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French and Riviera News Thursday 31st August 2017

 

Local 

Man dies after diving from rocks in Marseille - A 34-year-old man from Nancy has died after diving off rocks at the Malmousque bay in Marseille. The accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when the victim plunged into shallow water violently hitting his head. Firefighters were unable to save the man. Despite diving being forbidden in the area there are regular accidents on this side of Marseille with young people who make spectacular dives from the Corniche or from the rocks.

Nice Attack - More than a year after the Nice attack, 700 firefighters from the Alpes-Maritimes have been honoured in an official ceremony which took place on Wednesday in Nice. The firefighters were awarded medals for their acts of courage and dedication during the attack which took place on July 14th 2016 on the Promenade des Anglais killing 86 people.  

Forest Fires - Figures released by a database on forest fires in the region has shown that in total this summer 97 fires were reported in the Var and Alpes Maritimes region destroying just over 4,000 hectares of land. The most important fires took place in July in La Croix-Valmer, Artigues and La Londe.

Ring found on a beach in the Var - A simple ring found on a beach in Le Lavandou in the Var on August 23 by Marie-Charlotte has been shared 55,000 times on the social network site Facebook. Marie Charlotte from Burgundy was on holiday in the region when her father lost his ring at the beach. After four days of searching in the sand, returning to the same spot everyday, Marie Charlotte found a ring but not her fathers. In an attempt to find its owner she posted the ring which is engraved with the letter JANY 25-12-2014 on facebook. But it doesn’t end there before leaving the holiday resort Marie Charlotte returned to the beach for one last swim and upon entering the water spotted her father’s ring lying on the seabed.

National

Labour reforms - French President Emmanuel Macron is set to reveal new labour reforms today as his government attempt to free up the French economy by making it easier for employers to hire and fire staff and negotiate working conditions. While the measures revealed today will be a big test for his presidency after facing calls for mass protest next month one of the biggest unions has decided not to take part. In a recent poll published on Wednesday nine out of 10 French people agreed that their country’s labour code had to be reformed, 60% were worried about the Macron plan.

France angers Philippines President - Meanwhile France on Wednesday became embroiled in a dispute with the President of the Philippines over his deadly war on drugs as France stressed the importance of human rights and the rule of law. The French embassy released a statement emphasizing respect for human rights as it rejected comments by the Philippine President that people in France were presumed guilty until proven innocent.

Parisian nudists- Parisian nudists will finally have a spot to take it all off – for the next few weeks at least – at a secluded zone in the Bois de Vincennes park east of the city. According to Penelope Komites, a deputy mayor in charge of the city’s parks “The creation of an area in the Bois de Vincennes where naturism will be authorised is part of our open-minded vision for the use of Parisian public spaces,” The site, still considered an experiment, will be open from Thursday 31 August until 15 October, from 8am-7.30pm. Officials vow that no voyeurism or exhibitionism will be tolerated in order to assure the respect for those making the most of their natural state.

Eiffel Tower beacon - The famous Eiffel Tower beacon in the City of Light has been turned off until October. The beam that lights up the Parisian skies is to be renovated. The ray which travels 80 kilometres was launched on December 31st 1999 to mark the new millennium. 

Business

Indias’s central bank says that Indians have returned almost all of the high-currency notes banned in last year's shock government crackdown on illegal cash. It said 99% - of the money had made its way back into the banking system. Ministers had hoped the move would make it difficult for hoarders of undeclared wealth to exchange it for legal tender. The news that it did not will raise questions about the policy, which brought chaotic scenes across India.

US President Donald Trump said "it's time" for US lawmakers to act on tax reform, increasing pressure on Congress as he seeks to make good on one of his biggest campaign promises. His administration is pushing for a simpler tax code and lower rates, but it has said it will leave the details of the proposal to Congress.

And – Travellers buying their currencies at UK airports are being offered as little as 86 euro cents to the pound. A survey carried out by a foreign exchange broker FairFx, said this rate, from Moneycorp at Southampton airport, was the worst at any airport bureau de change. The average euro rate across 16 big UK airports was higher, at 95 euro cents to the pound.

Sport

Football - Liverpool have agreed a £40m deal to sign Arsenal and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

Tennis – Kyle Edmund kept British hopes alive in the US Open singles after Aljaz Bedene and Cameron Norrie were beaten in New York on Wednesday.

Cricket – West Indies batsman Chris Gayle says he is open to a Test return before he retires from cricket. The 37 year old, who has not played Test cricket since September 2014, joked he coud even return for the third Test against England next week at Lord’s.

Rugby Union – Premiership and Championship players will take part this season in the development of a new pitch-side test to diagnose concussion and brain injuries. Saliva and urine samples will be collected during the new campaign, after studies showed they could provide swift indicators of head injuries. It could lead to a handheld device to assess if a player is fit to play on.

Weather

Sunshine and showers across the region with highs of 29 degrees and a moderate to strong south easterly wind. This evening going down to 21 degrees with cloud and showers forecast.

The outlook for Friday and the start of the weekend. Clear skies with highs of 27 degrees. Possible showers in Nice and the Alpes Maritimes region on Saturday . Remaining dry in the Var with strong winds forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Finally 

Astronomers have picked up a series of mysterious signals emanating from a tiny dwarf galaxy three billion light years away - and scientists cannot rule out the possibility they were produced by an alien civilisation.

Breakthrough Listen, a project dedicated to finding signs of intelligent life in the universe, has detected 15 "fast radio burst" (FRB) signals coming from a mysterious cluster of stars.

The source of the transmissions is called FRB 121102, which is referred to as a "repeater" because it keeps producing the signals.

This rules out the possibility they are produced by catastrophic one off events such as a star exploding. However, we simply can't explain the origin of these mysterious pulses.

 

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