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French and Riviera News Monday 26th March 2018

Local

Shooting in supermarket - A memorial service has been held for the victims of the terrorist shooting spree and supermarket hostage taking in southern France. Mourners gathered on Sunday as police continued to question two teenagers about the gunman. Tributes were paid to police officer Arnaud Beltrame at police stations across France. Beltrame died from bullet and stab wounds after taking the place of supermarket hostages. According to reports the gunman was already on a watchlist for people considered potential extremists and had been under surveillance for potential radicalisation in 2016 and 2017. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, responded to the worst terrorist attack since he took office last year calling for an urgent meeting this week of the security services responsible for monitoring individuals suspected of radicalisation.

Far right parties to gather in Nice May 1st - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has strongly critisised plans announced by the French National Front party to hold this year’s tribute to Jeanne D'Arc in Nice. The event which plans to unite far-right parties from across Europe is due to take place on May 1st. Estrosi describes the decision to hold the event in Nice as a “provocation” adding that the “gathering could generate public order disturbances”.

Selfie ban at Cannes Film Festival - The head of the Cannes film festival has announced plans to ban selfies on the red carpet this year, claiming they caused "unwanted disorder". Thierry Frémaux had already tried to ban what he describes as a "ridiculous and grotesque" practice at the film festival in 2015. , before backing down. But this year it looks set to go ahead although it is unclear whether the ban will also apply to the cast and crew of the films being shown.

Marathon in Gulf of Saint Tropez - 4,000 runners have taken part in the first marathon of Saint-Tropez. Sunday saw competitors run 42km from Sainte-Maxime to Cavalaire. Kenyan Eliud Sugut was the first to cross the finishing line in 2 hours 18 minutes and 34 seconds.

National

Mayor of Paris - A recent poll has shown that Paris’s Mayor Anne Hidalgo has dropped in her popularity. Hidalgo’s reputation as a politician unafraid of making ‘unpopular’ decisions suggests the reform-driven socialist could be facing the beginning of a pushback from voters. Only 42 percent of Parisians said they were satisfied with their mayor according to the poll published in the French Journal du Dimanche. The results show a 10 point slide in her popularity compared to the previous poll in March 2016.

Trains - The maker of France's TGV trains Alstom and German industrial leader Siemens have signed an agreement creating a global leader in the rail industry. Siemens will control 50 percent of Alstom immediately but will be blocked from taking a bigger than 50.5 percent stake for the four coming years. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Rail strikes - Meanwhile French rail workers have announced a wave of rolling strikes from April to June that threaten to cause travel misery for passengers across the country. The rolling strikes will be carried out on two days out of every five until June 28 unless the government drops its plan, which includes stripping new recruits of jobs-for-life and other benefits. Although the strikes may yet be called off if negotiations succeed it appears unlikely given the anger among unions for whom scrapping the special employment status of rail workers, who often have to work weekends, nights and holidays is a red line.

Business

It’s been reported that Uber is selling its South East Asia ride-share and food delivery businesses to regional rival Grab. The move marks a further retreat from international operations for Uber, after it sold its China business to a local rival in 2016. Both firms are describing the deal as a win for both their companies and their passengers. Grab is South East Asia's most popular ride-sharing firm with millions of users across eight countries. Uber will retain a 27.5% stake in the Singapore-based company.

The first scheduled non-stop flight between Australia and the UK has touched down in London's Heathrow Airport. Qantas Flight QF9 completed its 14,498km journey from Perth in just over 17 hours on Sunday. The move is part of ambitious plans by Qantas to add ultra long-haul flights to its schedules.

The new Perth-London flight is around three hours faster than other routes that involve stops in the Middle East to change planes or refuel.

And - Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has taken out full-page adverts in several UK and US Sunday newspapers to apologise for the firm's recent data privacy scandal. He said Facebook could have done more to stop millions of users having their data exploited by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

Sport

Cricket - Australia captain Steve Smith has been banned for one match and fined his entire match fee by cricket's world governing body for his part in a ball-tampering incident in South Africa. Smith will now miss the fourth and final Test of the series. He admitted a charge of conduct "of a serious nature that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.

The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it is “beyond belief” that the national circket team was involved in “cheating” during the third Test match against South Africa.

Football - Liverpool's Joe Gomez has withdrawn from the England squad and returned to his club for further assessment of the injury he suffered in Friday's 1-0 friendly win over the Netherlands. The 20-year-old defender sustained an ankle injury about 10 minutes into his third senior national appearance. England have no plans to call up a replacement for their next friendly - at home to Italy on Tuesday. Here’s more football from BBC sport……

Australian Grand Prix - Sebastian Vettel won a dramatic Australian Grand Prix after leapfrogging Lewis Hamilton during a safety car period. It was a bitter blow for Hamilton in the first race of a year in which he hopes to beat Vettel to be the first driver of the current era to win a fifth world title.

Rugby Union - Legendary Wales and British and Irish Lions tight-head prop Adam Jones has announced he is to retire in the summer. Jones is one of only six Welshmen to have won three Grand Slams during a 100-cap Test career.

Weather

Mainly fine with some passing cloud. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, 15 degrees in Antibes and 13 degrees in Marseille and Toulon with a light variable southerly wind.

This evening going down to 9 degrees with cloudy skies.

The outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday similar temperatures becoming more and more cloudy by Wednesday.

Finally 

Scientist say that bosses should let staff kip in the office today to help them recover their lost hour's sleep after clocks went forward at the weekend.

Computer screens and other electronic lighting can disrupt our bedtime routines and figures show a quarter of workers get by on just five hours sleep a night.

Scientists say that a failure to get sleep increases the risk of diabetes, heart problems and depression.

The sleep experts are calling on firms to allow employees to take a nap in the office to make up for the time lost over the weekend.

 

 

 

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