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French and Riviera News Tuesday 10th October 2017

Local

Strike Action - Daycare centers, nurseries, primary schools, hospitals, postal services, and some transport services will be disrupted today due to strike action. In Nice 18 primary schools have announced that they will be closed with a minimum service planned for others. The region’s bus services are expected to operate as normal. However, some services in Nice will be affected between 10am and 1pm, due to a mass protest being held in the centre of the city. SNCF say they expect only limited delays or cancellations, with most services running as normal. Nice Cote d’Azur airport will be the hardest hit, with up to 30% of flights in danger of disruption due to national air traffic controllers taking part in the strike. The strike has been called in protest against new labour reforms and the wage cap announced by the French government.

German man falls to his death while taking photo - A 48 year old German man who was hiking with his family in the Gard region has died after falling from a cliff. The accident happened on Sunday when the victim fell to his death after losing his footing while taking a picture. The hikers were near Montclus, renowned as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The area has picturesque trails that are hugely popular with visitors.

Man arrested after brandishing a knife in Nice port area - A thirty year old man has been sprayed with tear gas and arrested after police found him brandishing a knife and behaving in a threatening manner. Police arrested the man on the Quai des Etats-Unis in Nice at 4pm on Monday.He had just assaulted an elderly woman in the rue Bonaparte who was taken to hospital suffering from a fracture to her neck.

Marseilles - The brother of the man who killed two women at Marseilles train station last week has been arrested in Northern Italy. Police believe he has a past as a foreign fighter in Syria, and may have been responsible for radicalising his brother.

Voie Mathis - A new plan to link the Voie Mathis in Nice, with the A8 motorway, was discussed by Nice City Council on Monday. The council have approved a new study into the project, at a cost of 200,000 euro, and it’s hoped the new single lane link road could be operational by 2023.

National

UK border guard arrested - A British border guard has been arrested as part of an investigation into arms and drugs smuggling. The guard was one of 12 people arrested in Britain and France. The 37-year-old officer from the port of Dover was detained by French police near Calais along with three other UK citizens. Eleven firearms -- nine handguns and two revolvers -- were recovered and French police also seized 34 kilos of cocaine and seven kilos of heroin.

Catalan Independence - France’s minister for European affairs Nathalie Loiseau has said that the Catalan independence would not be recognized in France.  As the Spanish region's leader threatens to announce a split Loiseau speaking to French media urged that "This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics”.

Wealth tax - According to reports the French government is planning to introduce a tax on luxury yachts, supercars and precious metals as the 2018 budget bill is studied by parliament’s finance commission this week. French President Emmanuel Macron’s abolition of the wealth tax soon after he took office was designed to stem the flow of millionaires from the country but has caused an outcry from his critics.

French actor Jean Rochefort dies - The French actor Jean Rochefort, has died aged 87. Rochefort was a French national treasure. Born in Paris to prosperous parents, Rochefort claimed to have had a deadly dull childhood in the western city of Nantes. Listening to the radio sparked his interest in theatre, and he fled to study acting in Paris. His movie breakthrough did not come till he was nearly 30. Roles in movies such as "Angelique" and "Le Masque de fer" (The Iron Mask) followed.He was once invited by the French president to dine with Queen Elizabeth II, and accepted, thinking he would be one among hundreds. In fact there were eight guests, including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Business

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has told Parliament that the government is exploring the possibility of operating as an “independent trading nation” in the event that no Brexit deal is struck with Brussels. Mrs May told MP’s that “ real and tangible progress” had been made in the talks but she warned that the country must be prepared for “every eventuality”. The government published two white papers on Monday dealing with future trade and customs arrangements.Political analysts say that the “no deal” scenario was starting to appear more likely even if it was not something that either the UK or the EU want. The opposition Labour Party says that “no real progress” has been made since last year’s referendum. The 5th round of  Brexit negotiations started in Brussels on Monday and is the final set of talks before EU leaders meet to decide whether enough progress has been made to talk about post-Brexit relations including trade.

The head of the World Bank has said that the global economy is on a “crash course” as people’s hopes collide with a future in which millions of jobs are automated. Jim Yong Kim says that policymakers must take action by investing in education and health. Dr Kim was speaking in New York ahead of the World Bank’s annual meeting in Washington DC. He said that the World Bank wanted to create a sense of urgency to invest in people that it considered was necessary given the way that the world is changing.

And-The insurance giant AIG says that it expects to take pre-tax losses of around 3 billion dollars in the third quarter mainly related to hurricanes Harvey,Irma and Maria. The company’s shares fell by 1.7 percent on the news. Insurers and reinsurers are counting the cost of the hurricanes that tore through parts of the United States last month and ravaged several islands in the Caribbean. Morgan Stanley said that the losses at AIG were more than its estimate of 2.5 billion dollars but were manageable as they equated to around 2.6 percent of book value.

Sport

Football-The Republic of Ireland have made the World Cup playoffs following a 1-0 win over Wales in Cardiff. James McClean scored the only goal of the game which sees Wales fail to qualify and the Republic finish in second place in the group behind Serbia.

Iceland are in the news again though after making it through to their first ever World Cup finals.They beat Kosovo 2-0 last night to top the group and make it to Russia 2018.

Rugby Union-The Welsh Rugby Union could be about to change its international selection policy which could allow senior players based abroad to play for the country. Current policy only allows 4 players at clubs outside Wales to play for the national side.The policy which is known as ‘Gatland’s Law’  is aimed at ensuring that more players play their domestic rugby in Wales. The  bar could be changed to 50 caps which would allow more senior players including George North,Jamie Roberts and Dan Biggar to remain available for selection.

Golf-Rory McIlroy is to take a break from competitive golf as he attempts to regain his form. The world number 6 hasn’t won a tournament this year  and is to focus on the range and his fitness in a bid to kick start his career. He’s also had a bad rib injury this year which has limited his tournament participation  and is to undergo an intense 6 week period of fitness training in a bid to get his body right.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable   winds. Top temperatures 24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees in coastal areas and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.  

Wednesday and Thursday–Mainly fine with highs of 21-24 degrees

Finally 

Researchers have found that the female brain rewards friendly and helpful behaviour more than selfish decisions. The male mind on the other hand is more egocentric, encouraging narcissistic acts over selfless ones.

The researchers, from the University of Zurich, say this is likely the result of our cultural expectations of women to be more helpful than men. The research shows for the first time that the brains of men and women respond differently to selfish and friendly, or 'prosocial', behaviour.

Previous studies have already shown that women typically share sums of money more generously than men.

 

 

 

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