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French and Riviera News Tuesday 30th January 2018

Local

Drug trafficking - Two people have been arrested in Nice for drug trafficking following an investigation set up in September of last year. Police on Monday, found nearly one litre of the date-rape drug GHB. The two men are currently in custody and will appear before court on June 14th.

Carbon quota scam - 36 people have gone  on trial in Paris on Monday accused of running a huge carbon quota market scam, dubbed “the fraud of the century”. Between 2008 and 2009, 1.6 billion euros were swindled as part of the fraud. At the head of the Marseille-based gang appearing before the judges on Monday was Christiane Melgrani, a former maths teacher who once managed a piano bar. The 59-year-old, known as “La Marseillaise”, had previously been sentenced for drug trafficking and sales tax fraud in telephone businesses. Melgrani stands accused of embezzling 385 million euros between April 2008 and March 2009 using the European Union's carbon-trading scheme.

Airbnb Tourist Tax - Airbnb has announced that 13.5 million euros in tourist tax will be paid to fifty French cities for 2017. The Alpes Maritimes is the second biggest market for the rental site after Paris. Figures show that Paris would this week be given 6.9 million euros, Nice 860,000 euros, and Marseille a total of 790,000 euros.

Court case postponed - The court case involving the former Mayor of Cannes has been postponed. Bernard Brochand, who was Mayor from 2001 to 2014 was due to appear in court on Monday. He faces charges of tax evasion for not declaring a Swiss bank account containing over a million euros. Brochand has insisted it was an administrative oversight.

Motorway tolls - As of February 1st motorway tolls in France are set to increase. Drivers in France will be hit with higher tolls which the road operators say are needed to cover the cost of maintaining the network. The price rise will be between 1 and 2 percent on the busiest motorways run by operators Vinci, Sanef and APRR, and will reach up to 4 percent on less frequented routes around the country.

National

Rainfall - Some 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes as the River Seine’s levels peaked on Monday. With flood waters not expected to recede until today experts have warned that it will not reach its normal level for more than a week. According to Meteo France December and January has seen the biggest rainfall in France for fifty years.

Nutella - France's consumer watchdog is to investigate the sale of cut-price Nutella that led to brawls in French supermarkets last week. The consumer-protection and anti-fraud agency announced on Monday, that it would investigate the Intermarché supermarket chain's decision to slash the price of a jar of the chocolate and hazelnut spread from 4.70 euros to 1.41 euros. The inquiry will judge whether the offer could be legally described as a sale or whether it was dumping the product on the market.

Medical report - According to the latest annual report from a medical journal in France seventy-nine medicines currently on sale should be avoided. Tests have shown that the harm they can do is greater than any health benefit they may bring. The report’s conclusions were based on tests carried out between 2001 and 2017 on 90 drugs authorised in the EU, of which 79 are on sale in France. The drugs vary in type, including some for diabetes, arthritis, allergies, nausea, cancer, or to help stop smoking or to lose weight.

Business

The United States trade chief negotiator has rejected Canadian proposals to unblock  NAFTA talks but has pledged to seek “breakthroughs”  by late February.
Speaking following negotiations in Montreal on Monday,Robert Lighthizer said that President Trump’s views on the trade agreement are unchanged and warned that talks are still moving too slowly on US priorities.
Mr Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement as a “disaster” that’s drained manufacturing jobs to Mexico.He’s threatened to abandon it unless it can be renegotiated to bring jobs back to America.
Mr Lighthizer says that core issues have been discussed  but that progress is very slow.
He said that he’d work hard towards major breakthroughs  between now and the start of a new round of talks in Mexico City which are scheduled for February the 26th.

A major Chinese employer in the UK has warned Prime Minister Theresa May that she needs to give a “definite signal” about the kind of Brexit deal that she wants.
Yuan Yafei who controls House of Fraser  says that it’s important for the UK to reassure people.
House of Fraser employs around 17,000 people in the UK and says that it has a major interest in the country’s future.
Mr Yuan said that he has “confidence” in the UK and predicted that Brexit would not be “too bad” for the UK economy.
However,he reiterated that a “strong signal” was needed from the Prime Minister.

And-India is set to grow at a faster rate over the next year according to official government data.
The Indian government is predicting growth of 7.5 percent this year after the rate fell to 6.75 percent in the current fiscal period.
The government said that the increased rate would help India to regain its position as the world’s fastest growing major economy.
The Finance Ministry released the figures in an economic survey ahead of the federal budget on Thursday.

Sport

HOLLER JONES 6 NATIONS REPORT- in association with HollerJones raw furniture.www.hollerjones.com

Richie Gray will miss Scotland’s 6 Nations opener against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday with a calf injury.
The 28 year old lock will continue to have treatment on the injury at his club Toulouse this week  and could be back for the second game against France on the 11th of February.
Gray missed the autumn internationals and last summer’s overseas tour  and assistant coach Mike Blair says that Scotland should be able to manage without him but added that it would be great to see him back.

Both Joe Marler and James Haskell have been recalled to the England training squad for the 6 Nations opener against Italy in Rome on Sunday despite being banned.
The pair missed England’s training get together in Portugal but Eddie Jones wants them in the squad to prepare for their possible return in the third match of the tournament.
Marler is serving a ban for a dangerous clear out of a ruck while Haskell is suspended for a dangerous tackle.
England will be without a host of players for the first match against Italy as the side bids for a third straight 6 Nations championship.

Our 6 Nations coverage is brought to you by HollerJones raw furniture.To find out more go to www.hollerjones.com

Football-There are three games in the English Premier League tonight.Swansea play Arsenal.West Ham host Crystal Palace and Huddersfield play Liverpool. There’s 1 game in the Scottish Premiership tonight.Celtic play Hearts.


Formula 1-Fernando Alonso has said that McLaren’s switch to Renault engines has made the team “very confident” for the season ahead.
McLaren has switched from Honda to the French manufacturer in a bid to get back on the podium for the first time since 2014.


Weather

Partially cloudy with light variable winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy with highs of 13-14 degrees.

 

Finally 

According to research half of British parents spend less than ONE HOUR of quality time a day with their children –

The study found that parents are unable to find precious hours for playtime, exploring new places and reading.

Even sitting together to eat at the same time is a struggle for 43 per cent of families, while a quarter lack the minutes needed to even TALK about what has happened that day. During the average working week parents will only read with their children for a total of 32 minutes, and play with them for just 43 minutes.

Only 36 minutes are spent sitting at the dining table together, while meaningful conversations are crammed into just 32 minutes a week.

 

 

 

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