French and Riviera News Wednesday 21st March 2018


Strike - Strike action has been announced for tomorrow and possibly Friday. Transport, education and health unions have called for the strike in protest at current working conditions and reforms announced by the French government. Rail services are expected to be disrupted as are flights at Nice International airport along with some disruption to schools and hospitals.

Security application “Reporty” has been suspended - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has criticized a decision from the National Commission requesting that the city of Nice stops testing an application used to allow the public to report a crime or accident to the police via their mobile phone. “Reporty” has been being tested in Nice since January as a possible new measure to improve security and public safety but the move has been seen as infringement on individual liberties by the National Commission.

Unemployment - New rules are to be introduced to encourage  jobseekers to take up employment. Under the planned rules, benefits would be suspended for a month, if a person refuses two reasonable job offers, and after that, would have to accept any employment offering a salary higher than their benefits. The government says the reforms are necessary to rein in the €33 billion euros that unemployment benefits cost a year. At the moment, jobless benefits can pay 80% of a person’s salary, up to a maximum €6,000 a month.

“Dressing du Coeur” – “Dressing du Coeur” has been launched in Nice. The movement has called for shops in the city to collect unwanted clothes to be donated to the National charity organization Emmaus. The operation runs until the 31st March.

Beach restaurants in Juan-les-Pins – It has been announced on Tuesday that the administrative court is currently reviewing the case of nine beach restaurants in Juan-les-Pins which are soon to be  destroyed with a decision to be delivered in a month’s time. According to local reports if the move goes ahead some 400 employees will lose their jobs.

Jazz in Juan - The line-up for this year’s Jazz Festival in Juan-les-Pins has been announced with Lenny Kravitz opening the festival and performances from artists such as Earth Wind and Fire and Carla Bruni. The festival runs from the 12th to the 22nd of July.


Nicolas Sarkozy - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has spent the night in police custody following the investigation into suspicions of Libyan financing of his 2007 presidential campaign. Investigative website Mediapart has relentlessly published articles implicating Sarkozy and members of his inner circle and police are now investigating Sarkozy's implication in the case, following claims he received millions of euros to fund his 2007 election campaign from the Libyan regime. Former interior minister Brice Hortefeux was also questioned by police on Tuesday.

Sexual Harassment - The French government will this morning present new legislation against sexual harassment. The text includes on the spot fines for sexual harassment in public spaces, an extension on the time frame in which rape cases can be reported and the age of sexual consent to be set at 15 years old.

“Mamie Rock” - The grandmother of Laeticia Hallyday wife of the late French singer Johnny Hallyday has claimed that she has “never cashed in on the singer’s fortune”. Elyette Boudou also known as “Mamie Rock” made the claim during an interview with French media. The 82 year old has reportedly been managing the singer’s business interests since 2012. The comments come as Hallyday’s two first children, David Hallyday and Laura Smet, are engaged in a judicial standoff with Johnny Hallyday's widow about the singer's will.


Reports say that the US Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook following allegations that 50 million users’ private information was misused by the political imformation and data firm Cambridge Analytica.
The firm,which was hired by the Trump  campaign in 2016 has been accused of taking the personal data and using in an attempt  to influence voters.
Cambridge Analytica has now suspended its CEO Alexander Nix although the company denies any wrongdoing.
Both the UK and European Parliaments have called on Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to give evidence to them.Mr Zuckeberg has so far declined to comment on the affair and did not attend a staff briefing at the firm’s California headquarters on Tuesday.
Facebook’s stock continued to slide in New York on Tuesday with its market value now down by more than 40 billion dollars.
Twitter shares also hit the skids on Tuesday-down 9 percent as an investor backlash against social media firms intensifies.

German prosecutors have raided the headquarters of BMW as part of an investigation into the suspected use of emissions cheating software.
Reports say that more than a hundred police and law enforcement officials entered the firm’s Munich offices on Tuesday and  a similar operation was carried out a BMW site in Austria.
Prosecutors say that BMW is suspected of using a test-bench related defeat device.
The investigation was opened last month.
BMW is due to publish its annual results later today.The firm has denied any wrongdoing.

And-Global markets are waiting to find out whether the US Federal Reserve will announce a hike in interest rates later today.
The Fed is due to conclude its 2 day policy meeting in Washington with the vast majority of analysts expecting a quarter of a percentage point increase which would take US rates to a target of between 1.5 and 1.75 percent.
Markets have been jittery in recent weeks over the prospect of 3 or possibly even 4 interest rate increases this year as the US economy gathers pace.
Fears over an end to cheap money and increased borrowing costs for businesses have been behind the nervousness.


Tennis-A row has broken out over seeding in the women’s game after former world number one Serena Williams was given a tough 1st round draw in the Miami Open.
Williams has only just returned to the circuit after maternity lead and has slipped down the world rankings in her absence.
The director of the Miami Open,James Blake has said that female players are being “punished” after pregnancy and that Williams should be granted a higher ranking.
Others disagree and say that the system is fair.

Rugby Union-Spain have made an official complaint to World Rugby  and Rugby Europe following the side’s controversial defeat by Belgium in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
The defeat meant that Romania qualified automatically for next year’s tournament in Japan.Spain say that the Romanian referee favoured Belgium in the match and did not carry out his duties properly.

Cricket-Scotland will be bidding to reach the 2019 World Cup today when they take on West Indies in Zimbabwe.
The winner will be guaranteed one of two automatic places at the finals in England.
Scotland had been unbeaten in their qualifiers before suffering a 25-run defeat against Ireland.West Indies may be a tougher proposition.

Formula 1-The Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned the sport’s owners “not to mess with Ferrari”.
With a set of difficult negotiations over the future of Formula 1 looming,the Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has warned that the team might quit the sport if it doesn’t agree with the proposed changes.
Wolff says that  “Marchionne has a clear vision of what Formula 1 should represent for Ferrari,which is a purist sport that isn’t a shopping channel “.
He strongly advised the sport’s owner Liberty Media,not to provoke him.


Partially cloudy with moderate to strong north easterly winds in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Top temperature 12 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 5 degrees on the coast and -1 degree inland with a widespread frost.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 12-14 degrees.


British people are happiest when they are eating, a study has revealed.  More than three quarters of Brits, or 76 per cent, have confessed to being most elated when tucking to a delicious plate of food, according to a new poll.

More than half of those polled claim that eating their favourite food lifts their spirits more than watching their favourite TV shows.

Meanwhile 55 percent said certain foods are a bigger boost to their happiness levels than exercise.


The foods that make us happiest revealed

1. Chocolate 48 percent 

2. Hot pizza 47 percent 

3. Fish and chips 43 percent

4. A juicy steak 43 percent 

5. A burger 42 percent 

6. A spicy curry 37 percent 

7. Ice cream 33 percent 

8. Chocolate brownie 29 percent 

9. Cheese and biscuits 29 percent 

10. A plate of pasta 28 percent 



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