French and Riviera News Tuesday 18th February 2020

Local

Strike action – The region is set to be badly disrupted because of industrial action this Thursday, 20th February. Envibus has announced that there will be no buses in Sophia Antipolis. Other bus services across the region are likely to be disrupted. The tram system in Nice will once again be suspended for the day but on-street parking in Nice will be free.

Road accident - Four people have been injured in a road accident. The accident occurred on Monday evening on the RD2085 near the Villeneuve Loubet recycling center. The busy highway was cut off from traffic while emergency services intervened shortly after 8pm. Traffic was diverted, and police have launched an investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Employees at Carrefour supermarket in Nice strike – Meanwhile employees at a Carrefour Market store in the north of Nice have held protests against poor wages and the pension reform. Staff gathered in front of the store on Monday ahead of national movement which is planned on Thursday.

Association Promenade des Anges - The Promenade des Anges association, created to protect the victims’ families of the 2016 Nice terror attack has protested against two decisions by the investigating judge.

In a press release published on Monday, the association has filed a complaint against X for "endangering the lives of others by deliberate violation of safety or prudence" protesting the attitude of the investigating judge who was investigating the security system on the day of the attack, on July 14th 2016.

The judge, considers that: "important investigations are still in progress and that in view of the" extraordinary "nature of the facts it is important that the judicial information continue”. According to reports the association interprets the motivation as "contempt".

Allergy - Experts have warned that allergy-causing pollen is already high in eastern France due to climate change. Some trees are already in bloom and are spreading flowers that can cause allergies and hay fever in many people. Allergy symptoms have reportedly arrived earlier this year than last, with the allergy pollen count significant in the area over the past few days.

Lucky casino jackpot - One lucky winner has walked away with just over 34,000 euros from a casino in Nice after winning the lucky jackpot at the megabok at the Palais de la Méditerranée casino on Monday night. 

The casino of the Palais de la Méditerranée, owned by the Partouche group, announced that a player had won the jackpot.

The Megapok is "a progressive multi-site jackpot that connects 12 slot machines in five casinos in France" and "each of these machines contributes to a common jackpot and in case of maximum combination, the win is therefore progressive" .

National 

New twist in run up to local elections in Paris - There’s been a new twist in the run up to the local elections in Paris after the campaign site of Agnès Buzyn, the new candidate for La République en Marche buzyn2020.fr, was briefly redirected to that of the current socialist mayor of Paris , Anne Hidalgo. Several political journalists reported the bug on Twitter on Monday.

Following the incident Anne Hidalgo's campaign press service claimed to have "no idea what had happened" and by early afternoon, the buzyn2020.fr site was no longer accessible. 

The former Minister of Health was nominated candidate for mayor of the capital on Sunday. Replacing Benjamin Griveaux, who gave up his candidacy after being involved in the private sex videos and personal conversations which were released by Russian activist Piotr Pavlenski who was placed in police custody along with his girlfriend. 

According to a survey following the news which hit the headlines at the weekend 2 out of 3 French people believe that Benjamin Griveaux was right to stand down from running in the local elections in the capital. 

Paris taxis call to demonstrate - The inter-union of Parisian taxis’s has called for a "static demonstration" in front of the Gare de Lyon, from 11 am on Friday until 1 am Saturday. The protest comes in opposition to the redevelopment of the site which, according to them, would complicate access for their customers.

Business 

Annual profits have fallen by a third at HSBC bank. HSBC has said its profits for 2019 fell by 33%, mainly due to its investment and commercial banking operations in Europe.

HSBC currently operates in more than 50 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The bank said the drop in profits was due to $7.3bn in write-offs related to its global banking and markets and commercial banking business units in Europe.

Jeff Bezos the boss of Amazon has pledged $10bn to help fight climate change. The world's richest man said the money would finance work by scientists, activists and other groups.

Writing on his Instagram account, Mr Bezos said the fund would begin distributing money this summer. Mr Bezos has an estimated net worth of more than $130bn, so the pledge represents almost 8% of his fortune.

Apple has warned that revenues are expected to fall short of forecasts following the disruption in China from the coronavirus. The tech giant said production and sales were affected, and that "worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained".

Recent figures have shown that last year, the mobile dating applications market generated more than 2 billion euros in turnover. In France, as in Europe, it is Tinder who succeeds best.

Globally, the application has even become the second application (excluding games) in terms of spending, behind Netflix. And new apps are already exploding like the very popular Bumble in the United States or Tantan in China.

And it’s been reported that Facebook is not far behind. Launched last year the Facebook dating application intends to become “among the first online dating services” according to Mark Zuckerberg. Initially planned to launch in Europe on Valentine’s Day the arrival of Facebook dating has been postponed in France to ensure that it complies with the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Facebook dating application is predicted to upset the sector as it would remain free, unlike its competition. 

The report shows that the dating apps business has a bright future ahead of it. According to a study by the dating site eharmony, more than half of couples will meet online from 2031. And the figure should rise to 70% in 2040.

 

Sport

Football – Manchester United have move up the table after beating no Chelsea 2-0 on Monday night. Manchester United go on to join the fight for a place in the champions league.  

Tonight, the big match in Madrid with Atletico Madrid hosting Liverpool will take place in the stadium where the reds won the champions league trophy last year. Kickoff is at 9pm French time.  

Formula One – The Williams team have unveiled the car, the FW43, before pre-season testing.

Williams have begun their 2020 season only too well aware of the long haul which they face before the team can return to competitiveness.

Deputy team boss Claire Williams said 2020 "is about making progress" and the "fighting spirit" is still there.

Athletics - Organisers of the Tokyo Marathon have announced it will no longer be a mass participation event due to the coronavirus outbreak. Only elite runners and wheelchair athletes will compete in the event in Japan, which takes place on 1 March.

Around 38,000 runners were expected to take part in the marathon, which is one of the largest in the world.

Weather

Clear skies with highs of 18 degrees along the coast in Nice, Antibes and Cannes. Light southerly wind. This evening going down to 9 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday remaining much the same as today with plenty of sunshine and  highs of 18 -19 degrees.

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