French and Riviera News Tuesday 12th February 2019

Local

Measles - French health authorities have warned of a surge in measles cases at the Val-Thorens ski resort. The 18 recorded cases "are mostly young adults working at the station this season,". The regional health agency for the region has recommended that parents ensure that they and their children are vaccinated against the highly contagious disease, as thousands of families prepare to hit the slopes during winter school vacations in the coming weeks. 

Cases of measles have been rising in France and other parts of the developed world in recent years, the result of fewer children being vaccinated against a viral disease that causes rashes and inflammation which can quickly prove fatal.

Missing person found dead - The body of 54 year old France Mazenc, who had been missing since the 8th January has been discovered in wasteland in Grasse. A passerby alerted police on Monday evening. Mazenc had not been seen since leaving her home in Mougins. An autopsy is to be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has announced that a meeting will be held in Nice to address deteriorating Franco-Italian relations.  The meeting, to be held in the place Garibaldi on Friday, aims to bring together associations and elected officials on a regional level. The mayor said that they would not allow government measures to spoil a relationship that is so important, both economically and socially.

Public transport in Nice will undergo a major reorganisation later this year.  Bus transportation is being reorganised to take into account the two new tramlines, with a third tramline scheduled to open at the end of the year.  Many bus routes will change number and route.  The changes are expected to come into effect on the 2nd of September.

The SNCF has released the results of its annual customer satisfaction survey. The survey asks for the views of rail users in 122 stations across France. All the stations in the PACA region received above average evaluations, except for Nice Riquier which had the distinction of being the most unsafe station in the survey.

Sister Andree 115 - Born Lucille Randon today known as Sister Andree has celebrated her 115th birthday. Born on February 11th 1904 Sister Andree was awarded “citizen of honour” by the mayor of Toulon on Monday as part of the celebrations. Resident in the Var since 2009, Sister Andree is originally from Alès. Asked what is the secret to a long life? the former housekeeper answered "I do not know and if I did, I would have halved it," adding "I was eighth, then fourth, and now the third oldest person in the world!"

National

League du LOL - Several French media executives have been suspended or fired for allegedly co-ordinating online harassment through a private Facebook group. Among those suspended are two journalists from Libération. The largely-male “League du LOL” reportedly targeted women writers and feminist activists among others. The group, believed to have had about 30 members, is said to have spread pornographic memes online and doctored photos to humiliate its victims. What group members claim started as dubious humour in private exchanges, however, appears to have soon degenerated and spread on to the wider web mostly through Twitter with dozens of people sharing their experience of cyber-bullying by the group since it was uncovered by the French newspaper Libération.

Yellow Vest numbers drop - Figures released have shown that the turnout at Saturday’s Yellow Vest protests fell sharply, with 51,400 attending demonstrations nationwide as opposed to 69,000 just two weeks ago. After drawing 282,000 people nationwide during the first weekend of protest in November, less than a fifth of that turned out on Saturday for “Act 13”, according to the French Interior ministry.

Close aide to French President announces resignation - A close aide to French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his resignation. Ismaël Emelien, whose name has recently been linked to the so-called “Benalla Affair”, has become the latest member of the president’s entourage to quit. Emelien, who served as Macron’s “special advisor” and was frequently described as his closest confidant, said in an interview with French weekly Le Point on Monday that he would be quitting by early April at the latest. The 31-year-old’s name had recently surfaced in a sprawling investigation involving the president’s former top security aide Alexandre Benalla, who faces a number of charges after he was filmed roughing up protesters at a May Day rally last year.

Processed foods linked to earlier death - According to a study carried out in France eating a lot of heavily processed foods is linked to a risk of earlier death. Over seven years of follow-up, there were 602 deaths, of which 219 were from cancer and 34 from cardiovascular disease. The research, published today, found that deaths were more likely to occur in those who ate more ultra-processed food.

A security van driver has disappeared with his van containing about one million euros. According to reports, three security staff were delivering money to a cash machine in Aubervilliers, in the Seine-Saint-Denis department this morning.  Two of the employees left the van to load the machine and when they returned their colleague and the van had disappeared.  The vehicle was found shortly afterwards but the cash was missing.

Business

Renault’s chairman will meet Nissan Motor’s CEO this week in Japan as they look at ways to cement their partnership after the ouster of former alliance leader Carlos Ghosn. The CEO of Nissan said this morning that Jean-Dominique Senard, named chairman of the French automaker last month, would visit Japan to become better acquainted with its Japanese partner.

Stock markets globally inched higher on Monday after China struck an upbeat tone as trade talks between the United States and Beijing resumed, though worries remained over the fate of Brexit. Worries about a slowdown in global growth, the U.S.-China trade dispute and the possibility of another U.S. government shutdown have been foremost on investors’ minds. At the same time, Britain is due to leave the European Union in six weeks, though it still has no exit plan in place. Data on Monday showed the British economy grew last year at its slowest since 2012.

A UK government-backed report has suggested a regulator should oversee tech giants like Google and Facebook to ensure their news content is trustworthy. The report also backed tax reliefs to encourage the provision of local journalism. Such a body, it said, could work in a similar way to the Arts Council, channelling public and private funding to "those parts of the industry it deemed most worthy of support".

Meanwhile the UK government is being sued for its decision to charter firms to run extra ferries, including one with no ships, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel, said the contracts, revealed after Christmas, were decided in a "secretive and flawed procurement process". The move comes days after Seaborne, one of the firms chosen, had its contract axed after its funding fell through.

Sport

Cricket - Captain Joe Root said England have shown "resilience" and "what we are capable of" as his unbeaten century on day three, set up England's push for victory against West Indies in the third Test.

Football - Chelsea's players are understood to be baffled by the tactical information they are given to carry out their manager’s philosophy.

Sarri is facing a fight to convince the club’s bosses that he has a long-term future at Stamford Bridge after Sunday’s humiliating 6-0 loss at Manchester City, their worst ever Premier League defeat.

In the Champions League tonight Manchester United face PSG and Roma play FC Porto here’s more from BBC Sport.

Formula One - Toro Rosso have unveiled their 2019 Formula 1 car. Red Bull's junior team are this year taking advantage of new rules allowing teams to buy parts from rivals.

Weather

Clear skies to start with this morning across the region with highs of 15 degrees in Nice and 16 degrees in Saint Tropez. Clouding over by this afternoon in the Alpes Martitimes with a light north easterly wind. This evening going down to 6 degrees in Cannes and Antibes and 2 degrees in Saint Raphael and Ramatuelle with clear skies.

Wednesday highs of 13 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 14 degrees in the Var clear skies with a moderate to strong easterly wind in the Var and gust of up to 45 km/hr

Thursday clear skies highs of 17 degrees.

Finally 

If you sing so off-key that people run out of the room, you may want to blame your parents. As scientists have found that a perfect pitch may be in the genes instead of something you can learn.

Scientists say the musical gift shared by Mozart, Beethoven and Bach is heavily dependent on the brain.

They discovered musicians with perfect pitch have an auditory cortex which is about 50 per cent larger than normal. 

But it is probably not that musical training enlarges the part of the brain which processes sound.

When researchers scanned the brains of similar musicians who had trained for more than a decade, they had the same size auditory cortex as someone who had never picked up a musical instrument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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