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Riviera and French News Wednesday 15th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Suicide - There’s been another suicide at the bridge over the Gorges du Verdon north of Fréjus. A 30 year-old man from the Var jumped yesterday shouting ‘goodbye’ as he fell 182 meters from the tallest bridge in Europe.

Petition - A petition to remove Spanish director Pedro Almodovar as chairman of the Cannes Film Festival has gathered 20,000 signatures so far. People are protesting his support of bull-fighting and animal cruelty.

Shooting - A man has been indicted for the shooting of a 20 year-old woman in Château-renard near Bouches-du-Rhône on Sunday. It’s believed the shooting was accidental and the man surrendered himself to police before being placed in custody.

Restaurant - French chef Christophe Leroy has been forced to close his restaurant in Saint Tropez due to judiciary liquidation.  “Les Moulins” is unlikely to re-open ahead of next season.

Brexit - 83% of British expatriates are concerned Brexit will strip them of their rights to live in their adopted country. That’s according to a survey carried out by the UK’s Liberal Democrat party. The majority of respondents also said they had not intention of returning to the UK.

BUSINESS

The European Parliament has approved the landmark CETA free trade deal with Canada by 408-254 votes. Parts of the deal, such as tariff reduction, will come into force eight years after negotiations begin but other, more controversial aspects, such as the investor court system, will require ratification by EU member states, which could take years.

After 15 airline stikes, Lufthansa has struck a deal to end its five-year-long dispute with pilots. They’ve agreed to a four-stage 8.7% wage increase with a one off 6,000 euro payment to each employee.

Lloyds of London have introduced a ban on alcohol in a move to deal with infamous three-hour, five-bottle City lunches. 800 employees have been told they are not allowed to drink alcohol between 9am and 5pm. Lloyds said they had been considering the move for some time to bring the insurer in line with industry norms. The ban applies to staff, but not brokers and underwriters doing business in the historic insurance market.

SPORT

Football - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says the club could be in trouble by April or May with too many matches to play, should they continue to progress in the Europa League. United entertain St-Etienne on Thursday, followed by an FA Cup match against Blackburn on Sunday.

In Champions League, Paris St Germain have rocked Barcelona with a 4-0 victory in their Champions League home game last night. It means Barcelona are on the verge of failing to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2007. There are two more games tonight as Bayern Munich play Arsenal and Real Madrid host Napoli.

Rugby - Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has been ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations through an ankle injury he picked up during Scotlands 22-16 defeat by France at the weekend.

UPDATE 07:00

Relay Antennas - The French National Frequency Agency has published a map in a move to dissipate doubts about the dangers of its relay antennas. The map tells people where to avoid living to limit the dangers. The organization published the map listing all the locations in France and in the DOM-TOM, it can be seen on the Cartoradio website.

Christophe Leroy - French chef Christophe Leroy has been forced to close his restaurants in Saint Tropez due to judiciary liquidation.  “Les Moulins de Ramatuelle” is reportedly unlikely to re-open ahead of next season. “Les Moulins de Ramatuelle” was famous for its “Soirée Blanche” held every summer and originally started by Eddie Barclay.

Road Safety Figures - Figures published have shown an increase in the number of road deaths for 2016 in the Alpes Maritimes region. The number of people who died as a result of road accidents was 58 compared to 56 in 2015. While the number of deaths is on the increase the number of people injured as a result of road accidents has dropped by 19.2%.

Arrest - Two men and a teenager have been placed under investigation for planning to carry out an imminent terrorist attack in France. The trio were arrested near Montpellier on Tuesday. Explosives were later found by police in an apartment.The target of the attack remains unclear.

Ikea Project - Bouygues Immobilier has announced that it is planning to sue the association “En toute Franchise” which opposes the future Ikea project in Nice. The group, which has been campaigning for years against the Swedish furniture giant has been accused of causing endless disruption to the project with multiple appeals against building permits.  

National

Rape - French President Francois Hollande has called for "justice" over the alleged rape of a black youth by a police officer. Francois Hollande appealed for calm on Tuesday after more than a week of riots."Justice must be served," Hollande said during a visit to the working-class suburb of Aubervilliers, situated in the Seine-Saint-Denis region northeast of Paris where Theo, a 22-year-old youth worker, was assaulted while being arrested.

Francois Fillon - Francois Fillon faced down a rebellion by lawmakers in his centre-right party on Tuesday, but the revolt exposed a shaky confidence inside his camp as he tries to draw a line under a scandal that could derail his bid to win power. With Fillon's election campaign once again distracted by the fallout from allegations surrounding taxpayer money he paid his wife as a salary, opinion polls show the former prime minister's difficulties in the run up to the May elections.

Business

The Chair of the US Federal Reserve has said that it may be “appropriate”for the central bank to raise interest rates at one of its upcoming meetings. In testimony to the United States Congress on Tuesday,Janet Yellen said that delaying rate hikes would be “unwise” and could leave the Federal Reserve having to move “too fast,too late”,risking causing a recession. In December,the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of one percent-only the second increase in a decade. The main lending rate had been kept near zero for 7 years before two rate increases in December 2015 and a year later. Ms Yellen told Congress that getting rates back to normal levels was important.She said that waiting too long would be unwise,potentially forcing the Fed to raise rates rapidly,which could risk disrupting financial markets and push the economy into recession.

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway investment firm has nearly quadrupled its stake in Apple following an aggressive stock purchase programme in the final quarter of 2016. In a regulatory filing,Berkshire reported owning 57.4 million Apple shares worth up to 7.74 billion dollars.At the end of the third quarter,Berkshire owned only 15.2 million shares in the tech giant. Mr Buffet has also increased his stake by sevenfold in America’s four largest airlines amounting to a total of 9.3 billion dollars. Analysts say that they’re “stunned” by the extent of Berkshire’s investment in Apple.Previously,Mr Buffet has been averse to buying into technology firms,with the exception of IBM, which he considers to be outside his zone of competence.

And-The PSA Group which manufactures Peugeot and Citroen cars is in talks to by General Motors’ loss making European arm Opel. PSA,which already works with GM in Europe on several projects says that a takeover of Opel is among “numerous strategic initiatives” being considered. The deal would include Opel’s UK arm Vauxhall and would see GM exit the UK and Europe and would transform PSA into the continent’s second largest carmaker behind Volkswagen with a market share of 16 percent. PSA is 14 percent owned by the French state with equal shares being owned by the Peugeot family and the Chinese firm Dongfeng Motor. The company has said that there’s “no guarantee that an agreement will be reached”.

Sport

Athletics-Usain Bolt has won the Sportsman of the Year award at the Laureus World Sports Awards which were held here in Monaco last night. In glittering ceremony held at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club and hosted by Hugh Grant,Bolt was handed the award for his 3 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The  4 time Olympic gold gymnast Simone Biles won the Sportswoman of the Year award with Nico Rosberg taking the Breakthrough of the Year award following his maiden Formula 1 world championship victory last season. The American swimmer Michael Phelps won the Comeback of the Year award and Leicester City Football Club were handed the Spirit of Sport award after winning the English Premier League last season at odds of 5000-1.

Football-PSG have rocked Barcelona with a 4-0 victory in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 game in Paris. Angel di Maria scored twice for PSG with Draxler and Cavani also on the score sheet as the Catalan giants slumped to their second worst ever defeat in European football. Last night’s other tie ended Benfica 1 Borussia Dortmund 0. There are two more ties tonight.Bayern Munich play Arsenal and Real Madrid host Napoli. Newcastle United are still on top of the English Championship this morning despite being held to a 2 all draw at improving Norwich last night.Second placed Brighton couldn’t take advantage-they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Ipswich. In the other results last night,Aston Villa lost 3-1 at home to Barnsley.Derby lost 4-3 at home to Cardiff.Fulham beat Nottingham Forest 3-2.Leeds beat Bristol City 2-1.Preston beat Birmingham 2-1.Huddersfield were 3-2 winners at Rotherham.Sheffield Wednesday beat Blackburn 2-1.Wolves lost 1-0 at home to Wigan and Reading beat Brentford 3-2.

Rugby Union-Leicester have resigned the Bath and England fly-half George Ford with Freddie Burns moving the other way. Ford,who’s 23 had been contracted at Bath until the end of the 2017-18 season but Leicester have bought him out of the final year of his deal. Ford came through Leicester’s youth academy but left to join Bath in 2013.

Weather

Mainly fine with light,variable winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 15-17 degrees.

Finally

A man who changed his middle name by deed poll to Mark ‘I Love Spam’ Benson is getting married in the world’s only Spam museum in America.

Anne Mousley surprised her partner with the news, under the pretence that she was meeting him for an early Valentine’s meal.

Instead, the father-of-two was told that on April 25 he will be the first person to be married in the Spam Museum in Minnesota.

 

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