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French and Riviera News Tuesday 14th August 2018

Local

Firework display - The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has announced that there will be tight security ahead of and during the fireworks set to take place on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on Wednesday, August 15th. It is the first time that a firework display has been held in the city since the Nice attack of July 14th, 2016 in which 86 died and 206 were wounded.

Weather – Storm’s which hit the Alpes Maritimes region on Monday morning caused an electricity blackout for about an hour in Monaco, Cap d’Ail and Beausoleil, when a direct lightning hit took out a key transformer. The only place to escape was the Café de Paris where gaming continued as normal. Across the region, Meteó France reported 12,000 lightning strikes in the Bouche-du-Rhones, 6,000 in the Var and 276 in the Alpes-Maritimes. The storm has led to the closure of several beaches in the Var, including Sanary, Six-Fours and Bandol.

Meanwhile the body of an unidentified man has been discovered in the Ardeche on Monday near the campsite where a 66 year old German man disappeared on Thursday following floods, police say it will take several days to identify the body.

Association calls for Port of Nice to welcome migrant ship - A petition, addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron and the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, has been launched calling for the Port of Nice to welcome the humanitarian ship “Aquarius”. The ship chartered by the SOS Mediterranean association is seeking a port of refuge after rescuing 141 migrants on Friday off the coast of Libya. While the petition posted on Sunday has gathered 800 signatures local socialist MP Patrick Allemand has said he is not in favour of the move “due to the size of the port, its location in the heart of the city and intense tourist activity” adding “that it would not be the right circumstances to welcome refugees and should France engage in a policy then the ports of Toulon and Marseille were better adapted”.

Bikes - Despite a growing campaign to begin charging for motorcycle parking in Nice, the city council has said parking will remain free for the time being. The city has just installed 500 additional bike spaces, bringing the current total to 10,000. With so much free parking available, the city has said they will crack down on parked bikes which obstruct the passage of pedestrians or wheelchairs, with fines of up to €135.  

Parking charges – Meanwhile tourists in many coastal parts of France are having to pay higher amounts than ever for parking penalties and leaving their cars parked on public roads for extended periods of time.  The price hike has become much more obvious this summer with town halls now having the right to decide how much they charge drivers for parking on public space. In the seaside Côte d'Azur town of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the parking price has almost quadrupled from €6 to €23 for the day and in Saint-Tropez drivers are charged €30 to park on a street close to the beach.

French born aristocrat claiming damages - A French-born aristocrat has asked the French state to pay him €351 million euros in damages, alleging that it tricked his relatives out of succeeding to the throne of Monaco. French media has reported that 44 year old Count Louis de Causans, says that early in the 20th Century France changed the succession rules to stop a German claim to the throne. Causan has stressed that his dispute is with France. His lawyer, told reporters that the French foreign ministry has two months to accept or reject the request, adding that "If the government refuses we will sue it in court,"

SpaceBus - Do you have a question about space, galaxy the universe and our planet? Since the 31st July SpaceBus has been stopping along the coast answering question on space, introducing astronomy to the public, promoting women in science and raising awareness on environmental issues. Scheduled to stop in the town of Frejus today you can find out when it will be passing nearby you by going to Spacebus.com.

National

Strike - Air France's pilots union has warned, that if the next CEO does not resume discussions over pay, the company will face 15 more days of strikes. Unions representing other Air France workers have threatened the same. The strikes have prompted the government's Economy Minister to warn that the future of the airline is at stake.

Eco-friendly urinals - Angry locals in the French capital Paris, have expressed their dismay at bright-red, fully exposed, urinals which have been placed across the city to reduce peeing on the streets. The eco-friendly devices, which are filled with straw and designed to be odourless, have left furious residents calling for them to be removed and are planning to submit a petition. One particular urinal, has been placed near Notre Dame Cathedral and overlooks passing tourist boats.

Business

The US has passed a new law that strengthens the government's power to review - and potentially block - business deals involving foreign firms. US President Donald Trump signed the bill, which is part of a broader military spending measure, on Monday. The measure was spurred by US concerns that Chinese companies are using investments and acquisitions to gain access to new technology. It comes as other countries, including the UK, consider ways to toughen their scrutiny of foreign deals with an eye to China.

Ticketmaster is closing its secondary ticketing websites Seatwave and Get Me In, in a bid to combat touts. The sites, which allow you to offload unwanted tickets, have frequently been exploited by so-called professional sellers who hike up the prices. The sites will be shut down in October. In their place, people will be allowed to sell tickets directly on Ticketmaster, where a simple click will release tickets back into the market.

And - The Austrian capital, Vienna, has beaten Australia's Melbourne to be named the world's most liveable city. It's the first time a European city has topped the rankings of the Economist Intelligence Unit annual global survey. The worldwide league table ranks 140 cities on a range of factors, including political and social stability, crime, education and access to healthcare. In the survey, Manchester saw the biggest improvement of any European city, rising by 16 places to rank 35th.

Sport

Football – Chelsea winger Willian says there is "no chance" he would be at the club had former head coach Antonio Conte still been in charge.

Manchester United are confident David de Gea will sign a new long-term contract to stay at Old Trafford. The 27-year-old's present deal expires in 2019, although United have an option to extend it by a further season.

Tennis - Britain's Andy Murray suffered a first-round defeat to Lucas Pouille at the Cincinnati Masters. Murray was playing only his fourth tournament after missing nearly a year out with a hip injury.

Cricket - Australian batsman Steve Smith has returned to the top of the Test batting rankings, despite being banned from playing in the format since March. Smith is serving a 12-month ban from playing state or international cricket for Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa.

Weather

Highs of 28 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 30 degrees in Var with a risks of showers in Nice later on today. Light variable winds in the Alpes Maritimes, In the Var a north westerly wind with gusts of up to 45km/h.

This evening going down to 18 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday clear skies with highs of 32 degrees in Saint Tropez and 29 degrees in Nice.

Finally 

A man had to be rescued by police when he was being chased by a baby squirrel.

Officers received a call for help and arrived to see the animal still chasing the caller in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Police said on Twitter the man told them: "Help, I'm being pursued by a squirrel."

Officers launched their own chase for the squirrel which they caught and the animal fell asleep.

Police say the rodent has now become their new mascot and has been dubbed Karl-Friedrich.

The animal is being well looked after in an animal rescue centre.

Karlsruhe police posted a tweet about the case on Thursday with more pictures of the squirrel in custody.

A police spokeswoman said squirrels that have lost their mothers often focus on a person as a replacement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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