French and Riviera News Monday 11th March 2019

Local News 

Corsica march against domestic violence - 3,000 people from all over Corsica have gathered in the north of the island to take part in a silent march against domestic violence. The march was organized as a tribute to Julie Douib, a mother killed by her former husband on March 3rd. The march started at 2pm on Saturday in front of the victim’s home and was led by her ten year old son. It ended on the beach as gatherers threw flowers into the sea in memory of Julie Douib. Douib was the 30th victim of domestic violence since the beginning of the year. 

Woman hit by train in Cannes - A woman, who has not yet been identified, has been killed after being hit by a train at Cannes train station. The region's rail network came to a standstill on Saturday shortly after 7pm following the accident which occurred on one of the platforms as the train was entering the station.

Fire in Antibes - An 11 year old boy has been taken to hospital following a fire which broke out in an apartment block in Antibes on Sunday afternoon. Two families have been rehoused after the blaze spread through the six-storey building on Avenue Philippe-Rochat. The cause of the fire is still to be determined.

Food market - Following months of investigation, 90 officials have dismantled an underground illegal network trafficking several food products, including a ton of meat unfit for consumption and 750 kilos of fruit and vegetables. The operation was carried out on Sunday in Nice on Boulevard Mercantour where the market had relocated after already being banned last year. Following the investigation three butchers in Nice have been closed and had their stock destroyed after they were found to be reselling products from the market. 

Baby - Maternity leave in Monaco will soon be extended by fourteen days to 18 weeks in total. The announcement was made last week and as soon as it is approved by the National Council, the increase will apply immediately to private sector employees and shortly after to civil servants and public officials.

Outreach Meetings - The British Embassy in Paris has confirmed that registration is open for the next outreach meetings which are taking place in France in Poitiers on 13th March, Paris 18th March and Marseille 19th for those wishing register the link to their website is on rivieraradio.mc. bit.ly/2TCJgmx 

Brain power - This week, scientists are showing us the latest discoveries in the world of neuroscience. 700 events are organized across France, with 72 organised in the Alpes- Maritimes, which run until March 17th. A range of topics will be covered from “the causes of a migraine, children’s brains and the consumer’s brain under influence”. For more information go to www.semaineducerveau.fr.

Formula E - The Formula E in Hong Kong has been a success for Monaco’s Venturi as Edoardo Mortara won. Britain's Sam Bird took the chequered flag in a controversial finish to the fifth race of the season but was demoted to sixth after being given a five-second penalty for a last-lap move on leader Andre Lotterer. Lotterer was forced to retire with a puncture, leaving Venturi's Edoardo Mortara to inherit the win. The next race is in Sanya, China, on Saturday, 23 March. Formula E consists of 11 teams and 22 drivers, with 12 cities visited over a seven-month race calendar.

National

Travel chaos - Travel chaos is expected throughout the week as French customs officers staged the sixth day of a work-to-rule strike on Saturday. Saturday saw Eurostar trains from Paris to London running up to two hours late, trucks were queuing up at the Channel port of Calais and long lines were reported in airports across France. As the Brexit deadline of March 29 approaches, French customs officers are demanding higher pay and better working conditions with actions all over France.

National debate - French local authorities have announced that the National Debate will continue into April. Launched in January, the debate was the government's response to the anti-government Yellow Vest protests. In the past two months, President Emmanuel Macron has been meeting local officials and ordinary French people to bring him and his cabinet up-close and friendly with the realities of daily life in France. One of Macron's leading spokespeople, Stanislas Guerini told Le Parisien newspaper, that they are going to announce what are sure to be popular measures, including returning to an index-linked state pension. Local prefects, have said that at the end of the first stage, the most frequently raised issues are political officials' privileges, tax, buying power, the 80 km/h speed limit, neglect of rural areas and immigration.

Yellow Vest movement - Meanwhile the yellow vest movement saw fewer people demonstrate across France on Saturday. Official figures showed the lowest ever turnout for the 17th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests since the movement began. Figures reported that there were 28,600 protestors nation-wide, of which 3000 were in Paris.

Plans for high speed rail link under threat - The Italian Prime Minister has announced that plans for a high-speed railway link between Italy and France have been put on hold following political clashes over the project. The multibillion-euro project has been criticised by the Five Star Movement, the biggest ruling party. The joint venture between Italy and France aims to link Turin and Lyon via a 58km tunnel through the Alps.

Climate Change - As part of the fight against climate change the association “Boycott Citizen” has called for two days of mobilization on March 15th and 16th, inviting consumers to boycott stores during the two days. Marches are already planned on both Friday 15th and Saturday 16th.

LGBT friendly countries - In an annual ranking of LGBT friendly countries France has ranked 17th dropping 11 places since last year when it ranked 6th. At the top of the list, which lists 197 countries, were Portugal, Sweden and Canada. The United States, ranked 47th compared to 39th in 2018 while Chechnya ranked last.

Summer time v’s winter time - The results of a survey organized by the National Assembly in France concerning turning the clocks backwards or forwards has shown that 59% of French are in favour of summer time. Figures showed that 56% of European citizens wanted to stay in summer time, compared with 32% for winter time. The most inclined to enjoy the sun in the evening are the Portuguese (79%), followed by Cyprus (73%) and Poland (72%). On the other hand, the countries that would most prefer to stay in winter time are Finland (48%), Denmark (46%) and the Netherlands (45%).  EU member states have until 27 April 2019 to choose, before possible harmonization decided by the European Commission with the last change of time will then take place in 2021.

Barbie’s Birthday - Barbie celebrates her 60th birthday this year. The occasion has been previously marked most notably, with an exhibition dedicated to the doll in Paris in 2016. Anne Monier curator of the exhibition has described Barbie as a feminist. Created in 1959 by the American Ruth Handler Monier says that "the doll was not married, had no children, her own car, her own plane, everything belongs to Barbie and finally Ken is an accessory in Barbie’s world”.  More than 58 million Barbie dolls are sold each year worldwide.

Business

China’s aviation regulator has ordered local airlines to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 flights following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash of the same model.

The plane crashed just minutes after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 people on board.It was the second crash involving a 737 Max 8 in the past 5 months.

Aviation experts say that it’s too early to say what caused the disaster but it comes after the same model of plane operated by Lion Air crashed in October killing 189 people.The plane lost altitude soon after take-off.

China’s  Civil Aviation Administration said that given  that the two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 787 Max 8’s  and happened during the take-off phase ,it was suspending commercial operations of all of the planes.

Boeing said that it was “deeply saddened” by the crash  and is sending a team to provide technical assistance with the investigation.

 

The chairman of the US Federal Reserve  has said that the central bank does “not feel any hurry” to change the level of interest rates again as it watches how a slowing global economy affects local conditions.

Speaking during a wide-ranging interview with CBS’S 60 Minutes programme,Jerome Powell  called the current interest rate “appropriate” and “roughly neutral” meaning that it is neither stimulating or curbing the economy.

He said that an economic slowdown in China and Europe posed the largest risks to an otherwise healthy US outlook but added that he thought that “very negative outcomes” were not likely.

Mr Powell said that the system created since the financial crisis of 2008  is “vastly more resilient and strong than it had been previously” although he said that the risks from cyber attack remain a major concern.

 

And-The British Retail Consortium says that last month saw the biggest fall in 5 years of people visiting stores during February.

Footfall among shoppers fell by 2 percent year-on-year across UK high streets,retail parks and  shopping centres.

It marked the 15 month in a row of falls  with Northern Ireland the only part of the UK to buck the trend.

The overall decline came despite unusually warm weather last month.

The BRC said that  while real incomes have been rising over the last year,the uncertainty surrounding Brexit appears to be driving a “ needs-not-wants “ approach.

Sport

Rugby Union- Wales have the Grand Slam within sight with just one round of games to go in this year’s 6 Nations Championship.

Warren Gatland’s side secured a hard fought win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday while England trounced Italy and Ireland were too good for a lacklustre France on Sunday.

The final series of games will see Wales play Ireland.England will be hoping the Welsk slip up and they beat Scotland which would give them the Championship while Italy look like they’re going to get the wooden spoon again unless they can beat France in Rome.

Football-There were three games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Liverpool kept the pressure on leaders Manchester City thanks to a 4-2 win over Burnley while Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 and Chelsea left it very late to grab a point in a 1-1 home draw with Wolves.

There was one game in the English Championship on Sunday.The Birmingham derby ended Birmingham City 0 Aston Villa 1.

The game was marred after a supporter ran onto the pitch and attacked Villa’s Jack Grealish in the first half.He was alright and the man was arrested.

Snooker-Ronnie O’Sullivan has become the first player to  reach a thousand career century breaks as he won the Players Championship final on Sunday.

The five-time world champion went into the match needing three more centuries to reach the landmark.

He made two in taking a 7-2 lead at the end of the first session in Preston  and achieved the landmark with a break of 134  to retain the title.

Cricket-England have beaten West Indies 3-0 in the Twenty20 series after winning the third match in St Kitts by 8 wickets.

The tourists dismissed West Indies for just 71 from 13 overs before cantering to the target  for the loss of two wickets in a total of 72-2 from 10.3 overs.

David Willey was man of the match,taking a career best 4-7.

Golf-Francesco Molinari has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by 2 shots.

The world number 10 ended on 12 under par at Bay Hill Orlando-two shots clear of England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Weather

Clear skies with a  strong Mistral across the region with gusts of up to 85 km/h across the Var and 55 km/h in the Alpes Maritimes.

Top temperature 20 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear  skies and the wind slackening off.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 15-17 degrees.

Finally 

Gin and Tonic lovers across Britain can finally raise a glass, safe in the knowledge that the iconic pairing will remain just that after four years of regulatory wrangling in Brussels.

The European commission has ruled that drink manufacturers can label their quinine flavoured traditional gin mixer 'tonic' - despite the fact they don't have health benefits, reports The Financial Times.    

Tonic is said to have originated in the British Raj in India.  British people in India are thought to have developed the habit after putting quinine tablets, used to protect against malaria, in their gin along with lemon and lime.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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