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French and Riviera News Wednesday 24th January 2018

Local

Prison Strikes - With failed negotiations between prison unions and the French Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet on Tuesday the blockage of the prison of Nice is to continue today. Unions are protesting against low wages and the lack of security for prison guards.

Marseille Port - The maritime port of Marseille has released figures showing a rise in traffic for 2017. Figures showed an increase of 7.3% for containers and new cars. 2017 marks the 6th consecutive year of business growth.

Tramline Nice - The city of Nice has used contemporary artists, including some from the Art school of Nice, to decorate the future tramline. The line which will connect the port of Nice to terminal 2 at Nice International Airport will include 9 artworks at stops above ground and 4 artworks underground. The project followed closely by the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi was given a budget of 3.3 million euros.

Shopping delivery service - The groups “Carrefour” and “La Poste” have announced a partnership offering a new shopping delivery service by the end of 2018. The announcement, made on Tuesday comes after tests carried out in the Paris region. The service “Carrefour Express Delivery” plans to be available in ten new cities in France, including Nice.

Music - Nice is to be the capital of this year’s Fete de la Musique in June, with a large concert on Place Masséna set to be broadcast nationally on France 2. City Mayor Christian Estrosi said that after what the city has been though in the past few years, the event was a terrific way to demonstrate Nice can organise major events and continue to be a strong cultural leader for France.  

Oscars - This year’s Oscar’s nominations have been revealed, and The Shape of Water leads the pack with 13 nominations. The movie, starring Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, will be released in France as “La Forme de l’Eau” next month. You can get full details of when and where it can be seen in English, on the listing of English language movies, showing on the Cote d’Azur, on our website.

Ayrton Senne’’s Mclaren - Ayrton Senna’s Monaco Grand Prix winning McLaren is to be put up for auction in Monaco on May 11th marking the 25th anniversary of its record breaking Monte-Carlo victory. The car will be on view at Le Grand Palais in Paris, on February 6th and 8th.

National

Flooding - As the level of the River Seine looks set to rise beyond the six metre mark in the coming days, due to heavy rainfall, a major commuter train line is to be suspended in central Paris and Parisians are being urged to be "extremely vigilant”. The City Hall set up a crisis cell to organize emergency efforts on Tuesday while all river traffic was suspended and a major train line will be suspended as of today.

French government fight against cannabis use - The French government is preparing to soften current law in its fight against cannabis use. The French remain among Europe's biggest cannabis smokers. As part of the new measures users caught with cannabis will be liable for an instant fine of €150-200 instead of prosecution and the threat of a one-year jail term.

State visit - The White House has confirmed that US President Donald Trump will invite the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on the first state visit of the Trump administration. Trump is the first US president in decades to wrap up his opening year without offering a counterpart the honor of a state visit. The designation means Macron will be welcomed with an arrival ceremony on the White House lawn, including a 21-gun salute, followed by private meetings with Trump and a joint news conference before American and French journalists.

Motorist fined - A motorist in western France has been hit with a hefty fine after police caught him eating a plate of foie gras on toast and watching a film on his laptop whilst driving. Eating at the wheel is not actually forbidden in France, as long as the driver is in control of the vehicle. But the problem for this driver was that police also discovered he was watching a film on his laptop. The driver was hit with a fine of €750. It was later revealed that the driver was not in fact French but Russian.

Business

The US Senate has approved President Trump’s nomination for chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Jerome Powell was backed by 84-13 votes with support from a number of Democrats.
Mr Powell,a multi-millionaire is a Republican who is seen to back low interest rates.
The current Fed chair Janet Yellen’s term expires next month.
She was appointed by President Obama in 2014 and is the first woman to hold the position.
Mr Powell has served on the Fed’s board since 2012 and is now expected to take over on the 3rd of February.

The maker of Kleenex tissues,Kimberly-Clark has said that it will close or sell 10 manufacturing plants and cut around 5,000 jobs-some 12 percent of its workforce.
The company has been struggling to lift sales and says that the restructuring would streamline its supply chain with savings of at least 500 million dollars by the end of 2021.
Kimberly-Clark has been forced to cut prices amid stiff competition from rivals and store brands with the cost of some materials also rising.
The firm has also been hit by declining birth rates in key markets such as the US and South Korea which has resulted in reduced demand for nappies and other staples.

And-The pound has extended its rally against the US dollar to rise above 1 dollar 40 for the first time since the Brexit vote.
Sterling has been helped by falls in the greenback and a rethink over the UK’s economic prospects.
Reports say that there is now some optimism among investors that the UK will secure a trade deal with the EU despite little progress in Brexit talks this month.
The pound has been recovering steadily against the dollar over the past few months which could also bring down the cost of imports.

Sport

Tennis-Angelique Kerber is through to the semi finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne following a straight sets win over Madison Keys of the United States.
Kerber was in no mood to mess around as she dismissed Keys 6-1 6-2.
In the men’s event Chung Hyeon of South Korea is into the last 4 after beating Tennys Sandgren of the United States 6-4 7-6 6-3.

Football-Manchester City are through to the final of the League Cup in England.
City beat Bristol City of the Championship 3-2 in the semi-final second leg at Ashton Gate to take the tie 5-3 on aggregate.They’ll meet the winners of the second semi final between Arsenal and Chelsea which is being played at the Emirates tonight.The scores are tied at 0-0 after the first leg.


In the Scottish Premiership last night the leaders Celtic were 2-1 winners at Partick Thistle.

Rugby Union- Police have raided the headquarters of the French Rugby Federation as investigations continue into alleged favouritism involving president Bernard Laporte.
Laporte denies that he pressured the Federation’s appeals committee to reduce a punishment imposed on Montpellier.
The club is owned by Mohed Altrad who had a previous business relationship with Mr Laporte.
Reports say that Mr Laporte’s home has also been searched.

Wales will be without fly-half Dan Biggar for their first three 6 Nations games.
The 28 year old picked up a shoulder injury while playing for Ospreys against Cleremont Auvergne at the weekend and will miss the games against Scotland,England and Ireland.
The second choice fly-half Rhys Priestland is also out of the running with a hamstring problem which leaves Warren Gatland with major selection problems.

And-England have suffered another injury blow ahead of the tournament with prop Kyle Sinckler forced to leave the training camp in Portugal with a possible hamstring strain.
Sinckler has returned to his club for treatment and will be assessed over the next few days.
England have now got 13 players on the treatment bench ahead of the start of the 6 Nations They play their opening fixture against Italy in Rome on Sunday the 4th of February.


Weather

Mainly fine with light easterly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees with cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Cloudy with intermittent showers tomorrow.Rain across the region on Friday with highs of 11-14 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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