Driving license - French media has revealed that in the last 18 months, more than 600 driver's licenses have been issued to people who have not passed their highway code. According to Le Point, five people were arrested for fraud on November 12th in Marseille, the Bouches-du-Rhone, Nice, the Alpes-Maritimes and La Seyne-sur-Mer, in the Var. Candidates paid thousands of euros to take advantage of the scam with some even unable to read French.
Metropolitan tax - The deputy of the Alpes Maritimes, Eric Ciotti, has called for the metropolitan tax to be cancelled. In a letter to the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, Ciotti calls for the tax to be abolished in solidarity with the yellow vests. The tax which applies to companies in the region was voted in in 2018.
Yellow vest – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is to meet representatives of the Yellow Vest protests this afternoon ahead of a third day of action that is planned to include a march on the Champs Elysées in Paris. Yellow vest demonstrations continued in our region on Thursday with protestors at the motorway junctions on the A8 at Brignoles, Le Muy, Puget-sur-Argens and Antibes and on the A50 at La Ciotat and Bandol. According to a poll for BFMTV 75% of French people support the yellow vest protesters.
Water quality - The water quality of beaches in the Alpes Maritimes appears to be improving. An analysis by the Ministry of Health performed over the summer months gives an “excellent” level of results to the majority of beaches in Nice, with only one being rated as “insufficient”. In Cannes, sixteen out of eighteen beaches were rated "excellent". In Antibes, the water quality at La Gravette beach has improved since last year and had “average” or “good” ratings this summer.
Ski season - The ski season has arrived as the resorts of Isola 2000, Auron and La Colmiane open this weekend. Auron will open for the weekend closing on Monday 3rd and reopening permanently from Saturday 8th December and La Colmiane will open every weekend until December 22nd.
Smacking - The French National Assembly has voted in favour of a largely symbolic ban on parents smacking their children, a practice which though condemned by the UN still enjoys widespread support in the country. The bill on "corporal punishment or humiliation" seeks to ensure that parental authority is exercised "without violence" of any sort, including "physical, verbal or psychological" violence. MPs voted it through 51-1 early Friday morning, after a late-night debate, and it will now pass to the Senate.
World AIDS Day - Ahead of World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1st, ten non-governmental organization fighting against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria have published a forum challenging French President Emmanuel Macron and his foreign counterparts, asking the heads of state to "do everything" to stop "a human disaster." AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are still responsible for 2.6 million deaths per year, 7,300 every day and 5 every minute.
Measles – Meanwhile the World Health Organisation has announced that the number of Measles cases worldwide has increased by more than 30% in 2017 compared to 2016. In the report published on Thursday a gap in immunization has led to a rise in the number of cases.
The world is watching the G20 Summit meeting in Argentina where President Trump is due to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Recent threats by Mr Trump have undermined hopes that there could be a breakthrough on trade issues with the US leader saying only two days ago that current tariff levels on 200 billion dollars of Chinese imports would rise as planned.
Mr Trump has also threatened to impose new tariffs on another 267 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods if it doesn’t modify what he’s persistently described as “unfair trade practices”.
China has already reciprocated with tariffs on 3 billion dollars worth of US goods and there are concerns that the trade war will escalate this weekend.
Recent summits to not bode well for any resolutions at G20 level.
The German drug giant Bayer is to sell some brands including Dr Scholl’s Footcare and Coppertone sunscreen in a cost cutting job that will also result in the loss of 12,000 jobs.
The measures come following Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto with the cuts accounting for around one in ten of the firm’s workers globally with a large number of jobs going in Germany.
Bayer is also planning to sell its animal health division which could be worth as much as 7 billion euros.
Shares in the company have fallen by more than a third this year with investors concerned about the ramifications of some 9,000 lawsuits brought over the alleged carcinogenic effects of Monsanto weedkillers.
And-AT&T has said that it intends to cut its heavy debt load next year through a variety of measures including a review of its non-core assets such as its stake in the video streaming service Hulu.
The second largest US wireless carrier by subscribers said in New York on Thursday that it will pay off 18 billion dollars of its 20 billion dollar debt by the end of 2019 and will generate as much as 8 billion dollars in cash through the sale of some of its assets.
Shares in AT&T are down by 21 percent so far this year with investors concerned about its spiralling debts which totalled 183 billion dollars as of the 30th of September following its purchase of Time Warner.
Football-Chelsea and Arsenal both won in the Europa League last night to stamp their credentials on the competition.
Chelsea thrashed PAOK Salonika 4-0 in Group L while Arsenal were 3-0 winners at Vorskla Poltava in Group E.
Celtic are through to the knockout phase following a 1-0 win at Rosenborg but Rangers will have to win their final group game to qualify following a 0-0 home draw against Villareal in Group G.
In the English Premier League this weekend Cardiff play Wolves tonight and then on Saturday Crystal Palace play Burnley.Huddersfield host Brighton.Leicester play Watford.Manchester City host Bournemouth.Newcastle face West Ham and Southampton play Manchester United.
On Sunday Chelsea play Fulham.Arsenal play Spurs and Liverpool play Everton.
Rugby Union-There’s one international fixture tomorrow.The Barbarians play Argentina in the traditional pre-festive match at Twickenham.
There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England tonight.Harlequins play Exeter while in the Guinness Pro 14 Munster play Edinburgh and Ospreys host Zebre.
Boxing-Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will meet each other for the World Heavyweight WBC title in Los Angeles early on Sunday morning.
The match appears to be too close to call with reports from a “spy” in the Wilder camp suggesting that he’s “not ready”.
That could all be mind games and tactics though with most experts sitting on the fence and saying that it could go either way.
The fight will be on pay-per-view TV in Europe and there will be radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live from 5am French time on Sunday.
Clouding over with rain later and moderate north easterly winds.
Top temperature 13 degrees Celsius.
Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.
Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 14-16 degrees.
A council in the UK has ruled Santa Claus must be a man after a row erupted when a woman offered to step into the role for the town show.
Since at least the 1970s, Santas have toured the town in a flatbed truck each Christmas Eve, handing out sweets to children while donning a white beard and festive outfit.
Newton Aycliffe’s Father Christmas is always played by male volunteers, but this year it was suggested that a woman could step into Santa Clause’s festive shoes.