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  • Airbus to end A380 after Emirates cuts order

    Airbus is to stop production of its A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, after the biggest customer for the aircraft, Emirates, reduced its order from 162 to 123 planes.

    Posted: by RFI

  • Airbus to scrap production of A380 superjumbo in 2021

    Europe’s Airbus announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo on Thursday, abandoning its dream of dominating the skies with a cruiseliner for the 21st century after years of lacklustre sales.

    Posted: by France 24

  • Apple announces agreement on French back taxes

    Apple has reached an agreement with French authorities over 10 years of back taxes, the US firm told AFP on Tuesday, confirming information published by the French magazine L’Express.

    Posted: by France 24

  • Facebook marks 15 years under a cloud of scandal

    The world’s largest social media site, with more than 2 billion users worldwide, marks its 15th anniversary Monday beset by scandals and accusations that it has failed to prevent, and even fostered, the mining of user data by private companies.

    Posted: by France 24

  • Former Renault boss Ghosn loses millions in compensation

    Renault said it had scrapped 30 million euros ($34 million) in deferred and severance pay to former boss Carlos Ghosn, forced out last month following his arrest for suspected financial misconduct at Japanese affiliate Nissan.

    Posted: by France 24

  • France slams EU veto of Alstom-Siemens rail merger

    France’s government said Wednesday that the European Union’s veto of a plan to merge French and German rail companies Alstom and Siemens into one industry giant was a mistake that would give China the edge on the world market.

    Posted: by RFI

  • Helping young French entrepreneurs take their first business steps

    A survey carried out by the polling institute Vivavoice at the end of 2017 showed that 72 percent of those in the 16-20 age group think that starting a business in France is difficult. But the country is making a big effort to nurture its entrepreneurs.

    Posted: by RFI

  • Parenting in the Digital Age

    (C) Metamorworks 1101189260 / Shutterstock.comIn the midst of the Digital Age, our lives are now interconnected with the World Wide Web, a limitless source of knowledge and instant global connection. Expat families have it better than ever; able to see their loved ones back home with two taps of a finger and update friends on social media with precious moments with the kids. While this seems like a utopia of interaction, there is a downside to all this digital technology: the health and safety of young children can easily become compromised on the Internet. Parents today have learned to utilise digital technology, but they don’t necessarily understand the pitfalls. We spoke with Mougins School and the International School of Monaco (ISM) about how they protect students and teach parents about the digital world our children are growing up in.

    From classroom lectures to recorded podcasts, both schools are making great efforts to bring parents into the discussion. Brian Hickmore, Headmaster of Mougins School says that preparing students for the high-tech world can be difficult because technology is advancing so rapidly. He welcomes the new technology but is careful for his students’ safety: “More and more lessons involve technology, making teaching and learning exciting and varied. The only way we can hope to ensure [students’] safety is by dialogue – lessons like PHSE (personal health and social education), can aboard new issues relating to eSafety with motivational speakers, films etc. We can make sure we teach it and hope we do enough to provide the children with the information they need to stay safe.”

    Screen Time
    Tablets are one of the most amazing inventions of our time. We can do so much with them. However, their effects on very young children can be potentially dangerous. The founders of our Digital Age, including Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs, highly restricted their children’s use of technology. Even the designer of the iPad, Jonathan Ive, refused to let his young children use one. The reasons are many, but the biggest threat is to babies, as touch screens can interfere with early brain and fine motor skill development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends strict limits to children’s screen time and urges no screen time before two years.

    Both Mougins School and ISM agree on the need to protect the youngest children from too much screen time. Headmaster Hickmore recommends that small children should only use tablets in public spaces in the home and not to let children take the tablet into their room. Even older children should be restricted on screen time, he says, and suggests parents install an internet shutdown device to avoid overnight gaming. 

    Bullying has always existed in schools and many parents pass-off this new digital version as just another way kids are mean. But cyberbullying is not just a digital version of what happens in schools. According to Headmaster Hickmore, cyberbullying reaches a different level of “nastiness” because the person is not face-to-face with their victim. The anonymity allows them to use stronger language, post a more embarrassing photograph or go beyond the level they otherwise would—and the audience is much larger. An embarrassing moment in school could be shared with the entire student body (humiliating as that may seem), but cyberbullying has an unlimited audience, picking up momentum as an incident turns ‘viral.’ This has had detrimental effects, even leading to some children to take their own life out of shame. 

    “Parents need to understand cyberbullying and talk to their children on a regular basis about their use of social media,” says Headmaster Hickmore. He stresses that parents need to stay vigilant with what their adolescents are posting. Mougins School teaches students the importance of careful posting of photographs on social media how the law prohibits posting pictures of someone without their permission. “It takes a while to sink in,” he says, “but we have noticed some change in behaviour.”

    ISM has a very strict “Acceptable use” policy for online posting and a “powerful filtering system” in the school. “We have our own definition of ‘digital citizenship,’ says ISM Director Gianni. “In the Secondary School, we encourage students to ‘T.H.I.N.K’ before posting on social media. This means: Is the post True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind?” They also practice what they preach: “We try to lead by example, always asking permission before posting any pictures of our students in our publications or on our website.”

    Teaching parents ‘esafety’
    Both schools offer lectures and workshops on cyber-security for parents. These not only inform but also reassure parents if they feel overwhelmed by the task of ‘gatekeeping’ their child’s internet use. The head of ISM’s Middle School holds regular workshops for parents which have proved helpful and informative. Those who aren’t able to attend the lectures can download the talk by podcast.

    This past November, Mougins School brought in eSecurity specialist and digital parenting coach, Elizabeth Milovidov to speak with students and parents and opened the talk to the local community. An American born law professor, Elizabeth works with the Children’s Rights Division of the Council of Europe as an independent expert on Children and Internet safety. She provides support to governments and associations for Online Child Protection, travels the world to lecture on Internet Safety and coaches both parents and educators on the best practices in the Digital Age. She points out that this is the first generation to parent in the Digital Age without any instruction or guidance from our own parents. “We need to teach ourselves,” she says.

    Headmaster Hickmore told Riviera Insider: “Elizabeth is an excellent motivational speaker and captured the children’s attention immediately. The Primary School children were extremely attentive to her strong guidance. The presentation to parents in the evening was also very well received – it was pitched at a different level without requiring any technical knowledge or training and presented the dangers the children face on a daily basis on their smartphones.”

    Both Mougins School and the International School of Monaco welcome technology and are very positive about the amazing changes it has brought to our lives. They also take the safety of their students very seriously. ISM told us: “Technology is here to stay; our children need these skills but it’s all about finding the right balance.”

    -Nicole Ruskell

    Posted: by Riviera France

  • Train strikes in Italy

    With the February holidays upon us, many are set to depart this weekend for destinations both near and far. For those planning an ‘easy’ trip to Italy, there may be a need to reorganise your departure. A national train strike is scheduled for 8 – 9 February. Here we look at the details because the strike does not concern all trains. Either way, it’s confusing. 

    According to the Trenitalia website, there is a national staff strike from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday 8 February 2019. During the union protest, long-distance and regional trains could be cancelled or modified. However, they say that the Freccia services (the high-end fast trains) will be guaranteed in any case.

    On the regional lines, some services are expected to be provided according to the normal schedule and high traffic commuter trains (6:00, 9:00, 18:00, 21:00) will be guaranteed. 

    During the strike, the connection between Roma Termini and Fiumicino airport will be guaranteed, either by “Leonardo Express” train or by replacement buses. 

    In addition to the train staff, the sales and assistance sector of Trenitalia will be on strike from 3 a.m. on Friday 8/2 to 2 a.m. on Saturday 9/2. This means the tickets windows at the rail stations will be unavailable, but the automatic machines will be fully functional and tickets can also be purchased through the Trenitalia website and app. 

    Trenitalia Liguria staff will be on their own strike from 3 am on Friday 8/2 to 2 am on Saturday 9/2. A strike was called by Trenitalia S.p.A.’s Machine and Onboard Staff on long-distance trains at the Genoa station. Currently, there are two Intercity trains (IC) between Ventimiglia and Milan that are marked as cancelled: 



    The strike apparently does not affect regional trains, which should still be running according to schedule (expect delays anyway).

    Up to date mobility information can be found at on the Trenitalia website:…



    Posted: by Riviera France

  • Winter Festivals of the Côte d'Azur

    Menton Fête du Citron C. Ville de Menton

    January and February, right in the depths of winter, can be the dreariest of months. Throughout northern Europe, a deep chill has set-in, people stay indoors to hide from the cold and sunshine is but daydream for many. Fortunately for us, the French Riviera offers a more temperate climate and bright sunshine almost every day. Not only can we still enjoy the outdoors, but thanks to our microclimate, the region comes alive with vibrant yellow mimosas, citrus fruits galore and little violets for all sorts of delicacies.

    It’s certainly cause for celebration and we do it with vigour! From flower battles to crazy Carnival floats to a fantasy world built of lemons, winter is the busiest season for cheerful festivals and parades. Here is a list of the top festivals:


    Carnival de Nice

    16th February to 3rd March

    The biggest carnival in France and one of the most famous in the world returns with its share of magic, colours and scents. This year’s theme of the carnival is the “King of Cinema”. Shops throughout Nice are decorated with the theme, so make sure to have a stroll through the little streets and allies for some fun cinema-themed silliness!

    Day and night parades, flower battles and all-around wackiness! Be part of this crazy and beautiful event taking place along Avenue Jean Médecin, Place Masséna and the Promenade des Anglais


    Fête du CitronFete du Citron Menton from 2017 'Broadway' (C) Ville de Menton

    Menton Lemon Festival

    16th February to 3rd March

    What would the French Riviera be like without its famous and tasty lemons and organges? Before enjoying them as a delicious tart, or tangy marmalade, the city of Menton invites us to celebrate its iconic fruit in a unique event which attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year. For 15 days visitors can admire the gigantic citrus structures, made into fabulous and creative scenes. The 2019 theme is “Fantastic Worlds.” Expect to see some out of the world displays along the Promenade du Soleil and throughout the  Jardin Biovès.

    Don’t miss the parades, the Artisan salon or the Orchid Festival with its unforgettable scents. The full schedule can be found on their website:



    Mimosa Festival

    20th to 27th February

    Created in 1931, the Mimosa Festival has become an essential event during which we celebrate the bright yellow flower that has been the symbol for the city and more broadly for the French Riviera. In reference to “Marco Polo’s travels” – this year’s theme – golden floats will be accompanied by many musicians, street artists, troops and machinery to take the visitors inside the adventures of the famous explorer. Also, don’t miss the election of the ‘Queen of Mimosa’ on Saturday 23rd February at the Expo Congress Centre (free admission).



    Flower Parade


    24th February

    The “Corso Fleuri” is a grand parade of floats covered in over 80,000 bright and beautiful flowers (mimosa, white heather, windflowers, carnations etc.) that run through the streets of the village.

    Admission €6, children up to 10 free. The parade starts at 2.30 pm.



    Violet Festival © Office de Tourisme de NiceViolet Festival


    2nd to 3rd March
    Violet Festival

    This mountain-top village has been celebrating its symbol flower since 1952. The weekend programme includes a market of local specialties, culinary treats made with violets, live music and more. The event takes place throughout the medieval village. Full programme online.



    Posted: by Riviera France