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Morning News Wednesday 31st May 2017

Local

Fire – A migrant has been injured in a fire in Ventimiglia. The blaze which broke out on Tuesday evening on the Italian side of the border was quickly brought under control by  fire services but regional train services were interrupted during the intervention. The migrant was taken into care by the Italian Red Cross.

Explosives - The Maritime Prefecture has announced that an operation involving the neutralization of explosives will be taking place as of today in the gulf of Saint Tropez. Three explosive devices dating from the Second World War have been found off the Var coastline. The operation is expected to last until Thursday with strict security measures in place for both vessels and swimmers in the area.

GPS - The town council of Le Cannet in the Alpes Matitimes has announced that it is the first commune in France to acquire a new anti-asaault GPS warning box. For six months the city has been experimenting with a system that allows an immediate call to the police in the case of an emergency. 180 GPS boxes are now available in the town at supermarkets, newsagents and chemists. 

Monaco - Recent figures published have shown that Monaco has 37,550 inhabitants showing a constant increase over the last forty years. French nationals are the most numerous residents  ahead of  Monegasques and  Italians.

National

Politics - France's European affairs minister has taken legal action after becoming the second member of new President Emmanuel Macron's inner circle to be caught up in an ethics scandal. Marielle de Sarnez lodged a slander complaint against an MEP of France's National Front (FN) party who accused her and 18 other colleagues of diverting funds available for parliamentary assistants.

Captagon - French customs officials have said that they have intercepted 135 kilogrammes of Captagon, dubbed the "jihadist’s  drug", at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport this year, a first for France. Captagon, a type of amphetamine, is one of the most commonly used drugs among fighters in the Syrian war. It is reportedly the first time that this drug has been seized in France.

Property Paris - According to a new survey prices for real estate in Paris are set to reach new records this summer, as buyers -- many of them Britons -- scramble to get their hands on flats in the French capital's most well-heeled districts. While Italians were the biggest group of foreign homebuyers in Paris, snapping up 17 percent of properties sold to non-French buyers, Britons came second, accounting for 10 percent of such transactions. Already in the first three months of this year, prices for existing apartments in Paris rose by 5.5 percent to 8,450 euros per square metre, a survey by the Chamber of Notaries of Paris and Ile-de-France region estimated.

Eurostar - A London-bound Eurostar train has been halted for at least four hours in France. The incident happened on  Monday after police were called in to deal with two drunken British passengers. The string of events that led to the delays started shortly after the train carrying about 770 passengers left Gare du Nord station in Paris. A little over an hour into the journey the train was brought to a halt in the northern French town of Calais after several passengers complained about the rowdiness of two British travelers. Police intervened to take the pair off the train. The process took nearly four hours, after which the train finally resumed its journey, arriving in London shortly after 4:00 am.

Business

The pound has fallen sharply after a new opinion poll suggested that the Conservative Party would fail to win an outright majority in the general election on June the 8th. The YouGov poll published in the Times Newspaper suggests that the Conservatives could lose up to 20 of their current 330 seats in Parliament with Labour gaining nearly 30 seats. The Conservatives would still be the largest party in the House of Commons but would fail to command an outright majority. Sterling fell by more than half a percent against the dollar before recovering some losses. Markets are concerned about the impact that a hung parliament could have on Brexit negotiations with the EU which are due to start the week after the general election.

Shares in the online retail giant Amazon have risen above the 1,000 dollar mark for the first time. Amazon shares touched 1,001.2 dollars briefly on Tuesday before slipping back to 996.7 dollars. The company initially listed its shares in May 1997 for just 18 dollars each. Amazon now has a market capitalisation of around 478 billion dollars which is more than twice that of Wal-Mart. The company has a 43 percent share of all online sales in the US and is the 4th largest American firm by capitalisation behind Apple,Google owner Alphabet and Microsoft.

And-The Pennsylvania power plant that triggered the worst nuclear accident in US history is to close. Three Mile Island,which experienced a partial reactor meltdown in 1979 is to shut in 2019. The plant’s owner Excelon Corp says that the low cost of natural gas extraction has made nuclear-generated electricity unprofitable. Since 2013,six US nuclear reactors have shut for economic reasons. Three Mile Island employs 650 people and provides power to 800,000 homes. The nuclear accident in 1979 happened after just 3 months of commercial operation at the plant and took 14 years to clean up at a cost of 1 billion dollars.

Sport 

Football-Arsene Wenger has agreed to a new 2 year contract at Arsenal which will keep him at the club until 2019. Wenger met with the club’s owner Stan Kroenke on Monday and the board has been informed that the manager will be staying despite a difficult season which has seen Arsenal fail to qualify for the European Champions League. An official announcement is expected today.

Tennis-Andy Murray has made it into the second round of the French Open but he was taken to 4 sets by the world number 85 Andrey Kuznetzov. Murray won 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-0 and will now play Martin Klizan of Slovakia. Earlier on Tuesday in the women’s event the British number one Johanna Konta was beaten in the first round by the world number 109 Hsieh Su-Wei. Back in the men’s draw the third seed Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro both made it through to round two safely while in the women’s event Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwaska made it through.

Rugby Union-The New Zealand captain Kieran Read says that he’s confident of making the first Test against the British and Irish Lions in Auckland on June the 24th. The number 8 is recovering from a fractured thumb and is facing a race to be fit in time for the big game. The Lions arrived in New Zealand on Tuesday and Read says that he thinks that the series rivals the World Cup for the excitement that it will generate. The Lions play their first tour match against a Provincial Union XV on Saturday.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light to moderate easterly winds. Top temperature 25 degrees Celsius in coastal areas,up to 27 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 16 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Sunshine and thundery showers with highs of 22-25 degrees.

Finally

New research has revealed the average man's shoe collection is now worth a whopping £861, while a woman's tots up to £789. The survey suggests men aged between 25 and 34 spend the most on their footwear. 

The figures indicate that men's footwear sales have been on the up for a while, with British males investing in three new pairs per year on average, compared to women's two. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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