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French and Riviera News Wednesday 20th September 2017

Local

SNCF Rail Network - The region’s rail network has confirmed that services will be disrupted tomorrow due to strike action. A day of national strike action has been called by the CGT for Thursday 21st September with the region’s transport network expected to be affected. The action has been organised in protest against the recent labour reforms from the French government which are to be presented to ministers on Friday.

Rescue Services - Three climbers who were reported missing at the weekend have been found. The three individuals from Vence had been climbing in the Breil-sur-Roya region when the alert was given by worried relatives after they failed to return home on Monday morning. A large  search party was carried out. They were eventually found by rescue services late afternoon.

Suspicious package - The maritime base at Toulon has been sealed off  following the discovery of a suspicious package. Officials immediately cordoned off the main entrance to the base on Tuesday morning.  According to the prefecture, the abandoned package resembled a computer bag and after examination reportedly contained a portable scanner but no explosive. Important security measures are in place at the base as Toulon is the largest military port in France.

Television Frequencies – According to local media reports some television viewers in the region will have to reset their digital boxes on October 3rd due to the redevelopment of DTT frequencies. In technical terms this means that the frequency band known as "700 MHz band" is being transferred to the telecommunications sector. It was auctioned to mobile operators as part of a 14-phase operation which is in progress to release these frequencies, currently used by digital terrestrial television, and sold by the state.

Snowfall – Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow! The first snowflakes have fallen in Isola. Not yet enough to whiten the peaks of the Mercantour resorts, but this is only the beginning.

National

Calais - French police have moved hundreds of migrants from a wood on the northern coast near Calais. Migrants were moved on Tuesday over fears that the area could become a magnet for others hoping to head to Britain. Some 350 men, women and children, most of them Iraqi Kurds, had been living for weeks in squalid conditions in the wood. Hundreds of police were brought in to dismantle the camp and its residents were packed onto buses, bound for migrant centres in 10 different regions across France.

Man o’War - Beachgoers in western France have been warned after potentially deadly Portuguese Man o' War were washed up on the shores of Brittany. The jellyfish-like creatures (which are not actually jellyfish) with purple tentacles have washed up on the beaches in the north of the Finistère department in recent days. The sea creatures can cause burns, fever, cramps, loss of consciousness, or even heart failure. Local media in Brittany has reported that authorities have banned swimming on certain beaches until they can give the all clear.

French cinemagoers – A recent survey has revealed that French cinemagoers have secured the title as Europe’s most regular visitors to the silver screen last year. France secured its reputation as a nation of cinema-goers after it sold more cinema tickets than any other country in Europe in 2016. A staggering 213 million cinema tickets were bought in France in 2016, leaving the Brits' 168 million and Germans’ 121 million tickets trailing. 

Business

An announcement on a merger between India’s Tata Steel and the German steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp could be made as soon as this morning according to media reports. The two firms have been in negotiations since last year when Tata withdrew from a sales process to sell all its UK operations. A major sticking point has been the Indian firm’s 15 billion pound pension scheme but an agreement with workers and the UK pensions regulator means that Tata has now distanced itself from its liabilities. Unions are still concerned that the merger could lead to job losses and in Germany,there are suggestions that the venture could pave the way for ThyssenKrupp to leave the steel business completely.

Reuters reports that the US wireless carrier T-Mobile  is exploring a deal to take over its rival Sprint. The development comes after Sprint’s owner,Softbank of Japan indicated that it was prepared to give up control of the firm to clinch a merger with T-Mobile and only retain a minority stake in the combined company. Reuters says that a deal is still weeks away.T-Mobile is controlled by Germany’s Deutsche Telecom and no due diligence has yet been carried out. Sprint shares rose by 8.2 percent on the news while T-Mobile was up by 5.3 percent.

And-China is pressing ahead with plans to shut down Bitcoin exchanges across the country,starting with trading platforms in large cities. All Bitcoin exchanges in Shanghai and Beijing have been ordered to submit plans to wind their operations by today. The move follows a decision by China’s central bank to ban initial coin offerings earlier this month. Chinese authorities are seeking to ban digital currencies as part of a plan to reduce the country’s financial risks. The decision could prompt Chinese investors to seek alternatives such as moving out of the country and operating exchanges or Bitcoin mining pools in other regions.

Sport

Football-Liverpool have been knocked out of the League Cup by Leicester City as Jurgen Klopp’s difficult start to the season continues. Leicester won the tie 2-0 with the team’s meeting again in the English Premier League this weekend.

In last night’s other League Cup 3rd round results Aston Villa were beaten 2-0 at home by Middlesbrough.Bournemouth beat Brighton 1-0.Brentford lost 3-1 at home to Norwich.Bristol City beat Stoke 2-0.Leeds beat Burnley 5-3 on penalties after extra time.Crystal Palace won for the first time this season with a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield.West Ham beat Bolton 3-0.Wolves beat Bristol Rovers 1-0.Reading lost 2-0 at home to Swansea and Spurs beat Barnsley 1-0. There are 5 more ties tonight.We’ll bring you the results in the Full English Breakfast show tomorrow morning.

Cricket-England beat West Indies by 7 wickets in the first one day international at Old Trafford on Tuesday. West Indies won the toss but could only manage 204-9 in a reduced 42 overs. England got to the total in 30.5 overs with a score of 210-3 including 100 not out from Jonny Bairstow.

Rugby Union-The Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani could be out of action for three months after picking up a knee injury. The 29 year old former England player was injured in last Sunday’s Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins  and suffered a tear in his medial ligament. The Ireland captain Rory Best has been ruled out for four to six weeks after scan revealed that he’d suffered a hamstring tear in training. He’s set to miss Ulster’s first two Champions Cup pool games and may also be doubtful for Ireland’s autumn international series.

Weather

Clear skies with light,variable winds.

Top temperatures 23 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies. Thursday and Friday-Clear skies  with highs of 22-24 degrees.

Finally

An enormous chateau with sprawling gardens and several outhouses is going up for auction with bids starting at just one euro. Chateau de Blancafort was built in the Loire Valley in 1453.

It has 22,000 square feet of accommodation and features a library, extensive wine cellars, a convenient feature for a home just 30 minutes from France's world-famous Sancerre vineyards.

The six-bedroom castle has been home to a Count and Countess for the past 30 years. But they have decided to sell up and it is going to be sold by Concierge Auctions without a reserve.

It had previously been listed for 4.95million euros but theoretically could sell for a little as one euro on October 19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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