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Riviera and French News Wednesday 1st March 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Fillon - In a dramatic press conference today, François Fillon said in no uncertain terms, that he will not pull out of the presidential race.  This is despite being summoned to appear in front of magistrates on March 15th to answer charges of paying his wife from public funds for work she allegedly did not do. Immediately after the press conference, one of Monsieur Fillon's key allies, former Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire, has resigned from the campaign team.

Murder Trial - A man accused of stoning his brother to death could be facing 25 years in prison. The sentence was sought by the prosecutor in the case before the Assize Court this week. The courts decision is due to be handed down shortly.

Security - Two new security measures are being introduced to the region this month. The first is that video recording during police identity checks will become obligatory as of today for a one year trial period. Then, from next week, people applying for a national French identity card, will have to supply their finger prints as well as the usual proof of ID documents. The new biometric card is designed to be more secure and less prone to identity theft.

Traffic - Drivers are reminded that on the A8, the junction 48 eastbound entry ramp at Cagnes-sur-Mer will be closed from 9pm to 5am, tonight and tomorrow, for roadworks.

BUSINESS

Australia's economy bounced back in the last quarter of 2016, meaning the country has had 25 clear years without recession, a near world record of uninterrupted economic growth.  The economy had contracted in the third quarter, but the surprise 1.1% rise pulled the annual figure back to a 2.4% growth rate.

The FTSE 100 has hit a new record high, climbing by nearly 100 points, as the pound which has tumbled since the Brexit vote, fell by nearly a cent to a six-week low against the US dollar. Meanwhile, on the back of President Trumps inaugural speech to congress, and a likely rise in the US Fed interest rate, the Dow Jones Index has broken another record today hitting an all time high of over 21,000 in early trading.

SPORT

Formula 1 - Rule changes and faster cars will make drivers ‘gladiators’ in the coming season. That’s according to World Champion Nico Rosberg who said the new cars are going to take drivers to their physical limits, and we might even see drivers losing races because of just being physically exhausted.

Football - Premier League Champions Leicester have had informal talks with former England boss Roy Hodgson about him replacing Claudio Ranieri as manager. In the meantime it’s expected, acting manager Craig Shakespeare will stay in charge until the end of the season.

Tennis - Andy Murray has returned on and off court this week beating Malek Jaz.iri of Tunisia in straight sets in the first round of the Dubai Championships. Off court he’s making headlines for disagreeing with wildcards given to Maria Sharapova after her 15 month drug doping ban.

UPDATE 07:00

Police Video Recording - Police video recording during identity checks has become obligatory as of today in 23 “zones of priority security” or ZSP’s in France, including the Alpes Maritimes. The experiment will be carried out for a maximum of one year.

Identity - From next week, people applying for a national French identity card, will have to supply their finger prints as well as the usual proof of ID documents. The new biometric card is designed to be more secure and less prone to identity theft. The card will remain free to obtain and is valid for fifteen years.

Stab - Police are hunting a man who stabbed a 30 year-old man in the back on Monday night. The incident happened about 8 O’Clock in a pedestrian zone in central Nice. The injured man is recovering in hospital.

OGC Nice - The supporters of OGC Nice football club are encouraging women to come to the Allianz Riviera by giving away free tickets. Entry will be free for women for the match against Caen on Friday 10th March.

National

French Police Sniper - A French police sniper has accidentally shot and injured two people during a speech by President Francois Hollande in western France. The shot was fired as the officer moved position on a roof about 100m from a tent where Mr Hollande was speaking. The bullet went through the canvas of the tent, where drinks were being made. It passed through a waiter's thigh and lodged in another person's calf. The injuries were not life-threatening.

Fake News - Thirty-seven French news organisations have launched “CrossCheck” an online fact-checking service intended to debunk the “fake news”. Launched on Tuesday Google and Facebook have both given their supported the project.With the presidential election only two months away, French journalists are taking the subject of “fake news” seriously. CrossCheck is an online collaborative platform that will allow participating media partners to post examples of “fake news” from around the web.

Barack Obama - Posters of Barack Obama have popped up around Paris in what started as a joke by four friends pretending to launch a campaign for the former US leader ahead of France’s presidential election. The posters bear the words “Oui on peut”, a French translation of Obama’s popular and effective 2008 campaign slogan Yes We Can. Even though the former US president, as a foreigner, cannot legally run in the two-round April-May election, an online petition posted by the group on their site Obama2017.fr has been signed by more than 40,000 people.

Business

A failure at one of Amazon’s US data centres has knocked several high profile websites and services offline. The company says that a problem at Amazon Web Services(AWS)which allows other companies to rent cloud servers to host data on the internet was responsible for the outage. Amazon said that it had fixed the problem after around 5 hours of disruption. AWS is used by some of the internet’s most powerful and recognised brands including Netflix,Spotify and Airbnb.None of those services went offline,although users did report performance issues and slowdown. Australia has marked 25 years without recession as the economic growth rose sharply in the 4th quarter. The development brings Australia close to breaking the Netherlands’ record of modern-era uninterrupted economic growth. The Australian economy had contracted in the third quarter but the surprise rebound in the 4th quarter pulled the annualised growth rate back to 2.4 percent. The recovery has been attributed to strong exports and consumer spending.

And-The Financial Times has reported that US President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to ignore any rulings by the World Trade Organisation that it sees as an affront to US sovereignty. The FT says that a draft document will be sent to Congress today,laying out US trade plans  and will stress the basic principal that “American citizens are only subject to laws and regulations made by the US government-not rulings made by foreign governments or international bodies”. The newspaper also says that the document will also state that the “Trump administration will aggressively defend American sovereignty over matters of trade policy”.

Sport

Football-Newcastle United are back on top of the English Championship this morning after grabbing two late goals in a 2-1 victory at previous leaders Brighton. Diame and Perez scored the goals that put Newcastle into a 2 point lead over Brighton on the top of the table with 34 games played. There were two more games in the English Championship last night.Blackburn beat Derby 1-0 and Aston Villa beat Bristol City 2-0. In the Scottish Premier League last night Hamilton beat Aberdeen 1-0.

Formula 1-McLaren have suffered more reliability problems on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona. Stoffel Vandoorne only managed to complete 40 laps at the circuit-only 11 more than Fernando Alonso completed on Monday. Honda has introduced a new engine layout for the McLaren this year which aims to match the power levels achieved by Mercedes last season. So far,it hasn’t managed to make the engine work properly. Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari was quickest in Tuesday’s test session with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes second and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull third.

Cricket-New Zealand are playing South Africa in the 4th one day international in Hamilton. The tourists batted first and made 279-8 from their 50 overs.

Rugby Union-Jonathan Joseph has been recalled to the England squad for the Calcutta Cup match against Scotland at Twickenham on March the 11th. Joseph was left out of the team which played Italy last weekend but is back in the training squad which will be together until next Friday.

Tennis-Andy Murray has won on his return to action after a five week break. The world number one beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia in straight sets in the first round of the Dubai Championships and will now face Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round 2.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate to strong south westerly winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies and the wind slackening off.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies tomorrow and remaining windy in the Var.Partially cloudy on Friday with a high of 15-17 degrees.

Finally

Police in the Netherlands have helped a 99-year-old woman's dream come true… by letting her spend time in a jail cell.

Annie had told an officer that one of her final wishes was experiencing prison from an inmate's perspective.

Despite lacking the criminal requirements to get locked up, police in Nijmegen were happy to help - and the pensioner was seen beaming as she was put in a cell.

To add a little authenticity to proceedings, Annie was also handcuffed for her brief time in the clink.

On Facebook, the force described it as "a day to remember".

Locals have praised the police for helping Annie tick the item off her rather unusual bucket list.

Hopefully, any other wild life ambitions will keep her on the right side of the law.

 

 

 

 

 

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