French and Riviera News Tuesday 17th September 2019

Local

Beach closed to swimmers - La plage des Ondes in Cap d’Antibes has been closed to swimmers due to pollution. Tests were carried out leading to the closure of the beach which is expected to remain closed until Wednesday.

Villa Paradiso taken off the market - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced that the former music conservatory the “Villa Paradiso” will remain the property of the town council. The mayor faced protests after the Belle-Epoque building on the Boulevard de Cimiez was put on the market a year ago for 7 million euros. In a surprise announcement on Monday Estrosi confirmed that he “would like to see the site be used by associations and celebrated the return of such a monumental building”.

Catapult Championship - Barjols in the Var has been declared the French capital of catapult shooting. The sport has some famous followers such as Petit Gibus in the "War of the Buttons", Denis malice, Tom Sawyer or even Bart Simpson. And Barjols looks set to hold the first French catapult championship on 11th November.

National

Whistleblower Edward Snowden seeks asylum in France - Edward Snowden, the US whistleblower who leaked classified documents detailing government surveillance programmes, is calling on France to grant him asylum. The former US National Security Agency contractor is currently living in Russia to avoid prosecution in the US. He unsuccessfully applied for asylum in France in 2013 under Mr Macron's predecessor, Francois Hollande, and has also sought asylum in several other countries.

Electric scooters – An environmental group in France has called on electric scooter operators to put together better safeguards to prevent scooters from ending up at the bottom of the Rhône river. The group led a clean-up operation on Sunday that recovered 109 scooters from the river in a perimeter of 300 metres within a few hours. Lyon is not the only French city facing the problem. Sunken e-scooters have also been found in Paris and Marseille.

App to monitor French ministers - French media has criticised what they refer to as a “secret” application which puts “ministers under surveillance” and is being used by French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. The app evaluates ministers and monitors closely the implementation of reforms in each ministry. The tool was reportedly developed before the summer by the services of the Prime Minister, although some say it existed in another form under Francois Hollande. The application first came about following the head of state being appalled by the slowness of the process between the date of an announcement of a reform and the date at which it was put into force.

Electric toy cars stolen from hospital - Money is being raised to replace two electric toy cars which have been stolen from a hospital in Le Mans. The Pré clinic had been given the electric vehicles by a local car dealer for children to use when going to the operating block to make the experience more playful.  But on September 2nd the cars were stolen from the hospital and since police have been unable to retrieve the vehicles.

Brigitte Macron to return to teaching - The French first lady is set to teach at a school for adult students in a tough Paris neighborhood.  She previously gave up her job as a literature teacher to support her husband's political career. The wife of French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday she was returning to the classroom. Brigitte Macron made the announcement at the opening of an adult education center in Paris. Brigitte Macron previously gave up her job as a teacher to support her husband's political career.

Arrests in Nantes - Three of the five people arrested ahead of protests in Nantes at the weekend against government reforms, were reportedly stopped for being in possession of a giant paper mache lobster. The arrests took place at noon on Saturday after the vehicle transporting the lobster was stopped by police. Those present at the time of the arrests have claimed that the reaction from the police was unnecessary and over the top.

Business

Oil prices ended some 15 percent higher on Monday following the weekend’s attacks on two Saudi oil installations with Brent Crude seeing its biggest jump in 30 years.

Brent initially surged by nearly 20 percent at the start of trading but eased back to end the trading day at 69 dollars a barrel-a rise of 14.6 percent.

West Texas Intermediate ended the day up 14.7 percent.

Prices fell back after US President Donald Trump said that he’d release domestic reserves.

Motorists can expect to see a rapid increase in petrol prices at the pumps but the price of oil is still well below the  86 dollars 29 that Brent hit in October last year.

Analysts say that they expect the oil price to continue to climb as long as tensions  between the United States ,Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to rise.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for the attacks while Tehran has accused Washington of “deceit”.

Prices have continued to ease in Asian trade this morning with Brent Crude down 1.78 percent to 67 dollars 79 and West Texas Intermediate down 1.92 percent at 61 dollars 69.

 

Low level talks on trade between US and Chinese officials are set to start in Washington on Thursday.

The US Trade Representative’s Office said on Monday that  the discussions are intended to pave the way for high level talks in October which it’s hoped will resolve the bitter 14 month old trade war.

No further details have been provided but Thursday’s discussions are expected to centre around intellectual property and technology transfer issues.

It’s reported that there has already been some movement on the purchase of agricultural products as well as other issues.

 

And-Germany’s ruling party is considering a doubling in taxes on domestic flights as part of a wider package to cut CO2 emissions.

The decision was taken by the leadership of the Christian Democrats  who are in coalition with the Christian Social Union  and the Social Democrats.

A tax of 7 euros 38 is currently levied on domestic flights.,

Connecting flights which are part of a long haul journey would be exempt.

The policy document also says that engines not powered by fossil fuels should be free of aviation tax.

Sport

Football-There was 1 game in the English Premier League last night.

Aston Villa and West Ham drew 0-0.

The European Champions League is back in action tonight with 8 ties in Groups E,F,G and H.

The holders Liverpool start their campaign with a tricky away game at Napoli in Group E while Chelsea host Valencia in Group H.

Cricket-The former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that James Anderson and Stuart Broad should not play together again as the side looks to build for the future.

Anderson is 38 and Broad 33 and Vaughan said that England need to be “realistic” about the pairs’ prospects of playing in the next Ashes series in 2021-22.

Anderson missed most of the last Ashes series through injury while Broad was one of the leading wicket takers ending with a haul of 23.

Rugby Union-The England winger Jonny May has predicted that the side will “peak” in Japan and is ready to do something special at the World Cup.

England are one of the pre-tournament favourites  and May says that he thinks the attack will make the difference.

May has scored 24 tries for England  and says that he thinks the team is “ready”.

England start their campaign on Sunday against Tonga in Sapporo.

Weather

Mainly fine  with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperatures 25-28 degrees.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Hazy sunshine in coastal areas ,showers inland. Highs of 24-27 degrees.

Finally 

A great-grandmother, 94, is believed to be the oldest woman to ever get a tattoo in the UK after having her husband and son's initials inked onto her wrist. 

Hilda West went under the needle at her local tattoo parlour, near the care home where she lives in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

She said she wanted to do something special to mark her late husband Ernest's birthday, which would have been this month. 

So, she got tattoos of the initials of Ernest, who passed away in 2014 after being married to Hilda for 70 years, and of late son David.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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