French and Riviera News.Tuesday April 23rd 2019

Weather warning-Meteo France is forecasting bad weather over the next three days with rain and strong winds affecting the region.

The Var was on a yellow alert on Monday with winds gusting at up to 117 km/h on exposed headlands.

Rain is forecast for much of this week with accompanying brisk winds from the south which is likely to deposit sand from the Sahara Desert across the region.

High winds in the Alpes-Maritimes on Monday also forced authorities to close coastal paths because of the risk of localised flooding from rough seas.Private beaches were ordered to shut for the day and parks and other public spaces closed .

 

French Grand Prix-The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi says that the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet is set to generate between 80 and 90 million euros in revenue for the region.

It will be the second time that the French Grand Prix is held at the revamped Var circuit and Mr Estrosi says that planning is almost complete.

Organisers hope to avoid the major traffic congestion that marred the event last year with a new road layout.

A Formula 1 roadshow will be held in Nice on the 1st of May as part of the build-up to the race which is being held on the 23rd of June.

Meanwhile here in Monaco ,final preparations are being made for the ePrix which is being held on the 11th of May as well as the 70th Monaco Grand Prix which is being held over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of May.

 

CCTV-More CCTV cameras are being put up in Le Lavandou in the Var as authorities attempt to clamp down on unsociable behaviour.

Drunkeness , urinating in public and littering are all becoming bigger problems in the town.The Mayor says that enough is enough and offenders can expect to be punished.

 

Diabetes-Several sites in the region are offering free testing for diabetes over the coming days.

3 million people in France are currently being treated for the disease but there are estimated to be 700,000 undiagnosed cases and 200,000 people discover that they are diabetic each year.

Testing is free and simple and early diagnosis can help patients avoid complications while simple lifestyle changes such as taking regular exercise can help to alleviate symptoms and in some cases even put the disease into remission.

Free testing will be available at Lorgues in the Var today on the Marche Pavis de la Mairie and in many towns and cities across the region this Saturday including Antibes ,Cannes ,Nice ,Menton ,Draguignan and St Raphael.

 

 

Invasive worm-Authorities in the region are warning about an invasive species of worm that’s been detected in 72 French departments including the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var.

The Obama worm reproduces quickly,feeds on domestic earth worms and has no known predators.

It measures around 5 centimetres and is brown and slightly sticky to the touch.

The worm ,which is native to South America ,was first detected in France in 2013 and since then has spread rapidly.

It’s diet of earthworms affects soil quality and experts say that it’s too late to eradicate it in France.

The name “Obama” has nothing to do with the former US President but comes from the indigenous Indian Tupi language “Oba” meaning leaf and “Ma” meaning creature.

 

In National news.

 

Police taunts-Public prosecutors in Paris have launched an investigation after anti-government protestors taunted police in the capital during the latest yellow vest protests.

With the recent wave of suicides affecting French police ,some demonstrators were heard shouting “kill yourself” at officers in Paris.

The Interior Minister Christophe Castaner slammed those who’d taken part in the chanting.

French police unions say that their members are being put under a huge amount of stress by the pressure of having to work every weekend at yellow vest protests.

 

Tuition fees-France is planning to increase tuition fees for non EU students from at the start of the next academic year.

News of the increase has been published in the official government gazette  and suggests that non EU students will have to pay 2,770 euros for a bachelors degree and 3,770 euros for a masters programme.

A number of French universities have already indicated that they will boycott the new fee structure and will continue to apply former rates which are 170 euros for a bachelors degree and 243 euros for a masters programme.

A French Parliamentary report published last month said that the new policy could be counter-productive in the short-term and make it less attractive for non EU students to study in France.

 

 

Business.

 

The former US Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain has withdrawn his name for a seat on the board of the Federal Reserve.

President Trump announced earlier this month that he intended to nominate Mr Cain  and although the nomination was not actually confirmed , it resulted in a backlash from Democrats and some Republicans in Congress.

Mr Cain ,a pizza chain magnate said that he was withdrawing his name for consideration as it would mean a “pay-cut” as he would have to give up most of his business interests.

Mr Cain made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 but was forced to withdraw following allegations of sexual misconduct ,which he denied.

 

The United States is to end exemptions from sanctions for countries that are still buying Iranian oil.

On Monday , the White House said that it would end exemptions for China ,India , Japan ,South Korea and Turkey in May which could mean that they’ll face US sanctions themselves.

The decision by Washington is intended to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero thus denying Tehran its main source of income.

Iran says that the sanctions are “illegal” and that it attached “no value or credibility to the waivers”.

 

And-The UK has broken its record for the longest continuous period without generating electricity from coal.

The country’s National Grid says that the coal-free period lasted for more than 90 hours before ending on Easter Monday afternoon.

It was the longest period since the Industrial Revolution and broke the previous record set in April 2018.

The British government is planning to phase out the country’s last coal fired power plants by 2025 to cut greenhouse gases.

 

Sport.

 

Football-Chelsea have missed out on going third in the English Premier League following a frustrating 2-2 draw against Burnley during which manager Maurizio Sarri was sent off.

All the goals came in the first half and Chelsea suffered some key injuries as Callum Hudson-Odoi was taken off with an Achilles injury and Kante picked up a rib injury.

The draw means that Burnley are almost certainly safe from relegation while Chelsea move up to 4th place in the table but have played a game more than their rivals.

 

Norwich had to put the champagne on ice on Monday as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Stoke in the English Championship when a win would have guaranteed them promotion to the Premier League.

Sheffield United moved into pole position for the second automatic promotion spot thanks to a 3-0 win at Hull but Leeds look like they might have to settle for a place in the playoffs after losing 2-0 at Brentford.

In the other results Aston Villa made in 10 straight wins as they continued their promotion push with a 1-0 win over Millwall.Blackburn beat Bolton 2-0.Derby got back in the playoff places thanks to a 2-0 win over QPR.Swansea City were 1-0 winners at Ipswich.Nottingham Forest beat Middlesbrough 3-0.Reading and West Brom drew 0-0.Birmingham were 3-1 winners at Rotherham.Sheffield Wednesday beat Bristol City 2-0 and Wigan beat Preston 2-0.

 

Cricket-The Australian Ashton Turner has become the first player in the history of the Indian Premier League to make 5 consecutive ducks.

The 26 year old was bowled first ball coming in at number 5 for the Rajasthan Royals-that was his third golden duck adding to his other two previous dismissals without scoring.

 

Rugby Union-The future of the Australia full-back Israel Folau will be decided at a disciplinary hearing on the 4th of May.

Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia after making offensive social media posts during which he said that “hell awaits gay people”.

The player requested a code of conduct hearing following his dismissal and the case will now be heard behind closed doors by a three man panel in Sydney early next month.

 

 

Weather.

 

Overcast with outbreaks of rain and moderate to strong easterly winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 12 degrees inland with more rain.

Wednesday and Thursday-Rain for most of tomorrow,clearing in late afternoon.Sunshine and showers on Thursday.Highs of  15-17 degrees.

 

 

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