French and Riviera News Thursday 7th February 2019

Local

Brigitte Bardot - French actress Brigitte Bardot has announced that she will be a candidate of the “Animal Rights Party” which will be represented at the European elections in May. In an exclusive interview given at her home in Saint Tropez, Bardot spoke of her commitment to the political party, which fights for animal rights, adding that while she supports the “Yellow Vest” movement for the European elections her commitment would be with the animal rights party.

Trial - The trial of 39-year-old Dan Gooding and 44 year old Darren Jackson, two English nationals has opened in Nice. Both are on trial following the murder of 29 year old Alexandre La Torre on February 3rd 2015. La Torre was shot three times in the back in his garden in Valbonne, while trying to flee from Dan Gooding, his friend of 15 years and wedding witness. Gooding has been in detention for almost four years and is charged with murder and criminal conspiracy.

Alongside him in the dock is Darren Jackson who’s charged with being an accessory to murder as well as criminal conspiracy, he denies the charges. A 34 year old woman who has recently been freed on bail is also charged with criminal conspiracy and perverting the course of justice.

Parents demonstrate - Parents have demonstrated in front of the rectorate in Nice after it was announced that 37 classes will be created and 22 closed at the start of the 2019 school year. Parents gathered on Wednesday morning against the closure of classes planned for next year.

Man barricades himself in his apartment - The port area in Nice was cordened off on Wednesday as police intervened in a building after a man barricaded himself in his apartment. Several dozen firefighters attended the scene after a strong smell of gas came from the building. The 70 year old man surrendered peacefully and is undergoing medical and psychological examinations.

Mobile phones - Following a report published highlighting the dependence which students have on their mobile phones, from the 6th to the 8th of February students will be asked to spend three days without the device. The survey showed that the mobile phone has become as essential part of our daily lives, especially amongst 16 to 24 year olds. Social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have become a routine with seven out of ten looking at their phones less than ten minutes after waking up. 20% of students spend more than 6 hours on their phones, 56% recognize that the time they spend reduces their ability to concentrate, and 50%, say that it affects their quality of sleep.

National

Paris fire - A woman suspected of starting a fire that killed 10 people in a Paris apartment building on Tuesday has a long history of mental health troubles and run-ins with the law. The suspect, who police said was “intoxicated when detained” is currently being held in a police psychiatric facility.

Brexit - In a meeting on Wednesday morning with the Irish Prime Minister the European Council President Donald Tusk told reporters afterwards “I have been wondering what a special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a plan of how to carry it out safely.” Brexiters who did not plan ahead were singled-out by Tusk as he wondered if a “special place in hell” might be reserved for those who pushed for Brexit without thinking through the country’s exit from the European bloc. Britain is due to leave the European Union in 50 days, but there remains unresolved issues, namely the so-called ‘backstop’, referring to the open border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland. Britain’s departure from the EU, set for March 29th, is the first time a country has ever left the bloc.

Warning to Italy - France has warned Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister not to interfere in the country's politics, after he met with French "yellow-vest" protesters. The French foreign ministry said "This new provocation is unacceptable between neighbouring countries and partners at the heart of the EU”. Mr Di Maio, leader of the populist Five Star Movement, met two leaders of the anti-government protests on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Steve Bannon who made his name as Donald Trumps’s campaign organizer has claimed that he is a great admirer of the French gilets jaunes in an interview with the French weekly magazine L’Express. Since he lost his job in Washington, Bannon has been busy trying to organise the forces of the far right, using an organisation called “The Movement” to reach out to Marine Le Pen’s National Rally here in France, as well as other far right parties across Europe. With European elections due in May, Bannon has set his sights on the continent, suggesting that the spring elections will produce nothing less than an “electoral earthquake”.

Paris apartment sold at record price - France’s capital saw its most expensive apartment sale in January, reportedly to a businessperson leaving London because of Brexit. According to French magazine Challenges, the 1000-square-metre apartment which consists of 16 rooms over three levels of an 18th century mansion on the rue des Saints-Pères sold for 39 million euros. The magazine reports that Parisian apartments rarely sell for more than 30 million euros.

Business

President Trump has nominated a senior US Treasury Department official to be the next leader of the World Bank.

David Malpass has been a consistent critic of the bank and there are concerns that if he’s appointed then he’ll narrow the focus of the institution in its lending to the world’s poorest nations.

There are also concerns that Mr Malpass,a Republican,will seek to reduce the role of the World Bank.He’s served at the US Treasury since 2017 and was  a senior economic advisor to Mr Trump during his 2016 Presidential election campaign.

He’s been a regular critic of the World Bank as well as the International Monetary Fund which he’s described as “intrusive” and “entrenched”.

 

Apple has won back its crown as the most valuable public listed company after ending the trading day on Wednesday ahead of recent leaders Microsoft and Amazon.

Apple’s stock rose by 0.03 percent to put its market value at 821.5 billion dollars while Microsoft dipped 1.1 percent to put its market capitalisation at 813.4 billion while Amazon was worth 805.7 billion.

Apple stock has risen by around 13 percent since it reported quarterly earnings on the 29th of January. Investors consider that the firm has been undervalued following concerns over slowing sales of iPhones  and a rare revenue warning issued at the start of the year.

 

And-The music streaming service Spotify is spending millions of dollars in a bid to expand into the growing podcast market.

Spotify has bought Gimlet Media which is behind a series of successful podcasts as well as the podcast publishing platform Anchor.

The Swedish firm has also pledged to spend up to 500 million dollars this year on further podcast-related acquisitions.

Media analysts say that the move is a bid to put Spotify ahead of music streaming services including Apple Music and Tidal as well as giving it the opportunity to earn more advertising revenue.

The podcast market allows Spotify to keep listeners for longer periods of time which means that it can earn more from advertisers.

Sport

Football-Manchester City have gone top of the English Premier League on goal difference following a  2-0 win at Everton last night.

The win was enough to lift City above Liverpool although Jurgen Klopp’s side now have a game in hand.

There was one FA Cup 4TH round replay in England last night.Brighton were 3-1 winners at West Brom after extra time and will now face Derby County in round 5.

In the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday night.Rangers were 4-2 winners at Aberdeen.Celtic beat managerless Hibs 2-0.Dundee and Kilmarnock drew 2-2.Hamilton beat St Johnstone 2-1.Hearts and Livingston drew 0-0  and Motherwell were 2-1 winners at St Mirren.

Celtic  lead Rangers by 6 points at the top of the table.

Formula 1-Racing Point will continue as the successors to the defunct Force India for the 2019 Championship that starts in Melbourne on the 17th of March.

The Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll acquired Force India when it fell into administration last July and initially called it ‘Racing Point Force India’.

Mr Stroll’s son Lance Stroll will drive for the team this season after two years at Williams.

Rugby Union-Joe Cokanasiga has been recalled to the England squad for Sunday’s 6 Nations game against France at Twickenham.

The 21 year old has recovered from a knee injury and replaces Mike Brown.

Dan Coles has also been recalled to replace Harry Williams  and Ben Moon replaces Ellis Genge.

 

Wales have been enjoying their training week in Nice ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rome to face Italy.

The Cote d’Azur has been bathed in sunshine and the Wales players have been training at the Stade Nicois as they bid to keep their 6 Nations Championship campaign on track.

The squad has even been for a dip in the sea,which at 13 degree is not an idea the locals would entertain but is a key part of recovery from training for the players.

Racing-All racing at UK courses has been called off today following an outbreak of equine flu.

The decision by the British Horseracing Authority comes after three vaccinated horses in an active yard tested positive for the disease.

Equine flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that affects horses,donkeys and monkeys.Symptoms include high fever,coughing and nasal discharge.

Weather

Hazy sunshine-quite cloudy at times  with light variable or westerly winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 13-15 degrees.

Finally 

A astonishing new study has found that Bees have a grasp of basic maths and are able to add and subtract,

In an experiment with far reaching implications, scientists taught honeybees to recognise colours as plus or minus symbols.

Armed with this knowledge, they went on to solve basic mathematical problems set by the scientists.

The bees completed the tasks with a success rate of up to 75 per cent.

According to the Australian and French team Understanding how a tiny bee brain can do arithmetic could lead to better AI systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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