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French and Riviera News Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Local

Strikes - People travelling on French trains will today start feeling the effects of a crippling three-month rolling strike action which the French transport minister has described as “unjustified” and "incomprehensible”. In an unprecedented move, thousands of French rail workers, known as “cheminots”, will go on strike for two out of every five days until the end of June, crippling French train traffic for a total of 36 days. The strike is a response to a government proposal to reform the national railway operator SNCF. Although French law stipulates that a minimum service must be made available during strike actions, some train lines are likely to be closed altogether. The region’s trains will see one out of every five in service.

To add to transport problems, staff at Air France are also on strike today particularly disrupting flights between Nice and the capital Paris. Strikes by the waste collection, electricity and energy sectors are also expected.

Road accident - A motorist has been killed after losing control of his vehicle on the RD71 near Sillans-la-Cascade in the Var. The accident occurred at 5pm on Monday and firefighters at the scene were unable to save the victim who died as a result of his injuries. The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has appealed for extra care to be taken on the roads after two fatal accidents over the Easter week-end. So far ten people have lost their lives on the regions roads in the last three months.

Missing person - Police in the Var have once again appealed for any witnesses following the disappearance of Jean Francois Bonnet. Bonnet a fireman from Cuers was last seen on Friday 30th March. Described as wearing glasses with brown hair and brown eyes Bonnet was last seen wearing beige trousers, a burgundy jacket and white trainers. More than 80 firemen from the Gulf of Saint Tropez and the Bouches du Rhône have been deployed near Cotignac after his car was found left on the roadside. Anyone who may have any information is asked to contact the police in the Var by dialing 17.

Energy - A start up in Nice has unveiled a box which will allow customers to consume electricity produced at home. Its founder Gael Desperries who has been working on the project for two years says the Skavenji allows "the consumption of electricity from home energy sources" adding that "at present, the energy sector is reserved for professionals, he believes this box allows anyone to create their own energy”. Only one prototype exists today. But Gael Desperriès hopes to produce thirty boxes at the end of the year.

Boulot, Rando, Dodo (Work, Hike, Sleep) – “Sunset Afterwork” is seeing a growing number of office workers taking to the region’s hills to enjoy an after work hike. The group set up four years ago by two individuals from Antibes now counts nearly 680 members and offers hikes on weekdays through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the region. The group’s co-founder says “80% of the members are engineers working in Sophia”.  

Monaco Art - Monaco’s art galleries and auction houses are coming together to collectively promote the Principality’s cultural influence on the local, regional and international scene for the first time. The Monaco Art Week Association, which  takes place from April 26 to 29 will allow Art goers to easily find their way from gallery to gallery. For more information visit www.monacoartweek.com

National

Avalanche - A French emergency doctor and mountain guide whose high-altitude work earned him the nickname "Doctor Vertical" has been killed in an avalanche in the Alps. 58 year old Emmanuel Cauchy, was among a group of off-piste skiers caught up in the avalanche in the area around the resort of Chamonix on Monday. A well-known figure in French mountaineering, Cauchy had written several books on mountain rescue and penned newspaper articles under the name "Doctor Vertical".

EU regulation allows access to services from any country in Europe - A new EU regulation means you can now access Netflix, Amazon Prime and other services from any country in Europe. The European Commission’s ‘digital single market strategy’, which last year claimed victory over mobile roaming charges, has now lead to it passing the ‘portability regulation’, which will allow users around the EU to use region locked services more freely while travelling abroad. From April 1st, content providers, whether their products are videos, music, games, live sport or e-books, will use their subscribers’ details to validate their home country, and let them access all the usual content and services available in that location all around the Union.

Brigitte Macron - The French president’s wife, Brigitte Macron, has filed a legal complaint after fraudsters attempted to steal her identity to get into expensive restaurants and events around the world. The scammers sent dozens of emails requesting tables, tickets or VIP treatment. According to reports  the fraudulent emails had been sent as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong and Morocco as well as closer to home, in the last 10 days.

Business

The White House has criticised China after it imposed tariffs against the US on a range of goods including pork and wine. Beijing has introduced duties of up to 25% on 128 American imports following President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium. US stocks plunged and Asian shares opened lower as trade war fears mount.

Shares in the music streaming firm Spotify will be publicly traded for the first time later on today when the firm debuts on the New York market. The flotation marks a turning point for the firm, that, after 12 years, has not yet made a profit. What was once a small upstart Swedish music platform, has grown rapidly in recent years, adding millions of users to its free-to-use ad-funded service, and converting many of them to its more lucrative subscription service. It is now the global leader among music streaming companies, boasting 71 million paying customers, twice as many as runner-up Apple.

And - According to an OECD report fewer people's jobs are likely to be destroyed by artificial intelligence and robots than has previously been suggested by a much-cited study.

An influential 2013 forecast by Oxford University said that about 47% of jobs in the US in 2010 and 35% in the UK were at "high risk" of being automated over the following 20 years.

But the OECD puts the US figure at about 10% and the UK's at 12%. The OECD says the previous forecasts exaggerated the impact of automation because they had relied on a broad grouping together of jobs with the same title. Its new analysis, by contrast, takes account of the differences between jobs with the same name.

Sport

Football - Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare are reportedly among the early frontrunners to replace Alan Pardew as West Brom head coach. Pardew left by mutual consent on Monday with the club bottom of the Premier League on 20 points, 10 adrift of safety with six matches remaining. Pearson and Shakespeare have previously worked at The Hawthorns.

In the Champions league this evening Juventus play Real Madrid and Sevilla play Bayern Munich

Golf – According to reports from Augusta National Tiger Woods is set to play a Masters practice round with long-time rival Phil Mickelson today. The pair have not always seen eye-to-eye during their long rivalry with Woods being the main reason why Mickelson never got to the top of the world rankings.

Commonwealth Games - Australia's rugby sevens captain James Stannard says he is "heartbroken" to be ruled out of this month's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast after being punched outside a kebab shop in Sydney. Stannard sustained a fractured skull in the incident last Friday. A 22-year-old British man has been charged in connection with the incident.

Weather

Starting of cloudy with some sunny spells high of 15 degrees in Nice and 17 degrees in Saint Tropez with a moderate south easterly wind and gust of up to 60km an hour. Rain is forecast for this afternoon in both the Alpes Maritimes and the Var.

This evening going down to 12 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees in land with cloudy skies.   

The outlook for Wednesday rain with storms forecast across the region. Thursday starting off cloudy clearing by midday with sunshine and highs of 18 degrees.

Finally 

People born in September are smarter and less likely to go to prison, a new study has revealed. And it’s linked to the academic school year, which starts at most British institutions in September and ends in August.

The findings, published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, claims that being one of the older pupils in the year group gives children an advantage in class.

The study used children all born in different months to reach the findings.

Children born in September (the oldest ones) were found to have higher grades than those born in August (the youngest ones).

Scientists also found that the increased scores built up over time, and those born in September had a higher likelihood of getting into a good university.

But that wasn’t the only finding – apparently, if you are born in September, you are also less likely to spend time behind bars.

 

 

 

 

 

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