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French and Riviera News Friday 29th September 2017

Local

Pensioner’s take to the streets – Pensioners in Nice and Toulon have taken to the streets in protest against President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms. Thursday saw thousands of pensioners demonstrate across France over increases in their taxes. Around eight million pensioners on more than 1,200 euros a month will pay higher social security contributions next year as Macron seeks to slash the budget deficit. The nine unions behind Thursday's protests say the increase -- expected to bring in 20 billion euros in revenue -- will set the elderly back hundreds of euros a year. The pro-business Macron, whose government unveiled its first budget Wednesday, has made assurances that only the wealthiest pensioners will be asked to tighten their belts to ease the pressure on younger generations.

Meanwhile talks between the government and road transport unions held on Thursday have ended badly. The meeting held on Thursday over the union’s objection to the new labour reforms lasted over five hours and reportedly ended with the unions being surprised that some of the reforms were actually worse than they thought, especially concerning bonuses and expenses.

Minister - The French Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb, is to visit Nice today as part of the ‘Euro-Mediterranean Conference’ on the prevention of radicalisation. Monsieur Collomb will also lay a wreath in front of the monument commemorating the Nice attack of July 14th.

Local money – “La Republica de Nissa” has presented the cities local money - “Nissarts” which is to be tested by some twenty businesses between now and the end of the year. A Nissart, which equals one euro is due to be put into circulation in the coming weeks.

Monte-Carlo Gala - Prince Albert of Monaco was joined by Leonardo DiCaprio on the terraces of the Monte-Carlo Opera on Thursday night for the first gala of its kind, held to raise money towards protecting the world’s oceans. There were performances from Nelly Furtado and Robin Thicke. All funds raised from the evening will be dedicated to action for the protection of the world’s oceans. Each guest has already given 8,000 euros to attend the evening. 

Football - OGC Nice continued its road to success in the European Cup after beating the dutch team Vitesse 3-0 at home on Thursday night on the second day of the Europa League. Nice remain at the top of their group and will face Lazio Rome at the end of October. 

National

French police to face trial over rape - Two French policemen are to face trial accused of raping a Canadian tourist at the Paris police headquarters. The woman, who was allegedly assaulted by the officers in April 2014, has won her appeal to see the case brought back to court after judges threw it out last year. The defendants, both members of the elite BRI force which deals with serious crimes, could appeal Thursday's ruling.

Cannabis found in Channel Tunnel - French police have uncovered 1.7 tonnes of cannabis resin, worth some €12 million, that was hidden inside a UK-bound truck in the Channel Tunnel. The haul, which was wrapped in heat-sealed plastic bags was discovered by French border police. The biggest ever cannabis seizure in France was in 1999 when 23.5 tonnes was seized in one haul.

British tourist creates havoc at French Port – Meanwhile, a British holidaymaker has caused travel chaos at a French port forcing authorities to send in the bomb squad after he tried to board a UK-bound ferry with three shells left over from World War Two. The passenger's eagerness to bring home some Second World War souvenirs led to the ferry terminal in Normandy being evacuated. Police arrested the man, and the ferry terminal was immediately evacuated in order to bring in bomb disposal experts. 

Mona Lisa - According to a French art expert a charcoal drawing housed in another art collection for more than 150 years may have been a sketch for the Mona Lisa. The charcoal portrait of a nude woman, known as the Monna Vanna, was previously attributed only to Leonardo da Vinci's studio. But experts have found enough clues to suggest the artist worked on both. After tests at the Louvre Museum in Paris, curators believe the sketch is "at least in part" by Leonardo.

Business

The US economy expanded at a faster pace than previously estimated in the second quarter,recording its quickest growth in more than 2 years according to data from the Commerce Department. In its third estimate of growth for the period between April and June,the Commerce Department said that GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. However,the momentum has likely slowed in the third quarter due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Growth in the second quarter was the quickest since the first quarter of 2015. Higher consumer spending as well as state expenditure helped the expansion with the upward revision surprising analysts who’d expected it to stay the same.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that Boeing’s behaviour in its trade dispute with Bombardier is undermining its relationship with the UK. Ms May said that the US aerospace giant was “not behaving as we expect from a long-term partner”. Jobs in Belfast,where part of Bombardier’s C-Series jet is manufactured could be at risk after the United States slapped an interim 220 percent import tariff on the plane. The move came after Boeing complained that Bombardier was receiving unfair state aid from  both Canada and the UK. The Canadian firm is one of Northern Ireland’s biggest employers and the threat of job cuts could jeopardise the Conservative government’s pact with the Democratic Unionist Party.

And-A software issue has caused check-in delays at several airports worldwide and booking issues for many airlines. The software provider Amadeus said that it experienced a network issue on Thursday morning but that the system had been quickly restored. Problems were reported at London Gatwick,Charles de Gaulle in Paris and Melbourne airports among others. Several airlines use the Amadeus software to manage reservations and check-in desks.The firm counts British Airways,Qantas,South-West and Lufthansa among its clients.

Sport

Cricket-The England and Wales Cricket board has said that neither Ben Stokes or Alex Hales will be considered for international selection  until further notice after they were involved in an incident near a Bristol nightclub in the early hours of Monday. Stokes was arrested but has not yet been charged while enquiries continue while the involvement of Hales is less clear.He was with Stokes at the time but is not thought to have taken part in a brawl that left one man needing hospital treatment.

Formula 1-The battle for the drivers’ championship resumes in Malaysia this weekend with Lewis Hamilton heading into the Sepang Grand Prix with a 28 point lead over Sebastien Vettel. Ferrari are now playing catch-up and will be hoping for a much better race than in Singapore where Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen collided on the first lap. Qualifying is at 11am tomorrow with the race at 9am on Sunday.

Football-Arsenal won their Group H Europa League away game against BATE Borisov 4-2 last night but Everton were held to a 2 all home draw by Apollon Limassol. Nice beat Vitesse 3-0 in Group K.

In the English Premier League this weekend the lunchtime game tomorrow is between Huddersfield and Spurs.Then it’s Bournemouth against Leicester.Manchester United against Crystal Palace.Stoke play Southampton.West Brom host Watford.West Ham play Swansea and Chelsea play Manchester City. On Sunday,Arsenal host Brighton.Everton play Burnley and Newcastle host Liverpool.

Rugby Union-There are three games in the Aviva Premiership in England tonight.Newcastle play London Irish.Worcester host Saracens and Sale play Gloucester. In the Guinness Pro 14 Cheetas play Ospreys.Glasgow play Treviso.Leinster meet Edinburgh and Scarlets play Connacht.

Racing-18 runners have been declared for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Enable heading the field. There’s prize money totalling 5 million euros for Europe’s richest horse race with 2.8 million going to the winner. Aiden O’Brien has 5 horses in the race and Frankie Dettori,who’s partnering Enable is looking for his 5th victory in the race. Enable is the favourite but trainer John Gosden is concerned about the narrowness of the Chantilly track.

Racing-Enable has been officially added to the field for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly. The filly will be ridden by Frankie Dettori as he bids to win the race for  a record 5th time. The number of possible runners in Europe’s richest horse race is now at 20.The prize money totals 5 million euros with 2.85 million euros going to the winner.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperatures 25 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.  

The weekend–Clouding over tomorrow with a high of 23.Sunshine and showers in the Alpes-Maritimes on Sunday,fine in the Var.Highs of 21-23 degrees.

Finally 

According to official figures Hertmere is the most miserble part of Britain. The Hertfordshire borough, which includes the set for the BBC soap opera EastEnders, had the UK's lowest ratings of happiness last year.

Meanwile Craven, in North Yorkshire - topped the ranking and was also the least anxious. 

The differing fortunes of location across the country have been revealed in findings on wellbeing released by the Office for National Statistics.

They show overall Britons have become happier since the EU referendum despite political turmoil.

 

 

 

 

 

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