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French and Riviera News Wednesday 4th April 2018

Local

Train strike – Today will mark a second day of major disruption to rail services in France as workers pursue their three-month rolling , over the government's reform plan for the company. Commuters in the region will once again be hit with one out of five regional trains in circulation and one out of seven TGV’s operating. 

Train information:

Cannes-Ventimiglia: 6h24, 6h54, 7h21, 8h23, 16h54, 17h52. Ventimiglia-Cannes: 5h29, 6h29, 15h59, 16h59, 17h59, 18h59.

Cannes-Nice (Nice City, via Saint-Augustin and Riquier): 6:24, 6:54, 7:21, 8:23, 16:54, 17:52, 18:54, 19:55, 21:22.

Nice Riquier-Cannes: 6:20, 7:20, 16:50, 17:50, 18:50, 19:50.

Nice-Cannes (Nice Ville via Saint-Augustin): 5h25, 5h59, 6h27, 7h27, 16h02, 17h01, 18h01, 18h57, 20h04.

Nice Saint-Augustin-Ventimiglia: 6h58, 7h29, 7h55, 8h58, 17h28, 18h26. Nice Ville (via Riquier) -Vintimille: 5h19, 7h09, 7h38, 8h06, 9h07, 14h36, 15h36, 16h36, 17h38, 18h36. Ventimiglia-Nice Riquier (via Nice Ville and Saint-Augustin *): 5h29, 6h29, 8h31 *, 8h48 *, 9h31 *, 10h29 *, 15h59, 16h59, 17h59, 18h59.

Marseille-Nice: no train or bus

Nice-Breil: 7h30, 17h20, 19h50.

Breil-Nice: 6h10, 7h05, 18h, 19h20

* Do not go to the station. In real time: download the SNCF application, the most reliable link to know the trains that are running or canceled in real time. On the Net: - sncf.com; - yes.sncf; - transilien.com for Transilien timetables per station; - ter.sncf.com for TER schedules by region. By phone: two free numbers: - for mainline traffic info: 0.805.90.36.35. - for the Transilien traffic info: 0.805.70.08.05.

Meanwhile the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said that the government will not back down on its planned rail reforms. Defending the reform of the SNCF, the prime minister said he heard both the "strikers" and the users "who want to continue to work". Philippe went on to say that he believed there was support for the reforms from the general public.

Méteo France - A yellow weather alert has been issued for the Var and the Alpes Maritimes today due to strong winds and heavy rain which is forecast across the region. The warning was issued at 4pm on Tuesday and will remain in place until 4pm today.

Kitesurfer taken to hospital - A kitesurfer has been hospitalised in Nice after an accident near the beaches of Ponteil and Salis in Antibes. The accident happened on Tuesday afternoon as several kitesurfer’s took the sea following the ideal weather conditions. An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.  

Gunman - Police are looking for a gunman suspected of having shot a 70 year old woman outside her home in Saint-Mandrier near Toulon in the Var. The victim was found on Monday morning lying in the street in front of her home with a gunshot wound to the back of her head. She was immediately taken to hospital where she is reportedly in a stable condition.

Missing person found dead - Missing since Friday 30th March the body of 29 year old Jean-Francois Bonnet, the fireman from Cuers in the Var, has been found in forest land near the town of Cotignac. Police have made no comment on the circumstances of the death.

Scabies – Several cases of scabies have been reported at a primary school in Nice. The premises was treated over the Easter weekend ahead of pupils returning to school on Tuesday. According to French health authorities the disease, "which is manifested mainly by itching and scratching skin lesions remains benign” and is regularly reported in schools.

Olive oil - Olive growers in Corsica have aired their concern after the detection for the first time of the bacterium xylella fastidiosa on olive trees and holm oaks. The bacteria which is capable of ravaging trees within weeks has created a call for action to be taken immediately in the fight against the spread of the disease. So far, 25 outbreaks of the bacterium had been detected in the PACA region and 350 in Corsica, but never before on olive trees.

La Poste - The French postal service “La Poste” has announced plans to create 200 new jobs in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. Jobs available include account managers, sales representatives and digital experts. A total of 5,500 employees will be recruited on permanent contracts in 2018 by La Poste throughout France.

National

Foreign investment in France - According to a government report published on Tuesday. Foreign investment in France rose 16 percent in 2017 to levels not seen for a decade as President Emmanuel Macron's bid to attract money from abroad gains pace. Public agency Business France said 1,298 foreign investment projects were announced last year, allowing some 33,500 jobs to be saved or created. In a positive sign for Macron's government, which sees boosting France's attractiveness as an investment destination as a priority, 412 new companies decided to invest in France -- accounting for a third of the projects. Half of the announcements were for completely new projects while 42 percent will expand existing ones, with takeovers account for the rest.

April Fool prank - A French mayor has apologised over her April Fool's joke after it sparked outrage among residents of her town. Caroline Cayeux, the mayor of Beauvais in northern France joked on Twitter that the Swedish furniture giant Ikea would be opening in the town, a move which would bring 4,000 jobs with it. But perhaps unsurprisingly, the prank fell flat, with people calling it 'inappropriate' and criticising the mayor for 'unacceptably' raising the hopes of unemployed residents.

Business

Beijing has vowed to retaliate after the United States published a list of about 1,300 Chinese products it plans to hit with a 25% tariff. The White House said the proposed extra tax on the imports was a response to unfair Chinese practices around intellectual property rights. The wide-ranging list includes items such as medical products, televisions and motorcycles. China said the US action did not serve either country's interests and "even less the interest of the global economy".

Shares in Spotify fell back on the first day of trading on the US stock market after the music streaming firm's highly anticipated launch. The shares opened at $165.90 (£118) - more than a quarter higher than the $132 guide price set by the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. After going as high as $169, they lost ground to close at $149.01. That makes the Swedish company worth about $26bn - well above the value of other tech firms such as Twitter.

The organisation responsible for co-ordinating European air traffic says it has fixed an earlier fault which led to widespread flight delays on Tuesday. Eurocontrol earlier said that delays could affect up to half of all flights in Europe - about 15,000 trips. It said the faulty system was restarted at 19:00 GMT, and normal operations had resumed. Tuesday's fault was only the second failure in 20 years, the last happened in 2001.

Sport

Football - Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the Champions League's great goals as his incredible bicycle kick helped Real Madrid demolish Juventus in the quarter-final first leg with a 3-0 win.

And - The Champions League quarter-final meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City is not simply a domestic battle for a place in the last four of Europe's elite tournament. It is a confrontation between two of Europe's most charismatic, high-profile managers in Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and City's Pep Guardiola. The match takes place this evening at 8.45 local time.

In other Champion League matches tonight Barcelona play Roma.

Commonwealth Games - More than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations will compete for 275 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, which start today.  There will be the same number of men's and women's medal events for the first time at a major multi-sport event. Gold Coast 2018 also includes the largest ever programme of disability sport at a Commonwealth Games. More than 2.4 billion people - nearly a third of the world - will be represented over 12 days in Australia.

Weather

A yellow weather alert has been issued for the Var and the Alpes Maritimes today due to strong winds and heavy rain which is forecast across the region. The warning issued at 4pm on Tuesday will remain in place until 4pm today.

Otherwise highs of 15 degrees in Nice, 16 degrees in Theoule sur mer and 17 degrees in Hyeres in the Var with a moderate south easterly wind and gust of up to 40km an hour.

This evening going down to 10 degrees with cloudy skies

Thursday and Friday clear skies and sunshine with highs of 20 degrees in the Var and 16 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with a moderate easterly wind and gust of up to 60km an hour becoming more cloudy as we go into the weekend on Saturday and rain is forecast to return on Sunday.

Finally 

Forgetful people are MORE intelligent – the reason why will surprise you If you’re used to losing important objects, or forgetting what you did hours ago, it can be incredibly frustrating. But there is actually a surprising benefit to being absentminded. 

Apparently, forgetfulness is actually a sign of intelligence. A study published by Neuron revealed that when your brain loses track of trivial things, it’s likely to pre-occupied with something more important.

University of Toronoto’s Paul Frankland and Blake Richards, who led the research, noted that those with a lot of pointless knowledge don’t actually fare that well in real life. Instead, those with common sense and general know-how can intelligently apply themselves to different situations.

This isn’t the only surprising sign of intelligence that science has revealed. Those who swear more are believed to be more clever than those who don’t. Left handeded people, cat lovers and instrument players are also considered to be smarter.

 

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