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French and Riviera News Tuesday 20th March 2018

Local

World Happiness Day - Today is World Happiness day and to mark the occasion the city of Nice has organized several events around the city. At midday members of the public are invited to gather on the Promenade de Paillon to celebrate followed by a flash mob a 3pm. March 20th was proclaimed World Happiness Day by the United Nations in 2012.

Tramline - Meanwhile the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has officially launched work on Line 3 of the tramway in Nice. Estrosi along with local officials gathered on Monday to launch the new line which will run from Saint-Isidore to Terminal 2 at Nice International airport. The project which is reportedly estimated at a cost of 56 million euros will be up and running by the end of 2019.

Tax - Nice city council has announced the introduction of a new tax. The tax which is actually an increase on the current property tax or “tax fonciere” will affect home owners, businesses and public institutions. Coming into effect as of October it is estimated to be an increase of between 10 and 15% on the current property tax. The increase will vary between different towns in the Alpes Maritimes. 

Strike Action - Trade unions in Toulon have called for strike action in the public service on Thursday. Disruption across France is expected as transport unions and public service unions protest against current government reforms. Thursday looks set to see schools closed, and disruptions on local transport networks.

Drugs - Police in Marseilles have made another record seizure of cocaine, after a random search of a Libyan vessel in the port. The haul of almost 500 kilos of cocaine, had a street value of 13 million euro.

National

French President Emmanuel Macron - French President Emmanuel Macron has wished Vladimir Putin success in "modernising Russia" after his victory in the country's presidential election. In a phone conversation, Macron also called on the Russian leader to help explain the nerve agent attack on a former spy in the UK. The president called on Russian authorities to shed light on the responsibilities for the unacceptable attack in Salisbury and to firmly regain control of any programmes that have not been declared to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

New national campaign against racism - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced plans for a new national campaign against racism and anti-Semitism. The plan, comes after a rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the 2015 Paris terror attacks. A committee will examine the proposals and help prepare a plan, which is to run from 2018 to 2020.

Macron to promote French speaking - Meanwhile Emmanuel Macron is today launch an international campaign to promote French speaking across the world in a speech at the Academie Française. The president will announce what the Elysée says is a unique government-funded programme to boost “learning, communication and creation” in French.

Business

The social media giant Facebook saw 37 billion dollars wiped off its value in New York on Monday as it continued to face questions on both sides of the Atlantic about its privacy rules.
The firm is coming under increasingly heavy fire from lawmakers on growing evidence that the US data firm Cambridge Analytica acquired and used its subscribers’ information.
Many people believe that Cambridge Analytica helped to influence the US Presidential election in favour of Donald Trump and also played a role in the UK referendum to leave the European Union in the summer of 2016.
The UK data protection body is now seeking a warrant to search the firm’s offices with a view to examining databases and servers.
Facebook is being accused of failing to properly inform users that their profile information may have been obtained and kept by Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook suspended the data firm on Friday after saying that it had acquired information which violated its policies.
The EU Justice Commissioner has also ordered a probe into the affair and there have been calls in the US Congress for Facebook to be better regulated.

And-A report by the UK Institute for Fiscal Studies says that prices could fall by 1.2 percent if Britain were to abolish all tariffs after Brexit but that any gains would be “small” and were based on “optimistic “ assumptions.
The report also said that consumers had already seen prices rise by 2 percent since the referendum owing to the weaker pound.
The IFS warned that costs linked to new EU trade barriers could also hit consumers.
It said that these increased costs would offset any “rather limited” gains from becoming tariff free in the future.

Sport

Formula 1-The Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that he expects a three way battle for the world championship this season.
Mercedes are overwhelming favourites to win both the drivers’ and constuctors’ championships this year but Wolff says that he expects both Ferrari and Red Bull to make strong challenges.
Speaking on Monday he said that the Mercedes drivers were “reasonably happy with the car” but that it “remains to be seen how well it performs driven in anger”.
The 2018 Formula 1 season starts in Melbourne this Sunday.
The Monaco Grand Prix is on the 27th of May and the French Grand Prix is back on the calendar at Le Castellet on the 24th of June.

Football-The former Blackburn and Chelsea striker Chris Sutton has said that the Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is “looking outdated” and that his personality has changed.
Speaking to the BBC on Monday,Sutton said the Mourinho is picking “silly,personal squabbles” and that he is clearly “rattled”.
The former Arsenal star Ian Wright said that he “wouldn’t want to play” for Mourinho right now .
United are 16 points behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and are out of the Champions League.They’ll play Spurs in the semi-final of the FA Cup next month.


Rugby Union-World Rugby is to investigate the circumstances around Belgium’s World Cup qualifying win over Spain.
The sport’s governing body said that it would look at the “context of events” around the result which saw Romania take the automatic qualifying place in the European pool with Spain going into the play-offs.
Spain were unhappy with the Romanian referee for the game and chased him off the pitch at full time in the match on Sunday.
They’ll now play Portugal in the play-offs in a bid to reach Japan 2019 with the winners going on to meet Samoa.


And-England international Anthony Watson is to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.
The 24 year old had to leave the field after 34 minutes of Saturday’s 6 Nations defeat against France at Twickenham  and is set to be out for around 6 months,ruling him out of England’s summer tour to South Africa.

Weather

Mainly fine  with moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies and possible showers in the Var.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy with highs of 11-14 and a strong north easterly wind developing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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