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French and Riviera News Tuesday 18th December 2018

Local

Police call for strike action - The second most powerful trade union of the National police force has announced strike action on Wednesday calling for all police officers to not leave police stations unless there is an absolute emergency. Unions have announced this is the first step with further protests to follow against the drop in budget of 62 million euros.

Fire on motorway - The pay toll at Bandol on the A50 motorway has been closed due to a fire which broke out on Monday evening. Firefighters were deployed to the area which has been occupied by yellow vest protestors. The fire led to the motorway being closed in both directions.

Meanwhile it’s been reported that motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes will attempt to recover unpaid toll fees from those motorists who went through tolls without paying during the yellow vest protests.  The company said its goal is not to penalize customers but simply to claim what is due. Vinci Autoroutes says that damage estimated at several tens of millions of euros has been caused to the company’s equipment and infrastructure since the beginning of the yellow vest movement.

Water - Results published on Monday have shown an improvement on the quality of drinking water in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. Tests carried out by the Regional Health Agency on nearly 59,000 samples of water, show that the population of the Paca region "benefits globally from good water quality, with a significant improvement since 2015”.

Marseille airport - Marseille Provence airport has introduced new automated equipment to allow faster checking of passengers’ identity. The new equipment uses facial recognition technology which compares the photograph taken with the photo on the passenger’s e-passport.  The equipment has cost the airport 2 million euros and the new system can currently be used by the holders of passports from 32 countries.

Winter sales - The start date for grabbing a bargain in the winter sales has been announced. In the PACA region, the sales will start on January 9 and will end on February 19.  The French Ministry of the Economy sets the official sales dates each year.  In Monaco, the sales are starting a week earlier, on January 2.

National

Man charged - A French anti-terrorist court has charged a man arrested for allegedly supplying a revolver used in a mass shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg last week.  The 37-year-old, who was not immediately identified, was ordered to be held in detention on charges of association with a terrorist conspiracy and weapons possession. The man, is suspected of helping to provide the pistolused by Cherif Chekatt, who shot dead five people and wounded 11 at the market last Tuesday night.

Tax – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1st the announcement comes amid difficulties in finalising a new EU-wide levy. France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.

Former top security aide faces further charges - French President Emmanuel Macron’s former top security aide Alexandre Benalla, who caused a political storm after it emerged he had roughed up protesters at a May Day demonstration, is facing further charges. Benalla, is already facing two criminal charges and has been charged with two more offences over events earlier on during the protest in which he allegedly participated "actively in the questioning" of a man.

Business

The US Federal Reserve will start its two day policy meeting today with a hike in interest rates expected and close attention being paid to the language that the central bank will use.

Minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee stated that the Fed would “continue the process of weaning the market off forward guidance” and that the “Committee’s communications in its post meeting statement may need to be revised in the future, particularly the language referring to the Committee’s expectations for further gradual increases in the target range for the Federal Funds rate”.

Investors will be watching closely for the message the Fed will send about its policy path in future years.Most analysts agree that the Fed will continue to be upbeat on the outlook and expects to increase rates further in the coming quarters.The pace of rate hikes may slow though as the central bank keeps an eye on the progress of the US economic recovery and the chances of a recession coming along towards the end of 2020 and into 2021.

 

The former boss of the broadcasting giant CBS will not receive  a 120 million dollar severance package following an enquiry into sexual misconduct.

Les Moonves stepped down in September following claims that he had sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women.

CBS said that Mr Moonves had misled the company over the allegations and had failed to work with investigators,meaning that it had grounds to fire him.

Mr Moonves had worked for CBS for 23 years and was chairman and chief executive at the time of his departure.

 

And-France has said that it will introduce its own  tax on large tech firms on the first of January after an EU-wide effort stalled.

The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that he expected the new tax to bring in 500 million euros next year.

France and Germany had been pushing the EU to  agree fresh tax measures by the end of the year but there was opposition from a number of member states including Ireland.Sweden and Finland.

Sport.

BREAKING NEWS-Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after less than 2 years in charge.The development comes after United were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool on Sunday and with the side struggling to finish in the top 4 this season.Zinedine Zidane is one of the front runners to succeed Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Football-The draw has been made for the last 16 of the European Champions League with Liverpool handed a tough draw against Bayern Munich.Manchester United face an even more daunting challenge against PSG while Manchester City will play Schalke and Spurs will meet Borussia Dortmund.

In the last 32 of the Europa League Chelsea will play Malmo with Arsenal drawn against Borisov and Celtic drawn against Valencia.

There was one game in the English Championship last night.Derby and Nottingham Forest drew 0-0.

Cricket-Australia have leveled the series against India with a 146 run victory in the second Test in Perth.

Australia dismissed India for 140 on the final morning of the match.

The series is tied at 1-1 with the 3rd Test due to get underway in Melbourne next week.

Rugby Union-The Ireland and Ulster forward Iain Henderson will miss the 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on a thumb injury.

Henderson has been in good form recently and scored two tries in Ulster’s win over Scarlets last Friday.

It’s understood that he wanted to get the injury sorted before next year’s World Cup.

Tennis-The former France number four Sebastien Grosjean has been named as the country’s Davis Cup captain for the next two seasons.

Grosjean was part of the French team that beat Australia to win the Cup in 2001.

He won four ATP titles before retiring in 2010.

France were beaten 3-1 by Croatia in the last Davis Cup final in November.

Weather 

Clear skies with light variable winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Rain tomorrow with a high of 13 degrees.Partially cloudy on Thursday with a high of 14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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