Lunchtime News Wednesday 6th January 2021

Riviera Radio News

Local 

200 kilos of cannabis discovered by customs officers on A8 - Customs officers have discovered nearly 200 kilos of cannabis with an estimated value of nearly 400,000 euros during a spot check on the A8 motorway at the Frejus pay toll. The vehicle was reportedly heading to Monaco from Spain. The driver who has received an 18 month prison sentence and a 20,000 euro fine claimed during the hearing that “he didn’t know that there was such a large amount of drugs when he agreed to transport the drugs in return for 2,000 euros.

Antibes theatre wishes to maintain a link with its public despite health crisis - The mayor of Antibes Jean Leonetti along with the director of the theatre Anthéa Daniel Benoin, has presented several solutions to “maintain a relationship with its members, schools and professionals despite the current health crisis. On Tuesday they announced that members of the theatre in Antibes will be able to see performances of their shows live on the theatre company’s website. They can also choose to be reimbursed, to have a credit or to support the structure. Since March 17, 85,000 tickets have had to be refunded.  And for schoolchildren, the performances will also be broadcast live at the scheduled times and a theatre team will be present with the students to allow a discussion with the actors.

Free parking in Toulon to end - Free parking in Toulon is to come to an end from next week with motorists having to get back into the habit of putting money in a parking metre from Monday 11th January. Parking in the city had been made free of charge at the end of last year due to covid-19 restrictions and to encourage shoppers to help local businesses. It was planned to come to an end on December 31st but was extended to January 11th. The good news is that it will remain free on weekends.

Power cut in the Var - Households in Hyéres and La Crau in the Var found themselves without any electricity on Tuesday evening following a power cut. Enedis later confirmed that an incident on a high voltage line was the cause the incident. The power was scheduled to be back at around 11.30 on Tuesday evening.

What to do with your Christmas tree? - Across France farmers are asking for old Christmas trees to feed herds. Farmers are recycling old festive pine trees by using them to feed their sheep and goats. While some towns in France offer dedicated recycling centres, as do some garden centres an old Christmas tree left in the street is actually illegal and can lead to a fine of €35-€180. Meanwhile in Nice there is also a service set up by the town council which will collect trees next Tuesday 12th January from outside your home all you have to do is call 3906 beforehand to inform them of where.

National 

Vaccination campaign - French Health Minister Olivier Véran has said he will establish an online platform within the next few days to help speed up the government's Covid-19 vaccination campagin. Those who wish to be vaccinated will be able to register online. But they will still have to wait. The French government is trying to simplify a system which has left France trailing in the wake of neighbouring countries in the effort to vaccinate frontline medical workers and those most at risk.

Meanwhile a former boss of the French Health Services William Dab, has observed that, at the current rate of progress, the vaccination programme will take 5,000 years.

Bars and restaurants to remain closed - The French Prime Minister is expected to confirm that bars, cafés and restaurants will not be allowed to reopen on 20 January, as had been hoped, due to rising Covid-19 infections. Jean Castex is to deliver his government's latest assessment of the situation in a press conference on Thursday.

Monday's government meeting decided that it would be unwise to reopen bars and restaurants on 20 January. No official decision has yet been announced, apparently because participants in Monday's meeting expressed fears about the negative impact of such an announcement, given the current level of criticism of the authorities for the slow pace of the French vaccination programme.

Car hit by freight train in La Rochelle - The rail network of the TER and TGV in La Rochelle has been heavily disrupted after an accident between a car and a freight train. The accident occurred shortly after 5.30am this morning bringing train traffic to a standstill. A 42-year-old woman had to be extricated by the emergency services suffering slight injuries she was later taken to hospital while emergency services verified that there were no other victims using dogs and a drone. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the accident.

Michelin to cut up to 2,300 jobs in France - The French tyre manufacturer Michelin has announced that it will cut up to 2,300 jobs in France. The group announced this morning that it will initiate a "simplification and competitiveness plan" but ensures that there will be no forced departures. The group, subject to competition from tyres at cheaper prices, has already cut nearly 1,500 jobs since 2017 as part of its reorganization, in particular at its historic headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand and in the United States. The number of departures site by site will be specified in the coming months: the group's management wishes to open negotiations "quickly" with the trade unions around a "framework agreement for a period of 3 years".

And Finally

If you're feeling that time is going really slowly, then you're wrong. As new official data has revealed that time is actually passing quicker now than at any point in the last half century and the year 2021 is set to “fly by” as the earth is spinning faster than at any time in the past fifty years.

Earth's rotation is faster than normal and as a result, the length of a day is currently ever-so-slightly shorter than the regulation 24 hours. The world's timekeepers are now debating whether to delete a second from time to account for the change and bring the precise passing of time back into line with the rotation of the Earth.

While the addition of a so-called 'negative leap second' has never been done before, a total of 27 'leap seconds' have been added since the 1970s, in order to keep atomic time in line with solar time. This is because, for decades, the Earth has taken slightly longer than 24 hours to complete a rotation, but since last year it has been taking slightly less.

 

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