French and Riviera News Wednesday 15th May 2019

Local

Stabbing in Nice - A thirty year old man has been left in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed in Nice. Police are still actively looking for the aggressor who fled on foot following the attack which took place on Tuesday afternoon shortly after 3pm near the main train station in Nice. Police believe that the attack was a robbery that went wrong and have called for any witnesses to come forward.

Taxi driver run over - A taxi driver has been injured following Tuesday’s blockage at Nice International Airport. Shortly after 10am on Tuesday taxi drivers blocked the access to both terminals at the airport following an altercation between a driver and a representative from the consumer watchdog organisation. The driver is believed to have been deliberately run over by a tourism vehicle driver. Police have opened an investigation into the incident. The control which was carried out by the consumer watchdog coincided  with the opening day of the Cannes Film Festival and saw access to the airport disrupted from 10am to 3pm leading to hundreds of passengers having to walk to the terminals. The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has announced an increased police presence as of today, while the taxi union has called for strike action on Thursday.

Tax office - The tax office in Nice has reported endless queues as fights break out amongst taxpayers. Public finance agents have said the situation is deteriorating due to lack of staff and a record number of people coming to declare their taxes.

Cannes Film Festival – Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have come under pressure after an online petition gathered 18,000 signatures demanding that the honorary award intended to be given to French actor Alain Delon by withheld, accusing the 83 year old actor of being violent towards women. The founder one of the US lobby groups at the head of the #MeToo movement Melissa Silverstein tweeted that she was appalled that Cannes was honouring Delon given that he "has publicly admitted to slapping women and he has claimed that being gay is against nature." Delon, who has starred in classics such as "The Leopard" and "The Swimming Pool" admitted hitting women in November when he was questioned on French television about claims of domestic violence from his estranged son Alain-Fabien Delon.

National

Prisons - According to figures released by the French Ministry of Justice on Tuesday the number of prisoners in French jails has hit a record high. 71 828 people were incarcerated in French prisons marking a new record in France.

Drought risk - Eleven departments in France have already taken measures to restrict water due to the risk of drought. The Indre is on a red alert and the Pyrénées-Orientales and Vienne are on an orange alert.  According to the French government France has a 17% deficit of rainfall compared to a normal year.

Monet - An Impressionist painting has crossed the symbolic threshold of 100 million dollars. The painting from the series "Wheels" by the French artist Claude Monet was sold in New York on Tuesday for $ 110.7 million at a sale organized by the Sotheby’s. The canvas is part of a series painted by Monet during the winter of 1890-1891 in his house in Normandy.

French composer dies - The French composer Etienne Perruchon has died at the age of 61 following his battle with cancer. Etienne Perruchon composed a large number of works for film and stage.

Business

President Trump has said that he hasn’t yet decided to “go ahead” with threatened tariffs on an extra 325 billion dollars of Chinese goods.

Mr Trump said that he hoped to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the forthcoming G20 Summit in Japan to discuss the issues surrounding the latest escalation in the trade war between the two countries.

Earlier on Tuesday , the Chinese  Foreign Ministry said that the two heads of state are maintaining contact  through “various means”.

Asian markets have reacted positively to the latest developments this morning and there was a moderate rebound on Wall Street on Tuesday with shares in Europe also up.

 

Vodafone has cut payments to shareholders for the first time as it swung to a full-year loss.

The firm has reduced its dividend to 9 euro cents per share from just over 15 euro cents contradicting a pledge made by chief executive Nick Read in November to maintain the payout.

Vodafone’s full-year loss was caused in part by a transaction in India.

A year ago ,the firm reported full-year profits of 2.8 billion euros.

The company was floated on the stock market as part of Racal Telecomms in the 1980’s and made the world’s first mobile phone call from London to Newbury in 1985.

In recent years ,Vodafone has expanded way beyond mobile phone telephony and has been buying up broadband companies across Europe.It’s currently racking up big bills building 5G networks.

 

And-More than 500 staff at  the TV and Hi-fi retailer Richer Sounds are in line for a 3.5 million dollar windfall after the firm’s boss handed them a 60 percent stake in the business.

Julian Richer ,who’s 60 founded the business in 1978 when he was 19.He says that the “time is right” to give employees the stake.

The shares will be placed in an Employee Ownership Trust  and each of the 522 staff at the firm will pick up 1,000 pounds for every year they’ve worked for Richer Sounds.

The average payout will be 8,000 pounds.

Several employees will get much larger payments including one who’s worked for the firm for 40 years.

Sport

Football-Aston Villa are through to the English Championship playoff final after beating West Brom on penalties.

The scores were tied at 2-2 on aggregate at the end of extra time and Villa won the penalty shootout 4-3.

They’ll meet the winner of tonight’s second semi final between Leeds United and Derby.

Leeds lead 1-0 from the first leg.

Cricket-England have beaten Pakistan by 6 wickets in the third one day international at Bristol to take a 2-0 lead in the 5 match series.

Pakistan batted first and made an impressive 358-9 from their 50 overs but England weren’t to be deterred and they reached the target in 44.5 overs in a total of 359-4 including a swashbuckling 128 from Jonny Bairstow.Jason Roy made 76 and Mooen Ali finished on 46 not out.

Rugby Union-The South African Franco Smith is to take over as Italy coach after the World Cup.

Smith ,who’s the head coach of the Pro 14 side Cheetahs will replace Connor O’Shea on a four year contract.

Italy finished bottom of the 6 Nations Championship again this year.The Italian Rugby Federation is yet to comment on the appointment.

Tennis-Roger Federer has criticised the organisers of the Italian Open after  ticket prices were doubled when it was revealed that he’d be playing.

Federer is playing the clay court season for the first time since 2016 and said that the decision to hike prices was “disappointing”.

He added that he was still happy to play in the tournament and hoped that the atmosphere wouldn’t be spoiled.

Weather

Rain giving way to partially cloudy skies with light to moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies tomorrow,sunshine and showers on Friday.

Highs of 17-19 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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