French and Riviera News Tuesday 30th April 2019

Local

May 1st demonstrations - It’s been announced that the traditional May 1st demonstrations organised by the unions will take place on Wednesday from 10:30am in Nice. Demonstrators will gather at Nice’s main train station and march to Place Garibaldi. The yellow vest movement has announced that they will gather in the Liberation district at 10am joining the union’s procession at 10.30. Three other rallies have been organized in the Alpes Maritimes in Grasse, Cannes and Antibes.

Tiger Mosquito - According to the French Minister of Health,numbers of the tiger mosquito, a species capable of transmitting diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and the Zika virus continue to grow in France, and the insect is now present in more than half of all departments including Paris and the Alpes Maritimes. The insect was reported to be present in 51 departments in 2018 compared to 42 a year earlier. Originally from Asia, the tiger mosquito first settled in the Alpes Maritimes in 2004 and has grown rapidly since. Its presence does not necessarily lead to the appearance of the diseases. The transmission happens when a healthy tiger mosquito bites a contaminated person making the insect a carrier of the virus, with only females carrying diseases such as Chikungunya and the Zika virus. In 2010 the first cases appeared with two cases of Dengue in the Alpes Maritimes and two cases of Chikungunya in the Var. Since then the French authorities have recorded 22 cases of Dengue and 31 cases of Chikungunya. This year both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes have been placed on a red warning.

Air China - Air China, the country's largest airline, has reportedly asked for the possibility of operating a direct line between Beijing and Nice. According to the Twitter account Air China, the largest Chinese company, has begun the process of opening a direct link between Beijing and Nice with plans for it to be operational by the summer.

Monaco of the North - His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has inaugurated the exhibition of “Grace of Monaco, A princess in Dior” at the Christian Dior museum in Normandy. The exhibition displays several iconic outfits which belonged to his mother and are signed by the fashion house. Nicknamed "Monaco of the North" Granville sits not at the edge of the Mediterranean but the Channel. The project which conincedes with Princess Grace’s 90th birthday this year came about while the Prince was visiting Granville in 2015 in memory of his ancestors. This collection of dresses, will be presented in Granville until November 17.

National

French government plans - Speaking from Matignon on Monday the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe attempted to clarify announcements made by the French President Emmanuel Macron at the end of the National Debate. Addressing French media Philippe confirmed that the following would be presented to the council, the bill on bioethics, which will notably include the move towards medically assisted procreation to lesbian couples, the Pension reform with the goal to introduce a bill by the end of the summer as well as a new draft constitutional reform. The fight against tax fraud expected to be delivered in October along with the terms of tax cuts promised by Macron and finally the removal of the National School of Administration the ENA which comes as an attempt to rethink the functioning of the senior civil service.

Police suicides - The French government has opened a suicide prevention unit for police officers after a sharp rise in the number taking their own lives since the start of this year. The move comes as prosecutors are investigating chants by some "yellow vest" anti-government protesters in recent weeks urging the police to "commit suicide," which have prompted widespread public outrage.

Notre Dame - More than 1,100 architects and heritage experts in France and abroad have warned French President Emmanuel Macron that his five-year deadline to rebuild Paris’s fire-damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral is too short. Less than 24 hours after fire destroyed the Notre-Dame Cathedral’s roof and spire earlier this month, Macron vowed to repair the monument within five years. The French government appeared to be making good on Macron’s pledge last week, presenting a bill that would speed up the reconstruction by allowing workers to skip some ordinary renovation procedures.

Ecosystems – Scientists and diplomats from 130 countries have met in Paris to adopt the first global assessment of ecosystems for nearly 15 years. The meeting held on Monday launched the clear message that “Nature’s destruction threatens humanity “at least as much” as climate change and deserves as much attention in order to avoid devastating results. Speaking at the meeting Robert Watson chair of the Intergovernmental Science Platform and Policy on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) said “the evidence is indisputable, adding our levels of destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem services has reached levels that threaten our well-being at least as much as man-made climate change”.

Football - The football boots with which Paul Pogba effectively won the World Cup for France last year have been sold for 30,000 euros at a Paris auction on Monday. The proceeds will go to a charity helping young people in the Paris surburb where Pogba grew up. The Manchester United midfielder, who scored France's third goal in the 4-2 victory over Croatia, had donated them to a French charity which helps high school students from tough areas.

Business

A fresh round of trade talks between China and the United States are getting underway in Beijing with both sides still struggling to agree on key issues.

The discussions are being led by the US trade representative  Robert Lighthizer and the Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

Reports suggest that progress has been made over the past few weeks and that the two sides are edging towards resolving the dispute.

However ,differences remain over how a deal would be enforced and issues over intellectual property protection and how fast to roll back tariffs.

The United States has accused China of stealing intellectual property and wants the country to make changes to its economic policies which it says unfairly benefit domestic companies through subsidies.It also wants China to buy more American products to rein in the trade deficit.

 

Shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet have fallen by 7 percent after the internet giant missed profit forecasts.

Alphabet reported sales of 36.3 billion dollars in the first quarter –below expectations of 37.33 billion.

Profits also fell in the period to the 31st of March.

Alphabet’s numbers were affected by a fine from the European Commission for blocking rival online search advertisers.

Google was forced to pay 1.5 billion euros after it was accused of abusing its market dominance by restricting third party competitors from displaying search adverts between 2006 and 2016.

 

And-A three day event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival has been cancelled after the main financial backer pulled out.

Amplifi Live said that it had a clause in its contract with the organisers that gave it the right to cancel the festival.

It said that it was pulling out as it said that it could not guarantee the “health and safety of the artists ,partners and attendees “.

The Festival organiser Woodstock 50 denied that the event had been cancelled and that it was taking legal advice.

A host of top names have been announced including Robert Plant ,Santana ,David Crosby and John Fogerty.

Reports say that 30 million dollars has already been spent booking the artists.

Sport

Football-The first European Champions League semi-final between Spurs and Ajax is being played tonight.

The Dutch side have been the surprise package in this year’s tournament with practically nobody thinking that they’d get this far.

Spurs should be too strong for them on paper but their form has been patchy of late and they’re without star striker Harry Kane.

Kick off is at 9pm French time tonight.

The second semi final is between Barcelona and Liverpool tomorrow night.

There’s one game in the English Championship tonight.Bristol City need a draw or a win at Millwall to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Formula 1-The Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel has said that the continued success of Mercedes is “boring”.

Vettel had to settle for third place again at Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

On Monday ,he said that it’s “so boring” and has been going on not just for the past 4 races but for the past four years.

The 31 year old German added that he thought Ferrari did have the potential to challenge Mercedes  and that they would just have to “work harder”.

Cricket-James Vince has been called into the England one day squad for the series against Pakistan after Alex Hales was suspended for an “off-field incident”.

Widespread media reports say that Hales has been dropped after failing a recreational drug test for the second time.

England are in final preparations for the World Cup which starts at the end of May.They play Ireland on Friday and then a series against Pakistan before the tournament gets underway.

Weather 

Clear skies with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 20 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine tomorrow with highs of 18-20 degrees.Rain on Thursday with a high of 18.

 

 

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