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Riviera and French News Wednesday 8th November 2017

Local

House fire in Tourettes-sur-Loup - A 50 year old woman has been taken to hospital in Antibes suffering slight injuries after a house fire in Tourettes-sur-Loup. The fire broke out on Tuesday night at 8.45pm in a villa located on the Chemin du Petareou. Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze which had caused considerable damage to the first floor of the house.

Anti-terrorist operation - An anti-terrorist operation has been taking place on the Cote d’Azur according to reports published on Tuesday. Five people were arrested in the Menton area with another four suspects arrested in the Paris area and the Bouches du Rhone and one other person in Switzerland. Local reports suggest that the arrests may be in connection with a plot to kill a police officer and civilians.  It is thought that the arrests are a result of the monitoring by the authorities of a social media internet site.

A woman missing since Saturday has been located by police.  19 year old Fanny Bruno was discovered on Tuesday afternoon still in her car in a ravine below the D97 road in Carnoules in the Var. According to reports, she had been trapped in her car for the last 3 days before being spotted by a cyclist.

Car accident - A car accident in Sophia Antipolis during Tuesday morning’s rush hour has left the 20 year old driver seriously injured.  The incident happened on the road between Mougins and Valbonne and resulted in the car rolling down an embankment.  The driver was taken to the Pasteur Hospital in Nice.

Appeal for valley to be closed to 19 ton trucks - Residents and elected officials have appealed for the valley between France and Italy to be closed to 19 ton trucks. On Tuesday local officials at the administrative court in Nice asked the mountain road which passes through Breil-sur-Roya, Fontan,Saorge, Brig and Tende be closed. One spokesperson said that “Everyone agrees on one thing, traffic in the valley is dangerous and the roads are not built to accommodate heavy loads”.

French Grand Prix - Organisers of the French Formula 1 Grand Prix have announced ticket prices for next year’s event. Speaking at a Press conference on Tuesday officials said that the event which runs from the 21st to the 24th June 2018 at the Paul-Ricard circuit in Le Castellet is expecting nearly 65,000 spectators. According to reports organisers plan to make tickets available ranging from 19 euros for races in the run up to the Grand Prix to 499 euros on race day. Three day passes will go on sale first with day tickets being made available from January 15th.

Which city tweets the most in the PACA region? - According to a recent study La Londe in the Var is the town in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region which tweets the most. The study revealed a list of the 50 most active cities in the region on Twitter. La Londe was followed in second place by Cannes then Nice and in 4th position was Marseille.

National

Paradise Papers - French planemaker Dassault and Europe's Airbus appear to have helped customers dodge millions of euros in sales tax, according to the Paradise Papers revelations. The European Union is currently screening about 50 countries as it draws up a blacklist of tax havens. Le Monde newspaper claimed on Tuesday that Dassault was complicit in schemes to dodge Europe's VAT sales tax for at least three customers.

Paris Climate summit - According to reports the US President Donald Trump is not among the 100 heads of state and government who are invited to next month's climate summit in Paris. Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting carbon emissions in June. Around 800 organisations and public stakeholders will be on hand for the December 12 event to be held on Ile Seguin, an island in the Seine River southwest of Paris.

France’s Environment Minister – Meanwhile France's environment minister is backing down on promises to sharply reduce nuclear power production so that the government can concentrate on reducing fossil fuels instead. Nicolas Hulot told reporters Tuesday that it's too "brutal and unrealistic" to meet earlier pledges to cap the amount of France's electricity produced by nuclear plants at 50 percent by 2025. Hulot said President Emmanuel Macron's government remains committed to reducing nuclear energy and ordered his ministry to produce a new timetable.

Confused motorist - A French motorist in Toulouse has confused the French city’s Metro station with that of an underground car park. The driver, a woman in her 50s had been looking for the entrance to the Jeanne d’Arc car park but instead drove down into the Jeanne-d'Arc Metro station. Images posted on Twitter showed the car stuck on the stairs with the two rear wheels in the air. It was the Toulouse transport authorities who first raised the alarm after spotting on CCTV the huge crowd of amused onlookers gathering at the station entrance.

Business

A report by the BBC from the leaked Paradise Papers has shown that Prince Charles,the Prince of Wales campaigned to alter climate-change agreements without disclosing that his private estate had an offshore financial interest in what he was promoting. The BBC’s Panorama programme found that the Prince’s private estate,the Duchy of Cornwall secretly bought shares worth 113,500 dollars in a Bermuda firm that would benefit from the rule change. Prince Charles was a friend of the director of the firm,Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd. The Duchy of Cornwall says that the Prince has no direct involvement in his investments. A spokesman at Clarence House said that the Prince of Wales had “certainly not chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that the Duchy of Cornwall may have invested in”.The spokesman added that “in the case of climate change,his views are well known and indeed he’s been warning of the threat of global warming to our environment for over 30 years”.

The UK satellite platform Sky has said that it could shut down Sky News if the channel proves to be a major obstacle in the takeover bid by 21st Century Fox. Fox’s bid to acquire the 61 percent of Sky that it doesn’t already own is being investigated by the UK Competition and Markets Authority which is examining whether the takeover would have an adverse impact on media plurality. Rupert Murdoch’s firm already owns the Sun and Times newspapers in the UK Sky made a submission to the CMA last month in which it said that “it would likely be prompted to review” its position if “the continued provision of Sky News in its current form unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available in relation to Sky’s broader business”. Reports say that closing Sky News would only be a last resort and that Sky would try to find a buyer before then.

And-Details of the UK government’s post-Brexit trade policy have been published. The Trade Bill includes provisions for the UK to implement existing EU trade agreements and help to ensure that firms can still access foreign government contracts. The bill will also create a new trade remedies body to defend UK businesses against injurious trade practices. The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said that firms “needed as much stability as possible” on the day that the UK leaves the EU.

Sport

Tennis-Andy Murray made his return to the courts in a charity match against Roger Federer in Glasgow last night. The 30 year old former world number one lost in three sets and said afterwards that he hope to make his return to competitive action in Brisbane in January. Murray has been recovering from a hip injury that’s kept him out of action since July.He said that he wouldn’t return to tournament play until he is fully fit.

Athletics-The four time Olympic silver medallist Frankie Fredericks has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee after being charged with money laundering and corruption. Fredericks who’s 50 was charged by French authorities last week.He’s been accused of accepting a bribe of 299,000 US dollars from the son of the former IAAF president Lamine Dick when Rio won the vote to host the 2016 Olympics. Fredericks was a member of the IAAF council and an important figure in the IOC.He claims that the money was legitimate payment for consultancy and promotional work.

Football-Eight teams are preparing for the World Cup playoffs with only 4 places available for Russia 2018. Tomorrow the first legs of the ties between Croatia and Greece and Northern Ireland and Switzerland are being played with Sweden against Italy on Friday and Denmark against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.The second legs are being played on Sunday,Monday and Tuesday.

Cricket-Steven Finn has been ruled out of the entire Ashes series with a torn left knee cartilage. The 28 year old paceman who was added to England’s squad following the Ben Stokes arrest was injured in training and is now flying back to the UK to see a specialist. The first Test between England and Australia starts in Brisbane on the 23rd of November.

Rugby Union-England have released 7 players back to their clubs ahead of Saturday’s Test against Argentina at Twickenham. Wings Jonny May and Elliot Daly remain in contention after recovering quicker than expected from injuries while Semesa Rokodugini remains in the squad as cover.

Rugby League-The Wales coach John Kear has said that the World Cup is seen as a “third tier event” in Australia. Kear says he thinks that the tournament,which is now at its halfway stage is viewed as inferior to the State of Origin and the NRL. He said that the level of interest in the World Cup down under is low and that can clearly be seen with viewing figures as well as Australian fans passion for the State of Origin game and the NRL. He added that the tournament had also proved so far,how much better the southern hemisphere sides are than teams from the north.

Weather

Starting fine but clouding over with showers and possible thunderstorms this afternoon.

Moderate westerly winds and a high of 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 2 degrees inland with scattered showers.

Thursday and Friday-Sunshine and showers tomorrow,fine on Friday with temperatures climbing a couple of degrees.

Finally 

A new study has shown that Sheep have a highly developed ability to recognise the faces of celebrities.

Although it has long been known that sheep are able to recognise the faces of their human handlers, scientists have now shown the farm animals can be trained to recognise images of famous people.

Professor Jenny Morton, the lead scientist in the Cambridge University study, said it showed sheep have face-recognition abilities comparable with those of humans or monkeys.

Her team trained eight sheep to recognise the faces of four celebrities - journalist Fiona Bruce, actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Watson, and former US president Barack Obama.

 

 

 

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