French and Riviera News Friday 7th September 2018


Drowning - A 16-year-old rugby player from West Yorkshire has reportedly drowned while on a youth academy tour in southern France. Harry Sykes, was in Carcassone, as part of a trip with Halifax Elite Rugby Academy. Police divers found a body at Lac de la Cavayère late on Wednesday after a two-hour search. The group, which had been based in the French city since Monday, had gone on the trip to play a series of matches against local teams.

School - 192,097 students returned to school this week in the Alpes-Maritimes, 767 more than in 2017. With the number of students on the rise in the region the academy of Nice announced on Thursday the creation of 15 new classes and the closure of 9 affecting several primary schools in Villefranche-sur-mer, Beausoleil, Villeneuve Loubet, Nice, Cannes and Carros.

Bus - A former school bus driver has been fined for asking his passengers to take a breathalyser test on his behalf. All French coaches are fitted with devices, which prevent the vehicle from starting, until the driver's breath has been tested for alcohol. During the journey, the children had to ask the driver to slow down, with one child using GPS on their phone to show he was travelling at over 100km/h. The driver was suspended from his job and later resigned.

Tourism - Initial figures from the regional tourism board, show the Cote d’Azur’s tourist business grew once more this summer. The growth has come from foreign visits, with American visitors up by 20%, UK visits by 13% and Middle Eastern countries by 35%.

Hotel occupancy across the summer was reported at 80% or higher, with the most popular period being in August, when 700,000 tourists were on the Cote d’Azur for the August 15th holiday alone.

Giant Omelette Festival – This year’s “Giant Omelette festival” returns to Saint Aygulf in the Var this weekend 15,000 eggs will be cracked to create this year’s omelette. It was in 1986, in Bessières in the Haute-Garonne, that the first giant omelette was created.


Airbnb - The Paris city council member in charge of housing, Ian Brossat has said that he plans to propose outlawing home rentals via Airbnb and other websites in the city centre, accusing the company of forcing residents out of the French capital. Adding that he would also seek to prohibit the purchase of second homes in Paris, saying such measures were necessary to keep the city from becoming an "open-air museum". With some 60,000 apartments on offer, Paris is the biggest market for Airbnb, which like other home-sharing platforms has come under increasing pressure from cities which claim it drives up rents for locals.

Migrants – Five hundred UK-bound migrants have been 'evacuated' from an illegal camp close to the French port of Dunkirk. Riot police began destroying the makeshift shelters on Thursday. Around 200 officers took part in the operation which is part of the French government's determination not to allow new "shantytowns" to set up along France's northern coast avoiding a repeat of the "Jungle" site near Calais, where more than 10,000 people were living before it was cleared in 2016.


British Airways has confirmed the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app.
The airline says that personal and financial details of customers making bookings has been compromised and that it’s contacted the police.
BA says that some 380,000 transactions have been affected but the stolen data did  not include travel or passport details.
The data breach took place between the night of the 21st of August and the 5th of September.The airline says that the problem has now been fixed and that its website is operating normally.
BA says that it’s contacted all affected customers who should now inform their bank or credit card provider and follow their instructions.
The breach is a major embarrassment for BA and not the first customer relations problem to affect the airline  recently.
In July BA apologised after IT issues caused dozens of flights to be cancelled in and out of Heathrow Airport  while in May 2017 thousands of passengers had their plans disrupted owing to another IT problem that resulted in all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick being cancelled.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies have continued to tumble amid concerns that Wall Street banks are shunning cryptocurrencies.
Media reports say that Goldman Sachs is shelving plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk while mainstream lenders are largely keeping their distance from the trading of digital currencies.
Bitcoin has lost two thirds of its value over the past 9 months while other digital currencies including ethereum continue to fall.
Other issues of concern include money laundering and market manipulation.

And-The leaders of France,Belgium and the Netherlands have warned the British government that they will not allow cherry picking of EU rules or risk the bloc’s unity to pave the way for a Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister of Luxembourg says that EU leaders are still waiting for the UK’s final proposals and that a number of scenarios are still possible.
Xavier Bettel was speaking following a meeting with the Belgian,French and Dutch leaders on Thursday and said that it’s important that the EU 27 show unity and have a common,coherent language.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier met with the UK Secretary for Exiting the European Union,Dominic Raab in Brussels on Thursday.The key issue remaining to be resolved is the Irish border question which Mr Barnier insists must be settled  to allow the two sides to reach an accord on a withdrawal agreement. 


Tennis-The women’s final at the US Open will be between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka of Japan.
Williams powered into her 9th US Open final to give her a chance of equaling Margaret Court’s all time record of 24 grand slams with a 6-3 6-0 win over Anastasija Sevastova while Osaka reached her first ever grand slam final with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Madison Keys.

It’s men’s semi finals day today with Rafael Nadal up against Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic facing Kei Nishikori.

Football-Wales thrashed the Republic of Ireland 4-1 in Group B4 of the new Uefa Nations League competition last night.
In some of the other results France and Germany played out a 0-0 draw in Group A1 while Norway beat Cyprus 2-0 in Group C3 and Ukraine beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in Group B1.

Cricket-Alistair Cook takes his England bow today in the 5th and final Test against India at the Oval.
Cook will retire from international cricket at the end of the match and has said that there’s no prospect of him changing his mind.
Jonny Bairstow has been passed fit to keep wicket for England.
Play starts at noon French time.England have already won the series and will be looking to end it with a 4-1 victory.

Rugby Union-There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership tonight.Northampton play Harlequins at 8.45 while in the Guinness Pro 14 Glasgow play Munster and Ulster play Edinburgh.

Cycling-Great Britain’s Simon Yates has lost the leader’s jersey in the Vuelta e Espana to Jesus Herrada with Alexandre Geniez emerging from a breakaway group to win stage 12.
Yates and his Mitchelton Scott team failed to react as Herrada opened up a large gap in Thursday’s 177.5 kilometer stage.
He now holds a 3 minute 22 second lead over Yates  ahead of today’s 13th stage which is 174.8 kilometers  to the Alto de la Camperona featuring  one category 3 and two category 1 climbs. 


Mainly fine in coastal areas  with the risk of showers and scattered thunderstorms developing inland this afternoon.Light to moderate variable winds and a high of 26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 16 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 25-27 degrees


Controversial new research suggests that infidelity can add value to a marriage. The study, conducted by online dating agency Ashley Madison, revealed many people believe their spouse is more attracted to them – after they cheat.

The results showed that following an affair, a staggering 70 per cent of cheaters said their attitudes became more positive to life in general.

But science suggests this boost in optimistic outlook depends on your underlying reasons for playing away from home.






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