French and Riviera News Thursday 4th April 2019


Bad weather - Heavy rain and hail has caused chaos on the region’s roads. After nearly two months with no rain the Alpes Maritimes and Var experienced, on Tuesday, heavy rainfall accompanied, in places, by  hail storms as Meteo France placed the region on a yellow weather alert. The bad weather caused long delays and several accidents on the A8 motorway and many areas experienced flooding with up to 20 centimeters of water collecting in places  and the RD 35d in Mougins in the direction of Cannes via the RD 6185, was cut off at 8 pm for an indefinite period.

Meanwhile in the middle of the afternoon, the ceiling of a supermarket “Carrefour Market” in Valbonne, collapsed, due to large pockets of water, as a result of a hail storm. Customers were evacuated- no injuries were reported with the supermarket remaining closed until the cause of the incident is confirmed.

Until Wednesday the region had experienced 59 days without a drop of rain, a record for this time of year.

“Salles de Shoot” - Following in the footsteps of Paris and Strasbourg, Marseille has announced plans to open its first supervised injection facility for drug users. Otherwise referred to as “salles de shoot” in Europe, France opened its first one in October 2016. The world’s first such facility opened in the Swiss city of Berne in 1986. Today there are more than 100 such facilities around the world which allow drug users to consume their drugs in a safe and clean environment with sterile equipment in the presence of medical staff.

Tech Capital – The Côte d'Azur has been labeled as a French “Tech Capital”. The French Tech congress in Paris announced on Wednesday morning 13 “Tech Capitals” and 38 “Tech communities” and the French Riviera was one of them with Toulon being named as a “Tech Community”.  French Tech is an accreditation awarded to French cities recognized for their startup ecosystem promoting the emergence of successful start-ups in France to generate economic value and jobs, the French Government created the French Tech Initiative at the end of 2013. 

Jean Louis David dies - Jean-Louis David, the French hairdresser and inventor of the "degraded", has died at the age of 85. Born on March 24th, 1934 to a family of hairdressers from Grasse, he had started the trade in Paris in the early fifties, the golden age of hairdressers.

“I Love Nice” - The “I Love Nice” sculpture which has become an emblem of Nice has been removed to undergo renovation work. Since it was installed on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in November 2016 it has been photographed more than 300,000 times. The makeover is expected to last two weeks.


Brexit - The French government has published a new decree laying out the rights of British people living in France in the event of a no-deal Brexit, affecting people who are already resident in France on the date that Britain leaves the EU - which is currently scheduled for April 12.

The new decree lays out the paperwork which will be needed to apply for residency depending on your situation with the conditions varying on whether you are a student, employee, free-lance, self-employed or retired.  

Although British people are entitled to remain in France for up to a year after the withdrawal date, applications for residency must be filed within six months of the date that Britain finally leaves - which is currently set for April 12, but could still change.

The decree was published on Wednesday in the Journal Officiel, where all new French laws and decrees must be published before they come in to force.

French government and Twitter - Due to the French government’s anti-fake-news law a social media campaign from the French government has been blocked by Twitter. Since December, France requires online political campaigns to declare who paid for them, and how much was spent. The #OuiJeVote (Yes, I Vote) campaign encouraged voters to register for the European elections ahead of the deadline. But Twitter rejected the campaign which was operated by the French government information service, which had planned to pay for sponsored tweets. Several ministers have expressed their frustration and disbelieve at the decision saying "Twitter's priority should be to fight content that glorifies terrorism. Not campaigns to register on the electoral lists of a democratic republic."

Electric scooters in Paris – Paris has announced plans to regulate the use of electric scooters by introducing fines for riding on the pavement, designated parking spots, and an annual fee for the hire companies. The city council said that while it supported new forms of mobility to replace polluting vehicles, the increasing use of stand-up electric scooters was putting pedestrians at risk, notably older people and infants.

Arc de Triomphe - He made himself known in France by covering the Pont-Neuf, in 1985 and now American artist Christo has announced plans to cover the Arc de Triomphe in 2020.  On September 22, 1985, a group of 300 professional workers completed the temporary work of art The Pont Neuf Wrapped deploying 450,000 square feet of woven fabric. This time it will take 25,000 m2 of recyclable fabric and 7,000 meters of red rope to cover the Arc de Triomphe for 14 days, from April 6 to 19, 2020.


The former chief executive of Nissan Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested in Tokyo while out on bail on charges of financial misconduct.

Tokyo prosecutors entered Mr Ghosn’s residence early on Thursday and took him in custody on suspicion that he had misappropriated Nissan funds for personal use.

Mr Ghosn denies any wrongdoing and described his arrest as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

The 65 year old was the architect of the alliance between Nissan and the French car manufacturer Renault.He’s credited with turning around the fortunes of both firms in recent years.


The governor of the Bank of England has said that the risk of the UK stumbling into disorderly no-deal Brexit is now “alarmingly high”.

In an interview with Sky News,Mark Carney said that although “real progress” had been made preparing for leaving without a deal,it would still mean “lots of things to worry about”.

He added that it was “absolute nonsense” that a no deal could be easily managed.

Britain’s default option is that it leaves the EU on the 12th of April.On Wednesday,the Prime Minister held talks with the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn to try and find a way out of the crisis.Some progress is reported to have been made although nothing conclusive emerged from the discussions.

Late last night,MPs squeezed an emergency bill through the House of Commons by one vote to force the Prime Minister to ask for an extension to the Brexit process to prevent a no-deal scenario.

The Bill has to pass through the House of Lords where there’s some opposition before it can return to the Commons for final approval.

All though remains in the gift of the EU as to whether an extension can be granted or not.


And-The US owner of the Boots pharmacy chain has warned of possible store closures in the UK as it attempts to cut costs.

Wallgreens Boots Alliance said that it would take “decisive steps” to reduce costs as part of a company-wide “significant restructuring”.

The chain said that it had suffered its “most difficult quarter” since its formation with UK like-for-like sales down 2.3 percent.

Boots has 2,485 stores across the UK and employs around 56,000 people.


Football-There were three games in the English Premier League last night.

Chelsea moved up to 5th place in the table level on points with Arsenal thanks to a 3-0 win over Brighton while Spurs won their opening game at their new stadium to maintain third place following a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.Manchester City are top again thanks to a 2-0 win over Cardiff.

There was a full programme in the Scottish Premiership last night.Aberdeen beat Motherwell 3-1.Hibs and Kilmarnock drew 0-0.Livingston beat Hamilton 2-0.Rangers were 3-0 winners over Hearts.St Johnstone beat Dundee 2-0 and the leaders Celtic were 2-0 winners at St Mirren.

Racing-The Grand National meeting starts at Aintree today with the 40 strong field for the big race on Saturday set to be announced later this morning.

Last year’s winner Tiger Roll is the hot favourite again and is bidding to become the first horse since the legendary Red Rum in 1973 and 1974 to win back-to-back Nationals.

There are 69 entries remaining in the field but it will be narrowed down to 40 with 4 reserves.

Tiger Roll is currently 7-2 favourite with Rathvinen at 10-1 ,Annibale Fly at 11s and Vintage Clouds at 12-1.

Cricket-New Zealand are the first team to announce their squad for this summer’s World Cup in England and Wales.

Kane Williamson will captain the 15 man Black Caps squad while 28 year old wicketkeeper Tom Blundell a surprise selection having never played a one day international before.

New Zealand were the beaten finalists in the 2015 World Cup,losing to Australia.


Rain dying away with sunshine by mid morning but with a moderate to strong Mistral developing across the region by lunchtime.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Fine tomorrow with a high of 17-Rain returning on Saturday with a high of 14 degrees.
























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