French and Riviera News.Wednesday April 24th 2019

Weather-The Alpes-Maritimes and Var are  set for more bad weather today with heavy rain and storms affecting parts of the region.

Meteo France says that the bad weather will continue to affect both departments  with avalanche warnings in mountain areas and people advised to exercise caution before taking part in outdoor sports and other activities.

The South of France has been experiencing rather inclement weather of late as parts of Northern Europe have been enjoying warm and bright conditions.

 

Road offences-Gendarmes taking part in an Easter crack down on driving offences say that more than 300 people were caught breaking the law during the 3 days of the holiday weekend.

Most of the offences were for speeding but there were 5 cases of drink driving and 9 people were caught driving under the influence of drugs.

Officers even announced the times that they would be carrying out spot checks before the operation begun but it wasn’t enough to deter some offenders.

A range of offences were registered including 48 by motorcyclists and more than a hundred for using a phone while driving,not wearing a seatbelt and not driving with due care or attention.

 

Drug bust-Police in Draguignan say that they’ve broken up a major drugs ring in the town and made several arrests.

Raids were carried out at several addresses on Tuesday with 100 kilos of cannabis resin seized along with 50 grams of cocaine and 40,000 euros in cash.

Investigations continue.

 

 

Put a Cork in it ! –Aer Lingus is offering direct flights from Nice to Cork for people wishing to visit southern Ireland without having to transfer at Dublin.

The seasonal service offers return flights from 95 euros and takes off from Nice twice a week at 21.50 arriving in Cork at 23.40.

Return flights leave Cork at 18.00 hours arriving in Nice at 21.35.

Flights are operated on Wednesday’s and Sundays.

 

La Palermo-Corsica Ferries has launched a new service from Toulon to Sicily.

The journey takes 19 hours and the first crossing was on Easter Monday.

Corsica Ferries already has scheduled services to Corsica ,the Balearics  and Sardinia.

Passengers can now arrange trips with stop-off points at all destinations offered by the firm.

 

The Voice-Auditions for the next series of the French version of The Voice are being held in Nice on May the 3rd.

Anyone wishing to be included should sign up to www.radioemotion.fr and include a song using an mp3 file or provide a YouTube link.

The auditions will take place at the Theatre National in Nice a week on Friday in the presence of the show’s casting director Bruno Berberes.

 

In National News.

 

Work ,work ,work-Reports say that President Macron intends to tell the nation that it must work harder when he makes his delayed statement on the results of issues raised during the Grand Debate.

Mr Macron is expected to announce an end to the 35 hour working week as well as tax cuts for middle and working class families.

He’s also reported to be considering scrapping one bank holiday per year –most likely the 8th of May which would bring an estimated 3 billion euros extra to the public finances.

The President is also expected to announce even stronger measures to crack down on tax evasion and possibly raise the subject of increasing the retirement age.

Mr Macron will answer questions from journalists at the Elysee Palace tomorrow evening in a live televised event.

 

Fillon- The former French Presidential candidate Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope are to be sent to trial to answer allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds.

Mr Fillon’s 2017 Presidential campaign was derailed after newspaper allegations that he’d offered a bogus job to his English born wife Penelope as a parliamentary assistant.He’s since retired from politics.

Reports says that judges examining the allegations have decided that there is enough evidence to send both Mr and Mrs Fillion to trial.

Other charges levelled against the former Prime Minister include abuse of corporate property and a breach of the reporting obligations to the body overseeing the transparency of public officials.

No trial date has been set but if and when the couple come to court there are likely to be some explosive revelations.

 

Chocoholic ?- Police in the Gard department have revealed that they caught a burglar helping himself to chocolate at a well known confectioners in the town of Ales just before the Easter break.

The man was found gorging himself on chocolate at the Taisson Gourmande store in the centre of  the town in the early hours of the morning.

The Midi Libre newspaper says that the 50 year old had also helped himself to 150 euros from the till.

He’s now behind bars of a different kind.

 

Business.

 

Shares in Twitter have risen by more than 17 percent after the firm reported rising numbers of users and higher revenues.

Twitter’s revenue rose to 787 million dollars in the first quarter-up 18 percent from a year earlier.

The firm says that the number of daily users increased by 11 percent to 134 million.

Last week,the firm’s founder Jack Dorsey said that he was ready to make changes to the way that the social media site operates in an attempt to make it more conversational and to discourage abuse and misinformation.

Social media sites are coming under increasing international pressure to better police their content following scandals over mental health ,user privacy , hate speech and political campaigning.

 

Workers at Google who organised a series of protests over the firm’s treatment of women say that they’ve become “victims of company retaliation”.

Last November , 20,000 Google staff walked out of their offices demanding key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations were dealt with at the firm.

Google has denied retaliating in “any way” but a leaked email published by Wired shows that two of the employee activists have accused the firm of taking action against several employees.

One activist,Claire Stapelton said that she’d been demoted from her position as marketing manager since the protests  while another ,Meredith Walker said that her role had been changed “dramatically”.

Google says that it “prohibits retaliation in the workplace and investigates all allegations”.

 

And-The founder of the electric carmaker Tesla says that he expects the firm to have self-driving “robotaxis” on the streets by 2020.

Elon Musk made the pledge after announcing an improved microchip for its driverless vehicles.

Mr Musk told investors that he expected regulators to approve ride-hailing for autonomous vehicles in some areas.

He said that he expected the scheme would operate along the same lines as Uber or Airbnb.

 

Sport.

 

Football-Tributes have been paid to the former Celtic captain and manager Billy McNeill who’s died at the age of 79.He’d been suffering with dementia since 2010.

McNeil was the first British player to lift the European Cup when he captained Celtic in  a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan in 1967.

As a player he led the club to 9 successive league titles ,seven Scottish Cups and six League Cups.

Later ,as the club’s manager he won 4 league titles and four cups in two spells.

He also managed Clyde ,Aberdeen ,Manchester City and Aston Villa.

 

There were 2 games in the English Premier League last night.Spurs left it late with a 1-0 win over Brighton which cements their 3rd place in the table while Watford and Southampton drew 1-1.

 

There are two games tonight.Wolves play Arsenal and Manchester City can return to the top of the table if they beat rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

 

Formula 1-Ferrari say that they need a strong performance at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a disappointing start to the season.

Mercedes have scored one-twos in all three races so far with Sebastian Vettel 31 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says that things certainly haven’t gone the way that he wanted and that this weekend will be an “important moment”.

He added that the team would be bringing a “few updates” for the race which should help to improve performance.

 

Rugby Union-The Saracens and England winger David Strettle is to retire from the professional game at the end of the season.

The 35 year old played 14 Tests for England between 2007 and 2013  and scored two international tries.

He said that it was time to say “goodbye” to rugby.

 

Tennis-The ATP is to decide on the future of administrator Justin Gimelstob after he was sentenced for assault in Los Angeles.

Mr Gimelstob was handed a three year probation and ordered to do 60 days community service after pleading “no contest” to a battery charge.

The court heard that the former player had punched his friend Randall Kaplan in the head and face more than 50 times in front of his pregnant wife and their two-year old daughter on the 31st of October last year.

The ATP  said that the board would now review Mr Gimelstob’s position.

 

Weather.

 

Overcast with outbreaks of rain clearing in late afternoon.

Moderate east-south-easterly winds and a top temperature of 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 19 degrees.Rain returning on Friday with a high of 16.

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