French and Riviera News Tuesday 3rd September 2019

Local

Tribute to victim of domestic violence -  More than a hundred people have attended a rally in tribute to the 21 year old woman who lost her life in a scene of domestic violence on Saturday in Cagnes sur mer. The rally organized on Monday evening was the first of several to be organized in the region to denounce domestic violence in France. On Thursday 5th September people are invited to gather in front of the train station in Cagnes sur Mer at noon and on Saturday 7th a rally is scheduled at 11am at Place Garibaldi in Nice.   

Meanwhile as part of the investigation into the exact circumstances leading to the victim’s death several questions are being asked about the speed of the intervention from police.  According to the prosecutor's office in Grasse, "officers were quick to attend the scene but did not discover any element relating to the attack". The body was found the next day by a local resident.

According to the public prosecutor, investigations are being carried out to establish an accurate chronological account of events which is expected to be released on Wednesday.  

Amid 100 instances of domestic femicide in France since the beginning of the year, the French government has convened a conference on domestic violence to start today September 3rd. But critics say the government needs to do much more. France’s Minister of Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa announced on July 7 that a major conference on violence against women will take place today – with a goal of reducing the 220,000 incidents of physical or sexual violence within a marital framework that happen every year in France, according to official data.

Fire Station - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and MP for the Alpes Maritimes Eric Ciotti have both spoken out on twitter following the attack on the fire station at Bon Voyage in Nice. According to reports stones were thrown on Monday evening from a neighbouring building hitting one firefighter. Nobody was injured and a complaint has been filed however no arrests have been made.  

Corsica ferry rescues migrants - A ferry from Corsica Linea has rescued 18 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea during the night of Sunday 1st September. The ferry docked on Monday evening in Marseilles. According to reports the captain of the ferry did not hesitate to help after receiving "a call from the Spanish government". The boat then diverted its initial route, to rescue the victims at sea. The migrants include minors, seeking exile to Europe, had been at sea for several days. Drifting on a small motorboat apparently out of fuel, they were hoisted aboard the ferry and immediately examined by medical staff.

Magic Johnson - American basketball legend Magic Johnson has begun birthday celebrations in Saint Tropez with the first big "party" being held under high security on Monday evening at Nikki beach.

National

Education reforms - The French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has set the tone of the new school year promising one of “maturity and success” insisting that the well-being of teachers will be a priority. But some staff are planning to strike again over recent reforms and changes. This year many changes pushed through by President Emmanuel Macron's government will be put in place. In an announcement at his press conference, Blanquer outlined the government's plans to deal with violence in schools. To tackle this problem, the education ministry said in the first instance, a police presence would be increased around schools. Another change will be to the 'Bac' (short for baccalareat), or final year exams, which will come into effect in 2021. The traditional branches of study will be replaced by more specialized choices, in other words, students can choose their subjects “à la carte”. This is part of the Blanquer Bill which aims to modernise the national school system to make education less elitist. The new format ‘Bac’ will be based on four written exams and one oral exam.The results will derive in part from the final result, and in part from marks given across the year. As for trade unions, not all of them have organized strikes yet. Some are waiting to see how the reforms pan out, others have given their notices to prepare for strikes and demonstrations.

Other changes include children are now obliged to start school from 3-year-old as opposed to 6. The reform also promises to better include students with handicaps into the normal school cursus, affecting over 24,000 students this year. A hotline service for families to get advice has been set up. Finally, the French and European flag is to be displayed in all classrooms in every school and students will have to learn the words of the national anthem, La Marseillaise. The new rule has been controversial. Critics say it is overly nationalistic.

Iran and France - The Iranian government has said that Iran and France have moved closer in their views on the future of Tehran’s nuclear deal with the west after talks between the countries’ presidents. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his Iranian counterpart, spoke for two hours by telephone, as Paris continued its diplomatic initiative to salvage the deal, which has been at risk of unravelling since the US withdrew last year.

Quacking - Less than two months after the owner of a French rooster was summoned before a court over its rowdy crowing, now the owner of a gaggle of geese and ducks is in the dock over their boisterous quacking. The latest case concerns a woman who is rearing around 50 ducks and geese in her back garden in the south-western France. Dominique Douthe, 67, lives outside the town of Soustons, about 60km (40 miles) north of the Atlantic resort of Biarritz. She said the row began a little over a year ago when the new neighbours moved into a house across the road. With the previous owners, she said: “I never had any problem”.  The case is one of several that have been cast as an attack on the rights of church bells to ring, cows to moo and donkeys to bray throughout rural France.

Business

The pound has continued to fall on currency markets amid intensified political uncertainty over Brexit. Reports of a possible snap general election weighed on sterling as MPs mulled efforts to push for a further three-month Brexit extension. Against the dollar, it sank more than a cent to $1.2050, while against the euro, it fell below the €1.10 mark.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted that the UK is ready to leave the EU without a deal. Brexit is currently scheduled to happen on 31 October.

A survey commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute found that 51% of parents in the UK would encourage their child to apply for an apprenticeship instead of university and 59% of parents thought an apprenticeship provided better job prospects than a university degree.

But less than half of those polled said that vocational qualifications were better than academic qualifications.

The survey also found few people were aware of T-levels, the equivalent to A-levels, which will be launched in England next year. Just 29% of those surveyed said they knew anything about the new qualifications but, after being given a short description of them, 72% said they would adequately prepare young people for the workforce.

Sport

Tennis - Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal responded to the challenge thrown down by 2014 champion Marin Cilic as he battled to reach the US Open quarter-finals with a four-set win.

Formula One - Daniel Ricciardo says he had doubts about racing in the Belgian Grand Prix following the crash that killed Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert. Hubert died after a high speed crash in the Formula 2 race on Saturday, shortly after Formula 1 qualifying finished. Renault driver Ricciardo said: "You question: 'Is it really worth it?' "Yeah, it's our job and it's our profession and it's our life, but also it's still just racing cars around in circles."

Football - Striker Romelu Lukaku says "we are going backwards" on racism after he was racially abused by Cagliari fans while playing for Inter Milan on Sunday. It follows incidents where Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, and Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham were abused on social media. "As players we need to unify and make a statement on this matter," Lukaku said.

 

Rugby Union - Devin Toner has been left out of Ireland's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. The 33-year-old Leinster lock has made 60 appearances under head coach Joe Schmidt, more than any other player during the Kiwi's six-year tenure. Schmidt was not expected to name his squad until Sunday.

Cycling - Team Ineos have signed Giro d'Italia champion Richard Carapaz on a three-year deal from next season. The Ecuadorian rider, will make the move from Movistar after winning his first Grand Tour in June. 

Weather

Clear skies with highs of 29 degrees in Nice, Monaco, Vence, Cannes and Antibes reaching 32 degrees in the Var. With a light southerly wind. This evening going down to 23 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 18 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday temperatures remaining much the same with clear skies. Rain is forecast for Friday morning in the Alpes Maritimes.

Finally 

A study has found that the reason dog breeds behave very differently to one another is because their brains have been slowly morphed by humans over millennia. 

Humans effectively 'rewired' the brains of our canine companions in pursuit of dogs that acted and behaved in certain ways that suited us. 

These behavioural nuances of different dogs became part of an ongoing quest for the perfect guard god, hunting dog, lap dog and sheep dog. 

It has now reached a point where different dog breeds, despite being part of the same species, can be told apart by their grey matter on MRI images.

The difference manifests itself in reality in the form of a Labrador's eternal affection, the rampant tenacity of a terrier and the unwavering, watchful gaze of a doberman.   

 

 

 

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