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French and Riviera News Thursday 18th January 2018

Local

Record for number of migrants arrested at French-Italian border - Figures published on Wednesday have shown a record year for the number of migrants arrested at the French-Italian border. More than 48,000 arrests were made compared to 37,000 in 2016.  Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May will announce a new treaty on how to handle migrants hoping to head to Britain. The treaty is set to be announced at a summit in London today.

Fire at supermarket - Staff and customers at a supermarket in Nice were evacuated on Wednesday after a fire broke out in an underground car park. 1,500 square metres went up in flames at the Aldi supermarket on the Virgile Barel Boulevard in Nice at 5pm.

Weather Alert - Firefighters across the region  reported 132 interventions on Wednesday due to the gale force winds which hit the region. Strong winds resulted in trees being blown down, power lines cut and flying debris. Meteo France lifted the weather alert on Wednesday afternoon however strong winds are still forecast for the Var.

Automobile Club of Monaco - The President of the Automobile Club of Monaco, Michel Boeri has been presented with the keys to the four new Mégane RS cars by the General Manager of Renault Sport Cars, Patrice Ratti. The cars will be used during numerous sporting events organized in the Principality by the Automobile Club. The Monte-Carlo Rally starts on Monday.

Tourism - The Riviera continues to be a strong destination, with Nice Cote d’Azur airport reporting an almost 10% jump in passenger numbers last year. Thirteen million people passed through the airport in the last 12 months, making Nice the busiest airport in France outside of Paris.

National

Notre-Dame-des-Landes - The French government has formally abandoned plans for a controversial new airport in Western France. The site had become a site of resistance for environmental activists. France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Wednesday that the divisions unleashed by the proposed new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes near the city of Nantes made it impossible to proceed.

Lactalis Scandal - French police are searching several sites run by dairy group Lactalis as part of an ongoing investigation into a baby milk scare. More than 12 million boxes of powdered baby milk have already been recalled in 83 countries following a salmonella outbreak. Lawsuits have been filed by parents who say their children became unwell after drinking the formula.

#MeToo - French film legend Brigitte Bardot has attacked the #MeToo movement, claiming that actresses who complain of sexual harassment were just looking for publicity. "The vast majority are being hypocritical and ridiculous," she told the French magazine Paris Match. "Lots of actresses try to play the tease with producers to get a role. And then, so we will talk about them, they say they were harassed," declared the 83-year-old Bardot. "I was never the victim of sexual harassment. And I found it charming when men told me that I was beautiful or I had a nice little backside," said the actress, who became a sex symbol overnight for "And God Created Woman" in 1956.

Business

Apple is to pay around 38 billion dollars in taxes on an estimated 250 billion dollar cash reserve that it holds outside the United States following recent changes to American tax rules.
The money is expected to be the largest payment under the reforms which have slashed the US corporate tax rate.
The company has also announced that its to build a new US campus and create 20,000 new jobs.
Apple says that the plans will contribute more than 350 billion dollars to the US economy over the next 5 years.
Apple currently employs some 84,000 people in the United States and expects to spend 55 billion dollars with domestic suppliers and manufacturers this year.

Bitcoin dipped below 10,000 dollars for the first time since early December on Wednesday as speculation grows that regulators in major economies are about to restrict trading in crypto-currencies.
The value of one bitcoin fell to 9,958 dollars before making a slight recovery according to a price index run by Coindesk.
The crypto-currency then fell back even further to around 9,200 dollars representing a fall of 53 percent since it peaked at 19,800 dollars five weeks ago.
Other crypto-currencies including Ethereum,Ripple and Bitcoin Cash also registered steep falls.

And-Australia has registered a trade complaint with the WTO accusing Canada of putting “discriminatory “ rules on the sale of imported wine.
The formal objection to the WTO follows a similar complaint made by the United States last year.
Australia says that Canadian regulations unfairly disadvantage wines produced overseas.
Canada is Australia’s 4th largest wine market.

Sport

Tennis-The British number one Johanna Konta has suffered a shock defeat in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
With temperatures hitting 39 degrees in the afternoon heat,Konta was beaten 6-4 7-5 by the world number 125 Bernarda Pera.She had been tipped to reach at least the semi-finals and possibly win her first ever Grand Slam.
Meanwhile the 5 time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova is through to the last 32 after beating the 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets and the 6th seed Karolina Pliskova is also through after steaming past Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-1 6-1.
In the men’s event the 5th seed Dominic Thiem is through to round 3 following a 5 set win over Denis Kudla of the United States.
The 19th seed Tomas Berdych beat Guillermo Garcia Lopez in four sets and the top seed Rafael Nadal had no problems reaching round three as he beat Florian Mayer in straight sets.

Football-Chelsea have squeaked through to the 4th round of the FA Cup after beating Norwich City of the Championship in a penalty shoot out.
The Premier League giants were held 1-1 at the end of extra time and finished the match with 9 men after both Pedro and Alvaro Morata were sent off.
In the other ties last night Wigan of League 1 beat Bournemouth of the Premier League 3-0 and Swansea beat the Championship leaders Wolves 2-1.


Cricket-Ben Stokes says that he’s “delighted” to be back in the England squad for the tour of New Zealand despite being charged with affray following his arrest outside a Bristol nightclub last September.
The all rounder will join up with England for the triangular T20 series against New Zealand and Australia next month and will then be available for the one day series and two Test matches against the Black Caps.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has attracted criticism with questions asked as to why the player was not selected for the Ashes tour of Australia before he was charged by the police.

South Africa have wrapped up the Test series against India with a 135 run victory in the second Test at Centurion.
The home side bowled India out for 151 in their second innings on the final day of the match with debutant Lungi Ngidi taking 6-39 to give South Africa an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3 match series.  

Formula 1-The former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is to return to the sport to help find ways to reduce costs.
Whitmarsh has been invited by the FIA to come in as a temporary consultant to help to “define regulations for fair and sustainable competition”.
The sport’s new owners Liberty Media is keen to find a way to limit costs for teams as a way of closing up competition.

Rugby Union-James Haskell will miss England’s first two 6 Nations games after being given a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle.
Haskell was sent off  for a high tackle on Jamie Roberts while playing for Wasps during last Saturday’s European Champions Cup game.
He’s suspended until Monday the 12th of February.

Meanwhile Mathieu Bastareaud of France will miss the opening 6 Nations game against Ireland after being banned for 3 weeks for making a homophobic remark.
The Toulon centre admitted to verbally abusing Sebastian Negri of Benetton during Saturday’s European Champions Cup game.
The offence carried a 6 week ban but was reduced to three weeks after the player admitted to the charge.

Weather

Clear skies with a moderate to  strong Mistral across the Var.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies tomorrow with a high of 16 degrees.Partially cloudy on Saturday with a high of 14.

 

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