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French News.Wednesday.25.04.2018

Industrial action-The latest rolling strike action by SNCF rail workers has come to an end with services expected to return to normal over the next few days.

The next strike is planned for this weekend with services badly affected again on Saturday and Sunday and more rolling industrial action planned in May which is likely to cause inconvenience for both commuters and visitors to the Historic and Formula 1 Grand Prix races in Monaco.

On Tuesday,SNCF management said that it appeared that less staff had taken part in the latest strike although unions dispute the comments.

President Macron has said that he’s determined to see through reforms to the rail network which he says are absolutely necessary.

 

Road rage-Sunday’s violent attack in Nice which left a motorist fighting for his life in hospital has prompted many other people to speak out about what’s perceived as growing incivility on the region’s roads.

The Nice Matin newspaper has published a series of comments from road users who say that they’ve been attacked,chased or otherwise abused by other motorists recently.

Incidents include motorists’ become irate when another road user fails to pull away from the lights in time or is hesitant at a road junction,tailgating in 50 km/h zones ,undertaking instead of correctly passing a vehicle on the correct side of the road and general bad behaviour by small motorbikes and scooters.

 

Meanwhile-Police say that the man who carried out the stabbing of a motorist on the Promenade des Anglais on Sunday has been freed from custody.

Authorities say that CCTV images of the incident show that the man who ended up in hospital in a critical condition after being stabbed, started the fight which led to the other man involved drawing a knife in self defence.Enquiries continue.

 

Anzac Day-The annual Anzac Day commemorations are taking place at the Fort Carre in Antibes today.

The dawn ceremony has already taken place and there will be a later service  followed by a get together at the Blue Lady pub in Antibes.

 

Standing by a parking meter-The Mayor of Cagnes-sur-Mer has said that he won’t put new parking meters on the Val Fleuri into service if local residents and shopkeepers “don’t want them”.

The new meters were installed sometime ago but still have protective plastic covers over them.

Louis Negre said that the meters were put up following complaints from shopkeepers that there was never anywhere to park but local residents have complained about the removal of free parking.He says that they’ll be removed if there’s sufficient opposition.

 

New Royal-The Princely Palace of Monaco has announced the birth of Maximilian Rainier Casiragi-the latest addition to the royal family.

The new baby is the third child for the son of Princess Caroline and his wife Tatiana and was born in London on the 19th of April.

The family decided not to announce the birth immediately to allow the couple some privacy.

Maximilian Rainier is Princess Caroline’s 5th grandchild and is 7th in the line of succession to the throne of Monaco.

 

In National news today.

 

State visit-President Donald Trump and his French counterpart have been discussing the Iran nuclear deal on day two of Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to Washington.

Speaking following talks at the White House,Mr Trump said that there was the possibility of doing “a much bigger,better deal “ while Mr Macron said that any new pact must cover Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its role in the Middle East.

The French leader has been lobbying the US President to stick with the current deal after saying that there is “no better option”.The German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Washington on Friday to make a last-minute attempt to dissuade Mr Trump from pulling out of the deal.

 

Tycoon detained-French anti-corruption police have detained the billionaire Vincent Bollore for questioning.

The tycoon is being questioned about suspected corruption in Africa and his arrest came just a few days after he stepped down as chairman of the media group Vivendi.

Allegations are centred on whether a subsidiary of his holding company,the Bollore Group helped two African Presidents win power in return for lucrative contracts.

The Bollore Group has denied any wrong doing.

Vincent Bollore is one of France’s best known businessmen and his empire includes shipping,advertising and construction as well as media.

 

Migrant crisis-Residents in the Paris suburb of la Villette are calling on authorities to re-house the growing number of migrants who are either camping or sleeping rough in the area.

Since the “Jungle” camp was demolished in October 2016 growing numbers of migrants have been gathering in the French capital.It’s estimated that there are some 2,500 alone in the Villette area,many of whom have pitched tents on the pavement or are sleeping under bridges and the banks of the River Seine.

Residents say that there’s a growing risk to public health,especially with the warmer summer weather on the way.

 

Hunting permits-Animal rights activists are becoming increasingly concerned about the government’s move to reduce the price of a hunting permit from 400 to 200 euros.

While the government has urged hunters to be “more responsible” and wants to set up “zones of tranquility” where animals can’t be shot,opponents say that reducing the price of a permit will only encourage more people to buy guns and take up the practice.

Official data suggests that only 1.7 percent of the population have a hunting permit while a recent survey carried out by Ifop showed that 80 percent of French people thought that the protection of animals was an important issue.

A petition against the new legislation has gathered more than 60,000 signatures.

 

Business.

 

Oil prices have hit their highest levels in three and a half years as fears increase about the prospect of new US sanctions against Iran.

Brent Crude has been trading as high as 75 dollars 47 as President Donald Trump mulls whether to abandon a nuclear deal with Iran with a decision set for May the 12th.

Any move to re-impose sanctions on Iran threatens to tighten global oil supplies.Iran is Opec’s third largest producer  and prices have already been rising since the cartel,along with Russia decided to restrict output last year.

Donald Trump has said that unless European allies fix what he describes as “terrible flaws” in the accord then he will restore US economic sanctions against Iran.

 

The London-listed drugmaker Shire has said that it’s willing to recommend a deal with Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical to shareholders after an improved offer of 64 billion dollars.

Reuters says that the development represents a major breakthrough in the negotiations which started in March when Takeda said that it was considering a bid.

The Japanese firm has since made 5 separate offers,concluding with Tuesday’s increased bid.

Shire produces drugs for rare diseases including ADHD while Takeda,which is led by the Frenchman Christophe Weber has risen into the top ranks of global drugmakers.

Recently,Allergan,the US maker of Botox had expressed an interest in Shire but withdrew itself from making an offer last week.

 

And-The UK boss of Ford has said that uncertainty over the future of diesel is threatening the industry and leaving drivers in limbo.

Andy Barratt says that consumers are buying fewer diesel cars over fears that they are polluting and will face new taxes.

He claims that new diesel cars are “every bit as clean” as petrol models  and the message surrounding diesel coming from the government is confused.

Sport.

 

Football-Mo Salah scored twice as Liverpool beat Roma 5-2 in the first leg of their European Champions League semi final at Anfield last night.

The result would have been even better if Liverpool hadn’t conceded two late goals which may give the Italians some hope for the return leg next Wednesday.

 

The second semi-final first leg tie is being played tonight.Bayern Munich host Real Madrid.

 

There were two games in the English Championship last night and Derby dented Cardiff’s automatic promotion hopes with a 3-1 win at Pride Park which means that Fulham retain second spot while Cardiff remain third and Derby move back into the play-off places in 6th.

The other game ended Nottingham Forest 3 Barnsley 0.

 

Formula 1-The Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says that he’s relishing the increased challenge from Ferrari and Red Bull this season.

Mercedes have failed to win a race so far this season and Lewis Hamilton goes into this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix 9 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

Wolff says that not everyone likes this kind of challenge but we “love it”.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas has had two podium finishes so far this season.

 

Cricket-The former England captain Alistair Cook says that there has to be a place in the sport for the Test Match form of the game.

Cook was responding to the ECB’s plans for a new 100 ball competition in a new city-based format from 2020 but Cook says that the status of 5 and 4 day cricket should be protected.

 

Rugby Union-South Africa’s record try-scorer Bryan Habana is to retire at the end of the season.

The 34 year old has scored 67 tries in 124 Tests for the Springboks and was part of the 2007 World Cup winning side.

Habana is currently playing club rugby for Toulon and says that it’s “time to say goodbye”.

 

Weather

 

Partially cloudy  with light,variable  winds.

Top temperature 19-22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees with cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly  fine  with highs of 19-22 degrees.

 

Finally

 

Australian police say they will review how a 12-year-old boy travelled alone to Bali after he had a row with his parents and used their credit card.

The boy, from Sydney, booked flights and accommodation online after his parents decided to cancel a holiday to the Indonesian island.

He flew to Bali via Perth, presenting only his passport and school ID.

Australian authorities said the boy was found in Bali on 17 March.

The Australian Federal Police confirmed he had been reported missing nine days earlier after leaving home and failing to turn up to school. They did not say how many days he was in Bali.

He had used a self-service check-in terminal in Sydney to board a flight to Perth and then a connection to Bali.

 

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