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Morning News Wednesday 7th June 2017

Local

London Attack - It has been confirmed that Frenchman Sébastian Bellanger was killed in the London terror attack. Bellanger is the second French national to have been killed in the attack and had been missing since Saturday. The victim from Angers had lived in the British capital for seven years. Authorities confirmed his death on Tuesday evening and his relatives are expected in London later today.

Forest Fire - A forest fire has broken out in the Bouches du Rhone spreading over 10 hectares of land. Four Canadair aircraft  and over a hundred firefighters were at the scene tackling the blaze which broke out shortly after 7.30 on Tuesday evening. An SNCF freight transport line was cut off temporarily as firefighters managed to control the fire by the early hours of this morning.

Toulon Opera - Strike action by the staff and management at the Opera of Toulon has led to the cancellation of a performance of Romeo and Juliet. The strike has been called due to a dispute over pay.

Nice – Nice has been named the second most popular destination in France after Paris, according to a new survey from travel website Trivago. French holidaymakers stayed in the city  the longest, with an average stay of 8 days, compared to six days for Spanish visitors, and four for Japanese. Other Riviera towns also did well, with Marseilles and Cannes being voted the fourth and fifth most popular destinations in France.

National

Notre-Dame - Police have shot a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. The man shouted "this is for Syria" during the attack.Prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation. The officer suffered minor injuries and the suspect was wounded in the chest when another policeman opened fire. Tourists fled for cover as the attack unfolded. Hundreds of people were in the cathedral at the time.

French Elections - France's overseas voters have overwhelmingly backed candidates for the party of its new President Emmanuel Macron. Candidates for La République en Marche came first in 10 of the 11 seats given to France's 1.3 million expatriates. Opinion polls at home in France also give Mr Macron's movement a clear lead in elections beginning on Sunday.

Income Tax - The introduction of income tax being paid at source is to be postponed until January 2019. The new measure was scheduled to be introduced in France in January 2018 however the French government has announced that more time is needed in order to implement the reform correctly.

Eiffel Tower - Adrenalin junkies leapt from Paris's Eiffel Tower on Monday, flying through the air on a zipwire at up to 90 kilometres an hour. The free 55-mph rides are being organised by Perrier, the French sparkling water brand, as part of festivities during the last week of the French Open tennis championships, and will continue until Sunday.

Business

Uber has fired more than 20 employees and is taking action against other staff following an investigation into harassment. The taxi-app firm says that the sackings relate to sexual harassment,bullying and issues about poor company culture. The company has been heavily criticised over its treatment of female staff since a former employee wrote a damning blog post about her experience. The complaint led to two separate investigations and the uncovering of 215 separate claims about harassment and other allegations. Uber has been struggling with a number of issues in recent months and several high-placed executives have resigned including a former head of engineering who failed to disclose harassment claims at the company.

Royal Bank of Scotland has finally reached a 200 million dollar settlement with investors who say that they were duped into handing 12 billion dollars to the bank during the financial crisis. The RBS Shareholders Action Group has voted to accept an 82 pence a share offer from the bank. The amount is below the 200 to 230 pence a share that investors paid during the fundraising in 2008 and the settlement means that the disgraced former chief executive Fred Goodwin will not be made to appear in court. Shortly after the rights issue in 2008,RBS was bailed out with 45 billion pounds of UK taxpayers’ money.The British government still owns more than 70 percent of the bank.

And-South Africa has fallen into recession for the first time in 8 years after economic growth shrank by 0.7 percent in the first quarter. The downturn,due to weak manufacturing and trade follows a 0.3 percent dip in the fourth quarter of 2016. A recession is defined by two negative quarters of growth.The Rand fell by 1 percent on the currency markets following the news. Africa’s third largest economy has been under pressure since President Jacob Zuma fired his Finance Minister,Pravin Gordhan earlier this year. Two credit rating agencies,Standard and Poor’s and Fitch have since downgraded the country’s credit worthiness to junk.

Sport 

Tennis-Both the men’s quarter final games scheduled for Roland Garros on Tuesday have been postponed until today because of torrential rain in Paris. Rafael Nadal will now play Pablo Carreno Busta at 11am this morning with Novak Djokovic will play Dominic Thiem. Andy Murray is due to play his quarter final tie against Kei Nishikori at 4pm. In the women’s event the unseeded Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko shocked Caroline Wozniacki by coming through their quarter final in three sets.She’ll now play Timea Bacsinszky in the semi finals.She beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 6-4.

Cricket-England are through to the semi finals of the ICC Champions Trophy after beating New Zealand in Group A in Cardiff on Tuesday. England batted first and made 310 including 64 from Joe Root and 61 from Jos Buttler. In response,New Zealand could only manage 223 all out from 44.3 overs with Liam Plunkett taking 4-55. England won  by 87 runs. Today in Group B.Pakistan play South Africa at Edgebaston.Play is due to start at 2.30pm French time.

Rugby Union-The British and Irish Lions play the second match in the tour of New Zealand at 9.35 French time this morning. The Lions are up against the Blues who’ll have 8 All Blacks in their starting line-up. Ken Owens of Wales is captain for the Lions today.

Sailing-New Zealand capsized in the America’s Cup semi final against Great Britain on Tuesday but still take a 3-1 lead into the third day of racing. Great Britain lost the first race of the day on Tuesday and needed 5 wins from the last 6 races to turn the tie around. However,New Zealand capsized in race 2 of the day as their catamaran fell forwards and left some of the crew suspended in the hull above the water. All the crew were accounted for and no-one was hurt. New Zealand could advance to the challenger final if they win both scheduled races today.

Formula 1-Robert Kubica has tested a 2012 Renault car in Spain. It’s the first time that the Pole has driven a Formula 1 car since he suffered a partially severed right arm in a rallying accident in 2011. It’s not clear whether Tuesday’s test is a signal that he could make a comeback but he completed 115 laps of the circuit in Valencia.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds in the Alpes-Maritimes and moderate westerly winds in the Var. Top temperature 27 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies with highs of 25-28 degrees.

Finally 

Marriage may be the key to a longer life, experts say. Those who have a spouse to care for them in sickness and in health are less likely to die from three very common health conditions than those who are single, a study found.

These conditions were high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes – the biggest risk factors for heart disease.

Experts suspect this is because those who have the encouragement of a partner are more likely to take their medication, eat healthily and get enough exercise.

The study was one of the largest of its kind, with researchers analysing a database of more than one million patients between 2000 and 2013. Participants had an average age of 60 and each was tracked for about five years.