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French and Riviera News Monday 24th September 2018

Local

Drug trafficking network - Six men have been arrested following a police investigation into a large drug trafficking network in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. 12 kilos of cocaine  along with three handguns and 400,000 euros was seized during the operation. It's the largest bust since the beginning of the year in the Bouches-du Rhone. Since 2017, there have been nearly a thousand seizures of cocaine in the region an increase of 30% compared to 2016.

SBM Monaco - The SBM here in Monaco has released its results for 2017-2018 showing an increase turnover of 16 million euros in the last year and a total turnover of 475 million euros. Losses are down from 33 million to 27 million which is linked to major rebuild and investment into the Hotel de Paris.The refurbished Hôtel de Paris will fully re open in next few months. 

Sport clubs - Sports clubs in the region have announced plans to use sponsorship in order to save some smaller clubs which are under threat of closure due to budget cuts. In Saint-Laurent du Var each year the local council funds 800,000 euros to help the 36 sporting assocations. Following an announcement from France’s Sport Minister the budget looks set to be reduced by 7% in 2018 and 6% in 2019 in an attempt to save 30 million euros.

Golf - Romain Langasque from Grasse in the Alpes Maritimes has won his first professional golf tournament. Langasque won on Sunday at the Challenge Tour putting him in good pace for the European Tour next season.  

Start up Biéropolis - A start up in Grasse launched ten months ago is going from strength to strength. Biéropolis is an internet platform designed for the sale of local beers. With nine local breweries in Antibes, Nice and Grasse Biéropolis aim is to make distribution easier. Rare beers can be ordered individually or you can subscribe to receive one box a month and all beers are from local and craft breweries in the area.

National

President Emmanuel Macron – According to a major poll published on Sunday more than 70% of France's population is dissatisfied with President Emmanuel Macron's leadership. The popularity of French President Emmanuel Macron has hit its lowest level since the start of his term, with just 29 percent of respondents satisfied with his leadership.  Hollande had an inferior rating of 23 percent at the same time of his term and Sarkozy had a rating of 34 percent. Macron's biggest challenge remains the economy, however, with his pro-business reforms failing so far to produce a significant fall in unemployment or a major uptick in growth. His government will today unveil its draft budget for 2019 which is set to see fresh efforts to rein in France's chronic overspending via cuts to the public sector payroll and caps on pensions. According to reports six billion euros is the amount of tax cuts that the government is preparing in the 2019 budget, including 3.8 billion euros in housing tax which will concern 80% of the less well-off households in France.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon - Meanwhile the French hard-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon is to appear at a Labour party conference event for the first time, inviting Jeremy Corbyn to join a world club of leftist movements. Mélenchon, who heads the movement, France Insoumise, won an unprecedented 19.5% in the first round of last year’s French presidential election and has positioned his parliamentary group as key opponents to Emmanuel Macron. He will be a keynote speaker at The World Transformed fringe event in Liverpool on Monday night, discussing what he calls a new “era of the people” and is expected to meet Corbyn privately for the first time.

Business

Reuters says that the US cable giant Comcast has scored a big victory in the global scramble for media assets after beating Rupert Murdoch’s Disney backed Fox bid for Sky TV.

Comcast chairman and chief executive Brian Roberts has said that Saturday’s auction  victory was a “great day” for the firm.

Comcast paid some 40 million dollars for Sky with media analysts agreeing that the process was driven by an urgent need to build assets in defence against the threat posed by streaming services  such as Netflix and Amazon.

The purchase of Sky will ease pressure on Comcast’s reliance on its mature US market by opening the door to Europe and will transform the firm into the world’s largest pay-TV operator with 52 million customers.

The chairman of Sky’s independent committee said that he was recommending the offer to shareholders.Martin Gilbert said that he was focused on drawing the process to a successful and  swift close and would therefore urge shareholders to accept Comcast’s offer.

 

A new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods has come into force in a major escalation of the trade war between the two countries.

The US has now started imposing tariffs on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods in response to what it says are unfair trading practices by Beijing.

Around half of all Chinese imports to the US are now subject to tariffs.

China has accused Washington of launching the “largest trade war in economic history” and says that it will target an extra 60 billion dollars worth of US goods with extra duties in response.

 

And-Porsche has said that it will stop making diesel cars to concentrate on petrol,electric and hybrid models instead.

The move follows the 2015 emissions scandal in which Porsche’s parent company Volkswagen admitted it had cheated on tests for diesel engines.

Diesel cars over a certain age have now been banned in parts of Germany in a bid to cut pollution.

The chief executive of Porsche,Oliver Blume said that the firm was not “demonising diesel” but said that as a sports car manufacturer,diesel had always played a second role and that the firm wished its future to be diesel-free.

 

Sport

Golf-Tiger Woods has won his first tournament in 5 years by clinching victory in the season ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.

The 42 year old former world number one shot a final one-over-par round of 71 to end on 11 under par,two shots clear of Billy Horschel and four clear of Dustin Johnson.

The win is a remarkable turnaround for Woods who was ranked world number 1,199 less than a year ago after having spinal fusion surgery.He’ll now be a real threat to Europe at the Ryder Cup which starts in France on Friday.

England’s Justin Rose finished in equal 4th place to secure the overall FedEx Cup  which determines the season long PGA Tour Championship.

Football-There were two games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Chelsea missed out on the chance of returning to the top after being held to a 0-0 draw at West Ham while Arsenal beat Everton 2-0.

In Scotland on Sunday Celtic’s poor start to the season continued as they were beaten 2-1 at Kilmarnock  while Rangers thrashed St Johnstone 5-1.

Rugby Union –Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs have both been forced to pull out of England’s training camp in Bristol through injury.

Both players are reported to have sustained “niggles” while playing for Leicester in their 44-37 defeat by Worcester on Sunday.

Joe Marler has also pulled out of the squad for personal reasons.

Eddie Jones will name the squad for the autumn internationals on the 18th of October before a training camp in Portugal.

There was one more game in the Gallagher Premiership in England on Sunday.Saracens beat Gloucester 38-15.

Boxing-Barry Hearn has said that Anthony Joshua will face the winner of December’s fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury “subject to terms”.

Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles on Saturday night with a 7th round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin.

He says that his number one choice would be Wilder but it all depends who comes out on top in December.

The purse could be a problem in a fight against Fury with Hearn saying that he would be looking for “a ridiculous amount of money”.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate westerly or variable winds.

Top temperature 27 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with highs of 23-24 degrees.

Finally 

Research has revealed that more than one in 10 Brits never explore the great outdoors.

Most Brits spend the equivalent of under a week a month exploring the outdoors, with more than one in 10 saying they never get out.

And 20 per cent claim they only manage a one or two outings.

Unpredictable British weather, travel distance and a fear of wild animals were cited as the main reasons for not hitting the countryside more often.

But more than one in seven Brits said they simply don’t have the time to get out.

What scares us most about exploring the great outdoors is getting wet or cold, with spiders and insects, getting lost and not having phone signal or wifi also ranking highly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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