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French and Riviera News Friday 30th March 2018

Local

Travel chaos - Planes have been unable to land at Nice International Airport due to weather conditions. Very low cloud meant planes due to land in Nice were either delayed or cancelled up until 10pm on Thursday evening. Today there will be more disruption to Air France flights as strike action will reportedly affect a quarter of flights schedule from Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Marseille. Passengers are advised to check before travelling.

Strike Action – Meanwhile there will be a limited service in the Courts in the Alpes-Maritimes today following strike action from lawyers and magistrates. Unions protesting against reforms are to block the access to the courthouse in Grasse from 8 o’clock with other disruptions expected in Nice.

Pensioner - Police have launched an investigation into the death of a retired pensioner in Marseille. The victim reportedly shot himself on Thursday afternoon in front of passerby’s on the Rue Miradou. Police have called for any witnesses to come forward.

Road accident - Three people have been taken to hospital following a collision between two cars on the dual carriageway in Cannes. The accident occurred shortly after 9.45 on Thursday evening. Both vehicles were driving towards Antibes at the time. Police have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident which at the time saw traffic diverted in the area.

Macklemore to perform in Cannes - American hip hop star Macklemore is to perform in Cannes at the Palais des Festivals in on the 14th August. Fans have the opportunity today to purchase tickets online and in the usual outlets. Macklemore has just released his new solo album Gemini the American artist won 4 grammy Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards in 2013.  

Games donated to children in hospital in Cannes -Meanwhile on Thursday in Cannes 100 games were distributed to children at the hospital. Organisers and partners of the 2018 edition of the Cannes International Games Festival - a major event which took place from 23rd to 25th February - had reserved a range of games to be handed out to the children.

National

Syria - France has offered to mediate in the conflict in northern Syria, where Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish fighters in January. President Emmanuel Macron met members of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, including the YPG. President Macron expressed hopes for dialogue between Turkey and the militia.

Nicolas Sarkozy - Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been sent to trial for corruption and influence peddling. The case centres over phone calls Sarkozy allegedly made to a senior judge who was investigating claims that his 2007 presidential campaign was illegally funded. Sarkozy is alleged to have promised the judge a comfortable promotion in return for information about the fraud inquiry. The judge and Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, have also been ordered to stand trial on the same charges. All three have denied any wrongdoing; the former leader’s lawyers announced he would appeal against the decision to send the case to court.

Artificial Intelligence - French President Emmanuel Macron is to unveil proposals backed by 1.5 billion euros in public funds to make France a centre of reference for artificial intelligence research. Earlier, Microsoft announced it will invest 30 million dollars in France over three years in the Artificial Intelligence sector. According to the software giant, the investment would create 3000 new jobs in the French tech industry.

Metro in Rennes - A new experiment which aims to allow the visually impaired to access metro stations is to be launched in the French city of Rennes as of next week. Lasting six months the experiment will mean using ones sense of smell as different perfumes will be used to identify different metro stations.

Urinating in the street - Paris City hall has been issuing fines of 68 euros for urinating in the street. 5,381 people were fined in 2017 alone marking a 165% increase from 2016. An old age problem in Paris city officials are hoping that a new set of eco-friendly urinals will make Paris cleaner.

Business

One of Britain's oldest engineering firms has been sold for £8.1bn to a controversial investment firm. GKN, which has had a hand in making everything from Minis to Spitfires, lost its battle to stay independent. Melrose Industries, which specialises in turning round troubled manufacturing businesses and selling them on, won the backing of 52% of GKN shareholders.

Donald Trump has turned his fire on Amazon with a series of complaints about the online retailer's tax practices and the threat it poses to smaller rivals. Shares in the tech giant fell by more than 4% on Thursday after Mr Trump set out the gripes in a tweet though they later recovered to end 1% higher after the White House said "no actions" were currently planned against the company despite the concerns.

Apple has updated its iOS, MacOS and tvOS operating systems to give people more information about how their personal data is collected and used. After updating, customers will see new information screens when they use Apple-made apps that collect personal data, such as App Store. The change comes ahead of new EU data protection rules, which take effect on 23 May.

And - Female cabin crew at Cathay Pacific have won a battle to scrap a rule forcing them to wear skirts. The Hong Kong airline has agreed flight attendants can choose to wear trousers, after intense union pressure.

Sport

Cricket - Former Australia captain Steve Smith broke down in tears as he apologised for his part in the ball-tampering scandal. Smith and batsmen David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been banned by Cricket Australia for the incident in the third Test against South Africa. Bancroft and Warner have also apologised for their actions. Australia coach Darren Lehmann, who was cleared of any involvement in the incident, announced later on Thursday that he would stand down following the current Test series with South Africa.

Football - There will be no British referee at the World Cup this summer for the first time since 1938. Fifa has chosen 36 officials for the tournament in Russia but none from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

In the English Premier League this week-end on Saturday  Crystal Palace play Liverpool, Brighton play Leicester, Man Utd play Swansea, Newcastle will face Huddersfield, Watford play Bournemouth, West Brom play Burnley, West Ham play Southhampton and Everton play Man City on Sunday Asernal play Stoke and Chelsea play Tottenham.

Boxing – Police in the UK have issued a stark warning against those planning to illegally stream Antony Joshua’s fight against Joseph Parker by highlighting the risks involved.  Joshua will take on Parker on Saturday evening at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff with the fight also available to watch on Sky Sports Box Office for those at home. Viewers will pay up to £24.95, on the day of the fight, to watch Joshua defend his WBA, IBF and IBO world titles in the ring.

Weather

Cloudy with rain forecast for later on in the day in both the Alpes Maritimes and the Var with a moderate variable wind. Highs of 16 degrees going down to 7 degrees this evening.

Outlook for the week-end rain on Saturday morning brightening up by the afternoon with highs of 17 degrees. Sunday clear skies and plenty of sunshine to being with becoming increasingly cloudy by the afternoon and highs of 16 degrees.

Finally

Jigsaw fan admits nearly getting divorced after taking two years to finish 33,600-piece puzzle. Ken Robinson nearly saw his marriage fall apartwhile taking two years to complete a 33,600-piece puzzle. Ken, 74, holed up away from wife Christine, 71, in a spare room for up to four hours a night.

But they are celebrating him finishing the £200 jungle scene which measures 18ft 8in by 5ft 1in.

 

 

 

 

 

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