French and Riviera News Thursday 31st January 2019

Local

Shooting - A lone gunman has "committed suicide" after killing one person and injuring five others in Bastia on the island of Corsica. Police evacuated and blocked off the area on Wednesday following the shooting. One of the wounded was a police officer who intervened during the attack. Three residents were wounded inside the building and one was evacuated. The motive for the attack is still unclear, although initial reports have ruled out terrorism.

Road accident - A 50 year old man has died in a road accident in Hyères in the Var. The accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when the driver lost control of his vehicle, before colliding with an oncoming vehicle and hitting a lamppost. Two other people were taken to hospital in Hyères suffering minor injuries.

Natural disaster - Cagnes-sur-Mer, Saint-Laurent-du-Var and Villeneuve-Loubet have been official recognized as areas of natural disaster as a result of storms which hit the region at the end of October last year. Menton, however, was not recognized despite having suffered significant damage in the storm, including damage to the Cocteau Museum.

New app “Bodyguard” - Charles Cohen from Nice has created an application to protect people from hateful comments. With cyber bullying affecting nearly 40% of students in France 22 year old Cohen has created “bodyguard” to protect those that are subject to bullying on social media. Which causes extreme distress and in some extreme cases has led to suicide.

Outreach meeting - The British Embassy in Paris has been holding meetings across France to update British citizens working and living in the country and answering their questions regarding Britain's departure from the European Union. Tonight in Cannes an additional meeting has been added from 5pm to 6.30pm with the second schedule from 7.15 to 8.45 to register go to www.gov.uk.

Flu epidemic – The flu epidemic has now affected all areas of France according to the latest data from the health agency Public Health France.  The epidemic has now spread to Normandy, which until recently was the only area of the country to have been less severely affected. New health data also shows that the PACA region has one of the highest incidences of new cases of Gastroenteritis, with 258 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

National

Survey - According to a new survey published on Wednesday 7 out of 10 French people consider Emmanuel Macron dynamic, an increase of 13 points compared to a survey carried out last December. Figures also showed that 78% of French judge him to be authoritarian and 76% say he is arrogant. The "will to reform" is his first quality according to the French while 48% found "nothing positive" about the President.

Bocuse d’Or - After two intense days of competition, the jury has delivered its verdict on Wednesday night as the Bocuse d'Or was awarded to Denmark. The jury appointed two other teams from northern Europe to take the podium. The silver Bocuse was awarded to Sweden with the bronze Bocuse returning to Norway.

Business

The US Federal Reserve has announced that it’s leaving interest rates on hold this month and “can afford to wait” before making further increases.

At the end of its two day policy meeting in Washington,the Fed said that it would be “patient” on interest rates and cited muted inflation and recent economic cross-currents for its reasons for leaving interest rates where they are.

Markets jumped on the news with all the major indices making healthy gains.

The US central bank has been slowly raising interest rates since 2015 after making the case that the health of the economy meant that the ultra-low rates put in place during the financial crisis were no longer necessary.

However,the Fed chair Jerome Powell said that changes in recent months warranted a more cautious approach.He cited the slowdowns in China and Europe as well as the recent US government shutdown and the possibility of a hard Brexit as reasons to wait.

Chinese factory activity slowed for a second straight month in January according to data from the official Purchasing Managers Index.

The PMI index came in at 49.5-below the 50 point level that marks growth from contraction.

China reported its weakest economic expansion in 28 years last year and growth is expected to slow further in 2019.

Other data including retail sales figures and consumer sentiment also suggest weakening demand in the world’s second largest economy.

And-General Motors has announced that its suspending operations at 11 plants in Michigan as well as at its Warren Tech centre following an appeal for users to conserve energy during the extreme cold weather affecting the region.

Shifts at vehicle assembly plants have been cancelled after the CMS Energy corporation appealed to users to lay-off use of natural gas to allow it to concentrate on managing supply issues.

Fiat Chrysler,Ford  and GM have all cancelled shifts  and interrupted production schedules owing to the cold as well as a fire at a local compressor station.

1.8 Michigan gas customers have been urged to lower the thermostat as much as they can to cut natural gas use  and protect critical facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Sport

Football-There were 4 games in the English Premier League last night and Liverpool missed the chance of going 7 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table following a 1-1 draw against Leicester.

In the other results,Chelsea slipped to 5th in the table after being thrashed 4-0 at Bournemouth while Southampton and Crystal Palace drew 1-1 and Spurs beat Watford 2-1.

In the Scottish Premiership last night Celtic beat St Johnstone 2-0 and in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup Rangers were 3-1 winners at Cowdenbeath.

Cricket-The second Test between West Indies and England starts in Antigua today with the tourists looking to bounce back following an emphatic defeat in the first Test in Barbados.

England have dropped opener Keaton Jennings in favour of 32 year old Joe Denly.

Stuart Broad is set to start and Adil Rashid has been replaced in the 12 man squad by left arm spinner Jack Leach.

Play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium starts at 3pm French time.

Rugby Union-Tomas Williams will make his debut at scrum half for Wales against France in the 6 Nations opener in Paris on Friday night.

Williams is preferred to Gareth Davis who is on the bench.

There are only three changes to the Wales side that beat South Africa in November as coach Warren Gatland starts to nail down his preferred starting line-up for the World Cup.

Formula 1-Mercedes say that their new car will have a first run-out at Silverstone next month.

The W10 Formula 1 car will have a shakedown run on the 13th of February ahead of the start of official pre-season testing.

Other teams will unveil their new cars from the 11th of February although Williams,Haas and Red Bull are yet to confirm dates.

Weather

Partially cloudy this morning with rain developing again this afternoon and moderate easterly winds.

Top temperature 12 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with rain across the region.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Rain tomorrow with a high of 11 degrees.Sunshine and showers on Saturday with a high of 13.

Finally 

According to a new study, Iceland is the world's safest country while the Philippines is the most dangerous.

Global Finance Magazine considers war and peace, crime rates and the risk of natural disasters in working out its Safety Index Score for each nation.

Iceland came top due to its tiny crime rate, with under 400,000 residents - and although the island contains active volcanoes - there is a low risk to life.

The US was one of the exception's to the rule for economically developed countries - placing 65th - in large part due to its homicide rate. 

 

 

 

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