French and Riviera News Thursday 5th September 2019

Local

Investigation - In a press conference given on Wednesday the public prosecutor in Grasse has confirmed that the 21-year-old woman beaten by her companion in Cagnes sur mer at the weekend died as a result of head injuries. Her partner has been placed in police custody and faces life imprisonment for murder. Two investigations are currently underway, the first is looking into the “police intervention” at the time of the attack and the second into the perpetrator  of the attack. The couple had been in a relationship for nine months and according to reports the victim had previously filed a complaint for violent behaviour to police in Antibes in 2016.

Meanwhile the French government has unveiled a raft of measures to curb domestic violence amid startlingly high rates of women killed by their partner or ex. Last year, 121 women were killed in France by their partner or former partner, equating to one death every three days, according to the French interior ministry.

Mistral - Météo France has warned of a strong mistral in the Var region today. Reaching the coast by midday La Seyne, Toulon and the Gulf of Saint Tropez are expected to experience gusts of up to 80km an hour. While the wind will spare the region of torrential rain it does however increase the risk of forest fires in the region with the public being asked to be extremely vigilant.

Meanwhile the prefectures of Drôme and Ardèche have also been placed on a high-risk fire alert today due to strong winds. Firefighters will be positioned in and around forest areas as a precaution.

Road accident causes long delays on A8 - An accident on the A8 motorway involving at least four vehicles has caused long delays. Traffic came to a standstill on Wednesday during the evening rush area westbound after the Villeneuve Loubet exit.

School uniform in Monaco - The National Education Authority in Monaco has introduced a school uniform for all students from CP to CM2. A white polo and navy-blue vest will be compulsory for the 5,745 pupils enrolled this year in schools in the Principality.

Ironman - 5000 runners are expected to descend on Nice this weekend amongst them some of the best athletes in the world as Ironman takes place in the heart of the city. Motorists have been advised to avoid the area due to traffic diversions and restricted parking. For more information go to Nice.fr

National

National Assembly - France’s National Assembly has begun hearings this week on a draft law that would prohibit any practice aimed at “curing” homosexuality. The two MPs behind the project hope to submit a final bill by early 2020. Also known as "conversion therapies" and "reorientation therapies", such practices claim to be able to alter an individual’s sexual orientation. Young gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals have been subjected to all sorts of questionable methods aimed at “reorienting” them towards heterosexuality. The bill planned for 2020 would outlaw any practice that alters the physical or mental health of a person, punishable with up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.  

World Aerobatic Championships - The World Aerobatic Championships have taken place in Chateauroux with home pilot Louis Vanel winning the men’s event. The 30th edition of the championship drew big crowds to the French town. The women’s edition was won by France’s Aude Lemorant while Robert Holland of the USA took the freestyle honours.

Business

Asian shares have extended gains this morning after China confirmed that it will hold fresh trade talks with the United States in early October.

The news raises hopes that the two sides can de-escalate the damaging trade war that’s having an increasingly serious effect on global growth and has heightened concerns about recession.

The Chinese yuan rose against the dollar following the news and safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen fell.

Global investors have also been buoyed by the news overnight that the UK Parliament has put the brakes on a no-deal exit from the European Union  while the chief executive of Hong Kong withdrew the controversial extradition bill that sparked mass protests while the political turmoil in Italy appeared to be easing.

 

The pound has risen against both the dollar and the euro after the British government said overnight that a bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit will complete its passage through the House of Lords on Friday.

There had been concerns from members of the so called Rebel Alliance that the unelected house  would attempt to filibuster the legislation in a bid to prevent it from becoming law before Parliament is prorogued next week but the Conservative chief whip in the Lords announced that there had been a breakthrough in the early hours of this morning following talks with Labour.

The pound rose to over 1 US dollar 22 cents in Asian trade following the news and to 1 euro 11 cents.

A series of amendments to the bill should now be ready for consideration by the House of Commons on Monday after which it should be ready to be presented for Royal Assent.

 

And-The UK economy is close to slipping into its first recession since the financial crisis according to a survey from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

The survey shows that the country’s dominant service sector failed to grow as quickly as expected in August thus raising the chance of recession.

Growth in the sector that includes restaurants ,hotels and finance, accounting for some 80 percent of the economy stalled last month with the IHS Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers index sinking to 50.6.A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

Coupled with sharp declines in construction and falling factory output the all sector index dropped to 49.7 in August.

Sport

Cricket-Australia hold the advantage after a rain affected first day of the 4th Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford with Steve Smith once again proving to be the biggest obstacle to the home side’s chances.

England removed both Australian openers early on a windy and overcast morning but Smith partnered by Marnus Labuschagne steadied the ship and despite interruptions for rain the tourists had reached 170-3 when play was called off early for the day.

Labuschagne went for 67 but Smith is still there on 60 not out.

More rain interruptions are a strong possibility today.Play is due to resume at noon French time.

Tennis-The Italian 24th seed Matteo Berrettini has reached his first ever Grand Slam semi final after beating Gael Monfils in five sets in the quarter finals of the US Open.

Berrettini came through 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-6  and will now play Rafael Nadal in the last 4.

In the women’s event the Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu is through to the last 4 after beating Elise Mertens of Belgium in three sets.She’ll play Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

Formula 1-The future of the Italian Grand Prix has been secured until 2024 after a new contract was unveiled in Milan on Wednesday.

Monza has held 68 Formula 1 world championship races-more than any other circuit  with only Italy and Great Britain hosting F1 rounds every year since the championship’s inaugural year in 1950.

The owners of Formula 1-the Liberty Media Group have pledged to protect the sport’s most historic races while at the same time extending the calendar and branching out into new territories.

Cycling-The Basque rider Mikel Iturria has won stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana after winning stage 11 on home soil to take his first ever pro win.

Primoz Roglic still heads the general classification as the leading riders appeared to take it easy on Wednesday.He’s 1 minute 52 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde.

Today’s 12th stage is 171.4 kilometers around northern Spain between Circuito de Navarra to Bilbao.

Weather

Clear skies in coastal areas ,occasional showers inland with a moderate to strong westerly wind across the Var.

Top temperatures 26-29 degrees.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with showers and scattered thunderstorms developing across the region.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Showers and scattered thunderstorms tomorrow,mainly fine on Saturday.Highs of 22-24 degrees.

Finally 

Four genetic regions have been discovered which may cause left-handedness, and they could also be the reason lefties have superior language skills. 

The study of left-handed folk failed to identify any precise 'left-handed genes' but was able to narrow it down within the human genome to certain areas. 

Researchers then found that left-handedness may be a byproduct of how the brain develops in the womb as well as the body's microtubules. 

These form the cells cytoskeleton, the internal scaffolding that does most of the heavy lifting within human cells. 

 

 

 

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