French and Riviera News Wednesday 27th February 2019

Local

Bomb scare in Toulon - Traffic came to a standstill in Toulon on Tuesday following a bomb scare. The area to the west of the city centre was blocked off between 4 and 5pm causing more than 4 kilometers of traffic jams as diversions were put in place. The alert was lifted at 5pm after police neutralized an abandoned bag.

Missing person - Police have launched an appeal following the disappearance of 15 year old Océane Thioux who has not been seen since February 25th. Océane from, Hyères in the Var, was last seen being dropped off by her father at the Lycee Golf Hotel in Hyères. At the time she was wearing black trainers and a black tracksuit, she is described as having long brown hair. Anyone with any information is invited to contact police on 04.94.73.70.11.

Tramway Nice - 6,000 signatures have been collected as part of demands that line 1 of the tramway in Nice be extended to both La Trinité and L’Ariane. Following a meeting this week residents maintained the pressure on Nice city council calling for the line to be extended to both districts of Nice declaring they are not “second class citizens”.

Swimming ban - Swimming in the sea has been banned between Saint Pierre and Thales in Cannes until March 4th. The ban was put in place on Tuesday following renovation work being carried out at a nearby water treatment plant. According to Cannes city council the work currently being carried out requires that the main sewer be emptied into the sea. The ban is due to be lifted on March 4th.

Meanwhile two beaches in the Var have made it into a list of the top ten beaches in France.  The list, complied by TripAdvisor from ratings left by its users, sees the world famous Pampelonne beach occupy the number six position, while the Escalet Beach is in tenth place.  Three Corsican beaches are in the top ten, including Palombaggia Beach in Porto-Vecchio which takes first place.

Rubber bullet launchers - The French government has been urged by the Council of Europe to stop using rubber bullet launchers blamed for injuring anti-government yellow vest protesters in recent weeks. France is one of the few European nations to allow the use of LBDs. Critics say dozens of protesters have been severely injured in clashes with the police, some partially blinded after being struck in the head. French authorities have rejected the claims, saying both rubber bullets and stun grenades are necessary to respond to violent individuals who have repeatedly attacked security forces.

Meanwhile, a demonstration in support of the right to demonstrate freely and safely is being planned for Nice today. Amongst other measures, the demonstrators are against the use by law enforcement personnel of so called intermediate weapons such as LBDs. The rally begins at 6 pm at place Garibaldi.

Marine biodiversity - As part of the government's policy here in Monaco to protect marine biodiversity, the Directorate of the Environment has installed modules developed by the company "ECOncrete®" in the Port of Fontvieille. These modules, made of special concrete, fit into existing structures and plan to promote the development of marine biodiversity. Designed to create small aquatic reserves by imitating waterholes that are found naturally in rip raps in which ecosystems develop.

The Seaway - The legendary boat the Seaway is currently undergoing restoration work in the Darse at Villefranche sur mer. The historic vessel which is moored all year round in Antibes has attracted many admirers.It was built in 1928 by Dickie and Bangor Yard in England and is considered as one of the most beautiful boats on the French Riviera. A flagship of the English navy, it was on these ships that the evacuation of Dunkirk during Second World War was carried out.

Cannes Film Festival – It’s been announced that Mexican film director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu will preside over the jury of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. The multi-Oscar-winning director is known for films such as The Revenant and Birdman. The festival runs from May 14th to the 25th.

National

Death - Jean Masson has died at the age of 95. Masson was one of the few surviving members of the legendary unit of French resistance soldiers who fought alongside American and British troops on the D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944. His death means there are now only three surviving members of the original First French Marine Rifles Battalion.

Decathlon - Following a public outcry the French sportswear retailer Decathlon has scrapped plans to sell a hijab for women runners in France. The firm said it had decided to suspend the product following "a wave of insults" and "unprecedented threats". French politicians said the "running hijab" contradicted the country's secular values, and some lawmakers suggested a boycott of the brand. Decathlon initially stood by the hijab, which is already for sale in Morocco.

Business

The British government has published its own assessment of the impact of a no-deal Brexit on business and trade.

The report says that a no-deal scenario could cost businesses 13 billion pounds a year and that “some food prices are likely to increase”.

The report also found that there was “little evidence” that businesses are preparing in earnest for a no-deal outcome but that the government had taken “significant action” to prepare for the worst scenario on March the 29th.

Possible disruption to cross-Channel trade would be one of the impacts of no-deal with reduced availability and choice of products.

The analysis also suggested that a no-deal scenario could leave the UK economy 6.3 to 9 percent smaller after 15 years compared to what it would have been.

 

Fiat Chrysler has announced that it will create 6,500 jobs and invest 4.5 billion dollars in the Michigan vehicle industry.

The firm  said that it intended to build the first new car assembly plant in Detroit for three decades  as part of its strategy  to expand its Jeep SUV and Ram truck brands.

Fiat Chrysler said that it would convert two of its plants-one of which has been idle since 2012  into the assembly site for its new Jeep Grand Cherokee as well as a new three-row Jeep SUV.

The news will come as a welcome boost for the Michigan area after General Motors announced  that it would be shutting two sites  as part of wider restructuring with the loss of 14,000 jobs.

 

And-The chief economist at Goldman Sachs has said that the global economy may have already “bottomed out” and that while growth remains soft,the firm’s current economic indicator for February is slightly above the downwardly-revised December and January numbers.

Jan Hatzius  said that some green shoots were emerging ,suggesting that sequential growth will start to pick up.

He said that Goldman remains positive on risk assets although the upside is probably now lower as markets have become more “sanguine on recession”.

Goldman also expects bond yields to rise and is maintaining a bearish view on the dollar  given the current dovish aspect of the Federal Reserve  and an expectation for a pickup in global growth.

The outlook for oil is bullish for the next two to three months  but more bearish for the remainder of the year.

Mr Hatzius was talking to Bloomberg.

 

Sport

Football-Brendan Rogers was in the stands to watch his new side Leicester City win on the day he took charge of the club.

Rogers has joined Leicester on a three year deal after leaving the Scottish Champions Celtic to take up the managers role.

Leicester beat Brighton 2-1 in their first game since previous manager Claude Puel was sacked.

In last night’s other Premier League games Cardiff lost 3-0 at home to Everton.Rock bottom Huddersfield beat Wolves 1-0 and Newcastle were 2-0 winners over Burnley.

There are 6 more games tonight.Arsenal play Bournemouth.Southampton play Fulham.Chelsea face Spurs.Crystal Palace play Manchester United.Liverpool host Watford and Manchester City play West Ham.

In the English Championship last night.Bristol City lost 2-1 at home to Birmingham.Hull beat Millwall 2-1.QPR beat Leeds 1-0 and Sheffield Wednesday beat Brentford 2-0.

Formula 1-The McLaren rookie Lando Norris was quickest on the first day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona on Monday. The 19 year old was slightly quicker than Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull  and Lance Stroll in the Racing Point.

Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari was 4th quickest with world champion Lewis Hamilton down in 12 place in the Mercedes.

Cricket-The 4th one day international between West Indies and England is being played in Grenada today.

The 5 match series is tied at 1-1 after the third match in Guyana on Monday was rained off.

Play is due to start at  2.30 French time.

India and Australia are playing an international Twenty20 in Bangalore.Play starts at 2.30 French time.

Rugby Union-The Wales lock Corey Hill has been ruled out of the rest of the 6 Nations with an ankle injury.

The 27 year old picked up the injury while touching down the vital second-half try against England last Saturday  and could be out for 6 weeks.

Weather

Clear skies with light  variable winds.

Top temperature 17-20 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly fine with highs of 15-19 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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