Presidential Elections - The independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and the far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen have participated in one of the most aggressive television debates in French Presidential history. Both candidates traded personal insults and clashed over how to fix the French economy and fight terrorism on Wednesday night. In the prolonged two-and-a-half-hour debate Macron branded Le Pen an ill-informed, corrupt, dangerously nationalistic and a “hate-filled” liar who “fed off France’s misery” and would bring “civil war” to the country. She in turn called the former economy minister an arrogant, spoilt, cold-eyed, “smirking banker” intent on “butchering France” in favour of “big economic interests”. According to polls carried out following the debate people felt that the centrist candidate outperformed the far right leader.
RSA - The Alpes Maritimes council has announced new measures in the fight against fraud concerning the minimum supplementary benefit, known in France as the RSA. The problem was discussed this week by council members. According to reports 5,000 benefit claims were suspended in the Alpes Maritimes in 2016 due to fraud.
Marineland - A new law has been signed by Ségolène Royal introducing strict regulations to French aquatic parks. It’s been reported locally that the new measures announced on Wednesday may mean that the public will no longer be able to swim with the dolphins at Marineland in Antibes.
Nice - New security measures in the city of Nice, which include banning trucks from the pedestrian zone, mean drivers will be unable to deliver goods to shops. Instead the city has proposed seven drop off delivery areas around the vicinity. Traders are opposing the move.
Trains - The SNCF has decided to continue its promotional fares from the Cote d’Azur to Marseille for the remainder of May. It means you can travel from Nice, Cannes or Antibes to France’s second biggest city for just €20 return mid-week.
Tram Driver - A tram driver from Nice is to appear before court in Nice accused of manslaughter following an incident in 2015. Pensioner Jacques Burgède from Nice fell from the tram between two stations in April 2015. He later died as a result of his injuries.
Peugeot - French carmaker Peugeot has announced plans for on-road testing of fully autonomous cars in Singapore. PSA announced on Wednesday that it was teaming up with nuTonomy to integrate the US startup's software into one of its vehicles. nuTonomy will install its software, along with sensors and computing platforms, into customised Peugeot 3008 vehicles, with the vehicles expected to hit the streets in September.
Love Locks - Paris is selling off the "love locks" that lovebirds attached to the city's bridges before officials cracked down on the practice. For years tourists inscribed their initials on the locks and hooked them to the railings of bridges, most famously the Pont des Arts near the Louvre, throwing the key into the Seine to express their undying devotion. But the tradition turned into a menace and the city began removing the locks in 2015. Now on May 13th 150 bunches of the locks mounted on displays of wood or recycled paving stones are to be auctioned. The artworks are expected to go for 150 to 200 euros each.
The US Federal Reserve has left interest rates on hold after its two day policy meeting in Washington with officials saying that they expect the recent slowdown in the economy to be only temporary. The US economy grew at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter-the slowest rate since the first quarter of 2014. The Fed says that it expects growth to pick up again as it left its key interest rate unchanged in a range of three quarters of one percent to one percent. The US central bank has only raised interest rates three times in the past decade,most recently in March this year. In a statement released following the two day policy meeting,the Fed pointed to stronger business investment and played down modest growth in household spending. Analysts’ say that they still expect two more rate hikes this year.
Shares in Facebook have dipped after investors showed some nervousness about future earnings. On Wednesday,the social media giant reported a surge in quarterly profits and revenue,helped by its booming mobile advertising business. Facebook reported profits of just over 3 billion dollars in the first quarter-a 76 percent year-on-year increase and said that active monthly users were closing in on the two billion mark. However,the company warned that growth in advertising revenues would slow down after admitting that it was hitting a limit on the number of ads that it can squeeze onto users’ pages. Analysts say that Facebook now needs to show that it can make more money from its other products including video,instagram,Whatsapp,Messenger and virtual reality. Shares in Facebook closed down 2.4 percent in after-hours trading to 148 dollars 12 cents.
And-The US banking giant JP Morgan has said that it could move up to a thousand jobs out of the City of London ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union. Daniel Pinto,a senior executive at the bank said that “hundreds” of staff may move to Dublin,Frankfurt and Luxembourg. In an interview with Bloomberg TV,Mr Pinto said that JP Morgan would use the three banks that it already had in Europe as the anchors for its operations.He said that the bank would move hundreds of people in the short-term to be ready for day 1 of Brexit and would then look at the longer-term numbers.Several big banks have announced in recent weeks that they will move some jobs out of London as part of contingency plans for Brexit. Earlier on Wednesday,Standard Chartered Bank said that it was talking to German regulators about making Frankfurt its European base.
Football-Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Juventus took the upper hand against Monaco in the first leg of last night’s European Champions League semi-final at the Stade Louis Deux. Monaco started brightly but were stunned after going behind on 29 minutes with the visitors adding a second on 59 minutes to sway the tie firmly to their advantage. The second leg is in Turin on May the 9th.
In the Europa League semi-final last night Ajax beat Lyon 4-1. Manchester United play their semi-final first leg tie against Celta Vigo tonight.
Formula 1-Fernando Alonso has said that his first experience of Indianapolis was “fun” as he start to prepare for the Indy 500. The McLaren star will miss the Monaco Grand Prix to compete at Indianapolis instead. The double world champion competed his mandatory ‘rookie’ test at the circuit on Wednesday before starting his preparations on May the 28th. Jenson Button will replace Alonso in Monaco.
Rugby Union-Lee Halfpenny says that British and Irish Lions players face a tight turnaround to acclimatise in New Zealand before their opening tour game on June the 3rd. The Wales full-back is one of a number of players who could be involved in big domestic games on the weekend of the 26th and 27th of May. The French Top 14 semi-finals as well as the Aviva Premiership Final and the Guinness Pro 12 Final are all scheduled for that weekend.The Lions squad will fly out to New Zealand on Monday May the 29th.
Tennis-Ilie Nastase has criticised the decision by the organisers of Wimbledon not to invite him to the Royal Box this year as “small minded”. Nastase is under investigation by the International Tennis Federation for his behaviour at the recent Fed Cup match between Romania and Great Britain during which he made an alleged racial slur about the unborn child of Serena Williams and also upset the Great Britain team captain Anne Keothavong as well as Johanna Konta. The All England Club chairman Philip Brook says that Nastase won’t be invited as his actions “had not been very good and we condemn them”. In reply,Nastase,who reached the Wimbledon final in 1972 and 1976 said that the organisers were “treating Romanians like Morons”.
Partially cloudy in coastal areas with some rain inland and light to moderate south westerly winds. Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.
Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.
Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine tomorrow with a high of 19 degrees.Clouding over with rain forecast on Saturday.
Forget leaving the European Union, we need to hurry up and leave our planet – and do it within 100 years, Stephen Hawking has warned.
And this time, the Remainers could well die. Professor Hawking made the controversial comments as part of the BBC’s new science season Tomorrow’s World.
Hawking claims that time is running out for Earth – due to climate change, asteroid strikes and overpopulation, according to the Telegraph.
In the show, Hawking and a former student Christophe Galfard will travel around the world to explore how humans could travel into space – and live there.