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French and Riviera News Monday 12th November 2018

Local

Strike action – Teacher’s unions have called for strike action today in protest against plans to axe up to 2,500 jobs as of September. Empty classes and even closed schools are expected today as the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer faces his first teachers’ strike. The cuts are planned for both primary and secondary education.  

Motorists protest - Ahead of protests planned on the 17th November against the rise in petrol prices motorists and motorcyclists have demonstrated by brandishing yellow vests on the Promenade des Anglais on Sunday. Traffic slowed down as motorists gathered to gain support for the main protest which is due to take place on the A8 motorway at Saint Isidore on November 17th.  In response to the planned protests environmentalists have called on the government to finance alternative transport reminding them that "air pollution continues, each year to cause 48,000 premature deaths in France."

Meanwhile French media reported on Sunday that the price of motorway tolls is set to increase from February 2019 motorists are expected to be subject to a surcharge of between 0.146% and 0.22%, between 2019 and 2021.

Marseille - The Olympique de Marseille football team has paid tribute to the victims killed when two buildings collapsed in the city last Monday. Players wore black armbands as a minutes silence took place on Sunday afternoon ahead of their match against Dijon. The club has also made a donation of 40,000 euros to the Red Cross to help the victims.

No Finish Line - The No Finish Line has begun in the Principality and it’s open to everyone. The 24 hour, 8 day event consists of running or walking a 400 meter circuit and with every kilometer covered a euro is donated to a children’s charity. Last year 436,980 km were covered. This year’s event kicked off on Saturday with 13,463 participants registered and just over 49,000 km already covered despite the rain.

National

Paris Peace Forum - Dozens of world leaders have met in the French capital for the opening of the Paris Peace Forum, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron. The German Chancellor made an impassioned plea on Sunday for world peace and cooperation 100 years after Germany's defeat in World War I, saying "we must not simply stand by and watch" as more conflicts continue to unfold around the world.

Meanwhile France’s Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Saturday on the need for Europe to bear more of the burden for defence. Meeting for talks at the Elysee Macron welcomed Trump saying he wanted Europe to bear a greater share of the defense costs within NATO, a point he has made repeatedly since taking office, alongside calls for Europe to develop its own military capability.

Business

The Chinese online retail giant Alibaba says that it set a new record for its annual Singles Day sales bonanza on Sunday.

The firm says that it hit a record 1 billion dollars in sales in just 85 seconds and then reached nearly 10 billion dollars in the first hour of the 24 hour offer.

In total,customers spent 30.8 billion dollars-up 27 percent on last year although it was the lowest annual sales increase in the history of Singles Day.

Alibaba created the event in 2009 as a celebration for the “unattached” to counterbalance  Valentine’s Day.

It’s now the largest online sales event and this year’s total was more than the sales generated by Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

 

Saudi Arabia has said that it plans to cut its oil supply to world markets by 500,000 barrels a day next month.

The move represents a global supply reduction of around half a percent and helped to ease the downward pressure on prices in Asian trade this morning.

Bloomberg says that the Saudi decision is part of groundwork by Opec and its allies to cut production next year,reversing an almost year-long expansion.

However,the Saudi energy minister said that it was too early to talk about co-ordinated production cuts within Opec.

 

And-The pound has slipped this morning as British Prime Minister Theresa May battles to keep her Brexit plan alive.

Mrs May is facing increasing pressure from both wings of her ruling Conservative party with widespread opposition within the cabinet as well as on the backbenches to her plans for future customs arrangements with the EU.

Those ministers in favour of a clean Brexit say that Mrs May’s idea betrays the result of the referendum while those in favour of remaining want to see a people’s vote on the terms of the divorce.

On Friday.the Transport Minister Jo Johnson resigned from the government saying that he could no longer support Brexit policy and that a people’s vote was the only way to settle the situation.

Mr Johnson is the brother of the former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who has called for a “cabinet revolt” in today’s Daily Telegraph.He says that Mrs May’s plan is a betrayal of the decision to leave the EU.

Sport

Football-There were 4 games in the English Premier League on Sunday with Manchester City maintaining their lead at the top of the table following a 3-1 win over Manchester United.

Liverpool went second thanks to a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Fulham while Chelsea lost ground after being held to a 0-0 draw by Everton and Arsenal slipped back with a 1-1 draw against Wolves.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Celtic drew 0-0 away at Livingston but went back to the top of the table anyway while Rangers thrashed Motherwell 7-1.

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has won the Brazilian Grand Prix but was fortunate to take the chequered flag after Max Verstappen lost the race lead in a collision with backmarker Esteban Ocon.

The Red Bull star looked on course to win the race before he made contact with the Force India and went into a spin.

Verstappen was furious after the race and accused Ocon of causing the accident.He pushed him three times in the weighing area afterwards and was later ordered to carry out two days of “public service” by the stewards to atone for “making deliberate physical contact” with the Force India driver.

Hamilton took the race from Verstappen in second and Kimi Raikkonen in third.

The win means that Mercedes wrapped up the constructors championship to go with Hamilton’s 5th world title.

Rugby Union-The Ireland coach Joe Schmidt thinks that Sean O’Brien can recover in time for the 6 Nations despite breaking his arm during Saturday’s hard fought victory over Argentina in Dublin.

O’Brien broke his right arm in the first half of the match and is expected to be out for 6 to 8 weeks.He missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.

With the exception of Ireland and Wales who beat Australia,the southern hemisphere teams remain very much on top in the build up to the World Cup.

England were unlucky not to beat New Zealand on Saturday but came up one point short while France lost 29-26 to South Africa.

Rugby League-New Zealand have thrashed England in the final Test in Leeds but England won the series 2-1.

New Zealand ran out 34-0 winners at Elland Road on Sunday with 6 tries and 5 goals.

England had two first half tries ruled out following video reviews.

Cricket-South Africa have won the one day series against Australia with a 40 run victory in the third match in Hobart.

The tourists set a total of 320-5 from their 50 overs with Faf du Plessis and David Miller both scoring centuries.

In reply Australia could only manage 280-9.South Africa win the series 2-1.

Tennis-Roger Federer has been beaten by Kei Nishikori in his opening match at the end of season World Tour Finals in London.

Federer looked out of sorts as he went down 7-6 6-3.

Earlier on Sunday Kevin Anderson beat Dominic Thiem.

World number one Novak Djokovic is in action in the other group today against John Isner.

 

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate easterly winds and a high of 19 degrees. Overnight lows of 15 degrees with partially cloudy skies. Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 19-20 degrees.

 

Finally 

Mistake worth millions - 230 workers at a steel mill in Belgium had a pleasant if temporary surprise after receiving 30,000 euros instead of their usual 1,600 euros months salary. The mistake worth millions has led management sending a letter asking for employees to repay the amount unduly received. While a majority of them did not use the money others had taken advantage of the mistake with trips to the casino.

 

 

 

 

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