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Morning News Friday 19th May 2017

Local

Diving Accident - Police in Hyeres in the Var are looking for a diver who disappeared off the coast near Giens on Wednesday night. A search of the area is being carried out. It’s the fourth time this year that a diving accident has happened in the Mediterranean.

Francois Hollande - Francois Hollande has confirmed that his brother has died at hospital in Antibes. The former French President was seen visiting his brother on Tuesday. Philippe Hollande, the eldest brother died on Wednesday night, he was 64 years old.

Cannes Film Festival - Israeli’s minister for culture Miri Regev has been accused of making a controversial political statement at the Cannes Film Festival. The far-right culture minister chose to wear a dress printed with the Jerusalem skyline. Social media responded to Regev’s choice of attire reportedly seeing it as an explicit political statement. The minister said: “This year we are celebrating 50 years since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem. I am proud to celebrate this historic date through art and fashion, and I am happy that this work by Israeli designer Aviad Herman is so moving and honours the beautiful status of our eternal capital Jerusalem.”

“Fete des Voisins” - Today is Neighbours' Day or rather “Fête des Voisins”. A celebration which has spread across the world after it was created in France. It was started in 1997 after Frenchman Atanse Périfan had the misfortune of learning that an elderly neighbour had died inside his apartment block in Paris - and nobody noticed for months. Realizing that there wasn't nearly enough neighbourly love going on in his life Périfan invented Fête des Voisins in 1999 and urged everyone living in his block of flats to come out for a drink and a snack on that day. The following year he took the idea nationwide and since then it's spread beyond France's borders. Last year some 25 million people took part worldwide including eight million across France. The event's official international website says the celebration marks "the opportunity to reconnect with the values of solidarity, brotherhood and friendship that should be at the forefront of neighborly relations".

Water Bike - The Riviera Water Bike Challenge, supporting the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, is looking for volunteers and skippers to help with the race between Nice and Monaco on June 4th. They also seek the use of RIB boats that can hold 5 to 6 people. If you would like to get involved and help, email Joshua Warren. His email is Joshua@jwarren.eu

AS Monaco - Four players from AS Monaco are to play for France. Coach Didier Deschamp’s list of 26 players includes Djibril Sidibé, Thomas Lemar, Benjamen Mendy and Kylian Mbappé. The players who have just celebrated their title in the French championship will face Paraguay and England in June, in two friendly matches as well as Sweden in a match which is part of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.    

National

Bernard Tapie - French businessman Bernard Tapie has been ordered to repay the 404 million euros following a court ruling on Thursday. Tapie had received the payment as a settlement in his long-running dispute with the state over the sale of sports equipment maker Adidas. The payment made in 2008, which at the time had shocked the French public, was later found to be fraudulent because Tapie had links to one of the arbitrators who had been appointed to settle the case with the Credit Lyonnais bank. The ruling is yet another blow for the former owner of Olympique Marseille football club, who has been charged with organised fraud over the payout, along with five others, including Stephane Richard, head of Orange telecoms company.

Poll - According to a poll published on Thursday support for French President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party is growing, raising the chances that he will be able to win parliamentary backing for his reform plans. Thirty-two percent of 4,600 registered voters questioned planned to vote for Macron's party.

Jean-Michel Jarre - Electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, who has performed some of history's largest concerts over a four-decade career, is finally touring the United States. The French artist, who sees music as a form of "emotional counterforce" in a turbulent era, will play at Radio City Music Hall in his first full-fledged concert in New York.

Business

The United States intends to start talks with Mexico and Canada over the Nafta Trade Agreement as soon as possible. A letter sent by the White House to US Congressional leaders on Thursday served formal notice of the administration’s intent to move forward with the plan to renegotiate the 1990’s trade deal. President Trump had threatened to end the agreement during his election campaign after referring to it as a “job killer”. Since then,he’s somewhat softened his stance and is now calling for the deal to be modernised. Canada and Mexico are America’s second and third largest trading partners after China. US trade with the two countries has more than tripled since Nafta came into effect in 1994 with more than a trillion dollars in goods and services exchanged each year.

The Greek Parliament has approved a new series of austerity measures required to release the next instalment of the government’s multi-billion-euro bailout. Tax rises and further pension cuts are part of the deal sought by Greece’s international creditors. The vote in Parliament on Thursday came amid a backdrop of violent protests on the streets of Athens with anti-austerity protestors clashing with riot police in the capital. Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Monday to decide whether Greece has done enough to receive another 7.5 billion euros in debt relief.

And-The UK fashion brand Burberry has reported a fall in annual profits amid what it called a “challenging” trading environment,particularly in the United States and Hong Kong. Burberry says that pre-tax profits for the year to the 31st of March fell by 5 percent to 394.8 million pounds as it was hit by weak wholesale trading in the US. Revenues were down by 2 percent to  2.8 billion pounds.

Sport 

Football-Harry Kane scored 4 times as Tottenham thrashed Leicester City 6-1 in last night’s English Premier League game. Kane is on track to win the Golden Boot award for the second season in a row.He’s scored 26 in the Premier League so far,two more than Everton’s Romelu Lukaku. It’s the final day of the English Premier League season on Sunday with only two Champions League places to be decided. Chelsea will be crowned champions when they play Sunderland at Stamford Bridge with Spurs runners-up. Liverpool will make sure of a place in Europe if they beat Middlesbrough and they’ll be joined by Manchester City as long as they get a point or more at Watford. Arsenal must hope that they beat Everton and that Liverpool slip up. In the Scottish Premiership last night,the champions Celtic thrashed Partick Thistle 5-0.

Motorsport-Fernando Alonso was 4th quickest in practice for the Indianapolis 500 in windy conditions which limited the number of laps done by drivers. Alonso,who’s missing Monaco next week to compete in the Indy 500 was three seconds slower than the fastest time set by Ed Carpenter and said afterwards that it was “definitely tricky”. Strong winds are often a hazard for drivers on an exposed superspeedway track where average lap speeds are so high that they can affect a car’s stability in corners.

Cricket-The South Africa captain AB de Villiers says that England’s one day side has earned a lot of respect since hitting “rock bottom” in 2015. South Africa are in England on tour and they play the first of three one day internationals at Headingly on Wednesday. De Villiers says that the hosts have a “really talented group of players” and that they’ve earned a lot of respect around the world.

Cycling-Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria has won his third stage of the Giro d’Italia in a sprint finish on stage 12. Gaviria surged past his rivals into Reggio Emilia on Thursday to continue his domination of the sprint stages. Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands still leads the overall classification.

Weather

Rain forecast until lunchtime with some thunderstorms mixed in,then brighter weather spreading from the west during the course of the afternoon. Moderate westerly winds and a high of 22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Partially cloudy with the risk of some showers and scattered thunderstorms in the Alpes-Maritimes tomorrow morning.Highs of 21-23 degrees.

 

 

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