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French and Riviera News Monday 14th May 2018

Local

SNCF - Strike action by the SNCF continues today causing delays and cancellations. On Sunday the SNCF released a statement warning of possible station blockages across France as the movement increases amongst unions who have threatened to occupy tracks and station premises. The company has advised passengers to find an alternative form of transport. Meanwhile unions have today opened an internal referendum  inviting employees to vote for or against the government reforms.

Paris attack - Khamzat Azimov, who carried out the attack that left one dead and four wounded on Saturday night in Paris, had previously lived in Nice. Azimov a Chechen-born Frenchman left Russia for France in the early 2000s and settled in Nice. In 2004, the family received refugee status. Azimov was filed S but did not have a criminal record. "He had attracted the attention of the intelligence services,". His parents were arrested along with a friend on Sunday morning and taken into custody. French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the attack writing on Twitter "France pays once again the price of blood but does not give an inch to the enemies of freedom," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe hailed "the exceptional reaction of the police forces", whose quick intervention helped to avoid "a more serious incident".

Missing person - Police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward following the worrying disappearance of 68 year old Alain Waddell from Canada. Waddell is reported to have left his home in Mouans-Sartoux on May 9th and hasn’t been seen since. Anyone likely to have any information about him is asked to contact the Gendarmerie Mouans-Sartoux on 04.93.75.27.46.

Anti-harassment telephone platform in Cannes - Marlène Schiappa, the French secretary of state for equality between women and men has visited Cannes meeting those working on a special anti-harassment telephone platform which has been set up during the Cannes Film Festival. While on the Croisette Schiappa announced that the first complaints had been registered.

Emmanuel Macron in the Var - Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte have left Fort Brégancon in the Var after spending a long bank holiday weekend at the presidential residence. The couple kept themselves out of the spotlight during their visit with a brief visit to the island of Porquerolles. Emmanuel Macron is the eighth head of state to stay as Brégancon which has been dedicated since 1968 to welcome French Presidents.

National

Iran - French President Emmanuel Macron has told President  Donald Trump that he is seriously worried about  stability in the Middle East. In a phone conversation at the weekend Macron expressed his serious concern following the US leader's decision to renounce the multilateral deal on Iran's nuclear programme. European nations are to negotiate with the US over its threat to slap sanctions on companies that do business with Iran.

Local currency - Paris has officially launched a local currency that can be used alongside the euro in local shops and businesses. The French capital has joined a growing trend inspired by initiatives such as the Brixton and Bristol pounds in the UK. The local currency, known as the pêche (peach), has had a trial run in Montreuil, just outside Paris, since June 2014. It is accepted by about 100 businesses in Montreuil and the neighbouring towns of Bagnolet and the Pré Saint Gervais and from now on businesses in Paris will be able to accept it too, letting customers know they have joined the scheme by displaying a sticker of a fruit with a P on it.

Business

A man who once lived in a council house in Manchester has topped the Sunday Times Rich List this year.
Jim Ratcliffe who founded the chemical firm Ineos rises from 18th place on the list last year to first with an estimated fortune of 21.05 billion pounds.
Mr Ratcliffe,who’s 65 is the son of a joiner whose mother worked in the accounts department of an office.
The Sunday Times says that his wealth increased by 15 billion pounds last year,partly because of a revaluation of his assets.
Mr Ratcliffe is currently involved in a legal dispute with the Scottish Government over its moratorium on fracking.

The discount retailer Poundworld has been put up for sale by its owner TPG.
The chain had been looking to close around 100 of its 355 stores as part of restructuring as it battled to survive the tough retail environment.
The process has now been put on hold after TPG,a private equity firm said that it had received expressions of interest for the firm.
Poundworld currently employs around 5,500 people but has been hit by rising overheads,falling consumer confidence and the growth in online shopping.
The chain imports much of its stock and has been forced to pay much more for it because of the fall in value of the pound.

And-The Sunday Telegraph has reported that around a dozen UK cabinet ministers are lining up block Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for a “new customs partnership” with the European Union.
Last week,Ms May divided her cabinet into two groups with one set the task of looking at ways in which a new customs partnership would work and the other tasked with bringing forward proposals for a so called “Max Fax” technological solution.
The paper says that it has now established that 12 of the 28 ministers in the cabinet will oppose a new customs partnership although the real figure could be as high as 15.
The European Union has already said that it doesn’t think that either of the new ideas will work.

Sport


Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has moved 17 points clear of Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers’ championship as he won the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona with ease ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
Hamilton looked in total control as he pulled away from a first lap crash involving Roman Grosejean who took Nico Hulkenburg and Pierre Gasly out when his car slewed across the track after running wide.He’s been handed a three place grid penalty for Monaco after telling the stewards that he’d chosen to let his car to cross the track.
Ferrari will be concerned after Sebastian Vettel only managed 4th place and Kimi Raikkonen retired midway through the race with engine failure.
Next stop Monaco on May the 27th 

Football-The final day of the English Premier League season has seen Liverpool make the Champions League next season in 4th place and Chelsea having to settle for a place in the Europa League.
At the bottom,Swansea joined Stoke and West Brom in being relegated.


The semi final second leg in the English Championship playoff is on tonight.Fulham play Derby with the visitors leading 1-0 from the first leg.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday the champions Celtic were beaten 1-0 by Aberdeen who finish as runners up.
Rangers were denied second place as they were held to a 5-5 draw in a last-day goal fest at Hibs and Kilmarnock beat Hearts 1-0.

Cricket-Ireland trail Pakistan  by 116 runs heading into day 4 of their inaugural Test against Pakistan in Malahide.
Pakistan declared their first innings on 310-9 before bowling the home side out for just 130 before enforcing the follow on.At stumps Ireland were 64-0 in their second innings.Play is due to resume at noon.

Golf-Webb Simpson has won the Players Championship at Sawgrass by 4 shots.
It was the American’s first win since 2013.He carded a final round one over par 73 to finish on 18 under with Charl Schwartzel,Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffle all ending on 14 under.

Tennis-The world number 3 Alexander Zverev has won the Madrid Open after beating Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final.
Zverev broke early in both sets to win 6-4 6-4 and lay down his credentials for the French Open in Paris at the end of the month.

Cycling-Great Britain’s Simon Yates stormed to victory in stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday to extend his overall race lead to 32 seconds.
Yates accelerated away with 100 meters to go at the summit finish to Gran Sasso.
Chris Froome is 2 minutes 27 seconds off the overall pace down in 11th place.
Today is a rest day. 

Weather

Overcast with rain and some brighter spells this afternoon with moderate to strong westerly winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy with a high of 19 degrees tomorrow.Fine on Wednesday with a high of 22.

Finally 

London has three times more UFO sightings than any other UK town or city — with 336 incidents since 2001

Celebrity UFO believers include Robbie Williams, Shaun Ryder and Kim Wilde - who had a close encounter in her back garden in 2009.

New statistics show that 336 UFO incidents have been officially reported there since 2001 - with a host of celebs including David Bowie, Robbie Williams and Prince Philip among the believers.

London has more UFO sightings than any other UK city. Manchester is the second with 110 close encounters while there were 79 in Birmingham and 56 in Liverpool.

North of the border Glasgow topped the list with 69 and Cardiff logged 35 reports. Overall the UK is the third highest in the world for UFO sightings with 5,234 reports in the past 16 years.

The US has had the most sightings with 139,876 - the equivalent of one report every hour. Canada is second with 5,780. Mexico had 607 and India 574.

Many could be explained as aircraft misidentifications or natural phenomena but around five per cent remain unsolved and defy explanation.

 

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