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French and Riviera News.Monday.01.10.2018

 

New speed limit-There’s been a mixed reaction from the public to the new speed restriction on the A8 Motorway.

From this morning,the speed limit between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var has been cut from 110 km/h to 90 km/h for four kilometers in both directions on the orders of the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes.

The local authority had asked the motorway operator to carry out work to introduce a variable speed limit to help traffic flow during peak hours but when the company refused it was decided to introduce a blanket cut.

Road users are divided on the new measure with some saying that the A8 now longer fits the description of a motorway while others say they think it will help to prevent accidents.

The local Republicans Party official Eric Ciotti is firmly against the new restriction.In addition,he’s asked the French Transport Minister to order the removal of the Nice Saint Isidore toll gate as he says it’s unfair that local motorists should be the only ones in the country to pay to use a motorway that bisects a major city.The Transport Minister has so far refused to consider the request.

 

Brexit looms-With the chances of a “no deal” Brexit increasing,British residents are being urged to get their paperwork together and apply at either the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes at Nice or in the Var at Draguignan for a residency card or Carte de Sejour before the March 29th deadline when the UK could crash out of Europe with nothing settled.

Two Facebook pages offer vital information for UK residents in France.There’s the main RIFT-Remain in France Together page and also the RIFT Alpes-Maritimes page.

An interview with Claire Phillips from RIFT is available today on the Full English Breakfast Show podcast from our website www.rivieraradio.mc   

 

Poisoned-15 people have been intoxicated after eating the same species of wild mushroom during a picnic between Sospel and Luceram on Sunday.

The 15 all ate the ‘devil’s bolete’ mushroom which although not fatal,causes severe digestion problems as well as fainting and general fatigue.

Emergency services using helicopters came to the victims aid after the alarm was raised a lunchtime.6 ambulances took those affected to hospital in Nice and Menton where they’re being kept under observation for 48 hours.

 

Straight on-The driver of a car that crashed into a bar tabac in Grasse in the early hours of Sunday has been arrested and remanded in custody.

The owner of the bar who was preparing to open for the day on the 4 Chemins reported hearing a loud crash as the car containing 4 people ploughed into the building at 5.30 on Sunday morning.He told the police that he thought he’d been targeted by ram raiders but it was later established that the driver of the car was drunk and had missed a bend in the road and crashed head-on into the bar.

The four occupants of the vehicle who had been on a night out were unhurt.The driver failed an alcohol breath test.

 

A8 accident-One person has been seriously injured in an accident on the A8 motorway.

Police say the accident occurred at around 5.30 on Sunday morning for an as yet unknown reason.

When emergency services arrived at the scene they found two vehicles in an upside down position on the east bound side of the road near the Bouches-du-Loup exit.

An enquiry has been launched.

 

It’s a gas-A number of changes come into force in France today,notably a hike in the gas price for several million households.

From this morning the average price of gas has gone up by 3.25 percent.

Households that only use gas for cooking will see the price rise by 1 percent while those that have gas fired central heating will see an increase of 3.3 percent.Consumers who use a combination of gas for heating and cooking will see the price rise by 2 percent.

A number of state benefits are also changing today with single parents with children under the age of 6 seeing aid for child care costs rising to a maximum of 250 euros per month.

Employees salary contributions towards the cost of unemployment benefit are being scrapped which should result in a small increase in the size of the average pay packet while the bonus paid to workers on salaries of up to 1300 euros per month will rise to 20 euros on the 1st of November.

In addition the government is also increasing benefits to handicapped adults by 41 euros per month to 860 euros from the 1st of November and has promised to increase it to 900 euros by the end of 2019.

 

In National News.

 

Rapper trial-The French rapper who has caused deep offence to a large majority of the population with a music video entitled “hang white people” is to go on trial on charges of inciting violence .

Nick Conrad will stand trial on the 9th of January and faces a 5 year jail sentence and maximum fine of 45,000 euros if found guilty.

The video has been condemned by the French interior minister and politicians from all sides of the spectrum.

Mr Conrad,who was little known until the video shot him to notoriety says that he hopes that the trial will result in him being “listened to” and that he hopes that the words to his video will be “studied in depth and not superficially”.

In an interview with La Parisian newspaper last week,he said that the video had been intended to shock and that he wanted to “inverse the roles of the white man and the black man”.

 

Secret service mole-A police officer from the French internal security service DGSI is being investigated for allegedly selling confidential information on the dark web in return for payments in bitcoin.

Agence France Presse says that the officer was arrested last Wednesday and is being held in custody pending a full enquiry.

Reports say that the suspect is being investigated for links to organised crime and that the information he passed on pertains to sensitive economic data and is not linked to terrorism.

 

Business.

 

The United States and Canada have reached a deal to save the North American Free Trade Agreement in a trilateral agreement with Mexico which will substantially boost American access to Canada’s dairy market and protect Canada from possible US auto tariffs.

President Trump had threatened to break up the 25 year old NAFTA agreement and split it into a bilateral pact with Mexico if Canada failed to sign the agreement before midnight on Sunday.

Mr Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and wants major changes to the agreement which underpins 1.2 trillion dollars in annual trade.

Sources close to the deal say that Canada has now agreed to allow US dairy farmers access to around 3.5 percent of its 16 billion dollar annual domestic dairy market  and also signed up to a quota of 2.6 million vehicles exported to the US in the event that Mr Trump imposes 25 percent global auto tariffs on the grounds of national security.

The quota would allow for significant growth in tariff-free automotive exports from Canada above current production limits of 2 million units.

 

Elon Musk is to step down as chairman of Tesla but will remain as chief executive in a deal with the US Securities and Exchange Commision.

Mr Musk will also pay a 20 million dollar fine to settle an investigation into alleged securities fraud.

The billionaire was being investigated by the SEC after he posted tweets about taking Tesla private.

Mr Musk had initially defended the tweets by saying that he’d acted in the “best interests of truth, transparency and investors”.

He now has 45 days to leave his role of chairman of the electric car firm  with a new independent chairman being sought to preside over the company’s board.

 

 

And-The Wall Street Journal says that Saudi Arabia has shelved plans to build the world’s biggest solar power generation project at a cost of some 200 billion dollars.

The paper said on Sunday that nobody is actually working on the project and that Saudi Arabia is instead working on a broader,more practical strategy to boost renewable energy.

In March,Softbank said that it would be investing in the plan to build the world’s largest solar energy plant in Saudi Arabia capable of producing up to 200 gigawatts of power by 2030.

Softbank is yet to comment on the Wall Street Journal report.

 

Sport.

 

Golf-Europe has thrashed the United States to regain the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National near Paris.

The Open champion Francisco Molinari beat Phil Mickelson to get Europe to the 14 and a half-point winning mark  and his side eventually got to 17 and a half-points to the USA’s 10 and a half.

Jon Rahm,Ian Poulter,Thorbjorn Olesen,Henrik Stenson and Alex Noren all joined Molinari in winning their singles matches on the final day which started with Europe leading the USA 10-6.

The Americans did fight back after winning 3 and a half points of the first 5 points on the final day but it wasn’t to be and Europe can celebrate a famous victory.

 

Football-There was one game in the English Premier League on Sunday.Burnley were 2-1 winners at Cardiff.

There’s one game tonight.Bournemouth play Crystal Palace.

In Scotland on Sunday newly promoted Livingstone beat Rangers 1-0.

 

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers’ championship to 50 points after winning the Russian Grand Prix in controversial circumstances.

Hamilton benefited from Mercedes team orders after Valtteri Bottas was ordered to let him pass midway through the race to protect him from Vettel.

The championship leader did have to pass the Ferrari later in the race after being out maneuvered at the pit stops.

Bottas finished in second place with Vettel in third.

The next race is the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday with Hamilton looking to be easing towards a 5th world championship.

 

Rugby Union-There was one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England on Sunday.Leicester beat bottom of the table Sale 19-15.

 

Cycling-Alejandro Valverde of Spain has won the men’s race at the World Race Championships in Austria.

Valverde finished just ahead of Romain Bardet of France and Michael Woods of Canada in a sprint finish in Innsbruck.

The 38 year old had previously finished on the podium a record 6 times.

 

Weather

 

Fine in the Var,becoming cloudy in the Alpes-Maritimes with the chance of some rain and scattered thunderstorms from lunchtime onwards.

A moderate to strong Mistral developing across the Var with gusts of up to 80 km/h and a top temperature of 23 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 23-26 degrees.

 

Finally.

 

Children in a province north of Cairo may face the new school year without familiar Disney characters to cheer them up.

The governor of Qalyubia has decreed that cartoon images of Mickey Mouse and his friends on the walls of pre-schools must be replaced by "military heroes".

"We need to replace pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck with images of famous Egyptians and military martyrs, so that children will look up to them as role models. These characters are US-made, whereas we have our own noble figures who can deepen children's patriotism and love of country," Alaa Abdul-Halim Mohammed Marzouk told reporters.

A Ministry of Education official in Qalyubia said that a committee would see how the governor's orders should be implemented across the whole province.

The Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - a former general - is keen to raise the profile of the military in all spheres of public life, in particular education.

 

 

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