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French and Riviera News Thursday 14th December 2017

Local

Body found in Frejus police appeal for witnesses - Police have appealed for  witnesses to come forward following the discovery of a woman’s body which was found between two cars on Rue Martin Bidouré in Fréjus. Police were alerted by a member of the public on Wednesday morning. The victim, believed to be in her 80s was from the region and had reportedly suffered bodily injuries. Anyone able to provide any information is asked to call 04.94.51.90.00

Fight against burglaries in the Var – Police in the Var have launched a major operation in the fight against burglaries from Draguignan, Vidauban to the Pays de Fayence. Ninety gendarmes set up thirty checkpoints on Wednesday evening in a show of police presence in an attempt to deter possible offenders. The Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region has seen an increase of 20% in the number of burglaries. Authorities have confirmed that the operation will be maintained during the holiday season.

Cannabis plants - A 56 year old man from the Colle sur Loup has been given an 18 month suspended prison sentence and fined 1,000 euros for having planted twenty cannabis plants in his garden. The man appeared in court in Grasse on Wednesday pleading that the plants were intended for his children aged 22 and 29 with the intention of preventing them from buying the drug off the streets from “unsavory people”. The argument apparently did not convince the criminal court.

Firework ban - The Perfecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has decided to ban fireworks in the run up to New Year. Two orders, issued on Wednesday, are designed to prevent any disturbance of public order. They mean that the sale of fireworks will be prohibited on December 23, 24, 25, 30 and 31st, and also on January 1st and 2nd. The same goes for the use of fireworks on public roads on the same dates. The prefecture has said the ban applies to all the municipalities of the Alpes-Maritimes department.

Local currency - The new local currency for Nice is currently being tested in nineteen shops in the city. Nissart a local currency has been created to support the culture of Nice and local businesses the trial started on Wedenesday and will run until Saturday.

Jazz Festival Nice - Organisers of the Nice Jazz festival have confirmed that the English group Massive Attack will be participating in next year’s festival on July 19th Place Massena. The British group had previous been scheduled to play in 2015 but following the Nice Attack the festival was cancelled.

National  

Notre Dame-des-Landes airport project - President Emmanuel Macron has promised a final decision on the Notre-Dames-des-Landes airport project in January at the latest. According to reports a recent mediators' report on the controversial plan to build a new airport in western France has refused to come down on either side, leaving the ball in the government's court. On receiving the report, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe promised a "clear decision", which would mean a "return to normal" so far as public order is concerned, before the end of January.

Hotline for people who are attacked in the street for wearing fur - The French fur industry and animal rights activists have clashed over a new hotline for people who are insulted or attacked in the street for wearing fur. The French Fur Federation went on the attack this week against what it called the "misinformation of animal activists. It announced plans for a new information centre in Paris and a hotline, SOS Animal Activist Attacks, offering "support and legal help" for anyone who had been harassed.

Easyjet 15 new routes next year in France -The airline company EasyJet has announced the launch of 15 new routes next year in France. The airline, which already runs 230 routes to, from and within France, will operate seven new services from Bordeaux in the south west, four from the central city of Lyon and four from the Riviera city of Nice. Among the new destinations will be Tel Aviv in Israel, which will be served by new flights from all three cities. EasyJet will also introduce a Lyon to Rennes service in the hope of attracting business customers. 

Most googled person Johnny Hallyday – Johnny Hallyday was the most-Googled person in France in 2017, with searches soaring after the rock singer's death on 5 December to overtake those for any other celebrity throughout the whole year. Judging by searches for "how to become", French people aspired to be rich, self-employed, MPs, beautiful and/or estate agents. Although Johnny Hallyday was not a great star outside the Francophone world, his death sparked an outpouring of emotion in France.

Business

The US Federal Reserve has increased interest rates by a quarter-of-one-percent,the third hike this year.
The Fed said that the move,which had been widely expected,underscores “solid” gains in the economy.
Fed officials also boosted economic forecasts projecting growth of 2.5 percent this year and next due in part to planned tax cuts.
The US central bank said that it anticipated 3 more rate rises next year taking it further away from the ultra-low rates that it put in place during the financial crisis.
A majority of Fed officials said that they expect interest rates of 2 percent to be appropriate next year.

US Congressional Republicans say that they’ve agreed a deal to introduce the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years.
Media reports said that the plan will include bringing the corporate tax rate down to 21 percent from the current 35 percent and cutting the top rate for individual income tax from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.
A spokesman for the Senate Finance Committee said that he thought lawmakers had got a “pretty good deal”.
Democrats argue that the tax cuts will only benefit the rich  and will offer little to the middle classes.They also say that they’ll add 1.5 trillion dollars to the US national debt of 20 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

And-The British Prime Minister Theresa May heads for Brussels today following a damaging defeat in the House of Commons in a key Brexit vote.
11 Tory rebels voted against the government last night  on an amendment to give Parliament  a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with the European Union.
Mrs May had argued that the amendment would prevent the government from delivering a smooth exit from the EU.
The government was defeated by 309 votes to 305 in a packed chamber.
Much of the debate before the vote was dominated by pro and anti-EU Conservative MP’s squabbling among themselves over the merits or demerits of the amendment.
The opposition parties backed the amendment with the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn saying that the defeat was a “humiliating loss of authority” for the Prime Minister as she heads to Brussels for an EU summit where leaders will discuss Brexit.

Sport 

Cricket-It’s day 1 of the 3rd Ashes Test between Australia and England in Perth.
The tourists won the toss at the Waca on a good pitch and decided to bat.
At lunch they’d reached 91-2 with Mark Stoneman 48 not out.
Opener Alistair Cook went for 7 and Vince was out for 25 just before lunch.
Skipper Joe Root is on one not out and will be looking for a good score on a pitch that looks like it’s got plenty of runs in it.

Cycling-The four time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has insisted that his reputation will not be tarnished despite him failing a drugs test at the Vuelta a Espana.
Froome had double the allowed level of an asthma drug in his urine which he said he was taking on advice from his doctor having suffered from the illness since a child.
In an interview with the BBC,Froome said that he “knew the rules” and that there had been no “wrongdoing”.
The sport’s governing body the UCI has said that it wants more information about the case and that enquiries will continue.

Football-There were 7 games in the English Premier League last night with the leaders Manchester City extending their winning streak to a record 15 games as they beat Swansea 4-0 away.
Manchester United kept hold of second place with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth while Spurs beat Brighton 2-0 to move up to 4th.
Liverpool failed to get a goal against  West Brom with 0-0.Everton were 1-0 winners at Newcastle.West Ham and Arsenal drew 0-0 and Leicester’s revival under Claude Puel continued as they beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s.


Formula 1-The chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association Alex Wurz has said that the organisation now has 100 percent membership “for maybe the first time in its history”.
All the drivers have now signed up with the Association because of perceived fears over the future of Formula 1.
Wurz says that the sport is entering a period of evolution,change and perhaps even a degree of turmoil.
He said that the drivers recognised that they must be united and represented to face that challenge.

Weather

Mainly fine with a strong,gusty south westerly wind across the region

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with clear skies and the strong wind persisting.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with a high of 14 degrees and a brisk westerly wind continuing across the region.

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