French and Riviera News Thursday 6th February 2020

Local

Strike - As another day of strike action is to take place today against the pension reform, which is currently being debated in parliament, no trams will be running in Nice and the bus services will be disrupted.

Meanwhile strike action from workers at incineration plants in France has led to rubbish piling up in both Paris and Marseille. In Marseille, workers have been blocking waste-sorting centres for the past 10 days and some 3,000 tonnes of waste has piled up in the streets, according to local authorities.

Tramline stopped for an hour after dog becomes trapped – The tramline has been halted after a dog managed to become trapped underneath. The incident occurred on line 1 of the tramway shortly after 5.30pm on Wednesday. The service was suspended for an hour while emergency services intervened.

A8 closed after vehicle catches fire – The A8 has been temporarily cut in both directions after a heavy goods vehicle caught fire. 35 firefighters were at the scene on Wednesday evening after the vehicle carrying diesel broke into flames just after the Saint Isidore pay toll in the direction of Italy. There were mayor traffic jams as motorists were advised to avoid the area. No injuries were reported.

Singing competition - If you’re aged between 8 and 25 years old and you love singing this might be your golden opportunity. Audtions for the singing competition “Aloud” supported by French musician and television personality André Manoukian have been announced in the region in March.

The jury is made up of entertainment professionals. The final, will take place on May 9th in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat,and will be open to the public, tikets are 10 euros.

For information on how to take part contact ahautesvoix@gmail.com ; 06.11.23.61.99.

National

French teenager and family under police protection - France’s Interior Minister Chirstophe Castaner has said that the French teenager Mila and her family have been placed under police protection following death threats. The teenager was taken out of school after a foul-mouthed rant against Islam on social media triggered death threats and revived debates over religion and freedom of expression

The video was widely shared on social media, leading to threats of death and rape. School officials advised Mila to stay at home for her safety.

Sexual assault allegations - The top executive in French ice skating has defended his decision not to quit his post after a court investigation opened in Paris into allegations that a former leading coach raped and sexually harassed young skaters. Didier Gailhaguet, the president of the FFSG, has come under pressure to resign from leading politicians led by the France’s sports minister after the former world champion Sarah Abitbol revealed she was raped several times in her mid-teens by Gilles Beyer.

Wine Museum - A huge Universal Wine Museum is due to open near Beijing in April 2021. It has been designed in partnership with the City of Bordeaux wine museum.

The museum of 18,000 m2 will offer a permanent show of 6,700 m2, temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, a cellar with world wines, a gourmet restaurant and a wine school.

There will also be an organic vineyard on 8 square kilometers, a business incubator, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops around wine and European products

Two suspects arrested in connection with Banksy theft last year - Police in Paris have arrested two suspects in connection with the disappearance of a work by street artist Banksy. The theft occurred in September last year in Paris. Arrested this week in the Capital the two were already known to police. The investigation continues and the whereabouts of the work of art still remains a mystery.

Flu - An epidemic of the seasonal flu has now been declared in all areas of France. New data shows that there was a sharp increase in flu cases last week. The number of people who went to hospital A&E departments because of the flu rose by 56% from the previous week and, of those, 72% more were admitted to hospital than in the previous week.

While attention is focused on the new coronavirus from China, 26 people have died in France from seasonal flu since November, the health agency said in its weekly figures. They are three children under the age of 15, 12 people aged 15 to 64 and 11 others aged 65 and over.

Business

After reaching unprecedented highs on Tuesday, shares in the electric carmaker Tesla have fallen by 17 percent with the firm warning of disruption from measures to contain the coronavirus.

Telsa said that deliveries within China of the Model 3 would be temporarily delayed as a result of an extended production shutdown.

The firm’s 2 billion dollar factory in Shanghai is seen as a key part of Tesla’s global growth ambitions.

Major motor manufacturers with operations in Asia are reporting that the outbreak of the virus and measures to prevent its spread are having a negative effect on supply chains.

Tesla plans to restart production on the 10th of February with its Shanghai plant crucial in its plans to make more than half a million vehicles this year.

 

Pharmaceutical firms racing to develop a vaccine for the Coronavirus have warned that they have a long way to go.

A report by Reuters runs counter to speculation that a “breakthrough” which boosted financial markets on Wednesday had been made.

Investment costs for vaccines could run to as much as 800 million dollars in a process which ,even if speeded up could take more than a year until approval.

At least a dozen large firms are working on vaccines or antiviral drugs and other treatments to help those infected.

The virus shows no signs of abating at the moment with thousands of new cases reported in China every day.

 

And-The US trade deficit fell for the first time in 6 years in 2019 as the trade war with China curbed imports.

A report from the Commerce Department showed that President Trump’s “America First” policies had decreased the flow of goods with imports and exports posting their first decline since 2016.

Mr Trump has pledged to shrink the deficit by shutting out more unfairly traded imports and renegotiating free trade agreements.

The President argues that substantially cutting the trade deficit will boost annual growth to 3 percent on a sustainable basis.

So far ,the US economy has failed to hit the mark and grew by 2.3 percent last year-the slowest rate in three years.

Sport

Football-Spurs are through to the 5th round of the FA Cup after beating Southampton 3-2 in last night’s 4th round replay.

Spurs will play Norwich City at home in round 5.

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

 

Formula 1-The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai in April is now a major doubt because of the spread of the coronavirus.

Authorities in the city have now recommended that all sporting events in the city should be suspended until the threat from the virus is contained.

Formula 1 officials discussed the issue at a meeting on Wednesday and reports say that it looks likely that the event will be at least postponed if not scrapped completely.

 

Cricket-The former Australia coach and batsman Darren Lehmann is to have heart bypass surgery after falling ill on Wednesday.

Mr Lehmann was celebrating his 50th birthday when he complained of having chest pains while watching his son captain an Australia XI against the England Lions on the Gold Coast.

He’ll have surgery in Brisbane on Saturday.

 

Rugby Union-The Bath second row Charlie Ewels has been dropped from the England squad for Saturday’s 6 Nations game against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Ewels played in the defeat at the hands of France last week but was replaced with his side 24-0 down.

Joe Launchbury who missed the defeat in Paris with a knee injury is included in the 25 man squad.

Anthony Watson has been ruled out with a calf injury and Manu Tuilagi has a groin problem.

 

Weather

Hazy sunshine with light variable winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 6 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies with  highs of 13-15 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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