off the coast, putting out a plume of smoke which could be seen from the beach.

Drought - The drought continues to gain ground in the Var region due to the lack of rain and very high temperatures. 92 municipalities have been put on alert with a watering ban between 9am and 7pm.

Prison - There has been more unrest in the prison in Grasse when fifteen inmates refused to return to their cells on Wednesday afternoon. Security forces were called in, and calm was quickly restored.

Scam - People are warned of an internet scam offering a new Carte Vitale and refunds within 24 hours. Internet users receiving an email with the offer, are linked to a website where you enter personal details, including your bank account. The advice is to ignore and delete the email.  

National

Unemployment - French unemployment has fallen to its 2012 level, according to figures published on Thursday that showed 2.65 million people out of work in mainland France. Unemployment in the second quarter of 2017 fell by 0.1 of a percentage point to 9.2 percent, according to statistics institute Insee. With overseas territories included, it stood at 9.5 percent. Insee had not forecast a decline in the figure, expecting it to remain stable in the second quarter than fall later in the year. The year-on-year decline is 0.5 percent.

Brigitte Macron - French President Emmanuel Macron's wife, Brigitte, has given up on the idea of being officially declared France's first lady but her activities will be reported on the Elysée's official website and her role will be defined in a "transparency charter". Brigitte Macron told women's magazine Elle "Like my predecessors I will take on a public role, but the French people will know the resources at my disposal.” French presidential spouses have no official status and Macron vowed to change that situation during the election campaign. But the idea of creating a US-style first lady's title has been dropped after an online petition against it attracted over 300,000 signatures and left-wing MPs slammed the suggestion.

Business

Wall Street suffered turbulent trading on Thursday, with analysts pointing to disappointing corporate results and rising political uncertainty. The S&P 500 index recorded its worst fall in three months, dropping 1.5% to 2,430 points. All of the stocks on the Dow Jones Industrial Average - fell as the index dropped 1.2% to 21,751. The Nasdaq index also stumbled, shedding nearly 2% to 6,222 points.

President Trump is dropping plans to create an advisory group on infrastructure, a day after two other business panels were dissolved. The president has faced a backlash from business leaders over his remarks this week on a far-right rally in Virginia. A White House official said the infrastructure council, which was still being formed, "will not move forward". Mr Trump signed an executive order last month to create the group as he looks to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure.

And - Asda has reported its first increase in quarterly sales for three years, boosted by a bumper Easter. Britain's third biggest supermarket, owned by US retail giant Walmart, said like-for-like sales rose by 1.8%, excluding petrol, in the three months to 30 June. This compares with a 2.8% fall in the first quarter of this year, which was an eleventh straight decline. It is a big turnaround when compared to this time last year, when the supermarket chain suffered its worst ever quarterly result with sales plummeting by 7.5%.

Sport

Football - Everton put themselves in a strong position to reach the Europa League group stage with a first-leg win over Hajduk Split however the match was marred by crowd trouble. Hajduk fans surged towards the Goodison Park pitch and threw objects as play was stopped in the 33rd minute.

In this weekend’s English Premier League on Saturday Swansea play Manchester United, Bournemouth play Watford, Burnley play against West Bromwich, Leicester City play Brighton Liverpool play Crystal Palace Southampton play West Ham and Stoke City play Arsenal. On Sunday Huddersfield play Newcastle and Tottenham play Chelsea.

In other football news QPR legend Les Ferdinand and musician Marcus Mumford have shown their support for a charity football match to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster. The match will take place at QPR’s Loftus Road ground on the 2nd September.

Tennis – Britain's Johanna Konta won a hard-hitting contest against Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova to reach the Cincinnati Open quarter-finals. The seventh seed won 6-3 6-4 to reach the last eight for the first time, setting up a rematch of her Wimbledon quarter-final against Simona Halep.

Cricket – Alastair Cook and Joe Root hit centuries as England dominated West Indies on the first day of the day-night Test in the UK. Cook batted through the day for his unbeaten 153, sharing 248 with skipper Root, who made 136, as England racked up 348-3 at Edgbaston.

Weather

Clear Skies with highs of 30 degrees in Menton, 32 in Grasse and 28 in Nice. Highs of 36 degrees in Le Luc in the Var and 33 in Saint Tropez with a moderate westerly wind. This evening going down to 21 degrees across the region with clear skies.

The  outlook for the weekend temperatures will be the same as today with a moderate to strong north westerly wind on Saturday in the Var and gusts of up to 60km/h.

Finally 

The world is a stressful place right now.  But there is good news scientists have suggested that cheese might actually be really good for you.

Scientists in Korea have found that Swiss Cheese (the one with the holes in it) might do all sorts of great things to your body. Researchers found that a probiotic in the cheese called has the ability to reduce inflammation, therefore decreasing the rate at which you age.

Eternal youth cheese!

 

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