French and Riviera News Monday 1st April 2019

Local

Yellow vests - "Yellow vests" demonstrators in Nice have shown their support and solidarity for a fellow protestor who was injured during last week’s protest. Demonstrators gathered on Saturday at Nice’s main train station and marched to the Pasteur hospital where the victim 73 year old Geneviève Legay is still hospitalized.

Meanwhile In a statement sent to Nice Matin, the policeman accused of having pushed the yellow vest protestor during a banned demonstration at Place garibaldi on March 23rd, has expressed his “deepest regret”.

The prosecutor of the Republic of Nice, Jean-Michel Prêtre, confirmed on Friday, that a "policeman had pushed a person, as police charged on demonstrators who refused to disperse” adding that the policeman had “acted in compliance with orders given”.

According to his lawyer, the police officer explained to the judicial authorities that during the charge, he had pushed a person, he thought was a man. Following video footage of the incident, he immediately recognized himself, and saw that the man he thought he had pushed was actually Mrs. Geneviève Legay.

Other yellow vest protests in Avignon on Saturday have led to 21 people being placed in police custody and 3 people being injured , including a police officer. Despite a ban from the prefecture several hundred people gathered in the city centre.

Paraglider catches fire in full flight - A paraglider has miraculously emerged unscathed from an accident which occurred in full flight. The incident happened in Saint-Jeannet on Saturday morning. Emergency services were alerted after witnesses saw the paraglider on fire. According to reports the paraglider hit a tree before crashing to the ground.

Motorist caught speeding - On the region’s roads this weekend a motorist has been caught speeding as police carried out roadside checks on the coast road between Antibes and Villeneuve Loubet. The vehicle was reportedly doing 175 km / h on a stretch of road limited to 70 km / h. The driver is due to appear in court facing a fine and the loss of his  license.

“Green is the new glam” - The Director of Tourism and Congresses (DTC) in Monaco and its representative office in Japan have recently presented the second part of the "Green is the new Glam" campaign. The event attended by influencers and French media marks the importance of the Principality’s investment in the field of renewable energies and the environment.

Meanwhile Monaco’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health Didier Gamerdinger has welcomed the actions of Annabelle Jaeger-Seydoux the Director of the mission for “Transition Energetics”, during a workshop organized at the Yacht Club.

Entitled "Teleworking and how to accelerate the dynamics in the Principality” the workshop aims to convince companies that have not yet decided to implement teleworking with those that have, to share the challenges and success stories. The goal of teleworking is for employees to work better and more effectively, especially those who have a long commute in an aim to gain in efficiency and performance.

Nice Opera - The Nice Opera has announced an online sale. 500 costumes which were made between 2006 and 2009 are to go on sale from April 2nd to April 21st. The sale will see items from 10 euros to 180 euros posted on the online auction site agorastore.

National

Paris attacks - 32 year old Jawad Bendaoud who lent his flat to two jihadists involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks has been sentenced on appeal to four years in prison. In 2018 Bendaoud denied any knowledge of the two men being attackers and was cleared at the trial, but prosecutors immediately appealed. The co-ordinated suicide bombing and mass shootings around Paris killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more.

Government reshuffle - In a government reshuffle French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed a new junior Europe minister to handle France’s approach to Brexit, while promoting his media adviser to government spokeswoman. The European affairs role has been given to Amélie de Montchalin and Sibeth Ndiaye has been appointed as government spokeswoman. Ndiaye, is a key Macron loyalist. According to reports she once told the French weekly L’Express that she had no problem with lying to protect the president.

Train network - An employee of the SNCF has been arrested and placed in police custody suspected of being the cause of a false  bomb alert. According to French media the false alert caused the train network to come to a standstill on Sunday for at least two hours. Eight TGV heading for Paris and a TER in the Brittany region were affected. Following the call police set up a security perimeter in the area to carry out all the checks, the station was evacuated and 300 passengers were left stranded. According to French media the man had made the call as he did not want to miss his train. The SNCF has opened an internal investigation.

Hollande warns of the rise of nationalism - Former French President Francois Hollande has said he is alarmed by "the rise of nationalism everywhere in the world". In an interview with the Parisian on Sunday, Hollande warned against an arrival of the far right in power in France by 2022. Hollande was being interviewed following the release of his book The Lessons of Power. Hollande also spoke of the “yellow vest” movement saying “we now need immediate measures, but especially long-term decisions," citing "the restoration of the ISF" and "the reinforcement of the tax on capital income" in order to "reduce the tax injustices ", but also “a humanization of public services”.

Business

Asian markets have rallied this morning as positive Chinese factory data coupled with reported progress at Sino-US trade talks supported stocks.

Markets have taken heart following the publication of official Chinese PMI data on Sunday which showed that factory activity grew unexpectedly for the first time in four months in March.

A private business survey-the Caixin/Markit PMI which was released today also showed  that China’s manufacturing sector also returned to growth last month.

Sentiment has also been boosted after China and the United States said that they had made progress at trade talks which concluded in Beijing on Friday.

The talks have been described as “candid and constructive” with the two sides seemingly determined to settle their protracted trade war.

 

The pound has been under pressure on the currency markets following another defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Bill in Parliament last Friday.

This week is likely to be pivotal at Westminster with a number of possibilities from a no-deal Brexit to seeking a long extension for a general election or a second referendum-or both still on the table.

MP’s will stage another round of indicative votes today to see whether consensus on a way forward can be reached.

Mrs May is presiding over an increasingly divided cabinet with reports saying that 11 ministers are threatening to resign unless she pursues a no-deal strategy while others say that the way forward is a soft-Brexit.

The Prime Minister may attempt to present her withdrawal bill to Parliament again on Wednesday if the Speaker allows it.If it fails then a general election is on the cards.

 

And-An investigator for the Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has said that Saudi Arabia hacked his phone and accessed his data.

Gavin de Becker was hired by Mr Bezos to find out how his private messages had been leaked to the National Enquirer tabloid.

He’s linked the hack to the Washington Post’s coverage of the murder of the Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the allegations.

Mr Bezos owns the Washington Post.The findings of the investigation have been handed over to US Federal officials.

Sport

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix fortuitously on Sunday after race leader Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari was forced to slow after his hybrid system failed.

The young Monaco driver emerged as the race leader after a frantic few opening laps and he was on course for his maiden Grand Prix win before the problem developed in the closing stages.

Hamilton caught and overtook him and he was also passed by Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.

Leclerc did manage to claim a maiden podium after the safety car was deployed in the closing laps following incidents involving both Renaults.

Valtteri Bottas leads the drivers’ championship on 44 points after two races with Hamilton in second place on 43 points and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull third on 27 points.

The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on the 14th of April.

Football-There were two games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Liverpool reclaimed top spot thanks to a nervy 2-1 win over Spurs at Anfield while Chelsea left it late in another lacklustre display after coming from a goal down to beat Cardiff 2-1.

There’s one game tonight.Arsenal play Newcastle.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 in the Auld Firm derby.

Rugby Union-Toulouse just pipped Racing 92 by 22-21 in the final European Champions Cup quarter final on Sunday.

The semi final line-up will see Toulouse play Leinster and Saracens play Munster.

Tennis-Roger Federer has claimed his 101st title with victory in the final of the Miami Open.

The 37 year old veteran beat John Isner 6-1 6-4 in his 50th Masters final.

He’s now won a total of 101 tournaments including 20 Grand Slam titles.

Golf-Kevin Kisner of the United States has won the WGC Match Play in Texas.

Kisner beat fellow American Matt Kuchar in the final on Sunday 3&2.

Weather

Hazy sunshine with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperatures 18-20 degrees.

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

Tuesday and Wednesdaty-Becoming unsettled with a high of 18 degrees tomorrow.Some rain around on Wednesday with a high of 16.

Finally 

Is this the harshest dating trend yet? A new dating trend called 'kondo-ing', which has been sparked off the back of Marie Kondo's cleaning trend, see people ditching their parner as soon as they don't spark joy anymore. 

Tidying-up sensation Marie Kondo became a hit, after she landed a Netflix show, which led to many of us to decluttering our lives of rubbish. But could it also be applied to your relationship?  

According to dating website Plenty of Fish, the hottest trend in dating is 'Kondo-ing', which is ditching your partner as soon as they don't spark joy anymore. 

Inspired by the best-selling author - she encourages people to throw out things when they no longer 'spark joy'. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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