French and Riviera News Tuesday 26th February 2019

Local

Sexual assault - A doctor from Menton has been handed a two year suspended prison sentence by the Nice Criminal Court for sexual assault. The GP, who practiced in Menton, was pursued by two women - including a patient - for events dating back to 2013 and 2015. The defence has ten days to appeal.

Air pollution - A report released into air pollution in the Roya Valley has shown that some measure of pollution in the rural area are similar to those found in central Nice and Cannes. A large number of trucks use the roads through Breil-sur-Roya, Saorge, Fontan, Brig and Tende. The survey measured pollution levels from March to May 2018.

French Impact - The town of Grasse in the Alpes Maritimes is one of twenty French territories in France which has been given by the government the “French Impact”. The “French Impact” is a label dedicated to the development of the social and solidarity economy (ESS), making it possible to claim more easily for aid in favour of "social and environmental innovation". Chosen from a total of 50 candidates, Grasse will benefit from a "tailored action plan and support", so that "local innovations" can become "national solutions". Other winners include Aix-Marseille, Lyon, Nantes and Strasbourg, the regions of Brittany, Normandy and New Aquitaine, but also a group of nine cities in Seine-Saint-Denis.

National Debate - As part of the national debate set up by the French government a booth has been set up at Nice train station today allowing members of the public to participate, collect practical information on the debate and fill in questionnaires. The aim is to allow those who have not registered for local meetings or who may not be familiar with the internet, to participate and take part in the debate.

Monaco - One of Monaco’s last remaining mansions from the Belle Époque era has gone on sale at a record price of 110 million euros. The property, which spans six floors, was formerly owned by François Blanc, founder of the Monte Carlo Casino. Sold unfurnished, the property is one of the last of its era. Many of Monaco’s grand historic homes have since been subdivided or demolished for apartments or office space. The former owner, François Blanc, invested heavily in building Monaco’s casino industry. He helped transform the tiny city-state into an international destination for the wealthy.

National

Measles - An unvaccinated French boy is suspected of reintroducing measles to Costa Rica after the Central American country had been free of the disease for five years. The five-year-old boy, who was on holiday with his parents, had never had a measles jab and the arrival of the highly contagious disease has sparked concern about the anti-vaccine movement. It is not clear why the child was not vaccinated. The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned last month that “vaccine hesitancy” was among the 10 most serious threats to human health. Agnès Buzyn, the French health minister, last year made vaccinations against measles and 11 other diseases compulsory for children.

Macron’s popularity has risen - A poll published on Monday has shown that French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity has recovered to levels not seen since Yellow Vests protests broke out in mid-November. Macron’s popularity hit its lowest at 27% in December but this month it rose to 32%.The poll showed that 55 percent of those surveyed thought the protests should stop, it’s the first time since the movement began that a clear majority has been in favour of it ending. The number of protestors picked up slightly on Saturday with the Interior Ministry estimating that 46,600 people turned out nationwide for a 15th consecutive weekend of protests.

Investigation into rape dropped – French prosecutors have dropped an investigation into claims that the film director Luc Besson raped his former girlfriend. Actress Sand Van Roy is one of nine women who have said they were assaulted or harassed by the director and producer. But his lawyers said that prosecutors had closed their inquiry into the alleged rapes, which Besson had always denied. However reports in French media this morning say that while the complaint of actress Sand Van Roy has been dismissed the Paris prosecutor's office has opened a preliminary investigation after the report for sexual assault of another actress.

Education - In protest against education reforms in France especially to the baccalaureate exams teachers in Paris and western France have begun giving every pupil in their classes top marks in tests and evaluations. The baccalaureate, which pupils take in their last year of high school, is based on a structure created under Napoleon in 1808. A revamp of the education system by the president, Emmanuel Macron has been presented as key to his pro-business project to modernise the French economy. From next year, students will begin preparing for a new exam system with the number of tests being reduced and adapted, with new topics that will lead students towards specific university degrees sooner. Some teachers said the changes could deepen inequalities in an education system where social background already has a big impact on pupils’ chances of success.

Climate change - According to a new study published on Monday low-level clouds, which cool the atmosphere by reflecting the sun's rays back to space, are in danger of disappearing by 2104 due to global warming. The study shows that the disappearance of these clouds which cover 20% of the ocean’s surface would cause temperatures to skyrocket. Scientists have warned that this would lead to the melting of ice in the poles and rising of ocean levels, beyond the ability of humans to adapt.

Business

President Trump has said that the United States and China are “very,very close” to signing a trade agreement which would potentially end the long running feud between the world’s two largest economies.

Speaking at a meeting of US governors on Monday,Mr Trump said that both nations were going to have “a signing summit”.

The news comes after the US President announced on Sunday that he would delay imposing further trade tariffs on Chinese goods.

Mr Trump is planning a Florida summit with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and said that a trade deal was in “advanced stages”.

 

The largest shareholder in Eurostar has sought to calm fears that Brexit might hit or even halt the cross-Channel train service.

Guillaume Pepy-the head of the French SNCF rail firm says that the firm was “working to ensure smooth travel,whatever the Brexit scenario”.

Mr Pepy said that details still needed to be worked out but that the service’s “fundementals” would not be affected.

Last week,the Financial Times newspaper reported that a UK government assessment had warned of long queues at London’s St Pancras international station-the main Eurostar terminal in the UK if there was a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Pepy said that “We are well aware that the devil will be in the details and that we are working on the details”.

 

And-The pound has jumped to a near four week high against the dollar  after reports from London suggested that the British Prime Minister Theresa May might be ready to extend the Brexit deadline beyond the 29th of March.

Mrs May will meet with members of her cabinet this morning with many pro-European ministers threatening to resign unless she takes the no-deal Brexit option off the table.

The political pressure was ratcheted up on Mrs May last night after the leader of the opposition Labour Party shifted his stance on Brexit and said that he was prepared to support a second referendum on the issue.

Jeremy Corbyn had been resisting efforts to get him to back a second vote but a looming splinter of his party has forced his hand and he now says that Labour will do everything in its power to prevent a no-deal Brexit and that includes supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote.

The pound rose to 1 US dollar 31.3 cents in Asian trade this morning and to 1 euro 15.6 cents.

Sport

Football-The Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa has been fined a week’s wages for refusing to be substituted during the League Cup Final defeat against Manchester City on Sunday.

Kepa has apologised although he says that it was a “misunderstanding” but conceded that he could have handled the situation better.

Coach Maurizio Sarri said that he’d since had a “good conversation” with Kepa  and that as far as he was concerned the matter was closed.

In the English Premier League tonight.Cardiff play Everton.Huddersfield face Wolves.Leicester play Brighton and Newcastle play Burnley.

There was one game in the English Championship last night.Nottingham Forest beat Derby 1-0.

Cricket-The third one day international between West Indies and England in Grenada has been called off without a ball being bowled.

Persistent showery rain prevented the players taking to the field and the game was called off at 18.40 local time when it became impossible to even play 20 overs a side.

The series is tied at 1-1 with two to play.

Rugby Union-Wales have risen to third in the World Rugby rankings following their victory over England in the 6 Nations on Saturday.

Warren Gatland’s side leapfrog England into third place with the World Cup just around the corner.

Gatland will step down after the World Cup and would like to go out with a bang-starting with a possible Grand Slam in the 6 Nations with Scotland and Ireland to come.

Weather

Clear skies with light  variable winds.

Top temperature 18-20 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine with highs of 15-19 degrees.

Finally 

A School has banned fake tans after pupils turned up ‘looking orange and GREEN’ after half-term. The new head teacher at Ulverston Victoria High School in Cumbria is cracking down on pupils who turn up for school 'looking orange and green'

One pupil at the Ulverston Victoria High School said it should focus on issues such as bullying, rather than pupils with fake tan

It read: “Fake tan worn by students will no longer be acceptable. Wearing it will be considered an infringement of school uniform policy.”

Some of the 1,300 pupils slammed the crackdown from new head Matthew Hardwick at Ulverston Victoria High School, in Ulverston, Cumbria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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