French and Riviera News Tuesday 5th February 2019

Local 

Strike - National strike action is today expected to affect most transport networks and schools across France. In Nice there will be no trams running, buses will be disrupted as well as some flights at Nice International airport. In schools some classes will be closed and school lunches will not be in service. Demonstrations are planned throughout France as unions protest against the “National Debate” claiming that it will not solve the current crisis.

Meanwhile the “National Debate” continued on Monday evening as Emmanuel Macron attended a meeting in the suburbs of Paris bringing together 300 mayors along with representatives from local associations. The debate lasted six hours covering a range of topics from the right for foreigners to vote in local elections, employment and housing. At one point the Mayor of Noisy le Grand Brigitte Marsigny used her sense of humour to grab the President’s attention saying “I’m sure you’ll listen to me, because my name is Brigitte”.

Power cut - A major power cut has left several neighbourhoods in and around Toulon without electricity. The city centre was plunged into total darkness on Monday evening shortly after 6.30pm and 72,000 homes were affected according to the Var Prefecture. 

Mayor of Menton - The Mayor of Menton, Jean-Claude Guibal, has announced that an appeal will be filed against the decision not to classify the town as an area of natural disaster. Several other towns on the Riviera were recently classified as disaster areas as a result of damage sustained in storms last October, but several others were omitted.  The appeal will be filed with the Administrative Court of Nice.

Olive Oil - Olive oil producers in the region have announced a disappointing year as the production season comes to an end. Heavy rainfall affected harvest at the beginning of the season but left a more favourable climate towards the end. Rene Henry an oil producer from Vidauban in the Var noted that 10 liters of oil was produced for every 100 kilos instead of 14 the previous years.

National

Fire - Seven people have died and another has been seriously injured after a violent fire broke out at an apartment building in Paris in the early hours of this morning. Emergency services reported this morning that there could be more casualties as they continued to battle the blaze which broke out on the 7th and 8th floors of a building located in the 16th arrondissement of the city. 27 other people were slightly injured including 3 firefighters. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Avalanche - British and French skiers are among four people found dead after an avalanche near the Italian resort of Courmayeur on Monday. Two people from the UK and two from France were reported missing on Sunday afternoon, when the risk of avalanches in the area was high. Searchers found all four bodies on Monday after a lengthy search.

French MP - Former French MP Denis Baupin’s defamation lawsuit against six women who openly accused him of sexual misconduct opened in Paris on Monday, in a case some view as a test of the limits of the #MeToo movement. Baupin, a prominent Green Party member, resigned in disgrace as vice president of the lower house of parliament in May 2016, after French investigative website Médiapart and France Inter radio published accounts from eight women who accused him of making unwanted physical advances and sending hundreds of lewd text messages. The scandal later deepened when six more women came forward with similar claims of sexual misconduct dating from 1998 to 2014. Baupin denied the allegations, claiming they were politically motivated. A month after resigning from office, he filed a defamation lawsuit against Médiapart and France Inter for their coverage of the story, as well as six women who allowed reporters to use their names.

Business

Google’s parent company Alphabet has reported profits that beat Wall Street expectations but higher spending on the cloud as well as video content,employees and facilities sent the tech giant’s stock down by around 3 percent in after-hours trading.

Larger than expected spending prompted investors to question whether cash that’s been pumped into Alphabet’s newer businesses will generate the returns that its search engine unit has historically.

The firm reported total costs for the fourth quarter of 31.07 billion dollars-up 26 percent on last year.Capital expenditure rose by 64 percent.

Fourth quarter revenue rose by 22 percent to 39.28 billion dollars.Around 83 percent of revenue came from advertising.

The Japanese car firm Nissan will be forced to reapply for nearly 60 million pounds of UK taxpayer support after backtracking on a promise to build its X-Trail SUV in Sunderland.

On Monday,a letter written to Nissan by the UK government in 2016 revealed that the firm would only receive the cash if it made the car in Britain.

The government maintains that Nissan had only received 2.6 million pounds of the funds to date and would have to reapply for the rest.

The UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said that the X-Trail contract would have created 741 jobs.

He warned  that “while the decision was made on broader business grounds,Nissan had stressed the need for UK politicians to come together and resolve the question of Britain’s future trading relationship with the European Union”.

 

And-A United Nations report has warned that plans by the United States to raise tariffs on Chinese goods next month would have “massive” implications for the global economy.

The report said that neither the US or China would benefit from protectionist policies and that Asian countries are likely to suffer the greatest impact.

The United States plans to increase tariffs on Chinese goods if the two sides fail to make progress on a trade deal by the 1st of March.

Washington and Beijing are currently engaged in talks to try and break the impasse after agreeing a  90 day moratorium in a bid to reach a deal.

Sport

Football-Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham last night to extend their lead at the top of the English Premier League to 3 points.

Mane scored for Liverpool to give them the lead on 22 minutes but Antonio equalised on 28 minutes and the rest of the game was a stalemate.

The draw will give encouragement to both Manchester City in second and Spurs in third.

Manchester City could go top if they beat Everton tomorrow night as they have a superior goal difference.

There are 4 FA Cup 4th round replays in England tonight.Brentford play Barnet.Newport County host Middlesbrough.QPR play Portsmouth and Wolves host Shrewsbury.

 

Rugby Union-The Ireland number 8 CJ Stander  will miss the next two 6 Nations games with a facial injury.

The Munster star is set for a four week layoff after suffering suspected fractures of his eye socket and cheekbone during last Saturday’s defeat against England.

Keith Earls,Devin Toner and Gary Ringrose are also injury doubts for the visit to Scotland at the weekend.

Meanwhile Scotland,who lead the 6 Nations table after the first round of games have called up  the front row duo of Fraser Brown and Murray McCallum for the Ireland match.

Brown has resumed full training following a knee injury while McCallum has been called up  as cover for Willem Nel who picked up a calf strain during the victory over Italy.

 

Cricket-Kraigg Brathwaite will captain West Indies in the third Test against England which starts in St Lucia on Saturday.

Brathwaite replaces Jason Holder who was handed a one match suspension by the ICC for a slow over rate in the second Test.

West Indies have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.

 

The Australia captain Tim Paine has said that both Steve Smith and David Warner will play a “massive “ part in the Ashes series against England in the summer.

Both players will be available for selection following 12 month bans for their parts in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.

Paine said that he expected them to play a major part in winning the Ashes in England.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and -1 degrees inland with clear skies and a sharp frost.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies tomorrow with a high of 14-16 degrees.Partially cloudy on Thursday with highs of 11-13 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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