French and Riviera News Friday 29th March 2019

Local

Bans on Yellow Vest movement - Three prefectures have announced that they will be banning demonstrations on Saturday, March 30th. As “Yellow Vests” plan to demonstrate in i Avignon, Toulouse and Rouen. The move comes in an attempt to prevent violence and looting. In Avignon, a national call to demonstrate on Saturday was launched by "yellow vests" on social networks, leading to the prefecture of the Vaucluse forbidding any gathering or manifestation from 9 am to midnight.

Violence - The French postal system “La Poste” in Hyeres in the Var has suspended deliveries to a neighbourhood in the town, following the murder of a young person on March 14th. Management said on Thursday, that the decision to suspend the service had been in the interest of the safety of their employees. The Val des Rougières district has seen several outbursts of violence recently leading to the Prefect deploying the CRS in the area in an attempt to stamp out the delinquent behaviour.

A 27 year old man has appeared in court in Nice after sending messages to the Elysee glorifying terrorism. He had been arrested in Nice last weekend. The court handed down a six month suspended sentence and eighteen months of probation.

Earth Hour - Earth Hour is taking place this Saturday the 30th of March between 8.30 and 9.30 PM when members of the public are being invited to turn off the lights and unplug electrical devices to raise awareness about climate change. To find out more about earth hour go to www.earthhour.org    #Connect2Earth

Petanque – The traditional game of “Petanque” played in France by elderly men in flat caps and string vests, with shots of pastis never far from hand and portrayed by Marcel Pagnol for French cinema is getting a make-over. As the tradition of enjoying a pastis while playing may become a thing of the past, at least for those competing in professional tournaments.

Since January new measures have been introduced to the game which will see controls take place during tournaments and any player with a rate greater than 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood will be excluded from the competition. The French Federation of petanque and provencal game the FFPJP has commented that the decision to not allow the sport to be an Olympic sport has pushed the Federation to question certain aspects and traditions. Tests will be carried out for all competitions and at all levels be it local, regional, national or international.

Gardens of the Côte d’Azur - The ephemeral garden entitled “A balcony on the Mediterranean” has been inaugurated in Monaco on Thursday. “Gardens of the Côte d’Azur” which has been organized by the Alpes Maritimes takes place across the region from March30th to April 28th and will see 15 landscape creations take part in a competition.

National

Public sector calls for strike action 9th May - Public sector workers across France have staged protests this week against a draft law on proposed reforms. In a cost cutting drive, the government aims to lose 120,000 jobs in the public sector by 2022, out of a total workforce of 5.5 million currently. Unions have already rejected the reforms and several are calling for a strike on May 9th.

Scam - Israeli police have arrested three men accused of scamming €8 million from a businessman by impersonating the French foreign minister. The men reportedly created a replica of Jean Yves Le Drian’s Paris office in Israel to conduct call by Skype, telling their targets that the money was needed for secret operations and to pay ransom money for hostages in Syria and Mali. All three men deny any involvement.

Louvre - The Louvre Museum in Paris today celebrates the anniversary of its pyramid which was inaugurated on March 29th, 1989 by François Mitterrand. To mark the occasion the artist JR kicks off the events organized with the help of 400 volunteers, he has created an installation in the Napoleon courtyard, a giant trompe-l'oeil around the pyramid. It was JR that three years ago made the pyramid disappear. This time, he will make it come out of the ground. The artwork can be admired by visitors until Sunday evening.

Business

The ride-hailing firm Lyft has priced its shares at 72 dollars amid strong investor demand which values the firm at 24.3 billion dollars.

Lyft shares will start trading on the Nasdaq today and the strong valuation makes it the largest company to go public since China’s Alibaba Group in 2014.

Earlier this week Lyft increased its indicative share offer price range to 70-72 dollars per share-up from 62-68 dollars previously.

The firm’s main rival Uber is also expected to float sometime this year.

There are risks to the floatation from regulatory uncertainty to the fierce competition that’s expected to emerge as the autonomous vehicle market develops.

 

Oil prices are heading for their best quarter in nearly ten years  as Opec production cuts  and the loss to the market of Iranian and Venezuelan exports due to US sanctions have countered an uncertain outlook.

Crude futures were up by as much as 0.7 percent in New York while prices have risen in Asian trade today after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York president John Williams downplayed the chances of a recession in the United States.

The markets also shrugged off comments from President Trump who said on Thursday that oil prices are “getting too high”.

Oil prices started to claw back most of the losses seen in the final quarter of 2018 after Saudi Arabia  and its Opec allies led measures to squeeze supplies to prevent a glut.

 

And-In the UK,the Unite Union is taking legal action against 5 of the country’s largest airlines over claims that pilots and cabin crew are regularly exposed to toxic fumes during flights.

The Union said that legal notices had been served in 51 cases-the majority of which are against British Airways.

EasyJet,Thomas Cook, Jet2 and Virgin Atlantic are also subject to the legal action which has been dubbed “aerotoxic syndrome”.

The airlines say that previous studies had found no proof of long-term ill-health arising from cabin air quality.

The Unite Union,which represents airline staff,claims that pilots and crew are regularly exposed to frequent “fume events” when air drawn into the aircraft becomes contaminated by toxic compounds.

The fumes are reported to come from the oil used to lubricate jet engines which contains organophosphates and TCP.

Sport

Football-The new Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that his players must “work harder” and as warned them against complacency or they will “never last at the club”.

The 46 year old Norwegian was handed a 3 year contract at Old Trafford on Thursday after taking over from Jose Mourinho on an interim basis In December.

United have lost only once in 13 league games under his guidance and are through to the quarter finals of the European Champions League.

The English Premier League is back in action this weekend after the international break.

On Saturday Fulham play Manchester City.Brighton host Southampton.Burnley play Wolves.Crystal Palace host Huddersfield.Leicester play Bournemouth.Manchester United play Watford and West Ham face Everton.

On Sunday Cardiff play Chelsea and Liverpool play Spurs.

Arsenal play Newcastle on Monday.

Formula 1-First practice for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at noon French time today with  Valtteri Bottas looking to repeat his success in the opening race of the season in Melbourne.

Bottas is being tipped to “come out of the shadow” of Lewis Hamilton this season with many thinking this year will be his best chance of winning the world championship.

Second practice is at 4pm this afternoon with qualifying at 4pm tomorrow and the race at 5pm on Sunday.

Rugby Union-It’s quarter finals weekend in the European Champions Cup.

On Saturday Edinburgh play Munster.Saracens face Glasgow and Leinster play Ulster.Racing 92 play Toulouse in the last tie on Sunday.

Tennis-Ashleigh Barty is through to the final of the Miami Open.

The Australian beat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in a rain delayed match 6-3 6-3.

Barty will play Karolina Pliskova in the final.She beat Simona Halep 7-5 6-1.

In the men’s event Roger Federer is into the last 4 after beating Kevin Anderson 6-0 6-4.

Golf-Justin Rose remains unbeaten at the WGC Match Play in Texas.

Rose levelled his second match against Eddie Pepperell after winning the last two holes on Thursday.He’ll play Gary Woodland today to decide who goes through to the last 16.

Rory McIlroy continued his 100 percent start while Tommy Fleetwood halved with Kyle Stanley ,while Tiger Woods,Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter all lost.

Weather

Clear skies  with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 10  degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland  with clear skies.

The weekend-Clear skies with highs of 18-21 degrees.

 

Clocks go forward by 1 hour on Sunday morning for Summer Time.

 

 

 

 

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