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French and Riviera News Wednesday 13th June 2018

Local

Rail strikes - As strike action by the SNCF continues today passengers have been warned of possible delays and cancellations on the regions rail network with one out of 2 regional trains running and two out of five TGV’s operating. Today marks the 30th day of strike action since the beginning of April. The reforms planned by the government are expected to be introduced tomorrow Thursday 14th June.

Weather - Meanwhile seven people were injured on Tuesday when a landslip overturned a train on the Paris regional rail network. The accident was caused by storms that have hit the capital and much of the country, leading to flooding and emergency calls in several areas. Most of the north of the country and some of the south-west was on orange storm alert on Tuesday, following a week in which four people died in weather-related accidents. Météo France has today announced that while the weather will improve in most areas, storms and strong winds are forecast for the south-east.

Aquarius - Eric Ciotti, MP for the Alpes Maritimes, has said that France should not take in the 629 migrants who are currently adrift in the Mediterranean on the boat Aquarius. Speaking on French television M. Ciotti said that no French port should accept the boat and that it should return to the Libyan coast.  The Spanish government announced on Monday that it would accept the boat to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe, a decision M. Ciotti described as a mistake. Meanwhile leaders of the French Mediterranean island of Corsica had offered to take in the 629 migrants on Tuesday. French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Italy's "irresponsibility" in refusing to accept them, while right-wingers praised its stance.

National

Four hour stand-off in Paris - A four-hour stand-off between an armed man who took hostages at a building in a northern district of Paris and police has ended peacefully.  French special forces negotiated with the man, who claimed to have a handgun and a bomb and demanded to be put in contact with the Iranian embassy in Paris. The man, described by police as “determined and violent”, claimed to have an accomplice outside the building. First indications were that the incident was not terror-related.

Christian Louboutin - Europe's highest court has backed Christian Louboutin in its battle to protect its distinctive red soles. In 2012, Louboutin sued rival firm Van Haren for selling high heeled shoes with scarlet soles. Under EU law companies cannot trademark common shapes of products such as the soles of shoes. Christian Louboutin first designed his trademark shoe in 1993, using an assistant's red nail polish. The luxury brand said it "warmly welcomes" the judgement.

Ferry company urges passengers to use deodorant - A ferry company has been criticised for urging passengers to use deodorant before travelling. The rule is one of 10 included in Condor's new "travel etiquette guide", along with "no loud chewing". The company has faced a backlash on social media. Condor's head executive said he hoped the rules would create "a harmonious environment" on board its ferries. The firm, runs between the Channel Islands, France, Portsmouth and Poole. Other rules on the company's list include keeping your feet off the seats, not getting too drunk and not shouting.

Business

AT&T has won court approval for its 85 billion dollar takeover of Time Warner despite attempts by the Trump administration to block the deal.

The  deal,which could be closed as soon as next week marks a turning point for the US media industry which has been upended in recent years as new players such as Netflix and Google have made inroads into traditional business models for content.

Last October,President Trump denounced the deal but a US district court judge  said that he’d found little evidence to support the government’s arguments that the takeover would harm consumers.

The ruling could also prompt a number of pay TV companies to buy television and film makers with Comcast’s bid for some of the assets of 21st Century Fox seen as the next big move in the industry.

 

The electric carmaker Tesla has announced that it’s to cut 9 percent of its workforce as part of restructuring aimed at reducing costs and boosting profitability.

The layoffs come as Tesla attempts to increase production of its Model 3 sedan and to turn a quarterly profit this year.

The company said that the cuts will affect 3,000 mostly salaried employees-excluding those involved in car production.

Tesla had a workforce of some 37,000 people at the end of last year.

 

And-The president of the Confederation of British Employers (CBI) has said that the UK car industry faces extinction unless the country stays in the EU customs union.

Paul Dreschler also said that there was “zero evidence” that trade deals outside the EU would provide any economic benefit to Britain.

The British government responded by saying that it was focused on “delivering a Brexit that works for the whole of the UK” while pro-Brexit campaigner accused Mr Dreschler of representing “vested interests”.

Sport

Football-Assistant referees at the World Cup Finals have been instructed not to flag for tight offside calls to enable VAR technology to make the right  decision.
Russia will be the first World Cup to use the Video Assistant Referee technology  and the referee committee’s chairman Pierluigi Collina says  that “if you see the assistant referee keep his flag down,it’s not because he’s made a mistake but has respected the instructions”.
The theory is that an unwarranted flag could prevent the play going on and maybe a goal at the end of it when any tight decision can be checked by VAR afterwards.


The final two warm-up games ahead of the World Cup were played on Tuesday.Japan beat Paraguay 4-2 and Poland beat Lithuania 4-0.
The tournament starts tomorrow with the hosts Russia against Saudi Arabia in Group A.

Cricket-The one day international series between England and Australia gets underway at the Oval today with the two sides pledging to keep sledging to a minimum in the aftermath of the ball tampering scandal.
Play starts at 2pm this afternoon.England go into the series on the back of a humiliating defeat at the hands of Scotland in a one day international in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Meanwhile Scotland were beaten by 48 runs by Pakistan in the first Twenty20 international on Tuesday.
Pakistan made 204-4 from their 20 overs with Scotland only managing 156-6.

Golf-Tiger Woods says that being able to play at the US Open for the first time since 2015 is a “pure bonus”.
The former world number one will partner Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island tomorrow.He’s had 4 operations on his back in the past three years and watched the event on television last year.


Boxing-Deontay Wilder says that he’s agreed to fight Anthony Joshua in the UK.
Wilder,who’s 32 holds the WBC world heavyweight crown and says that he wants a unification bout with Joshua who holds the WBA,IBF and WBO versions of the crown.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says that he’ll send the contracts but suspects that Wilder’s claim is “bluster”.
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel says that they have officially accepted terms to a fight in the UK.

Weather

Becoming overcast with rain and scattered thunderstorms this morning.

Sunshine and thundery showers this afternoon with a high of 24 degrees Celsius and light to moderate variable winds.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 24-27 degrees.

Finally 

Boiling builders in the UK who were told they were not allowed to wear shorts while working in 26C heat managed to keep cool by wearing skirts. 

The brickies - who were working in Chertsey, Surrey - were horrified by new health and safety rules forbidding shorts. 

But when they realised they could get around the ban by wearing women's clothing thanks to gender equality regulations, they showed up for work in skirts and dresses.

Simon Miles, 45, wore his wife's denim skirt while working on the site. 'I was going to find another job and some of the other lads were really struggling and uncomfortable in jeans. We gathered it was a health and safety issue.

The workers said they were also inspired by schoolboys wearing skirts to get around a ban on shorts. 

 

 

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