French and Riviera News Tuesday 26th March 2019

Local

Yellow vest - Three hundred people have gathered at Place Garibaldi in Nice, in support of Geneviève Legay, the 73 year old protestor who was injured during a yellow vest demonstration on Saturday in the city. The spontaneous march took place on Monday evening shortly after 7.30pm. A crowd of demonstrators marched from Garibaldi to Place Masséna chanting messages of support and demanding the resignation of the prosecutor of the Republic of Nice Jean-Michel Prêtre. Following an investigation into the incident, launched on Monday  Prêtre had commented that evidence showed that the victim did not fall spontaneously by herself but was pushed from behind, not directly by a member of the police but by people stepping back in a crowd movement, as the security forces advanced . Legay suffered a fractured skull from the fall after hitting a security bollard. Prêtre added that "A lot of images, from the city and media outlets, were currently being studied as the investigation continues”.

Weather Alert - Météo France has placed the Alpes Maritimes region on a yellow weather alert from midnight tonight due to high winds which are expected to hit the region and last until 4pm Wednesday. Gust of up to 95km/hr are forecast. 

Historical visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping - The Chinese President Xi Jinping has thanked the Sovereign Prince for his warm welcome in the Principality, saying Monaco is a country with a unique charm, as he transmitted the cordial greetings of 1.4 billion people. During the historical visit His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco spoke of the historical importance of the first visit to the Principality by a Chinese President, stating that the visit held under the Year of the Pig which symbolizes “luck and prosperity” is also associated with renewal and the creation of successful relationships. Among other topics the two Heads of State spoke of the implementation of their respective actions in favor of the environment with XI Jinping adding that his country supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Chinese President left the Riviera on Monday heading for Paris where he was greeted by the French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron greeted Xi Jinping at Paris’s Arc de Triomphe war monument, ahead of talks and a state dinner at the Elysée Palace on Monday evening. Macron will be looking to take a firm line with China – Macron has said that Europe needs a joint approach to relations with China – and one that should be respected by individual countries.

Meanwhile several hundred Uighurs, Tibetans and other Chinese minorities gathered in Paris on Monday to urge Macron to raise their issues. Members of the Uighur and Tibetan diaspora gathered on  Place de Trocadéro.

Waste collections -The city council of Antibes has announced that a minimum pick up service for household waste is being organized following strike action from unions. Strike action began on Tuesday 19th and continues affecting Antibes, Biot, Valbonne and Vallauris. Agents called for strike action in protest over working conditions and low wages. Discussions have been held with the unions as the council hopes to reach an agreement by the weekend.

La Poste - After recruiting 297 employees in 2018, the French postal service "La Poste » has announced that it is continuing to hire new people in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region with 350 post available. Candidates will benefit from a 15 day training period dedicated to the business its environment and health and safety. In total more than 3,000 new postmen are expected to join the company in 2019.

The Cannes Film Festival is once again accepting applications for a special pass to see the Official Selection of movies at the festival. The passes are valid for people aged 18 to 28 and the recipients are selected on the basis of a letter of motivation.  Details can be found in the Accreditation section of the Cannes Film Festival website.

National

Fairground workers - Clashes have erupted at a protest by fairground workers in the Le Mans. Fairground workers are are demanding the right to set up stalls in the town centre. Police pushed back hundreds of demonstrators on Monday, as rioters targeted the city hall, where staff were evacuated. At one point protesters occupied the city's railway station. The violence broke out on the fourth day of protests against a decision by the mayor, to move their fairground away from the city centre. Fairground workers accuse the city authorities of discrimination.

Fraud - French fraud investigators have uncovered a €6m scam in which Italian kiwis were passed off as more expensive French-grown fruit. Consumer officials say 15,000 tonnes of the fruit were wrongly labelled over three years and have launched legal action against seven suppliers, who risk prison sentences and €300,000 fines if convicted.

Meanwhile the Intermarché group has reportedly been fined for slashing prices on Nutella which led to riots in supermarket shopping isles. The DGCCRF condemned the distributor after violent scenes last week following a 70% discount on a pot of 950g of Nutella from 4.70 euros to 1.41 euros. An unprecedented promotion which led to violence

Business

Apple has unveiled a new range of products that it hopes will see it viewed as more than a firm that “just makes iPhones”.

The firm has introduced a new TV streaming service as well as a credit card and an online gaming arcade.

The new TV and movie streaming service will be called Apple TV+ and will stream original content as well as movies.

In addition the firm has introduced a new credit card which is backed by Goldman Sachs and Mastercard which  is expected to be available in 40 countries by the end of the year.The card will be available as plastic and on iPhones.

An online game subscription service is also being launched called Apple Arcade which will be available on phones,tablets and desktop PCs.

Investors were not overly impressed with the new product launches with Apple shares closing down 1.2 percent on the day.

Airbus has secured an order from China for 300 jets in a deal estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

The deal to purchase A320  and A350 XWB planes was signed during a visit to Paris by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday and comes as the firm’s rival Boeing has been forced to ground all of its 737 Max jets following two fatal air crashes.

Reports say that the deal is worth as much as 30 billion euros and is part of a package of business agreements signed during Mr Xi’s visit to Europe.

Airbus said in a statement that it had signed a deal with China Aviation Supplies Holding Company and covers the purchase by Chinese airlines of 290 A320 planes and 10 A350 XWB jets.

And-The pound has risen moderately in Asian trade this morning after the UK Parliament took control of the Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May.

Sterling rose by 0.2 percent against the dollar to 1 US dollar 32 .2 cents before slipping back slightly after the House of Commons voted by 329 to 302 to strip power from the government over what happens next in the UK’s divorce from the European Union.

Parliament will now hold a series of indicative votes tomorrow in a bid to find a “plan B” which could include a Norway style option or even a second referendum.

However,the votes will be non binding and the government could still choose to ignore Parliament’s wishes.

Some political commentators say that they can see a fresh general election looming.

Sport

Football-England scored 5 goals for the second time in consecutive games last night as they ran out 5-1 winners in Montenegro in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier.

Ross Barclay scored twice and there were goals too for Keane,Kane and Sterling.

England top their group with maximum points from two games.

The match was overshadowed by racist chants which were hurled at black players.

Also last night France beat Iceland 4-0.

There are more qualifying games tonight.The Republic of Ireland play Georgia in Group D while Norway play Sweden in Group F.

Formula 1-A pivotal meeting is taking place today in a bid to make the sport more competitive from 2021.

Formula 1’s owners Liberty Media and the FIA are to introduce a budget cap and restructured revenue distribution following 12 months of talks.

Liberty wants to stop Formula 1 from being a two-tier sport  where the top teams have an overwhelming advantage over the smaller players.

The sport’s managing director Ross Brawn said that the discussions had been “difficult” and that there had been stiff resistance from some of the bigger players.

Rugby Union-The Newcastle lock Calum Green has been cited for allegedly biting Rob Webber of Sale during Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match.

Green could receive a 12 week ban if found guilty.He’ll appear before a disciplinary panel tomorrow.

Tennis-Roger Federer is through to the 4th round of the Miami Open following a straight sets win over Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

Federer came through 7-5 6-3 and will now face either Reilly Opelka or Daniil Medvedev.

In the women’s event Simona Halep beat Venus Williams 6-3 6-3 to reach the last 8.

Weather

Clear skies  with moderate to strong  easterly winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9  degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland  with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 16-19 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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