French and Riviera News Friday 1st February 2019

Local

Weather Alert - Météo France has issued an orange weather alert for the Var today due to heavy rainfall and strong winds. The warning was put in place at 7am this morning and remains until midnight tonight. Weather is expected to deteriorate this afternoon with thunderstorms expected from 4pm.  

Changes in February - Changes to motorway tolls, gas prices and certain food products have been announced for February. In the Alpes-Maritimes, the toll barriers of Antibes and La Turbie will increase by 10 centimes, however motorists who make at least 10 return trips per month on the same strip of motorway will benefit from a 30% discount. Gas prices are expected to fall by 0.7% and the price of over 500 food products will increase by nearly 10%, affecting brands  such as Nutella, Coca-Cola, Danette, Evian and Ricard.

Meanwhile the community of Grasse and its transport authority have introduced new fines starting today. Among the new measures, a 45 euro fine will be levied against those who have no ticket or smoke on a bus. A fine of 135 euros will be levied for a variety of infractions including staying on a bus after it’s reached the terminal, inappropriate use of the alarm, bringing an unauthorised animal on to a bus and preventing the opening or closing of doors.

Demonstration by pensioners - Traffic was disrupted in central Nice on Thursday as several hundred pensioners staged a demonstration in the place Masséna. They were protesting at reduced purchasing power and are asking for the revaluation of pensions to take full account of inflation.

Monaco Yacht Show - The advertising campaign of the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show has been launched. The artwork features a slightly restyled logo increasing the Monaco Yacht Show’s brand awareness as a label and of the « MYS » know-how in superyacht events. The Monaco Yacht Show takes place between 25th and 28th September 2019.

Football - AS Monaco has announced the arrival of Georges-Kévin N’Koudou from Tottenham. The attacking midfielder is on loan until the end of the season. The former international French youth international joins AS Monaco after two seasons and a half at Spurs including a six-month loan at Burnley.

National

Police officers found guilty of rape - Two police officers have been found guilty of raping a Canadian woman at a Paris police headquarters in 2014. They were both jailed on Thursday for seven years by a Paris court. The two men, Nicolas Redouane and Antoine Quirin - former members of France's elite BRI anti-gang force - had always maintained their innocence. They argued Ms Spanton had consented to sex.

Brexit - Campaigners for British nationals settled in the EU have called on the British Prime Minister to guarantee health cover payments for pensioners for at least two years to help secure wider residential rights as well as medical care in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The government has indicated that it is in advanced conversations with countries including Spain, France and Ireland about continuing reciprocal arrangements, which would kick in to place if the UK crashes out of the EU.

Anti-riot bill - The French lower house has approved the main strands of a new anti-riot bill introduced following violence and vandalism at some Yellow Vest protests. The bill makes covering the face during a protest an offence, with anyone charged liable to a year in prison and a 15,000 euros. Still under discussion is a part of the bill which would force protestors involved in acts of violence to pay for any damage. There was criticism even from within President Emmanuel Macron’s own centrist LREM party, from MPs who worry about a possible threat to civil liberties. But announcing the draft law earlier this month, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said some of the yellow vest protests had led to unacceptable violence.

Number of rape and sexual assault cases on the rise - According to data published on Thursday, by the French Ministry of the Interior, the number of complaints of rape and sexual assault recorded by the police is "rising sharply" in France. In 2018 complaints for rapes increased by nearly 17% and those for sexual assault rose 20%.

Business

Chinese media is reporting that “substantial progress” has been made by the country’s trade delegation at the end of the latest round of talks with the United States in Washington.

China has agreed to purchase an additional 5 tons of US soy beans and the official Chinese news agency said that discussions between the two sides had been “candid,specific and fruitful”.

President Trump has said that the development is a “fantastic sign of faith” before a deal is made.

Mr Trump said that he hoped to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to  reach a final agreement before the first of March deadline.

Amazon has forecast lower-than-expected sales for the first quarter,sparking investor fears over slowing growth.

The online retail giant  said that it expects sales to grow between 10 and 18 percent in the first quarter ,slightly below Wall Street forecasts.

Amazon shares fell by 5 percent on the news in after-hours trading despite it reporting record sales and profit for the festive period.

The firm is facing increasing competition in its domestic market as rivals Walmart and Target invest heavily in online operations.

Widening profits have been mainly driven by growth of Amazon’s high-margin products including cloud,advertising and third-party sellers.

The company’s cloud computing firm,Amazon Web Services provided two thirds of its profit in the 4th quarter.

And-Italy has entered recession for the first time since 2012 following two quarters of negative growth.

In the final quarter of 2018,the Italian economy contracted by 0.2 percent following a 0.1 percent decline in the third quarter.

The Italian Prime Minister says that growth is likely to continue to fall this year.

Figures for the wider 19 member eurozone bloc show that growth is still anaemic.

Expansion in the eurozone was stuck at 0.2 percent in the final quarter,the same as in the third quarter.

Growth for the 28 nation EU as a whole came in at 0.3 percent for the 4th quarter.

Sport

Cricket-England put in another under-par performance with the bat as they were bowled out for 187 on day one of the second Test against West Indies in Antigua.

Jonny Bairstow made 52 and Moeen Ali hit a cavalier 60 but there was little other input from the top order as England lost their last 4 wickets for just 9 runs after tea.

Kemar Roach took 4-30 on a pitch offering uneven bounce.

At stumps West Indies were on 30-0.Play resumes at 3pm French time.

Australia are playing Sri Lanka in the second Test in Canberra.The home side won the toss and had reached 278-3 midway through the final session of the day.

Rugby Union-The 6 Nations starts tonight with France against Wales in Paris.

Tomorrow Ireland face England in what could be the game of the tournament in Dublin while Scotland host Italy at Murrayfield.

Football-In the English Premier League this weekend.

On Saturday Spurs play Newcastle in the lunchtime game and then its Brighton against Watford.Burnley against Southampton.Chelsea play Huddersfield.Crystal Palace face Fulham.Everton play Wolves and Cardiff host Bournemouth.

On Sunday Leicester play Manchester United and Manchester City play Arsenal.West Ham play Liverpool on Monday.

American Football-Superbowl 53 takes place at the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta on Sunday night.

The New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams with the game set to start at half past midnight French time.

It’s the Patriot’s  third successive Superbowl after they beat the Kansas City Chiefs  while the Rams reached the showpiece game after beating the New Orleans Saints.

Weather

Overcast with heavy rain at times and strong north easterly winds gusting at up to 65 km/h.

Top temperature 10 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with more rain and strong winds.

The weekend-Rain and scattered thunderstorms with snow down to 600 meters.

Clearing on Sunday.Highs of 10-12 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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