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French and Riviera News Wednesday 18th October 2017

Local

Arrests - Ten people linked to a far-right extremist group have been arrested in Marseille over a suspected plot to target mosques and politicians, including a government spokesperson. The arrests by anti-terror police on Tuesday involved ten suspects aged 17-25 and were part of an investigation into far-right activists. The nine men and one woman are suspected of having wanted to attack politicians, including Christophe Castaner and Jean Luc Mélenchon.

Strike action - Commuters in cities across France are set to face travel misery on Thursday and Friday after six major transport unions called for strike action. Some 50,000 transport workers in cities across France will take part in the action meaning commuters could face difficult journeys to and from work. In all, some 127 strike notices have been posted across France, meaning services will be hit in small towns and big cities across the country. The strike has been called after talks over pay and working conditions broke down on Monday. With talks not to be renewed before next February commuters could face further disruption throughout the winter.

Parking fines - Parking fines in France are set to increase as of January 1st as cities are given the power to fix the price of parking metres and fines. Most places will see fees double. In Marseille and Lille, fines will go up to €17, while in Nice they will increase to €16. According to a French drivers' organisation authorities will use the new freedom to raise the price of parking.

Easter school holidays - The region’s education authority has confirmed that the Easter holidays for 2018 will not be staggered. While some other regions have announced plans to change the dates, schools in Nice will keep them as planned from the 21st April to 7th May.

Olive harvest in Nice - Due to recent weather conditions the olive harvest in Nice has started early. The harvest generally takes place in November but this year due to the combination of a very dry winter and a very hot summer olive producers have started the harvest. The olive has been cultivated since ancient times  and has many health benefits.

National

Former French President Francois Hollande slams Donald Trump - Former French president Francois Hollande has slammed Donald Trump's hardline stance on the Iran nuclear deal as a "double fault". Trump’s threat to ditch the landmark 2015 agreement which Paris helped negotiate, led Hollande to warn that the US president's "unpredictability" threatened global stability.

French music magazine criticized - The French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles has been criticised as “disgusting” for putting Bertrand Cantat, the singer convicted of murdering his girlfriend, on its front cover. Cantat was found guilty of murdering actor Marie Trintignant in 2003 and served four years of an eight-year jail sentence. The decision by the publication to make Cantat its cover star drew criticism online, with Twitter users quick to condemn the move.

A controversial Russian artist has been arrested - A controversial Russian artist who was granted political asylum in France has been arrested after setting fire to a bank in central Paris. Petr Pavlensky was held early on Monday as firefighters tackled two blazes on the facade of Banque de France, in Place de la Bastille. 33 year old Pavlensky Red fled Russia in January over sexual assault allegations, which he denies. Last year he was found guilty of criminal damage for dousing the doors of the headquarters of Russia's powerful security service, the FSB, in petrol and setting them on fire.

French scientists claim cause of dyslexia may lie in the eyes - A duo of French scientists have claimed that they may have found a physiological, and seemingly treatable, cause for dyslexia hidden in tiny light-receptor cells in the human eye. In people with the condition, the cells were arranged in matching patterns in both eyes, which may be to blame for confusing the brain by producing “mirror” images. About 700 million people in the world are known to have a form of dyslexia – about one in ten of the global population.

Business

UK inflation has hit its highest level in 5 years driven up by increases in food and transport prices. The Consumer Prices Index climbed to 3 percent in September-a level it last reached in 2012 and up from 2.9 percent in August. The inflation pick-up increases the chances of an interest rate hike next month. The fall in the value of the pound has been one of the factors behind the rise in inflation with the cost of imported goods increasing. The rate of inflation is now 0.9 percent higher than the rate of wage growth meaning that the squeeze on incomes is tightening. Public sector workers are the worst affected with pay rises capped at one percent meaning that inflation is biting harder. Economists are split on whether it’s the right time to increase interest rates with some saying that it could dampen economic activity.

Meanwhile the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD has said that reversing the Brexit process would boost the UK economy. The OECD also warned that a “no deal” would see investment seize up and result in a further fall in sterling.It also said that the outcome of the Brexit talks was “hard to predict”. The UK Finance Minister Phillip Hammond said that the government would study the OECD report and “act where it could”.He reiterated that companies in the UK and the EU would both benefit from the certainty of a limited transition period after Brexit.

And-The US banking giant Goldman Sachs has reported a fall in third quarter profits following a further decline in bond trading revenue. The 26 percent slump in bond trading revenue was less than forecast,following a 40 percent fall in the second quarter. Goldman’s net income for the quarter fell by 3 percent from a year earlier to 2.04 billion dollars. Rival Morgan Stanley posted a stronger than expected rise in profits with net income up by 11 percent to 1.69 billion dollars.

Sport

Football-There were 8 ties in the group stages of the European Champions League last night and the result of the round came in Slovenia where Liverpool thrashed Maribor 7-0.The other group E  game ended Spartak Moscow 5 Sevilla 1. In Group F Feyenoord lost 2-1 at home to Shakhtar Dontesk while Manchester City beat Napoli 2-1. Monaco lost 2-1 at home to Besiktas in Group G with the other game ending Leipzig 3 Porto 2 and in Group H Apoel Nicosia and Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 and Real Madrid and Spurs drew 1-1.

There are 8 more ties tonight.In Group A Benfica play Manchester United and CSKA host Basel. In Group B Bayern Munich play Celtic and Anderlecht host PSG. Group C pairs Qarabag against Athletico Madrid and Chelsea against Roma and in Group D it’s Barcelona against Olympiakos and Juventus against Sporting Lisbon.

The draw has been made for the World Cup playoffs with Northern Ireland drawn against Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland to play Denmark. The other two ties pair Italy with Sweden and Croatia against Greece. The ties will be played between the 9th and 11th of November with the second legs between the 12th and 14th of November.

Formula 1-Robert Kubica is said to have had a “productive” second test for Williams as the team continues to assess whether he can make a comeback. Kubica,who had his right arm partially severed in a horrific rally car crash in 2011,completed a day of testing at the Hungaroring after testing at Silverstone last week. The team’s current reserve driver Paul Di Resta will test today as a benchmark.

Cricket-The former England batsman Marcus Trescothick has described comments by the Australia vice-captain David Warner that the tourists should expect “war” during the Ashes series as “pathetic”. Trescothick who was capped 76 times for England said that the players would take “no notice” of Warner’s comments  and that they had been unnecessary. England fly out for their tour of Australia at the end of the month with the first Test in Brisbane starting on the 23rd of November.

Rugby Union-George North is set to miss the autumn internationals for Wales with a knee injury. The 25 year old was hurt during Northampton’s home defeat against Saracens in the European Champions Cup game on Sunday and could be out for six to eight weeks.

Cycling-Chris Froome has said that trying to win the Tour de France for a 5th time will be a “massive challenge”. The route for next summer’s race was announced on Tuesday and will be the shortest of the 21st century covering 3,329 kilometres. The shorter route and absence of long distance individual time trials may play against the 4 time champion who said that he wouldn’t have expected anything different from the organisers.

Weather

Mainly fine with light to moderate easterly winds.

Top temperatures 20-22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees with clear skies.  

Thursday and Friday–Partially cloudy with highs of 20-23 degrees.

Finally 

A five-bedroom £3.5 million home on the banks of the River Thames could be yours for just £25, if you win a game of spot the ball.

Helen and Gary Weller, who designed and built Reve House in Caversham, Reading, came up with the scheme after struggling to sell the luxurious multi-million pound home.  

The house comes with a private mooring, 3D cinema and a formal dining room, complete with electroplated magnetic glass-fronted concealed wine cellar. The master bedroom features a dressing room, en suite bathroom and private balcony and one of the guest bedrooms even includes a walk in wardrobe. There is underfloor heating and a wireless Sonos sound system throughout the house. 

“It’s about giving someone who would never be able to afford a house like this a chance to own it,” Mrs Weller told Get Reading.

"The people who enthusiastically said they loved the house were delivery drivers, postmen, cab drivers and our cat sitter friends, all who said if I won the lottery I would buy your house, and so the seed of this idea started.

 

 

 

 

 


 

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