French and Riviera News Friday 15th November 2019

Local

Weather - Snow has fallen in the south east of France, 200,000 households were left without electricity in the Drome, Isère and Ardèche. À 63-year-old man was killed by a falling tree in Isère and the train network between Lyon and Grenoble has been disrupted. Nine departments remain on alert this morning including the Var which is on a flood alert and the Alpes Maritimes risks coastal flooding due to a large sea swell. Several roads of the Alpes-Maritimes department have been affected with coast roads between Antibes and Nice being closed at 9.40pm on Thursday for an indefinite period.

Several flights at Nice airport were impacted by the bad weather conditions on Thursday with flights coming into Nice being diverted to Marseille. Flights from Frankfurt, Brussels and London Gatwick were diverted to Milan and Genoa to refuel before arriving in Nice with a few hours later.

Meanwhile a couple from the Vaucluse have driven into the old port in Marseille after following their GPS during the heavy downpour on Thursday evening. Fortunately, the three occupants of the car managed to extract themselves. No injuries were reported.

Strike action - Hospital staff across the region have been demonstrating. Thursday saw hospital staff across France strike in protest against the lack of resources, manpower and low wages. In response to the nationwide movement French President Emmanuel Macron declared that he “had heard the anger and upset” and announced that a plan of action and tough decisions would be announced next Wednesday by the French Prime Minister. Macron made the statement while on a visit to Epernay in the Marne on Thursday.

Electric shuttle bus - The Zest network in Menton has inaugurated its new eco-friendly shuttle bus. Running every day serving 10 stops in the city center the service is completely free of charge. The new public transport service has been launched for a one-year experimental phase which will be be extended and sustained depending on demand.

Dating Picnic - Are you single? A "Dating Picnic " has been organized at the Nature Base of Frejus in the Var this Sunday. The facebook group launched three days ago has seen an immediate success with over 300 people registering to take part. The founders of the group set it up after being “tired of the current dating sites” and to offer an alternative way to meet people.

National

Notre Dame - The army general overseeing the reconstruction of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has said the building's chief architect should "shut his mouth". General Jean-Louis Georgelin and architect Philippe Villeneuve disagree over whether the cathedral's new spire should look modern or medieval. Notre Dame caught fire in April, losing its spire, roof and many artefacts. French President Emmanuel Macron has set a five-year deadline for completing the huge restoration project.

Yellow Vest movement - According to a survey published on Thursday 69% of French people consider that the “Yellow Vest” movement was justified and 58% believe that it has benefited them. Emmanuel Macron and the government made several concessions after this movement. For example, there was the big national debate and an allocation of 17 billion euros to the middle and lower classes.

 

Business

The online retail giant Amazon has said that it will contest the Pentagon’s awarding of a cloud computing deal worth up to 10 billion dollars to rival Microsoft.

Amazon has filed notice that it will contest the decision and says that politics got in the way of a fair contracting process.

The Pentagon decided to award the contract to build the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure Cloud or JEDI for short to Microsoft but Amazon says that the US agency was unable to make an impartial decision because of President Trump’s constant criticism of the company and its founder Jeff Bezos.

A spokesman for Amazon said that “ numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies,errors and unmistakeable bias” and that it was important that the matters were “examined and rectified”.

 

A number of World Trade Organisation countries have asked the EU and the UK for compensation over Brexit disruption.

A total of 15 countries including Australia ,The United States ,India and New Zealand have set out their concerns at a WTO meeting in Geneva.

Australian officials say that their beef and lamb exports have already been hit as a result of several Brexit delays.

The main issue for the plaintiffs is the system that allows their goods easier access to the EU market for limited quantities of mainly farm produce.

Under WTO rules known as tariff rate quotas , members generally apply taxes on exports to many of the goods that they buy from overseas.

For some products there are commitments to allow specified amounts to be imported with tariffs that are lower than those usually applied.In some cases this means zero tariffs.

Under the current system it’s more profitable for Australian farmers to sell beef to Europe but Brexit is upsetting the apple cart as current quotas are for the entire EU with the UK included.

After Britain leaves the EU both countries will have to decide how to divide up the tariffs and some countries say that this will lead to them having less favourable access to a large and wealthy market.

And-The owner of Mercedes-Benz says that it’s to cut jobs with the aim of making more than a billion euros in savings by the end of 2022.

Daimler says that meeting new CO2 targets requires high investment and that the growing range of hybrid plug-in and all-electric cars is leading to cost increases.

Reports say that some 1,000 jobs will go at Mercedes-Benz  mostly in management and administrative roles.

Profits at Daimler have been poor recently and the firm was also fined 870 million euros over the diesel emissions scandal.

Sport

Football-England have thrashed Montenegro 7-0 in Group A of European Championship qualifying to confirm their place at next summer’s finals.

Harry Kane scored a hat-trick for the home side who were playing in their 1,000th international match and there were goals for Oxlade-Chamberlain,Rashford and Tammy Abraham too.

Also last night France moved top of Group H after coming from behind to beat Moldova 2-1.

Tennis-Novak Djokovic’s season has ended with a whimper after he was beaten in the ATP Tour World Finals by Roger Federer to exit the tournament and miss out on the chance of ending the year as world number one.

Federer was in superb form as he took revenge for his defeat in the Wimbledon final in July with a 6-4 6-3 victory.He qualifies for the last 4 and will now play either Rafael Nadal or Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal is far from  certain of making the semi finals.He needs to beat Tsitsipas later today and then hope that Alexander Zverev  loses to Daniil Medvedev or he’s out.

Formula 1-First practice for the penultimate race of the season in Brazil takes place at 3pm this afternoon with teams and drivers racing for pride and points with both championships already done and dusted.

Lewis Hamilton says that he wants to sign a new contract with Mercedes but added that it will “take time”.

The 6 time world champion is out of contract at the end of next season and that he’d been unsettled by rumours that team principal Toto Wolff was considering leaving his position to take over the running of  the sport.

Wolff is not attending the race in Brazil-the first time that he’s missed a Grand Prix since he took over as Mercedes motorsport boss in 2013.

Rugby Union-The European Champions Cup is back in action this weekend.

Tonight in Pool 5 Gloucester play Toulouse and there are a stack of ties tomorrow including Bath against Ulster in Pool 3 and La Rochelle against Exeter in Pool 2.

Weather.

Partially cloudy this morning then clouding over again this afternoon with more rain and thunderstorms across the region.

Moderate westerly or variable winds and a high of 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with more rain.

The weekend-Starting wet tomorrow ,giving way to sunshine and showers in the afternoon.Sunshine and showers on Sunday.Highs of 13-14 degrees.

Finally 

A survey has shown that drivers spend nearly four years of their lives behind the wheel, eight months in jams and eight weeks looking for parking spaces.

The study found the typical motorist will clock up 592,920 miles in their lifetime, which equates to 810 miles a month or 9,720 miles a year.

It’s the same distance as getting to the moon and back or round the Earth 24 times.

Every motorist will suffer at least one accident.

Parents will be asked “Are we nearly there yet?” as many as 60 times a year.

Fifteen days of our lives are wasted driving lost or in the wrong direction while we spend 10 months singing behind the wheel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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