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Riviera and French News Thursday 23rd February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Security - Security measures due to be put in place across the PACA region have been called into question by the Perfecture of the Alpes-Maritimes. A new security camera network and weapons for police are among the items the Perfecture has asked the region to adjust. Christian Estrosi has strongly condemned the request and has taken the matter up with the Interior Minister.

Housing - The city of Nice could be facing a housing crisis as the supply of social housing dries up. According the the Court of Auditors, last year, of 17,000 applications, only 2,000 were accepted. The undersupply also means many social housing units are grouped together creating ghettos.

Accident - A serious car accident has left one man seriously injured near Tourrettes. The accident happened last night when a speeding 20 year old drunk driver, collided with the 52 year old man in a rental car, flipping the speeding car in the air and landing behind the rental. The drivers are recovering in hospital in Frejus.

Motorway - Drivers on the A8 are warned a second speed radar has been installed at Saint-Isidore westbound, just after the Canta-Galet tunnel. That part of the motorway is particularly dangerous section and speed limits will be strictly enforced.

Tourism - New figures for tourism on the Cote d’Azur last year show a dramatic dip after the July 14th attack. However, when balanced against an excellent first half of the year and a better than expected autumn, the overall figures for 2016 are only slightly lower than 2015. Almost 11 million people visited the area last year mainly from the UK, Ireland and Italy, followed by American, German and Scandinavian tourists.

BUSINESS

Barclays Bank has reported an almost tripling of its annual profits, after strong progress was made in  restructuring the bank. The reorganisation included the sale of its Africa business and selling off assets which it deems ‘non-core’. Barclays reported a profit before tax of £3.2bn for 2016, up from £1.1bn the year before.

French car manufacturer PSA, who make Peugeot, Citroen and other cars, has reported a 92% increase in profits to 1.73 billion euros. They also say they are considering buying General Motors Opel and Vauxhall brands. The two firms are expected to sign a statement of intent in the next two weeks.

Germany's budget surplus hit a post-reunification high of nearly 24bn euros last year. Figures from Germany's Federal Statistical Office show the economy grew by 1.9% last year, thanks to a large increase in income tax and property tax payments as well as the good employment situation. This is the third year running that German government revenue has outstripped expenditure.

SPORT

Football - Wayne Rooney's agent is in China to see if he can negotiate a deal for the legendary forward to leave Manchester United. Although it’s thought unlikely a deal can be made before the Chinese transfer window closes at the end of the month, the fact that he’s there is a clear indication Jose Mourinho would let Rooney go.

Formula 1 - Lewis Hamilton has put the first laps on the Mercedes car he hopes will make him world champion for the fourth time. After he drove the new Mercedes at Silverstone in stormy conditions today, he said the car felt pretty awesome on its first outing. The car has been produced to new regulations aimed at making Formula 1 cars faster, more dramatic and more demanding of drivers.

Rugby - Ireland has announced Johnny Sexton is fit and will be part of the Ireland team to face France in Saturday's Six Nations match in Dublin. Scotland has announced John Barclay will be their captain for their encounter at home to Wales, and England have confirmed centre Jonathan Joseph is off the squad for the Italy game.

Tennis - British number three Kyle Edmund is through to the Delray Beach Open quarter-finals in Florida. His next match is against Milos Raonic for a place in the semi’s.

UPDATE 07:00

State Council - The State Council has rejected an appeal against the privatisation of the airports of Lyon and Nice. On March 7th 2016 a majority of the capital was transferred to the private sector for both Lyon Airport and Nice Côte d’Azur.
Investigation - The three men arrested on Tuesday believed to have been at an advanced stage of a planned terrorist attack had met at least once in Marseilles according to investigators. An enquiry has been started by the anti-terrorist section of the Paris Prosecutor’s office. 

A8 Motorway - A second  radar has been installed on the A8 motorway at Saint-Isidore westbound just after the Canta-Galet tunnel. This part of the A8 is known to be a particularly dangerous section of the motorway. In October 2015 there was a fatal accident involving a heavy goods truck at the Saint-Isidore toll gate.

Riviera - The world premiere of the new Riviera Sky TV series is to take place at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes as part of the MIP TV Festival in April. Riviera is a thriller in which the Côte d’Azur is the backdrop to characters with ‘questionable’ morals and complex relationships. It will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria later this year.

National

Emmanuel Macron - Emmanuel Macron’s Presidential campaign has been boosted by an alliance with the centrist François Bayrou. Bayrou, surprised supporters on Wednesday by offering to sacrifice a separate candidacy and join forces with the former Socialist economy minister. Shortly after the announcement, Macron told journalists he accepted the deal, including the demand for a law to clean up French politics, which he added would be a turning point in the Presidential campaign and in “political life”.

Olympics 2024 - Hungary’s government has announced it would withdraw Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics, citing a lack of political and national unity behind the application, and blamed it on its opposition. Bidding alongside Los Angeles and Paris, Budapest had been considered a long-shot candidate, pinning its hopes on the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020 initiative.

Business

Minutes from the first meeting of the US central bank since Donald Trump assumed the Presidency show that members think they might have to raise interest rates “fairly soon”if the economy remains strong. Most economists think that the most likely time for a rate increase is June but Fed officials appear to be divided on the timing of a rise amid uncertainty over Mr Trump’s policies. The minutes from the Federal Open Markets Committee show that several members have expressed fears that unemployment could fall substantially below the Fed’s 4.8 percent target.That could trigger inflation pressures and force the central bank to raise rates at faster pace than financial markets expect.

Tesla says that it’s on track for its mass-market Model 3 Sedan to hit volume production in September in an encouraging message to investors who see the new electric vehicle as the route to profitability for the firm. Tesla,however is still short of cash and the company’s chief executive Elon Musk has hinted that he may go back to Wall Street in a bid to raise more funds. The firm plans an extra 2 to 2.5 billion dollars in capital spending before the launch of the Model 3 and currently has around 3.4 billion dollars in cash to hand. Mr Musk said that a number of options are being considered but that it probably makes sense to raise more capital to reduce risk.

And-The Australian airline Qantas has announced a 7.5 percent fall in under-lying pre-tax profit for the 6 months to December. Lower fares and increased competition saw profits fall to 852 million Australian dollars or 656 million US dollars. Revenue slipped by 3.3 percent to 8.18 billion Australian dollars. However,the figures were better than guidance given by the airline and Qantas shares rose by 5 percent on the news.

Sport

Football-Leicester City were beaten by Sevilla in their round of 16 Champions League first round tie but grabbed an away goal to take into the second leg. Leicester lost 2-1 on the night but a second half Jamie Vardy goal will give them some hope. The other tie last night ended Porto 0 Juventus 2. Manchester United are through to the last 16 of the Europa League following a 1-0 win on the night at Saint Etienne last night.United take the tie 4-0 on aggregate. Spurs are In action in their round of 32 second leg tie against Gent tonight,trailing 1-0 from the first leg. There was 1 game in the English Championship last night.Fulham were 2-0 winners at Bristol City.

And-Hibs are through to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup after beating rivals Hearts 3-1 in the Edinburgh derby replay last night.

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton says that he’s expecting a “massive challenge” this season and that he’s no idea if he’ll be fit enough for the new cars. The triple world champion says that he’s been training hard but doesn’t know if Mercedes will remain in front this year. Several teams have unveiled their cars for 2017 which are expected to generate much more downforce than last year and could be up to 4 seconds quicker on lap times. In an interview with the BBC,Hamilton said that he thought Red Bull would be the team to watch in pre-season testing.

Cricket-India are playing Australia on day 1 of the 1st Test in Pune. Australia won the toss and decided to bat and they made a good start before David Warner was out bowled by Umesh for 38 with the tourists on 82.

Rugby Union-Jonathan Joseph has been left out of the 24 man England squad for Sunday’s 6 Nations game against Italy. Joseph has played in all 15 Tests under Eddie Jones but he’s returned to his club for the weekend . England will confirm their starting XV and replacements on Friday morning.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable or southerly winds. Top temperature 15-17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with a high of 16 degrees.

Finally

Two friends who have previously shared £25 lottery wins are now sharing a larger pot – with a win of £15 million

Lorraine Smith said that there was no chance she wouldn’t share the win with her best friend Paula Barraclough – and both say the win ‘won’t change’ their friendship.

The pair from Sunderland, who call each other Polly and Lolly, have previously put £25 wins towards a joint holiday fund.

This time, instead of going towards a trip to the Greek islands, the mammoth win will allow the friends of 17 years standing to fly first class to Las Vegas.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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