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French and Riviera News Tuesday 27th November 2018

Local

Marseille - Three weeks after the deadly collapse of two buildings in Marseille, the association “November 5th”, named after the date of the tragedy, has held a press conference calling for more immediate action to be taken to help those affected. 8 people died in the incident and 1,352 people have been moved  from their homes. Many lost all their belongings and are still homeless.

Petrol shortages - The “yellow vest” movement and panic buying among motorists has led to many service stations in the region experiencing difficulties in petrol supplies. At least 26 petrol stations have closed due to fuel shortages in the region and 68 on a national level.

Meanwhile eight people have appeared in the criminal court in Marseille following protests at the pay toll at La Ciotat on the A50 motorway over the weekend.

Cruise ship fined - In the first case of its kind in France, the captain of a cruise ship has been fined 100,000 euros for an air pollution offence. Inspectors discovered a non-compliant fuel oil when the Azura was docked in Marseille in March. The court ordered that 80,000 euros of the fine be paid by the liner’s owner, Carnival. The court also ordered the captain to pay 5,000 euros to three organisations.

Traffic - Traffic came to a standstill on the A8 motorway at Nice Saint Isidore after a truck leaked 300 liters of diesel on Monday. The incident occurred shortly after 6.30pm. Motorway authorities reported an 8km tail back between La Turbie and Nice Saint Isidore.

Restos du Coeur - The “Restos du Coeur” has launched its winter campaign in Nice. In its 34th year the movement collects food for those in need. There are over 680 volunteers in the Alpes Maritimes. For more information and donations you can call 04.92.08.00.80.

National

President Emmanuel Macron - Faced with violent anti-government protests in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron will today announce new measures in an attempt to rally support for environment-friendly tax increases. Macron has seen his popularity slide to just 25 percent, according to one poll a week ago, and the recent protests reflect broader frustration with a leader critics label as aloof and a "president of the rich". It’s not the first time that the French government has faced protests from motorists over tax increases and high oil prices with demonstrations taking place in 1995, 2000, 2004, and 2008.  A recent poll showed that 77 percent of respondents described the current protests as "justified".

Public transport - The French government has unveiled a bill set to make it easier to circulate in rural parts of the country where inadequate public transport has made people reliant on cars.  French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne announced plans on Monday which would both increase public transport, make it cleaner, and “reduce dependency on the car”. The bill also promises to reduce the price of getting a driving licence, currently anywhere between between €600 and €2,000. If approved, the cost would drop drastically.

Fishing - Downing Street has hit back at a threat by the French president to trigger the customs “backstop” if the UK does not swiftly agree to allow European Union boats to fish in British waters. On Sunday, Emmanuel Macron had said that unless the UK rapidly agreed to allow EU vessels the same access to British waters as they have now, the talks on a wider trade deal would fail, leaving the UK in the “backstop” customs union envisioned in the withdrawal agreement.

France’s most notorious serial killer - According to new evidence. Henri Désiré Landru, a convicted swindler who operated under different names in Paris during World War 1, may have killed substantially more women than the ten whose murders he was sentenced for. Landru, was convicted of swindling in July 1914 and sentenced to four years hard labor with exile for life in the French prison facility on New Caledonia in the Pacific. However, he managed to escape justice and lived under assumed names in different locations in Paris. He was married, had four children, and a mistress.

Business

President Trump has said that he’s likely to go ahead with a hike on tariffs currently imposed on Chinese goods.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal,Mr Trump said that he would hit the rest of China’s imports to the United States with tariffs if talks with the Chinese President on the sidelines of this week’s G20 summit don’t go well.

The US leader told the Wall Street Journal that he would be “highly unlikely” to agree to a request from Beijing to hold off on the planned tariff rise.

He said that if a deal wasn’t made then he would put the additional 267 billion dollars worth  on Chinese goods  and target it with an additional 10 or 25 percent tariffs.

General Motors has announced that its to halt production at 5 North American plants and cut more than 14,000 jobs.

The US car giant has also said that it will close three factories outside North America by the end of 2019.

The  move is the result of rising costs and slower sales and comes as the firm focuses on its range.

The announcement was swiftly condemned by President Trump who said that he was “not happy” about  it.

The decision to lay off staff and close plants is in direct opposition to Mr Trump’s claims that his policies are spurring a revival in the US auto industry.

And-The Italian government has said that it will stick to its high-spending budget plans,setting up another potential clash with the European Union.

The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on  Monday that the objectives for 2019 had already been fixed although earlier one of his deputies had hinted that the country might be willing to cut the deficit target a little.

The European Commission has threatened to impose fines on Italy unless it complies with deficit regulations.

Sport

Football-There was one game in the English Premier League last night.

Burnley lost 2-1 at home to Newcastle.

It’s Newcastle’s third win in a row and lifts them to 13th place in the table.Burnley are hovering one place above the relegation zone and have  now conceded 27 goals in 13 games.

There are 8 games in the group phase of the European Champions League tonight as qualification for the knockout phase gets serious.

In Group E AEK Athens play Ajax and Bayern Munich host Benfica.

Group F pairs Lyon against Manchester City and Hoffenheim against Shakhtar Donetsk.

In Group G CSKA Moscow play Viktoria Plzen and Roma host Real Madrid and in Group H Juventus play Valencia and Manchester United play Young Boys.

Formula 1-The British Born driver Alexander Albon will drive for Toro Rosso next season.

The 22 year old was born in London but will race under a Thai flag.

He’s been given a second chance after being dropped from Red Bull’s driver programme back in 2012.Albon replaces Brendon Hartley of New Zealand who’s been dropped.

Rugby Union-Andy Farrell will replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland coach after next year’s World Cup.

Schmidt,who’s 53 says that he’s decided to finish coaching and concentrate on his family.

He’s been with Ireland since 2013 and guided them to a third Grand Slam last season  as well as a first ever home victory over New Zealand.

 

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate north westerly winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 1 degree inland with clear skies and a widespread frost.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy with highs of 14-15 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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