French and Riviera News Thursday 8th August 2019

Local

Traffic - Bison Futé has warned motorists in the region that this weekend will be particularly difficult on the roads with a black Saturday for those heading to the Southeast. The A43, A7, A8 and A9 motorways are all expected to be affected in both directions with road authorities advising motorists to avoid taking to the road between 10am and 3pm.

Mayor of Signes – The people of Signes near Toulon, in the Var will gather this afternoon to pay their last respects to the town’s mayor Jean-Mathieu Michel. 76-year-old Jean Michel, Mayor of Signes since 1983, died after allegedly being run over following an argument over illegal tipping. On Monday Jean-Mathieu Michel, reportedly saw two men dumping rubble and asked them to reload it. They did but as they drove off Michel was hit by the vehicle and died of his injuries. The driver of the van has now been placed under formal investigation and could face manslaughter charges. He says it was an accident. The incident led to French President Emmanuel Macron expressing his sincerest condolences" and praising the tireless dedication of Jean Michel an elected official who served his commune and its inhabitants for more than 40 years.

National Park  - The National Park of Calanques in Marseille has launched a campaign to stop visitors from littering in the area. The park, which is home to nearly 200 protected species, attracts 2.5 million visitors each year. The campaign hopes to raise public awareness with visitors being rewarded for collecting any rubbish.

Meanwhile in Nice the “Fill the bottle challenge” continues as beach goers take part in the trend launched on social media with #FillTheBottle which involve collecting the numerous discarded cigarette butts on the region’s beaches.

Football - AS Monaco will be kicking off the start of the French championship league season on Friday against Lyon. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday the AS Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, said "the result this season will depend on the workforce” adding that after a very hectic season, it’s time to rebuild. Friday night’s match against Lyon kicks off at the Stade Louis II at 8.45 pm.

National

Terror charges - A young woman has been found guilty of planning a terrorist attack on French soil in 2016. Her accomplice, another young woman, has been found guilty of planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. The Paris Criminal Court sentenced a radicalised young woman – identified only as Janna C. – to seven years in prison on Wednesday. She was arrested in 2016, suspected of planning to carry out an attack in France on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group.

“Sexist outrage” law - French authorities have issued over 700 fines since a street harassment law came into effect last year. France's Secretary of Equality between men and women, Marlène Schiappa, spearheaded the effort as part of an overall law against sexual violence in France. The "sexist outrage" law allows for fines of between €90 and €750 for behaviour such as cat-calling, obscene gestures, degrading comments on physical appearance, sexual propositions or following a person insistently in the street.

Slashed tyres - A 54-year-old man has been charged with slashing more than 120 tyres in a two-year vandalism spree in south west France. Police in Chalais in the Charente region had been chasing the perpetrator since 20

Business

UK-based Ryanair pilots have voted to strike in a row over pay and conditions. The British Airline Pilots Association has announced two walkouts, one from 22-23 August, while the second strike will be from 2-4 September. It said pilots did not want to disrupt people's travel plans but felt they had no choice after "decades of Ryanair refusing to deal with unions".

Surveyors in the UK have said that house prices and sales are "losing momentum" amid Brexit uncertainty, although parts of the UK are still seeing property values rise. Many homes valued at more than £1m were being sold for under the asking price. However, it said prices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were rising at a "solid pace".

The UK's decades-long membership of the Interrail scheme, which allows people to travel around Europe on a single train ticket, is to end. From January 2020, UK rail journeys will no longer be covered by either the Interrail or Eurail passes, said Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents UK train operators. The move means that ticketholders will have to buy separate tickets to get around Britain. Many on Twitter reacted angrily, warning it would put off visitors from travelling beyond London.

Sport

Football - Manchester City have completed the signing of Portugal right-back Joao Cancelo from Juventus for £60m. Cancelo, 25, has signed a contract at the club until the summer of 2025 and becomes City's third signing of the summer after Angelino and Rodri.

Tennis - British number two Dan Evans pushed Spanish great Rafael Nadal in their first meeting before going down in straight sets at the Rogers Cup. Evans, 29, lost 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in a second-round match disrupted by rain in Montreal.

Cycling - Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht died after a lacerated liver led to internal bleeding and a cardiac arrest following his crash at the Tour de Pologne. The 22-year-old died in hospital on Monday after crashing 60 miles into stage three of the event in Poland.

Weather

Clear skies highs of 28 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes and 33 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var with a moderate south westerly wind.

This evening going down to 20 degrees in the Var and 22 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and the start of the weekend sunshine and highs of 34 degrees.

Finally 

A new study has suggested that optimistic people tend to sleep longer and have better quality sleep than those who take a glass-half-empty outlook on life. 

Researchers found that the most positive people were 78 percent more likely to describe their sleep quality as good and to get the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night.

There were also about 75 percent more likely than 'pessimistic people' to report no symptoms of insomnia or to have daytime sleepiness.

The team, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is not sure of the exact mechanism, but believes being optimistic helps diminish the effects of stress, leading to a more pleasant night's sleep.

 

 

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