French and Riviera News.Thursday April 11th 2019

Brexit-France was the main opponent to a year long extension to Brexit as European Leaders decided to impose a “Halloween exit ” on the UK following more than 5 hours of talks in Brussels last night.

The French President Emmanuel Macron stood alone among the 27 leaders in holding out over offering a long extension after arguing that it would risk serious damage to the EU.

Mr Macron said that Europe should not import the UK’s domestic political crisis to the EU and that a no-deal scenario couldn’t be ruled out.

In the end , Mr Macron compromised following pressure from the president of the EU Council Donald Tusk and other European heads of state.

Under the extension , the UK will now leave the EU on the 31st of October with a review possible in June.

Britain could leave earlier ,provided that Theresa May can get the Withdrawal Bill through Parliament.It now seems likely however that the UK will have to participate in European Parliamentary elections in May.

The extension gives some breathing space to UK citizens living in France to sort out residency permits and other bureaucratic issues.

 

Missing man-Police in Saint Martin Vesubie in the Alpes-Maritimes have issued an urgent appeal for information about a missing man.

49 year old Christian Belveze has been missing since the 21st of March.

His car was found abandoned at Utelle near Saint-Jean-la-Riviere on the 22nd of March.

Mr Belveze is described as being 1 meter 70 tall , of normal build and with short black hair.Anyone with information is asked to call police on 04 93 03 20 10

 

Elections-A new opinion poll suggest that the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi is on course to be re-elected at next year’s municipal elections.

The poll , carried out by Ifop for CNews shows that Mr Estrosi is considerably ahead of his only close rival Eric Ciotti and that if Mr Ciotti decides not to run then he would win the election in the first round of voting.

Eric Ciotti hasn’t yet declared if he’ll be standing for Mayor of Nice.There is considerable animosity between the two men.

 

Pesticides-The Prefect of the Var has been appointed as the co-ordinator of a government group that is aiming to reduce the use of pesticides in French agriculture by half by the year 2025.

Pierre-Etienne Bisch will oversee the drive to reduce the use of glyphosate and other phyto-pharmaceuticals across the country in a bid to better protect the environment.

The use of the controversial glyphosate which is a key ingredient in the weedkiller roundup should be completely phased out by the middle of next year.

Roundup has been linked to the development of cancers and in particular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma although the manufacturer Monsanto denies the claims.

 

Are you the winner ?-The French lottery operator is still waiting to hear from the owner of the winning ticket that scooped 9 million euros in the draw on Saturday April the 6th.

The jackpot ticket was purchased somewhere in the Alpes-Maritimes but that’s all that’s known so far.

If you haven’t checked your ticket yet the winning numbers are 13.19.24.26 and 27 with the bonus number 7.

The owner of the winning ticket has 60 days to claim the prize.

 

On your bike ! – A 24 year old man from St-Laurent-du-Var has set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Lucas Pourrat left his parent’s home on Wednesday and intends to cycle 14,000 miles along the Silk Road to Mongolia.

The journey is expected to take 8 months.He says that he’s hoping to “discover himself” along the way.

 

No more fines !!-Residents at the top of the Boulevard de la Madeleine are up in arms about a campaign by authorities to clamp down on parking offences.

Many people say that they’ve received multiple parking tickets over the past few weeks and authorities seem to be increasing the number of visits they make to the road.

Residents say that they try to park as safely as possible but there is no available legal parking on one particular stretch of the road between numbers 312 and 354.

Some say that they can’t afford to pay.

 

Volunteers-A group of residents from Grasse have been helping municipal authorities to remove rubbish from roads in the town.

70 volunteers have been taking part in the clean-up operation which is organised every spring by the town of Grasse.

More than 800 kilos of rubbish ranging from empty beer cans to old tyres has been removed.

Authorities are calling on people to act responsibly and put rubbish in the bin or take larger items to the local tip and recycling centre.

 

In National News.

 

Vive la France-The French National Statistics Office Insee says that record numbers of tourists visited the country in 2018.

The number of nights spent at hotels ,campsites and youth hostels rose by 9 million from 2017 to 438.2 million.

The figures did not include data from Airbnb or HomeSwap.

The increase came despite a wave of public transport strikes and the yellow vest protests.

Tourism officials are less optimistic for this year with concerns that Brexit may see a reduction in numbers of visitors from the UK.

 

Surgeon suspended-The French Council for the Order of Doctors has suspended a surgeon from Grenoble who is alleged to have carried out some 50 unnecessary operations.

Reports say that the surgeon, who hasn’t been named didn’t follow correct procedures and that some cases relate to an amputation and a patient who was left wheelchair bound following an operation.

Some victims of the alleged abusive procedures have come forward in reports broadcast by RTL Radio.The investigation is continuing.

 

Business.

 

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) says that middle-class families are seeing their incomes stagnating as they’re being squeezed out by the ultra-rich taking a bigger slice of global wealth.

The report says that the middle-classes are being “hollowed out” with declining chances of rising prosperity and growing fears about job security.

The OECD says that the development will have political consequences for Western countries ,arguing that the middle classes have often been the “bedrock of democracy”.

The OECD report shows a changing economic model in which high earners have accelerated upwards while those in the middle have seen “dismal income growth” or a falling back.

 

Shares in the drugmaker Indivior have plunged by more than 70 percent after the US Justice Department charged the firm with fraudulent marketing.

A federal grand jury in Virginia accused the firm of a “truly shameful scheme to put profits above the health and well being of its patients”.

It’s alleged that Indivior conducted an illicit scheme to increase sales of Suboxone Film-an opioid drug used to treat addiction.

The firm has contested the charges  after the US Justice Department demanded 3 billion dollars in fines.

Indivior is listed in London and describes itself as the “world leader in addiction treatment”.

 

And-The world’s largest Primark store has opened in Birmingham in the UK.

The new store covers 161,000 square feet on 5 floors and includes a Disney Café  plus two other restaurants.It also has a hair salon and beauty studio as well as homewares and fashion.

The company says that the new store will offer  “an enhanced shopping experience” and will be four times the size of its previous Birmingham outlet in New Street.

 

Sport.

 

Football-There were two European Champions League quarter final first leg ties last night.

At Old Trafford ,a Luke Shaw own goal gave Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Manchester United while Ronaldo scored  his 155th Champions League goal as his side Juventus drew 1-1 at Ajax.

 

The Europa League quarter finals are being played tonight.Arsenal host Napoli.Benfica play Eintracht Frankfurt.Slavia Prague host Chelsea and Villareal play Valencia.

 

There were 6 games in the English Championship last night with the leaders Norwich held to a 2-2 draw at home by Reading and Sheffield United failing to take the chance to move back up to second after a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.

In the other results Brentford beat Ipswich 2-0.Hull were 2-1 winners over Wigan.Millwall and QPR drew 0-0 and Aston Villa kept up their push for a playoff place with a 2-1 win at Rotherham.

 

Golf-The US Masters starts at Augusta today with Rory McIlroy favourite for the first Major of the year.

McIlroy will tee off at 16.15 French time this afternoon in a group with Rickie Fowler who’s also highly fancied and Cameron Smith of Australia.

Tiger Woods,who says that he’s feeling in great shape tees off at 16.04 alongside  Jon Rahm of Spain while the world number one Justin Rose will be teeing off at 18.49 in a group with Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas.

 

Rugby Union-Rugby Australia has described as “unacceptable” a social media post by Israel Folau in which he said that “hell awaits” gay people.

The full back escaped punishment for similar comments last year but he could be facing a spell on the sidelines this time.

Folau said on Wednesday that drunks ,homosexuals ,adulterers ,liars ,fornicators ,thieves ,atheists and idolaters should repent because only “Jesus saves”.

Rugby Australia says that its integrity unit is “engaged on the matter”.

 

Weather.

 

Hazy sunshine giving way to scattered showers and thunderstorms  this afternoon.

Light to moderate easterly winds and a high of 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with partially  cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Sunshine and showers.Highs of 15-17 degrees.

 

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