French and Riviera News Thursday 19th December 2019

Local

Cannes city council prepares for bad weather forecast for Friday - The town of Cannes has announced drastic measures ahead of the bad weather forecast for the region on Friday. Meteo France has warned of another “Mediterranean episode” with strong winds and heavy rain expected. The city council in Cannes has, as a precaution has closed all underground car parks, public parks and suspended the work being carried on the Boulevard de la Croisette. School outings planned for Friday have been cancelled and a decision is to be made this morning as to whether schools will be closed.

Meanwhile Meteo France has issued a weather warning with strong winds forecast for Le Loire, Haute Loire and Rhône region from 10pm this evening. The warning is in place until 2pm tomorrow.

Tap water ban still in place - Health officials in the region have extended the ban on tap water in the region of Grasse after several new cases of stomach upset were reported. Following the bad weather in November officials introduced the ban due to the presence of a parasite. In a report published on Wednesday the origin of the parasite is still unclear. Members of the public are advised to continue consuming bottled water or boiling tap water before use.

Meeting with union leaders - French officials have met with union leaders hoping to end a deadlock over the disputed pension reform. Meeting on Wednesday with ministers and the French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe France’s main trade union said a deal is still “a long way off”. Despite an offer from President Emmanuel Macron to "improve" the plan, Laurent Berger, head of France's largest trade union, CFDT said we are "very, very far from a deal.”

Today in the region trains will continue to be affected by the strike action with 4 out of 10 trains running. There will be an improvement on the region’s bus network and there is allegedly no disruption on the tramlines in Nice. In addition, some schools in Antibes will reportedly be closed today due to the strike.

According to the latest opinion polls, 57 percent of people oppose the reform, an increase of eight points from last week.

Meanwhile following the resignation of pension commissioner Jean-Paul Delevoye his replacement, former communications director of Auchan, Laurent Pietraszewski has come under criticism from French media for receiving 71.872 euros as a redundancy pay in 2019. His predecessor Delevoye reportedly forgot to declare additional activities alongside his government post, declaring only 3 out of 13 other activities. Attention is now on his replacement Pietraszewski. In response to the controversy, officials have claimed “that there is nothing to hide and everything is legal”.

Road accident - Two people have been taken to hospital following a road accident on Wednesday evening. The accident involving four vehicles occurred on the dual carriage way between Cagnes sur mer and Vence. A 30-year-old man and a 4-year-old child were taken to hospital six other people escaped unharmed. Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

National

Amazon - According to a press release published on Wednesday Amazon's revenue in France for 2018 reached around 4.5 billion euros. It is the first time that the company has presented these figures following France’s adoption last July of the introduction of the “Gafa” tax, a taxation of large technology companies.

Amazon says it employs 9,300 people and has more than 20 logistics sites in France. "France is essential to Amazon," the company said in a statement, adding, "We have invested more than 6.8 billion euros in our French activities since 2010."

Parents stabbed after taking away mobile phone from teenager - A 13 year old girl is in custody after allegedly stabbing her parents when they took away her mobile phone. The incident happened in a village in the Aveyron department. The parents are recovering in hospital and their lives are not thought to be in danger.

Rugby – Finally in rugby former third row Ibrahim Diarra, champion of France with Castres in 2013, has died at the age of 36 from a heart attack. Diarra was hospitalized in Paris in a "critical state" on Friday. Champion of France in 2013 with Castres, where he spent most of his professional career (2009 to 2016), and French international on one occasion in 2008, "Ibou" died on Wednesday at the age of 36.

Business

Fears are growing about a deadly pig virus that’s sweeping across Asia.

The outbreak of African Swine Fever is devastating farmers across the region with more than half of China’s pig herd expected to be wiped out this year.

The virus has now spread to Indonesia with the country’s agriculture ministry confirming that more than 30,000 pigs have died from the disease in Northern Sumatra.

Australia is also becoming increasingly concerned and has stepped up biosecurity measures in a bid to keep the virus out of the country.

The disease is harmless to humans but can kill pigs within a few days and the fatality rate can be up to 100 percent.

African Swine Fever is particularly robust and can survive for 7 days without a host and for months in frozen pork products.

Vietnam and the Philippines have also reported rising cases of the virus.

The outbreak has resulted in rising pork prices across Asia and in some areas is fuelling inflation.

 

The US Chamber of Commerce has said that tariffs and trade tensions have become a huge source of concern for companies with nearly half of those on the Fortune 500 raising questions during last quarter’s earnings calls.

Tariffs or trade tensions and their impact on business performance were raised 1,150 times during 188 of the 437 calls discussing quarterly financial results recorded from late August to November.

The highest level of concern came from the US retail sector which has been hit hard by tariffs over the past 17 months.Manufacturing ,transportation and logistics firms also raised a number of concerns.

The group represents more than 3 million US firms and said that its findings tracked with results seen in the previous quarter.

Last week the US and China reached a phase 1 trade agreement that will reduce some existing tariffs and postpone others.

Trade experts have warned that the trade war could flare again triggering a new wave of tariffs.

 

And-Oil prices are hovering at near three month highs this morning after data showed that US crude inventories had fallen while output cuts by major producers is keeping supply tight.

Brent crude futures were trading  at 66 dollars 16 cents a little earlier this morning while West Texas Intermediate was at 60 dollars 90.

US crude inventories dropped by 1.1 million barrels in the week to the 13th of December but trading volumes are thin in the run up to Christmas.

Sport

Football-Liverpool have reached the final of the Club World Cup in Qatar after beating Monterrey of Mexico 2-1 in last night’s semi final.

Roberto Firmino scored the winner in the 5th minute of injury time to set up a meeting against Flamengo of Brazil in Saturday’s final.

There were 3 quarter finals in the League Cup in England last night.Leicester beat Everton on penalties at Goodison Park after the score was tied at 2-2 after extra time.

Manchester City were 3-1 winners at Oxford United and Manchester United beat Colchester United 3-0.

The semi finals will be between Manchester United and Manchester City and Leicester and Aston Villa.

In the Scottish Premiership last night Celtic extended their lead at the top of the table to 5 points with a 2-0 win at Hearts.

Formula 1-The Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko has said that the team will have “no excuses” as they bid to mount a title challenge next season.

Red Bull have failed to make a challenge to Mercedes since the era of hybrid engines started in 2014 but Marko said that progress by the team and its engine partner Honda should give them cause for optimism in 2020.

He said that Red Bull would have to deliver next season and that top driver Max Verstappen was primed and ready.

Cricket-Veteran English bowler James Anderson was back in action on Wednesday as his side drew a warmup match against a South Africa invitational XI ahead of the first Test which starts on Boxing Day.

Anderson took 1-37 in his first match since aggravating a calf injury on day 1 of the first Ashes Test in August.

Jofra Archer ,Stuart Broad and Jack Leach were all unavailable to bowl because of illness.

It’s day 1 of the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Karachi.

Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat.They’d reached 5-0 after 5 overs.

Rugby Union-Kyle Sinckler says that he has no recollection of England’s World Cup final defeat at the hands of South Africa after being knocked unconscious early on in the match.

Sinckler collided with team-mate Maro Itoje in the third minute of the match and had to go off with concussion.

He says that he’s struggled to come to terms with what happened but has now “snapped out of it”.

England lost the final 32-12.

Weather

Sunshine and prolonged showers with moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 13 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with intermittent showers.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Heavy rain tomorrow with a high of 15.Partially cloudy on Saturday with a high of 16.

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