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Riviera and French News Monday 16th January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Rape - Police have arrested two brothers suspected of rapes between Nice and Châteauneuf-Ville-vieille. The first occurred on January 2nd when a drunk woman was picked up by the two in a rental car, and abandoned in the high country after being attacked. The pair struck again on the 6th of January when they picked up an 18 year old Bulgarian street worker, and carried out the same attack. Police using CCTV footage were able to identify the rental car and quickly track down the pair. They have been charged with gang rape and kidnapping.

Weather - The town of Cannes has activated a special emergency plan to protect the homeless during the current cold spell. It includes extra shelter beds and more facilities during the day. Meteó France says the Riviera’s particularly bad cold spell will last until at least Thursday. Winds blowing across the continent from Sibera are dragging daytime temperatures well below the norm for January, with daytime highs of eight or ten degrees.

Cigarettes - Sales of cigarettes are declining in France. It’s thought the new black packets, electronic cigarettes and a stop smoking campaign in November all helped. Sales could fall further this year with an expected increase of 40 cent on a packet coming later in January.

BUSINESS

Shares in German carmakers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler have fallen after Donald Trump warned that cars built in Mexico would be taxed at 35% if they were exported to the US. The President-elect said he would advise car firms not to waste their time and money by building factories in Mexico. BMW shares fell by 1.5% in Frankfurt, VW was down 1.8% and Mercedes Benz owner Daimler dropped 1.6%.

The pound has hit its lowest level for more than three months on reports Britain is set to quit the EU Single Market as part of its Brexit plans. Sterling fell more than 1% to below US$1.20 before recovering slightly. The pound also sank to a two-month low against the euro, falling to €1.13. Traders are reacting to reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May will use a speech tomorrow to signal a so-called "hard Brexit".

The eight richest people in the world, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet, have as much wealth between them, as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorer half of the world population. The figures provided by the charity Oxfam have been queried by critics.

SPORT

Tennis - At the Australian Open, Andy Murray has played his first Grand Slam game of the year, and the World #1, had a tough fight beating World #95 Illya Marchenko. The eventual result was a closer than expected 7-5 7-6 6-2. Murray is hoping to win this year after being defeated in five previous Australian finals. Meantime, four time champion, Roger Federer has comfortably made it to the second round. Also in Australia, #5 seed Kei Nishikori survived a 5 set thriller in the first round 5-7 6-1 6-4 6-7 6-2, to set up a second round match against France’s Jeremy Chardy. In the women’s event, 13th seed Venus Williams beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 7-5.

Football - Fifty million euro has been offered by a Chinese football club for an unnamed player with AS Monaco. Pundits are saying the offer is for Monaco’s Colombian center forward, Radamel Falcao. However, with Monaco sitting on top of the French League One it’s no surprise the offer was rejected. In the English Premier League yesterday, Manchester City lost 4-0 at Everton, while Manchester United and Liverpool drew 1-1 at Old Trafford.

Golf - England’s Graeme Storm has beaten Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win the South African Open. The pair finished on 18 under par in Johannesburg with Storm winning after 3 extra holes.

UPDATE 07:00

Cold spell - Meteo France has forecast a particularly cold spell this week throughout France with temperatures in the region lower than normal for this time of year. Highs of 6 to 8 degrees are forecast in the Alpes Maritimes. The cold spell is expected to ease near the end of the week. 

Football Supporter - A Marseille football supporter is recovering in hospital after falling 20 meters during last night’s match against Monaco at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. Emergency services were called shortly after 11pm and the victim was taken to hospital.

Road Accident - Two vehicles have been involved in a head on collision on the RN7 in Le Muy in the Var. The accident happened on Sunday afternoon with both drivers- a man and a woman were taken to hospital. Police have launched an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident. Meanwhile four vehicles were stopped by police in Barjols on Sunday afternoon. Three drivers tested positive for alcohol and a fourth was driving without a license.

Strike action - The  municipal police in Nice have threatened strike action in protest against working conditions and new reorganisation measures. According to  unions, the proposals made so far are unacceptable. 

National

Pollution - Today sees pollution stickers being introduced in the French capital. The stickers are distributed by the Crit'Air anti-pollution agency and can be ordered online. On peak pollution days the dirtiest vehicles will be banned from the city streets, a system that will replace an alternating ban based on registration numbers. Meanwhile authorities in Paris have announced plans for a 300 million euro renovation on the Eiffel Tower. The announcement comes as Paris bids to hold the 2024 Olympic Games. The renovation will take place over the next 15 years and will include improvements to security.

Business

The pound has fallen below 1 US dollar 20 cents ahead of a key speech on Brexit by the British Prime Minister Theresa May. Sterling fell to its lowest level against the dollar since October on Sunday before edging up slightly. Analysts say that traders have been reacting negatively to reports that Mrs May will signal plans tomorrow to leave the single market. The pound has now fallen by 20 percent in value against the dollar since the referendum to lows last seen in 1985. Sterling also fell to a two month low against the euro to around 1 euro 13 cents. This year’s World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos is set to be dominated by China,Brexit and Donald Trump. Xi Jinping will be the first Chinese President to attend the meeting in its 47 year history and will make a speech in defence of free trade at the forum’s opening ceremony tomorrow.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to meet Mr Xi tomorrow after she’s made a keynote speech on Brexit in London. Donald Trump is not travelling to Davos but will be represented by one of his top advisors,Anthony Scaramucci,who’ll make a speech tomorrow to speak about the new US President’s plans. More than 3,000 influential business leaders and politicians will be attending the World Economic Forum this year including 1,200 chief executives and more than 50 heads of state.

And-Donald Trump has warned that the US government will impose a border tax of 35 percent on cars that BMW manufactures in Mexico for export to America. Mr Trump gave the warning in an interview with the German newspaper Bild on Sunday. Mr Trump said that BMW should build its new car factory in the United States as it would be “much better”for the company. He went on to say that Germany was a “great carmaker” but that its business relationship with the United States was a “one way street”.He added that he was an “advocate of free trade”,but not at any cost.

Sport

Tennis-The first Grand Slam tournament of the year,the Australian Open is underway in Melbourne with the number 5 seed Kei Nishikori surviving a 5 set thriller in the first round against Andrey Kuznetsov. Nishikori came through 5-7 6-1 6-4 6-7 6-2 to set up a second round match against Jeremy Chardy of France. The 27th seed Bernard Tomic of Australia is also through after beating Tomas Bellucci of Brazil in straight sets while in the women’s event the 13th seed Venus Williams beat Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-6 7-5. The 4th seed is out though.Simona Halep was beaten by Shelby Rogers of the United States 6-3 6-1.

Football-There were two games in the English Premier League on Sunday. Manchester City lost 4-0 at Everton-the worst defeat in Pep Guardiola’s managerial career while Manchester United and Liverpool drew 1-1 at Old Trafford.

Cricket-India have beaten England by 3 wickets in the first one day international in Pune. England batted first and made a challenging 350-7 in their 50 overs but they hadn’t reckoned on a Virat Kohli masterclass with the Indian batsman smashing 122 as India reached the total in 48.1 overs.

Rugby Union-There were 4 games in the European Champions Cup on Sunday. In Pool 3 Scarlets and Saracens drew 22 all and Toulon beat Sale 27-12. Saracens remain top of the pool ahead of their home game against Toulon next weekend. In Pool 6 the all French clash ended Bordeaux-Begles 6 Clermont Auvergne 9 while Exeter beat Ulster 31-19. Clermont Auvergne are the runaway leaders in the Pool ahead of Exeter in second.

Golf-Graeme Storm of England has beaten Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win the South African Open and claim his first European Tour victory since 2007. The pair finished on 18 under par at the Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg with Storm winning after 3 extra holes.

American Football-The New England Patriots have beaten the Houston Texans 34-16 to reach the AFC Title Game for the 6th successive time. The Patriots will play the Pittsburgh Steelers for a place in Superbowl after the Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16. The NFC Title game will feature The Green Bay Packers who beat The Dallas Cowboys 34-31 and The Atlanta Falcons who beat the Seattle Seahawks 36-20. Superbowl LI will be played at the NRG Stadium in Houston on the 5th of February.

Racing-The jockey Brian Fletcher has died at the age of 69. Fletcher won the Grand National 3 times including twice on the legendary Red Rum.He also won the Scottish National in 1974 and finished as runner up to champion jockey Josh Gifford. 

Weather

Clear skies in the Alpes-Maritimes-possible showers in the Var this afternoon with moderate north easterly winds.

Top temperature 10 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 2 degrees on the coast and -3 degrees inland with a widespread frost.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with a high of 9-11 degrees.

 

Finally

If you like curry then there is now even more reason to tuck in - it could help you live longer. People who ate hot chilli peppers were 13 per cent less likely to die than those who did not.

The most common diseases that spicy food seemed to ward off were heart conditions and stroke. A study said that diners get the benefit so long as they are eating hot peppers, meaning that anything from curry to Mexican food could give you the benefit.

Spicy food has long been thought to be beneficial in the treatment of diseases but only one previous study looked at its relationship with mortality.

 

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