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French and Riviera News Monday 2nd April 2018

Local

Strike Action - The SNCF has announced strike action as unions continue to battle against the latest government reforms. Disruption is expected from Tuesday morning with one TGV out of eight in circulation and on the region’s trains one out of five. The strike will continue into Wednesday in what is part of rolling strike action which will see services being disrupted every two days out of five until June 28th.

Meanwhile Unions at Air France have announced further strike action on the 10th and 11th April. Disruption is expected with strikes already planned for tomorrow Tuesday 3rd April and Saturday 7th. The announcement made on Sunday comes as employees demand a salary increase of 6%.

Missing person - Police have appealed for witnesses after the disappearance of a 29 year old man from the Var. Jean-François Bonnet a firefighter from Cuers in the Var has been missing since Saturday. Bonnet is described as wearing glasses having brown hair and eyes and was last seen wearing beige trousers , a burgundy jacket and white trainers. Police discovered his vehicle a white Renault Scénic on the road side between Cotignac and Sillans-la-Cascade.

Road Accident - A 27 year old motorcyclist has been killed on the RD2566A near Sospel. The accident occurred on Sunday evening shortly after 6.30pm. The victim was driving towards Menton with a group of biker friends when he lost control on a bend hitting the security barrier. Police have opened an investigation to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.

Swimmers taken to hospital - Four swimmers have been taken to hospital in Nice after getting into difficulty whilst swimming in front of the Neptune Beach on the Promenade des Anglais on Sunday afternoon. The four individuals were rescued by emergency services after being unable to swim back to shore due to a large sea swell.

Famous blue chairs on the promenade stolen - Police in Nice have opened an investigation into the disappearance of the famous blue chairs on the Promenade des Anglais. Nice city council workers made the discovery on Sunday morning after more than 200 blue chairs had been replaced by yellow ones between the Palais de la Mediterranee and the Quai des Etats Unis.

Culture and history – The French city of Avignon is following in the footsteps of Paris, Rouen and Dijon by introducing free entrance to the cities museums. The project entitled “Come and see me” aims to significantly increase the number of visitors. Last year, 7000 people had already visited the city's museums for free during a successful week-long trial.

National

Customs officers - The Italian Foreign Ministry has summoned France's ambassador, after uniformed French customs officers crossed the border in the Alps to confront a man suspected of carrying drugs. France insisted that the presence of its personnel at a railway station just inside Italy was acceptable. The foreign ministry added that the EU neighbours would address the issue further at a meeting in the northern city of Turin on April 16th.

Air pollution - Environmental activists have put masks on statues in Paris and other French cities to highlight what they say is France's failure to tackle air pollution. The protest coincided with a deadline for France to present a plan rectifying its shortcomings on air quality to the European Commission. In February 2017, the EU ordered five member countries including France, Britain and Germany to tighten controls on smog-causing car pollution or risk being sent to the top European court. The commission has said that "persistently high" levels of nitrogen dioxide caused 70,000 premature deaths in Europe in 2013, three times the number of deaths by road traffic accidents in the same year.

Business

China has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, including pork and wine, after US President Donald Trump raised duties on foreign steel and aluminium imports earlier in March. The tariffs affecting some $3bn dollars of imports take effect as of today.

Beijing said the move was to "safeguard China's interests and balance" losses caused by new US tariffs. Mr Trump, however, has insisted that "trade wars are good", and that it should be "easy" for the US to win one.

Meanwhile President Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on Amazon, suggesting the online retail giant is ripping off the US Postal Service. The US Post Office would lose $1.50 (£1.07) "on average for each package it delivers for Amazon", he tweeted, but supporters of Amazon dispute this.

And – Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman has accused the UK and US of seeking to stop her country hosting this summer's World Cup. Speaking in a lengthy interview with a Russian TV channel, she said their "main aim" was to "take the World Cup out of Russia". The UK has been seeking to punish Russia after accusing it of mounting a nerve agent attack in Britain. The Royal Family will shun the World Cup as part of the British response. However, there is currently no suggestion the England team will boycott the prestigious championship, which opens in June.

Sport

Football – There were Premier League wins this weekend for Liverpool, for whom Mohamed Salah scored his 29th league goal of the season, Leicester, Manchester United, Newcastle, Burnley, West Ham, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham. Tottenham in particular have come through a "tough period" scoring two goals against Chelsea for the first time in 28 years. Winning 3 – 1. Here’s more from BBC sport

Golf – Ian Poulter secured a place at the Masters after a dramatic play-off victory over Beau Hossler at the Houston Open in Texas. The event was Poulter's last remaining chance to qualify for the tournament in Augusta which starts on Thursday.

Tennis - American John Isner won his first ever Masters 1,000 title with a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 victory over German Alexander Zverev in the Miami Open final.

Weather

Mainly cloudy with some sunny spells. Highs of 16 degrees in Nice, 17 degrees in Antibes and 18 degrees in Saint-Tropez with a moderate south easterly wind. This evening going down to 9 degrees in the Var and 11 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with cloudy skies.

Outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday starting off cloudy on Tuesday with rain expected by midday and highs of 15 degrees Wednesday rain and thunderstorms across the region and highs of 16 degrees.

Finally 

It could be good news for couch potatoe as according to science being lazy is actually a sign of intelligence.

The study also suggests that smarter people are less likely to get bored quickly The study showed the smarter students were less active. New research suggests that smarter people spend more time being lazy.

The research, from a US based study, looks as though it supports the idea that people with a higher IQ get bored less easily.

The study also suggested that active people may be more psychically motivated as they need to stimulate their mind with external activities.

 

 

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