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Morning News Friday 30th June 2017

Local

Traffic - This weekend is set to be  busy  for motorists on the regions motorway. Drivers have been advised to avoid the A8 from 12 to 8pm today and from 10am to 6pm on Saturday. Traffic is also expected to be bad on Sunday from late morning until late evening. 

Strike Action - Staff from the hospital in Cimiez in Nice have demonstrated in front of the building in protest against lack of funding. The strike action was called by hospital staff on Thursday morning as it was announced that further cuts are going to be made.

Money returned to victim after robbery - More than three years after a robbery the culprit, a 27-year-old from Marseilles has decided to return 20,000 euros to the 70 year old victim. The theft which took place in December 2013 outside a bank was committed by three individuals . In March this year the victim, a 70 year old woman returned home to find a bunch of flowers and an envelope containing 20,000 euros on her doorstep. Police later interviewed the man who admitted being involved in the theft pleading “the error of youth”. He is to appear in court at a later date.

Attack - President Emmanuel Macron will be in Nice on July 14th for a number of ceremonies to mark last year’s attack. They include a private religious service and a meeting with victim’s families. He will also turn on 86 powerful beams of light pointing skyward, lined along the front of the promenade, near the bandstand. The city will be under the highest security level and no traffic will be allowed on the promenade from the 13th to the 15th of July. Traditional fireworks along the coast will be postponed until the following night, July 15th. Meanwhile, the mother and brother of Nice attacker, Mohamed Bouhlel, have said that they still cannot believe that he carried out the attack. Interviewed in Tunisia, for a French television documentary, his mother she simply could not understand or believe how her son could do such a thing.

House - The Criminal Court of Grasse has ordered the demolition of the three thousand square metre house known as Chateau Diter near Mouans Sartoux. Local residents objected to the massive building, whose original planning permission was for a much smaller two hundred square metre house. The owner, Patrick Diter, who was also fined €1.2m, is to appeal the decision. The luxury villa was also a location for the television drama “Riviera” which was filmed in the region.

Population - New figures from INSEE, show births have fallen while deaths have increased, in the PACA region. While there were 900 fewer births in 2015, the death rate is at its highest in 40 years, due to heatwaves and the flu epidemic. INSEE estimate the population of the area at five million and say, despite the drop in births, it is still the most fertile department in France with an average 2 births per woman.

National

Deficit - France is set to miss its 2017 deficit target by a wide margin, according to the the country's public accounts watchdog. It’s predicted that the gap between spending and revenue would exceed a eurozone limit of 3 percent of GDP. The Court of Auditors say that in the absence of "strong adjustment measures" the deficit will reach 3.2 percent of GDP,  a warning to new President Emmanuel Macron, who will produce his first budget in the autumn. The previous Socialist government said it expected the deficit to fall from 3.4 percent last year to 2.8 percent this year, which would have brought France in line with EU rules for the first time in a decade. The auditors said France was currently 8 billion euros off target and accused the Socialists of "insincerities" in their forecasts, saying they routinely underestimated spending.

French Rail Network Expands - French railways will open two new sections of high-speed track expanding the TGV network to include routes between Paris and Rennes and Paris and Bordeaux. As of Sunday travellers will be able to get from the French capital to Rennes, in Brittany, in under an hour and a half, and to the south-western wine capital in a little over two hours. 

CritAir - From Saturday July 1st motorists, including foreign ones, will be subject to a €68 fine if they don’t display their “CritAir” anti-pollution sticker on their cars, whilst driving in certain parts of France. For the moment the stickers are obligatory in Paris and most of the French capital’s surrounding suburbs, Lyon and Villeurbanne in central France and Grenoble in the south east. Signs on the road side will let you know you are in a Zone of restricted Circulation (ZCR). By 2020 they will be obligatory in some 22 towns and cities across the country.

Second home in France - The French have revealed the places they consider most desirable to own a second home and the top ten are all by the sea.  Top of the list was the Bassin d’Arcachon on the south west coast of France and just an hour from Bordeaux, with 21 percent of the people surveyed naming this as the place they most want to own a second home. The chic Normandy coastal resort of Deauville came second, the fishing port of Cassis came third, Saint Maxime came fourth and Ramatuelle near Saint Tropez came ninth.

Business

The UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has sacked three frontbenchers for defying the whip and backing a call for the country to stay in the European single market. Ruth Cadbury,Catherine West and Andy Slaughter had all supported Chuka Umunna’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling on the UK to stay in the single market and customs union. Staying in the single market is not official Labour Party policy and Mr Corbyn had ordered his MP’s to abstain in the vote.In the end 50 of them rebelled. Mr Umunna’s amendment was defeated by 322 votes to 101-a majority of 221 for the government. Many Labour MP’s want the single market to be part of the Brexit negotiations but the official party line is for a withdrawal from Europe while at the same time protecting jobs and workers rights. Deutsche Bank has rejected demands from U.S House Democrats to provide details of Donald Trump’s finances,citing privacy laws. The bank has lent the Trump organisation millions of dollars for real-estate ventures and five Democrats on the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee have been demanding details on the President’s finances. However,Deutsche Bank’s external counsel in Washington DC has rejected the demands  and said that the bank was not able to reveal confidential financial information. Democrats say that the matter is not over and that they’ll continue to pursue the bank.

And-Further news that Bitcoin is going mainstream has emerged after it was reported that two schools in New York are now accepting fee payments in the alternative currency. The Montessori schools don’t let parents pay with a credit card but they are bow accepting Bitcoin. More and more businesses are starting to accept Bitcoin as payment including universities in London and Greece. The digital currency was first used in the real world in 2010 and as its popularity has grown,so has its value. Some people who bought Bitcoin when it was priced at just 18 dollars 7 years ago have now become extremely wealthy with the currency now trading at a little under 2,500 dollars.

Sport

Rugby Union-It’s the last roll of the dice for Warren Gatland as his British and Irish Lions side prepare to face the All Blacks in the second Test in Wellington tomorrow. The Lions lost the first Test 30-15 and if they’re defeated tomorrow then the 3 Test series is lost. Gatland has gone with Jonny Sexton at fly-half and Owen Farrell at inside centre-a combination that hasn’t yet been tried on the tour but could pay big if it works. Kick off at the Westpac Stadium is at 9.35 French time tomorrow morning.

 

Cricket-Stuart Broad should be fit for the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s next week. The 31 year old bowler has been struggling with a bruised heel but is expected to play for Nottinghamshire in tomorrow’s one-day Cup Final against Surrey. Jake Ball is out of contention though with a knee injury.

Tennis-Andy Murray is still struggling with a hip problem that has prevented him from playing in an exhibition match at Hurlingham today. Murray says that the hip is still sore and he needs to rest it.Wimbledon starts on Monday. Johanna Konta has beaten the world number one Angelique Kerber in the quarter finals of the Eastbourne tournament. The British number one came through 6-3 6-4 and will now play Karolina Pliskova.

Cycling-The 2017 Tour de France gets underway in Dusseldorf tomorrow with the first individual time trial with Chris Froome looking to secure his 4th Tour title in 5 years. The first week of the race will pass through Luxembourg and North Eastern France and then head south towards the Alps. The second week will be dominated by the Pyrenees with the riders grappling with the Alps in the 3rd week. Froome is the favourite again but he could face a tough challenge from team-mate Richie Porte this year  while Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will also have plenty of gas in the tank.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate to strong south westerly winds. Top temperature 27 degrees. Overnight lows of 19 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 25-29 degrees.

Finally 

Learning language or music is a piece of cake for children, but as we get older our ability to master these skills quickly slumps. This could all change in the near future, as scientists have pinpointed the brain chemical that slows this type of learning down.

Researchers found that restricting a key messenger in the brain of mice helps to prolong their capacity to learn through sound to much later in life.

The team says that if a human drug is developed to block this chemical, adults could one day regain the ability to rapidly master a new language or instrument.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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