French and Riviera News Thursday 22nd February 2018


Jogger dies in Grasse - A forty year old jogger has died in the car park of the train station in Grasse. Firefighters at the scene were unable to save the man who collapsed shortly after 9am on Wednesday morning.

Air France Strike - Due to strike action by Air France flights to and from Nice International Airport will be disrupted today with half of all long haul flights and a quarter of all short haul flights expected to be cancelled. Pilots, cabin crew and ground staff are taking part in the protest, following demands for a 6% pay increase.

Vehicle catches fire on A8 motorway – Traffic came to a standstill on the A8 motorway on Wednesday evening after a vehicle caught fire. One lane was closed at Nice Saint Isidore eastbound as firefighters attended the scene. No casualties were reported.

Petition – An online petition has been launched calling for entry to the Nice Carnival to be free of charge. The petition says the Carnaval has been parading along the promenade for generations, and is a genuine part of Nice culture. The petition demonstrates a growing feeling among people, that the Carnaval has been commercialised as a pure money making exercise. 

Wedding - Princess Stéphanie of Monaco has announced the engagement of her eldest son Louis. The 25 year-old is to marry Marie Chevallier, who he met four years ago, when studying for his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management in the United States. Marie Chevallier, who also holds a degree from the same college, is currently the banqueting and convention coordinator at the Hotel Hermitage.

Plant for the Planet – Billion Tree Campaign – The founders of “Plant for the Planet” have announced plans to launch a campaign here in Monaco. The campaign encourages citizens of all countries, communities, organisations and governments to commit to plant a certain number of trees and register their contributions via the campaign’s website. Supported by the Prince Albert II foundation the event which will feature talks, networking sessions and an official tree planting ceremony will be held here in the Principality on March 9th at the Grimaldi Forum.

Cold spell - Météo France has forecast that temperatures will be below normal for the time of year today following the arrival of a cold and dry air mass coming from northern Europe. The "cold air mass" is expected to affect the whole country, with temperatures of 1°C in the East and 10°C on the French Riviera.


Migrant Bill - The French government has defended a new immigration bill as "completely balanced". The bill which was presented on Wednesday has come under strong criticism from rights groups claiming that it will lead to thousands of extra deportations. The bill will be introduced in parliament in April, with debate expected to last several weeks.

Homeless in Paris - According to figures from the city’s first ever homelessness census at least 3,000 people sleep rough on the streets of Paris. Some 1,700 volunteers and 300 officials carried out the census street by street counting the number of people huddled in sleeping bags in doorways or camped out in tents. They also surveyed homeless people about their housing and health problems, collecting data that Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes will allow authorities to design better policies to help those on the streets.


US Federal Reserve officials have signalled growing confidence in the economy according to the minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee in Washington.
Minutes from the meeting which was held on the 30th and 31st of January show that the Fed appears intent on raising interest rates at a faster pace with the first hike coming as soon as next month.
Details of the meeting have been carefully studied by investors who are looking for clear signal as to when the acceleration of interest rates will start.
Rates were boosted to a range between one and a quarter and one and a half percent in December with three or possibly four more increases this year.
Some Fed officials also think that inflation is likely to return to the 2 percent target in 2018 after consistently lagging behind for several years.

The head of Ford’s US operations is leaving his post immediately following an internal investigation into what the firm says was “inappropriate behaviour”.
Ford says that its inquiry had concluded that some of the conduct of Raj Nair had been “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct”.
Mr Nair said in a statement that he “sincerely regretted” certain behaviour.
Ford has given no more details into the investigation.
Mr Nair was appointed president of Ford North America in July.He was previously head of global product development and chief technical officer.

And-The British Prime Minister Theresa May will attempt to bang heads together on Brexit today as she stages an ‘away day’ for senior cabinet ministers at her Chequers country residence.
11 of the Prime Minister’s most senior colleagues will attend the meeting with disagreement still rife as to what Brexit should look like and how close Britain’s future relationship with the EU should be.
On Wednesday,leaked documents suggested that the government would ask the EU to extend the two year transitional agreement due to kick in at the end of March next year for “as long as it took to reach a comprehensive trade deal” but the story has been denied by Downing Street.
Reports in several newspapers today say that if the transition deal is extended then the EU will demand several billion pounds more in exit fees.
The Prime Minister is also coming under pressure from Tory hardliners in the parliamentary party who are seeking a clean break from the EU and have written a letter to Mrs May setting out their agenda.


6 Nations report with

Scotland have named an unchanged side to face England in the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Coach Gregor Townsend keeps faith with the side that beat France in their last game.
There are three changes on the bench with Willem Nel,Tim Swinson and Nick Grigg coming in and Jon Welsh,Chris Harris and Ben Toolis dropping out.

The England coach Eddie Jones will name his matchday squad later today.

Mathieu Basteraud will start for France against Italy on Friday night after serving a ban for making a homophobic slur  during a European Champions Cup game in January.
Coach Jacques Brunel has made 5 changes to the side that lost to Scotland with Benjamin Fall,Remy Grosso,Hugo Bonneval and Paul Gabrillagues also coming in.
France are under pressure and some see Italy causing an upset in Paris.Several French players have been dropped from the squad following “inappropriate behaviour” during a night out in Edinburgh following the Scotland game.
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Winter Olympics-Norway still tops the medals table on day 13 of the Games in PyeongChang.
Norway have 13 gold medals in a total haul of 33 with Germany in second with 12 gold medals and Canada in third with 9 gold medals.
Earlier this morning David Wise won the USA’s 7th gold of the games with victory in the men’s ski halfpipe and Anna Gasser of Austria took the gold in the women’s big air final.
Great Britain’s men’s curling team missed out on a place in the semi finals after losing to Switzerland in a play-off.

Football-In the European Champions League last night Sevilla and Manchester United drew 0-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 knockout game while Shakhtar Donetsk  beat Roma 2-1.
There were 4 games in the English Championship last night.Bristol City and Fulham drew 1-1.Derby and Leeds drew 2-2.Ipswich lost 1-0 at home to Cardiff City and the leaders Wolves were held to a 2-2 home draw by Norwich.

Formula 1-Red Bull say that Daniel Ricciardo’s car will be ready for pre-season testing next week despite him crashing it a  closed doors session at Silverstone.
A Red Bull spokesman said that the incident was “minor” and there would be “no issues” as to it being ready for testing next week.


Cloudy  with some rain around the middle of the day and some brighter periods this afternoon.

Moderate north-easterly or variable winds and a high of 10 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 6 degrees on the coast and 1 degrees inland with partially  cloudy skies and some frost in places.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Changeable with the chance of some showers tomorrow and some more prolonged rain on Saturday.Highs of 9-11 degrees.


The private school attended by Tony Blair is investigating how one of its magenta and brown blazers came to be in the wardrobe of Elvis Presley.

Fettes College in Edinburgh, which charges £33,500 a year, also counts Tilda Swinton among its former pupils.

The school was astounded to discover that one of its distinctive jackets had once belonged to Elvis.

The item is being sold by PR Auction online - with no mention of its Scottish roots - and is expected to fetch at least $2,000 (£1,430).


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