Snow-The weather has been causing major problems around the region overnight with parts of the A8 Motorway impassable in places especially between the Italian frontier and Nice and also between Le Cannet des Maures and Le Luc in the Var.The amount of snow falling appears to have taken authorities by surprise this time with many roads snowbound and gritters working overtime in an attempt to clear the snow.The message from authorities is only to make essential journeys until roads have been treated.
Many motorists have been stranded in their cars including in the Mougins area as well as Cagnes-sur-Mer and the Cimiez area of Nice.A number of vehicles have also been stranded on the A8 and trucks have been forbidden on the road until further notice.
The cold spell of weather should be coming to an end on the Riviera with rain and strong winds mainly replacing the snow that’s been falling around the region since Monday.
Some snow is still falling over the high ground with motorists warned of persistent icy conditions inland.
The mass of cold air brought from a large anticyclone centred over Scandinavia is now slowly moving away.Temperatures should return to seasonal norms over the weekend although more heavy rain is forecast for Saturday.
All change-A number of things in France change from today with the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes rising to 8 euros as the government continues efforts to persuade people to stop smoking.
There’s good news for gas consumers though with average prices falling by 3 percent.
Clean vehicle stickers which will be obligatory in several French cities including Paris,Lyon and Toulouse from October have also risen in price from 3 euros 11 cents to 3 euros 70.
The other thing to change will be the clocks as we move forward to summer time on the 25th of March and welcome back the warm weather and longer hours of daylight after an unseasonably cold February.
Suicides-Police are investigating a suicide after a man jumped off the Napoleon III bridge in Saint-Laurent-du-Var.
Emergency services rushed to the scene when the man fell on a gravel bed in between two branches of the River Var.They were unable to resuscitate him.
Earlier in the day another man committed suicide just a few meters away by also jumping from the bridge.There doesn’t appear to be a link between the two deaths.
Prince Albert-His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has urged the world to take “urgent action” to combat the “devastating effects” of plastic in the earth’s oceans.
Prince Albert was giving the annual lecture at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London last night.
He quoted Sir Winston Churchill by saying “What is the use of living,if not to make this muddled world a better place”.
Prince Albert said that the problem of plastic in the oceans was now so bad that it was beginning to end up in “the food on our plates”.
Saint-Tropez thefts-Police in Saint-Tropez have been conducting house to house enquiries following the theft of 500,000 euros worth of jewellery from the local antique market in January.
No arrests have been made so far and authorities have refused to give any more information.
Police cordoned off an area in the cite Mistral while a search was carried out and the occupants of 12 villas questioned.
The jewels were stolen on the 2nd of January.
In National News.
The big chill-58 departments across France are still on an orange alert for snow and ice .
The Siberian blast has killed 4 people in the country since Monday with many regions reporting temperatures between 8 and 14 degrees below seasonal norms.
In the south of the country Montepellier and Nimes airports have both been closed because of snow and temperatures slipped to record lows of -10 degrees in Lyon and -12 in the eastern town of Metz.
Many roads are impassable and a series of accidents have been reported including many on the A63 Motorway linking the south west to Spain.
The weather system should start to move away from France during the course of today and temperatures in the south of the country are expected to climb rapidly over the next 24 hours.
Growth-French GDP increased by 2 percent last year according to revised figures published by the National Statistics Office INSEE.
INSEE revised the figure up by 0.1 percent owing to better than expected growth in the first quarter.
The figures are good news for President Macron who has made reviving the economy one of the central tenets of his presidency.
Growth is now markedly better than the lacklustre GDP number for 2016 which came in at just 1.1 percent but is still lagging the eurozone average of 2.5 percent.
The National Statistics Office is forecasting accelerated growth this year.
Asian markets have fallen this morning after Wall Street marked its worst monthly performance for two years.
Hawkish comments from the new chairman of the US Federal Reserve have impacted the broader risk asset markets with investors on edge amid concerns over higher interest rates in advanced economies.
In his first public appearance as head of the Fed,Jerome Powell told US lawmakers earlier this week that he would prevent the economy from overheating while sticking to a plan to gradually raise interest rates.
The comments have rekindled market speculation about the pace of US interest rate rises amid concerns that higher borrowing costs could stifle corporate activity and cool growth.
The world’s largest music streaming service Spotify has filed paperwork to start publicly trading its shares on the New York Stock Market.
Spotify says that it expects shares to sell at prices that could value the firm at more than 23 billion dollars.
The Swedish firm will list shares directly on the New York Stock Exchange by-passing the traditional stock offering route.
The move will provide an exit for existing investors who want to cash in on the company’s growth but the public trading is not intended to help Spotify raise significant new money.
And-A group of MP’s at the UK Parliament have said that a “no deal” Brexit scenario would hurt the country’s car industry.
The House of Commons Business,Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee says that continued close alignment with the EU would insure the industry’s survival but warned that the introduction of trade barriers would leave the sector unable to compete with its European rivals.
The government has said that it wants a trade deal with Europe that will maintain the industry’s strength.
Football-Spurs are through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup in England following a 6-1 win in snowy conditions over Rochdale at Wembley Stadium.
The match was marred by persistent controversies over the Video Assistant Referee system with many of the calls made by the TV official disputed.
Spurs will travel to Swansea in the quarter finals.
The three games all scheduled for the Scottish Premiership last night were all postponed because of frozen pitches.
There’s 1 game in the English Premier League tonight.Arsenal host Manchester City in a repeat of last Sunday’s League Cup Final.
Rugby Union-The England coach Eddie Jones says that he will no longer travel by public transport after he was physically and verbally abused on his way back from Scotland on Sunday.
Mr Jones travelled on a train by standard class from Edinburgh to Manchester on Sunday morning and says that he was subject to a barrage of abuse,some of which involved pushing.
Scotland’s Ryan Wilson has been cleared to face Ireland on March the 10th after having been found not guilty of foul play against England last Saturday.
The number 8 had been cited for allegedly making contact with the eye area of Nathan Hughes but a disciplinary panel found that he had no case to answer.
Formula 1-The third day of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Wednesday was ruined by snow.
Only 5 drivers got out of the pits with Fernando Alonso the only man to set a timed lap.
The weather is expected to improve today.
Tennis-Andy Murray is planning to return to the practice courts this month and could be back in tournament action before the grass season.
The 30 year old former world number one had hip surgery on January the 8th and hasn’t played a competitive match since Wimbledon last year.
Sources say that the early stages of his rehabilitation are going well.
Overcast with heavy rain on the coast and the snow line retreating to above six to eight hundred meters.
Moderate to strong north easterly winds and a high of 8 degrees on the coast.
Overnight lows of 6 degrees with more rain across the region.
Friday and the start of the weekend-Rain giving way to sunny periods tomorrow and a high of 12 degrees.More rain on Saturday with a high of 10.
Six pictograms, including one illustrating a stylised bottom, have been accepted as the global standard for the use of electric toilets.
Japan's Kyodo News Service says that the six illustrations have been accepted by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, to show users which buttons to press when operating high-tech Japanese toilets and bidets.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry says it's aimed at making life less daunting for tourists visiting the country, especially given the rush of visitors expected for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association devised the symbols last year after manufacturers agreed to use the same images on all of their products, and they've now declared that "anyone can use an electric toilet with confidence".
They also hope that the standard symbols will help sales of the high-tech toilets, complete with their hot-water flushes and self-closing lids, around the world.