French and Riviera News Tuesday 10th September 2019

Local

Weather warning - Météo-France has issued a yellow weather warning for the Var region today due to storms forecast. Heavy rain is expected by late morning with the risk of flooding in some areas. The warning is in place until this evening.

Ajaccio-Nice crash of 1968 - French President Emmanuel Macron has requested that the French Army Minister Florence Parly seizes the National Defense Commission in order to shed light on the Ajaccio-Nice plane crash on September 11th1968, in which 95 people died including 13 children and 6 crew members. The move comes in an attempt to end 51 years of secrecy surrounding the cause of the crash which many believe not to have been an accident but could have been due to a missile strike.

Olive trees disease - A deadly disease estimated to have killed a million olive trees in Italy has spread to France. The French agriculture ministry announced the discovery of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, known as olive tree leprosy, on two trees in the Alpes Maritimes and said the infected trees would be destroyed to stop it spreading. All trees and plants vulnerable to the bacterium within a three-mile radius are to be destroyed and burned.

Future campus in Nice - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has laid the first stone of a new campus in Nice.  The training engineering school will be the largest in France dedicated to training programmes. The 84 million euros project led by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Habitat 06, will be located west of Nice, in the heart of the Eco-Vallée.

Postal workers in the Alpes Maritimes have announced an indefinite strike. They’re protesting at a reorganization of their work by postal service management. Workers have been demonstrating in front of La Poste headquarters on Avenue Thiers in Nice.

Police are appealing for witnesses after a road accident in Antibes in which two people died. A collision occurred between two motorbikes on the coast road at La Siesta Casino at 8.45pm on Saturday evening. A 52 year old and a 16 year old died in the collision. Witnesses are asked to contact the Antibes police station.

British Airways has cancelled all of its flights from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport today because of a pilots strike. Only BA CityFlyer flights to and from London City will be maintained. BA flights to and from Marseille-Provence airport are also cancelled.  

Cannes Yachting Festival - The 42nd edition of the Cannes Yachting Festival opens today. Visitors will be able to explore every aspect of the industry. This year alongside the motorboats a special section has been created on Port Canto dedicated to sailing yachts. The show runs until the 15th September.

National

Pesticides - The French government has launched a nationwide consultation on the implementation of pesticide-free buffer zones around homes, days after a court ruled that mayors did not have the power to implement their own. The three-week online consultation, which opened on Monday, will inform new nation-wide regulations to create a minimum distance between residential areas and pesticide spraying. The government has suggested a minimum distance of 5 metres for low-lying crops such as cereals and one of 10 metres for higher ones, including vines and fruit.

Passengers stranded - Some 13,000 passengers, mainly booked on flights to and from Algeria, are still stranded after France's second-largest airline Aigle Azur went into receivership. The airline, which employs almost 1,200 staff, filed for bankruptcy and suspended flights last week .

Newly released figures show that there was a large increase in the number of deaths on French roads in August, compared to the same month last year. Last month there was a rise of 17.9%, with 290 people losing their lives on the nation’s roads. The death toll for the first eight months of this year stood at 2,133, which is 35 more than the same period in 2018.

A new toll-free phone number is in operation aimed at fighting the rising number of suicides in the French police force. The new phone line, which was announced by Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner, will enable police officers to be connected to one of 70 psychologists working on the service. An app is also available.

Business

The activist investor Elliott Management has unveiled a 3.2 billion dollar stake in AT&T and has urged the US telecommunications and media giant to end its acquisition spree and concentrate instead on improving its business.

The New York based hedge fund has sent a four part proposal to AT&T that it says could help to lift its stock price by at least 60 percent by the end of 2021.

The move by Elliott Management gives AT&T market capitalisation of 270 billion dollars and its plan ranges from selling off some businesses ,reducing costs ,reviewing how it allocates capital  and urging the firm to stop making acquisitions.

The hedge fund is also likely to push for new directors with operating skills and domain expertise to join AT&T’s board.

News of Elliott’s stake pushed AT&T shares 4 percent higher to 37 dollars 78 cents-its highest level this year.

 

A group of 50 states and territories in the United States have launched an investigation into Google’s dominance of the online advertising market.

The group says that Google may be threatening competition and consumers  and raised concerns over how the search giant protects users’ personal data.

The development is the latest in a series of probes into big technology firms by US authorities.

On Friday ,a separate group of states announced that they’d launched an investigation into Facebook to determine whether it had stifled competition and adequately protected consumer data.

 

And-The British government’s former chief Brexit negotiator is joining the investment bank Goldman Sachs after a sabbatical.

Olly Robbins led the talks that led to former Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement which formed the basis for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The deal repeatedly failed to pass through Parliament and Mr Robbins quit his role shortly after Mrs May resigned.

He’ll become a managing director in the Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division after a sabbatical at Oxford University.

Sport

Cricket-The former England captains Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott have been knighted in the former British Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation honours list.

Strauss led England to two Ashes series victories and captained England 50 times while Boycott who’s 78 scored 8,114 runs in 108 Tests from 1964 to 1982.

Domestic abuse charities have criticised the decision to award Boycott a knighthood.In 1998 he was convicted for assaulting his former partner.He was fined 5,000 pounds and given a three month suspended prison sentence but has always denied the assault.

Football-There were a number of European Championship qualifying games last night with Scotland’s chances of automatic qualification all but over after they were trounced 4-0 at home by Belgium in Group I.

Northern Ireland’s winning run came to an end after they lost 2-0 at home to Germany  and in an international friendly Wales beat Belarus 1-0.

There are more European Championship qualifying games tonight.England play Kosovo in Group A while France host Andorra in Group H.

Cycling-Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark won stage 16 of the Vuelta a Espana on Monday as Primoz Roglic extended his overall lead in the race.

The Dane crossed the finish line in the 144 kilometer mountain stage 22 seconds ahead of his rivals.

Roglic leads the overall classification by 2 minutes and 48 seconds from Alejandro Valverde.

Today is a rest day before tomorrow’s 219.6 kilometer flat stage from Aranda de Duero to Guadalajara.

Weather

Overcast with outbreaks of rain and a moderate to strong north easterly wind developing across the region.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 19 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with clearing skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 26-27 degrees.

Finally 

A French court has ruled that a man who died from a heart attack after having sex with a woman he met on a business trip is a 'victim of a professional accident'. This ruling means that the employer of the man, known as Xavier X, will have to pay hefty compensation to his dependents.  Xavier X, was an engineer working in central France on behalf of his employer, TSO, a French railway construction company.

French labour authorities asserted that Xavier's death should be classified as an 'accident du travail', which entitles the victim's family to benefits from both the state and employer. 

As a result, any partners and children of Xavier will receive a monthly benefit of up to 80 per cent of his salary until what would have been his retirement age.

In 2016, a lower court ruled that 'a sexual encounter is an act of normal life like taking a shower or eating a meal,' which was upheld by the appeal court in May. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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