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Riviera and French News Friday 3rd February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Louvre - It’s feared this morning’s terror attack in Paris will further damage the tourism industry in the capital and across the country. This evening France is launching its bid to host the Olympic Games at the Eiffel Tower, but world media are focussing instead on the man who attacked soldiers guarding the Louvre this morning with a machete knife shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. Since the Batacalan attack just over a year ago, visitor numbers to Paris been shrinking with a 15% percent drop in hotel reservations, similar to that experienced on the Cote d’Azur after the July 14th attack.

Court - A 29 year-old cleaning lady has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for the murder of her four year-old son. In January 2014, she drowned the boy in a bucket of water, then attempted suicide by turning on the gas to start a fire, which eventually destroyed the building on Rue Comboul in Nice. She did it to avoid going to jail for fraud and becoming separated from her son. The prosecution has requested a 10 year sentence but the court handed down 14 years.

Tax - Local tax rates in Nice are to remain the same for 2017 at 21.1% for council tax and 23.12% for developed land. Although, the rates remain unchanged, they are still among the highest in France.

BUSINESS

US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order to review regulations which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the government agency that makes sure banks and lenders treat consumers fairly. It was established after the financial crisis of 2008 but has been criticised by many on Wall Street who say it is overly-restrictive.

India’s state of Karnataka has said that Apple are to start making iPhones in it’s tech hub city of Bangalore, with initial manufacturing starting this April. Apple has yet to confirm the plan, saying just that they are keen to invest significantly in India.

SPORT

Football - This weekend it’s the battle of the table toppers as OGC Nice take on AS Monaco in one of the biggest derby matches of the season.  Last time the two teams met was in September, at Alliaz Stadium, where Nice enjoyed a convincing 4-0 win. However, Nice have only had one win during their last five visits to Stade Louis II and right now AS Monaco are on top form, picking up 9 wins and a draw from their last 11 games. As far as League One goes, both teams need a point from this match which kicks off tomorrow, 5pm at Stade Louis II.

In the English Premier League this weekend, the big game is tomorrow’s lunchtime kick off between the leaders Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. That’s followed by Crystal Palace playing Sunderland, Everton hosting Bournemouth, Hull against Liverpool, and Spurs versus Middlesbrough. On Sunday Manchester City play Swansea and Leicester host Manchester United.

Rugby - It’s Six Nations Championship weekend with Scotland and Ireland kicking off the first game at 3.25 with England against France at 5.50. England coach Eddie Jones has warned France to expect another war when they visit Twickenham for the game Saturday. It is the 103rd time both sides have met.

Golf - Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Dubai Desert Classic before the second round, because of a back problem. The 14-time major winner only returned to action in December after 15 months out following two back operations. He struggled in the first round shooting a five-over 77.

UPDATE 07:00

Local

Handcuffed and burnt - A forty year old man has been found handcuffed and burnt in an apartment in Beausoleil. The victim, a chef in a nearby pizzeria was discovered in a critical condition on Thursday shortly after 8pm by Monegasque firefighters. The man was taken to hospital in Nice. 

Avalanche Risk - Meteo France has issued an avalanche alert for the Isola-Tende area. The risk which has increased to a level 4 on a scale of 5 is due to heavy snowfall, of up to 50cm on Thursday evening. The Prefecture has strongly recommended skiers not to ski off piste.

Police Measure - The local council in Marseille is to decide on Monday if local police officers are to be equipped with individual cameras on an experimental basis. The measure which will cost 90,000 euros is part of the fight against organised crime and terrorism. The camera which will be part of a police officer’s uniform can be activated by the officer once they have informed the person that they are being filmed during an intervention. Any film taken can be retained up to six months. 

Nice Independent Carnival - The association which organises the independent carnival of Nice has announced that this year’s event is to be cancelled. The carnival which normally takes place in the neighbourhood of Saint-Roch on the 5th February is lacking financial means to meet new security measures. However small floats which have already been made by children in l’Ariane will still be included in various parades of the official Nice Carnival.

National

Serge Dassault - French billionaire and politician Serge Dassault has been fined two million euros and banned from public office for five years for money-laundering and tax evasion. The senator and boss of Dassault Aviation and Le Figaro newspaper was found to have hidden over 40 million euros in foreign bank accounts but was not sent to jail because of his age.

Fillon - French centre-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon has lashed out at critics amid an investigation into payments he allegedly made to his wife. The former Prime Minister is facing mounting pressure to quit the presidential race as prosecutors widened the investigation on Thursday to include payments allegedly made to two of his children. A French TV channel screened extracts from an interview with his Welsh-born wife in 2007 in which she told British media that she had never worked as his assistant. According to a survey carried out by France Info 6 out of 10 French believe it is time for Francois Fillon to stand down. 

Business

The chief executive of Uber has stepped down from Donald Trump’s economic advisory board following strong criticism from staff members and the public. In a memo to staff on Thursday,Travis Kalanick said that “joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted as just that”. Uber is among a number of companies who are concerned that Donald Trump’s immigration ban will have an impact on its workforce. The economic advisory board is due to meet with Mr Trump today.The Tesla chief executive Elon Muskw,who’s also a member has said that he will attend.Other companies involved in the panel include General Motors and IBM.

Snap,the owner of the online messaging system Snapchat has publicly filed plans to float on the New York Stock Exchange. Based on previous investments,Snap is likely to be valued at between 20 and 25 billion dollars. The company revealed that it made sales of 404 million dollars last year but a loss of 515 million. Snap started in 2011 when its co-founder Evan Spiegel was still at university. It now has 160 million daily users  with revenue growing by 600 percent last year.

And-The Bank of England has sharply increased its growth forecast for this year. In August of last year,the Bank predicted UK growth of 0.8 percent for this year but on Thursday dramatically increased its forecast to 2 percent. The increased growth forecast comes after the Bank was heavily criticised for being “too gloomy” after June’s Brexit vote.It now says that the revised figure takes into account increased spending and investment announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement.

Sport

Rugby Union-The 6 Nations Championship starts tomorrow with Scotland against Ireland at 3.25 and England against France at 5.50. Italy play Wales on Sunday. Elliot Daly will start on the wing for England against France with Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes in the second row and Maro Itoje at blind-side flanker. Nathan Hughes comes in at number 8 for the injured Billy Vunipola and Dylan Hartley retains the captaincy despite his well publicised disciplinary problems. At Murrayfield Josh Strauss,Fraser Brown and Huw Jones come into the starting XV  while Ireland have named flanker Sean O’Brien in the starting line-up after he returned to full training on Tuesday following a lengthy absence with a calf injury. Ian Henderson is preferred to Donnacha Ryan in the second row and Keith Earls and Simon Zebo start on the wings. Wales have made 5 changes to the team which beat South Africa last November for Sunday’s trip to Italy. Scrum-half Rhys Webb returns after injury  and props Nicky Smith and Samson Lee come in  with Jake Ball starting in place of the injured Luke Charteris. Number 8 Taulupe Faleteau  has failed to recover from a knee injury.

Football-In the English Premier League this weekend,the big game tomorrow is the lunchtime kick off between the leaders Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Also on Saturday Crystal Palace play Sunderland.Everton host Bournemouth.Hull play Liverpool.Southampton host West Ham.Watford play Burnley.West Brom play Stoke and Spurs host Middlesbrough. On Sunday Manchester City play Swansea and Leicester host Manchester United.

Golf-Sergio Garcia leads following the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic. The Spaniard fired a 7 under par 65 to lead by a shot from Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and George Koetzee of South Africa. Tiger Woods is struggling again after carding a first round 5 over par 77.

Cycling-The Dubai Tour leader Marcel Kittel says that he will not accept an apology after being punched in the face by Andriy Grivko of Ukraine during the third stage of the race. Grivko has been disqualified from the race following the incident and his team Astana has apologised. The incident happened early on the 200 kilometre stage when Grivko punched Kittel as the two were fighting for position. Kittel says that “what Grivko did has nothing to do with cycling and it’s a shame for the sport”.

Weather

Rain to start then clearing with sunny periods and moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with more rain developing.

The weekend-Unsettled with more rain at times but some sunny periods too.