French and Riviera News.Friday April 26th 2019

Moyenne Corniche-Authorities say that it will be some time until they can re-open the Moyenne Corniche above Monaco following a huge rock side caused by torrential rain.

Several tons of rock fell onto the road after a retaining wall that was in the process of being repaired collapsed late on Wednesday.

A heavy goods vehicle which was passing on the road at the time was damaged and is still stuck in the adjacent tunnel.

A geological survey will have to be carried out before the road can be cleared and some residents from the Jardins de Monaco apartment block have been moved into temporary accommodation for their own safety.

Diversions are in force until further notice via the Basse Corniche or the Route de la Turbie leading up to the Grand Corniche.

Monaco is set to be saturated with traffic until the problem is resolved with traffic forced through the Principality while the road is closed.

 

Missing man-Police in the Var are appealing for information about a 22 year old man who’s been missing since last Saturday.

Cedric Lahaye from Toulon was last seen heading to a local beach with two friends.The alarm was raised by his mother when he failed to turn up for a family event and his mobile phone appears to have been switched off.

Mr Lehaye has long,waist length dreadlocks and colourful tattoos on both forearms.

Anyone with information is asked to call Toulon Police on 04 98 00 43 05.

 

Brexit-50 French Customs Officers have staged a protest on the port of Nice over staffing levels and have warned that the government’s lack of preparation for Brexit will push the service to crisis point.

Unions representing officers say that 6,000 jobs have been lost nationally in the service over the past 20 years and that there won’t be enough staff to deal with the increased workload once Britain leaves the EU.

Officers handed out flyers to motorists during the protest which is likely to be repeated if the French government doesn’t agree to talks on staffing levels.

 

European elections-With a month to go before the European Parliamentary elections there appears to be lukewarm interest from French voters.

Nationally between 44 and 49 percent of voters say that they intend to go to the polls according to a BVA opinion poll but there is more interest in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region where 63 percent say that they intend to vote.

Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique en Marche Party has a narrow lead in opinion polls with 23 percent of the vote and the former Front National Party of Marine Le Pen, know known as the Rassemblement National on 22 percent..The mainstream conservative Republicains Party is trailing badly on 13 percent and the Socialists or La France Insoumise are polling dismally on 7.5 percent.

 

Blind tasting-A wine producer at Ramatuelle in the Var has made 6,000 bottles of rose with labels in Braille for the visually impaired.

The Domaine La Rouilliere is not the first wine producer to come up with the idea but it’s a first for the provence region.

The owner of the Domaine Bertrand Letartre is particularly interested in providing Braille labels as his son is visually impaired as the result of a scooter accident which has also left him wheelchair bound.

 

Italian fair-The 9th Italian food fair is taking place in Mougins village this weekend.

There will be a host of exhibitors offering the finest Italian products from cheeses to sausage and pasta on Saturday and Sunday.

A shuttle bus is available from the lower carpark as parking in the village is restricted.Admission is free.

 

In National News.

 

President Macron has announced a series of measures in a bid to quell 5 months of often violent protests by the yellow vest movement.

In a live televised interview with journalists at the Elysee Palace last night ,Mr Macron  announced cuts in income tax ,re-indexing pensions with inflation as well as an end to the closure of schools and hospitals in rural areas until the end of his term.

He also said that the government would abolish the elite ENA civil service college which many French people associate with the privileged class and set up new “grand ecoles” or training schools for future civil servants.

The President admitted that he had made “mistakes” and accepted that to some French people he had appeared “lofty and aloof”.

However ,he said that he would continue with his programme to revitalise the country and said that he would be moving on to “phase 2” of his term of office.

 

Romand to be freed-A man who passed himself off a doctor for years before murdering his parents ,wife and 2 children is to be released after 26 years in custody.

The case against Jean-Claude Romand gripped France in early 1990’s.

After failing to qualify as a doctor ,he conned his parents,family and friends that he had an important research position with the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

To survive and pay the bills , he swindled his parents and friends out of large sums of money which he pretended that he’d invested for them in Switzerland.

When the truth started to emerge,Romand murdered his wife by beating her to death with a rolling pin at the family home on the 9th of January 1993.He then shot dead his two children aged 5 and 7 before traveling to his parents home where he shot them dead.

The next day ,Romand returned home where he took a quantity of barbiturates and set fire to the building.

He was found unconscious by firemen who’d come to tackle the blaze.

The appeal court in Bourges has ruled that Romand can now be freed and his lawyer says that “justice has been done”

He’ll be released sometime before the 26th of June but will have to wear an electronic tag for two years and will be required to attend regular assessment meetings for the next decade.

 

Business.

 

Microsoft has seen its stock market value top a trillion dollars after reporting better than expected quarterly profits and sales.

The software giant passed the landmark briefly on Thursday before its share price fell back.

The firm’s stock has climbed by around a third in the past year,helped by growth in its cloud business.

Microsoft said that revenue in its 4th quarter climbed 14 percent to 30.6 billion dollars thanks to more growth in cloud and an unexpected boost to its software sales.

Net profit was up 19 percent to 8.8 billion dollars.

 

Amazon has posted its 4th consecutive quarter of record profits.

The online retailer and cloud computing giant said that net profit more than doubled in the quarter to 3.56 billion dollars-beating Wall Street estimates.

However ,revenue growth slowed due in main because of weaker sales outside the US.

Sales rose by 17 percent to 59.7 billion dollars  with the firm saying that it expects sales growth of between 13 and 20 percent for the current quarter.

Sales at Amazon Web Services rose by 41 percent to 7.7  billion dollars in the three months to the end of March.

 

And-Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank say that they’ve abandoned merger talks because they posed too much of a risk.

Both banks said that a merger would not have generated “sufficient benefits” to offset the costs of a deal.

Formal merger talks between the two German banking giants only started last month.

The German government had been supporting the tie up.The government still owns a 15.5 percent stake in Commerzbank which it acquired after the bank was bailed out following the financial crisis.

 

Sport.

 

Formula 1-First practice for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place later with Lewis Hamilton leading Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 8 points going into the weekend.

Ferrari are bringing upgrades to the race and will be hoping that either Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc can kickstart the team’s season with a win while Honda are also bringing an engine upgrade that could benefit Red Bull.

Second practice is at 3pm with qualifying at 3pm tomorrow and the race at ten past two on Sunday.

 

Football-The climax to the English Premier League season is approaching with Manchester City favourites now to retain the title.

Liverpool can go top tonight if they beat Huddersfield at Anfield.

In the other games-On Saturday Spurs play West Ham.Crystal Palace host Everton.Fulham play Cardiff.Southampton are at home to Bournemouth.Watford play Wolves and Brighton play Newcastle.

On Sunday Leicester play Arsenal.Burnley host Manchester City and Manchester United play Chelsea.

 

Rugby Union-There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership tonight.Newcastle play Northampton.

 

Athletics-The London Marathon is taking place this Sunday with Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya the defending men’s champion and Vivian Cheruyiot back to defend her women’s title.

Conditions are expected to be cloudy for the 26.2 mile long race with a high of 14 degrees.

The buildup to the race has been slightly overshadowed by a row between Mo Farah and the Olympic champion Heile Gebrselassie over an alleged theft at a hotel in Ethiopia during which Farah is alleged to have assaulted a man and a woman.Both he and his coach deny the story.

 

Weather.

 

Rain clearing away during the course of the afternoon with a moderate to strong Mistral developing across the region with gusts of up to 60 km/h in coastal areas of the Var.

Top temperature 19 degrees.

Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Clear skies,windy in the Var.Highs of 18-20 degrees.

 

 

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