French and Riviera News Wednesday 17th April 2019

Local

Notre Dame - Many cities across France have responded to the call for donations launched by the Heritage Foundation in order to finance the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral following the tragic fire on Monday which destroyed part of the historic monument.  

The Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur, was one of the first to announce their participation on Monday. In Nice donations can be made on the Foundations website or at the town hall. The city of Cannes has pledged 10,000 euros and confirmed that they will be collecting donations at this year’s film festival held from the 14th to the 25th May, and the mayors of Menton, Antibes and Mandelieu-la-Napoule have installed urns in the city’s town hall for public donations.

Meanwhile in a televised address to the nation, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he wants the Notre Dame Cathedral, to be repaired within five years. Macron said that the dramatic fire had brought out the best in a country that has been riven with divisions.

France's deputy interior minister Laurent Nuñez has praised the "courage and determination" of firefighters who "risked their own lives" to salvage the building's stone structure and its two towers.

And French investigations into the devastating blaze saw the authorities question workers who were renovating the monument on Tuesday, as hundreds of millions of euros were pledged to restore the historic masterpiece. Ongoing renovation work on the steeple, where workers were replacing its lead covering, is widely suspected to have caused the fire after the blaze broke out in an area under scaffolding.

Nice city center - Residents in Nice city centre have appealed to the council to do something about the incessant flow of traffic, pollution and noise in the area. Several claim that motorists drive at dangerously high speeds with some saying that “they risk their lives when just crossing the road”.

Monaco Extended - Monaco’s Minister of State Serge Telle has spoken of the progress of the “smart city and the digital transition here in the Principality” announcing the launch of a large project on April 30th which will outline the “Smart Principality” and will be called “Monaco Extended”. The project will be the turning point of digitization on which much work has been invested, such as connected bus shelters that will be boosted by the use of 5G.

Michelin guide new format - The most famous French gastronomic guide, the Michelin, has launched a new format combining gastronomy and tourism. Tuesday saw its first edition, which is dedicated to Corsica, being made available to the public. The director of Michelin travel guides, Philippe Orain said that the new format aims to be innovative and more than just a guide, but also a magazine.

National

Non prescription medication - According to a consumer association in France, since the authorisation of “open access of sales of non-prescription drugs” there has been an increase in the number being sold in French pharmacies. The sale of anti-inflammatory drugs such as, Nurofen, has increased by 25% since 2010, and throat lozenges, such as Strepsils by 19%. The association claims that the French government has failed to offer competitive prices pointing out that there are very large price differences for these drugs which can triple in price depending on the pharmacy.

Life expectancy in France - According to a recent study life expectancy in France has slowed down in recent years. Previous figures had shown an average rise of 3 months per year since the mid-twentieth century, from 66 years old in 1950 to 82 in 2018. However in recent years life expectancy in France has only averaged one and a half months a year for men since 2014, and one month a year for women. The study showed that the same slowdown in life expectancy is observed in the countries of northern and western Europe. The Swedes once enjoyed the highest life expectancy in Europe in 1980 have been overtaken by the French, Spanish and Italian, and with more than 87 years of life expectancy, it’s the Japanese that hold the record.

Business

As Netflix, the film and TV streaming firm continues to roll out price rises subscriber growth is expected to slow in the second quarter as a result. The company has reported strong sales and profits for the first quarter, including 9.6 million new subscribers However, Netflix expects that number to slow between April and June. The company is lifting its prices across the US, Brazil, Mexico and some parts of Europe to help fund the production of its own content.

Tech giants Apple and Qualcomm have agreed to settle all ongoing lawsuits, putting an end to a long-running battle with billions of dollars at stake. In a joint statement the firms confirmed that all litigation between the two companies worldwide had been dropped. The surprise settlement brings an end to a long-running battle over the cost of the processors that phones use to connect to mobile networks. Apple accused chip-maker Qualcomm of overcharging, a claim the firm denied. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, but the firms did not disclose how much.

A new study has shown that the British work the longest hours in the EU, but are less productive than those in some other countries. The study from the TUC suggests full-time employees in the UK worked an average of 42 hours a week last year, almost two more than the typical EU employee.

In Denmark workers average 37 hours a week, while countries such as Holland, Italy, Belgium, France, Sweden and Ireland average 39.

Despite the longer hours, the UK still lags behind countries such as Germany and Denmark when it comes to productivity. In 2017 Britain was ranked 14th in terms of output per worker per hour.

Sport

Football - Lionel Messi's first-half double inspired Barcelona into their first Champions League semi-final since 2015 as Manchester United were knocked out of Europe after a 3-0 loss and 4-0 defeat on aggregate. Here’s more from BBC SPORT

In other football news Jurgen Klopp and James Milner have played down Liverpool's "best in the world" tag from Champions League quarter-final opponents Porto.

Liverpool have travelled to Portugal with a 2-0 aggregate lead following the first leg at Anfield, with Porto's head coach suggesting "Klopp's team have been the best on the planet at times this season".

Cricket – As England name their provisional 15-man squad today Chris Woakes has said that It would "not be fair morally" for England to pick the uncapped Jofra Archer in their World Cup squad. Sussex's Archer, 24, has played only 14 one-day matches in his career but has impressed in Twenty20 cricket.

Rugby Union – The Rugby Football Union has given Billy Vunipola a "formal warning" after the England player defended Israel Folau's social media post claiming "hell awaits" gay people. The 26-year-old liked the post by Folau and called for people to "live their lives how God intended". During a meeting, the RFU said Vunipola had "expressed genuine regret".

Tennis - World number one Novak Djokovic smashed his racquet during his frustrating three-set victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber as he reached the Monte Carlo Masters last 16. Djokovic also threw his racquet into the crowd as he struggled to close out the match. British number two Cameron Norrie earlier reached the second round. Eleven-time champion Rafael Nadal, begins his title defence against fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut today.

Weather

Mainly fine with some cloud highs of 17 degrees in Nice, Antibes and Cannes and 20 degrees in Saint Tropez and Saint Raphael with a moderate south easterly wind. This evening going down to 10 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 6 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Good Friday starting off overcast clearing by the afternoon with temperatures remaining the same.

Finally 

A drunken reveller was abruptly woken by a bewildered couple after he wandered into the wrong house and fell asleep on their sofa. 

A hungover Scottish man has recalled in an online video how he woke up to find a strange couple asking why he was in their home, after a night of antics in Glasgow

He reveals he had walked into the wrong house and fallen asleep in a makeshift bed - but not before he helped himself to a pot noodle as a snack.   But thankfully the owner's of the house found the blunder as funny as he did.

 

 

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