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French and Riviera News Thursday 10th May 2018

Local

Shooting in Roquefort-la-Bédoule - A 35 year old man has been shot and injured in the town centre of Roquefort-la-Bédoule near Marseille. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon after gunshots were fired near the post office.The victim was immediately taken to hospital. Police have opened an investigation into the cause of the shooting calling for any witnesses to come forward.

Jackpot - One lucky winner has walked away with 958,950 euros from a slot machine at the Café de Paris Casino here in Monaco. In a press release, the SBM confirmed that the winner was a regular customer adding that it is the "second largest jackpot registered in the last 10 years".  

Villa - President Macron is to spend the coming weekend in the Var. He’ll be staying at a villa made available to Heads of State near Fréjus, and if all goes well, he intends to spend his summer holiday at the residence.

Sanary-sur-mer - After three months of competition, the verdict fell on Wednesday afternoon as the town of Sanary-sur-mer in the Var region was elected the most beautiful market town of France. The award marked an exceptional achievement for the small port of 17,000 inhabitants.

Surprise - A newly married couple had a "lovely surprise" when they met the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as soon as they left their wedding venue. Kath Martin, originally from Glasgow, and Laurent Mayer had just married in Nice when they met Prince Charles and Camilla at the city's flower market. The royal couple are currently on a five-day tour of France and Greece.

National

Naomi Musenga - A recording of an emergency service operator mocking a young mother, who died hours after her call was ignored, has sparked outrage in France. 22 year old Naomi Musenga, called Strasbourg's ambulance service with severe stomach pain and said: "I'm going to die". "You'll definitely die one day, like everyone else," the worker replied. The woman eventually called another service and was taken to a hospital but died after a heart attack. The health minister has ordered an investigation.

Iran nuclear deal – The French government has announced that the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany will meet Iranian representatives next week following President Donald Trump decision to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said the decision is "an error" not just for international security but from an economic point of view. Trump defied European pleas to stay in the pact, which curbs Iran's nuclear program, and reimposed crippling sanctions which will come into effect within six months.

Housing tax in France - The French government has announced that the abolition of the housing tax or “Taxe d’habitation” will come into effect by 2021 at the latest. The reform plans to eliminate the tax for 80% of the poorest households in France.  

SNCF reforms - SNCF unions have announced plans to organize an internal referendum on the reform of the railway company. The unions CGT, Unsa, SUD and CFDT have decided to organize a "vote-action" with voting taking place from 14th to 21st May. According to unions the aim is to show the government that they will have to back down on the heart of the reform.

Business

The pharmaceutical giant Novartis has said that it signed a contract worth 100,000 dollars per month with the firm owned by President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen but decided to “not engage further” with Essential Consulting after just one meeting.
In a statement issued on Wednesday,Novartis said that it had determined “that Michael Cohen and Essential Consulting would be unable to provide the services that it had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters”.
The firm said that it had been contacted by lawyers who are part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team and that it considered the matter “closed”.
Earlier this week,the lawyer representing adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels  said that a unit of Novartis had paid Essential Consulting nearly 400,000 dollars in late 2017 and early this year.Daniels alleges that she was paid 130,000 dollars by Michael Cohen to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.
Novartis only met with Michael Cohen on one occasion in an effort to understand how the Trump administration might approach certain US healthcare policy issues including the Affordable Care Act.

Oil prices have hit multi-year highs today as traders adjust to the prospect of renewed US sanctions against Iran.
In an already tightening market,Brent Crude futures hit 77 dollars 76 with US West Texas Intermediate at 71 dollars 75.
The US is planning to impose fresh sanctions against Iran which produces around 4 percent of global oil supplies.
Goldman Sachs says that the sanctions are likely to be “efficient” with suggestions that a pre-Nuclear deal limit of 1 million barrels of oil per day will be re-imposed on the country’s petroleum industry.

And-21st Century Fox has said that it remains committed to buying the UK broadcaster Sky and is hoping for regulatory approval by the summer.
The deal has been thrown into question after the US telecoms giant Comcast put in its own offer.
Fox has been trying to win regulatory approval to buy the 61 percent of Sky that it doesn’t already own.
Interest from Comcast has thrown a spanner into the works of Fox’s plans with the head of Sky saying that a deal with the US firm would be a “natural fit”.
The news came as Fox released a 2 percent decline in quarterly revenue to 7.4 billion dollars.

Sport

Football-Huddersfield Town have guaranteed their Premier League survival following a battling 1-1 draw at Chelsea last night in a result that also means that the Londoners will be unlikely to finish in the top 4.
Spurs moved above Liverpool into third place thanks to a 1-0 win over Newcastle while Leicester beat Arsenal 3-1 and the champions Manchester City beat Brighton 3-1.
The final relegation place will be decided on Sunday with either Southampton or Swansea facing the drop.
There’s 1 game tonight.West Ham play Manchester United.

In the Scottish Premiership last night Celtic and Kilmarnock drew 0-0 while Hearts beat Hibs 2-1 in the Edinburgh derby.

Rugby Union-The Wales coach Warren Gatland says that George North is likely to play at centre against South Africa and Argentina.
North has won 73 caps for Wales and Gatland says that he’s keen to experiment before the World Cup in Japan next year.
Wales play South Africa in Washington DC on the 2nd of June before two Tests against Argentina on the 9th and 16th of June.

Tennis-Kyle Edmund has entered the world top 20 after beating Novak Djokovic to reach the 3rd round of the Madrid Open.
The British number one beat the former world number one in three sets and will now play David Goffin in round 3.

Cycling-Enrico Battaglin won stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday with Rohan Dennis of Australia retaining the overall lead.
Battaglin came off the wheel of fellow Italian Giovanni Visconti to snatch the win with Jose Goncalves of Portugal third.
Chris Froome is 57 seconds off the pace.
Today’s 6th stage is 164 kilometres from Caltanissetta up the slopes of Mount Etna with a summit finish that is set to separate the men from the boys.

Weather

Partially cloudy with some showers and thunderstorms inland later.

Light to moderate south westerly or variable winds and a high of 22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees in coastal areas and 12 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 20-23 degrees.

Finally 

The secret of the Leaning Tower of Pisa: Study finds unique mix of soil helped it stay upright during four earthquakes

The mystery of how the Leaning Tower of Pisa stays intact has long baffled scientists.

Despite leaning precariously at a five-degree angle, leading to an offset at the top of over five metres, the 58-metre tall tower has managed to survive, undamaged, at least four strong earthquakes that have hit the region since 1280. 

Now, researchers they believe they have the answer - soil.

Despite leaning precariously at a five-degree angle, leading to an offset at the top of over five metres, the 58-metre tall Tower has managed to survive, undamaged, at least four strong earthquakes that have hit the region since 1280.

The research team concluded that the survival of the Tower can be attributed to a phenomenon known as dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI).

 

 

 

 

 

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