Strike action - Strike action has been announced by employees of the “Pizzorno Group”, the company responsible for refuse collections in the Var. The strike will be effective as of Sunday at midnight and will affect 98 municipalities. The decision comes after the Group were unable to obtain any guarantee from the state for maintaining its contract beyond June which would put nearly 50 jobs under threat. Unions said the strike which starts on Sunday would be for an unlimited period.
Transport in Nice - The city of Nice has announced the four start–ups intended to facilitate public transport in the city. The “NiceTramConnect” project received 57 applications and on Tuesday the four finalists were announced. The start-ups will be tested for a period of 12 months on line 1 of the tramway.
Parking in Nice – Meanwhile the regional National Front councilor Philippe Vardon has launched an online petition against the parking reform in Nice, introduced in January of this year. Vardon criticizes the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi for wanting to follow the example of the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and argues that “cars still have their place in the city”.
Bookstore “Quartier Latin” in Nice is to close - One of the oldest bookstores in Nice is preparing to close its doors for the last time. "Quartier Latin" located not far from Place Massena, in the heart of the city, opened in 1938 and is one of the oldest in Nice. The current manager who is retiring has been unable to find a buyer for the store.
Lactalis - The CEO of Lactalis has said in an interview that the company can not exclude that babies may have consumed contaminated milk since 2005. Giving his second interview to the press since the beginning of the scandal over contaminated babies milk in early December he added that “the bacteria responsible for the contamination in 2017 was the same as in 2005”.
Rescue search - France’s coastguard has called off searches for the head of the US firm that owns the Quiksilver surfwear brand, a day after his boat washed up empty on the country’s Atlantic coast. Pierre Agnes had gone out fishing on Tuesday morning and later sent out a message to port authorities indicating that he was delaying his return because of thick fog.
SNCF - A group of 848 Moroccans have won their case for discrimination against the French rail company SNCF, which recruited them on special contracts in the 1970s. The legal battle has lasted 12 years in some cases. The contracts did not give the new employees, who were shipped to France across the Mediterranean, the full rights of SNCF employees, with restricted social protection, limited career opportunities and lower retirement pensions.
Wine Production - Wine production in the French region of Bordeaux has shrunk. The Bordeaux wine council announced on Wednesday that despite producing 40% less last year, due to severe frost, it had still produced a good vintage. The final figures will be published this month and are expected to show that 2017 produced France’s worst wine harvest since 1945.
The US Federal Reserve has kept interest rates on hold but has warned that inflation would continue to rise this year.
In a statement following its two day policy meeting in Washington,the Fed said that it expected the economy to expand at a moderate pace this year citing solid gains in employment,household spending and capital investment.
The Fed said that inflation on a 12 month basis is expected to move up this year and then stablise to around the 2 percent target.
The policy meeting was the last under outgoing Fed chair Janet Yellen with Jerome Powell now taking the reins of the US central bank.
Mr Powell is expected to follow Ms Yellen’s policies closely and continue on a path of gradually increasing interest rates.
The target for the Federal Funds rate is currently between 1.25 and one and a half percent.
Facebook has said that the overhaul of its News Feed has reduced the amount of time that people spend on the site and contributed to a quarterly decline in users in the US and Canada.
The company has been making changes amid increasing scrutiny of its advertising business as well as the role it plays in political campaigns.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the changes would help the firm “in the long run” and called 2017 a “hard year but a good one”.
Facebook released its latest results following Mr Zuckerberg’s comments.
Revenue increased by 47 percent last year to more than 40 billion dollars with profits up by 56 percent to nearly 16 billion dollars.
User growth cooled slightly from the previous quarter.
And-Microsoft has beaten Wall Street’s profit forecast helped by growth in its cloud computing business.
Microsoft said that its flagship cloud computing service,Azure grew for the 10th quarter in a row with revenue up by 15.7 percent to 7.8 billion dollars.
Amazon Web Services is the dominant player in the cloud computing business with a 31.8 percent market share but Azure has held on steadily to second place with 13.9 percent of the market.
Microsoft shares fell back on the news initially but moved into positive territory later in after hours trading.
HOLLER JONES 6 NATIONS REPORT- in association with HollerJones raw furniture.www.hollerjones.com
The Exeter loose-head prop Alec Hepburn looks set to make his England debut against Italy in Rome in the 6 Nations on Sunday.
Hepburn is one of 25 players retained by Eddie Jones in his match day squad although he’s likely to start on the bench.
Jack Nowell and Ben Te’o are both in the squad after recovering from injury while the Newcastle flanker Gary Graham and the Saracens wing Nathan Earle are also included.
Eddie Jones will name his starting team on Friday morning.
The Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has dismissed claims that his side are the favourites for the 6 Nations and is warning that Saturday’s opener against France in Paris will be among their toughest games of the campaign.
Schmidt has said that Ireland were “incredibly disappointed” with their performance in last year’s tournament adding that they hadn’t started well.
He said that the full focus would be on the France game and Ireland would be trying to work on ways to unpick their defensive system.
Last week,Schmidt took his Ireland squad for a warm winter break to Spain and the signs are that he’ll stick with an experienced side rather than breaking some of the exciting youngsters at his disposal.
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Football-There were 7 games in the English Premier League last night with second placed Manchester United losing 2-0 at Spurs.Third placed Chelsea slipped up 3-0 at home to Bournemouth and the leaders Manchester City beat West Brom 3-0.
In the other results Everton beat Leicester 2-1.Newcastle and Burnley drew 1-1.Southampton and Brighton drew 1-1 and Stoke and Watford drew 0-0.
In the Scottish Premiership last night Hibs beat Motherwell 2-1 and Aberdeen were 4-2 winners at Ross County.
Winter Olympics-The Court of Arbitration for Sport will rule on 39 Russian athletes today who are appealing against lifetime Olympic bans.
Each athlete was banned for life by the IOC for doping offences at the 2014 games.
The Winter Olympics start in Pyeongchang on the 14th of February.
The IOC banned Russia from competing in them in December but has invited 169 Russians to compete as neutrals.
Cloudy with showers developing around the middle of the day and moderate westerly winds.
Top temperature 13 degrees.
Overnight lows of 8 degrees with cloudy skies.
Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 12.Fine on Saturday with a high of 14.
If you've ever wanted to live in a picturesque Italian village, now's your chance – you can buy a house in one for less than £1.
Ollolai, in the mountain region of Barbagia on the island of Sardinia, is offering 200 abandoned stone dwellings for the bargain price of just €1 (90p) each.
The town’s population has halved over the past three decades, with just 1,300 people – mostly middle-aged childless couples – left. With just a small number of babies born each year, Ollolai’s mayor decided to prevent the population plummeting further by launching the ‘houses for €1’ scheme in 2015.
But there is a catch – as well as purchasing costs, buyers must commit to refurbishing each dwelling, which are all in a poor condition, within three years at an estimated cost of up to €30,000 (£26,000). They can sell their home after five years if they wish.
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