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French and Riviera News Thursday 30th August 2018

Local

Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi announces plans for new traffic regulations and possible eco-tax - After the collapse of the Genoa bridge which claimed 43 lives, the mayor of Nice and president of Nice Côte d'Azur Christian Estrosi, has announced plans to regulate traffic on the region’s motorway. Estrosi reportedly believes that the fact that using the A8 motorway is much cheaper than, for example the Mont Blanc tunnel, is putting extra strain on the transportation of goods by road in the region adding that it is “necessary to rethink cross-border transport” and a possible “eco-tax”. Estrosi plans to hold an inter-regional conference with the French and Italian authorities on October 4th. As motorists in the Alpes-Maritimes know, the A8 motorway is often saturated, used by many road carriers from all over Europe, with an average of 6,800 trucks every day.

Traffic – Meanwhile with the end of the holiday season, Bison Futé have reminded drivers that traffic will become much heavier from this Friday. With holiday makers returning north, and schools re-opening from Monday, traffic on the Riviera will quickly return to more normal levels.

Sunday shopping - It’s been two years since Sunday shopping has been introduced on the Côte d’Azur following new regulations put in place by Macron in August 2015 allowing traders in international tourist areas to remain open. The Alpes-Maritimes counts 4 of the 21 international tourist areas in France Nice, Cannes, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Recent figures looking at the impact of Sunday shopping have reportedly shown a positive result for shopping centers such as Cap 3000 and Polygone Riviera.

French cyclist leads Vuelta - French cyclist Rudy Molard has become the first French leader of the Vuelta since 2011. Molard who is a familiar sight in Antibes in the Alpes Maritimes, which is where he lives and trains in the cities walls, took the red jersey of the Tour of Spain on Wednesday at the end of the 5th stage.

National

President Macron in Denmark - On the second day of his three-day tour of Denmark and Finland, French president Emmanuel Macron has announced that a future Tour de France bicycle race would start from Copenhagen. Some French media reported that  President Macron was received like a superstar in Denmark, while his government in France starts the post-summer political season in turmoil. This is France's first official visit to Denmark after over three decades. A gala lobster dinner was held for the occasion, transmitted live on Danish TV.

Meanwhile after French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot resigned on Tuesday on national radio, Macron's government has been defending its environmental policies. France has seen 13 environment ministers in 20 years. Robert Poujade, the first man to hold the post, declared in the 1970s that a better job title would be "minister of the impossible". Resigning live on air Tuesday -- without warning Macron first -- Hulot said he had grown frustrated with apparently irreconcilable differences between his vision and that of the government.

Clashes between fishermen - The UK government has said it is talking to French authorities to ensure there will be "no repeat" of clashes between fishermen over scallops. On Monday, nearly 40 French boats confronted British rivals they say are depleting scallop stocks in the area. The UK's environment secretary says the British boats were fishing legally. France says it is ready to send more police vessels to the area to prevent further clashes. The incident has highlighted a 15-year dispute over fishing rights that is heading into uncharted waters with Brexit.

Salt - A group of French MP’s are planning to introduce a new salt tax next year. They say France’s salt intake is 60% higher than the recommended intake and the new tax should encourage manufacturers to decrease the amount they include in their products.

Business

Argentina's government has unexpectedly asked for the early release of a $50bn (£37.2bn) loan from the IMF amid a growing economic crisis. The President said the move was designed to restore confidence in the economy. The Argentine peso has lost more than 40% of its value against the US dollar this year and inflation is rampant.

Vodafone's Australian operations will become part of a new telecoms giant in a A$15bn merger. Combining Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom will create a mobile, fixed-line and broadband provider with the scale to rival Telstra and Optus. Vodafone Australia, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison and Vodafone Group, will have a majority 50.1% stake.

According to revised figures. The US economy grew at a faster pace than initially thought in the second quarter. The Commerce Department's second estimate for the April-June period put growth at an annualised 4.2%, slightly up from the previous figure of 4.1%. It was the best quarterly figure for nearly four years and put the economy on track to hit Donald Trump's goal of 3% annual growth. The figures helped send Wall Street to new highs on Wednesday.

Sport

Tennis - Andy Murray's return to Grand Slam tennis ended in a four-set defeat by Spanish 31st seed Fernando Verdasco in the US Open second round. The former British number one, playing his first Slam in 14 months, lost 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-4 in New York. In sweltering conditions, Murray battled hard but did not have enough to overcome Verdasco.

Meanwhile today in women’s tennis Serena Williams is to play sister Venus in the third round of the US Open.

Football – A report has found that an undercover investigation that led to Sam Allardyce's exit as England manager after 67 days was justified in the public interest. Allardyce left the England job in 2016 after the Daily Telegraph said he told reporters posing as businessmen how to "get around" player transfer rules.

Here’s more Premier League football news from the BBC

Cricket - England captain Joe Root says his batsmen are "very hungry" to prove themselves in the fourth Test against India, which begins today. The hosts were bowled out for 161 in the first innings of the third Test as India cut their series deficit to 2-1. However, England can still seal the series with victory in Southampton.

Weather

Clear skies with highs of 29 degrees in the Var and 28 in the Alpes Maritimes with a light to moderate south easterly wind. This evening going down to 21 degrees in Nice and Antibes and 16 degrees in Saint Tropez.

The outlook for Friday clear skies to start with highs of 28 showers forecast in Nice and the Alpes Martimes by afternoon. Saturday clear skies across the region highs of 26 in the Var and 25 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes.

Finally 

New research suggests that Daddy's girls' are less likely to be lonely when they go to school. 

A study found that daughters who have a close relationship with their fathers are better able to cope with feelings of isolation when they reach primary-school age than little girls who do not have a close bond with their dads. 

'Daddy's girls' are thought to be less at risk of loneliness due to them looking to their fathers for help and protection during challenging times, such as starting school.

The research adds that girls who are close to their mothers are no more or less likely to experience loneliness. 

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