French and Riviera News Thursday 13th June 2019

Local

Motorist drives out of control - Several cars have been damaged in the centre of Saint-Laurent du Var after a motorist appeared to deliberately drive into the vehicles injuring a motorcyclist in the process. The incident occurred late afternoon on Wednesday. Stunned pedestrians alerted police nearby and the the driver was arrested and taken into police custody.

Missing person - Police have again appealed for any witnesses to come forward following the disappearance of Jean Marc Sandré from Cavalaire sur mer in the Var. Sandré was reported missing almost ten days ago and police still have no news or trace of him.

SFR network - The mobile network SFR has left thousands of customers throughout the Alpes Maritimes and the Var with no service following a breakdown in the network. The phone network was interrupted from midday on Wednesday affecting both fixed and mobile lines until early evening. SFR apologized for the inconvenience but did not specify the reason for the incident.

Meanwhile over one thousand homes in the Var were affected by a power cut on Wednesday afternoon. Homes in Le Muy, Trans-en-Provence and La Motte were affected. Enedis restored supplies at about 3.45pm. The company said that the cause was a fault on a high voltage underground cable.

Strike action - Teachers in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes have announced demonstrations in Nice and Toulon next Monday instead of previously planned demonstrations outside schools. However, industrial action affecting the supervision of the philosophy and French exams on Monday will apparently continue.

Orange alert - The Var and the Alpes-Maritimes have been placed on orange alert for particles of grass pollen present in the air. The alert has been issued by the National Network for Aerobiological Surveillance.  Many other areas of France have been placed on a higher red alert.

Heatwave - After the recent high temperatures in the Var, the commune of La Farlède has already activated its heatwave management plan. The plan is intended to protect certain vulnerable members of the population, such as the elderly, in the event of extreme heat. The plan was developed following the extreme heatwave of 2003 which led to many fatalities across France. Meteo France has warned of extremely high temperatures of up to 40 degrees in parts of Corsica on Friday and the weekend.

National

French government’s reform programme - The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has unveiled the government’s reform programme to parliament. Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Philippe promised a “profound change of method” as he outlined a set of measures – including tax cuts and changes to unemployment benefits – to be enacted over the remaining three years of Macron’s presidency. Confirming a pledge made by Macron earlier this year, Philippe told lawmakers that the government would cut income tax for middle-class workers and would completely scrap a housing tax that had already been reduced since Macron’s election in May 2017. Philippe said unemployment benefits for the highest earners would gradually decrease to encourage the jobless to get back to work more quickly. He also said companies hiring workers would be offered incentives to phase out short-term contracts, which are common in France. On the highly sensitive subject of pension reform, Philippe said the government would create incentives for the French to stay on the job longer than the current minimum legal retirement age of 62.

Ceremony to honor rescuers - Meanwhile the French President Emmanuel Macron will later today be presiding a ceremony to honor the rescuers of the Sables-d’Olonne who died on June 7th. The four survivors are to receive the Legion of Honor. On Monday, some 15,000 people gathered on the beaches of Sables-d'Olonne to honor the three volunteers who died at sea trying to rescue a fisherman, during the storm Miguel. Founded in 1967, the SNSM brings together 8,000 sea rescue volunteers. In 2017, about 9,000 people were rescued by the SNSM.

Charity - France’s first Lady Brigitte Macron is to replace former first lady Bernadette Chirac as president of the charity “les pieces jeunes”. An organization which collects coins to donate to children in hospitals across France. The news was announced on Wednesday and the decision was unanimously approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors, which works to improve the quality of life of hospitalized children and adolescents. The Board of Directors paid "a warm tribute" to Bernadette Chirac for "her 25 years of commitment", and have appointed her Honorary President.

Banksy - An exhibition entitled The World of Banksy: The Immersive Experience, opens today in Paris. Paintings by the famous British street artist will be exhibited partly underground with 42 frescoes on walls of several meters high alongside 51 framed works of the street artist from private collections. The works are on show in the capital until July 31st.

Business

Sir Philip Green has said that his Arcadia retail empire has not been on the brink of collapse.

In an interview with the BBC following a vote on the future of the group by landlords and creditors ,Sir Philip said that Arcadia didn’t come close to collapse and that he had won a legitimate vote.

The tycoon conceded that the retail landscape had changed and that he had been slow to react.

He said that “the market place has changed forever” and that “people want a different kind of service , which we should have seen three or four years ago”.

Under the deal reached with creditors ,50 of Arcadia’s 556 stores will close and some more could follow.

The group will benefit from reduced rents across 194 of its stores over a three year period.

 

Reuters is reporting that French President Emmanuel Macron is refusing to meet the chairman of Renault to discuss the firm’s future direction.

Jean-Dominique Senard is reported to be “furious” about the French government’s interference which has raised questions over his own future.

The French state is Renault’s largest shareholder with a 15 percent stake and is reported to have been instrumental in the decision by Fiat Chrysler to withdraw from merger talks earlier this month.

On Wednesday ,the  Renault board voted to back Mr Senard’s January appointment to replace Carlos Ghosn.

He is said to have been very much in favour of a merger with Fiat Chrysler but Reuters says that his efforts were “scuppered” by the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Renault has refused to comment on the development while President Macron’s office has said that there is no “scheduled meeting” with Mr Senard.

 

And-Oil prices slid by 4 percent during trading on Wednesday on higher US crude inventories and falling demand.

Energy stocks declined and the dollar index rose as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing continued with President Trump still threatening to introduce fresh tariffs in the absence of a deal.

Oil prices are now at their lowest levels in nearly 5 months with surplus growing as demand continues to decline.

Brent Crude futures ended the day down 3.7 percent at 59 dollars 57 with US crude down 4 percent at 51 dollars 14.

Sport

AEROPORT DE NICE –QATAR AIRWAYS FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP REPORT.

France beat Norway 2-1 last night in front of a crowd of 34,000 at the Stade Allianz Riviera in Nice to take control of Group A.

Gauvin put the hosts ahead on 46 minutes before Wendie Renard put through her own net early in the second half to bring the scores level.

The French winner came from the penalty spot on 72 minutes which gives France maximum points in Group A from their opening two games.

In Wednesday’s other games Nigeria beat South Korea 2-0 in Group A to put them in second place behind France while in Group B Germany beat Spain 1-0.

There are two games today.South Africa play China in Group B at 9pm while Australia play Brazil in Group C at 6pm.

Cycling-Chris Froome is in intensive care in hospital and will miss the Tour de France following suffering a serious crash during the Criterion du Dauphine on Wednesday.

Froome suffered multiple fractures and was airlifted to hospital in St Etienne for surgery after he took his hand off the handlebars to blow his nose and a gust of wind caught his front wheel causing him to crash into a wall at 54 km/h.

The four time  Tour de France champion has suffered a fractured right femur ,a broken hip ,a fractured elbow and fractured ribs.He also lost consciousness following the crash.

The accident may put the 34 year old’s entire career in jeopardy and he faces a very long haul to regain full fitness.

Golf-The third major of the year ,the US Open starts at Pebble Beach ,California later today.

Brooks Koepka is seeking a third straight US Open title and comes into the tournament on the back of winning the USPGA.

There will also be focus on Tiger Woods to see if he can repeat the success that saw him triumph at the US Masters in April while the European charge will be led by Rory McIlroy who won the Canadian Open last week.

Cricket-Australia have beaten Pakistan by 41 runs to go second in the World Cup table.

A David Warner century was the difference as Australia were bowled out for 307 in 49 overs with Amir taking 5-30.

In reply ,Pakistan looked like they were going to make it at one point but lost too many wickets in the middle order too quickly and were bowled out for 266 in 45.4 overs.

There’s one game today.India play New Zealand at Trent Bridge.Play starts at 11.30.

Boxing-Tyson Fury has said that he believes that Anthony Joshua is “finished” following his shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr.

Tyson ,who fights Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on Saturday said that Joshua “didn’t want to be in the ring” and that it would be “very hard” for him to come back.

He also said that Deontay Wilder is not “man enough” to face him again following his controversial victory last year.

Weather

Clear skies with light easterly or variable winds.

Top temperatures 23-26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 20 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Hazy sunshine tomorrow with highs of 29-31 degrees. Changeable on Saturday with the risk of some storms inland.Highs of 22-26 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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