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French and Riviera News Wednesday 7th February 2018

 

Local

Snowfall - Flights have been disrupted at Nice airport due to heavy snowfall in Paris on Tuesday. 15 flights were cancelled or delayed on Tuesday afternoon as Paris came to a standstill. The roads in the capital were also affected with a record accumulated traffic jam of 739km. Further snowfall is forecast this morning with further delays on the city’s roads expected.

Corsica - During his visit to Corsica French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute on Tuesday to the prefect Claude Erignac who was assassinated 20 years ago. The Prefect’s wife was present at the ceremony after returning to the island for the first time since the killing. While speaking in Ajaccio Macron said that a “future must be given to Corsica within the Republic”. The President was also approached by the wife of the Yvan Colonna, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination in 1998, pleading him to allow her son to see his father. Macron will today set out his policy on Corsica in a highly-anticipated speech in the northern city of Bastia.  

The Voice - A contestant from the television programme “The Voice” on TF1 has come under criticism for comments posted on Facebook and Twitter following the Nice terror attacks. Mennel Ibtissem reportedly posted comments after the attack suggesting a conspiracy thesis saying “the real terrorist is our government”. Victims of the attack have been left “shocked” by the comments and are calling for action to be taken by the production company. Producers are expected to make a decision today.

July 14th – Meanwhile an attempt to have the city of Nice recognised as a civil victim of the July 14th attacks has been rejected by the Paris court. The application was lodged, so damage done to the attractiveness of the city, could be accounted for.

Carnival - Security measures for this year’s Nice Carnival have been ramped up once again, to include more security personnel on entrance gates in addition to higher blackout panels, at a cost of €6 million. The measures are to protect the estimated half million visitors expected for the two week Carnival which starts on February 17th. Although a planned fireworks display to close the Carnival has been abandoned, Christian Estrosi has said he wants fireworks to return to Nice this year.

National

Strike Action - Seven civil servant unions have called for strike action on March 22nd in protest against the government’s public service reform. The last movement in protest against this measures was in October of last year when hundreds of thousands of public servants took to the streets for the first time in ten years.

Suicide figures - New figures published have shown that France continues to have the highest suicide rates in Europe despite a drop of 26% from 2003 to 2014. Figures show that someone takes their life every hour and that among young people aged 15 to 24 suicide is the second cause of death after road accidents.

French rap star - A French rap star has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence for blocking a motorway near Paris last year to film a video for one of his songs. The clip shows the rapper and friends bring traffic to a standstill on the four-lane A3 motorway, then set up a restaurant table and chairs on the road before starting to dance. After being charged with a public order offence, prosecutors urged a three-month prison term, accusing the rapper of organising the motorway stunt to generate publicity.

Business

Asian markets have followed Wall Street higher this morning as a sense of calm returned following heavy falls earlier in the week.
The recovery follows volatile trading on Wall Street on Tuesday where the Dow Jones initially plunged by 500 points before recovering.
Analysts say that bargain hunters helped to drive gains although the fear of more rapidly rising interest rates is still humming in the background which could result in more volatility.
Investors have been warned to prepare for choppier markets but fears of a more prolonged sell-off appear to be receding.

Bitcoin fell below 6,000 dollars on Tuesday-its lowest level since November last year.
The price of the cryptocurrency fell to 5,947 dollars 40 yesterday according to the price index run by Coindesk.
Bitcoin reached a peak of more than 19,000 dollars in December before it started falling steadily.
The latest decline came after several major US and UK banks banned customers from using credit cards to purchase Bitcoin and some countries announced a tightening of legislation on trading cryptocurrencies.

And-Walt Disney has announced plans for another Star Wars series as the firm struggles to boost revenue in its movie business.
Disney released earnings on Tuesday that showed revenue from its movie division fell by 1 percent in the fourth quarter.
Total quarterly revenues increased by 4 percent year-on-year although profits surged thanks to US tax cuts.
The firm has announced that it’s to team up with the creators of Game of Thrones to create another Star Wars series and also said that it planned to make an ESPN app available for 4 dollars 99 per month.

Sport

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Warren Gatland has named an unchanged Wales side for Saturday’s big 6 Nations clash against England at Twickenham.
Gatland keeps faith with the 15 that trounced Scotland in Cardiff on the opening weekend of the tournament although George North returns to the squad and will start on the bench.
Meanwhile England’s Richard Wigglesworth says that he’s ready for a recall at the age of 34.
The scrum-half says that he thinks he’s still improving as a player and that if Eddie Jones calls on him he’ll relish the opportunity.
First choice scrum-half Ben Youngs has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee ligament injury with Danny Care set to start at number 9 for the Wales game and Wigglesworth on the bench.

The Scotland centre Peter Horne has said that the players were “embarrassed” by their heavy defeat against Wales and have been working hard towards Sunday’s game against France at Murrayfield.
Horne said that Scotland “got beat up” and that the team is “desperate to put things right”.
France lost their opening game against Ireland in Paris and will also be looking to bounce back if they’re to have any chance of winning the tournament.
Our 6 Nations report is brought to you by HollerJones raw furniture.To find out more go to www.hollerjones.com

Football-There were 3 FA Cup 4th round replays in England last night with Swansea of the Premier League thrashing League 2 Notts County 8-1.Rochdale beat Millwall 1-0 and Huddersfield beat Birmingham City 4-1 at a snowy St Andrews.

In the Scottish Premiership last night Motherwell beat St Johnstone 2-0 and Rangers were 2-0 winners at Partick Thistle.

Cricket-Australia play England in a T20 international in Hobart today.Play is due to start at 9.40 French time this morning.

Golf-A new report says that Open Championship venues such as St Andrews and Royal Troon could be under water by the end of the century if sea levels rise even slightly as a result of climate change.
The Climate Coalition’s report said that a number of sports including golf.football and cricket could be affected with cancelled matches,flooded grounds and golf courses crumbling into the sea.
The report also said that rising winter temperatures could see the Scottish skiing industry collapse within 50 years.

Weather

Brightening after a cloudy start with moderate westerly winds and a high of 13 degrees.

Overnight lows of 5 degrees on the coast  and -2 degrees inland with clear skies and a widespread frost.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy with a high of 12.

Finally 

Recent research has revealed that the first modern Briton had "dark to black" skin, curly hair and blue eyes. Britain's oldest complete skeleton, known as Cheddar Man, was unearthed more than a century ago in Gough's Cave in Somerset.

But an unprecedented examination of his DNA, along with a facial reconstruction of the fossil, shows that the young man would have had a darker complexion than previously thought.

Previous reconstructions of Cheddar Man, who lived around 300 generations ago, depicted him with a lighter skin tone.

 

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