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Riviera and French News Thursday 16th March 2017

Riviera Radio News Alert - Two students armed with several weapons have attacked a high school in the French town of Grasse. The government has sent a nationwide terrorist attack warning to smartphones, and police are urging local residents to stay indoors. A spokesman for the French interior ministry says eight people were hurt after the gunmen entered the Alexis de Tocqueville high school and opened fire. Police sources say a 17-year-old student has been arrested, and the suspect was carrying a rifle, two handguns and two grenades. Grasse's mayor said another student, who is also armed, remains on the run. France 3 reports that one of the gunmen had browsed the internet for information about school shootings in America prior to the attack. It is thought both suspects were intending to shoot a classmate, and the headmaster was injured when he tried to intervene. A shopkeeper opposite the school told Franceinfo he heard "several shots" and three schoolgirls had taken refuge inside his store. Other schools across the town have been put on lockdown, according to local officials. France remains in a state of emergency following deadly attacks in Paris and Nice over the past two years.

Local

Tuberculosis - A case of tuberculosis has been reported at the International School in Valbonne. The patient was admitted to hospital in Antibes. The regional health authority has taken the necessary steps to protect those who may have been in contact with the patient when the case was reported on the 2nd March. Tuberculosis is a contagious disease that can been transmitted through the air expired by the patient, particularly during close, direct and repeated contact.  

Robbery - A forty year old man has been hospitalised after being robbed at his restaurant in Cannes. The robbery happened on Tuesday evening at around 8pm when the bar was closed. The victim was reportedly  threatened with a gun, hit on the head and tied up. Police are still searching for the aggressor who fled the scene.  

National Front - France’s far-right National Front has suspended a party official for Holocaust denial after he suggested there was no mass killing in the Nazi concentration camps. Benoît Loeuillet, head of the FN in Nice, was secretly filmed making the comments, which will be broadcast in a documentary. The film-makers, from TV Press Productions, had asked to follow the FN in the Alpes-Maritimes region earlier this year to understand why so many young voters support the far-right party led by Marine Le Pen, a frontrunner for the first round of France’s presidential election at the end of April. When the party failed to respond to their request, the journalists recorded officials in secret for two months.

Presidential Campaign - Presidential candidate Francois Fillon met the Mayor of Marseille Jean Claude Gaudin. The meeting in Marseille was held ahead of Fillon’s rally in the Vaucluse on Wednesday evening.

Accident - Two lanes were closed on Wednesday evening on the A8 motorway after an accident involving several vehicles caused longs delays and heavy traffic. The incident occurred shortly after 5.30 at Cros-de-Cagnes exit 48 eastbound. No casualties were reported.

Allergy – Health Authorities in the region have warned those with an allergic tendency that due to the current mild weather there is a high risk of a reaction to the pollen from the regions cypress trees.

National

Migrant Camp - Security forces in France are to start dismantling another migrant camp on the northern coast near the port of Dunkirk after clashes at the site. The population of the camp has swelled to about 1,400 to 1,500 people since the destruction last October of the squalid "Jungle" camp near Calais, about 40 kilometres away.

Flyboard Air - The French inventor of a record-breaking jet-powered hoverboard says he will reluctantly have to leave France after being summoned to a local police station and informed that he must stick to the rules. The only problem is that the rules have not yet been written. Franky Zapata, the creator of the Flyboard Air, which can fly for more than 2,500 metres said the intervention was typical of French bureaucrats’ attitude to innovators.

Business

The US Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% for only the third time in a decade. The central bank voted to raise its key rate target to a range of 0.75% to 1%. The Fed had been expected to raise rates after a robust February jobs report, solid pay gains, rising inflation and a dip in the unemployment rate to 4.7%. Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to increase rates a total of three times this year.

And - The Trump administration has laid out plans to boost US defence spending by $54bn while slashing funding for foreign aid. The federal government budget plan will be submitted to Congress on today. The US State Department, which oversees foreign affairs, faces a budget cut of about 28%. And the Environmental Protection Agency is in line for cuts to programmes that President Trump does not agree with such as climate change and renewables. That includes initiatives intended to bring the US into line with its Paris Agreement climate deal obligations.

Sport

Football – Manchester City are out of the Champions League after Monaco struck late to seal a thrilling away-goals victory, which ended 6-6 on aggregate.

And - Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford will be named in Gareth Southgate's England squad today. The 19-year-old was initially expected to feature for the England Under-21 side in friendlies against Germany and Denmark next weekend. But with England forwards Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney both ruled out through injury, Rashford will be called up. England face Germany away in a friendly before a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on 26 March.

Rugby - Wales have named an unchanged side for the third consecutive game when they play France in the Six Nations in Paris on Saturday. Hooker Ken Owens will win his 50th cap as coach Rob Howley sticks with the 23-man squad that beat Ireland 22-9 in Cardiff last Friday.

Cheltenham 2017 - Special Tiara won the Queen Mother Champion Chase but 2-9 favourite Douvan struggled in a major shock on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. The 10-year-old Special Tiara (11-1) finished a head clear of Fox Norton (7-1) with Sir Valentino (33-1) third.

Weather

Fine and sunny today with clear skies across the region. 18 degrees in Nice and Menton. Highs of 20 degrees in Antibes. In the Var 20 degrees in Saint Tropez and Toulon. This evening lows of 8 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 5 degrees in the Var.

The outlook for Friday and the weekend – Temperatures staying much the same, wind is forecast in the Var for Friday and Saturday and Sunday is looking mainly fine with some passing cloud. 

Finally

An international team of astronomers is trying to solve one a space mystery - about a 'rogue' planet that could be 40 times the size of Jupiter. The object - currently only known by the rather cumbersome name CFBDSIR2149-0403 - was first spotted in 2012. But five years later it's exact nature is still perplexing experts.

A recent video by UFO spotters Secure Team 10 has outlined the dilemma faced by space spotters who have never seen anything like it before.

They believe the object, may be a rogue planet, which means it orbits the galaxy itself like an 'orphan', instead of orbiting the Sun like our Earth.

 

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