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Riviera and French News Friday 31st March 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Arms Find - A father and son continue to be held by police, after yesterdays dawn raid in Cap d’Ail yielded a cache of guns, ammunition and bullet proof vests. The 29 year old son is well known to police for drugs, violence and theft. However, it’s unclear if the arms were intended to survive what they believe to be an impending apocalypse, or connected with a recent conversion to Islam.

April - Tomorrow is the beginning of April and will see the introduction of a number of new measures including a drop in gas prices, a new €50 note and a requirement on trades people to publish their full prices online. It’s also the end of the winter freeze on evictions with many hard up households who have not paid rent open to a visit from the bailiffs.

Restaurant - The French company Flo who operate the Quik fast food restaurants, have received a takeover offer from the company who own Burgerking. If agreement is reached, the Quick brand will convert to Burgerkings across France in 2020.

BUSINESS

Inflation in the eurozone slowed dramatically in March with Eurostat saying inflation slowed to 1.5%, from 2.0% in February. The European Central Bank targets inflation of close to, but below, 2%. With inflation running close to that target, ECB chief Mario Draghi has been under pressure to wind-down efforts to stimulate the eurozone but the latest report could ease that pressure.

Dutch prosecutors have launched co-ordinated raids in several countries against suspected money-launderers and tax evaders. Undeclared assets such as paintings, gold bars, cash, luxury cars and jewellery have been seized. As well as the Netherlands, there have been searches in France, Germany, the UK and Australia.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics says economic growth was robust late last year, driven by a rise in consumer spending. However, it is worried that the spending was funded by households dipping deeper into savings and running up debt. The savings ratio has now fallen to its lowest since the early 1960s.

SPORT

Football - AS Monaco and Paris St Germain face off in tomorrows Coupe de la Ligue final in a mouthwatering match between the two best teams in France. Monaco are well placed to take the cup as they top Ligue 1 with a 3 point cushion and have won their last six games in a row. Meanwhile, Paris St Germain have had an up and down season so far including crashing out of the UEFA Champions League and not being able to beat Monaco in their three games against the principality side this year. Kick off is 9pm tomorrow night in Lyon.

Tennis - Roger Federer plays the final of the Miami Open this weekend when he takes on Australian Nick Kyrgios. Tomorrow, in the womens tennis, Johanna Konta will become the first British woman to reach the Miami Open final, where she faces world #14 Caroline Wozniacki. She says it will be a battle but she is confident.

Rugby - It’s European Cup quarter finals this weekend with Wasps playing Leinster and Munster playing Toulouse tomorrow. Then on Sunday Saracens take on Glasgow and there is an all French clash between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon.

UPDATE 07:00

Monaco Robbery - The last suspect of the armed robbery at the Cartier Store in Monaco has been arrested. Police reported that the man was arrested on Thursday afternoon in Antibes. Three men were arrested within seven hours of the incident at the Place de Casino in Monaco on Saturday. Nobody was injured during the raid and almost all of the stolen jewellery worth several million euros was recovered.

Nice Attack - The family of Yanis killed during the Nice attack on July 14th have demanded that a fresh investigation be conducted by another prosecutor. An investigation into the security situation on night of the attack led by the Nice prosecutor was filed on the 19th January.However, the family has demanded that the procedure on the security flaws be reopened. In total, 23 families of the victims filed complaints against the investigation carried out by the State and the municipality of Nice. 86 people died in the attack and 450 were wounded.

French Presidential - A member of the Marseille Socialist Party  Sylvie Lion-Noguier is suing her own party over former prime minister Manuel Valls's declaration of support for centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Lion-Noguier filed a case for breach of trust against the party and the body that ran the primary election, in which left-winger Benoît Hamon beat Valls and five other candidates.

Motorists - According to a recent study of French drivers only 46% of motorist in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur are good drivers. According to the Axa Prevention Study, drivers in the region are very careless with telephoning at the wheel and not respecting speed limits the worst offences.

National

Brexit - French President Francois Hollande has told the British Prime Minister Theresa May that the EU is not prepared to discuss Britain’s future relationship with the bloc until the conditions of its exit have been agreed. The French president used a phone conversation with the prime minister on Thursday to echo remarks by the European council president and the German chancellor, that trade and divorce talks could not be held in parallel.

Business

The US economy grew faster in the final quarter of 2016 than initial estimates,according to the latest data. The economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.1 percent in the 4th quarter according to the Commerce Department-up from a previous estimate of 1.9 percent. Consumer spending,which accounts for around two thirds of US economic activity was stronger than initially thought but the economy still slowed overall from the third quarter which saw growth of 3.5 percent. The sluggish growth rate will make it more difficult for President Trump to meet his pledge to lift US GDP to 4 percent through tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Emma Walmsley becomes the new chief executive of the UK’s biggest drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline today,replacing Sir Andrew Witty,who’s retiring. Ms Walmsley,who describes herself as “extremely competitive” joined GSK in 2010 from L’Oreal and has been the firm’s head of consumer healthcare. She’s GSK’s first female chief executive and one of only 7 female chief executives of FTSE 100 firms. As she has no previous experience in a chief executive role and has no background in pharmaceuticals,her starting salary will be 25 percent lower than her predecessors. GSK is the 5th largest company traded on the London Stock Exchange.

And-The South African President Jacob Zuma has sacked his Finance Minister after days of speculation that’s rocked the country’s markets and currency. Earlier this week,President Zuma recalled Pravin Gordhan from planned events in the UK.He’s been replaced by Malusi Gigaba. Mr Gordhan was charged with fraud last year but the charges were subsequently dropped.He described the accusations as being “politically motivated”. The former Minister had been seen as standing up to President Zuma in cabinet and has warned about the “rampant” spread of corruption.

Sport

Football-The English Premier League is back in action this weekend with the big game the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton the lunchtime game tomorrow. Also tomorrow,Burnley play Spurs,the leaders Chelsea host Crystal Palace,Hull play West Ham,Leicester face Stoke,Manchester United host West Brom,Watford play Sunderland and Southampton play Bournemouth. On Sunday,Swansea  play Middlesbrough and Arsenal host Manchester City. There’s 1 game in the Scottish Premiership tonight.Dundee play Aberdeen and in the English Premier League Derby host QPR.

Tennis-Roger Federer is into the final of the Miami Open after beating the number 10 seed Tomas Berdych in three sets. Federer saved two match points before coming out 6-2 3-6 7-6 winner. In the women’s event Caroline Wozniacki is into the final after beating Karolina Pliskova.She’ll now play Johanna Konta of Great Britain who beat Venus Williams.

Rugby Union-The quarter finals of the European Cup take place this weekend. Tomorrow,Wasps play Leinster and Munster play Toulouse. On Sunday Saracens play Glasgow and it’s an all French clash between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon.

Rowing-Cambridge will have the heavier crew going into the 167th University Boat Race against Oxford along the River Thames on Sunday. The Light Blues crew weighed in at 747.6 kg against 721.7 kg for Oxford. Cambridge will be attempting to win the race for the second year in a row. It’s live on BBC TV(if you can get it) at 6.35pm on Sunday.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable winds. Top temperature 19 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with cloudy skies.

The weekend-Overcast with rain and some thunderstorms on Sunday.

Finally

Mind the gap... because the closest a Briton can stand next to a stranger without feeling uncomfortable is three feet. Coming any nearer makes us awkward – even if we don’t show it.

Researchers found that Argentines were the most relaxed with strangers and set a limit of 76.5cm before they felt uneasy. Romanians liked to keep the biggest gap, at 1.39m.

At an average distance of 99.4cm, the UK was ranked 26th in a list of 42 countries whose citizens feel most ill at ease with strangers.

Brits were more comfortable at closer distances than those in China, Portugal or Brazil. The study said cultural differences could be behind the differences – but other factors were at play. 

In general, those in warmer countries were more likely to want to stand closer, but older generations and women prefer to be further apart.  

The research, led by academics at the University of Wroclaw in Poland, involved asking almost 9,000 participants from 42 countries to point out on a graphic how close they would stand to a stranger.

Both Americans and Germans are more at ease at closer distances than the British. 

 

 

 

 

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