French and Riviera News Thursday 24th January 2019

Local

Strike action – Due to national strike action by teachers today some classes will be closed at public schools and colleges. A rally is planned for 10.30 this morning in the Place Garibaldi in Nice, followed by a demonstration along Boulevard Jean-Jaurès. Unions are protesting against the removal of teaching posts and a salary freeze.

Snow - Snowfall in the region has disrupted traffic. In Grasse passengers on a bus found themselves blocked by the snow for nearly two hours. The incident had a knock on effect on traffic on Wednesday evening leading to long delays for motorists.

Meanwhile an accident on the A8 motorway involving four vehicles caused long tail backs. The accident occurred shortly after 6pm on Wednesday after the Cagnes sur mer exit eastbound. Traffic was reduced to two lanes as emergency services intervened.

Mayor of Nice apologises for comments - The Mayor of Nice, Chrisitan Estrosi has apologised after being accused of making “sexist” comments towards the French Secretary of State Marlene Schiappa during an interview on Sud Radio on Wednesday morning. When asked about what he thought of the Minister co-hosting a programme on C8 on Friday about the National debate he replied by saying “Shows like this are a political gadget and if the porn diaries still existed on Canal Plus then maybe the minister would participate in that, I don’t know”. In his apology the mayor of Nice added that for him “participation in such a show only contributes to a lack of public awareness”. Canal Plus were quick to react in reminding the Mayor of Nice and the Secretary of State that the show was still part of their programming.

Thales Alenia - The Franco-Italian company Thales Alenia in Cannes La Bocca is celebrating its 90th birthday. Located on the Boulevard du Midi in La Bocca since 1929 the company which specializes in aeronautical and space activities chose the site for its proximity to the sea and an airfield, it is the largest industrial employer in the Cannes. Every day, an average of 2,500 people work there and the site, which covers 175,000m², has the largest manufacturing and testing center in Europe.

Supporter OGC Nice donates funds to homeless - A supporter of OGC Nice who had originally launched a fundraising campaign to replace striker Mario Balotelli, hoping to raise 10 million euros, has decided to instead use the money raised to buy sleeping bags for the homeless. Jean Phillipe failed to reach his objective and decided to instead use funds raised of 1,900 euros to buy red sleeping bags for the homeless remaining true to the colours of his club.

National

France and Italy - France’s government has said it will not enter into a “stupidity contest” with Italy following remarks by top officials that have angered Paris, but added it would be difficult for the two countries to work together for the time being. France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said the French government would not wage a war of words or retaliate against Rome, adding working meetings and visits between the two countries were mostly out of the question for the time being. Loiseau’s remarks follow verbal attacks against French Presdient Emmanuel Macron from officials in Italy’s government in recent days.

Welfare – According to figures published on Wednesday France spent a larger share of its national income on pensions, healthcare, unemployment benefits and other social programmes than any other wealthy country last year. The United States was found to be the second-highest spender on welfare. France spent 31.2 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on social programmes in 2018. That puts France well above the 20 percent average the OECD recorded among its 36 member countries. Belgium ranked second with 28.9 percent of GDP and Finland third at 28.7 percent, while at the far end of the spectrum, Mexico spent only 7.5 percent.

Police to be equipped with body cameras - Following accusations of police violence at Yellow Vest protests, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that riot police in Paris will be equipped with body cameras to record their use of rubber bullets and other weapons. Attempting to diffuse the situation, Castaner told a committee at the National Assembly that police officers using these weapons would be equipped with body cameras from Saturday January 26, during what will be Act 11 of the Yellow Vest campaign.

Meanwhle according to Le Parisien newspaper, the bill for the vandalisation of speed cameras by members of the Yellow Vest movement could be in excess of half a billion euros, mostly as the result of lost revenue from speeding fines.

Health agency warned of chemicals in nappies - France's national health agency says it has found chemicals in babies' nappies that exceed safety levels. Tests found levels above safety thresholds for substances potentially dangerous to human health. The agency claims that its nappy tests were the first of their kind in the world and has called for rapid action "considering the possible risks these chemicals may pose" to babies. France's Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said there was "no serious or immediate risk" to babies' health.

French Mayor launches legal case - A mayor in northern France launched the country’s first legal case alleging the government’s environmental policy failed to meet climate change objectives. On Wednesday Damien Carême, a member of France’s Green Party initiated proceedings targeting the government’s perceived inaction on climate change in the country’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat. He said that his town, which sits on the northern coast of France between Dunkirk and Calais, faced a long term threat of submersion if sea levels rise. His team said the state was not honouring its climate engagements at the national, European and international levels.

Business

A report by Bloomberg says that the risk of a no-deal Brexit appears to be receding after calls for a delay to the UK’s exit from the European Union won powerful backing in London and other EU capitals.

Bloomberg reports that senior officials in both the French and German governments  said that they’d be open to extending the Article 50 deadline as momentum for a delay builds in the UK Parliament.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May remains caught in the headlights on the issue with pro-EU members of her ruling Conservative Party urging her to postpone Brexit while staunch eurosceptics  still want a clean break.

If the UK can’t reach an agreement before the 29th of March then it will crash out o the EU without a deal which is likely to have serious consequences for the economy and jobs.

The pound has risen on the latest developments and hit nearly 1 euro 15 cents during trading on Wednesday.

 

Meanwhile,Poland’s Prime Minister has said that he wants to see more national workers return from the UK to help the domestic economy.

Mateusz Mora-weicki says that more and more Poles are returning home and that he’s pleased as there is a low level of unemployment.

Mr Moraweicki also said that those Polish nationals that wished to stay in the UK should be allowed to do so and that he had received assurances from the British Prime Minister Theresa May that that was the case.

He added that a hard Brexit would be damaging for the UK,Poland and the EU as a whole.

 

And-The board of the French carmaker Renault is to meet today to choose a successor to Carlos Ghosn.

Mr Ghosn has been held in custody in Japan for the past two months charged with financial misconduct  and reports say that Renault is now ready to make the change to ease tensions with its partner Nissan.

The outgoing Michelin boss Jean-Dominique Senard is thought to be in line to become Renault chairman while Mr Ghosn’s deputy Thierry Bollore is expected to become CEO.

Sport

Tennis-Petra Kvitova has reached her first Grand Slam final since 2014 after beating unseeded Danielle Collins in straight sets to reach the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Kvitova won 7-6 6-0 on a hot day in Melbourne with the roof closed to protect the players and the crowd.

She’ll meet the winner of the second semi-final between Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova.

The first men’s semi final between Stefanos Tsitsipas is and Rafael Nadal is coming up later.

Cricket-England are on top heading into the second day of the first Test against West Indies in Bridgetown,Barbados.

Some late Jimmy Anderson wickets gave the tourists the edge with West Indies on 264-8 at stumps.

Anderson and Ben Stokes were the pick of the England bowlers and several West Indian batsmen reached 50s.Play resumes at 3pm French time this afternoon.

Football-Sergio Aguero scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat Burton Albion 1-0 in the second leg of the English League Cup semi-final to take the tie 10-0 on aggregate.

The second semi-final between Chelsea and Spurs is being played tonight.Spurs lead 1-0 from the first leg.

In the Scottish Premiership last night-Celtic beat St Mirren 4-0.Aberdeen were 3-0 winners at Hamilton.Hearts lost 2-1 at home to Dundee.Kilmarnock beat Rangers 2-1.Motherwell beat Hibs 1-0 and St Johnstone beat Livingston 1-0.

Celtic lead the table on 44 points with Kilmarnock in second on 43 and Rangers in third,a point further back.

Rugby Union-Lee Halfpenny has been ruled out of the first 6 Nation game for Wales as he still hasn’t recovered from concussion.

The full back has been out of action since the 10th of November.

Wales play France in Paris a week tomorrow.

Meanwhile,the Scotland flanker Hamish Watson will miss at least the first half of the 6 Nations after fracturing his hand.

Watson picked up the injury during Edinburgh’s European Champions Cup win over Montpellier last Friday and is expected to be out for at least 4 weeks.

Scotland open their campaign against Italy on the 2nd of February and play Ireland the week after that.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate north westerly winds and a high of 12 degrees.

Overnight lows of 4 degrees on the coast and -2 degrees inland with clear skies and a widespread frost.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies with highs of 12 degrees and remaining quite windy.

Finally 

Supermarket staff and shoppers in the UK have been accused of unwrapping Creme Eggs and putting them back on the shelf as people hunt for a white version worth up to £10,000.

In a repeat of last year's scramble to find a white Creme Egg hidden amongst milk chocolate ones, customers have been complaining on social media that the treats have had their foil peeled back.

There are hundreds of white chocolate Creme Eggs hidden in shops which are worth money. Nearly 800 white chocolate treats have been hidden in normal Creme Egg wrappers in supermarkets

There are eight £10,000 prizes up for grabs if you find one in a shop, as well as several £1,000 rewards.

Cadbury is encouraging shoppers to buy its fondant-filled chocolates to see if they will find a white one.

But customers are instead peeling back the foil to check without buying them and then just putting them back on the shelf, according to disgruntled chocolate fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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