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Riviera and French News Monday 23rd January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Election - The first round of the French Socialist primary elections has been won by an outsider, who wants to legalise cannabis and introduce a universal basic income. Benoît Hamon took 36% of the national vote while former Prime Minister Manuel Valls came second with 31%. However, the Alpes-Maritimes bucked the national trend with more votes for Manual Valls. The local results were 35% for Manuel Valls and 33% or Benoît Hamon. Hamon will now face Valls in the final round.  Meanwhile, a survey from Le Monde newspaper shows Marine Le Pen commands about 26% percent of support among voters, compared to 25% for conservative Francois Fillon. Until now Fillon held a three-point lead over National Front leader Le Pen. Independent Emmanuel Macron has risen to third place with the support of 20%.

Fire - A 59 year-old man has died after a fire broke out in an apartment on Boulevard Mantega Righi in Nice overnight. The fire broke out at 3.30am leading to 20 nearby residents being evacuated, and one man in his 80s, being taken to hospital. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Mayor - The Mayor of Bar-sur-Loup has announced his resignation from the post. Last week the mayor was sentenced to 8 months prison in addition to a 7,500 euro fine, for sexual harassment of a town hall secretary.

Racist - The French professional football league has strongly condemned racist insults made against OGC Nice striker Mario Balotelli. The insults were thrown during a match in Bastia on Friday evening when supporters made monkey sounds throughout the match. Earlier, there were ugly scences when some Bastia fans stoned the Nice team bus, breaking two windows, as it arrived at the stadium. OGC Nice’s Twitter feed said the players had arrived safely but their bus, a little less so.

A8 Road Close - In traffic news, the Nice Nord junction on the A8 will be closed tonight from 9pm to facilitate construction works. The junction, No.54, will reopen at 5am. And exit number 51 near the Allianz Stadium, leading on to the RM6202 to Carros will also be closed each night this week. Local diversions are in place at both locations.

BUSINESS

US President Donald Trump has scheduled meetings with the Canadian Prime Minister and Mexican President to begin renegotiation the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mr Trump has called it the worst trade deal the US has ever signed and that if Canada and Mexico refuse to accept a renegotiation that provides a fair deal for American workers, then the US will move to withdraw from it.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's unexpected win in the US presidential election, has cost bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair nearly £5m. The company said it lost a total £40m between that, and some other customer friendly results, in the final three months of last year. However, it still expects underlying annual earnings to be around the middle of its predicted range of £390m-£405m.

The UK economy is to see three years of relatively slow growth as it comes to rely more on trade and less on consumer spending. The influential EY Item Club say higher inflation caused by a weaker pound would result in GDP growth of 1.3% in 2017 and just 1% the year after. A separate survey has found optimism in the UK financial services sector has hit its lowest level since the 2008 crash.

SPORT

Tennis - Rafael Nadal had a tough time beating Frenchman Gael Monfils at the Australian Open today but eventually got a 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4 to put him into the quarter-finals, where he will face third seed Milos Raonic. Britain’s Johanna Konta is also through to the quarter finals where she will take on the world number 9, and second seed Serena Williams. It will be her first time playing the 22-time Grand Slam winner but Konta says she is ready.

Football - AS Monaco’s total destruction of Lorient at Stade Louis Deux in Monaco yesterday afternoon, has put them 2 points clear at the top of the French League One. They next take on third place Paris St Germain in the capital next Sunday. OGC Nice sit at No.2 after being held to a 1 – 1 draw with Bastia. In the English Premier League, Chelsea have opened up an 8 point lead at the top of the table following a 2-Nil win over Hull on Sunday. In other results; Southampton beat Leicester 3-0 and Arsenal grabbed a late winner to come out 2-1 on top of Burnley.

Formula 1 - Bernie Ecclestone could step down as the sport’s chief executive as early as this week after a career lasting over for 40 years. However, with Liberty Media on the brink of completing its takeover of the sport, it’s thought that they want a complete fresh start to combat falling TV audiences, a lack of competition on the track and some long standing races which are struggling to survive financially.

UPDATE 07:00

Elections - The leftwing outsider Benoît Hamon, who wants to introduce a universal basic income, legalise cannabis and tax robots has topped the poll in the first round of the French Socialist primary elections. Hamon took 36% of the vote while Valls came second with 31%. According to figures, between 15,000 and 18,000 people voted in the Alpes Maritimes region on Sunday, Hamon will now face former Prime Minister Manuel Valls in the final round.  

Cedric Herrou - French farmer Cedric Herrou has been released without charges.Mr Herrou was taken to court in Nice for helping migrants.Authorities decided to lift his conviction on Friday evening. Herrou had been arrested, suspected of helping migrants avoid a police control near Sospel.

Racist Insults - The French professional football league has strongly condemned the racist insults made against the Italian striker of OGC Nice Mario Balotelli. The incident occurred during a match in Bastia on Friday evening. Balotelli posted on his Instagram account “supporters were allowed to make monkey sounds throughout the match and nobody says anything. Is racism legal in France or only in Bastia?”

Scam - A particularly sophisticated scam has been detected with fraudsters obtaining personal information through google messaging. Users are warned that a contaminated email is circulating which gives access to your google storage service, your Drive. Hackers have reportedly managed to take over several accounts and users are being asked to be very vigilant when using their account.

National

Pollution - Paris will be trying out its new anti-pollution traffic restrictions today with clear skies and cold weather leading to a heavy presence of fine particles in the capital's air. Since the 16th January motorists in Paris and 69 surrounding towns should have been displaying a sticker indicating how dirty their cars’ emissions are. The new ban is on the most polluting vehicles - those with diesel engines and those which are more than 16 years old - the sticker should tell police whether a car is in these categories. The only problem is that most drivers have yet to acquire the stickers.PUBLICITÉ

Le Pen - According to French daily newspaper Le Monde, French National Front leader Marine Le Pen commands between 25 and 26 percent of support among likely voters compared to 23-25 percent for conservative Francois Fillon. Until now Fillon held a three-point lead over Le Pen with 28 percent of support. Independent Emmanuel Macron has risen to third place with the support of 17-20 percent, depending on which other candidates choose to run.

Business

President Trump has said that he will soon start renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement(Nafta)with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts. Mr Trump,who strongly criticised the Agreement on the campaign trail,said on Sunday that meetings had been scheduled with the Canadian leader Justin Trudeau and the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The Nafta agreement came into force between the 3 countries in 1994.Mr Trump has called it the “worst deal that the United States ever signed”. A posting on the White House website that appeared over the weekend read that “if Canada and Mexico refuse to accept a renegotiation of Nafta that provides a fair deal for American workers,then the United States will move to withdraw from it”.

A probe into the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco by manufacturer Samsung has found that the overheating and burning of phones was caused by a defective battery. The firm withdrew the phone from sale in October last year after an earlier attempt to fix the problem failed. Samsung says that neither the software or hardware,other than the batteries were at fault in the device. The recall has cost Samsung around 5.3 billion dollars and has been hugely damaging to the firm’s reputation.

And-The British Prime Minister is to unveil a new industrial strategy  today,designed to boos the post-Brexit economy. Theresa May  says that the government will be “stepping up to a new active role”. Business leaders have broadly welcomed the plans which will focus on “sector deals” in areas such as life sciences and low emission vehicles. A government green paper will set out the ways that support can be provided to businesses by addressing regulatory barriers,agreeing trade deals and helping to establish institutions that encourage innovation and skills development.

Sport

Formula 1-Sources close to Bernie Ecclestone have said that he could step down as the sport’s chief executive as early as this week. Mr Ecclestone,who’s 86 has been at the forefront of Formula 1 for 40 years but with Liberty Media on the brink of completing its takeover of the sport,it’s thought that he’s now ready to step down. In September,Mr Ecclestone said that he’d been asked to stay on for three years but it’s understood that Liberty wants a complete revamp and he could be asked to move aside.

Tennis-Johanna Konta of Great Britain is through to the quarter finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne. The world number 9 beat the 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-4 and will now face the second seed Serena Williams in the last 8. Williams beat Barbora Strycova 8-5 6-4. In the men’s event David Goffin of Belgium has reached the last 8 following a 4 set win over Dominic Thiem of Austria.

Football-Chelsea have opened up an 8 point lead at the top of the English Premier League following a 2-0 win over Hull on Sunday. In the other results Southampton beat Leicester 3-0 and Arsenal grabbed a late winner to come out 2-1 on top of Burnley. In the 4th round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday Raith Rovers and Hearts drew 1-1 and Albion Rovers lost 3-0 at home to Celtic.

Rugby Union-The line-up for the quarter finals of the European Champions Cup has been decided. Clermont Auvergne will play Toulon.Leinster will host Wasps.Munster will play Toulouse and the defending champions Saracens will play Glasgow. Ties to be played over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of April.

Cricket-England have beaten India by 5 runs in the third and final one day international at Eden Gardens,Kolkata. England batted first and made 321-8 from their 50 overs including 57 not out from Ben Stokes. India were restricted to 316-9 from their 50 overs but win the series 2-1.

American Football-Superbowl LI will be between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots trounced the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 in the AFC Championship game last night while the Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship. Superbowl LI will be played at the NRG Stadium in Houston on February the 5th.

Weather

Rather cloudy with some bright spells later in the day and light to moderate easterly winds. Top temperature 15 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 1 degree inland with some frost in places.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with a high of 15 degrees.

 

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