French and Riviera News Monday 18th February 2019

Local

Yellow Vest - According to a poll published on Sunday a majority of French people, 52% believe that the Yellow Vests "must stop their movement and their actions”. Results showed that those who most wish the movement to continue are supporters of hard left party France Unbowed (69 percent) and supporters of the far-right National Rally (72 percent).

Meanwhile in Nice, a group of 500 yellow vests demonstrators attempted to join the official parade of the Nice Carnival which began on Saturday only to be turned away by police.

In the Var Brigitte Bardot declared that she supports the Yellow Vest movement saying “they have courage”. The former French actress made the declaration at a meeting held in Frejus on Sunday afternoon. The meeting which was organized by the yellow vests as part of the National Debate saw Bardot take to the stage encouraging members of the movement “not to give up”.

And Republican MP, Eric Ciotti, has spoken out against the violence of yellow vest demonstrators on France Inter calling for a ban on any future demonstrations next weekend.

Air Cocaine - The "Air Cocaine" trial begins today in Aix-en-Provence. The case involving a drug trafficking network between France, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador will see eleven people, including two French pilots Bruno Odos and Pascal Fauret, appear before court. On March 19th, 2013, Dominican Drug Authorities seized 700 kilograms of cocaine at Punta Cana airport in 26 suitcases on a rented Falcon 50 set to take off for La Mole, near Saint-Tropez in the Var. The trial is expected to last until April 5th.

New App - Ahead of International Women’s Day which is held on the 8th March three women from Aix-en-Provence have decided to launch a mobile application called “Garde ton corps” (Keep Your Body). The new app is designed to keep women safe while out in the city centre at night, aiming to reduce the risk of being attacked and to make women feel safe. The start-up, managed by the three women also has plans to develop other applications, especially for children.

Monaco Run - Julien Wanders and Sifan Hassan have claimed the male and female 5km world records at the inaugural Herculis race in Monaco on Sunday. Swiss runner Wanders took the 5km record by a second, with a finishing time of 13:29. The 22-year-old now holds the 5km world record, and the European record for 10km and half marathon.

Meanwhile Dutch runner Hassan, who already holds the European half marathon record, crossed the 5km finish line in a time of 14:44.

National

Emmanuel Macron condemns anti-Semitic abuse - French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned anti-Semitic abuse directed at a prominent intellectual by a group of "yellow vest" protesters in Paris. Police stepped in to protect the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut after he was bombarded with insults and anti-Jewish taunts in the French capital. Tens of thousands took part in anti-government protests on Saturday. Prosecutors have now opened an investigation into the incident, and France's interior minister said on Sunday that a suspect alleged to be the "main perpetrator" had been identified by the authorities.

Investigation - The Vatican’s envoy to France is under investigation for sexual assault after being accused of molesting an official at the Paris mayor’s office. 74-year-old Luigi Ventura, has been based in Paris since 2009 and serves as a diplomat for Pope Francis. He was accused of molesting a man at the Paris city hall on 17th January when the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, gave a new year’s address to diplomats, religious leaders and civil society figures. The complaint was filed by the city hall on 24 January which led to an investigation being opened the day after.

Champagne - French champagne house Taittinger has stepped up production this year as it sends more bottles to the United Kingdom in preparation for the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit on March 29. Taittinger is just one of many French winemakers to have taken precautionary measures ahead of next month’s Brexit deadline. The impending divorce is expected to have messy consequences for the industry. The UK is France’s second-largest market for global exports of wine and champagne, according to a 2017 report by the Export Federation of Wine and Spirits in France. Only the United States, which has a population five times larger than the UK, spends more on French spirits.

A pill to fix a broken heart - A researcher has reportedly developed a treatment to relieve the emotional shock following a break-up which could soon be available in France. Canadian researcher Alain Brunet proposes to relieve the emotional shock of a heartache with a pill. Propranodol was first tested to relieve the victims of the 2015 Paris attack. Following positive results Brunet has decided to widen it use to those suffering from a “broken heart” adding that "while some people react well, for others, a break up can be just like post-traumatic stress, repetitive thoughts and an overwhelming urge to cry. The psychiatrist is currently training French doctors in his method.

Business

Porsche is warning UK customers they might have to pay 10% extra for cars delivered after Britain leaves the EU. The German firm wants buyers to sign a clause agreeing to a potential tariff, a move Porsche said is "precautionary".

On Sunday, a spokesman for Porsche's owner Volkswagen declined to discuss a possible surcharge on its other car brands. The UK is one of Porsche's biggest markets. The company sold 256,000 cars worldwide last year, with more than 12,500 in Britain.

Passengers have been stranded across Europe after the UK regional airline Flybmi collapsed, cancelling all its flights. The airline, which flew to 25 cities, said Brexit uncertainty and rises in fuel and carbon costs led to it filing for administration on Saturday.

According to reports one Briton stuck in Belgium said the airline would not refund her fare and she could not afford an alternative. Flybmi's move puts 376 jobs at risk and comes as other airlines face problems.

And - Airbus has said that it would have to make “difficult decisions” about future investment if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, adding it had already spent tens of millions of euros in preparations. Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr senior vice president Katherine Bennett said “There is no such thing as a managed ‘no deal’, it’s absolutely catastrophic for us” adding that Airbus had already spent “tens of million of euros” on preparing for Brexit, for example on stockpiling parts and securing IT systems.

Sport

Formula One - Williams have pulled out of the first day of pre-season testing today as their new FW42 car is not ready. Deputy team principal Claire Williams says the car will run on Tuesday - the second of four days of testing in Barcelona.  Last week, the British team cancelled a planned shakedown run of the car because of delays in building it.

Football - Real Madrid missed the chance to go second in La Liga as Girona came from behind to a surprising 2-1 victory.

In the FA Cup Chelsea face Manchester United in this evening’s match. 

Cricket - West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will retire from one-day international cricket after this summer's World Cup. The 39 year old left-hander, has scored 9,727 ODI runs in 284 matches since his debut in 1999. The World Cup will be held in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.

Rugby Union - New Zealand great Dan Carter will return to Racing 92 as an injury replacement for the rest of the season. The former All Blacks fly-half, has been released by his current team. Carter, who played for the French Top 14 club from 2015-18, will cover for Racing's Pat Lambie, who has been forced to retire because of concussion.

Weather

Clear skies in Monaco, Nice, and Antibes with highs of 13 degrees, starting off cloudy in Saint Tropez and the Var region with highs of 16 with a moderate variable wind. This evening going down to 2 degrees across the region with clear skies.

The outlook for Tuesday light cloud in the morning in the Alpes Maritimes temperatures remaining the same becoming increasingly cloudy by Wednesday with highs of 16-17degrees.

Finally 

It's been predicted that in the future  robots could be part of religious rituals and help humans to bury and mourn the dead. 

Huge progress has been made in the field of Artificial Intelligence over the past few years, including self-driving cars and talking humanoid Sophia.

And the technology is so advanced that so-called “religions” centred around AI have even been started, such as one started by former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski.

The Way of the Future is a movement based around the worship of a “Godhead” robot that is said to be a billion times smarter than humans.

It is thought that as AI becomes more advanced and integrated into people’s lives, robots will increasingly be part of aspects of faith and religion.

 

 

 

 

 

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