French and Riviera News Thursday 16th January 2020

Local

Man shot at in Nice - A man has been injured after being shot  in the Moulins district of Nice on Wednesday evening. The incident occurred at around 8.30pm on Wednesday evening on the Boulevard Paul Montel. The victim was slightly injured and was taken care of by the emergency services. According to police, a suspect is still on the run. An investigation has been opened into attempted murder.

Strikes - The French Prime Minister remains adamant that transport strikes, set to enter a 43rd day today, will not succeed in derailing the government's reform of the pension system. Edouard Philippe said the shutdown has lasted far too long, and that the French needed to go back to "normal life".

Today the 43rd day of action, fresh demonstrations are scheduled for Paris and across France. Bosses at RATP, the capital's transport operator, said travellers would experience a slight improvement in services across the network despite the predicted disruption.

Flu epidemic in Ile de France and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur - The French National Public Health agency has classified two regions in France, the Ile de France, which is Paris and the surrounding area and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, as experiencing a flu epidemic.

According to the weekly bulletin published by the health agency the number of people showing flu-like symptoms as well as the hospitalisation rate for flu-like illness increased last week. 11 other regions in France are, for the moment, in the pre-epidemic phase. Health authorities are strongly recommending vaccination, for those that haven’t already done so.

12-year prison sentence - Antonio Magnoli, known as "Bubu", a resident of Vallauris has been handed a 12 year prison sentence by the court in Aix en Provence on Tuesday. The case dates back to June 2015 when the French Navy arrested Le Relambi, a sailboat transporting 89 kilos of cocaine in the French West Indies which was heading for the Alpes Maritimes, Italy and Barcelona.  Antonio Magnoli had denied being involved in the drug trafficking operation.

Beaches in Nice - The city of Nice has started moving stones taken from the Paillon, as part of a cleaning procedure, and is laying  them along the seafront. Until the end of the month tons of stones are to be placed along the Promenade’s beaches in order to fill in the gaps created by winter weather.

Aid for Australia - In Monaco, the Prince Albert Foundation has announced it will assist Australia to restore eco-systems being ravished by bushfires sweeping the country. Meanwhile Australians and the concerned international community across the Riviera are set to gather on Saturday week, the 25th of January, at the Duke in Antibes for a region-wide fundraiser.

Ski tandem - Monaco’s Minister of State Serge Telle has inaugurated the ski tandem made available to the Monegasque Ski Federation by the Prince's Government. The ski tandem is suitable for people who, due to their handicap or their loss of mobility, cannot ski in freedom. The goal is to provide maximum autonomy and pleasure to people with disabilities. Advances in technology have made it possible to introduce new, more efficient and comfortable devices. The ski tandem allows you to discover the joys of skiing in complete safety.

National

French pharmacies - French pharmacies have begun selling non-prescription treatments for headaches and sore throats from behind the counter after health officials ordered products containing paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin to be taken off the shelves due to fears of over-medication. The medications will remain available without prescription, but chemists will have to hand over the boxes to customers under the new rules from the Medicines Agency (ANSM).

Business

The signing of a “Phase 1” trade agreement between the United States and China raises more questions than answers after President Trump and the Chinese Vice-Premier Lui He put pen to paper in Washington on Wednesday.

Although the deal will help to ease tensions and see China increase spending on US products in return for the rolling back of some tariffs ,the agreement fails to resolve structural economic issues that led to the conflict in the first place and it doesn’t fully eliminate tariffs and sets hard-to-achieve purchase targets.

President Trump has hailed the agreement as “a win” for the US economy while acknowledging that further negotiations will be necessary.

China has pledged to buy at least an additional 200 billion dollars worth of US farm products and other goods and services over a period of two years.There are further commitments on energy, manufacturing and services.

However ,in a sign that the farming industry is less than convinced by the deal ,soybean futures sank and oil prices fell on doubts that the pact will help to spur world economic growth and demand for crude.

 

The German economy grew at its slowest rate since 2013 last year according to official data.

The German Statistics Office says that the economy grew by just 0.6 percent in 2019 driven mainly by household spending.

Business investment in machinery and equipment was weaker and exports grew more slowly than in previous years.

Industrial production excluding construction was down by 0.5 percent.

Full data for the year as a whole has not yet been published but growth in the final quarter is estimated at between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.

 

And-The US economy expanded at a moderate pace through the final six weeks of 2019 according to the Federal Reserve but uncertainty over trade policy continued to hurt business.

In a report compiled using anecdotal evidence from business contacts across America ,the Fed said that “in many districts ,tariffs and trade uncertainty continued to weigh on some businesses”.

The Fed cut interest rates three times last year in what it said was “insurance against falling global growth”.

The central bank’s current policy is to now leave rates unchanged for the foreseeable future unless exceptional circumstances arise.

Sport

Cricket-The third Test between South Africa and England starts in Port Elizabeth this morning with the 4 match series tied at one all.

England are set to name fast bowler Mark Wood in their starting line-up with James Anderson ruled out for the rest of the series through injury and Jofra Archer struggling for fitness.

Dane Peterson could come in for South Africa as they look for a little extra pace on what’s expected to be a pretty flat wicket.

Football-There were 2 FA Cup third round replays last night.Cardiff City were 4-3 winners at Carlisle and Manchester United beat Wolves 1-0.

Rugby Union-Johnny Sexton has been named as Ireland captain to succeed Rory Best in Andy Farrell’s first squad.

The Leinster fly-half is a doubt for the start of the 6 Nations with a knee injury but is still named in the 35 man squad.

Stuart Hogg has been named as the new Scotland captain in coach Gregor Townsend’s squad for the 6 Nations.

Hogg replaces Stuart McInally who was captain during the disappointing World Cup campaign.

Six upcapped players are in the squad.

Wales have called up 5 uncapped players in their 6 Nations squad.

New coach Wayne Pivac gives 18 year old win Louis Rees-Zammit the nod along with Saracens centre Nick Tompkins.

Prop WillGriff John ,lock Will Rowlands and back Johnny McNicholl also come in.

Weather.

Partially cloudy with light southerly or variable winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Rain developing tomorrow afternoon tomorrow ,fine again on Saturday.Highs of 12-15 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

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