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French and Riviera News Monday 4th June 2018

Local

Weather warning - Météo France has issued a yellow weather alert for the Alpes Maritimes and the Var region. The warning released on Sunday will be in place until this afternoon with storms and heavy rainfall forecast.

Train Strike - France’s SNCF national rail service have relaunched rolling strikes. Strike action started on Sunday and continues today, two days after the government offered to forgive most of the company’s debt if it accepts reforms to make it more competitive. It is the 13th series of two-day rolling strikes launched by SNCF since early April. Today’s action will see two out of three TGV’s running and one out of two regional trains operating. For real-time updates on the rail service, please visit the SNCF’s

According to the latest poll the industrial action has been unpopular among the French, with 56 percent saying they oppose the strike, and 64 percent saying they don’t want the government to give into railway workers’ demands.

Meanwhile on the regions roads motorist found the Antibes péage closed on Sunday morning after motorway authorities received reports that a motorcycle was travelling in the wrong direction between Les Adrets and Nice. Authorities temporarily closed the toll as a preventative measure.

Shooting in Menton - A 33 year old man has turned himself into the police in connection with the shooting in Menton last Tuesday in which one man died. The man presented himself to police on Saturday night and has been placed in police custody the investigation continues.

Swimming incident - A 63 year old from Cagnes sur mer has been rescued and is recovering in hospital in Antibes after nearly drowning on a beach in Villeneuve Loubet. The incident occurred around 1pm on Sunday after beach goers raised the alarm after hearing the man’s screams for help. The man was at the time swimming beyond 300 meters from the coastline. Emergency services have advised swimmers for safety reasons to remain within 300 meters from the beach.

National

French singer - French singer Bertrand Cantat, who has already served jail time for the death of actress Marie Trintignan, has demanded to speak to magistrates following reports that he is to be investigated in connection with the death of his wife in 2010. In 2003 a Lithuanian court found Cantat guilty of unintentionally causing the death of Trintignant, his girlfriend at the time, during a violent argument in a hotel room. Transferred to France, he was released in 2007 after serving just over half of his eight-year sentence. Cantat now faces another legal inquiry over his ex-wife Krisztina Ràdy's death in 2010.

French performance artist - French performance artist Abraham Poincheval has stepped inside an enlarged reproduction of a Stone Age carving of a lionman where he will spend the next week. Last year Poincheval grabbed international media attention by shutting himself inside a rock in a Paris exhibition space. With his two children watching, Poincheval shut himself inside the carving in the garden of the Aurignac museum in south-west France on Sunday.

Business

China has warned that all trade talks between Beijing and Washington will be void if the US sets up trade sanctions. Following talks between Vice Premier and the US Commerce Secretary, China said it was ready to boost imports from many countries. The visit from the US Commerce Secretary comes days after Washington threatened to impose extra tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods.

Meanwhile, G7 nations have hit out at the US over its new steel and aluminium import tariffs with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warning that a trade war could begin in "a few days".

And – A new survey has indicated that political uncertainty over Brexit is weighing on business investment, which has fallen to the lowest level for a year. The research, from manufacturing body EEF and accountancy advisers BDO, said the outlook for UK manufacturers was "slightly more subdued than it has been for some time". The poll of more than 300 firms found they were "cautiously optimistic". However, the EEF said growth was looking "fragile".

Sport

Tennis - Novak Djokovic has strengthened his claims as a French Open contender by reaching the quarter-finals of Roland Garros.

Football – Neymar scored a brilliant goal on his return from injury as Brazil began their World Cup preparations with a win over Croatia at Anfield. 

Cricket – England wrapped up an innings and 55-run win drawing the two-match series 1-1 against Pakistan. The win came a week after England's nine-wicket defeat at Lord's in the first home Test of the summer.

England next play Scotland in a one-day international in Edinburgh on 10 June.

Weather

Météo France has issued a yellow weather alert for the Alpes Maritimes and the Var region with storms and heavy rainfall forecast.

Highs of 22 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 23 degrees in the Var going down to 17 degrees this evening with cloudy skies.

The outlook for Tuesday, cloudy with showers inland and highs of 24 degrees. Wednesday sunshine and showers and highs of 23 degrees.

Finally 

The world's largest freshwater pearl, the so-called Sleeping Lion, has sold at auction for €320,000 ($374,000).

However the pearl, which is 7cm (2.75in) long and weighs more than 153g (5.4oz) and was once owned by Catherine the Great, did not reach its estimate.

The Venduehuis auction house in The Hague said this was the first auction of the pearl in 240 years.

The Sleeping Lion is thought to have formed in China between 1700 and 1760, before making its way to Europe.

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