French and Riviera News Thursday 10th January 2019

Local

Fire in hotel in Toulouse - Several families have been evacuated from a hotel in Toulouse after a fierce fire broke out at 2.40am this morning. Firefighters currently at the scene say that two people are in serious condition and 17 others have suffered minor injuries.

Yellow Vest - As planned police have moved the “yellow vest” protestors from the roundabout in Antibes. Police intervened on Wednesday evening with protesters cooperation as they calmly dismantled the camp. At Nice St Isidore, where a camp was removed by authorities on Tuesday, reports say there were only a few yellow vest protestors present on Wednesday.

Meanwhile five police officers have received letters of congratulations in an official ceremony at the town hall in Grasse on Wednesday.  The awards were in recognition of their actions during an incident in Grasse in November in which one of the officers was struck by a car driven by a yellow vest protestor.

Interview with Yellow Vest spokesman - In an interview with Konbini News on Wednesday, a spokesman for the "yellow vests" movement, Maxime "Fly Rider" Nicolle, has confessed to doubting the terrorist nature of the attacks in Strasbourg and Nice, which together killed 91 people. Nicolle had already shared his opinion on December 11th, the same evening of the Strasbourg attack that killed five people. “Fly rider” says that "If it was an attack, why kill three people in the street when you can kill millions on the Champs-Elysees- that would be a real attack”. Adding that he questions the lack of evidence of “official links to a terrorist group” ending by saying “nothing justifies it, it is an attack but not necessarily terrorist”.

Homeless shelter - Due to a drop in temperatures, the city of Nice has opened the new El Nouzah site, which offers shelter and meals to the homeless. Two night shelters already exist in the city on Rue Trachel and Rue Balatchano.  

Bus network in Menton - The Zest bus network in Menton is expected to be disrupted by industrial action between 7am and 8am and from 4pm to 5pm today with strike action planned for Thursdays, Fridays, Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.

New airline at Nice Airport - S7 Airlines the third largest airline in Russia has announced its arrival, for the first time in France, at Nice International Airport. From April to October the airline with offer a new seasonal connection between Moscow and Nice. According to reports the company will provide up to six flights a week able to accommodate 8 passengers in Business class and 150 in Economy.

Sales - Wednesday marked the first day of the sales in the shops of the PACA region. The sales end on the 19th of February and in the meantime there are many bargains to be had in the region’s stores. The dates of sales are strictly regulated by the French government. According to reports department stores in Paris were almost empty on the first day having ended the year badly due to the Yellow Vest movement which according to the French government had an economic impact estimated of between 2.5 and 4 billion euros.

National

Former boxer placed in police custody - The former boxer Christophe Dettinger filmed hitting two gendarmes in Paris during "act 8" of the "yellow vests" protests has been placed in custody. Dettinger will await his trial in prison. At the hearing on Wednesday, he expressed regret for his actions and asked for time to prepare his defense.

Mirage 2000D - Debris has been found which is believed to have come from the French military aircraft which disappeared from radar near the Swiss border at about 11.00 on Wednesday morning. The Mirage 2000D fighter plane took off from an airbase near Nancy.

Tax credits – The French minister of public accounts Gerald Darmanin has announced that those who use home help or make regular donations to charity will be awarded a tax credit. In a press conference on Wednesday a total of 5.5 billion euros will be paid to nearly 9 million French people. The money corresponds to 60% of credits and tax reductions calculated on the basis of the tax return made in 2018.

Business

Minutes from the latest policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve suggest that members will seek greater clarity on the state of the economy before extending the central bank’s interest rate policy.

The minutes show that policy makers see risks from markets and abroad as making the “appropriate extent and timing of future policy less clear than earlier”.

The central bank  sentiment was backed up on Wednesday when the presidents of 4 of the 12 Federal Reserve regional banks said that they wanted greater clarity on the state of the economy.

Analysts say that the minutes underscore a sense that the Fed is nearing the end of its rate-hike cycle  and backs up the view of Fed chairman Jerome Powell who said last week  that he would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year.

Jaguar Land Rover is expected to say today that its cutting 5,000 jobs from its 40,000 strong UK workforce.

Management,marketing and administrative roles are expected to be the main areas for the cuts although some production staff many also be affected.

The layoffs are part of a 2.5 billion pound cost cutting exercise  as a result of a downturn in sales in China,falling demand for diesel vehicles  and concerns over UK competitiveness after Brexit.

China is Jaguar Land Rover’s biggest market but sales have fallen by nearly 50 percent in recent months  as cautious consumers have been holding back on big ticket purchases amid global trade tensions.

The firm is also one of the most heavily exposed carmakers  to ongoing consumer confusion about buying diesel in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal while uncertainty about just in time supply chains and UK competitiveness after Brexit is also unsettling the market.

And-The chairman of the embattled US chain Seers has submitted a revised 5 billion dollar takeover bid for the firm.

Eddie Lampert is reported to have agreed to assume tax and sales bills that Seers has incurred since filing for bankruptcy protection in October.

Mr Lampert’s bid has been submitted via an affiliate of his hedgefund ESL Investments on Wednesday along with a 120 million dollar deposit.

Seers had rejected a previous offer of 4.4 billion dollars.

A final decision is due on the 14th of January.

Sport

Football-Manchester City have hammered Burton Albion of League one  9-0 in last night’s English League Cup semi final first leg tie at the Etihad.

Gabriel Jesus score 4 goals for the Premier League giants as they wiped the floor with their lower league opposition.

The second leg takes place on Wednesday the 23rd of January and will be little more than a formality for City who have now scored 16 goals in their last two games.

Cricket-England’s new director of cricket Ashley Giles has said that the side can win both the World Cup and the next Ashes series.

Giles,who replaced Andrew Strauss in December after the former England captain’s wife died from cancer said  that this year creates the best opportunity for some time for the team to do well in international competition.

England are currently ranked as the number one side in the world in one day international competition and are second in the Test rankings.

Rugby Union-France have named 5 uncapped players in their squad for the first Six Nations game against Wales on the first of February.

Among them is 19 year old fly-half Romain Ntamack who’s the son of former international Emile Ntamack.

The former South Africa lock Paul Willemse is also in the squad after qualifying through residence.

Weather.

Mainly fine with light  westerly winds.

Top temperature 12 degrees.

Overnight lows of 4 degrees on the coast and -3  degrees inland with clear skies and a widespread frost.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 10-12 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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