French and Riviera News.Monday.26.02.18

Snow Business-The Alpes-Maritimes and Var are on an orange weather alert for snow and ice with arctic temperatures sweeping across Europe from the east.
Public transport officials in both departments have put a plan of action in place for the cold snap but admit that many services could be paralyzed by the weather while regional road and infrastructure managers are warning that while there are sufficient supplies of salt it won’t provide a magic solution as pre-emotive action with rain forecast  ahead of snow may simply wash the chemicals into gutters.
6,000 tonnes of salt for the roads is available at 24 regional centres and authorities at Nice Airport are on alert to de-ice runways and planes.

There’s also a plan to provide hotels and other accommodation for stranded passengers if necessary
SNCF rail authorities have brought in a number of de-icing machines and there are plans to clear snow from the rails on the tracks and overhead power catenaries.

The Sophia-Antipolis area is particularly problematic with peak-hour traffic at risk of paralysis should the snow arrive.Authorities say that they’ve been in position since 4am to clear the roads.

Motorists are being warned to take the conditions into account and not to drive unless it’s absolutely necessary.Drivers should also carry extra warm clothing,some food and a thermos of hot drink as well as a blanket and a shovel if possible.

The cold snap which has been caused by a mass of arctic air sweeping down through Europe from Siberia is forecast to last until Wednesday night with more snow and ice possible in coastal areas although any snow is not expected to settle on the coast.

Rooftop protest-A stand-off involving three underage migrants and Gendarmes has occurred in the village of Saint-Vallier de Thiey in the Alpes-Maritimes.
Officers had been called to the village by a local resident who said that several people were illegally occupying an empty apartment.When officers arrived one of those inside agreed to come out but two others aged 13 and 15 climbed onto the roof.
Negotiations lasting several hours followed with authorities reluctant to act too quickly because of the risk that one or both of the migrants would fall from the roof because of the presence of ice.
They eventually agreed to come down after several hours of negotiations and have been taken into custody.

Carbon monoxide-A family of 5 from La Seyne-sur-Mer in the Var have been taken to hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.Emergency services were called to an address on the avenue Charles-Fournier at 5pm on Sunday after a woman made an emergency call complaining of nausea and vomiting.

A faulty gas heater is thought to be responsible for the problem.The 5,including 3 children have been taken to hospital in Toulon  for treatment.


 Cannes 10k-4,000 runners have taken part in the Cannes 10 kilometer  and half marathon race in near freezing conditions.
Runners set off at 9am for the 10k and 45 minuted later for the half-marathon.
It was the 10th time the ten k has been staged and the 26th edition of the half marathon.Many runners complained about the cold but there were no problems with participants overheating.


Gold-Police have arrested an Albanian National who was found to be in possession of one and a half kilograms worth of gold jewellery and several valuable Rolex watches.

The discovery was made during a routine check on motorists at a peage on the A8 in the Var.

The contraband was found concealed behind an airbag in the suspect’s car.

Enquiries continue.


In National News.


Cold weather-34 departments across France have been placed on alert for snow and ice as a wave of cold weather sweeps across the country from Siberia.

The ‘beast of the east’ as it’s been nicknamed is seeing many regions experience sub-zero temperatures accompanied by snow and ice.

Temperatures have plunged by between 8 and 10 degrees below seasonal averages with three consecutive days of freezing conditions forecast.The accompanying wind chill is making it feel even colder with authorities warning that the elderly and young children are most at risk.


Terror attacks-The French Interior Minister has said that two terror attacks have been foiled so far this year.

Speaking on Sunday,Gerard Collomb said that one of the planned attacks targeted a leading sports team and the other was directed at the armed forces.

Mr Collomb said that one of the attacks had been planned in the east of the country and the other in the west.

France is still on its highest level of alert since a string of Islamist terror attacks over the past three years.


Syria-France and Germany have appealed to Russia to exert “maximum pressure” on Syria for an immediate implementation of a UN ceasefire.

The French and German leaders stressed in a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin that it’s “crucial that the UN resolution be implemented quickly and comprehensively”.

Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel said that France and Germany continue to be willing to work with Russia and other international partners towards the goal of peace in Syria.They said that a ceasefire could be a basis to advance efforts towards a political solution in the context of the UN-led Geneva peace process.



Investors in Asia have turned cautious this morning at the start of a busy week which will be headlined by US inflation data and the first house testimony from the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell.

Sentiment has been fragile today with the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific share outside Japan edging up by 0.3 percent  while bourses across the region have been mixed.

The dollar has lost early gains  while yields on ten-year US treasuries backed off to 2.85 percent.

Investors initially took heart from Friday’s rally on Wall Street but some nervousness has now returned.

The mood has been calmed somewhat by sentiment that the Fed will stay gradual in its tightening of interest rates.


Mexico and Canada are hoping to finish reworking some parts of the NAFTA trade deal with the US as new talks got underway on Sunday.

Negotiators have made progress on the technical details of a revamping of the North American Free Trade Agreement but there’s been little advance on the strong demands for change made by Donald Trump.

The issues range from calls for major changes to automotive content rules and dispute resolution mechanisms to imposing a clause that could automatically kill the NAFTA agreement after five years.

Reports say that the stumbling blocks are unlikely to be removed at the current round of talks in Mexico City.


And-Oil prices have risen to three week highs this morning supported by comments from Saudi Arabia that it intends to continue to curb exports in line with the OPEC-led efforts to cut global supplies.

Brent crude gained 0.2 percent on the news to sit at 67 dollars 43 while US West Texas Intermediate rose by 0.3 percent to 63 dollars 75.

Saudi Arabia said that it hopes that OPEC and its allies will be able to relax production curbs in 2019 and create a permanent framework to stabilise oil markets after the current supply cut deal ends this year.



Winter Olympics-Norway ended top of the medals table as the Winter Olympics came to an end in PyeongChang.

Norway ended with 14 gold medals along with Germany but the Norweigen’s total haul of 39 medals gave them then edge.

Canada ended in third place with 11 gold medals with the USA fourth and the Netherlands 5th.

France ended in 9th place and Great Britain 19th.


Football-Manchester City have won the League Cup in England after beating Arsenal 3-0 in the final at Wembley on Sunday.

It’s Pep Guardiola’s first trophy since taking the reins at City but it was another bad day at the office for Arsenal with sections of fans calling for Arsene Wenger’s head.

In the English Premier League on Sunday Manchester United won the big game of the day 2-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge while Crystal Palace lost 1-0 at home to Spurs.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Celtic were 2-0 winners at Aberdeen and in the English Championship Cardiff beat Bristol City 1-0.


Rugby Union-Ireland are the only team who can pull off the Grand Slam following round 3 of the 6 Nations Championship.

Ireland beat Wales 37-27 in a scintillating game in Dublin on Saturday while there were wild celebrations in Edinburgh after Scotland outplayed England to win the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield 25-13.France beat Italy on Friday night in Marseilles.


Ireland top the table on 14 points with England on 9,Scotland on 8 and Wales and France on 6.

The next round of games sees Ireland host Scotland,France play England and Wales host Italy.The matches are to be played on the 10th and 11th of March.


Cricket-New Zealand beat England by three wickets in the first one day international in Hamilton with 4 balls to spare on Sunday.

Ben Stokes made his England comeback and bowled well with figures of 2-43.

The second game in the 5 match series is on Wednesday in Tauranga.





Overcast with snow down to 200-300 meters and rain on the coast,possibly turning to snow at times.

Moderate easterly winds and a high of 4 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 1 degree on the coast and -4 degrees inland with more wintry showers and snow above 300 meters.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 5 degrees on the coast.More wintry showers on Wednesday with a high of 6 degrees.



A pub in Wales has started running an offer to help make smartphone use a thing of the past and encourage people to talk without any distractions.

Customers at The Fat Boar will get 25% off food bills for giving up their phones as part of its "Mobile Free Monday".

The phones will be locked in cash boxes on tables and staff hold the keys.

Rich Watkin, the Fat Boar's director, said: "Mobiles can often be a real distraction and stop us from just sitting among family and friends and simply having a good conversation and that's why I came up with the idea."



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