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French and Riviera News Monday 11th December 2017

Local

Weather warning - 36 departments in France have been put on a high weather alert, including the Alpes Maritimes, with strong winds and rain forecast. The wave of bad weather is travelling from east to west affecting both the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean . The warning remains in place until midnight. Many flights at Nice Airport were cancelled or delayed on Sunday due to bad weather in Northern Europe and with more bad weather forecast today, the airport has advised passengers to check with their airline company. Meanwhile for motorist in the region the road to Isola 2000 has been closed in both directions due to the risk of avalanche. The road was closed on Sunday evening and will remain closed until further notice.

Salmonella scare - Following 26 cases of children falling sick in France French baby-milk maker Lactalis and health authorities have ordered a major international product recall due to fears of salmonella contamination. Lactalis, one of the world’s biggest producers of dairy products, sells its baby milk in packets ranging from 350-950 grams which are marketed globally under a host of brand names, including Milumel, Picot and Celi. A Company spokesman said “nearly 7,000 tonnes” of production may have been contaminated, but the company is unable to say currently how much remains on the market, has been consumed or is in stock.

Elections in Corsica - The Corsican nationalist party “Pe a Corsica” has won the second round of elections held on Sunday with 56.46% of the vote. The party has an absolute majority with 41 out of a total of 63 seats. French media has reported that Sunday’s outcome looks set to pose a new challenge to French President Emmanuel Macron. The leaders of Pe a Corsica have stressed throughout that their short-term goal is greater autonomy, rather than independence from France. They have formulated three core demands: they want equal recognition for the Corsican language along with French and an amnesty for convicts they consider to be political prisoners. They also want the state to recognise a special Corsican residency status -- which would be used to fight against property speculation fuelled by foreigners snapping up holiday homes.

March for migrants in Marseille - 200 people have gathered in Marseille to march in protest against the difficulties for asylum seekers in France. “The Support Migrants 13” group demonstrated on Sunday afternoon calling for procedures to be made easier for migrants seeking asylum in France.

National

Ferry run aground due to stormy weather - A ferry with more than 200 passengers on board has run aground in stormy weather in Calais. The Pride of Kent tried to leave Calais bound for Dover around midday on Sunday, but ran aground in the harbour. A spokesman for P&O Ferries said the ferry was now afloat, and confirmed there were no reported injuries.

New leader for French Républicain party - France’s conservative opposition party has elected a new hardline leader, Laurent Wauquiez will take control of the Les Républicains (LR) party after its disastrous performance in the presidential election earlier this year when its candidate, François Fillon, failed to make it into the second-round vote. Wauquiez was elected president of LR on Sunday with 74.6% of the votes. 

Mobile phones banned from primary and secondary schools - The French Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced that mobile phones are to be banned from primary and secondary schools as of September 2018. The announcement was made on Sunday and is part of a reform which Blanquer has been defending for several months. It comes a few days after the minister’ decision to introduce a daily dictation at school.

Business

Bitcoin has started trading on the Cboe Futures Exchange in Chicago in a development that supporters say is a step to legitimising the crypto-currency.
Trading started last night with Bitcoin valued at 15,000 dollars.The currency’s futures were volatile for the first 20 minutes of trading,rising to 16,600 dollars before slipping back.
The decision by the Cboe to start trading Bitcoin is expected to be followed next week by rival listing on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange .
According to Coindesk.com,Bitcoin was trading at 15,230 dollars earlier this morning  but regulators have warned investors about the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading contracts.

Media reports say that Apple is close to buying the music recognition app Shazam for around 400 million dollars.
Shazam allows people to use an app on their smartphone or computer to identify and buy music using a snippet of recorded sound.
The firm says that it has 100 million monthly users and that it makes most of its money from commissions paid on referrals to Apple’s iTunes Store.
Neither Apple or Shazam has commented on the reports.
By acquiring Shazam,Apple would cut out the middleman and save money on commissions.

And-The UK Brexit Secretary David Davis has said that he wants a “Canada plus plus plus” trade deal with the EU when Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019.
Speaking on the BBC on Sunday,Mr Davis said that the UK wants to secure a free trade deal with no tariffs when it leaves the EU.
He said that unlike Canada,he wants financial services included in the deal.
The opposition Labour Party says that the UK should “stay aligned” to the EU after Brexit and could pay to access the single market along the same lines as Norway.

Sport

Football-There were 3 games in the English Premier League on Sunday with Manchester City extending their winning run to 14 games-a record for the top division in England as they beat rivals Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford to move 11 points clear at the top of the table.
The Merseyside derby ended Liverpool 1 Everton 1 at Anfield and Southampton and Arsenal drew 1-1 at Saint Mary’s.
In the Scottish Premier League on Sunday Hibs drew 2-2 with the leaders Celtic.

Cricket-The England Lions batsman Ben Duckett has been suspended from the tour of Australia and given a final written warning about his conduct after pouring a drink over James Anderson in a Perth bar.
While the incident itself has been described as “trivial” by ECB officials,management say that they’re not willing to tolerate bad behaviour by players on the tour following incidents involving Jonny Bairstow and previous to that the controversy surrounding Ben Stokes who has been accused of actual bodily harm following a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub.
Duckett will remain with the squad but has been suspended until further notice.
The third Test between Australia and England starts in Perth on Thursday.

Rugby Union-There were 3 games in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.
In Pool 1 La Rochelle beat Wasps 49-29 while Harlequins went down 17-5 to Ulster at snow-bound Stoop.
In Pool 3 Exeter lost 18-8 at home to Leinster.

Weather

THERE’S AN ORANGE WEATHER ALERT IN FORCE FOR THE ALPES-MARITIMES AND VAR UNTIL MIDNIGHT 

Heavy rain,localised flooding and snow above 400 meters with a strong south westerly wind across the region.

Top temperature 14 degrees Celsius. Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with clearing skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy with a high of 12-13 degrees.

 

 

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