French and Riviera News Friday 1st June 2018


Storms - Firefighters in the Bouches-du-Rhone have made several interventions due to heavy thunderstorms which hit the region on Thursday. Several homes were evacuated, a supermarket was closed due to flooding and the train network came to a halt after an electrical cable fell onto the line. Météo France has recorded the highest number of lightning strikes for this time of year since records began. In other parts of the country storms have wrecked vineyards, flooded towns and damaged cars and homes. Forecasters say that after a brief period of calm today and Saturday, the storms are expected to return to France on Sunday and Monday.

Motorway closed - The A8 motorway has been closed westbound at Le Luc in the Var following an accident. Traffic was diverted on Thursday shortly after 7pm after an accident involving a motorcycle. The A8 was cut off as the victim was taken to hospital by helicopter.

Jeweler in Nice - Stéphane Turk the 72 year old jeweler from Nice has been handed a five year suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of ‘voluntary violence with a weapon’ which led to the death of a 19 year old youth, during a robbery at his store in Nice in 2013. Turk had pleaded self-defence.


European Court of Human Rights - The European Court of Human Rights has ordered France to pay 6.5 million euros to a man who was in a coma for three months and remains paralysed 14 years after his arrest in a train station in the Paris region. Abdelkader Ghedir was arrested in November 2004 by police who believed he was one of a group of youths who had thrown pebbles at a train. The compensation is the highest sum France has ever been ordered to pay.

Anti-Alzheimer drugs - Anti-Alzheimer drugs, considered insufficiently effective and potentially risky, will not be reimbursed as of August 1st. According to the Ministry of Health the measure concerns four drugs (Aricept, Ebixa, Exelon, Reminyl) and their generics that treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's and were previously reimbursed up to 15% by the Health Insurance.

Meanwhile according to figures published 64% of French people are in favour of the increase of a packet of cigarettes, a decision announced by the Minister of Health in July last year.  The figures published today show that 8 out of 10 people believe the increase in the price of cigarettes as the most effective way to reduce the number of smokers. The government plans for a packet of cigarettes to reach 10 euros by 2020.

Nigel Lawson to apply for French residency card - A former chair of the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum Nigel Lawson, is to apply for his official French residency card. The former Chancellor of the Exchequer said he had started the process of applying for one of the cards, known as a carte de séjour, which British expatriates are being encouraged to obtain to help bolster their rights after the UK withdraws from the EU. European officials have warned that Britain’s new blue passports could lead to travel delays and extra paperwork rather than the enhanced freedom promised by the government.


Fears of a global trade war have been reignited after the United States announced that it was imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Mexico,Canada and the European Union.
The move has been greeted with dismay and anger across the world and some congressional Republicans in Washington have also criticised the decision.
The Trump administration has justified the tariffs by arguing that US steel and aluminium producers are vital to national security and threatened by a global supply glut.
The French President Emmanuel Macron has telephoned Mr Trump to tell him that the US move is “illegal and the President of the European Union,Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that the EU will go ahead with its own plans to impose tariffs on imports US products including bourbon,motorcycles and peanut butter.
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the new tariffs were “totally unacceptable” and said that Canada was offended at being labelled a national security threat by the US.
Mexico said that it would be imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of US products from steel to pork.

Barclays has announced that its to tighten its lending criteria  in the face of slowing growth in the context of Brexit.
The bank’s chief executive Jes Staley says that Brexit uncertainty is helping to stunt economic growth and that was something that he couldn’t ignore.
In an interview with the BBC,Mr Staley said that Barclays had to be mindful of weaknesses in the economy and had to protect the integrity of the bank.
He said that Barclays will look at its credit exposures and see whether that’s proper given the direction of the economy.

And-US consumer spending rose by its strongest level in 5 months in April in a further sign that economic growth is regaining momentum.
The Commerce Department says that consumer spending jumped by 0.6 percent in April-the largest rise since November and following the 0.5 percent increase in March.
Other data issued on Thursday showed a bigger-than-expected fall in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefit last week.
Moderately rising inflation and the tightening labour market have raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will move to raise interest rates this month.


Tennis-Kyle Edmund is through to the 3rd round of the French Open at Roland Garros following a 4 set win over Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.
The British number one came through 6-0 1-6 6-2 6-3 and will now face Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Elsewhere,the top seed Rafael Nadal cruised into round three with a straight sets win over Guido Pella in a match during which he lost just 4 games and the third seed Marin Cilic moved throught with a 4 set win over Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
In the women’s event Serena Williams made round three with a 3 set win over Ashleigh Barty of Australia while the 16th seed Elise Mertens beat Heather Watson of Great Britain in straight sets.

Cricket-The second Test between England and Pakistan starts at Headingly today with the home side needing a win to draw the series.
England captain Joe Root says that he has “full confidence” in his struggling side to deliver the goods.
England are without a Test win in 8 matches and their form of late has been woeful.
Play starts at noon French time.

Football-Real Madrid fans and players have reacted with shock after coach Zinedine Zidane announced that he was leaving the club.
Zidane led Madrid to a hattrick of Champions League victories but their form in La Liga has been patchy and they missed out on the championship title to arch rivals Barcelona.
Zidane said that he felt it was time for a “different voice” at the club.

Rugby Union-South Africa play Wales at the RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington DC tomorrow as the curtain goes up on the summer internationals.
England coach Eddie Jones will be a keen onlooker with his side preparing to play the Springboks in three Tests later this month.
The match is kicks off at 5pm French time.

Racing-It’s a big weekend on the flat with the Epsom Oaks and The Derby coming up.
Wild Illusion is the 5-2 favourite for the Oaks which is off at 5.30 this afternoon while Saxon Warrior heads the field for tomorrow’s Derby which is also off at 5.30.
Trainer Aiden O’Brien has a total of 5 horses in the field with Saxon Warrior attempting to complete the second leg of the triple crown having won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.


Fine in coastal areas with a shower or two inland and light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 23-26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Partially cloudy with the odd shower about.Highs of 22-25 degrees




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