French and Riviera News.Monday.April 8th 2019

Diving death-A 58 year old man has died after being taken ill while scuba diving in the Baie of Agay near Saint Raphael.

The man suffered a suspected heart attack while diving for sea urchins on Sunday.Rescue workers attempted to revive him after he managed to swim back to shore but were unable to save him.

 

Let in snow-Poor weather on the coast has led to abundant snow fall in the mountains with those ski stations remaining open set for a bumper two weeks during the Easter school holidays.

Both Isola 2000 and Auron reported large fresh snow deposits on Saturday and Sunday.

The avalanche risk is high so caution is advised on the pistes and motorists should make sure that they’re carrying snow chains or other winter equipment.

 

Hail storm-6 people have been injured following two accidents on the A8 Motorway in the Var as a result of a sudden hail storm

Conditions quickly became treacherous on the road at around 3pm on Sunday with hail stones covering the surface near the Brignoles interchange.

Three vehicles were involved in the first crash which fortunately didn’t cause any injuries but just a couple of minutes later  six  cars and a motorbike were involved in a collision which resulted in 6 people being injured including a child.All of the injuries were minor although 4 people required hospital treatment.

 

 

Yellow Vests-The 21st weekend of yellow vest protests have been taking place across France but police say that numbers were down on previous weeks.

Authorities estimate that some 23,000 people took part in protests on Saturday including around 3,500 in Paris.

In Nice,several hundred gathered near the train station and later caused some disruption to tram services in the city.

Protestors are still calling for President Macron to resign with some accusing the French leader of attempting to dissolve the country inside an “EU fascist superstate”.

 

Fag ends-Community leaders in Grimaud in the Var are organising a campaign to inform visitors that discarding cigarette ends into drains is not acceptable.

Any discarded cigarette butt thrown into a drain hole or storm cover in the village ends directly in the sea where it takes many,many years to break up.

Some municipalities around France have already introduced fines for people who don’t dispose of cigarette ends and other litter in properly provided bins.

 

Social housing-The Var led the way in new social housing developments in 2018.

Last year 3,075 new social housing places were made available in the department ,more than any other part of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.

However ,experts say that the amount of social housing being provided in the south of France is just a drop in the ocean and demand is vastly outstripping the number of places being provided.

 

In National News.

 

Paris Fire-Fire has gutted a 27 apartment block of flats in the 19th arrondisement of Paris.

Some 80 firemen battled the flames into the early hours of Sunday.Some scaled the walls of the burning building on ladders.

Reports say that an explosion was heard shortly before the fire started.Fortunately no-one was injured.An enquiry is underway.

 

Get on with it-The French Foreign Minister has said that it’s time for the Brexit crisis to end and that Britain’s predicament can’t continue to dominate EU discussions.

Speaking on the sidelines of a G7 meeting at Dinan in northern France over the weekend,Jean -Yves Le Drian said that at some point “there had to be a departure” and that the EU is not going to be able to “constantly exhaust itself with the ups and downs of British domestic politics”.

On Friday, the British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote to the President of the European Council asking for a Brexit extension until the end of June.

An emergency EU summit s taking place in Brussels on Wednesday where leaders will expect the UK to have come up with a plan.Mrs May is currently holding negotiations with the opposition Labour Party in a bid to strike an agreement.

This finally looks like the week that the UK will either crash out without a deal on Friday or accept a long extension which will mean taking part in European parliamentary elections.

 

Medicinal cannabis-The government appears to be moving towards the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes.

The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe suggested that the administration was considering allowing the development of cannabis products for therapeutic purposes during a visit to a research centre near Lyon .

The government has accepted that the use of cannabis can be beneficial in reducing chronic pain in some medical conditions including arthritis.Further research is being carried out.

At the moment , 21 countries in the European Union allow the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

 

Business.

 

A report by Reuters says that the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is in trouble less than 6 months after being arranged.

The report says that there is little chance of the United States,Canada and Mexico ratifying the agreement this year  and could now become a hostage to electoral politics.

The three countries struck the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement on the 30th of September last year.ending a year of difficult negotiations after President Trump demanded that the previous arrangement be scrapped or renegotiated.

The deal governs some 1 trillion dollars in regional trade but tensions remain and with both the United States and Canada holding Presidential and Federal elections next year the new agreement could be caught up in politics.

 

Nissan is considering claiming damages against its former boss Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct.

Reports say that Nissan’s chief executive has told shareholders that the scandal “won’t be fixed overnight”.

Hiroto Saikawa was speaking at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in Tokyo earlier today.

Carlos Ghosn was arrested again last week by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion that he tried to enrich himself to the tune of 5 million dollars at Nissan’s expense.

He says that he’s innocent on all charges and maintains that he’s a victim of a boardroom coup.

 

And-Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay the electric carmaker Tesla hundreds of millions of euros to allow Tesla vehicles to be counted in its fleet to avoid fines for violating new EU emission rules.

The move will allow the Italian manufacturer  to offset carbon dioxide emissions from its cars against Tesla’s which will bring down its average emissions to an acceptable level.

A report in the Financial Times doesn’t say exactly how much Fiat Chrysler will pay Tesla  and neither firm has made any comment.

Tesla has made more than a billion dollars over the past three years by selling emissions credits in the United States  according to its annual report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Sport.

 

Football-The final of the FA Cup will be between Manchester City and Watford.

Watford booked their place in the final after coming from 2 goals down to beat Wolves 3-2 in a five goal thriller at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Manchester City beat Brighton 1-0 on Saturday to reach the final and keep their bid for an unprecedented quadruple on track.

There was one game in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Arsenal’s recent good run came to an end after they were beaten 1-0 at Everton.

There’s one game tonight.Chelsea can climb to third place in the table if they beat West Ham at Stamford Bridge.

There was one game in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.Rangers were 3-0 winners at Motherwell.

 

Rowing-Cambridge have won both the men’s and women’s University Boat Races along the River Thames in London.

In the women’s race Cambridge beat Oxford by 5 lengths while in the men’s event,Oxford made a better fist of things but couldn’t prevent the Light Blues winning.

 

Rugby Union-There was one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England on Sunday.Gloucester were 40-31 winners at Northampton while in the Guinness Pro 14 Southern Kings and Dragons shared an 18-18 draw.

 

Racing-Tiger Roll is unlikely to seek a third Grand National victory next year according to owner Michael O’Leary.

The 9 year old gelding became the first horse since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974  to win back to back Nationals on Saturday but O’Leary says that he feels no pressure to go back and win a third time.

Red Rum did win a third Grand National in 1977 but no horse has ever won three in a row.

On Sunday ,a crowd of 2,000 people turned out to see Tiger Roll parade through the streets of Summerhill in County Meath,Ireland where he’s trained.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies with moderate westerly winds and a high of 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 17 degrees.Sunshine and showers on Wednesday with a high of 16.

 

 

 

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