French and Riviera News Wednesday 9th October 2019

Local

Truck catches fire on A8 motorway at Nice - A truck has caught fire on the A8 motorway westbound between Nice and Saint Laurent du Var. The fire broke out at 4am this morning leading to the closure of this stretch of motorway with motorist being advised to use the Nice Saint Isidore exit. Firefighters were still fighting the blaze at 7am and have warned that once the fire is extinguished the road will remain damaged and result in a lane being closed to traffic for much of the morning.

Severe traffic jams in Marseille - Traffic has been severely disrupted in Marseille following an accident on Tuesday in the tunnel of the Old Port. Three vehicles were involved in the accident on Tuesday evening bringing parts of the city centre to a standstill. No casualties were reported.

Prefect introduces ban on releasing balloons -The prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has announced a ban on people releasing balloons and sky lanterns in the region. The announcement made on Tuesday comes as part of a move to end the danger to marine life, the ecological impact, and fire risk.

Police appeal for witnesses following attack in Old Nice - Police in Nice have appealed for any witnesses to come forward following the assault on a 28-year-old man in the old town on Rue Rossetti on September 22nd. The incident occurred shortly after 8am on Sunday 22nd and left the victim in a critical state. Two teenagers accompanied by a young adult carried out the attack and have since been detained. Police were alerted by the incident through CCTV footage but are trying to clarify the exact circumstances anyone who may have been in the area at the time is asked to contact them on 04.92.17.22.13 or 04.92.17.22.69.

Sailing Yacht A – “Sailing Yacht A” the famous three mast yacht designed by Philippe Starck and owned by a Russian billionaire has docked in the shipyard of La Ciotat in the Var. One of the largest yachts in the world and worth 417 million euros the yacht is reportedly undergoing repair work. The yacht first appeared in May 2017 when it was delivered to its owner here in Monaco. 

National

Emmanuel Macron - French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the nation to fight terrorism. Macron made the plea on Tuesday during a ceremony in which four victims of last week’s knife attack at Paris police headquarters were awarded the Legion of Honour. Macron also met privately with families of the victims.

Immigration - French lawmakers have been debating immigration a year after France adopted a controversial asylum bill. The government announced on Monday that France's migration policy will be debated in "six key areas" with emphasis on the social benefits accorded to asylum seekers. In a press release the government stated that the aim is "not to make France less welcoming but not more attractive either.

The debate comes amid the toughening of conditions for migrants. Last year, lawmakers voted in a controversial asylum law accelerating the asylum process and making it easier to expel rejected applicants. Last month President Emmanuel Macron said that "France cannot host everyone" and urged his centrist party to shed what he calls its “bourgeois” stance and face up to the reality of immigration.

Global Fund conference in Lyon - The Global Fund will meet in Lyon today and tomorrow. As a founding member of the Global Fund, France will host the conference, with president, Emmanuel Macron, stressing the need for global collaboration to end epidemics. With a minimum target of 14 billion US dollars the Global Fund outlined at the beginning of the year what $14 billion could do to build better health systems globally by 2023. The Global Fund provides 20 percent of all international financing for HIV programmes. Through the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG 3) to end HIV, TB and malaria epidemics by 2030, new threats have created obstacles to attaining these goals include weak funding, increased use of insecticides and drug resistance medicines. Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund partnership says it has saved more than 27 million lives, adding the number of people dying specifically from AIDS, TB and malaria has been cut by one-third.

Opera - The neglected opera Richard the Lionheart is returning to Versailles on Thursday, after more than two centuries. The opera is most famous for the popular air contained in the work that is believed to have been the last tune heard by Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette before they were executed. The famous lines “O Richard! O mon roi” will resonate once again in Versailles, 230 years after they were first heard. The decision to bring it back to Versailles coincides with the 250th anniversary of the opening of the royal opera house at the palace.

Leonardo da Vinci - Meanwhile a blockbuster exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s works at the Louvre could be without one of his most famous works after an Italian court suspended its loan to the Paris museum following a last-minute legal challenge. Italia Nostra, a heritage group, argued that Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man drawing, currently in Venice, was too fragile to be transported and risked being damaged by the lighting in the Louvre if displayed for a long period. The court’s decision is the latest hurdle in a plan to bring together Leonardo’s works in Paris to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

Business

The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve has expressed openness to more interest rate cuts to fend off global economic risks although his comments were overlooked by markets who are more concerned about increasing tensions between China and the US over trade.

Speaking in Denver on Tuesday at the annual meeting of the National Association of Business Economics ,Jerome Powell  said that clearly things are “slowing a bit” but noted that long expansions quite often have such periods.

He pointed to two times in the 1990s when the economy downshifted but gained steam again once the Fed had cut interest rates.

He concluded that there’s “no reason” why the US economy can’t continue to expand.

Mr Powell’s comments were overshadowed by signs of increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing as high level trade talks approach.

China has warned the US that it should remove sanctions on its firms  and said that it would take any action necessary to firmly protect its own interests.

 

The new head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that “any form of Brexit” will be painful  and add to the effects of the global slowdown.

Kristalina Georgieva said that the split would not only hurt the UK and the European Union but also low income countries with ties to them.

The IMF boss said that the UK would have to figure out how to shield people hurt by Brexit but that options available to fund such measures are “limited”.

She pointed out that to combat the effects of a rupture with the EU the government would either have to borrow more or increase taxes.

She also said that Brexit was happening at a time of compounded other factors that are slowing down growth ,notably the trade war between China and the United States.

 

And-A jury in Philadelphia has ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay 8 billion dollars in punitive damages to a man who claims that it failed to warn that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could cause male patients using it to grow breasts.

The verdict in favour of Nicholas Murray is the first that a Pennsylvania jury has been able to consider a case to  award damages in one of the thousands of Risperdal claims pending in the state.

Johnson & Johnson reacted by saying that the award was “grossly disproportionate with the initial compensation granted in the case and that the company was confident that it would be overturned”.

Thousands of male patients claim that taking Risperdal which was prescribed to them as minors caused them to develop breasts.

The drug was approved in 1993 by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of schizophrenia and episodes of bipolar mania.

Sport

MA NOLANS RUGBY WORLD CUP REPORT.

South Africa have booked their place in the quarter finals of the World Cup after dispatching Canada 66-7 in Pool B.

The Springboks ran in 10 tries to remove any hopes that Italy had of making the last 8 and it looks almost certain that they’ll finish second in the Pool behind New Zealand.

There are 3 games today.Wales can make sure that they qualify for the last 8 if they beat Fiji in Pool D.

It’s last chance saloon for Scotland who must beat Russia in Pool A and get a bonus point and then beat Japan in the final Pool match if they’re to reach the quarter finals.

The other match is a dead rubber in Pool C between Argentina and the USA ,neither of who can qualify for the knockout phase.

Meanwhile ,England’s final Pool C game against France could now be affected by Typhoon Hagibis that has changed direction and is now heading towards the island of Honshu.

Ireland’s game against Samoa in Fukuoka is now expected to be spared  but Scotland’s game against Japan in Yokohama could be affected.

If games are called off then their ruled to be pointless draws with each side getting two points.

That would be fine for England and France who have already made the last 8 but it could scupper Scotland’s chances as well as those of Ireland should those games be called off.

Formula 1-Qualifying for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix is in doubt because of Typhoon Hagibis.

The Suzuka circuit could see torrential rain and high winds hit at the time qualifying is due to take place on Saturday.

Formula 1 bosses and circuit officials are keeping a close eye on the situation and will call qualifying off if there’s any danger to drivers and spectators.

Tennis-Andy Murray is out of the Shanghai Masters after losing a tetchy match in three sets against world number 12 Fabio Fognini.

Fognini won 7-6 2-6 7-6 but the pair confronted each other in the final set with Murray telling his opponent to “shut up” twice  and twice failing to serve out for victory.

Afterwards ,Murray said that he had been distracted by a noise from the crowd and that Fognini had talked to him in a disrespectful way.He added that he’s told his opponent that he “wouldn’t tolerate being talked to like that”.

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 22-23 degrees.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies with highs of 22-24 degrees.

Finally 

Is it you? One UK ticket-holder has won the £170 million EuroMillions jackpot to become the country's biggest ever winner - instantly making them richer than pop star Ed Sheeran.

The excitement was building so much for the blockbuster jackpot that lottery players managed to crash the website earlier this evening in the scramble to get a ticket.

The National Lottery have confirmed the lucky winner has matched all five main numbers - 07, 10, 15, 44, 49 - and the two lucky stars - 03, 12 - in Tuesday's draw.

The extraordinary haul will make the winner instantly richer than pop star Ed Sheeran, who is worth an estimated £160million, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

It is the largest ever lottery win in the UK and beats the £161million won by Colin and Chris Weir in July 2011.

'Players all across the country are urged to check their tickets as soon as possible.

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