French News Wednesday 27th March 2019


Protest against the plans for the shopping centre in Sophia - Activists campaigning against the commercial project “Open Sky” which is planned to be built in Sophia Antipolis have protested on the Lucioles roundabout in Valbonne. Tuesday saw several protestors express their concern over plans for the project and the effect it will have on the regions roads, claiming that “Open Sky” will generate an additional 23,000 vehicles on a daily basis in the area.

Meanwhile an online petition opposing the construction of the shopping centre has collected more than 18,000 signatures.

Lorry overturns on A8 causing long delays - Traffic came to a standstill on the A8 motorway on Tuesday evening shortly after 9pm eastbound between Brignoles and Le Luc in the Var. Traffic was restricted to one lane after a lorry overturned spreading a large volume of gasoline on the road. No injuries were reported and the lorry was evacuated shortly after 10pm.

Brigitte Bardot Foundation - A delegate from the Brigitte Bardot foundation has handed in his resignation following the former actress’s comments about the people of the Reunion. After 25 years, Didier Dérand announced his decision on Tuesday. Bardot has been facing strong criticism recently after describing in an open letter that the people were a “degenerate population” with “barbaric tradition” in their treatment of animals. The animal activist later apologized claiming that her “remarks were not aimed at the entire population but a small minority”.

Owner of a Chateau in Grasse is ordered to tear it down - A court in Aix-en-Provence has ordered the owner of a €57m chateau to tear it down after declaring the building is illegal. Chateau Diter in Grasse, has been transformed into a Tuscan-style property with a swimming pool and heliport. However, court of appeal judges in Aix-en-Provence found the building was built without permission in a protected woodland and said it must be destroyed in the next 18 months. Its owner, the property developer Patrick Diter, also faces a €450,000 fine to be increased by €500 for every day he does not comply after the 18-month deadline. Diter, who lives at Chateau Diter with his wife Monica, told Paris Match in 2017 he acquired the property in 2000 after failing to find a suitable home in Tuscany.

Monaco Ocean Week - As part of Monaco Ocean Week which runs until March 30th. The “International Coral Reef Initiative” held a meeting here in the Principality on Tuesday promoting the urgent action to save coral reefs from extinction. The event, brought together more than 50 participants taking the opportunity to reiterate the involvement of ICRI in the Coral Reef Community of Ocean Action as well projects co-financed by the Prince’s government to promote reef resilience. Monaco currently holds the co-presidency alongside Australia and Indonesia until 2020,

Fête de la Musique - For the second year in a row, France Télévision has announced that Nice will be the capital of this year’s Fête de la Musique with a concert being held on Place Masséna. A new partnership agreement has been concluded for the musical event which brings together the best French and international artists. Those headlining the event have not yet been announced.


Emmanuel Macron urges Xi Jinping to “respect the unity of the European Union” - French president Emmanuel Macron has urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to "respect the unity of the European Union". The message came at a joint press conference following talks with the Chinese leader who is on an official visit to France. In response Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China and Europe were "advancing together" but the two trading blocs needed to overcome "suspicions". The statements followed talks between the two leaders, who were also joined on Tuesday morning in Paris by the German Chancellor and EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

The French Federation of Insurers have estimated that 200 million euros worth of damage was caused by vandalism on the sidelines of the yellow vest protests. The organization calculated the figures up to and including the protests on the 16th of March.

The European Parliament has backed a proposal to stop the obligatory change to summer time in the EU. The proposal would give each member state a choice from 2021 – to either keep the current summer time system or scrap the twice-yearly time changes.

Campaign to cut down on drinking - France has launched a national campaign this week to encourage the wine-loving French to cut down on their drinking after a study showed that a quarter of them over-consume. In response many still feel that “a nice meal can’t be enjoyed without a good wine”. France has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Europe, according to the World Health Organization. This drinking culture – largely attributed to wine, which represents 58 percent of France’s total alcohol consumption – prompted the public health agency and the National Institute of Cancer (INCa) to launch a national campaign, with recommendations for the maximum daily intake of alcohol. The recommendations state that “For your health, alcohol should be limited to a maximum of two glasses per day, and not every day either,”. Alcohol is the second-biggest cause for preventable deaths in France after tobacco, killing some 41,000 people each year.

3 out of 4 French people use their car to go to work - A study published on Tuesday has shown that 75% of French people use their car to go to work. While 9% use the bus 7% the metro 6% a bike or scooter and 9% take the train.

Figures showed that the time spent commuting has increased in the last five year for 65% of respondents and when asked if they would like to use another main mode of transportation than their car, 48% said yes, but added that it was not possible.


The drug-,maker Purdue Pharma has settled a lawsuit which claimed that its opioids contributed to the deaths of thousands of people.

The company,which is owned by the billionaire Sackler family,was one of a number of firms named in the claim which alleged that deceptive practices were used to sell opioids.

The deal,which is worth 270 million dollars is the first struck amid some 2,000 lawsuits linked to the pain killer OxyContin.

The lawsuit,which was filed by the state of  Oklahoma claimed that in order to persuade doctors to prescribe the painkillers,Purdue Pharma and other companies allegedly decided to “falsely downplay the risk of opioid addiction and overstate the benefits of their drugs to treat a wide range of conditions”.

All the companies involved deny the allegations.

Uber has announced that it’s buying its Dubai based rival Careem for 3.1 billion dollars.

Careem operates in 15 countries across the Middle East,Africa and Asia  and was established in 2012.It will continue to operate under its own brand as a subsidiary of Uber.

The announcement comes as Uber is reportedly planning to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.The firm could be valued at up to 120 billion dollars.

And-Fever Tree Drinks has reported a 34 percent surge in pre-tax profits for 2018,boosted by the World Cup,royal wedding and last year’s long ,hot summer.

The premium tonic water firm has notched up double-digit growth over the past few years as high-end gin continues to be paired with upmarket tonic water.

Fever Tree said that more gin was sold during the three months of summer in 2018 than in the summers of 2014 and 2015 combined.

The firm has recently been pushing into the United States  and has launched a variety of ginger ale that mixes with spirits such as whisky ,rum and brandy to appeal to the North American market.

Pre-tax profits rose to 75.6 million pounds last year from 56.4 million in 2017.Revenue rose by 40 percent to 237.4 million pounds


Football-The Republic of Ireland have gone top of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 win over Georgia in Dublin.

Mick McCarthy’s side have 6 points from 2 games following the victory.Conor Hourihane scored the winner with a superb first-half free kick.

Also last night Norway and Sweden shared a thrilling 3-3 draw in group F.

Formula 1-Mick Schumacher will make his Formula 1 test debut for Ferrari on the 2nd of April.

The 19 year old son of 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher signed for the Ferrari academy during the winter  and will test for them as well as the affiliated Alfa Romeo team in Bahrain.

Rugby Union-The English Rugby Football Union will not announce a successor to Eddie Jones this year,even if he decides to leave after the World Cup.

Jones is under contract until 2021  but may leave after the tournament in Japan.

His contract also has a break clause if England don’t reach the semi-finals of the competition.

There have been reports that England are trying to secure the services of outgoing Wales coach Warren Gatland but the RFU has denied the claims.

Tennis-World number one Novak Djokovic has suffered a surprise defeat at the Miami Open.

The Serb,who went out in the third round at Indian Wells last week,was beaten in 3 sets by Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain who moves into the quarter finals.


Clear skies  with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 10  degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland  with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies with highs of 16-19 degrees.


A 'hard-working' man has won $46.6million after he accidentally bought the same ticket twice in one of the biggest lotto draws this year.

When lottery staff called the man - described as a 'hard-working man from St Albans Melbourne - to tell him the good news, he said: 'You're kidding!' 

The man bought a ticket at Winning Lotteries St Albans and then accidentally bought another one with the same numbers at Footscray Lottery Centre. 

Each ticket for Tuesday night's $70million Oz Lotto Jackpot won him $23.3million. The jackpot was so big because nobody had won for seven weeks. 



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