French and Riviera News Tuesday 4th June 2019

Local

Strike action by teachers - With just less than two weeks to go before high school students sit their philosophy baccalaureate 3 out of 10 teachers in the region have announced strike action on June 17th. The main teacher’s union announced on Monday that the call for strike action was in protest against current reforms planned by the French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Meanwhile Jean Michel Blanquer has presented ten new measures in the fight against playground bullying in schools in France. The new measure was announced on Monday in the form of a “turnkey” anti-harassment programme which will include a team of specially trained teachers to deal with bullying at school and ten hours of lessons per year dedicated to the subject.

SNCF - Railway workers are planning a demonstration in Paris today and have called for strike action, but management say that little disruption to services is expected in the PACA region.  Rail unions are concerned at the implementation of a new law reorganising the SNCF.

Sea rescue operation - Two people have been rescued from a boat off St Tropez after a serious fire broke out on board. Authorities were alerted to smoke coming from the 13 metre long boat. Two crew members of Dutch nationality were picked up by a nearby passenger boat. No injuries were reported. Authorities have taken measures to protect against pollution. 

Swimmer rescued - A bather has been rescued after apparently suffering a cardiac arrest whilst swimming in the sea off the Lido Plage in Nice on Monday afternoon. The Italian woman was seen to be motionless in the water and was attended to first by a beach employee and passersby and then by emergency services who transferred her to hospital.

Cour Saleya in Nice - While visiting the Cours Saleya in Nice on Monday the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has announced that the renovation of the flower market should be completed by the end of the year. The renovation work will see a number of palm trees planted.

Meanwhile the Nice town hall has proposed several measures to reduce the cost of parking in the city on Saturdays.  The aim is to help local businesses.  However, the measures will need to be approved by a vote of the municipal council before they can come into effect.

Road cameras - Multifunction road cameras have been installed in the region and are set to be in operation for the summer. The devices are not only capable of controlling speed but also other motoring offences such as jumping red lights, not respecting safety distances, dangerous overtaking, using your phone or not wearing your seatbelt.

Electric wheelchairs - Electric wheelchairs are to be tested in public car parks in France for the first time. The company Indigo Wheel a subsidiary of Vinci will be testing the new system in Toulouse on Wednesday. The self service will be available to disabled people or those with reduced mobility. At the end of this test period in Toulouse, Indigo Wheel will decide on the extension of the service to other cities in France.

Monaco - The Monegasque Civil Aviation has entered into the digital age. Monday saw the presentation of the Monaco “Flysafe” programme which is an unmanned traffic management system that will as of June 17th identify and track all flights of drones that have been allowed to fly in the Principality making the Principality one of the first states to have an aircraft management system without a pilot.

Also in Monaco Vita Superpower, the world’s first network of electric powerboat superchargers has launched their new system here at the Monaco Yacht Club. The system has been specifically designed to support the use of high-performance electric boats and will no doubt revolutionise the electric boating industry.

OGC Nice - According to the local media the takeover of OGC Nice has made significant progress in recent hours with an offer being made by the English billionaire Jim Ratcliffe. Local reports suggest the financial transaction could exceed 100 million euros. The club’s president has not yet commented on the information.

National

Online tax declarations - Following a technical fault on the online service for tax declarations the French government has announced that an additional 48 hours has been granted for online declarations. More than 4 million logged on last minute to make their tax declarations causing the site to crash. The extension means that those in departments 50 to 974 and 976 now have until midnight on Thursday to complete their declarations.

Nutella - Key ingredients used to make Nutella are running low following a blockade by workers, for more than a week, at a factory in northern France that makes 25% of the world’s Nutella. The factory normally produces 600,000 jars a day of the spread, making it the biggest Nutella producer in the world. The strikers have called for a 4.5% pay rise and a €900 bonus. The family firm said the strikers were a minority among the plant’s 400-member workforce.

Business

Reuters is reporting that the United States government is preparing to investigate whether some of the world’s biggest tech firms have been misusing their massive market power.

The  report says that the investigation could be an unprecedented ,wide-ranging probe into some of the world’s biggest companies  and would be jointly undertaken by the US Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department.

Large tech firms have been facing a backlash in the US and across the world ,fuelled by concerns that they have too much power and are harming both users and business rivals.

Reuters says that the two Federal agencies must now decide whether they want to launch a formal investigation which may take some time.

Shares in major tech firms fell on the news with Facebook down 7.5 percent and Google’s parent company Alphabet down 6.5 percent.

 

The United States has accused China of playing the “blame-game” by misrepresenting trade talks between the two countries.

On Monday ,the Trump administration accused China of “backpedalling “ on trade agreements  and maintained that its approach had been consistent throughout the negotiations.

The comments came in response to China’s release of a paper which blamed Washington for the setback in talks.

China and the US have been in an escalating trade conflict for the past year with the battle expanding in recent months with Washington tightening trade restrictions on the telecoms giant Huawei.

President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the G20 Summit in Japan later this month.

 

And-The UK manufacturing sector contracted in May for the first time since July 2016 as stockpiling eased ahead of Brexit.

A survey by IHS/Markit/CIPS suggests that firms have found it difficult convincing clients to commit to new contracts.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 49.4 for May down from 53.1 in April when it was lifted by stockpiling ahead of the UK’s expected exit from the EU.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The last time there was a reading below 50 was the month after the EU referendum.

Sport

Cricket-Pakistan have shocked the favourites England by beating them in their latest World Cup match at Trent Bridge.

Pakistan batted first and made 348-8 from their 50 overs including 84 from Mohammad Hafeez.

In reply ,England could only manage 334-9 giving Pakistan a 14 run victory.

The defeat is a wakeup call for the hosts who have been widely tipped to win the tournament for the first time.

Their next game is against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday.

There’s one game today.Afghanistan play Sri Lanka  in Cardiff.Play starts at 11.30

Football-Video Assistant Referees(VAR) are to be used at this week’s Nations League Finals.

It’s the first time that the system has been used in a national team competition run by Uefa.

The technology was used at the 2018 World Cup and in the knockout phase of this season’s Champions League.It will also make its debut in the English Premier League next season.

The Nations League finals kick off tomorrow night with Portugal against Switzerland.England play the Netherlands on Thursday.

Tennis-Novak Djokovic is through to the last 8 of the French open following a routine straight sets win over Jan-Leonard Struff of Germany.

Djokovic hasn’t yet dropped a set at Roland Garros and is aiming to hold all 4 grand slam titles at the same time.

He’ll play the 5th seed Alexander Zverev in the quarter finals.

In the women’s event the defending champion Simona Halep reached the quarter finals with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Polish teenager Iga Swiatek.

She’ll now play Amanda Anisimova of the United States who herself is only 17.

Madison Keys of the US is also through after beating Katerina Siniakova in straight sets.She’ll now play the 8th seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has vowed to continue in the sport for as long as possible as he hones in on Michael Schumacher’s record of Grand Prix victories.

The Mercedes star is 14 short of the great German’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins and at 33 , he says that he can “definitely keep going” for another 5 years which is the age at which Schumacher retired.

Hamilton will line up at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix leading the driver’s championship by 17 points from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

He’s won in Canada 6 times in the past 11 years.

Weather

Clear skies with light south westerly  winds.

Top temperatures 23-26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine with highs of 22-27 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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