French and Riviera News Monday 13th May 2019

Local

Earth tremors - Three earth tremors have been recorded in the mountains behind Nice notably at Saint-Martin-Vésubie. Villagers spoke of three successive tremors, minutes apart shortly after 3pm on Sunday. According to data the tremors showed a magnitude of 2.4, 2.5 and 1.4 on the Richter scale. No damage was reported.

French soldiers killed during release of hostages - Two French soldiers from the Var have been killed during the release of French hostages held in Burkina Faso.  French President Emmanuel Macron met with the three hostages who were rescued from a militant camp after they arrived in Paris on Saturday. Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, both died during the raid, which rescued four hostages and killed four kidnappers.

Memorial museum - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has, in a letter to the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, reiterated his request for the memorial museum dedicated to the victims of the terrorism to be built in Nice. Estrosi had made the request last September following the announcement that the memorial would be built in Paris.

Road accident - A 41 year old man has been killed on the region’s roads following a collision between a car and a van on Sunday afternoon. The accident occurred just outside of Avignon. Police have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. Four other people were injured, one seriously.

Sainte Devote Rugby tournament - Montpellier have won the 2019 Sainte Devote Rugby tournament which took place here in the Principality on Saturday. In the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene, accompanied by Crown Prince Jacques and HSH Princess Gabriella 17 under 12 teams from 14 countries took part in the competition at the Louis II Stadium. The event is organized by the Monegasque Rugby Federation with the support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

Monaco E-Prix - Meanwhile Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne became the first driver to record a second victory of the season after leading from pole to win the Monaco E-Prix this weekend. It means the defending champion moves to the top of the overall standings with four races remaining this season. Meanwhile Felipe Massa, who lives in Monaco, secured his first ever Formula E podium coming 3rd.

Cannes Film Festival - The official poster for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled outside the Palais des Festivals on Sunday. The Poster pays tribute to the late film director Agnes Varda, featuring an action shot of the filmmaker taken while she made “La Pointe Courte” her first feature film in 1955. The Festival is running from May 14th to 25th and is due to kick off on Tuesday with Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, zombie estravaganza “The dead don’t die”.

National

Yellow Vest protests - French police have fired tear gas at masked demonstrators in Lyon and Nantes. Saturday marked the 26th straight weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron and his economic reform agenda. Police estimated 18,600 people took to the streets around France, including 1,200 in the capital. Saturday's apparently low turnout nationwide will be a relief to Macron, little more than two weeks out from European elections. Protester numbers have dwindled from highs of over 300,000 nationwide at the peak in November to below 30,000 in recent weeks, according to government estimates.

Notre Dame Cathedral - French MPs have approved a law to rebuild Notre-Dame within five years. But many fear the reconstruction will be rushed and experts are still divided on whether to rebuild the monument in its original form or to give it a more contemporary look. French lawmakers approved a controversial government draft bill, aimed at managing donors’ funds, which allows it to bypass current legislation in order to speed up the construction process. Only 47 out of 577 MPs were physically present in the National Assembly when the bill was adopted, after 13 hours of debate. It still needs to pass through the Senate, where it will be presented from May 27th.

Business

A top adviser to Donald Trump has admitted that the President was wrong to suggest that China would pay tariffs on its exports to the United States.

Larry Kudlow who leads the US National Economic Council accepted that it was US businesses that paid the import tax.

In an interview with Fox News ,Mr Kudlow said that he believed “both sides will suffer” from the escalating trade dispute.

On Friday ,President Trump tweeted that tariffs on 250 billion dollars of goods coming into the US  were being “paid by China”.

Mr Trump is arguing that there is “no need to rush” into a trade agreement with Beijing as the US Treasury was benefitting from “these massive payments”.

Mr Kudlow admitted that it was American businesses that paid the tariffs on any goods brought in from China and that US consumers would also foot the bill if firms passed on the cost increase.

 

More than 40 US states have filed a lawsuit accusing pharmaceutical firms of conspiring to artificially fix the cost of common medicinal drugs.

The lawsuit alleges that up to 20 companies have been involved in fixing prices for over 100 drugs including treatments for diabetes and cancer.

One of the firms accused-Teva Pharmaceuticals is the world’s largest producer of generic medicines.

The legal action follows a five year investigation and accuses drug companies of involvement in a scheme to hike prices , in some cases by more than 1,000 percent.

Teva has denied any liability.The other 19 firms involved are yet to respond.

 

And-The German life-sciences and pharmaceutical giant Bayer says that it’s hiring an external law firm to investigate French  media complaints that Monsanto  had compiled a list of influential personalities.

Bayer took over the US seed maker Monsanto last year  and said on Sunday that the media reports had raised concern and criticism.

On Friday French prosecutors opened an investigation after Le Monde newspaper reported that Monsanto had compiled a list of 200 names  including journalists and lawmakers  in the hope of influencing their positions on pesticides.

The French investigation is the latest fallout following Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto.It’s already facing potentially heavy costs from US class action lawsuits in which plaintiffs argue that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

Sport

Football-Manchester City have retained the English Premier League title after beating Brighton 4-1 on the final day of the season.

City end the season one point clear of Liverpool who beat Wolves 2-0 at Anfield to finish in second place.

Chelsea finish in third with Spurs taking fourth place to complete the Champions League spots for next season.

Arsenal had to settle for 5th with Manchester United in 6th place.They suffered the ignominy of losing 2-0 at home to Cardiff on the final day.

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix comfortably on Sunday to regain the lead in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton got the jump on pole-sitter and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the start and never looked threatened.

Bottas finished second  with Max Verstappen in the Red Bull third.

It was another very disappointing race for Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finishing 4th and 5th respectively and the much trumpeted engine upgrade not yielding any noticeable results.

Hamilton leads the drivers’ championship on 112 points with Valtteri Bottas on 105 and Max Verstappen way back in third on 66 points.

Next stop Monaco on May the 26th.

Rugby Union-Alex Goode has been named as European Player of the Year after helping Saracens to win the European Champions Cup on Saturday.

Saracens came from 10-0 down to beat the holders and four time champions Leinster 20-10.

Goode beat a number of top players including Sean Cronin and Gary Ringrose to the award.

It’s the third time that Saracens have won the European Cup.

Tennis-Novak Djokovic has won the Madrid Open after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

Djokovic breezed past a tired looking opponent 6-3 6-4 in one hour 32 minutes to earn a record equalling 33rd Masters title.

Golf-Marcus Kinhult of Sweden has won his maiden European Tour event with victory in the British Masters.

Kinhult was tied with England’s Matt Wallace at 15 under par going to the final hole.

Wallace missed a 15 footer while Kinhult birdied from 10 feet out to end with a round of 70 and go 16 under.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate west,south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 21-24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine tomorrow ,turning showery by nightfall.Rain on Wednesday.Highs of 19-23 degrees tomorrow,16-18 degrees on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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