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French and Riviera News Friday 27th October 2017

Local

Modifications to the regions train network - The region’s train network has announced modifications to this morning’s train timetable due to strike action in Italy. Disruption is expected to last for most of the morning with services returning to normal by late afternoon.

Tuk-tuks - Nice city council has decided to introduce new measures to ensure road safety for “tuk-tuks”. The three wheeled cycles serve as taxi bikes in the city and it’s hoped that the changes will  increase road safety as well as the safety of  passengers.

Brexit – It’s been announced that the UK’s Ambassador to France is to visit the Riviera next month to speak with British ex-pats about their concerns over Brexit. Meetings are planned in Nice on November 7th, and in Saint Raphael on November 23rd. To reserve a place go to the British Embassy’s Facebook page.

Football – Additional police have been requested at this evening’s football match between OGC Nice and Paris Saint Germain.  The move comes following concern that there will be tension between  supporters and the use of pyrotechnics could represent a danger to those at or near the game.

Beach - The famous Marco Polo beach restaurant at Théoule-sur-mer has been demolished due to new building regulations. However the restaurant, which has been at the centre of the town since 1949, has received permission to construct a new removable structure which could be completed by next spring.

Cannon - The famous cannon in Nice, which has sounded at noon every day for the past 125 years, is to be silenced for one day a year. City councillors have voted to remove the cannon each July 14th, as a mark of respect to victims of last year’s terrorist attack. They’re also making plans for a permanent memorial to victims on the promenade.

National

Catalonia - As Spain moves to impose direct rule on Catalonia, Catalans across the border in southern France are getting ready to help. Independence sympathisers packed a hall in Perpignan on Wednesday to discuss how to assist the "southern Catalans”. France's Pyrenees-Orientales area was for centuries a part of Catalonia, only becoming French in the latter half of the 17th century.

Velib bikes to become electric - “Velib” the bicycle-sharing scheme in Paris is to become electric. The new model was revealed this week as the city plans 20,000 new bikes as of January of which 30 percent will be electric. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is on a crusade to clean up the city's air and aims to encourage Parisians into the saddle.

Advertisement ban - An advertisement for a new dating website for wealthy men seeking to meet younger partners has caused uproar in Paris. The poster stuck on a trailer pulled by a car was parked outside the Sorbonne University. The advert has been accused of inciting students in the French capital to prostitute themselves, reading "Romantic, passionate and no student loans," and "Go out with a Sugar Daddy or Sugar Mama”. The city council has reportedly alerted prosecutors and is seeking to ban the site.

Business

The European Central Bank will slow its quantitative easing programme from January but extend it until at least September 2018. Speaking on Thursday,the ECB president Mario Draghi said that the bank’s monthly bond purchases would be halved to 30 billion euros from January and would run until September.He stressed that,even then there wouldn’t be a “sudden end to the buying” and that the change should not be called tapering. Bloomberg reports that most of the bank’s governing council favoured keeping the bond buying programme open ended in case economic expansion stumbles or inflation stays sluggish. Mr Draghi’s comments resulted in the euro weakening and a boost to stocks while reaction in the bond market was muted.

Shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet have risen after the firm reported stronger-than-expected advertising sales and higher operating margins. Third quarter revenue at Alphabet jumped by 24 percent to 27.8 billion dollars  with profit of 6.7 billion well ahead of Wall Street estimates. Alphabet along with many firms in the tech sector has registered rapid growth in recent years as advertising moves from traditional models to the internet and consumers sign up for an ever increasing array of digital devices. The third quarter results were the 15th in a row in which Alphabet has shown double-digit year-on-year consolidated sales increases.

And-The billionaire founder of a drug company has been arrested in the United States and charged with conspiracy to bribe doctors to over-prescribe a leading market painkiller. John Kapoor,who founded Insys Therapeutics was arrested following several years of investigation and legal action against some of his former staff. Prosecutors say that Mr Kapoor,who’s 74,oversaw his company’s efforts to boost sales of Subsys-a spray intended for cancer patients experiencing severe pain.The product contains Fentanyl,which is highly addictive. It’s alleged that the firm offered kickbacks and bribes to doctors and pharmacists who wrote increasing numbers of prescriptions for people who had not been diagnosed with cancer. Mr Kapoor denies the charges.

Sport

Rugby League-England play their opening World Cup match against Australia in Melbourne today which looks to be their toughest fixture of the competition. The Kangaroos are the reigning champions having won the World Cup in 2013 and have not been beaten in a Test match since May 2015. England haven’t beaten Australia since 1995 and their last meeting ended in a 36-18 defeat. The match at Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium starts at 11am French time this morning.

Football-Glasgow Rangers have sacked manager Pedro Caixinha after 7 months in charge. The 46 year old won 14 of his 26 games in  charge and leaves Rangers in 4th place in the Scottish Premiership. First team coach Graeme Murty will take over on an interim basis.

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

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

Formula One -First practice for Sunday’s Mexico Grand Prix takes place at 5pm this afternoon as Lewis Hamilton looks to wrap up his 4th drivers’ championship. The Mercedes star only has to finish 5th even if Sebastien Vettel wins the race to secure the world championship. Qualifying is at 8pm tomorrow evening with the race at 8pm on Sunday. The track is reported to favour the Ferraris so Vettel will be hoping that he can win and that Hamilton slips up.

Rugby Union-There’s one game in the Aviva Premiership in England tonight.Sale play Exeter. In the Guinness Pro 14 Connacht play Munster.Glasgow host Southern Kings and Ospreys play Dragons.

Tennis-Venus Williams has beaten Garbine Muguruza to make the semi finals of the WTA Finals in Singapore. Williams won 7-5 6-4 to join Karolina Pliskova in the last 4.She’ll now play either Caroline Wozniacki or Caroline Garcia.

Weather

Clear skies a moderate to strong Mistral developing across the Var with gusts of up to 70 km/h.

Top temperatures 24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with clear skies.  The weekend–Clear skies with highs of 21-24 degrees and becoming windy again in the Var on Sunday.

Don’t forget that the clocks go back by one hour at 2am on Sunday !

Finally

A Christmas mad couple in the UK have got into the festive spirit early by putting up their display of 10,000 fairy lights two months early. The couple both 74, began decking their halls at the end of September and finally finished the tree last week. 

The couple added that they love the season so much they would have the decorations up all year if they could. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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