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French and Riviera News Wednesday 9th August 2017

 

Breaking News – A car has struck a group of soldiers in Paris injuring six, two seriously. The incident occurred at 8am this morning in the north western suburb of Levallois-Perret. Police are now looking for the vehicle involved in the possible attack.

An urgent police operation is now under way to find the vehicle - reportedly a BMW - and driver involved in the incident in the north-western suburb of Levallois-Perret. The local mayor, Patrick Balkany, said he had no doubt that the "disgusting" act was deliberate.

France has been under a state of emergency since November 2015.

Local 

Weather warning - Local authorities have warned of strong winds forecast for the regions coast line on Thursday and Friday advising people to avoid any nautical activities such as sailing, kayaking or paddle. Boat owners have also been requested to be particularly vigilant. In case of distress at sea, the number to call is 196.

Security - Police have carried out a controlled explosion of a suspicious vehicle parked on Rue Sincaire near the college Ségurance in Nice. The car with tinted windows had attracted the attention of security officers and as a matter of safety police intervened at around 9.30pm on Tuesday - eight people were evacuated during the operation.

Cédric Herrou - A French court of appeal has handed down a four-month suspended jail term on Cédric Herrou, an olive farmer renowned for helping migrants slip across the border from Italy. 37 year old Herrou, was convicted by the court in Aix-en-Provence for illegally helping migrants across the French-Italian border. The sentence is stiffer than the €3,000 suspended fine handed by a court in Nice earlier this year, though it falls short of the eight-month suspended prison term which prosecutors had requested.

Circuses - Five towns in the Var and 4 in the Alpes Maritimes are among 57 in France which have decided to ban circuses with animals. La Trinité, Villeneuve-Loubet, Carros, Vence, Saint Raphael, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, La Luc, Villecroze and Aups have all applied the ban, an idea which has been long defended by the animal protection associations in France.

National News

Thunderstorm - Eight teenagers have been injured by lightning during a thunderstorm in central-western France. The storm struck on Monday night at a campsite in central France a 15-year-old went into cardiac arrest after being hit by the lightning and is currently in a "very worrying state" according to reports. Seven other teenagers were also injured by the bolt which hit the campsite in the French department of Vienne . 

Contaminated Eggs - Dutch contaminated eggs have been delivered to two French food-processing plants according to France’s agriculture ministry, but no cases of contamination of foodstuffs have been detected so far. Two foodprocessing plants in western France received 13 lots of contaminated eggs from the Netherlands between 11-26 July. Investigations are underway to trace the products and analyse them.

Brigitte Macron - Reports have suggested that French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to backpedal on the issue of creating an official First Lady position for his wife in the face of opposition to the move. The newly elected 39-year-old president had promised during his campaign in March to create "a real status" for his wife Brigitte. However the issue has become a new political headache for Macron after an online petition against creating the role gathered more than 280,000 signatures and an opinion poll showed a majority of French people were also opposed. The Elysée Palace is pledging to clarify Brigitte Macron’s “public role” in a document to be released in the weeks to come.

Tourism in France – Statistics published on Tuesday have shown that tourism in France is continuing its recovery from the effects of the 2015-16 terror attacks. France is the world's top tourist destination but the trade took a hit in 2016. The official statistics institute, Insee, found a 10.2 percent rise in domestic and foreign tourism in France in April-June 2017 compared to the same period the previous year. Insee bases its findings on nights booked in hotels, campsites and other places of temporary residence.

Business

Media giant Walt Disney has announced plans to start its own online streaming services for movies, shows and sports in an attempt to bring productions directly to consumers. The plans come as the firm struggles with falling television subscriptions and challenges from online video. An ESPN-branded sports service will be launched early next year and a Disney streaming service in 2019. The company made the announcement on Tuesday as it reported an almost 9% fall in quarterly profits and little change in revenues compared to the same period in 2016.

And - How comfortable would you feel getting on a pilotless plane? As we move closer to a world of driverless cars, remotely controlled planes may be the next automated mode of transport. Plane manufacturer Boeing plans to test them in 2018. A survey by financial services firm UBS suggests that pilotless aircraft may not be too popular, with 54% of the 8,000 people questioned saying they would be unlikely to take a pilotless flight. The older age groups were the most resistant with more than half of people aged 45 and above shunning the idea. Only 17% of those questioned said they would board such a plane, with more young people willing to give them a try and the 25 to 34 age group the most likely to step on board.

Sport

Football - Manchester United were outclassed as Spanish and European champions Real Madrid retained the Uefa Super Cup with a 2-1 victory and Southampton have confirmed the signing of Mario Lemina from Juventus on a five-year deal.

Athletics – Athletics chiefs have been criticised for denying a medal favourite entry to London Stadium amid attempts to control an outbreak of norovirus at the World Athletics Championships. Botswana's Isaac Makwala, had hoped to run in Tuesday's 400m final. He was earlier withdrawn from the race on medical grounds by officials from the sport's governing body, the IAAF.

Cycling - Team Sky rider Luke Rowe has broken his right leg while white-water rafting on his brother's stag party. The Welshman, who has had surgery says he has a "long period of recovery ahead". Rowe, Team Sky's road captain, broke a rib in a crash on the opening stage of this year's Tour de France but rode on to help Chris Froome win the title.

Weather

Clear skies with highs of 32 degrees in Frejus, 31 in Brignols, 30 in Nice and 29 degrees in Menton with a light south easterly wind. This evening going down to 22 degrees across the region with clear skies.  The outlook for Thursday some passing cloud to start clearing by the afternoon with highs of 30 degrees strong winds are forecast along the regions coastline. Friday possible light showers with highs of 27 degrees and a moderate to strong north westerly wind.

Finally 

Every parent knows the first thing to do with a cut arm or scraped knee is to kiss it better. And now there’s a scientific reason to do it too – experts say it could actually speed up the healing process. Researchers found saliva has properties that can boost recovery, which is why cuts in the mouth heal quicker. Harnessing its power opens “a wide door” to improving the treatment of wounds, said an experts

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