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French and Riviera News Thursday 19th April 2018

Local

Strikes - Delays and cancellations are expected on the region’s train network as the SNCF continue strike action today with one out of three TGV’s in operation and two out of five regional services running.

Transport in Nice is expected to be difficult with both the tramway and bus services announcing strike action. The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has confirmed that due to the complications caused by the strike action motorists will not today, be charged for parking in the city.

Pollution - The Mayor of Tende, Jean Pierre Vassalo has raised the alarm over concern that illegal rubble is being stored on the site of the future tunnel of Tende. Vassalo alerted the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes speaking of a possible “ecological disaster” which could lead to water pollution making it unfit for consumption for up to 200,000 people in Menton, Ventimiglia and part of Monaco. On Wednesday experts were sent to the site with the Prefecture later confirming that while it recognizes the illegal existence of several tons of rubble at the site, tests showed that they represented no danger. 

Stabbing in car park in Juan-les-Pins - Police have opened an investigation into the stabbing of a 32 year old man in Juan-les-Pins. The incident happened at around 8pm on Wednesday evening at the Esterel public car park. The victim was injured with a pair of scissors before emergency services took him to hospital. 

Fireworks - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced that that there will be no more fireworks on July 14th in Nice. While fireworks will return to the city on June 9th as part of the Port Festival, fireworks on the Promenade will now be held on the 15th July.

An operation is underway in Nice aimed at reducing the seagull population.  Local authorities are using drones to spray gull’s eggs with a substance which sterilises the eggs. It’s the second year that this method had been used to control the gull population.  The operation will take place until the end of May.

National

French President Emmanuel Macron - A survey published on Wednesday has shown that 60% of French voters are unhappy with President Emmanuel Macron. The Ifop poll was broadly in line with other surveys showing an approval rate at around 40 percent almost a year after Macron came to power last May at the head of a new centrist party. The poll comes as Macron faces three months of rolling strikes on the railways over his plans to shake up heavily-indebted operator SNCF, scrapping early retirement and other benefits for new hires.

Flu - The French government health agency has said that the winter flu epidemic is now over in all regions of metropolitan France.  Provisional figures show that 13,000 people died as a result of the flu during this winter’s flu season.  The figure is slightly less than last year, when 14,400 deaths occurred.

Business

Oil prices are nearing near three and a half year highs as US crude inventories decline and Saudi Arabia continues to withhold supplies in a bid to push prices up to between 80 and 100 dollars a barrel.
Brent Crude futures have risen by half a percent in Asian trade this morning to 73 dollars 82 with US West Texas Intermediate up 0.4 percent to 68 dollars 75.
On Wednesday,Brent reached its highest level since November 2014 at 73 dollars 93 before falling back slightly.
Reuters says that Saudi Arabia would be happy to see crude rise to between 80 and 100 dollars a barrel with the signs suggesting that Riyadh will seek no changes to an OPEC led supply cutting deal that was introduced in 2017 to boost prices.

Facebook has started asking European and Canadian users to allow it to use facial recognition technology to identity them in photos and videos.
The social media giant initially started face-matching users outside Canada in 2011 but stopped the process for EU citizens just a year later following protests from regulators and privacy campaigners.
The new request is one of several “opt-in” permissions being sought by Facebook in advance of a new EU data-privacy law.
The company is currently mired in a privacy scandal related to the use of members’ personal information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica so the new facial recognition issue is bound to be controversial.

And-UK consumer price inflation has fallen to its lowest level in a year according the country’s Office for National Statistics.
The headline rate of inflation  fell to 2.5 percent in March from 2.7 percent the previous month.
Economists are still expecting the Bank of England to increase interest rates next month despite the fall.
The data which was released on Wednesday also appears to suggest that the financial squeeze on households may be coming to an end with wage increases exceeding inflation last month at 2.8 percent.

Sport

DOTTA IMMOBILIER MONTE CARLO ROLEX MASTERS REPORT.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has raced through to the third round of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters as he dispatched Aljaz Bedene 6-1 6-3 in 77 minutes at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
The 9th seed Novak Djokovic is also through after beating Borna Coric 7-6 7-5 although he needed 10 match points to complete his victory over the world number 39.
Play starts again at 11am on all courts this morning.First up on the Court Rainier III is the all German third round match between Jan-Lennard Struff  and Alexander Zverev and that will be followed by Novak Djokovic against Dominic Thiem.
Nadal is third in the order of play for his third round match against Karen Khackanov of Russia.Nadal needs to win the tournament to preserve his world number one ranking or he’ll be replaced by Roger Federer.

SMET MONTE CARLO ROLEX MASTERS TRAVEL REPORT.

If you’re driving in for the tennis then use one of the numerous car parks on the Port area at La Condamine,La Digue or Parking des Pecheurs and then take the free bus service from the Port to the Monte Carlo Country Club.Many car parks are offering a 5 euro flat fee for the day on presentation of your tennis ticket.
The most convenient way in though is by train, with the SNCF operating special services throughout the tournament to  the Monte Carlo Country club and calling at all major stations along the line to and from Nice and Cannes.
However,there will be disruption to services today because of strike action by SNCF employees with only one in three scheduled services expected to be operating.
For more information on the tennis go to www.montecarlotennismasters.com

Football-Manchester United have all but guaranteed themselves Champions League football next season following a 2-0 win at Bournemouth last night.United will be guaranteed a spot in the tournament if Chelsea fail to beat Burnley tonight.
There are two games tonight.Burnley host Chelsea and Leicester play Southampton.
Cricket-Justin Langer is set to be appointed as the new head coach of Australia.
Media reports say that the former batsman has been lined up to replace Darren Lehmann who resigned in the wake of the ball tampering scandal in March.
Langer,who’s 47 has been coaching Western Australia and Perth Scorchers.

Rugby Union-5 Spain players have been handed bans totaling more than 2 years after confronting the referee following their side’s controversial World Cup qualifying defeat against Belgium last month.
The match was refereed by a Romanian  and the result meant that Romania won an automatic qualifying spot for Japan 2019.
World Rugby said that it was “deeply concerned” about the incident and that the players had been banned for physical and verbal abuse of the referee.

Weather

Clear skies  with light variable or easterly winds.

Top temperature 24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies with highs of 22-25 degrees.

 

 

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