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Riviera and French News Tuesday 24th January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Fire - It’s believed overheated electric wires were the cause of the apartment fire which killed a 59 year-old man in Nice yesterday. The man, who was partly deaf and blind, lived alone in the one bedroom apartment. Two police officers were injured during the blaze and 20 near residents were evacuated from their homes.

Homeless - A homeless man has been arrested after stealing credit cards and a van from an Antibes man who gave him shelter for the night. The man, who was found and arrested on Place de Gaulle, was in possession of the credit cards, as well as pocket knives and a small packet of cannabis.

Oscars - The French actress, Isabelle Huppert, is among the Oscar nominees announced in Hollywood today. She has been nominated as Best Actress, just two weeks after winning the Golden Globe in the same category. The Oscar nomination is for her role in the movie Elle, which tells the tale of one woman’s hunt for an unknown man who attacked her in her home.  The movie was directed by ‘Basic Instinct’ director Paul Verhoven. Isabelle is up against Emma Stone in LaLa Land and Meryl Streep’s performance in Florence Jenkins for the Oscar. In other movie news, Roman Polanski has pulled out of presenting at this years Cesar awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars. The decision comes after outrage among women's groups, who had called for protests.

BUSINESS

The boss of BT's Continental European operation is to resign after the firm was forced to write down the value of its Italian unit by £530m. It’s after nn investigation found improper accounting practices and overstatement of earnings over a number of years. BT's shares plunged 18% on the news.

Sterling has fallen slightly after the UK's highest court ruled on a legal challenge over the Brexit vote saying that the British Government needs the approval of Parliament to trigger Article 50, the formal process of leaving the European Union.

Meanwhile Airbus has warned Brexit could lead to serious problems if it cannot seamlessly move people and products around the European Union. The wings of Airbus aircraft are manufactured in Wales before being shipped to Toulouse for final assembly. The UK facility employs 6,000 people.

SPORT

Tennis - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is out of the Australian Open after being beaten by fourth seed Stan Wawrinka this morning.  Now he is set for a mammoth semi-final clash against Roger Federer, who coasted into the semi-finals with a straight-set defeat over Mischa Zevrev, the player who knocked Andy Murray out of the competition over the weekend. Meanwhile, Murray has not been included in Britain's Davis Cup team for next month's games in Canada as he recuperates following his early Australian exit. Team captain Leon Smith said Andy has played an awful lot of tennis, particularly in the last six months, and at some point you need to take a break. Back in Australia, Venus Williams has reached the semi-finals for the first time in 14 years. The 36-year-old has never won the title. Her best performance to date was coming runner-up to her sister Serena in 2003.

Formula 1 - After 40 years at the top, Bernie Ecclestone has been removed as Formula 1's boss, after Liberty Media became the new owner of the sport today. Their new chairman Chase Carey says they want to bring fans back to the sport and make Formula 1 more exciting and competitive again.

UPDATE 07:00

Terrorism - Recent figures published have shown that Nice represents 10.8% of the total of national procedures related to terrorist attacks. Nice has a total of 44 cases, slightly more than Marseille. According to the prosecutor of Nice Jean Michel Prêtre these figures show the extraordinary activity in the fight against radicalisation and terrorism.  

Rescue Operation - Rescue services in the Vésubie are searching for a missing 35 year old hiker. The man is thought to have set off on Saturday and was reported missing by relatives on Sunday. Rescue services started searching on Monday morning at an altitude of 1,500 meters in an area where at night temperatures fall below zero.

Pastry Chef - Etienne Leroy from Antibes has become the world champion pastry chef with his team at the event held in Lyon on Monday night. 23 teams participated in this year’s competition, the theme was rock’n’roll. France beat both Japan and Switzerland. Leroy is pastry chef at the Cap-Eden Roc Hotel in Antibes.

Jules Bianchi - The President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region Christian Estrosi has inaugurated a street in Nice named after the local Formula One driver Jules Bianchi. The young driver died tragically in 2015.

Mimosa - The mimosa is currently in bloom. Originating from Australia it’s become a symbol of the Côte d’Azur. The season which started at the end of December will last until March. Several tourist routes are dedicated to the yellow gold flower with several festivals taking place, the most famous which lasts a week from the 15th to the 22nd February is in Mandelieu-La-Napoule.

National

French Finance Minister - French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has failed to impress US bankers in a pitch to move their London operations to Paris following Brexit – because he spoke to them in French through an interpreter according to reports in the Financial Times. Sapin who was visiting Washington DC, addressed senior bankers at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America as well as Swiss lender UBS over lunch. None of the banks have commented publicly on the meeting, or whether they are likely to move London operations to Paris, but one unnamed source told the British business daily: “The fact that the French minister of finance needed to discuss this via an interpreter was seen ... as a negative.” France is eager to attract companies. Last week, HSBC confirmed plans to move 1,000 employees from London to Paris.

Business

President Trump has signed an executive order to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership TPP. The 12 nation trade deal had been a linchpin of former President Obama’s Asia policy although it had still to be ratified by Congress. Mr Trump said that his actions were “great news for the American worker”.During his election campaign,he’d criticised the accord  as a “potential disaster for the United States” as it harmed manufacturing. The TPP which had been backed heavily by US business was aimed at strengthening ties and boosting growth by reducing tariffs. The internet search company Yahoo says that it will complete the sale of its core internet assets to the telecoms giant Verizon later than originally planned. The 4.8 billion dollar deal was thrown into doubt last year after Yahoo revealed two vast data breaches. Yahoo says that the sale will now be completed in the second half of this year instead of the first. Yahoo has been attempting to restore confidence in its key search business but results posted on Monday showed a fall in search revenue of 6 percent in the final quarter of 2016.

And-Liberty Media has completed its 8 billion dollar takeover of Formula 1. The news means the end of Bernie Ecclestone’s reign as the sport’s chief executive with the role now going to Chase Carey. Liberty have also brought Ross Brawn back to the sport.He’ll be leading the sport’s technical and sporting side. Bernie Ecclestone,who’s 86 will remain as chairman emeritus and will act as an advisor to the new board. On Monday,he said that he’d been “forced out”.

Sport

Formula 1-The sport moves into a new era today with Liberty Media completing its 8 billion dollar takeover from CVC Capital Partners. Chase Carey becomes the new Formula 1 executive with Bernie Ecclestone saying that he’d been “forced out”. Liberty has said that it wants to bring back fans to the sport and make Formula 1 more exciting and competitive. Fans will be pleased to see the return of Ross Brawn who’s taking up a new role to oversee the sporting and technical side while the former ESPN executive Sean Bratches will run the commercial side of the sport.

Tennis-Venus Williams has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in 14 years following a straight-set win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The 13th seed came through 6-4 7-6 and will now play the unseeded Coco Vandeweghe who beat the 7th seed Garbine Muguruza. In the men’s event,Stan Wawrinka is playing Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the quarter finals. Wawrinka took the first set on a tie break and is leading,on serve midway through the second set.

Football-The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been charged with verbal abuse and pushing an official during Sunday’s game against Burnley. Wenger could be facing a lengthy touchline ban if found guilty after he reacted angrily when Burnley were given a penalty in the 93rd minute. He has since apologised. There are two games in the English Championship tonight.Brighton can go top of the table if they beat Cardiff while Reading play Fulham.

Rugby Union-England are waiting on fitness checks on both James Haskell and Jack Clifford ahead of the 6 Nations. Haskell hasn’t been able to join the rest of the squad for training in Portugal as he continues to recover from a foot problem which kept him out of action for 6 months while Clifford picked up an injury  during the European Challenge Cup game against Stade Francais and is still being assessed. England play their 6 Nations opener against France on the 4th of February.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds

Top temperature 15 degrees Celsius.

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

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy with a high of 12 degrees-clouding over on Thursday with rain arriving during the afternoon.

Finally

Historians have argued about the question for years...When was Britain happiest?

Now a team at Warwick University claim to have come up with the answer. According to research the best year in our modern history, they claim, was 1957. This might look like an odd choice — 1957 was the year Harold Macmillan became Prime Minister, Paul McCartney first met John Lennon, Stanley Matthews played his final game for England and Patrick Moore first appeared on British television. It was also the year the Queen delivered her first televised Christmas message and Elvis Presley recorded his first British No 1, All Shook Up. But it was not, by any means, one of modern history's iconic years.

No one has ever written a book celebrating the events and achievements of 1957, as they have with landmark years such as 1914 (the beginning of World War I), 1945 (the end of World War II) or 1989 (the end of the Cold War). But the Warwick researchers are adamant. After scouring some eight million books published between 1776 and 2009, and counting the use of 'positive words' such as 'peaceful', 'enjoyment' and 'happiness', they claim that all the evidence suggests that 1957 represented the peak of national well-being.

 

 

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