French and Riviera News Thursday 17th January 2019


Speed limit - The president of the Hautes-Alpes Department Jean-Marie Bernard has said he is willing to participate in a debate launched by Emmanuel Macron on the limitation to 80 km / h. The measure defended by the Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe was declared open for discussion by Macron during the National debate. In a statement released on Wednesday Jean-Marie Bernard said “it was better late than never”.

Brigitte Bardot - French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has expressed her anger on social media towards the National debate declaring that out of the 34 topics proposed not one concerns the treatment of animals. Bardot, an active campaigner for animal rights has also shown her support for the yellow vest movement since it began last November.

Meanwhile “Yellow Vest” protesters have disrupted the distribution of the regional daily newspaper “Le Telegramme” this morning. Protestors blocked a truck containing 50,000 copies of the newspaper which is distributed in North western France. The yellow vest movement has repeatedly accused French journalists of working for the government and not remaining impartial in their coverage of demonstrations.

Bus strike - In Menton the bus strike at Zest Bus is to continue with another day of action by drivers today. Details of disturbances can be found on

Flu - Flu across the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region has officially reached epidemic proportions, with nine people across France already dying from the virus. All the dead are adults including five aged 65 or over. To protect yourself, health authorities recommend washing hands frequently and if you contract any ‘flu like symptoms, to wear a disposable mask.

National Universal Service - Thirteen departments in France have been selected to test the National Universal Service (SNU) this spring, including the Vaucluse. In June 3,000 young volunteers are to take part in the training which will last fifteen days and see groups of ten accommodated in boarding schools, training centers or army buildings. It is not yet known when the National Universal Service will become mandatory the goal being to reach an entire age group by 2026.

HSH Prince Albert - His Serene Highness Prince Albert II has attended the reception of Mr. Pierre-André Chiappori at the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences at the Institut de France in Paris. Mr. Chiappori’s work and publications focus on the micro-economy. Chiappori is the third Monegasque to become a member of the Institut de France after the sculptor François-Joseph Bosio, at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1816, and Prince Albert I as foreign associate of the Academy Science in 1909.

Datacloud Awards - The 12th Annual Datacloud Awards ceremony to be held in Monaco on June 4th has announced that actress, model and charity campaigner, Joanna Lumley OBE will host the evening. The event will also include entertainment for an expected international audience of 900 guests. Chairman of the Judging Panel Gerd Simon remarked that “The 2019 Datacloud Awards offer a global platform for players in digital transformation businesses to inspire the markets with their pioneering spirit. The Awards provide ever higher benchmarks in recognizing achievement in leadership and innovation.”

“Nuit de la lecture” - For the third year in a row, the “Nuit de la lecture” or “night of reading” will take place in our region on Saturday. Libraries and bookstores will open their doors to a variety of activities. Nearly 4,000 events are planned in France and abroad. The event was launched by the French Culture Minister in 2015.

Football - The derby of the Côte d'Azur ended without a winner on Wednesday, as AS Monaco drew 1-1 against Nice. Meanwhile questions are being asked as to whether Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi will be able to play for Monaco soon? AS Monaco hopes that Chelsea will soon allow the transfer of the player, who is currently on loan to Valencia.


No-deal Brexit - As British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote on Wednesday, a day after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal, France is preparing for a no-deal Brexit. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is to meet ministers today to assess readiness so far and speed up preparations. A statement from the presidency noted that a no-deal Brexit would be bad for Europe and for France, which is the entry point for much of the trade between Britain and the rest of Europe.

Health - A survey published today has shown that one in four French people has already faced a shortage in medication. The President of French Assos Health, Alain-Michel Ceretti has said that "Beyond the obvious risk, these shortages of vaccines are a potential threat to public health.” According to the survey, the shortage of drugs had a real impact on people undergoing treatment meaning they were either forced to postpone, modify or even stop treatment.


The UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond has mentioned the possibility of Article 50-the mechanism  by which Britain will leave the European Union,being extended. Media reports say that in a telephone call to business leaders on Tuesday night following MPs decision to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal bill,Mr  Hammond played down the chance of a no-deal exit and outlined how the article 50 process could be postponed.

On Wednesday,the Leader of the House of Commons,Andrea Leadsom told media that the government would not be trying to delay Brexit and would not revoke Article 50. The Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence in her government on Wednesday night and met with several opposition leaders afterward,but not Jeremy Corbyn who’s refused to enter into talks unless Mrs May rules out a no-deal scenario.

Pressure is growing on Mr Corbyn to back a second vote after more than 70 Labour MPs signed a letter urging the party to move in that direction instead of calling further motions of no confidence. Sources close to the Labour leadership say that he’s unwilling to move in that direction for fear of a walk out by half the members of the shadow cabinet.

The new chief executive of Goldman Sachs has apologised to Malaysia for the role an ex-partner played in the corruption scandal at one of the country’s major wealth funds. David Solomon said that Goldman had been deceived about details of the deals but he distanced the bank from the scheme which saw billions of dollars embezzled from the state development fund 1MDB.

Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs last month  accusing the bank of helping to misappropriate money intended for the fund.

Investigations in the United States and other countries are already underway into the role that Goldman might have played.

The bank’s former South East Asia chairman,Tim Leissner  pleaded guilty  in the United States last month for his role in the money laundering and bribery scheme.He left his role in 2016.

And-   The chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee has said that President Trump is set to move ahead with tariffs on imported vehicles in a move which could prompt the European Union to agree a new trade deal.

Charles Grassley said  that he thought the President was “minded to do it”  and that Europe would be “very concerned” about the tariffs which may be the instrument that gets the EU to negotiate.

US Commerce Department recommendations into whether Mr Trump should impose 25 percent tariffs on imported cars and parts on national security grounds are due in mid-February.


Tennis-It’s day 4 of the Australian Open in Melbourne and so far today there have been second round wins in the ladies event for the 6th seed Elina Svitolina and the 7th seed Karolina Pliskova.

Madison Keys of the United States is also through as is Anastasija Sevastova who was taken to three sets by the Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu.

In the men’s event the 8th seed Kei Nishikori was taken to 5 sets by veteran Ivo Karlovic before coming through in 3 hours 48 minutes.

Football-Frank Lampard’s Derby County are through to the 4th round of the FA Cup in England after beating Southampton of the Premier League on a penalty shoot out  at St Mary’s last night.

The scores were tied at 2-2 after extra time but the Championship side won the penalty shootout 5-3 to set up a fourth round tie away at Accrington of League 1.

Rugby Union-A trio of uncapped Connacht players have been named in Ireland’s squad for the 6 Nations.

Caolin Blade,Jack Carty and Tom Farrell  have all been named in the 38 man squad.

The Ulster lock Iain Henderson is also included after having recovered from a thumb injury.

Ireland start the defence of their 6 Nations title at home to England on the 2nd of February.

Meanwhile Scotland have included 3 uncapped hookers in their 6 Nations squad.

Leicester’s Jake Kerr,Dave Cherry of Edinburgh and Grant Stewart of Glasgow are all in the party with both Fraser Brown and George Turner sidelined through injury.

Scotland start their campaign away in Italy on February the 2nd.


Overcast with outbreaks of rain this morning,clearing during the afternoon.

Light to moderate south westerly winds and a high of 13 degrees.

Overnight lows of 6 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies with highs of 11-13 degrees.



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