French and Riviera News Friday 8th November 2019


Driving lessons for electric scooters - For the first time in France a driving school in Marseille has given lessons dedicated to using and riding an electric scooter. #Marseille is the first "scooter" training given by driving schools and comes following the introduction of new regulations for scooter users, including a 25km per hour speed limit. The lessons are free and several other driving schools in the city have already volunteered to take part in the programme.

Tour de France - Amateur cyclists have registered to take part in the Tour de France. On July 5th 2020 16,000 amateur cyclists will cycle 177km in the hills behind Nice. Much to the delight of local cyclists the opportunity is not to be missed with some even signing up the whole family to take part in the mythical tour.

Request for free public transport in Nice - The communist party in Nice has launched a campaign to request free public transport in the city. Following a meeting on Wednesday Philippe Pellegrini, of the French Communist Party for the Alpes-Maritimes, proposed a plan to introduce free public transport for 2020.

Yellow Vest protestors in Antibes are calling for a meeting to mark the first anniversary of the movement. A banner has gone up on the Provence roundabout, which was a major focal point of the protests, calling for people to meet there on the 17th of November at 11am.

Monegasque Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc has launched his own karting brand. The driver has teamed up with Italian firm Birel ART, well known in the world of karting, to create his own chassis brand. Leclerc said that he owes everything to karting, which how he started his motorsports career, and felt that now is the right time to do something for the sport.

Mermaiding making its mark in France - Mermaiding has made its mark at the International Freediving school in Hyères in the Var and is becoming increasingly popular in France. Hannah Fraser, was the first professional mermaid and started "mermaiding" in the United States. Today, there is a real international mermaiding community in France with specific training to be able to move for as long as possible underwater with the use of a mono-palm.


Nato described as “brain dead” by Macron - French President Emmanuel Macron of France has described Nato as "brain dead", stressing what he sees as waning commitment to the transatlantic alliance by its main guarantor, the US. During an interviewed with the Economist, Macron cited the US failure to consult Nato before pulling forces out of northern Syria. Nato, which celebrates 70 years since its founding at a London summit next month, has responded by saying the alliance remains strong.

Marketing of unauthorized medicines - A judge has ruled that David Noakes, from Plymouth,who is wanted by French authorities for nine alleged offences, including marketing unauthorised medicines will be extradited to France. In 2018, Noakes was jailed for 15 months at Southwark Crown Court after admitting money laundering, and manufacturing, supplying and selling an unlicensed medicine.


China and the United States say that they’ve agreed to roll back tariffs on each other’s goods in phases if a stage 1 trade agreement is concluded.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry made the announcement on Thursday without setting out a timetable but an unnamed US official later said that the measures would be part of a first phase trade agreement that’s yet to be signed by President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

In an interview with Fox News last night ,the White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said that Washington is “very ,very optimistic” about completing a deal that would defuse a damaging 16 month trade war between the two countries.

However ,other US officials including the White House trade advisor Peter Navarro later struck a more cautious note by stressing that there is no agreement at this time to remove any of the existing tariffs as a condition of phase one of the deal.


The Bank of England has warned that weak global growth  and trade barriers created by the government’s Brexit deal will hit the UK economy.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted by 7-2 to keep interest rates on hold on Thursday but a growing number of its members are becoming more in favour of a cut to rates in a bid to boost growth.

The Bank said that the new EU Withdrawal Agreement arranged by Boris Johnson had reduced the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit but warned that it would mean the introduction of new customs checks and regulatory barriers.

The governor of the Bank ,Mark Carney said that the Brexit deal had created the prospects for a pick up in UK growth which he expected to rise from around 1 percent at the end of this year to 2 percent by the end of 2022.

And-Bill Gates has become the latest billionaire to express concern for presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren's plan for a new tax on the super-rich.

At a conference, the philanthropist and Microsoft founder said it would stifle business innovation in America.

Ms Warren, a Democratic front-runner in the 2020 presidential race, has offered to meet Mr Gates in response.

It comes after criticism of Ms Warren's policy from figures like Jamie Dimon, head of banking giant JP Morgan.

Under the original plan, households with a net worth between $50m and $1bn  will be charged with a 2% "wealth tax" every year. This would rise to 3% for any households with a net worth of over $1bn.


Cricket-New Zealand are playing England in the fourth Twenty20 international in Napier.

The home side lead the series 2-1 and have won the toss and decided to field.

After 6 overs England had reached 40-1.

Football-In the Europa League last night Manchester United progressed to the last 32 with a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade while Wolves beat Slovan Bratislava 1-0.

Celtic are also through to the knockout phase after winning 2-1 at Lazio while Rangers beat Porto 2-0.

In the English Premier League this weekend there’s one game tonight with Norwich playing Watford.

On Saturday Chelsea play Crystal Palace.Burnley host West Ham.Newcastle play Bournemouth.Southampton face Everton.Spurs play Sheffield United and Leicester play Arsenal.

On Sunday Manchester United play Brighton.Wolves host Aston Villa and Liverpool play Manchester City.

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has said that there are “more championships to be won” as he celebrated his record-breaking 6th consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ titles for Mercedes at their UK bases.

The 34 year old said that he was “living the dream and never imagined in a million years that he’d get to 6 world titles”.

Hamilton needs just one more drivers’ championship to equal Michael Schumacher’s all time record of 7.

He said that he’d “keep pushing” as there are more races to win and more championships.

Rugby Union-The former England captain Dylan Hartley has announced his retirement after failing to recover from a long-term knee injury.

The 33 year old hasn’t played since December and missed the World Cup.

He played 97 Tests for England and 251 times for Northampton over 14 seasons.

Hartley also captained England to the 6 Nations Grand Slam in 2016.

There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership tonight.Sale play Wasps and in the Guinness Pro 14 Connacht play Leinster and Edinburgh play Dragons.


Partially cloudy with light to moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Partially cloudy tomorrow with some afternoon showers.Rain on Sunday.Highs of 15-17 degrees.


A study has revealed that aimless small talk takes up seven minutes of the average Briton's day.

Researchers calculated that Brits have 218 of these chats a year – lasting 43 hours in total.

The most common tactic used to avoid small talk is lying about being in a rush (used by 28 per cent of respondents), followed by pretending not to see someone (27 per cent).

Technology has provided a helping hand, too – with 13 per cent using their smartphone to make themselves look too busy to stop and chat.




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