French and Riviera News Thursday 13th February 2020

Local

Road accident kills 41-year-old - A 41-year-old man has been killed in a road accident in the Var. The accident happened on Wednesday evening following a collision between a light vehicle and a bike in Bormes-les-Mimosas. The driver of the scooter who was thrown on the ground, died at the scene according to witnesses the driver of the car fled the scene. Police have launched an investigation into the fatal collision.

Armed robbers in police custody - Three individuals from Cagnes sur Mer and Cannes aged between 29 to 31 years old have been placed in police custody in connection with an armed robbery which took place on the 4th November 2017 in Valbonne and in which an English couple were attacked.

The three were currently being held in prison for organized gang robberies when investigators, on Monday decided to place them in custody for a second time, in connection with the incident dating back to 2017.

Statue vandalised - The statue of the former President of the Republic Jacques-Chirac which was inaugurated in Nice has been vandalised. Local officials unveiled the statue along with the newly finished pedestrian area between the flower market and the Promenade des Anglais on Saturday. However, by Wednesday morning the statue is believed to have been tampered with after the hand on the statue was reportedly missing two fingers.

Public order - In an attempt to be able to act faster against certain establishments which disturb public order the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard has written to the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes requesting more power be given to local authorities. The move he believes would allow local police to intervene more quickly and efficiently.

Man, takes his own life - A man has taken his own life after firing a gun at a store in Le Lavandou in the Var on Wednesday. The man in his thirties fired several shots at the facade of the Ciffréo Bona DIY store on the route de Bénat at about 1.30 on wednesday. Local reports say that the man’s former girlfriend works at the store. When police arrived at the scene, the man turned the weapon on himself. An investigation is underway into the circumstances of the incident.

Former local footballer helped to make team lose - A former footballer of Fréjus/Saint-Raphaël has been sentenced for helping to make his team lose in 2014 during a National (3rd division) match to benefit unknown bettors.

The criminal court in Paris sentenced the 37-year-old on Wednesday to a one-year suspended prison sentence, a 10,000 euros fine and a ban on practicing the sport for five years accused of "passive bribery with a view to altering the outcome "and" criminal association ".

The player, now at the Toulon (National) club, was neither present nor represented.

The affair relates to a National match of May 9th, 2014 when the Var club, favorites to win lost 4 goals to 1 against Colomiers (Haute -Garonne).

A new bus service is launching which will help passengers arriving at Nice airport to get to some of France’s ski resorts. The new Flixbus service will start today. There’ll be four round trips per week from the airport to Annecy in the Haute-Savoie via Grenoble. More locally, the bus will also stop in Antibes, Fréjus and Avignon.

National

Pension reform - Following the failure of a parliamentary commission to address all 22,000 modifications proposed on the pension reform in the nine days allotted, the French government has announced that it will be debated in parliament in its original form.

The special commission on pension reform in the National Assembly spent nine days and 75 hours trying to address the 22,000 amendments to the bill, most of which (19,000) were introduced by the hard-left MPs in a deliberate attempt to delay and disrupt the procedure.

The commission only finished its examination of the bill having addressed only 8,000 of the amendments which then led to the announcement that on Monday 17th February, parliament will debate the original draft of the legislation presented by the government.

Unions, meanwhile, are calling for a day of action on Monday, as debates on the bill begin. Public transport, which has returned to normal since an unprecedented six-week strike over December and January, could be blocked. Unions are also calling for a general strike on Thursday, 20th February.

French President arrives in Chamonix - French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Chamonix where he is today due to announce reinforced efforts to protect the Alpine glory of western Europe's tallest peak, whose ice is melting at an alarming rate.

Macron will visit a glacier at the foot of Mont-Blanc and is expected to deliver a speech in Chamonix on his vision of what is needed to protect biodiversity and better police Europe's highest Alp.

Macron has pledged to "protect" Mont Blanc not just from climate change but also from “wackos” months after a Briton sparked outrage by leaving a rowing machine near the top.

European Commission - Meanwhile the European Commission President has warned, during a speech in Strasbourg on Wednesday, that she would not back the next EU budget if a quarter of the funds are not allocated to her signature Green Deal policy adding that she will "not accept any result which does not guarantee that at least 25% of the budget is devoted to the fight against climate change".

The EU Commission wants the bloc to become the world's first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 and unveiled a raft of measures last year to achieve its goal, known as the Green Deal.

Giant dams - In a battle against the consequences of rising sea levels as a result of global warming, a Dutch government scientist, has proposed building two giant dams enclosing the North Sea and therefore protecting an estimated 25 million Europeans. In a paper published this month the scientist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research said a 475km dam between north Scotland and west Norway and another 160km one between west France and south-west England was “a possible solution”.

Blasphemy is “no crime” - Emmanuel Macron has waded into a row over a schoolgirl whose attack on Islam has divided France, insisting that blasphemy is “no crime”.

The French president has defended the teenager, named only as Mila, who received death threats and was forced out of her school after filming an anti-religious rant on social media.

The case has sparked a furious public debate in France. The education authorities have since found another school for the teenager.

Roundabouts - While France holds the world record in the number of roundabouts - six times more than in Germany. Things look set to change when it comes to their shape as a new “peanut-shaped roundabout” in north-west France is proving popular among motorists. Motorists say it is safer and easier to use than a normal roundabout or crossroads.

The Loire-Atlantique department has the highest number of roundabouts and major crossings in France, at 3,000 - including 1,100 in central Nantes alone.

This tradition goes back to the 1980s, when local engineer and town planner Yann Le Gal visited the UK, and was inspired to bring elements of its road system back to France with him.

Business

Asian shares have wobbled today and safe havens such as the yen gold and bonds have risen after China announced a sharp rise in new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Chinese province of Hubei where the outbreak started reported 242 new deaths from the virus ,double the previous day’s toll and said that there had been 14,840 new cases.

The rise in the number of new cases is a sevenfold increase from a day earlier and came amid accusations that the Chinese government has not been honest about the true extent of the spread of the virus.

The news knocked the momentum from the week’s stock market rallies and 2020 GDP forecasts for China have been downgraded to 5.3 percent from 5.8 percent in January.

More than 1,300 people have now died as a result of the virus in China and the number of infections is put at a conservative figure of more than 48,000.

The world’s largest mobile phone conference has been cancelled on concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

The Mobile World Congress will not go ahead in Barcelona after the organisers said that it would be impossible for it to be staged.

Several leading firms including BT ,Facebook ,Nokia ,Sony and Vodafone had already announced that they would not be attending the event.

The Mobile World Congress had been due to be held between the 24th and 27th of February with more than 100,000 people due to attend including 6,000 from China.

And-The new chief executive of BP has said that he wants the firm to sharply cut its net carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Bernard Looney says that BP needs to “reinvent” itself with more investment in alternative energy.

He said that the firm would have to fundamentally reorganise itself to help make the necessary changes.

BP’s change of strategy follows similar messages from other oil giants including Royal Dutch Shell and Total.

Mr Looney says that the world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast and that a rapid transition to zero is required.

Sport

Cricket-South Africa have beaten England by one run in the opening T20 international in East London.

South Africa batted first and made 177-8 from their 20 overs.

England looked like they were going to cruise to victory to start with but they threw away needless wickets and were pipped at the post and fell a run short in a total of 176-9 in their 20 overs.

The second match in the series of three is in Durban tomorrow.

Formula 1-Organisers of the Chinese Grand Prix say that they’ll work with the sport’s governing body to try and arrange a new date for the race after it was postponed because of fears over the coronavirus.

The event in Shanghai was due to take place on the 19th of April but has been postponed  to ensure the health of drivers , staff and fans.

Discussions will now take place to see whether the race can be fitted in at a later date in the calendar but everything is up in the air until its certain that the virus has been contained.

Football-There were 6 games in the English Championship last night with the leaders West Brom opening up a 6 point lead at the top of the table following a 2-1 win at Reading.

Fulham missed out on the chance of going second after being held to a 1-1 draw at Millwall and in the other results Bristol City beat Derby 3-2.Cardiff were 3-0 winners at Huddersfield.Luton moved off the bottom thanks to a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday and Preston were 2-0 winners at Stoke.

In the Scottish Premiership last night the leaders Celtic thrashed rock bottom Hearts 5-0 while second placed Rangers lost more ground after going down 2-1 at Kilmarnock.

In the other results Hibs beat Ross County 3-0.Livingston were 2-1 winners over St Mirren and St Johnstone beat Motherwell 2-1.

In the FA Women’s Super League last night Chelsea beat Birmingham 2-0.Manchester City beat Bristol City 1-0.Reading were 2-0 winners over West Ham.Spurs and Everton drew 2-2 and Brighton and Manchester United drew 1-1.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 16-18 degrees.

Finally 

Snowflakes want to ban office romances as finding love in the workplace is ‘inappropriate’. 

According to a recent survey three quarters of those aged 18 to 22 say finding love in the workplace is inappropriate.

Overall, 56 per cent of all ages say office romances should be banned, a survey revealed.

And 37 per cent do not want people in their office dating as they reckon it would be “insensitive” to singletons and make colleagues feel “very uncomfortable”.

But the office is the second most likely to place to find love after picking someone up at a bar (18 per cent) and more common than meeting a partner online (14 per cent).

Asking a colleague out for a drink is the top way of initiating an office romance, followed by waiting for a work night out and timing lunch breaks together.

But for Valentine’s Day, 63 per cent of men would use anonymous cards to try to get a date with a co-worker — while ten per cent would ask them to “meet me at the printer”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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