French and Riviera News Thursday 20th December 2018

Local

Bad weather - Several interventions have been carried out by the regions firefighters following last night’s violent storms which hit the region. Vallauris was most affected when a hail storm hit the area causing considerable damage. Several areas were on alert due to the risk of flooding and the league cup match here in Monaco between AS Monaco and FC Lorient was interrupted due to heavy rain.

Gunman opens fire - Several people have been injured after a gunman opened fire in a village in the Vaucluse department on Wednesday afternoon. Three people were shot in the village of Vaison-la-Romaine.  Two of the victims are described as being in a serious condition. Terrorism has reportedly been ruled out.

Palm trees - The iconic palm trees of the French Riviera are under threat as the agency charged with their protection has admitted, that it failed to counter the ravages of an invasive beetle. The French Agency announced on Wednesday that it is too late to save the trees from the pest which has already killed off hundreds. The report concluded that it is “now impossible to eradicate the red palm weevil on the southern coast of France,”. The news has led to residents of Nice and Cannes, complaining that the government had wasted time in confronting the threat.

National

Police protests – There have been long queues for passengers at Charles de Gaulle airport due to protests from French police. The airport police prefecture said that the Wednesday slowdown was currently hitting only Terminal 1. The delays came as the police union called on police officers across France to handle only emergencies amid negotiations with the interior ministry over compensation. The protest was triggered by a €62 million cut in the national police budget, which was due to be approved by members of Parliament on Thursday. The UNSA union threatened to mimic Yellow Vest protests and to occupy roundabouts if its demands were not met.

La Poste - The French post office, La Poste, has announced that it will pay a bonus of up to 300 euros to 200,000 employees. La Poste is one of several major French employers who have responded to President Macron’s call to pay a voluntary end of year bonus to their employees. Other companies to have done so include Orange, Total and the SNCF.

Study - A study published today has revealed that 10% or one out of ten French people have never heard of the Holocaust with the number rising to 19% among respondents aged between 18 to 34. The survey was conducted by Ifop for the Jean-Jaurès Foundation in partnership with the inter-ministerial delegation to fight against racism.

Business

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates again,ignoring warnings from President Trump.

The Fed decided to raise rates by a further quarter of one percent to a target range of 2 and a quarter to 2 and a half percent.

The central bank did say however that future increases could come at a slower pace amid concerns about global growth.

On Tuesday,President Trump warned the Fed against making “yet another mistake” in raising rates and urged the central bank to “feel the market”.

Speaking after the rate decision,the Fed chair Jerome Powell defended the central bank’s independence and said that political pressure played “no role whatsoever” in its discussions and decisions.

Markets reacted negatively to the rate hike with analysts saying that investors had been looking for stronger signs from the Fed that it would raise rates more slowly in the future.

 

The top prosecutor in Washington DC is suing Facebook in the first significant legal move to punish the social media giant for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by the District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine.

Facebook is accused of allowing the wholesale release of personal data on tens of millions of users.

Facebook said that it was reviewing the decision and said that it “looked forward to continue discussions with attorneys general in Washington DC and elsewhere”.

 

And-Shares in GlaxoSmithKline have soared following the news that the painkiller brands Panadol and Anadin will be brought under roof in a giant deal with Pfizer.

The firms are to combine their consumer healthcare businesses into one firm wth annual sales of 12.7 billion dollars.

Other brands included in the deal include Aquafresh toothpaste and Chapstick lip balm.

The deal still needs approval from shareholders  and regulators.Shares in GlaxoSmithKline rose by 7 percent on the news.

Sport

Football-Spurs and Chelsea are through to the semi-finals of the League Cup in England.

Spurs beat North London rivals Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates while Chelsea beat Bournemouth 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

In the semi-finals Chelsea will play Spurs and Manchester City will play Burton Albion.Ties to be played over 2 legs on the 7th and 21st of January.

Celtic are back on top of the Scottish Premiership this morning following a 3-0 win over Motherwell last night.In the other game Rangers were held to a 0-0 draw at Hibs.

Formula 1-McLaren say that they’re “cautiously optimistic” about their chances for next season but warned that they don’t want to get ahead of themselves.

2018 was another disappointing season for the team which had the second worst car on the grid but chief executive Zak Brown said on Wednesday that there is “a lot of optimism” going forward.

The team undertook  major restructuring in the middle of last season with several senior figures departing as it sought to tackle the reasons that had led to the production of such an uncompetitive car.

Rugby Union-Premiership Rugby in England has concluded a deal with CVC Capital Partners which will see more than 200 million pounds invested in the sport.

CVC-the previous owners of Formula 1 have bought a 27 percent stake in Premiership Rugby which has been hailed as a landmark new partnership by the organisation’s chairman Ian Richie.

CVC had wanted a bigger stake but the move was rejected by a number of clubs.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with a high of 14 tomorrow.Clear skies on Sunday with a high of 16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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