French and Riviera News Thursday 3rd January 2019

Local

Strong winds in the Vaucluse - Firefighters in the Vaucluse have made more than thirty interventions due to strong winds in the region. Gusts of up to 164km/hr were recorded at the summit of the Mount Ventoux at 6am on Wednesday. The mistral caused damage: with flying tiles, fallen branches and electrical cables as one motorist was slightly injured near Avignon after a branch fell onto his windscreen.

Missing person - Authorities have said that they have found the body of a 74 year old man who had been missing from a retirement home in Falicon. Jean-Marie Pilas had been missing since the 23rd of December.  His body was discovered by a member of the public on a hiking trail not far from the retirement home.

Road accident - A motorist is in hospital with serious injuries after an accident in Saint-Maximin. According to reports, the driver was thrown from his vehicle on Wednesday after failing to negotiate a roundabout. He was airlifted to hospital in Toulon.

Smallest village – Have you ever wondered which village is the smallest village in our region?  Figures published by INSEE this week have shown that with only 34 inhabitants the smallest village in the Alpes Maritimes is Auvare.

National

Zebra meat - An animal rights group has called French supermarkets ‘shocking’ for selling meat from exotic animals, especially the zebra which is an endangered species. Consumers have expressed their outrage on social networks after seeing zebra meat on the shelves of Carrefour, Auchan and Intermarché. The zebra population of all species combined shows a serious decline with their number decreasing by a quarter between 1992 and 2016.

Poll - According to a recent poll only one in two French people think that the French government will, even partially, take into account the opinions expressed during the debate initiated by the French government on the issues raised by the Yellow Vests during their weeks of protests. 50% believe the opinion will be completely ignored. The poll carried out for RTL also showed that nearly one in two French people would like the Yellow Vests to present a list of candidates in the European elections in May this year.

Meanwhile the founder of a movement to unite Germany’s left wing has said it will take to the streets in 2019, inspired by the gilet jaunes protests in France.

Dry January - “Dry January” is upon us, launched in 2013 by the British Association Alcohol Change UK the aim is to give up alcohol between January 1st and February 1st. According to a study by the University of Sussex 72% of those who participated have gone on to adapt more healthy and responsible alcohol consumption. According to figures 5 million Britons took part in Dry January in 2018.

Business

Tesla shares have fallen after the electric carmaker revealed that it missed expectations for deliveries and will be cutting its vehicle prices by $2,000 in the US. Tesla said it delivered 90,700 vehicles in the three months to December. Its shares fell by about 8% at the start of US trading. Ahead of the price cut announcement, chief executive Elon Musk urged Tesla customers to make use of federal tax credits.

Meanwhile Apple has said that its sales have been slowing, blaming economic weakness in China. In a surprise disclosure, the iPhone maker said it anticipated revenue of about $84bn (£67bn) for the three months to 29 December. In November it forecast sales of at least $89bn - a prediction that had already disappointed investors.

 

And - Retail chain John Lewis Partnership saw an 11% rise in sales in the last week of 2018 compared with a year earlier. The partnership includes both John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets. John Lewis reported very strong sales on Christmas Eve itself - which was included in the last week of trading - as customers bought last-minute gifts.

 

Sport

Football - Manchester United have beaten Newcastle United 2-0 with their manager becoming the second manager in the club's history to win his first four league games in charge.

This evening in the English Premier League Manchester City play Liverpool ahead of tonight’s match Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said that Manchester City are "still the best team in the world", despite his side being top of the Premier League and seven points ahead of the champions. Kickoff is at 9pm French time.

Rugby Union – England flanker Sam Underhill could be ruled out of the Six Nations after he damaged ankle ligaments in Bath's victory against Leicester on Sunday. The 22-year-old will see a specialist to find out the extent of the injury, but recovery time is usually six weeks. Underhill was part of England's 2018 Six Nations side and featured in three of the autumn internationals. England start their 2019 Six Nations campaign with a visit to defending champions Ireland on 2 February.

Tennis – Andy Murray's latest comeback ended after he was outplayed by Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the Brisbane International.

Weather

Clear skies across the region with highs of 12 degrees with a moderate easterly wind. This evening going down to 5 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes and -1 in Saint Tropez and the Var.

The outlook for Friday day starting off fine becoming increasingly cloudy with highs of 12 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 11 degrees in the Var. Saturday sunshine and highs of 13 degrees.

 

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