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French and Riviera News Tuesday 26th June 2018

Local

Investigation into local authorities - A prosecutor in south eastern France has opened an investigation into allegations that local authorities in Lyon offered illegal help to Emmanuel Macron during his campaign for the presidency last year. According to reports, right-wing lawmakers in Lyon claimed last week that city authorities had assisted Macron, who campaigned several times in the city. The investigation comes following allegations in the French media that Macron was able to mount campaign events at knock-down prices thanks to friends and contacts, giving him an unfair advantage over his rivals. France has strict campaign financing rules which limit spending for the presidential election at 22.5 million euros ($26 million). Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged over illegal financing for his successful 2007 campaign which allegedly involved an elaborate system of false billing.

Anti terrorist police arrest ten people - Ten people with links to the radical far-right have been arrested by anti-terrorist police in France over an alleged plot to attack Muslims. The arrests were made at the weekend in operations across France, including the Mediterranean island of Corsica.  The suspects were being monitored by France's DGSI intelligence agency, who intercepted messages which reportedly showed they were seeking to buy arms, and planning to commit violent acts targeting people of the Muslim faith.

Migrant camp – Police in Nice have cleared a migrant camp in Nice. Around thirty people were moved from the camp which had been set up in the parking lot of the Arboras stadium. According to the authorities the area, which is classified as a “red zone”, has recently been considered as dangerous due to heavy rain fall and its proximity to the Var river.

Meanwhile the A8 motorway has been completely blocked at the Cannes exit, Junction 41, eastbound due to a demonstration by travelers. A large number of travelers’ caravans tried to get into Mandelieu on Monday with the intention of occupying the land at Saint-Cassien on the avenue Gaston Defontmichel.

Burkini - Germany's family minister has defended the use of the burkini in schools, saying that the swimsuits could help Muslim girls integrate. A school in western Germany sparked debate after offering burkinis to students who would otherwise not attend swimming classes. The burkini has been a controversial topic across Europe. The city of Cannes was last week ordered to repay a fine given to a woman wearing the garment.

Weather - Residents of the Var have been assessing the damage after a violent storm hit the region on Sunday evening with hail stones the size of ping-pong balls reported in parts of the region.  The severe storm caused damage to vineyards and buildings. According to Météo France, the Plan-d'Aups received one month of rain in just two hours.

Cannes bans shisha pipes - The municipality of Cannes has introduced a law banning the use of shisha pipes in certain public areas until the end of September.  The pipes will be banned near schools and public parks, on beaches and pedestrian walks and on the town’s main streets such as the Croisette. The Mayor of Cannes said that the pipes posed a "serious health risk for both the active smoker and other people exposed to smoke".  Similar bans have recently been introduced in Carros and Vence.

Picasso and Matisse - 150 works of art by Picasso and Matisse have gone on exhibition at the Musée Matisse in Nice. The collection includes some rare pieces between the two artists who were both friends and rivals. Two masters with two visions the exhibition captures their differences and is open to the public until September 29th.

National

Emmanuel Macron to visit Pope Francois - French President Emmanuel Macron is to meet with the Pope today. The meeting comes at a crucial moment as Europe attempts to solve the current migrant crisis which is a subject close to both men’s hearts.

Supermarket sweep – A study has shown that the increased use of automatic payment terminals in French supermarkets has led to a rise in the number of thefts. The number of self service kiosks worldwide is expected to reach 325,000 by 2019, against nearly 190,000 in 2013. There are concerns that the number of thefts and scams by customers will also increase.

Business

Global stock markets have extended losses this morning as an escalating trade row between the United States,China and other major economies steered investors away from risk assets.

Safe haven investments such as US Treasuries have been lifted and the Japanese Yen has strengthened against the dollar.

Markets in China have been the hardest hit and losses across Asian equities have been broad based after Wall Street tumbled on Monday.

US technology shares have been among the worst performers with many deriving much of their revenue from China.

As well as the escalating trade row  with China,the United States has also upped the ante with the European Union by threatening to impose tariffs on car imports.

President Trump has slammed an announcement by the US motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson that it’s planning to shift some production overseas to avoid EU tariffs which came into force last Friday.

Mr Trump said that he was “surprised” by the firm’s announcement and accused it of “waving the white flag”.

On Monday,Harley Davidson said that it would not pass on any retail or wholesale price increases in the EU to customers and would instead focus on shifting some production out of the United States.

Harley Davidson shares closed down 6 percent on the news and analysts cut profit forecasts on concerns about how quickly the firm would be able to adapt to the 25 percent import duties from the EU.

 

And-Oil prices have edged up this morning on uncertainty over Libyan exports.

Brent Crude futures were trading up 0.1 percent a little earlier this morning  at 74 dollars 81 with West Texas Intermediate up 0.2 percent to 68 dollars 24.

Prices have risen over uncertainty over Libyan exports after the commander of the country’s eastern forces handed control of oil ports to a separate National Oil Corporation.The official state-owned oil company which is based in Tripoli will no longer be allowed to handle exports from eastern ports.

Sport

Football-There were 4 games at the World Cup in Russia on Monday as the Groups A and B concluded.
Uruguay go through as Group A winners after beating the hosts Russia 3-0 while the other game ended Saudi Arabia 2 Egypt 1.
In Group B Iran and Portugal drew 1-1 and Spain and Morocco drew 2-2.Spain top the Group with Portugal runners up.
The results mean that Uruguay will play Portugal in the last 16 while Russia will play Spain.


Groups C and D will conclude today with Australia playing Peru and France against Denmark in Group C.
In Group D Iceland play Croatia and Argentina face Nigeria.
France are already through but they need at least a draw against Denmark to make sure of topping the group while Australia must hope that France win and that they beat Peru to make it into the knockout phase.
In Group D Croatia are already through.Any of the other teams could also make it depending on how the results go.

Formula 1-Fernando Alonso has said that McLaren must “raise their game” at next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix after he failed to finish in the French Grand Prix on Sunday.
Team director Eric Boullier described the weekend as “very disappointing” and did not attend the post-race press conference on Sunday.
McLaren’s decision to cut ties with previous engine supplier Honda and team up with Renault cost it 100 million dollars and has still not produced an improvement in performance.
There have been persistent rumours of discord among management and there are suggestions that Eric Boullier may not last much longer as team director.

Tennis-Andy Murray continued his comeback from injury with a straight sets win over Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Eastbourne tournament on Monday.
Murray looked to be in good form as he beat the Swiss 6-1 6-3 to win his first competitive match in almost a year.
He’ll now play Kyle Edmund who replaced him as British number one.

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperature 26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 16 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 26-29 degrees.

 

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