French News Thursday 1st September 2016


Security in schools - The prefecture of the Alpes Maritimes has adopted new security measures for today's first day back at school. There will be systematic identity checks at the entrance to all establishments, parking outside schools is forbidden and only parents of nursery school children will be allowed access to the premises in order to accompany their children on their first day at school. All primary school head teachers will be equipped with a black button, a small device no bigger than a car key known as a panic button which allows direct contact with the police in the case of an emergency. The president of the PACA region, Christian Estrosi has also announced an increase in security staff and in the number of CCTV cameras in and around school premises.

College Reform – The college reform, which has been challenged by the teachers union for the last year and a half will be in place as of today. The reform affects student aged between 11 and 14 and aims to better meet the needs of pupils  and close the gap between primary and secondary education. The reform has however, fuelled anger amongst several teacher unions and looks set to be the reason for further strike action scheduled for the 8th September. For further details on the reform, go to the Ministry of Educations website and if you wish to ask a question on the reform visit

Nice Attack – The government has announced that the guarantee fund set up to help the victims and families of the terrorist attack in Nice has already paid out 4 million euros. 86 people were killed in the attack and more than 300 were injured. According to figures, as of the 30th of July "1134 requests" from victims and relatives had been received in application for the guarantee fund for victims of acts of terrorism and other offenses (FGTI). The total amount allocated to Nice is estimated between 300 and 400 million euros.

SNCF – The SNCF has said it will reduce TER train services by 7% on weekdays and 4% on weekends until November due to a lack of drivers. The cuts affect mainly the line of Bouches-du-Rhone, Vaucluse, Toulon and Les Arcs. Cancelled trains will be replaced by buses. President of the PACA region, Christian Estrosi, has called the cuts unacceptable.


Marc Riboud - One of France's most famous photojournalists, Marc Riboud, whose 1967 snap of a protester confronting US soldiers with a flower captured the movement against the Vietnam war, has died aged 93. Riboud’s famous work also included a 1953 picture of a workman painting the Eiffel Tower high above the Paris skyline. Riboud passed away on Tuesday after a long illness.

Property prices - According to a study published on Tuesday property prices are up all over France this year, but some cities such as Bordeaux have seen more dramatic price increases than others. Buying property in Bordeaux is now more expensive than ever. On average prices of property in the south western city are up by 7.1 percent. That means Bordeaux is now France's fourth most expensive city in which to buy property after Paris, Nice and Lyon.

Public transport - Public transport group RATP has employed actors dressed as air crew in a bid to raise awareness about safety on the city's train network. A group of actors dressed as air hostesses and stewards descended upon Metros and RERs in Paris this week in a bid to raise awareness about public transport safety.  The hostesses held talks similar to airplane safety demonstrations to show passengers how dangerous daily accidents on public transport can be, but also how easy it is to prevent them


The government of the Irish Republic appears to be split over whether or not the state should immediately appeal against the EU ruling that Apple must pay 13 billion  euros in back taxes. A meeting of the Irish cabinet in Dublin on Wednesday broke up without agreement with reports suggesting that some members of the Independent Alliance are not prepared to back an appeal. The group helps to shore up the minority Fine Gael administration and its cast doubt on whether an appeal can be started without its support. Ireland’s Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is strongly in favour of an appeal and insists that the country must preserve its status as being a low-tax base for overseas countries. Meanwhile,media reports today say that the EU is now sizing up several more big multinationals including Starbucks and McDonalds for back taxes.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is suing Volkswagen for allegedly misleading customers by selling modified vehicles that covered up emissions fraud. The ACCC says that it will seek a public declaration of misconduct,financial penalties and corrective advertising. Volkswagen Australia says that its reviewing the claims. The ACCC says that 57,000 are affected over a sales period of 5 years.

And-Eurozone inflation remained weak in August,raising the prospect of further action by the European Central Bank to stimulate the economy. Inflation for last month was 0.2 percent-the same as in July and below analysts’ forecasts of a slight increase. The ECB has already introduced a number of stimulus measures but the inflation rate remains way below the bank’s target of just below 2 percent.


Football-English Premier League clubs had spent a total of 1.165 billion pounds by the time the transfer window closed last night with one or two surprises. The big deal came from Chelsea who re-signed David Luiz from Paris Saint Germain for 34 million pounds and they picked up left back Marco Alonso from Fiorentina for 23 million too. Spurs paid Newcastle 30 million pounds to secure the services of French international Moussa Sissoko while the champions Leicester paid Sporting Lisbon 29 million pounds for striker Islam Slimani.

Tennis-Kyle Edmund of Great Britain is through to the 3rd round of the US Open for the first time after beating Ernesto Escobedo in straight sets and in the women’s event the British number one Johanna Konta made round three despite collapsing on court in her match against Tsvetana Pironkova with blurred vision and breathing problems.She eventually came through in three sets. Also on Wednesday there were second round wins for Novak Djokovic,Gael Monfis and Rafael Nadal in the men’s event while in the women’s draw there were second round wins for Petra Kvitova,Caroline Wozniacki and Roberta Vinci.

Cycling-Chris Froome won stage 11 of the Vuelta e Espana on Wednesday to move up to second in the overall classification. Froome has narrowed the gap on the leader Nairo Quintana to 54 seconds as he bids to become the first man to win the event and the Tour de France in the same season for 38 years.

Formula 1-Nico Rosberg says that every race is now a “cup final” as he bids to win the drivers’ championship for the first time. Rosberg is 9 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton heading into this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Hamilton says that it’s “game on” with his team-mate and he’s confident for the rest of the season having got grid penalties out of the way and with fresh engines to use.


Clear skies with light southerly winds. Top temperatures 29 degrees Celsius on the coast and 32 degrees inland. Overnight lows of 23 degrees on the coast and 20 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Fine tomorrow,partially cloudy on Saturday.


Rail passengers in a German town are flabbergasted after being told to climb through their local station's windows to get onto the platform because of a planning mix-up.

Locals at Bad Bentheim station, in the northern state of Lower Saxony, are taking the unusual route because national rail company Deutsche Bahn - which is responsible for the platforms - raised their height by 41cm. But the town, which owns the station, has been unable to do the work needed to raise the building's floor to the same level, meaning the new, higher platform is blocking all the access doors from opening.

The town says it's still waiting for a 1.1m-euro  state grant to carry out the work, but that's been delayed by the building's sale to its future operator, Bentheimer Eisenbahn, according to the Focus news magazine. Deutsche Bahn say they were unable to delay the scheduled platform work.