French and Riviera News Wednesday 6th February 2019

Local

Strike Action - Thousands of demonstrators marched through Nice city centre on Tuesday as members of the CGT union were joined by yellow vest protestors. The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes said 2,000 people had been present, but the organizers put numbers at 3 to 4,000.

In Marseille several hundred demonstrators gathered demanding improvements in purchasing power and a more equal distribution of wealth. The national day of strike action affected hospitals, some schools and public transport. 

In the capital young people carried banners and chanted anti-Capitalist slogans like "prices are rocketing, salaries are stuck in the ground"

Mother files complaint at school - The mother of a 12 year old secondary school student who was beaten by fellow classmates in Nice has filed a complaint with the police. According to local media the mother claims that the school headmaster had failed to inform her of the incident, which occurred on school premises last week.

Public Health France - Public Health France has published, for the first time, a report on the number of suicides in France. Figures show that women between 18 and 24, are the most affected in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. France has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe registering around 9,000 deaths per year with Brittany and the North West of France reporting the most numbers of cases. Factors most associated with suicidal behavior are depression, loneliness, separation, divorce, unemployment and financial worries.

Architect –The architect, Georges Buzzi has died at the age of 95. Buzzi was known on the Riviera for his work from the Acropolis in Nice, the ferry terminal in Cannes to the Eden Rose Villa in Antibes. One of Buzzi’s projects which was never realised in the 1970’s, was his plan to pedestrianise the Promenade des Anglais by diverting motorists through two tunnels submerged offshore under the sea.

Startup - Nice has ranked 39th out of 50 as one of the best cities in the world to install a startup. As part of the study cities were ranked on their culture, infrastructure, state of mind, regulation and know how.

National

Fire - Ten people including a baby have died in a fire at an eight-storey building in south-western Paris. More than 30 people - including six firefighters - were injured. Investigators believe the fire - one of the most deadly in the French capital in years - was possibly started deliberately following a dispute between two neighbours. French President Emmanuel Macron said the country "had woken up to tragedy", and praised the fire services for their courage.

Anti-rioting bill- French MPs have approved an anti-rioting bill giving security forces the power to ban suspected hooligans from demonstrating. But the controversial bid to crack down on violence has shown signs of division within President Emmanuel Macron's party. Opponents say the bill, approved by the lower house of parliament by 387 votes to 87, contravenes the constitutional right to demonstrate.

Emmanuel Macron’s popularity on the rise - French President Emmanuel Macron has seen his popularity increase by 6 points to 34%. The survey published on Tuesday showed that Macron had  returned to his level of popularity of 33% recorded in October, prior to the yellow vest movement. The survey showed that 74% of French still consider that the president is not in touch with their grievances, 67% disapprove of his economic policy, 60% believe he will not be reelected however, 54% believe that he is able to defend France’s interests abroad.

Apple - Apple says it has reached an agreement with French authorities to pay back 10 years of unpaid taxes, becoming the latest US company to reach a deal with France, which has led a European push for higher taxes on tech giants. In 2016, Apple was ordered by the European Commission to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland.

Meanwhile the French Economy Minister announced on Tuesday that the American group General Electric is to pay France 50 million euros after failing to comply, to an agreement made, following the purchase of Alstom in 2014. General Electric had at the time pledged to create 1000 jobs in France by 2018 - with only 25 posts created the American group in June withdrew from its commitments

Reward - A man from Brittany, has been awarded 700 euros for his honesty. The man who was expecting to receive a swimsuit in the post was surprised to find a bar of gold worth 20,000 euros. Realizing there was a mistake he took the parcel to his local police station.

Business

The UK’s service sector stagnated last month according to the latest data with new orders falling for the first time in two and a half years.

The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for January showed a reading of 50.1-lower than the 51.2 figure for December.

A spokesman for ISH Markit said that  the results showed that the UK economy is at “risk of stalling,or worse”.He said that this was because of growing uncertainty coinciding with a wider slowdown in the economy.

A figure of above 50 indicates growth.

The fresh data follows Purchasing Managers’ Index numbers for manufacturing last week which showed a reading of 52.8-the second weakest reading since July 2016.

 

The electric carmaker Tesla is lowering the price of its Model 3 by 1,100 dollars taking the price down to 42,900 dollars.

It’s the second time that Tesla has cut the price of the Model 3 this year with the firm citing the end of a costly customer referral programme as the reason for the reduction.

Tesla delivered fewer than expected Model 3 Sedans in the fourth quarter and cut prices for all its vehicles in the United States to offset a reduction in the green tax credit.

The firm is rapidly increasing production of the Model 3 and lower prices could help it to reach a broader base than its luxury vehicles.

 

And-Fiat Chrysler has announced that its to recall 882,000 pickup trucks worldwide to address steering and pedal faults.

The firm said that would be recalling 660,000 Ram 2,500 and 3,500 pickup trucks manufactured between 2013 and 2017 including 574,000 in the US  as drivers could potentially experience steering loss.

Fiat Chrysler said that a nut could come loose and prevent drivers from being able to steer the vehicle.Some 220,000 2019 Ram 1,500 pickup trucks are also being recalled worldwide to better secure brake pedals.

Sport

Rugby Union-Maro Itoje will miss the 6 Nations games against France and Wales with a knee injury.

The 24 year old Saracens lock suffered medial ligament damage during England’s win over Ireland in Dublin on Saturday and is expected to be out of action for two to four weeks.

Meanwhile the Wales centre Jonathan Davies is set to captain the side for the first time in Saturday’s 6 Nations game against Italy.

Regular captain Alun Wynn Jones is expected to be on the bench in a much changed Wales side as coach Warren Gatland keeps his powder dry for the England game in just over two weeks time.

Football-There were 4 fourth round FA Cup replays in England with League two Newport County dumping Middlesbrough of the Championship out of the competition two nil to set up a dream 5th round tie against Manchester City.

In the other results Brentford beat Barnet 3-1.QPR beat Portsmouth 2-0 and Wolves beat Shrewsbury Town 3-2.

Manchester City can go top of the English Premier League tonight if they beat Everton.Kick off is at 8.45 French time.

Formula 1-The Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said that Max Verstappen is the driver that world champion Lewis Hamilton fears the most.

Horner believes that the 21 year old Dutchman is ready to take the fight to Hamilton this season  should Red Bull prove to be competitive.

Verstappen finished 4th in the drivers’ championship last year  and has widely been tipped as a future world champion.

Cricket-The president of West Indies Cricket has criticised the decision to suspend captain Jason Holder from the third Test against England.

Holder was sanctioned by the ICC because of his side’s slow over rate in the second Test.

Dave Cameron said that the decision was “crippling” and that the rule ought to be modified.

West Indies were ruled to have bowled 2 overs fewer than their target during the second Test against England.

Cameron said that West Indies would abide by the ruling but that the law needed to be changed.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 5 degrees on the coast and 1 degree inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Quite cloudy tomorrow,partially cloudy on Friday.Highs of 13 degrees.

Finally 

New study finds that religious people are happier than those who don't actively participate in a faith.

People who actively practice a religion may be happier than the rest, according to a new study. The study analyzed survey data from more than two dozen countries to compare the self-reported lifestyles of religious and non-religious people.

Overall, the researchers found actively religious people tend to be happier, though they aren’t necessarily healthier in terms of exercise or obesity rates.

Religious people may also tend to make healthier lifestyle choices, often reporting that they smoke and drink less than non-religious people.

But, this doesn’t necessarily make for better overall self-reported health, the study found.

The findings are part of a growing body of research that suggests religious participation has a positive effect on those who actively pursue it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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