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French and Riviera News Wednesday 16th 2017

Local

French President - French President Emmanuel Macron is suing a photojournalist who tried to snap him while on holiday with his wife Brigitte in the southern French city of Marseille. Macron accuses the man of invading his privacy but the photographer claims he spent several hours in police cells for simply doing his job. Macron has recently seen his standing in the polls drop with a rapidity unprecedented among post-war French presidents. His popularity rating now stands at 36 percent, 10 points lower than his predecessor François Hollande at the same stage of his term.

Chinkungya - Two cases of chinkungya have recently been diagnosed in the Var. This viral disease is transmitted to man by the tiger mosquito, which is found in Alpes-Maritimes and the Var region. The disease is characterized by the sudden fever, other common signs and symptoms include, a headache, nausea, fatigue and a rash. There are no life-threatening risks for the adult however health authorities say there are potential risks for pregnant women and children. The risk of an epidemic is considered very low. 352 suspected cases of dengue and chikungunya were identified in 2015, 38% were reported in the Provence Alpes Côte d’azur region.

University - The University of Nice/Sophia-Antipolis is among the top 500 in the world, according to the latest international rankings. Universities are rated by criteria such as the number of Nobel prize winners they’ve produced, with America’s Harvard,and the UK’s Cambridge coming out on top.

World Pebble Castle Championship - The twenty-seventh edition of the “World Pebble Castle Championship” has been held at La Fighiére beach in Villeneuve Loubet. Thirty teams from France, Italy, Spain and Russia participated and it was Vincent and Nicolas from Villeneuve Loubet who won the challenge with a replica of the Eiffel Tower.

National

French Reporter - French President Emmanuel Macron has sought to secure the release of a French reporter detained in Turkey at the end of July. During a conversation on Tuesday with the Turkish President the French leader "expressed his concern about the case and his desire to see the journalist return to France as soon as possible". 27 year old Bureau was arrested on July 26th and accused of having links to Kurdish militias which Turkey regards as terrorist groups.

Assumption Celebrations - Thousands of Catholic pilgrims have gathered for the traditional open-air mass in Lourdes during Assumption celebrations. About 25,000 pilgrims from across Europe, the Middle East and Asia braved rainy skies on Tuesday to attend the annual four-day pilgrimage at the shrine, one of the biggest dates in the Christian calendar, marking the ascent into Heaven of the Virgin Mary. In keeping with tougher security protocols 300 police officers and soldiers were deployed to protect the worshippers, who were searched upon entry to the site.

Deliveroo - Bicycle couriers working for takeaway service Deliveroo have been protesting in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon against the elimination of their hourly rate and the company's decision to pay per-delivery only. Deliveroo, which employs 7,500 bikers in France and collaborates with 3,000 restaurants, will pay all its bikers per delivery starting in September. Those who do not accept the new terms will lose their job. When Deliveroo, a UK start-up, opened a subsidiary in France in 2015, it paid its couriers an hourly rate, according to various criteria.

Business

The International Monetary Fund has warned that China's credit growth is on a "dangerous trajectory". In a new report, the IMF says there is an increasing risk of a "disruptive adjustment" and/or a marked slowdown in economic growth". The agency calls for decisive action to deflate the credit boom smoothly. Without the boom, the report suggests, China's recent economic expansion would have been significantly slower.

US President Donald Trump hit back at business leaders on Tuesday as executives tried to distance themselves from the administration. Mr Trump is under fire for being late to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis involved in a violent rally. But Mr Trump said: "They're leaving out of embarrassment, because they make their products outside." Shortly after Mr Trump's comments, a fifth group stepped down from a White House business panel.

And - Bill Gates has given away $4.6bn (£3.6bn) to charity in his largest donation since 2000. He remains the world's richest person, despite giving away 64 million shares in Microsoft. The shares are equivalent to 5% of his total fortune, currently estimated to be $89.9bn. Since 1994 Mr Gates, 61, and his wife Melinda have given away a total of $35bn in cash and stocks to a range of charitable causes.

Sport

Football – In the Champions League Liverpool beat Hoffenheim 2-1 on Tuesday night. Liverpool will take a one-goal advantage back to Anfield for the second leg of their Champions League play-off tie with Hoffenheim.

And - Gianluigi Buffon, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted for the Uefa men's player of the year. Italy and Juventus goalkeeper Buffon, Argentina and Barcelona striker Messi and Portugal and Real Madrid forward Ronaldo were chosen by a jury of 80 coaches and 55 journalists. Messi and Ronaldo have won the award twice - Ronaldo winning last season. The award will be presented at the 2017/18 Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 24 August.

Tennis -  Maria Sharapova is set to play in her first Grand Slam since her 15-month drugs ban after being given a wildcard for the US Open main draw. The Former world number one returned to action in April but was denied a wildcard for the French Open. The Russian five-time major winner was eligible for a place in Wimbledon qualifying through her world ranking, but missed the event with an injury. The US Open will take place at Flushing Meadows from 28 August to 10 September.

Cricket – In Cricket bowler Stuart Broad says the day-night Test between England and West Indies on Thursday is a "step into the unknown”. Edgbaston will host the first ever Test to be played under these conditions in England, and the fifth in international cricket anywhere.

Weather

Partially cloudy across the region with highs of 27 degrees in Nice and 28 degrees in Saint Tropez and a light variable wind going down to 22 degrees this evening with clear skies. The outlook for Thursday is clear skies and plenty of sunshine with highs of 28 degrees in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes Friday similar to Thursday.

Finally 

The 14th Century cottage used as the fictional birthplace of Harry Potter is back on the market for almost £1m.

De Vere House in Lavenham, Suffolk, featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, as the house where the young wizard's parents were killed by Lord Voldemort.

It is the second time in five years the Grade I-listed six-bedroom period home has been put up for sale.

It has an asking price of £995,000.

 

 

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