French and Riviera News Wednesday 16th May 2018


Weather warning - Météo France has placed the Alpes Maritimes and the Var on a yellow weather alert with storms forecast from 2pm today. It’s the fourth consecutive day that the region has been placed on a weather alert as rain continues to fall across the region. The warning is in place until 10pm this evening.

Despite irregular temperatures over the last few weeks Météo France reports that while it is overall slightly warmer than usual for this time of year, rainfall has been greater with 23 days of rain on the coast compared to an average of 16 in previous years. And finally here comes the sun? Well this year the month of May has so far been the least sunny month of May since records began 70 years ago with barely 70 hours of sunshine.

Long queues on the A8 motorway - A broken down school bus has caused long tail backs on the  A8 motorway. Traffic was disrupted on Tuesday afternoon eastbound between Cannes and Nice. The bus had broken down just before the Villeneuve-Loubet exit causing one lane to close and long queues at the Antibes peage. 

Europa League - The mayor of Marseille has already planned celebrations ahead of tonight’s Europa League final should Olympique de Marseille win. A ceremony to celebrate the players and club is planned to take place on the old port of Marseille on Thursday. Tonight’s match against Athletico Madrid takes place in Lyon - kick off is at 8.45pm

Life - Figures published show the number of people over 80 years of age, is set to double by the year 2050. To cope with the extended life expectancy in the South of France, the Department has announced a 20 million euro investment programme, to redevelop or build new care facilities. As well as allowing older people to age in comfort, the plan will provide excellent working conditions for staff.

Cars - Control Technique centres across the Cote d’Azur are reporting a considerable uplift in car checks  before more rigorous requirements come into force. From this Sunday, cars will be examined for 610 potential defects, 129 of which are considered critical. The increase also means the price of an exam itself, will go from €75 to €100.


Former French minister sentenced - Former French government minister Jérôme Cahuzac has been sentenced to two years in jail and two years suspended by a Paris appeal court, despite calls from prosecutors to maintain an initial sentence of three years for tax fraud and money laundering. Cahuzac's case was the biggest scandal of Socialist François Hollande's 2012-17 presidency. Charged with balancing the books and fighting tax evasion, he was found to have hidden 15 million euros in a Swiss bank account.

Protest on the Champs-Elysees - Traffic briefly came to a standstill on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Tuesday as health unions blocked the famous avenue as part of a protest. 600 people gathered in protest against working conditions and lack of resources in French hospitals.

French economy - According to revised figures published on Tuesday France's economy grew 2.2 percent in 2017. Seen as good news for President Emmanuel Macron as he pursues ambitious reforms designed to make the country more competitive. Business-friendly Macron has spent his first year in office pushing for deep reforms in France, passing controversial changes to the rigid labour code intended to make it easier to hire and fire people.


The Japanese economy shrank in the first quarter-ending the longest stretch of economic growth since the 1980’s.
The world’s third largest economy contracted at an annualised rate of 0.6 percent in the quarter between January and March according to official data.
Private consumption and capital expenditure both slowed during the quarter which analysts said dragged down the wider economy.
Private consumption accounts for around 60 percent of all Japanese economic activity.
Analysts said that they expect to see a recovery in the current quarter with a boost to exports and factory activity.

The investment firm founded by George Soros took a 35 billion dollar stake in the electric carmaker Tesla in the first quarter of the year according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The investment gives Soros Fund Management a prominent presence at Tesla which is owned by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Mr Musk has been under pressure from investors to prove that Tesla can solve production problems and resolve questions about car crashes involving its electric vehicles.
At the end of March,Tesla stock came under severe selling pressure as the electric carmaker faced questions over its ability to mass produce its cheaper Model 3 Sedan.
On Monday,Mr Musk told Tesla staff that the company was undergoing a “thorough reorganisation”.

And-Thompson Reuters is moving its foreign exchange derivatives trading business from London to Dublin.
The company says that it’s moving so that it will still be regulated by European Union rules and will be able to continue to sell into the EU post-Brexit.
The firm has set up an Irish company and will employ staff there but said that no jobs would be lost in London as a result.
More than 300 billion pounds worth of business passes through the Thompson Reuters London trading system on a daily basis and the vast majority of that trade will now shift to Dublin.


Football-The final of the English Championship playoff will be between Fulham and Aston Villa.
Villa were held to a 0-0 draw by Middlesbrough in last night’s semi-final second leg game but go through 1-0 on aggregate.The final will be at Wembley on Saturday the 26th of May.

The England manager Gareth Southgate will announce his 23 man squad for the World Cup today but there will be no place for goalkeeper Joe Hart.Jack Wilshire will also miss out.

Cricket-Ireland have been beaten by 5 wickets in their maiden Test match by Pakistan.
The tourists were set a target of 160 to win the match on the final day at Malahide and got to the total for the loss of 5 wickets.

England have announced their squad for the first Test against Pakistan which starts at Lords next Thursday.Batsman Jos Buttler is recalled and the uncapped spinner Dom Bess is included but there’s no place for James Vince.
England will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing winter during which they lost the Ashes series in Australia and were beaten by New Zealand.

Motorsport-Felipe Massa has signed a 3 year deal to race in Formula E for the Monaco based outfit Venturi.
Massa retired from Formula 1 at the end of last season after 15 years in the sport during which he won 11 Grand Prix.

Cycling-Matej Mohoric won stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday as Great Britain’s Simon Yates retained the overall lead.
Mohoric outsprinted Nico Denz to take the longest stage of the race with Yates retaining a 41 second overall lead over Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.
Today’s 11th stage is 156 kilometres between Assisi and Osimo across the Umbro-Marchean Apennines and features some punchy climbs including up the Via del Borgo which has a 16 percent gradient. 


Partially cloudy with light variable winds and some showers and scattered thunderstorms possible later in the day.

Top temperature 20 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy with a high of 20 degrees tomorrow.Fine on Friday with a high of 22.


A study has found that music from 2015 is about 20 per cent more unhappy than it was in 1985. Upbeat pop from the likes of Wham! and Duran Duran has given way to the heavyweight ballads of people like Adele and Ed Sheeran

Researchers at the University of California analysed more than half a million songs released in the UK over 30 years to judge how music has changed. They found songs are less happy and ‘bright’ than they used to be, based on a mathematical formula judging elements such as pace, rhythm and major or minor key.

The study follows previous research showing song lyrics dwell more now on social isolation and loneliness.




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