French and Riviera News Tuesday 10th December 2019

Local

Strike action continues in protest against proposed pension reforms. Trains are expected to be affected in the region with just a handful running along the coast during this morning’s and this evening’s rush hours. Local railway unions met in Nice on Monday and called for the industrial action to continue. It's thought that trams and buses in Nice will operate as normal today. However, teaching unions have also called for another day of industrial action today which is expected to impact many schools in the region. Health unions have called for demonstrators to meet at the Place de la Libération in Nice at 1.30pm this afternoon.

In Toulon in the Var union representatives of the Naval Defense Base, are expected to block roads in and out of the city as part of protests causing delays for motorists in the region.

As several unions call for the strike to continue indefinitely French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will give a speech at midday on Wednesday following a meeting with ministers and will later be the guest of the “vingt heure” on TF1 on Wednesday evening.

Startups from the region heading to Las Vegas -Thirty innovative startups from across the Southern Region have been selected to attend the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2020 which will take place in Las Vegas from January 7th to January 10th. The international show welcomes every year some 170,000 professionals to discover the 20,000 start ups.

Among the 30 start ups will be a dozen from the Alpes Maritimes including “My Keeper” from Bar-sur-Loup, an innovative alert solution for smartphones in case of an emergency and “BodyO” from Nice a virtual assistant in the field of wellbeing and health. There will be four from the Var region including “Instant2gether” from Toulon which allows you to find an activity nearby, in seconds, to practice alone or with friends.

Foie Gras alternative - As the holiday season approaches, the association L214 has been offering an alternative to foie gras to members of the public in Antibes. The move comes in an attempt to change French attitudes.

 L214 blames foie gras producers for forcing animals to eat the human equivalent of 14 kilos of pasta a day. The forced feeding allows the liver of the duck or goose to reach a weight of 800 grams in 80 days only.

The association has presented an alternative vegetal foie gras made from cashew nuts.

For those who want to test this product, L214 will be presenting the product in Nice on Place Massena on Saturday, December 14th from 4pm.

French Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume has been meeting farmers and union representatives in the Var. The minister was in Roquebrune-sur-Argens on Monday to discuss financial compensation and proposed works in the aftermath of the recent floods to hit the area.

Eleven people have been arrested in a major police operation in Corsica . According to reports, those arrested are thought to be connected to the Corsican nationalist movement and are being questioned in connection with attacks on secondary homes on the island.

National

“Normandy” summit - French President Emmanuel Macron has held a summit on the Ukraine war at the Elysée Palace. In the first ever bilateral meeting between the Russian President and his Ukrainian counterpart Emmanuel Macron in the presence of the German chancellor met on Monday. Speaking about the summit Macron said that “the fact that we are side by side showed a credible revival of peace talks” adding that "Progress has been made on the withdrawal of forces, the exchange of prisoners and the clarification of the ceasefire,". The French president also announced the holding of "a new summit in within four months".

Far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon has been given a three-month suspended prison term and an €8,000 fine for intimidating officials investigating his funding. In October 2018 prosecutors launched searches of his party offices and home. Mr Mélenchon was filmed shouting at a police officer and pushing him. He then tried to break into the party headquarters with colleagues.

Business

The former chairman of the US Federal Reserve ,Paul Volcker has died at the age of 92.

Mr Volcker was appointed Fed chair by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and started a programme of dramatically increasing interest rates in a bid to control inflation.

The move plunged the United States into recession but Mr Volcker was credited with creating the conditions for long-term growth and also helped to establish the Federal Reserve’s reputation for independence.

He served as Fed chair until being replaced in 1987 by Alan Greenspan.

More recently ,Paul Volcker had been advising President Obama about bank regulation in the wake of the financial crisis.He also oversaw the return of money to Holocaust victims and investigated a United Nations oil-for-food programme.

The current Fed chair Jerome Powell said that Paul Volcker “exemplified the highest ideals-integrity ,courage and a commitment to do what was best for all Americans”.

 

The energy firm Drax-which produces around 5 percent of the UK’s power says that it intends to capture more carbon than it emits by 2030.

The firm’s plant in North Yorkshire is already powered by renewable fuel such as wood pellets in so much as the trees from which the pellets come from absorb carbon which is then collected when they’re burned to produce power.

However ,biomass is controversial with some environmental campaigners who are concerned about the amount of carbon dioxide generated by burning it.

Drax used to run exclusively on coal but has converted four of its 6 units to burn wood as the UK seeks to end its dependence on finite fossil fuels.

The firm said that would remove 8 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year and would be able to double that if the system is applied to all four of its biomass units.

 

And-A survey of the UK labour market has found that employers have “hit the pause button” on job hiring.

The survey by ManpowerGroup says that years of strong jobs growth has ended this year amid Brexit uncertainty and a slowdown in global trade.

The recruitment firm’s findings came after a survey of 2,101 employers and said that the outlook for the first quarter of 2020 is weak with hiring intentions by firms in London at a ten-year low.

London was among the worst affected areas for hiring intentions with the East Midlands faring even worse with employer hiring confidence falling by 15 points.

Wales ,Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East also declined.

Sport

Football-Arsenal have ended their worst run since 1977 with a 3-1 away win at West Ham to give caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg is first victory.

The defeat leaves the West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini in a precarious position with his side just one point above the relegation zone and rumours swirling that he’ll be sacked.

The final group games in the European Champions League are being played tonight and tomorrow.

Liverpool need at least a point away at Red Bull Salzburg in Group E if they’re to make the knockout phase while Chelsea who’ve been in patchy form of late need to beat Lille at Stamford Bridge to make sure they qualify for the last 16.

Formula 1-The organisers of the Russian Grand Prix say that they’re confident the race will go ahead despite Russia’s ban from all major sporting events for four years.

The World Anti-Doping Agency imposed the ban on Monday as a result of the Russian doping scandal.

The promotors of the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi say that it would be “technically and legally” impossible to move the race  and that the contract to stage the race was signed in 2010 ,years before the events investigated by WADA.

A spokesman for Formula 1 said that they were “monitoring the situation”.

Rugby Union-The Leinster captain Johnny Sexton has been ruled out of Saturday’s Champions Cup game against Northampton with a knee injury.

The Ireland fly half was forced off during Leinster’s win at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend and has had a scan to find out the extent of the injury.

Weather

Clear skies with light westerly or variable winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-High level cloud tomorrow with the chance of some rain in the evening.Fine on Thursday with some evening showers possible.Highs of 13-15 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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