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Riviera and French News 30th January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Elections - Manuel Valls, who resigned as Prime Minister to contest the presidential election, has lost his parties candidature to Benoit Hamon. Hamon won the run-off vote yesterday with 59% of votes nationally an 54% in the Alpes Maritimes. He is now the socialist party’s official presidential candidate.

Tolls - Motorway tolls are set to increase slightly from Wednesday by an average point eight percent. The increase, the first since 2015, will finance improvements to the motorway system across France, eleven projects of which are in the PACA region.

Unions - The Union de la Gauche has pulled out of the Alpes Maritimes Regional Conference created by Christian Estrosi. They are protesting the six minute time limit given to speakers, saying it is not enough time to debate the important issues. It means the regional assembly will not include any elected Left politicians.

Petition - The free bus service to and from Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, on match and concert nights, is to end. The council plan to charge for the service from September. A petition on change.org, opposed to the move, has already gained almost 1,000 signatures.

BUSINESS

America’s tech industry in Silicon Valley has lashed out President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Google’s CEO raised his concerns in an email to staff, saying that more than 100 Google staff were directly affected. On Saturday, Google co-founder Sergey Brin also joined protesters at San Francisco airport. Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said the repercussions were real and upsetting, Apple’s Tim Cook told his staff the order was not a policy Apple supports and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the executive order was so un-American it pains us all. Starbucks says it will hire 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years and the effort would start in the United States.

Meanwhile the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled below 20,000 as markets digested the implications of Presidents travel ban order falling 158 points.

Volkswagen has become the world's best-selling car manafacturer, the first time the German company has held the position. Last year they sold 10.31 million vehicles, beating Toyota’s 10.17m into second place. The milestone comes despite VW's scandal over emissions tests cheating, which sparked a global backlash and multiple lawsuits.

Sony has taken a hefty $1bn write-down on the value of its movie business, as DVD and home entertainment sales continue to fall, under the climb of online streaming services. Their movie division has also struggled, with recent flops including an all-female Ghostbusters sequel. Sony had warned earlier this year its movie division could post more losses.

SPORT

Football - West Ham have accused Dimitri Payet of showing a lack of commitment and respect after the French international decided to rejoin Marseille for £25m. The Hammers insist they didn’t need to sell him but did so in the interests of squad unity. Payet said he had an exceptional year with West Ham but needed to return to his roots at his former club where he has signed for four-and-a-half-years.

Athletics - Great Britain’s Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia, says he is relieved he can return to his home in America, after it was clarified that Donald Trump’s travel ban will not apply to him. British travellers with dual nationality, are now only subject to the ban, if they fly to the US from one of the 7 banned countries on the list. However, advice for anyone with dual nationality from one of the banned countries is to ‘think very carefully’ before making a journey to America.

Tennis - Roger Federer has defied age and injury to win his first Grand Slam title in five years with a thrilling five set victory over Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open yesterday. It’s his 18th Grand Slam title overall and further extends his lead at the top of the men’s major winners’ list.

UPDATE 07:00

Elections - Benoit Hamon has beaten former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to represent the socialist party in April’s presidential election. Hamon won the run-off vote on Sunday with just over 58% of votes compared to 41% for Mr.Valls.

Motorcycle Accident - A motorcyclist has been seriously injured on the RM 6202 between Nice-Lingostiere and Saint-Isidore. The accident happened shortly after 5.30pm on Sunday. Police have launched an investigation.

Earth tremor - An earth tremor has been registered in the Mercatour Park.The epicenter of the quake was registered  between Saint-Martin-Vésubie and Valdeblore and took place at 4.43 on Sunday morning with a magnitude of 2.5.

Roadworks - Due to maintenance work, traffic will be modified in the tunnel running through Toulon from the 30th January to 3rd February from 10pm to 6am. Access to the A57 motorway westbound will be at the Valletta Center interchange. 

Petition - A petition with more than 600 signatures has been set up ahead of plans to end the free bus service to and from Nice stadium. The local council voted on Friday to end the free service which is available on the night of matches and concerts and is planned to be ended as of September.

National

Fillon - Former Prime Minister Francois Fillon has claimed that there are "forces at work to silence [him]" and vowed to continue fighting. Fillon, a former prime minister who won the conservative Republicans' nomination last year, has been dealt a serious blow by claims his Welsh-born spouse Penelope did nothing to earn half a million euros paid from public funds over eight years. He has insisted that his wife has always worked for him during his four-decade political career, carrying out tasks including speech editing and representing him at events.

Handball - France won the handball world championships for a sixth time with a 33-26 victory against Norway on Sunday.

Business

Asian markets and US stock futures have fallen today after President Trump introduced immigration curbs that sparked criticism both in America and overseas. Markets are concerned that Mr Trump’s ‘America First’ policy will have a negative effect and will prove to be destabilising for the rest of the world. Australian shares fell by more than 1 percent on the news with New Zealand’s stock market down 0.6 percent and Japan’s Nikkae down 0.7 percent as investors sought the safe-haven yen. Dow Jones and Nasdaq futures fell by 0.3 percent pointing to a lower opening on Wall Street. Analysts say that the biggest threat to markets at the moment is if Mr Trump continues down the path of protectionism without concentrating on economic policies.

Starbucks has pledged to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next 5 years in response to Donald Trump’s immigration ban. In an open letter to staff over the weekend,Starbuck’s chief executive Howard Schultz said that Mr Trump’s order had caused “confusion,surprise and opposition”. Starbucks will start its plan by recruiting in the United States and will focus on people who have served in or supported the military. Mr Schultz is the latest US corporate chief to criticise the immigration ban with executives from Silican Valley heavyweights Facebook,Google and Tesla all making public statements. Airbnb meanwhile,is offering free accommodation to people affected by the travel restrictions and unable to enter the US.

And-Oil prices have continued to fall back this morning on signs of growing output in the United States that could partly offset output cuts by Opec and other producers. London Brent Crude for March delivery was down by 28 cents earlier this morning to 55 dollars 24 while NYMEX Crude was down 27 cents to 52 dollars 90. The Baker Hughes weekly US oil and gas rig count showed that American drillers added 15 rigs last week bringing the total count to 566-the most since November 2015.

Sport

Tennis-Roger Federer has rolled back the years to win his first Grand Slam title for 5 years with a thrilling 5 set victory over Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s Australian Open in Melbourne. The 35 year old secured his 18th Grand Slam title with the victory to extend his lead at the top of the al-time men’s major winners’ list. The victory was all the more remarkable given that it was Federer’s first tournament since Wimbledon last July.

Football-Non league Sutton United have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup in England following a 1-0 win over Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United. Sutton join Lincoln City in the next round.It’s the first time in 104 years and two non league teams have reached the 5th round. In Sunday’s other 4th round results Millwall beat Watford 1-0.Fulham beat Hull 4-1 and Manchester United beat Wigan 4-0.

Cricket-India have beaten England by 5 runs to level the T20 series. India made 144-8 from their 20 overs and then restricted England to 139-6 from their 20 overs. New Zealand are playing Australia in the first one day international in Auckland. The home side batted first and made 286-9 from their 50 overs. In reply,Australia had reached 191-7 in 40 overs.

Rugby Union-The England winger Anthony Watson will miss the 6 Nations games against France and Wales after picking up a hamstring strain. The 22 year old is expected to be out of action for 3-4 weeks.

Athletics-Great Britain’s Sir Mo Farah says that he’s “relieved” that he can return to his US home after it was clarified that US President Donald Trump’s travel ban doesn’t apply to him. Somali nationals are among those banned from travelling to the US under the President’s executive order which was issued on Friday. Sir Mo was born in Somalia and had been subject to the travel ban before the UK government intervened on Sunday. British travellers with dual nationality are now only subject to the ban if they fly to the US from one of the 7 banned countries on the list.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light variable or westerly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Cloudy tomorrow with a high of 14 degrees,fine on Wednesday with a high of 16.

Finally

A book has been returned to Orkney Library more than 43 years after it was meant to be brought back.

The biography of a local poet was due to be returned before 24 October 1973.

It was finally checked back in after being found during a house clearance.

Library manager Gary Amos told BBC Scotland: "The person who returned it was amused. There was no fine - it was from too long ago. These things happen periodically."