French and Riviera News Thursday 10th October 2019

Local

Zika virus reported in the Var - A case of Zika virus has been reported in Hyères in the Var on Wednesday. The affected individual has been successfully treated after contracting the disease and is now cured. The regional health agency has confirmed that this is the first domestic case of the virus transmitted by the Tiger mosquito in mainland France this year. The agency plans to continue its investigation to determine the origin of the case and prevent the spread of the disease.

Truck on fire causes severe delays, funerals canceled, and one motorist stabbed - An investigation by police into the cause of the fire on the A8 motorway on Wednesday morning has revealed that the truck caught fire due to its brakes overheating. The incident caused long delays on the regions roads with thousands of motorists finding themselves trapped for several hours. Three funerals were cancelled due to the incident which also led to one motorist being stabbed as tempers flared following a dispute. Police arrested the perpetrator. The victim suffered minor injuries.

Meanwhile a second vehicle caught fire on Wednesday evening shortly after 6.30pm this time on the Moyenne Corniche in Nice. Firefighters were quick to intervene and control the incident.

Kurds demonstrate in Nice - About 50 Kurds have demonstrated in the centre of Nice in protest against the Turkish offensive against the Kurdish forces in Syria. The demonstration supervised by police saw demonstrators gather at the city’s main train station and march through the city.

Plan to save olive trees - Local authorities have met to organise a plan of action to protect olive trees in the region. The meeting was held on Wednesday and comes after olive trees in Antibes and Menton were destroyed last month. The trees had become infected with the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria.

National

Extinction Rebellion - Several hundred environmental activists blocking a central square in Paris as part of the international movement Extinction Rebellion discussed how to continue their occupation as it entered a third day on Wednesday. Several dozen activists held a meeting to decide how to proceed with the Paris installment of the Extinction Rebellion occupations in about 60 cities around the world this week.

Demonstration banned – France has announced that it is banning a planned demonstration which has triggered outrage from politicians who saw it as honouring the attacker who killed four people in the Paris police headquarters last week. The demonstration, planned in a Paris suburb where attacker Mickael Harpon lived, had been planned for today by Hadama Traore, who is looking to build up a profile on social media as the “political candidate of the suburbs”. Traore condemned last week’s attack on Facebook, but added he wanted the demonstration to take place as a mark of solidarity for the community and to avoid the attack being used to discriminate against Muslim or ethnic communities.

HIV, number of new cases drops in France - According to France’s health ministry new cases of HIV have dropped by 7 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.  An estimated 6,155 people in France discovered they were HIV positive in 2018 compared to 6,583 in 2017. Over two thirds of people infected are men, according to figures released by the ministry of health on Wednesday ahead of an international summit on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The highest concentration of HIV infection is in the Paris region and on the French overseas departments of Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Business

China has lowered expectations for significant progress in high-level trade talks with the United States this week after officials expressed surprise over the latest Washington blacklist of the country’s firms.

While President Trump was striking an optimistic tone about the talks last night,Chinese officials told Reuters that they’re pessimistic about the size or scope of any agreement in the short term.

High level trade officials from both sides will meet in Washington today and tomorrow in a bid to end the 15 month old dispute that’s been slowing the global economy and threatens to cause chaos to decades-old trading systems.

If there’s no progress over the next two days ,President Trump is set to hike the tariff rate on 250 billion dollars of Chinese goods from 25 percent to 30 percent next Tuesday.

Chinese officials have said that there’s a strong possibility that the latest round of talks could end in deadlock and that more time will be needed overall for trade and relations to be restored.

 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is to propose fresh tax plans that would aim to make global firms pay more tax where they sell products and make profits.

The OECD proposals would give governments more power to tax large technology firms such as Apple ,Google and Facebook.

Firms that do business in more than one country have long been a challenge for domestic tax authorities.

The issue has been highlighted by the meteoric rise of large tech firms which provide services in countries where they have little or no physical presence.

The OECD’s proposals include new rules on where tax should be paid and on the proportion of a firm’s profits that should be taxed in each country.

 

And-There’s good news for some former Thomas Cook employees today after Hays Travel said that it would be buying all 555 of the defunct firm’s retail outlets in the UK.

The move could save up to 2,500 jobs with Hays saying that the shop purchases would give it a presence in areas where it had been previously unrepresented.

John Hays-who founded the firm 40 years ago said that he hoped that most of the former Thomas Cook shops would be re-opened “within days”.

The acquisition by Hays is a major development for the firm which currently has 190 shops and 1,900 staff.Last year Hays had annual sales of 379 million pounds and made a profit of 10 million.

 

Sport

MA NOLANS RUGBY WORLD CUP REPORT.

England’s final Pool C game against France at the Rugby World Cup has been called off because of Typhoon Hagibis.

The Pool B match between New Zealand and Italy has also been cancelled but there’s no news yet on Scotland’s crunch game against Japan.

Ireland’s match against Samoa is still going ahead.

The tournament director Alan Gilpin said that the decision to cancel the games had not been taken lightly and had been made in the best interests of the teams ,public and tournament volunteers.

The decision means that England will finish top of Pool C with France in second place.

England are now set to face Australia in the quarter finals with France up against Wales.

All three games went ahead on Wednesday with Argentina beating the USA 47-17 in Pool C but both sides are out of the competition.

Scotland thrashed Russia 61-0 which makes their final match against Japan vital.They need to beat the hosts and may need a bonus point into the bargain as well if they’re to make the last 8.

Wales survived a scare against Fiji in Pool D before coming through 29-17.They’ll top the Pool if they beat Uruguay in their final match.

There are no games today.Australia play Georgia in Pool D tomorrow.

Cricket-India are playing South Africa in the second Test in Pune.

India won the toss and decided to bat.

Football-There’s more European Championship qualifying this evening.Northern Ireland visit The Netherlands in Group C.Wales travel to Slovakia in Group E and Scotland are away in Russia in Group I.

Tennis-Novak Djokovic is through to the third round of the Shanghai Masters.

The 16 time Grand Slam champion continued his recent fine form with a straight sets win over Denis Shapovalov of Canada to set up a meeting with John Isner of the United States.

The 4th seed Dominic Thiem is also through after beating Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6 6-3.

Weather.

Mainly fine with light,variable winds in the Alpes-Maritimes and moderate westerlies across the Var.

Top temperature 22-24 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine  with highs of 21-23 degrees.

Finally 

Smartphones may have become a constant fixture in our lives, but now many Britons have stopped making 'daunting' voice calls – and rely on messaging services such as WhatsApp instead.

According to research one in four make fewer than five mobile calls a month, and one in 17 – six per cent – make none at all.

The figures follow previous studies which found that young people, in particular, find making voice calls difficult – which suggests the use of landline and mobile phones for an old-fashioned chinwag will fall further. 

The rise of smartphones and social media suggests young people find it quicker and easier to 'chat' via text message – using abbreviations such as 'txt' for 'text', 'u' for 'you' and 'l8r' for 'later' to save time.

A study published last week found people typing on smartphones using a two-thumb technique can hit a blistering 38 words per minute. 

 

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