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Morning News Tuesday 25th April 2017

Local

Le Pen - Marine Le Pen has announced that she is stepping aside as leader of her National Front party. Ms Le Pen told French television she needed to be above partisan considerations. Opinion polls suggest Mr Macron is firm favourite for the second round but Ms Le Pen said: "We can win, we will win." The Front National leader suggested that the move to step aside would be temporary. She told France 2 that France was approaching a "decisive moment". The National Front Presidential candidate who came first in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region with 28% of votes will be in Nice on Thursday.

Road Accident - An investigation into an accident on the A8 at Roqubrune Cap Martin in which a 21 year old woman was killed has shown that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. According to reports the investigation, which was launched following the accident which happened on Saturday showed that the 30-year-old man, had a history of drink driving.  The victim a 21 year old woman was a passenger of the vehicle and died at the scene. The investigation continues.

Armenian Genocide - Several hundred Armenians from Marseilles have demonstrated in front of the city’s Turkish consulate. The protest ,claiming recognition of the Armenian genocide took place on Monday afternoon with many young people present. The Armenian genocide is already recognised by some thirty countries.  

Strike Action - Hospital staff in Nice have taken strike action today against new reforms planned by the Ministry of Health. Medical staff fear that a reduction in training time and the absence of a guarantee on their status will be damaging to the profession and have requested that the reform be postponed and renegotiated. The reform was due to be introduced in November of this year.

School inscriptions - Nice City council has launched an online pre-inscription service for the city's schools. In 2017 families wishing to put their child's name down for any of Nice's nursery schools will be able to do so on www.nice.fr. The new service can also be used for any after school play centre services, school dinners and additional school tutoring. The move comes in an attempt to simplify the procedure for parents.

Help for pensioners - A new pilot programme is to be launched in Nice to help find solutions for pensioners who are at risk or danger of losing their independence. The system uses a digital panic alarm which is installed in a bedroom or apartment and is able to send in real time, an alert in the case of danger, such as a fall. The campaign will be tried and tested in 2017 with the intention of making it available to the public by the end of the year.

Swim Run The Riviera - The first SwimRun of the Riviera will be taking place on the 30th April. The sport which originated from Sweden offers a new outdoor sport alternating between swimming and running along some of the most picturesque spots of the Riviera. The race starts at Nice plages des bains Militaires and finishes in Cap d'Ail at the Chemin des Douaniers. The total distance is 26km with 5,8 km of swimming and 20,2km of running for more information go to www.swimruntheriviera.com

World Record - Congratulations to Ralph Tuijn, Clement Mas, Niall Bates and Colin Blears, who have managed to break the world record for a mainland to mainland crossing by rowing from Portugal to French Guiana. The team managed to achieve it in as few as 45 days after setting off on 6th March from Portugal beating the previous world record which stood at 50 days, 10 hours and 36 minutes.

Best Baguette - The Atelier du boulanger in Frejus in the Var has won first prize in the best “baguette tradition” for the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region and Corsica. Patrick Patin and his son-in-law Laurent beat off ten other candidates at the event which was held in Aix-en-Provence.

National

French Elections - President François Hollande has called on French voters to reject far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and back Emmanuel Macron to succeed him.The pair will face each other in a run-off vote on 7 May after taking the top places in Sunday's first round, with Mr Macron the current favourite to win. Meanwhile Macron came under critisicism as he celebrated his victory in the first round of the Presidential elections in the brasserie "bobo" La Rotonde in the district of Montparnasse in Paris. Several political opponents were quick to compare it to the bling bling dinner at Fouquet's on the Champs Elysee which tainted the election of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Numerous French personalities of the cultural, artistic and television world came to toast with Emmanuel Macron on Sunday night at the brewery "La Rotonde" which used to welcome regulars such as Picasso, Chagall, Apollinaire and Jean Cocteau.

Business

Global stock markets surged on Monday as concerns over a far right victory in the French Presidential election receded. On Wall Street,the Dow Jones Industrials closed up 1 percent at 20,763 with the Nasdaq hitting a new record high of 59 83-up by 1.2 percent on the day. European markets also rallied strongly with the FTSE 100 in London up 2 percent,the Dax in Frankfurt up 3.4 percent and the Cac 40 in Paris up by 4 percent. The French stock market hit its highest level since the financial crisis of 2008 as investors cheered the prospect of Emmanuel Macron beating the Front National’s Marine Le Pen by as much as 30 percentage points in the decisive round of the French Presidential election on May the 7th. Investors had been concerned that the run off could be between Jean Luc Melenchon of the far left and the Front National making the election a fight between two euro-sceptic candidates. Analysts say that the risks could return should Marine Le Pen start polling in the 40 percent + bracket although so far there’s no sign of her increasing her projected share of the second round vote.

The French car manufacturer PSA  Peugeot Citroen is under government investigation for cheating diesel emissions tests. Both Reuters and the AFP news agencies say that they’ve been told by French judicial sources that the firm is being investigated for breaking consumer protection laws. PSA says that its vehicles have never been fitted with software to let its diesel engines deceive pollution tests. French investigators have already accused the part-state owned car manufacturer Renault of cheating on pollution tests for diesel and petrol engines for the past 25 years with the knowledge of its top executives.

And-The owner of the luxury British shoe maker Jimmy Choo has put it up for sale. Jimmy Choo is valued at around 700 million pounds and could attract attention from rival luxury houses as well as from China,The Middle East and Russia. As well as shoes,the firm also produces a range of luxury goods but has seen sales slow in recent years. The company’s main shareholder JAB Holdings has said that is also prepared to sell the Swiss heritage shoe and handbag maker Bally.

Sport

Football-Newcastle United have won promotion back to the English Premier League at the first time of asking following an emphatic 4-1 win over Preston last night which means that their other promotion rivals can’t catch them in second place. The Magpies had been suffering from end-of-season nerves in recent weeks and had only taken 1 point from their previous matches but they put it right last night and will now definitely finish at least second in the table. There’s 1 game in the English Premier League tonight.Chelsea can ease the pressure at the top and extend their lead over Spurs to seven points again if they beat Southampton at Stamford Bridge. In the Championship tonight Wolves host Huddersfield.Wolves are safe from relegation but Huddersfield could do with the points to make sure that they finish in the play-off places.

Tennis-Serena Williams has said that Ilie Nastase’s recent comments about her unborn child are “racist” and has given her backing to a full investigation. Nastase has been suspended by the International Tennis Federation following a number of incidents at last weekend’s Fed Cup match between Romania and Great Britain. The ITF has launched an investigation into the Romanian Fed Cup captain’s comments which he made at a press conference before the tie against Great Britain in Constanta.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light to moderate south easterly winds. Top temperature 19 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with rain reaching most areas.

Wednesday and Thursday-Overcast with rain and scattered thunderstorms tomorrow.Sunshine and showers on Thursday.Highs of 15-18 degrees.

Finally 

Just 45 minutes of exercise a week boosts the brain power of people in their fifties and over, major new research has revealed.

A review of dozens of previous studies found that even one session of moderate aerobic and resistance activity is enough to enhance people’s alertness, decision-making and memory.

Scientists have long believed that exercising slows down the cognitive decline that occurs naturally as people move from middle to old age, however the new analysis is the first of its kind to show that brain power actually improves from staying fit.