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French and Riviera News Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Local

May 1st demonstrations - Demonstration took place in Marseille, Nice, Toulon and across France on Tuesday to mark May 1st workers day. In Nice Marine Le Pen and a number of far-right partners from Austria, Italy and Holland gathered at the Acropolis in Nice denouncing the EU and celebrating gains for nationalist movement across the continent. Meanwhile in Paris Police arrested nearly 200 masked demonstrators who smashed shop windows and torched cars during annual May Day protests. Far-left anarchist groups, known as Black Blocs, hijacked a peaceful rally against President Emmanuel Macron's public sector labour reforms. The police used tear gas and a water cannon to try disperse the gathering. Later in a statement French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb condemned the violence.

Accident - At least six people have been seriously injured in an accident involving two cars on the A8 motorway on Tuesday afternoon. The accident which happened just before 3pm at Jct 36 near Le Muy, was attended by six ambulances and an emergency helicopter.

Auction - The McLaren which Ayrton Senna won the Monaco Grand Prix with on 23rd May 1993, is to be auctioned in the Principality on May 11th.  In addition to his victorious race in Monaco, the Brazilian driver raced eight Grand Prix in at the wheel of this model during the World Championships of 1993.

Hot dog Champion - A security guard from La Crau in the Var has held on to his title as champion “hot dog eater” at the US American Lady festival which was held in Hyeres on Tuesday. Pierre managed to eat 10 hot dogs in 30 minutes beating his most serious rival who managed nine and a half.

National

Angélique - An emotional white march has been held in Northern France in memory of 13 year old Angélique who was raped and killed by a neighbour. Bus driver David Ramault confessed to the rape and murder after being arrested by police on April 28th. Ramault had already served a 9 year prison sentence in 1996 after being convicted for “armed rape” and “aggravated indecent assault”.

France.com - The French government is being sued over the way it has sought to take over the France.com web domain. In 2015, France started legal action against Frenchman Jean-Noel Frydman, who had registered France.com in 1994. Two years later, a French court ruled in France's favour and the government began to lobby domain host web.com to take control away from Mr Frydman. Mr Frydman, who built a business around the domain, says France has "illegally" seized the site and he has now begun legal action in Virginia in a bid to regain control of it.

Business

Apple is planning to double its share buyback scheme to 100 billion dollars and increase its dividend on the back of solid iPhone sales which helped first quarter revenues rise by 16 percent to 61 billion dollars.
Apple says that it sold 52.2 million iPhones in the three months to March,just a fraction below Wall Street estimates despite waning global demand for smartphones.
Revenues at the company’s services division which includes Apple Music and the App Store increased by almost a third to 9.1 billion dollars.
Apple said that the new iPhone X was the best selling model in every week of the quarter despite its hefty price tag of almost 1,000 dollars.
The firm’s shares rose by 3 percent on the news.

Facebook has announced plans to launch a new dating service.
Speaking at the firm’s annual F8 developers conference in California on Tuesday,Mark Zuckerberg said that 2018 had been an intense year for the social media giant but that Facebook was committed to building “meaningful relationships”.
The new service will take privacy matters into consideration and will launch “soon” according to Mr Zuckerberg.
Shares in the dating business Match Group fell on the news and closed down 22 percent.The firm owns Tinder,which sources its profile information from Facebook.

And-The iconic guitar maker Gibson has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States under a 500 million dollar debt pile.
The company,whose guitars have been played by stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Jimmy Page was founded in 1894 and will now be taken control of by creditors.
In 2014,Gibson made the ill-fated acquisition of Phillips’ consumer audio division for 135 million dollars.The company will now wind down that business and concentrate on musical instruments.

Sport

Football-Real Madrid have reached their third consecutive European Champions League final after edging Bayern Munich 4-3 over the two legs of the semi final.
Last night’s second leg ended 2-2 with the German’s launching a wave of late attacks in the search for a third goal which would have given them victory.The Spanish giants held out and will now meet either Roma or Liverpool in the final who play their semi-final second leg tonight with the visitors leading 5-2 from the first leg.


The former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard is in advanced talks with Rangers about becoming their new manager.
Gerrard is currently in charge of the under 18’s at Liverpool but is wanted by Rangers to replace Graeme Murty who was sacked as interim boss on Tuesday.

Formula 1-The sport is to introduce new rules for next season which are aimed at making overtaking easier and promoting closer racing.
Modifications to the cars are based on research aimed at finding ways of allowing it to be easier for one car to follow another closely  behind.
The changes are a victory for Formula 1 and the FIA who had faced opposition from some teams.

Rugby Union-The England scrum half Danny Care says that Harlequins need “drastic change” next season.
Quins are 10th in the Aviva Premiership table and the director of rugby John Kingston is to leave at the end of the season.
Care says that the club needs something completely different and that the team has been getting progressively worse.

Tennis-Serena Williams could be top seed at Wimbledon this year despite having dropped out of the world top 400 since having a baby.
The seeding order at Wimbledon follows the ATP rankings except in cases where the committee feels that a change is necessary to create a “balanced” draw.
Meanwhile,Andy Murray will not benefit from preferential seeding despite having won the tournament twice.He could come up against someone like Roger Federer in the first round.

Weather

Changeable with some more prolonged periods of rain this afternoon and moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Unsettled with the chance of more rain and thunderstorms.

Finally 

Drinkers could soon be enjoying a new type of alcoholic beverage after Japanese scientists said they have invented a way to produce booze from wood.

Researchers from Japan's Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute have been testing the method of producing drinkable alcohol - known as ethanol - since June 2009.

Now they say the drinks they are making from tree bark are similar to drinks aged in wooden barrels, and could be served to customers by 2021.

 

 

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