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Riviera and French News Monday 6th March 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Storm - Meteó France has issued an Orange alert for a strong winter storm hitting the Var and Alpes-Maritimes this afternoon and lasting through the night. They say winds will reach speeds of 150km/h, especially along the coast between Cannes and Antibes, and Nice and Menton. In addition, there could be up to 40cm of snow in the upper Var. Parks have been closed in Nice as a precaution and drivers on the A8 motorway have been asked to be particularly vigilent. The storm is expected to peak during the night tonight but strong winds will continue tomorrow.

Accident - A woman in her 70s was seriously injured this morning when she was hit by a 19 ton garbage truck at Cros de Cagnes. The woman was walking around the truck but was not seen by the driver.

Strike - Several flights to and from Nice Cote d’Azur airport have been delayed or cancelled due to national strike action by air traffic controllers. The strike is due to last all week and could affect up to a third of flights across France.

Election - In the presidential election, Prime Minister Francois Hollande and regional president, Christian Estrosi, have both said they will do everything it takes to prevent Marine le Pen from winning. Surveys show Marine Le Pen could win the first round of elections but will lose out to Francois Fillon in the second. However, Monsouir Fillon’s campaign is in tatters over the ‘fake pay’ scandal and today, Alain Juppé has ruled himself out as an alternative candidate. The first round of elections take place on April 23rd.

Murder - The brother-in-law of a Frenchman missing along with his wife and two children, has admitted killing all four of the family. Pascal Troadec, his wife Brigitte, along with their 21-year-old son and 18 year-old daughter have been missing for almost three weeks.

BUSINESS

PSA, who manufacture Peugeot and Citroen cars, has struck a 2.2 billion euro deal to buy General Motors European unit which includes Vauxhall cars. The deal will make them the second largest carmaker in Europe behind Volkswagen.

Shares in Deutsche Bank have fallen 5% in early trading on news it plans to bolster finances by selling new shares. Germany's biggest bank plans to raise about 8 billion euros as part of a wider shake-up. Meanwhile the bank could be facing fresh legal action over foreign currency trading practices that are alleged to have cost its clients millions of dollars. It’s believed a US-based law firm, will announce later that it is to pursue a claim in Europe against Deutsche Bank over its so-called 'last look' trades.

The UK Chancellor is expected to increase taxes in his Budget speech this Wednesday, to tackle the UK's deficit, while building a fund to ensure a smooth Brexit.

SPORT

Rugby - Ireland fly-half Ian Madigan is to join Bristol from Bordeaux on a three-year deal. The former Leinster player, with 31 international caps, starts in the summer, regardless of whether or not Bristol are relegated from the Premiere League.

Formula 1 - Sauber driver Pascal Wehr.lein has been passed fit to drive in this week's pre-season test in Barcelona. He had missed last week's first test because of a back injury from a crash at January's Race of Champions.

Football - One game to watch for in the Premiere League tonight, when leaders Chelsea play away at West Ham.

UPDATE 07:00

Air Traffic Control Strike - The French air traffic control union has started a four-day strike which could see up to a third of flights delayed or cancelled at airports around France. Flights from today until Friday are expected to be affected by the strike although it is not clear  exactly when the strike would start and end. Passengers are advised to contact their airlines to find out if they will be affected.

Skiing accident - A 24 year old skier has died at the Foux d’Allos in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The victim accidentally fell into a ravine in an off-piste area on Sunday afternoon. The victim from Limoges was accompanied by a second skier of the same age who was taken to the medical centre at the resort in a state of shock.

Rescue Operation - A rescue operation in Marseille has been called off. Police and firemen were deployed en mass on Saturday evening to search for an 8 year old girl who had been swept away by a wave. The incident happened between the port of the Madrague de Montredon and the creek of Samena. The victim’s four year old sister and father were also caught by the wave which claimed the life of the four year old - the father is recovering in hospital. Rescue services called off the search shortly after 1.30pm on Sunday.
 

Chrisitan Estrosi - The President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region Christian Estrosi has called for François Fillon to withdraw from the Presidential race. Speaking as a guest on BFMTV on Sunday, Estrosi said “it cannot continue, I refuse to lead our militants and voters into a collective suicide”. In the event of a second round of voting between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, Estrosi added that he would not hesitate to “fight against Marine Le Pen with all his strength”.

 

National

Troadec Ivestigation - French police have arrested two people in connection with the disappearance of Pascal Troadec and his family, who have been missing since mid-February. The sister and brother-in-law of Troadec have been remanded in custody. The couple were detained in Brest, Brittany, the region the Troadecs came from and where several personal items belonging to them have been found.

Francois Fillon - With just 50 days to go before the first round of the French Presidential elections Francois Fillon took to the stage at Place du Trocadéro on Sunday to deliver a 30-minute speech. Fillon spoke of the “treason” of those who had abandoned him, but also delivered a mea culpa for the scandal that has shaken his campaign. Last Wednesday, Fillon admitted that he had been summoned by judges to be formally investigated over allegations that he had paid his wife and two children hundreds of thousands of euros of taxpayer’s money for jobs that, allegedly, did not exist. The couple have always denied any wrongdoing.

D-Day - The thousands of Britons who died in the D-day landings are to be remembered with a new monument. The memorial to those who died will be erected at the site of fierce fighting that occurred during and after the Allied landings in France in 1944 and will be unveiled on the 75th anniversary of D-day in 2019.

 

Business

US stock futures have fallen and Asian markets have been on the defensive this morning as investors factored in the near-certain prospect of a US interest rate hike this month against news of slower growth in China this year. Risk appetite has also taken a big hit on growing geopolitical tensions in East Asia after North Korea fired 4 ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan in what the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called “a new stage of threat”. Two of the missiles fell into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone after travelling more than 1,000 kilometres at 7.36 local time this morning. Japanese media has reported that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to visit Japan,South Korea and China later this month to discuss North Korea on his first trip to the region since he took up his post.

Deutsche Bank has announced that it plans to raise around 8 billion euros by issuing new shares. The share sale is part of a wider shakeup at the troubled German lender which is also to float its asset management business and retain Postbank-its retail banking business that it had been expected to sell. Germany’s largest bank is trying to reshape itself while wrestling with huge losses and a 15 billion euro legal bill imposed by regulators since 2012. The bank will be reorganised around 3 divisions:private banking and wealth management,asset management and corporate and investment banking.

And-General Motors is to announce the sale of its loss making Opel and Vauxhall subsidiaries to the PSA Group of France today. A press conference has been called in Paris this morning to announce the sale which the two firms want to make before the start of the Geneva Motor Show tomorrow. The sale could threaten 4,500 jobs at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton plants in the UK . The sale will make the PSA Group which already manufactures Peugeot and Citroen vehicles the second largest carmaker in Europe behind Volkswagen.

Sport

Football-There were two games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Manchester City moved up to 3rd in the table following a 2-0 win at Sunderland while Spurs are in second place,7 points behind the leaders Chelsea following a 3-2 win over Everton at White Hart Lane. Chelsea play away at West Ham tonight. Celtic are through to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup thanks to a 4-1 win over St Mirren  while Aberdeen made the last 4 with a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

Cricket-England have beaten West Indies by 4 wickets in the second one day international in Antigua to wrap up the series. West Indies batted first and could only manage 225 as they were bowled out by England in 47.5 overs. In reply,England got to the total in 48.2 overs making 226-6 including 90 not out from Joe Root and 68 not out from Chris Woakes. It’s day 3 of the second Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru with the tourists on top again. Earlier this morning,Australia were bowled out for 276 in their first innings,establishing a lead of 87.

Rugby Union-Billy Vunipola has been recalled to the England squad for next Saturday’s Calcutta Cup match against Scotland at Twickenham after recovering from a knee injury. The 24 year old number 8 played for the first time since November on Sunday as his club side Saracens won 35-27 at Newcastle. Also on Sunday in the Aviva Premiership in England Worcester beat Bristol 41-24.

Golf-World number one Dustin Johnson has won the World Golf Championships in Mexico. The 32 year old finished with a round of 68 to end on 14 under par-one shot ahead of England’s Tommy Fleetwood.

Weather

Partially cloudy but with some rain arriving in the middle of the day and strong westerly winds with gusts of up to 95 km/h. Top temperature 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies and remaining very windy.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Fine and sunny but very windy again tomorrow.Highs of 15-18 degrees.

Finally

Whether you love happy endings or a harsh blast of reality in TV dramas, you could soon be able to decide what you get.

Netflix,  the TV-streaming company behind hit shows such as The Crown and House Of Cards, is working on ways to give viewers control of key plot decisions.

The technology could also potentially be used to allow Princess Margaret to marry Peter Townsend in The Crown, instead of having her relationship with the divorcee blocked by the Establishment. Other storylines will be much more complex, allowing viewers to connect plot points in a variety of ways using their TV remotes.

A source said: ‘We’re doing work on branch narratives so you are actually making choices as you watch. All the content will be there, and then people will have to get through it in different ways.

‘We’ll see how it plays out. It’s an experiment. We’ll see if it gets much success. For creators, it’s new territory.’

Actors would film numerous alternate plot segment in advance, letting viewers choose which route to take through the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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