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French and Riviera News Wednesday 30th August 2017

Local

Jet ski collision in Saint Laurent du Var - A nine year old girl has been taken to hospital in Nice following a collision between two jet skis. The father and his 9 year old daughter who are on holiday in the region were hit head as they were heading back to the coast in the bay of Saint Laurent du Var on Tuesday afternoon. Rescue services believe that speed restrictions and the safety distance were not respected.

Pedestrian hit by car in Monaco - Traffic was diverted on the Avenue d'Ostende in Monaco on Tuesday evening after a woman was hit by a car shortly after 7:30pm. The victim was taken to hospital suffering head injuries. 

Security in schools - Security has been stepped up in the regions colleges ahead of next week when students will be returning after the summer break. Access turnstiles triggered by an electronic chip, inserted in the students day book, have been installed in four schools in the Alpes Maritimes.

Tribute - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has paid tribute to Fernandez Bataille who passed away on Tuesday aged 110. Born in Rouen in 1906, Bataille had moved to Nice in the 1950's. A Former member of the French resistance, Fernande Bataille was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo in Tunisia, then in Germany. Remembered as a graceful and reckless figure, she went through the greatest conflicts of the 20th century before settling in Nice. She would have celebrated her 111 birthday in December.

Tourism figures - The first tourist figures for the summer season have been released.  Despite fears that last year’s Nice attack would lead to a reduced number of visitors this year, the figures show that the number of visitors is up, but not to the high figures seen in some previous years. In July, the average occupancy of hotels and residences reached 80%, which is up three per cent from July last year. Overnight stays increased by 5%.  The figures show August had an average occupancy of more than 90% for the urban hotel industry, which is up 6 per cent

National 

Missing 9 year old girl - Concern is growing across France after a nine-year-old girl disappeared during a family wedding in the French Alps. A kidnapping investigation has been opened into the disappearance of the girl, Maëlys, who has not been seen since the early hours of Sunday morning. Police have carried out searches of the area and have also interviewed all 180 of the wedding guests. The wedding took place at a hall in Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Isère in southeastern France.

Terrorism top foreign policy priority for Macron - French President Emmanuel Macron says fighting Islamist terrorism will be his top foreign policy priority. Macron told some 200 French ambassadors that defeating so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria must go hand-in-hand with anti-terror measures in Africa. He called the security of French citizens "the raison d'être of our diplomacy". IS-inspired terror attacks in France have killed more than 230 people since early 2015.

European leaders agree to help the African countries - The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed on Monday on a new policy to grant asylum to vulnerable migrants who apply for protection while in Africa instead of their destination countries. French President Emmanuel Macron, the summit's host, called it the most effective and far-reaching migration meeting in months, though he didn't say how much the new measures would cost and many specifics remained unclear.

New women-only taxi service in Paris - Plans have been announced to launch a new women-only transport service in Paris which is aimed at tackling the problem of sexual harassment and assault in taxi cabs. The new company launching in the French capital is hoping to provide a stress free transport without "indiscreet looks, delicate questions, or ambiguous proposals" towards woman.

New spokesman appointed by Emmanuel Macron - French President Emmanuel Macron completed a shake-up of his communications team on Tuesday by appointing prominent columnist Bruno Roger-Petit as his spokesman. An outspoken political commentator, 54 year old Roger-Petit, is expected to give the Élysée Palace’s media strategy a more combative edge amid a slide in poll ratings.


Notre Dame Cathedral - A Fundraising campaign has been launched to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris amid fears that parts of its exterior could fall. The archbishop of Paris is on a €100 million euro fundraising drive to save the crumbling gargoyles and gothic arches the cathedral. Each year up to 14 million people visit the 12th-century Paris landmark on an island in the Seine river. Building began about 850 years ago, but pollution and the passing of time have chipped off large chunks of stone. Church officials, say the cathedral remains safe to visit. Entry is free and the French state, which owns the building, devotes €2m (£1.9m) a year to repairs. But that is not enough to embark on major restoration works, the last of which were carried out during the 1800s, officials at the cathedral and charity said.

French castle up for auction - For anyone who's ever dreamed of owning your very own French château the castle of “Saint-Vincent-le-Paluel” in the Dordogne is going up for auction, and the incredible 15th-century building could be yours for just €50. It might sound too good to be true, and in actual fact you won't have the castle to yourself for that price. But in order to save the building from ruin, a crowdfunding operation has been launched, allowing hundreds of castle-lovers to buy a piece of the château - and become partial owners of the heritage site.

Business

The media firm Sky has announced that it is to stop broadcasting Fox News in the UK after low audience figures. 21st Century Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, said the channel was being withdrawn as it was not commercially viable. The decision was not related to Fox's takeover bid for Sky, a source told the BBC.

And - The euro has hit $1.20 for the first time since January 2015 as the prospect of a US interest rate rise recedes. Hurricane Harvey's impact has led analysts to assume the US central bank will not want to risk curbing economic growth and fears over North Korea's activities have unnerved investors.

Sport

Football - Manchester City have bid for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Liverpool have rejected a £25 million pound bid from Crystal Palace for defender Mamadou Sakho. 

Tennis – World number one Rafael Nadal has reached the second round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

Cricket – West Indies produced a masterful chase to win a Test in England for the first time in 17 years with a five-wicket victory in a thrilling match. The nerveless Shai Hope led them to their target of 322, becoming the first man to score a century in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley.

Rugby Union – England fly-half Owen Farrell has signed a new five-year contract with Saracens, keeping him with the European champions until 2022. The 25-year-old, who has helped Sarries to three Premiership titles, has played 152 times for the club since 2008.

Weather

Clear skies along the coast with highs of 31 degrees in Antibes 29 degrees in Menton and 28 degrees in Nice with a light south westerly wind. Some passing cloud inland and this evening lows of 22 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes. In the Var cloudy with some sunny spells highs of 30 degrees in Frejus and 31 degrees in Hyeres with highs of 35 degrees inland and a moderate south westerly wind. This evening lows of between 15 and 20 degrees in the Var.

The outlook for Thursday starting mainly cloudy with temperatures remaining the same as today with stormy showers forecast later on in the day. Friday clear skies, strong winds with the mistral is forecast for the Var region and highs of 25 degrees.

Finally 

In a breakthrough study, researchers have found that drinking coffee is linked to living longer. The study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology , found that people who drink four cups of coffee or more a day have a lower risk of death than their caffeine-free friends.

Spanning 10 years, nearly 20,000 participants were quizzed on their health in conjunction with their coffee consumption.

In the end, researchers discovered those who consumed large amounts of the sweet elixir that is coffee were 64 per cent less likely to die of any cause during the period of the study compared to those who said they never or almost never drank coffee.

 

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