French and Riviera News Monday 3rd February 2020

Local

Woman jumps from ferris wheel in Nice - A 74-year-old woman has thrown herself off the Ferris wheel which overlooks Place Masséna in Nice. The incident occurred at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon. The woman reportedly waited until the wheel, which was packed at the time, stopped at the top. Police immediately cordoned off the area and the Mayor of Nice Christian Estorosi was at the scene. The incident is being treated as suicide and the city hall has set up a helpline 3906 for anybody who was on the ride at the time and may be in a state of shock.

Apartment fire - Three people have been hospitalised including two police officers after a fire broke out in an apartment block in central Nice in the early hours of Sunday morning. The fire service was able to extinguish the blaze which had started in the kitchen of a studio apartment. 19 people were evacuated and an investigation into the cause of the blaze has been opened.

Con artist finally arrested - A 56-year-old Swedish national has been arrested in Nice. Convicted in Sweden, the repeated con artist was arrested after a European arrest warrant was issued. Michael Lindell had extracted several million euros by promising juicy but ultimately non-existent investments. Following an appeal for witnesses broadcast on Swedish television police discovered that Lindell had managed to establish himself in the south of France living in Monaco with regular visits to Nice and Italy.

Placed in detention, near Marseille, Mr. Lindell should soon be handed over to the Swedish authorities. In the meantime, he could be placed in police custody in connection with other cases for which he is accused in France, in particular for alleged acts of breach of trust and fraud.

Mild weather - Exceptionally mild temperatures have been forecast this week across France with Meteo France calling it an “abnormal episode for this time of year”. In our region clear skies are expected with temperatures remaining above 10 degrees in the morning and reaching highs of 20/21 degrees inland in the Var by the afternoon. This morning 15 degrees was recorded in Saint Tropez in the Var, 14 degrees in Angers in the north west of the country with the Bouches du Rhone being the coolest place in France with 8 degrees this morning in Avignon.

First underwater museum in France - Swimmers and divers will finally be able to visit, for free, from this summer the first underwater museum in France. Suspended by the Marseille administrative court in spring 2019, the museum located 100 meters from the Catalan beach will finally be able to see the light of day. Its promoters and the Collective for the Defense of the Coast 13, which had filed an appeal, have just come to  an agreement, in particular on security issues, with site surveillance which will be ensured all year round.

National

French President calls for “humanity” – Following a vote at the French assembly last Thursday French President has called for the government to “faire preuve d’humanité” concerning the leave given to employees following the death of a child. Many politicians were left dumb founded after the national assembly rejected a demand to increase the current leave given to employees following the death of a child from five days to twelve.

Brexit - Since Saturday and following Brexit the authorities of Guernsey have "temporarily suspended" the access of French fishing vessels to the waters of the Channel Island.

127 Breton vessels are affected by this measure and they had to quickly remove the equipment they had in the territorial waters of Guernsey to comply with the ban in force since this Saturday, February 1.

Fishermen from eight EU member states are highly dependent on British waters. The latter represent 30% of the turnover of French fishermen.

Come dine with me - According to a recent survey carried out by market research specialist NPD Group The French are dining out more and more. Last year, showed an increase in activity of 1.7%. 

Let’s get physical - To coincide with today’s launch of the Olympic and Paralympic week France’s education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced plans to make French students more active. In the lead up to the Paris 2024 Games Schools across the country will be encouraged to guarantee 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

Business

Chinese stock markets have plunged this morning after opening following the Lunar New Year holiday.

Fears over the spread of the coronavirus sent markets into a tailspin with the Shanghai Composite opening 9 percent lower and commodities also taking a big hit.

Markets fell despite the Chinese government announcing that it would be pumping an extra 22 billion dollars into the economy.

The Chinese central bank says that the move has been taken to ensure that there’s enough liquidity in the banking system.

Global markets have become increasingly rattled over the spread of the virus in recent days with the S&P 500 registering its worst week since October.

A report by the Ifo economic institute is to say that Germany ran the world’s largest current account surplus last year despite trade tensions and slowing growth.

The report is likely to renew criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fiscal policies and puts the current account surplus at some 264 billion euros in 2019.

It’s the fourth successive year that Germany has had  the largest current account surplus in the world with Japan having the second largest at around 194 billion dollars or 175 billion euros.

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union have been urging Germany for several years to do more to lift domestic demand and imports as a way to reduce global economic imbalances and stimulate growth elsewhere.

President Trump has also criticised German export strength.

And-The British Foreign Secretary has said that the UK will “not be aligning with EU rules” in any post-Brexit trade deal.

In a television interview on Sunday ,Dominic Raab said that agreeing to stick strongly to EU regulations would “defeat the point of Brexit”.

In response ,the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the UK would need to commit to a level playing field to get a free trade deal.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will later today set out his position ahead of trade talks with the EU which are due to start next month.

Mr Johnson is expected to say that he is prepared to accept customs checks at the UK border if he can’t secure the kind of deal that he wants.

The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is also to outline his approach to the negotiations.

Sport

Rugby Union-France have stunned England with a 24-17 win in the 6 Nations on Sunday as Fabien Galthie got his reign as coach off to a winning start.

France were 17-0 up at the break with England missing a number of chances and rocked by a second try that appeared to have come from a knock on but was ruled legal by the TMO.

France scored a third try early in the second half and although England did fight back with individual brilliance from Johnny May who scored two tries ,it wasn’t enough and France took a famous win.

On Saturday Wales thumped Italy and Ireland won a tight match in Dublin against Scotland.

The second round of the Championship next weekend sees Ireland play Wales,Scotland host England and France play Italy.

Tennis-Novak Djokovic has won the Australian Open in Melbourne for the 8th time with a 5 set victory over Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

It’s the Serb’s 17th Grand Slam title as he came through 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4.

He’s now just three Grand Slams behind Roger Federer’s all time record of 20 and 2 behind Rafael Nadal who has 19.

American Football-The Kansas City Chiefs have won Superbowl 54 after coming from 10 points down to beat the San Francisco 49ers in Miami.

It’s the first time in 50 years that the Chiefs have won the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the star of the show after producing a staggering 4th quarter performance as the Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points in 4 minutes and 57 seconds to win the match 31-20.

Football-There were 2 games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Burnley and Arsenal drew 0-0 and Spurs beat Manchester City 2-0.

In the Scottish Premiership Celtic moved 7 points clear at the top of the table with a 4-1 win at Hamilton.

Motorsport-Formula E has cancelled next month’s race in China amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The 6th race of the season was due to be held in Sanya on the 21st of March but the series organisers have scrapped the event after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a global emergency.

Formula 1 bosses are also closely monitoring the situation ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix which is due to be held in Shanghai on the 19th of April.

Cricket-Jonny Bairstow hit a century in England’s last warm-up game ahead of the one day series against South Africa.

Bairstow made a round 100 as England posted a total of 346-7 from their 50 overs against a South African Invitational XI in Paarl.

The South African side won the match by 4 wickets with a revised total of 193-6 from 20 overs under the Duckworth Lewis Method because of a number of power cuts at the stadium.

The first one day international is in Cape Town tomorrow.

Golf-Graeme McDowell has claimed his first European Tour title for 2 years with victory in the Saudi International.

McDowell posted a final round level par 70 to finish 2 shots clear of Dustin Johnson and boost his chances of a Ryder Cup place.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate to strong north westerly winds across the Var.

Top temperature 15 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 18 degrees inland in the Var.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with clear skies and a strong westerly wind.

Tuesday and Wednesday.Mainly fine with a strong westerly wind tomorrow and highs of 18 degrees.Fine on Wednesday with a high of 15.

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