French and Riviera News.Monday April 22nd 2019

Road checks-Gendarmes across the region are carrying out extra checks on motorists over the weekend in a bid to clamp down on offences ranging from speeding to drink-driving.

Particular attention is being focused on motorbike and scooter riders with recent accident statistics showing that 50 percent of all incidents involve two wheeled vehicles.

Officers have been operating spot checks on all major roads and will continue today between 3pm and 7pm.

 

Police protests-Officers from the National Police Force have been protesting over the Easter weekend about working conditions and mental health.

25 police officers have taken their own lives since the start of the year across the country.

Police supported by trade unions have staged symbolic protests outside main police stations in NIce ,Cannes,Antibes and other towns.

Working conditions and pay are the main areas of concern for officers with many saying that they can’t make ends meet with some forced to take on part time jobs to survive.

Meanwhile ,the Alpes Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti has called for a special bonus to be paid to officers working in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Mr Ciotti says that working conditions for police in the department are “intolerable” and that the force is vastly underfunded.

He says that just 60 euros out of every thousand spent on public services is dedicated to law and order and that things need to change.

 

Don’t wash the car-Meteo France is warning of bad weather this week with rainfall accompanied by a strong Sirocco wind.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate this evening with rain spreading across the region and  winds gusting in excess of 50 km/h.

The weather is likely to result in sandy deposits from the Sahara Desert being carried in the rain so it’s not a good idea to give your car a summer spruce up for the time being.

 

 

Processional caterpillars-Parents of young children and owners of animals are being warned about the dangers presented by toxic processional caterpillars.

It’s the time of year when the insects emerge from nests which are usually to be found suspended from cotton wool looking growths on pine trees. The caterpillars proceed in lines-hence the name and are reddish-brown in colour and covered in fine toxic hairs.

If ingested,the toxin can be extremely dangerous to young children and animals,causing respiratory difficulties and in some cases death.

Parents of young children and dog owners are advised to take extreme care in areas such as woodland where there may be caterpillars present.If a child or an animal ingests the toxin then urgent medical treatment should be sought.

 

 

Moyenne Corniche-Motorists using the Moyenne Corniche in the Monaco area are set for delays owing to temporary traffic lights near a tunnel at Cap d’Ail.

Authorities reopened the road last Friday after completing emergency work to secure a retaining wall at 4 Avenue Rainier lll which is at risk of collapse.

The part of the road ,near the Monaco roundabout is best avoided at peak times as the work to repair the wall is set to continue for several months.

 

In National News.

 

Macron-President Macron will address the nation on Thursday in response to the Grand Debate organised over the past two months.

Mr Macron was initially due to make a televised address last week but was forced to postpone his scheduled statement following the devastating fire at Notre Dame.

He’s under extreme pressure to clarify his views on a range of issues from taxation to immigration in the wake of months of protests by the Yellow Vest movement.

Around 29,000 demonstrators came out on the streets of France over the weekend with more violent incidents in Paris.

The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has already said that tax cuts are needed and “needed fast”.

 

Yellow Vests-More than 60,000 police and Gendarmes have been on the streets of the French capital over the weekend as cars were torched and 200 arrests made in the latest episode of yellow vest protests.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters around the Place de la Republique.

There were yellow vest protests in other towns and cities across the country over the weekend ,most of which passed off without incident.

 

 

Migrant crisis -There are warnings today about an impending migrant crisis following recent security upgrades around the port of Calais.

Over recent weeks,authorities have moved to install wire around local bridges and other places where migrants attempting to reach the UK have constructed makeshift camps and sleeping areas.

Humanitarian organisations say that the new security measures haven’t solved the problem but that migrants ,many of whom are unaccompanied minors have been pushed deeper into the hinterland where they’re sleeping rough in forests or landfill sites.

Child protection workers on the ground also say that the transfer of unaccompanied minors to the UK under the Dub Amendment appears to have come to a halt in recent weeks ,sparking speculation that the scheme has been scrapped.

A separate law designed to reunite unaccompanied youngsters with family members in the UK known as Dublin III has also slowed down resulting in growing numbers of children attempting to cross the Channel illegally.

 

Going up-French Netflix subscribers are about to see their subscription prices rise according to media reports.

Netflix has already hiked prices in North America as it strives to create more original content and stay ahead of the pack of chasing streaming services.

The price of a monthly subscription has been fixed at 7 euros 99 for the last two years but will soon increase by 2 euros to 9.99.

Netflix says that it considers the price rise to be justified considering what it offers subscribers including hit original content such as The Crown and After Life.

 

Business.

 

The travel firm Thomas Cook says that it’s received bids for parts of its business as well as the company as a whole.

Thomas Cook put its airline up for sale in February and last month said that it would be closing 21 stores across the UK with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

Sky News has reported that the Chinese investment firm Fosun could be involved in a bid for Thomas Cook’s tour operating business.

Thomas Cook is the world’s oldest tour operator and was founded in 1841.

It has annual sales of 9 billion pounds with 22,000 staff operating in 16 countries.

Last September, the firm said that its profits would be hit as a result of the UK summer heatwave which resulted in many potential customers taking domestic holidays.

 

The electric carmaker Tesla says that it’s sent a team to investigate a video showing a parked Model S vehicle exploding on a Shanghai street.

The video has been widely shared on social media  and has become one of the most read subjects on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo.

The video shows the parked car starting to emit smoke from its bonnet before exploding and bursting into flames.

Telsa says that it has contacted relevant departments to understand the situation.

The incident comes as the electric carmaker is trying to revive its sales in China which have been hit hard by Sino-US trade tensions.

 

And-Oil prices have spiked to 5 month highs in Asian trade this morning following reports that the United States is set to ask all importers of Iranian oil to end their purchases or face sanctions.

Brent Crude futures hit 73 dollars 81 cents a barrel a little earlier this morning following reports that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce that “as of the 2nd of May ,the State Department will no longer  grant sanctions waivers  to any country that is currently importing Iranian Crude”

The increased disruption to Iranian supplies is expected to add to the already tight market.

 

Sport.

 

Football-There were three games in the English Premier League on Easter Sunday.

Liverpool reclaimed top spot thanks to a 2-0 win at Cardiff while Everton beat Manchester United  4-0 and Arsenal went down to a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.

 

There’s one game tonight.Chelsea can climb to third if they beat Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

 

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Hibs and Celtic drew 0-0.

 

There’s a full programme in the English Championship this afternoon.We’ll bring you all the results from those games tomorrow.

 

Rugby Union-The defending champions Leinster are through to the final of the European Champions Cup.

Leinster beat Toulouse 30-12 on Sunday to set up a final date with Saracens next month.

 

ESPRESSO MONTE CARLO ROLEX MONTE CARLO MASTERS TENNIS REPORT.

 

The world number 18 Fabio Fognini has won the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters after beating Dusan Lajovic in Sunday’s final at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

Fognini , who put out the defending champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals ,came through in straight sets in windy conditions 6-3 6-4.

It took him 1 hour and 38 minutes to secure the win,

Fognini becomes the first Italian to win a Masters 1000 singles title and is the oldest Monte Carlo champion in the open era.

He’ll rise to 12 in the ATP world rankings as a result of the win.

 

Weather.

 

Partially cloudy with a strong easterly wind across the region with gusts of up to 95 km/h in coastal areas of the Var.

Top temperatures 22-24 degrees Celsius.

Rain spreading across the region later this afternoon with an overnight lows of 16 degrees.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Wet and windy with a high of  16 degrees.

 

 

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