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French and Riviera News Thursday 4th January 2018

Local

Weather Alert - Meteo France has this morning lifted the orange weather alert for the Corsica, the Alpes Maritimes and the Var. 21 departments remain on alert due to the risk of heavy rain, strong winds and avalanches. Storm Eleanor which hit France on Wednesday killed a skier in Haute-Savoie and injured twenty-six people, four of them seriously.

Fire in La Trinité - Twenty two people have been evacuated in La Trinité in Nice after a fire broke out on Wednesday evening. Two hectares of woodland were destroyed in the blaze which threatened several houses in the area and saw 131 firefighters deployed.

More information has emerged regarding the disappearance of 16 year old Manon in Antibes on Monday.  Police now believe that Manon planned her disappearance.  Police say that the statements of friends who said they last saw her at a bus stop waiting for the number 8 bus at the Place de Gaulle were fabricated.  CCTV cameras reportedly recorded Manon as being at Antibes railway station carrying suitcases. After that, the cameras lost track of her.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has called for the creation of a specific offence of assaulting a police officer.  In an interview with French media he said that penalties under current laws are not enough to punish those who attack police officers.  Mr. Estrosi said that minimum penalties for attacks on the police which were abolished in 2014 should be reinstated and there should be no automatic reductions in sentences. Mr. Estrosi’s comments come after violence against police officers in the Paris area over the New Year.

Sunniest place in France - According to records published Marseille has broken a historical record for the number of hours sunshine. The city recorded a total of 3,110 hours of sunshine in 2017.

National

Ban on fake news - French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to introduce a law to ban fake news on the internet during French election campaigns. Macron, who beat the far-right MarineLe Pen to win 2017’s election, said he wanted new legislation for social media platforms during election periods “in order to protect democracy”. New legislation for websites would include more transparency about sponsored content. Under the new law, websites would have to say who is financing them and the amount of money for sponsored content would be capped.

Salmonella contamination - A report published on Wednesday has shown that French food safety inspectors failed to detect salmonella contamination at a plant belonging to dairy giant Lactalis, three months before the company carried out a major recall of baby milk. Lactalis, one of the world's largest producers of dairy products, discovered the bacteria at its factory in northwest France, during in-house tests in August and November. The agriculture ministry said the company did not inform the authorities. It was only in December, after around 30 infants fed Lactalis milk had fallen ill, that the health ministry sounded the alarm.

Business

Tech firms are working to fix bugs that could allow hackers to steal personal data from computer systems. Google researchers said there were "serious security flaws" in chips made by Intel, AMD and ARM, affecting devices which use them. The industry has been aware of the problem for months and hoped to solve it before details were made public.

Music streaming company Spotify has reportedly filed papers with US regulators to list its shares publicly on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The firm hopes to launch its shares in the first three months of the year according to reports. Spotify, which declined to comment, has been preparing for the listing for months. It plans to list shares directly on the NYSE, bypassing the traditional stock offering process.

Spotify is the world's biggest music streaming company, ahead of rivals like Apple and Amazon. Founded in Sweden, the firm has more than 140 million active users in 61 countries, but it has continued to report losses.

And - Premier League leaders Manchester City have more financial firepower than any other club in world football, according to a new ranking. Event organiser Soccerex, which compiled the list, says the club has the biggest economic growth potential. UK clubs dominate the top ten spots with Arsenal ranked second, Tottenham Hotspur fifth, Manchester United seventh and Chelsea in ninth position.

The list is based on five factors including potential owner investment.

Sport

Football – In last night’s English Premier League Chelsea drew 2-2 against Arsenal .This evening Tottenham play West Ham

Cricket – England's quest to end this Ashes series on something of a high begins on Thursday. The tourists have already lost the Ashes and trail their rivals 3-0 in the best-of-five series - in what has been largely a one-sided affair. After drawing the fourth Test in Melboune, England captain Joe Root will be hoping his side can go one better in Sydney.

Weather

Clear skies with highs of 19 degress across with a moderate easterly wind in the Alpes Maritimes and gusts of 60km/h forecast for the Var. This evening going down to 11 degrees and cloudy.

The outlook for Saturday and Sunday clouding over on Saturday winds dropping in the Var highs of 16 degrees going down to 11 degrees and rain forecast Saturday afternoon most of Sunday.

 

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