French and Riviera News Wednesday 19th February 2020

Local

Security - As part of public security in Cannes, the city council has announced plans to train more than 1,000 local police officers to fight Islamist radicalisation.Cannes was the first city in France to have a local council plan to “prevent terrorism”. With local authorities investing a budget of 7.5 million euros. The training programme is scheduled to start in May. 

Road accident - An accident on the A8 motorway has caused long tail backs with traffic at a standstill on Tuesday evening. The accident between two lorries occurred just after Villeneuve Louvet eastbound.

Meanwhile Police are calling for witnesses to the serious accident on the A8 motorway early Monday morning. A truck and a motorcycle were involved in a collision at Junction 44, the Antibes turnoff, at about 5.40 on Monday morning. Police are asking witnesses to get in touch by calling 04 92 19 42 20.

TEDX - Three young people from Grasse have organised the first TEDX conference in the town. The American group was contacted to organise the first event of its kind in the region on the theme of “Returning to your roots”. The conference is planned for Saturday February 22nd. 

Suicide - Train services along the coast have been severely disrupted following an incident at Nice Saint-Augustin railway station. The incident occurred on Tuesday, early evening. A man is believed to have taken his own life by throwing himself in front of a train as it was entering the station. Police and emergency services rushed to the scene but were unable to save the individual.  

Compensation - The Nice Administrative Court has ruled against a claim for compensation made by several campsites in Biot and Antibes. The campsites had claimed 10 million euros in damages from local municipalities after they were ordered to close after floods in October 2015. The lawyer for the businesses has reportedly indicated that they plan to appeal the decision.

Traffic has been disrupted in Monaco  after a vehicle caught fire. A Ferrari caught fire on Avenue Princesse Grace opposite the Grimaldi Forum just before 4pm on Tuesday but was quickly brought under control by firemen. There were no injuries.

Strike - Unions have announced a demonstration in central Nice on Thursday as part of another day of action against pension reforms. The march will leave the Theatre de Verdure at 10.30am to the Place Garibaldi. Disruption to public transport is expected on Thursday and no trams will be running in Nice.

Missing person - Police in the Var are appealing for information regarding a missing person. Paul Grosso disappeared from La Croix-Valmer on Sunday. He is about 1.60 metres tall with partially receding hair and was driving a white Renault Twingo, registration number AD 641 CV. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 04 98 11 84 50.

National

Investigation - Russian artist Pitor Pavelenski and his girlfriend are under official investigation in France over the leaking of a sex video that caused the ruling party's candidate for mayor of Paris, Benjamin Griveaux, to end his campaign.

The couple were taken into custody on Saturday and questioned for two days, as allowed under French law.

French President pledge - French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to 'win the battle' against Muslims creating separate communities in France. Macron mad the comments during a visit on Tuesday to a police station in a densely populated district of Mulhouse, in the east of France.

Business

Boeing’s 737 Max jetliner has faced new safety issues after reports that debris was found in the fuel tanks of several planes. The news comes as the 737 Max remains grounded after two fatal crashes.

A spokesperson for the company has told employees that the discovery was “absolutely unacceptable”.

The so called “Foreign Object Debris” an industrial term for rags, tools, metal shavings and other materials, was allegedly found during a maintenance check.

The effects of the coronavirus continues to take its toll on the supply chain of carmaker Jaguar Land Rover forcing the company to fly in parts in suitcases.

The company said that it could start to run out of Chinese parts for its UK factories after two weeks.

The virus has killed more than 1,800 people in China with factories closing across the country.

On Monday, Apple warned that disruption as a result of the virus would affect the supply of iPhones

Meanwhile, digger manufacturer JCB has cut production because of a shortage of components from China.

The Cayman Islands, a UK overseas territory has been added by the European Union to its blacklist of tax havens.

The move has been welcomed by Oxfam, which lobbies for tax reform, saying the it was "encouraging" before adding that “many more places should be blacklisted”.

And the UK government has unveiled plans which would see low skilled workers unable to get visas.

Under post-Brexit immigration plans, the Home office said EU and non-EU citizens coming to the UK would be treated equally after UK-EU movement ends on December 31st

Sport

Football - Liverpools defence of their Champions League title hangs in the balance after Atletico Madrid took the lead beating them 1-0 on agreegate going into the second leg of their last-16 tie at Anfield.

Meanwhile Dortmund took the advantage over Paris St-Germain in their Champions League last-16 tie beating them 2-1.

Formula One - The Chinese Grand Prix could be rescheduled for November.

The Shanghai Grand Prix was originally scheduled for April 19th but has been postponed following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

F1 officials have since been weighing up how to get their race calendar back on track and are reportedly considering several possibilities. 

Rugby Union - Leicester Tigers hooker Tom Youngs has been suspended for four weeks by the Rugby Football Union for punching Wasps forward Will Rowlands on Saturday.

Youngs accepted the charge and cannot play again until after 24th March.

Weather

Mainly fine with some passing cloud. Highs of 16-18 degrees along the coast with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 4 degrees inland and 7 degrees in Nice with clear skies.

Outlook for the next few days expected to remain fine and sunny with similar temperatures over the weekend and into the beginning of next week.

Finally 

The European Space Agency is searching for 20 women to 'float' in a bath tub style bed for five days straight. 

The space agency is working with the Medes clinic here in France to study the impact of 'dry-immersion' baths - floating beds - on the female body.

Volunteers are supported and suspended evenly in the tub - mimicking the floating experienced by astronauts on the International Space Station. 

They want female volunteers as they have almost no data on the impact the 'floating' has on women.

Scientists running the study say it sounds appealing but caution the pleasure soon wears off. 

 

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