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French and Riviera News Tuesday 12th September 2017

Local

Strike Action - The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will face the first major street protests of his leadership today as one of the country’s biggest trade unions demonstrates against his labour law reforms. Public bus and tram services in Nice and Cannes along with rail services from Saint Raphael to Ventimiglia will be severely disrupted with as little as one in three trains operating.

Other public sector workers taking action in the region are school dinner staff with several schools closed for lunch. It is also possible that flights at Nice International airport may be affected by the strike. France’s second biggest trade union the CGT has said that more than 180 demonstrations are planned across the country. Unions say they will follow up todays strike, with another on Thursday week the 21st of September.

One year prison sentence - The court in Grasse has given a one year prison sentence to a mother and father from Cagnes-sur-mer after their 14 month old daughter was admitted to hospital in Antibes suffering from acute cannabis intoxication. The police found 142 g of drugs and 9,700 euros in cash at the parents' residence in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Terror - In the wake of last month’s terror attack on Barcelona, the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, is convening a meeting of the mayors of major cities across Europe, to discuss security solutions.  The meeting will be held at MUC Nice on the last Friday of September, and will be followed by the signing a commitment to prevent violent extremism to be known as the Declaration of Nice.

Cannes Yacht show - Nearly 530 exhibitors are taking part in Cannes Yacht show which opens today at 10am on and runs until the 17th September. Open to the public you are invited to the Cannes Yacht Show experience where you can try, test and find out all the latest from the yachting industry. 51.000 visitors are expected with more than half of them from abroad. The Côte d’Azur plays a key part in the world of yachting with 70% of yachts passing through the region each year. You can hear all the latest from Cannes in Riviera Radio’s Cannes Yachting Festival reports sponsored by Excelerate and aired everyday in Riviera Radio’s Full English Breakfast and Drive time shows.

National

Hurricane Irma - French President Emmanuel Macron has flown to the storm-ravaged island of Saint-Martin as the authorities came under fire on Monday for alleged lack of preparation for Hurricane Irma which hit the French territory. Macron was to fly out accompanied by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and Health Minister Agnès Buzyn. Speaking on Monday the French Interior minister Gérard Collomb said “The government hopes to avoid a situation where all teachers and other civil servants leave the island”, adding that "reinforcements" to the teaching staff would be sent. The island's hospital is reportedly "operational" and there was no shortage of medicines, according to France’s health minister. The death toll from Hurrican Irma was put at 30 on Sunday evening, with 14 in the French island of Saint-Barts and on Saint-Martin, which is divided between France and the Netherlands. A first estimate puts the cost at 1.2 billion euros.

Banksy - A mural in Calais by the British street artist Banksy, whose works can sell for hundreds of thousands of euros, has been painted over by the owner of the building because he said the house was starting to look shabby and needed an upgrade. The work was one of three that the British artist had produced in the port town in 2015 on the theme of migrants.

French cheese - A French expat, who has been living in the US for a year has exposed an upmarket US supermarket chain for attempting to show the origin of French cheeses in a map full of mistakes. Among the maps mistakes, Camembert which is actually from Normandy in north-west France is shown as coming from the southern city of Montpellier. Even P'tit basque cheese, named after the area it comes from - France's Basque region in the Pyrenees - is incorrectly plotted in the western Pays de la Loire region. While the blue cheese from the rural, mountainous area south-west of Clermont Ferrand, Bleu d'Auvergne, according to the map comes from the southern port city of Marseille. 

Business

Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone later today with the expected 1,000 US dollar price tag making some waves. Analysts say that while the price is unlikely to seriously affect sales in the US and Europe,Chinese consumers may balk at paying a large sum for a new phone which will cost roughly double the average salary. The success of the next iPhone in China is crucial for Apple which has seen its product slip down into 5th position in the market behind cheaper offerings from local rivals. China,including Taiwan and Hong Kong accounted for around 18 percent of global iPhone sales in the second quarter,making it the firm’s top market after the US and Europe. However,sales in China have been steadily declining and are 10 percent lower than last year.

Volkswagen has announced that it will offer an electric version of all its 300 models by 2030 as the move away from petrol and diesel vehicles gathers pace. The firm says that it’s doubling its investment in zero-emission vehicles to 20 billion euros and will offer 80 new electric cars across the group by 2025. The news comes after Mercedez-Benz also said that it would be producing electric versions of all its cars. The company said that the entire range would have electric or hybrid versions by 2022. VW’s chief executive Matthias Mueller said that the company had “got the message” and that customers wanted clean vehicles and clean air.

And-Google has lodged an appeal over the 2.4 billion euro fine that it was ordered to pay by the European Commission in June. The EU ruled that Google had abused its power by placing its own shopping comparison service at the top of its search results. The fine was the largest ever penalty issued by the regulator which also said that Google could face more fines if it continued its practices. Google says that it “respectfully disagrees” with the verdict but added no further comment.

Sport

Football-The former England manager Roy Hodgson is favourite to take over as Crystal Palace manager from Frank De Boer who was sacked on Monday after just 77 days in charge. Palace are bottom of the English Premier League with no points and no goals scored after 4 games.An announcement about Hodgson’s appointment could come as soon as today.

West Ham finally got off the mark in the English Premier League last night with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the London Stadium.The win lifts the Hammers off the bottom of the table and relieves the pressure on manager Slaven Bilic.

The European Champions League is back in action tonight with 8 ties across Groups A,B,C and D.

In Group A Manchester United host Basel while in Group B Celtic are up against Paris St Germain.Chelsea host Qarabag in Group C while the big game in Group D is Barcelona against Juventus.

Formula 1-Mercedes say that they face a big task stopping Ferrari at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says that they’ve found it difficult to master the Singapore circuit and that they expect a big challenge. Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last time out to move ahead of Sebastien Vettel in the drivers’ championship for the first time this season. The Ferrari though is seen as being more competitive on slow tracks in hot climates.

Weather 

Mainly fine with a persistent Mistral across the Var with gusts of up to 70 km/h.

Top temperatures 25 degrees.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine with moderate westerly winds and highs of 23-26 degrees.

Finally 

According to a new survey Brits think France is the rudest country and the Irish are the most generous, The survey  reveals what Brits really think of their EU neighbours. Research showed that Brits have a love affair with the Italians, who we think are the best looking and most liked in Europe.

And Britain named Denmark the most trustworthy with 21 per cent of the vote, while Brits think Germany is most reserved with 19 per cent of Brits voting for them.

Meanwhile, the UK was voted the funniest country in Europe with 20% of those surveyed across five EU countries saying the Brits have the best sense of humour.

But the famous British stiff upper lip has led them also to be named the most reserved nation attracting 17 per cent of the vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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