French and Riviera News Wednesday 30th January 2019

Local

Stabbing - A high school student in Manosque, in the Alpes de Hauts Provence, has stabbed a fellow student. The incident occurred on school premises on Monday following an altercation between the two students. The 13 year old boy was taken into police custody and is to appear before the juvenile judge later this week. His victim, a 14 year old girl has been treated with stiches to her thigh.

Tax office – Six yellow vests two, from Cantaron near Nice have turned up in front of the tax office in Nice with a wheelbarrow full of centimes. With 350 euros in coins the yellow vest protestors intended to pay a fine which had been issued in December for offensive behavior towards an agent. According to local media yellow vest protestors were unable to enter the tax office as it was closed for security reasons.   

Storm Gabriel - The Alpes Maritimes is the only department in France which isn’t covered by either a Yellow or Orange weather alert by Meteo France as storm Gabriel hits most of the country. 43 departments remain on a weather alert with high winds forecast for much of the west coast, with gusts of 100 to 120 km per hour. Most of the north is under an Orange alert for snow and ice.

National

Brexit - French President Emmanuel Macron has emphasized that the current Brexit agreement cannot be renegotiated. The announcement was made as British MPs voted the Brady amendment to modify the Brexit agreement by 317 votes to 301. Immediately after the vote on this amendment, an EU spokesperson issued a strong statement to the British: "The 'backstop' is part of the withdrawal treaty, and the withdrawal treaty is not open for renegotiation. The conclusions of the December European Council are very clear on this point ".

National Debate - State Secretary Emmanuelle Wargon has announced that so far 500,000 contributions have been made as part of the “National debate”.  1.2 million people have visited the website, 2,500 meetings have been organized of which 700 have already taken place and 500,000 direct contributions have been registered.

Ban on riot control guns - France’s highest administrative court will consider today on whether to ban controversial riot control guns linked with several serious eye injuries at Yellow Vest protests. The Conseil d’Etat, will consider the case following a request from France’s Human Rights League and CGT trade union, which argues that the weapons are unfit for use at demonstrations. The weapons in question are LBDs, which stands for lanceurs de balles de défense, or defensive bullet launchers, and which shoot projectiles such as rubber bullets that collapse or disperse on impact.

Music teacher makes 195 phone calls to the Elysee - A 38-year-old music teacher, who had made no less than 195 telephone calls to the Elysee criticizing French President  Emmanuel Macron, has been handed a 3 month suspended prison sentence on Tuesday by the Criminal Court of Annecy in the Haute-Savoie. The man suffering from paranoid psychosis had made numerous telephone calls to the Elysée in the space of 24 hours, in October 2018.

Speed limit - Spain has reduced the speed limit on major rural roads to 90km/h (56mph), from 100km/h. The measure took effect on Tuesday, after the authorities changed more than 2,700 road signs at a cost of €526,000.The aim is to get into the safest group of EU countries for rural drivers: below 30 deaths per million people. Meanwhile in Germany, the government has resisted pressure to introduce a speed limit on motorways.

Business

Apple has suggested that it could lower iPhone prices in some countries in a bid to boost sales.

Results out on Tuesday showed that the flagship Apple product brought in 15 percent less revenue in the 4th quarter than a year ago  with overall revenue down 5 percent to 84.3 billion dollars.

The slowdown had been expected after Apple warned investors earlier this month that revenue would be around 84 billion dollars.

The firm has partially blamed the economic slowdown in China for the shortfall but admitted that customers were struggling with Apple’s high prices too.Chief executive Tim Cook said that the strong dollar had hurt sales in emerging markets  and that phones were being re-priced in some areas to take into account currency fluctuations.

Norwegian Air is seeking to raise some 3 billion Norweigen Kroner through a rights issue to improve its finances.

The news came as Norwegian announced a preliminary operating loss of 3.8 billion Kroner for 2018.The company’s shares plunged by 16 percent on the news.

The budget airline says that it is not in talks with any potential buyers after the owner of British Airways IAG abandoned plans to buy it last week.

Norwegian said that flights would be unaffected by the issue and that it would change its strategic focus from growth to cost savings.

And-Lobby groups for agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry in the United States are calling for UK standards to be changed in a post-Brexit trade deal.

The US meat lobby wants the sale of hormone-fed beef which is currently banned in the UK to be allowed as part of any trade deal.

US drugs firms also want changes to the UK National Health Service approval process to allow it to buy more American produced products.

Farming groups say that any deal should move away from  EU standards including rules governing genetically modified crops,antibiotics in meats as well as pesticides and herbicides including glyphosphate.

Sport

Football-Liverpool were the big beneficiaries in the English Premier League last night without kicking a ball as second placed Manchester City were beaten 2-1 a Newcastle.

In the other games Arsenal beat Cardiff 2-1.Fulham were 4-2 winners over Brighton.Huddersfield lost 1-0 at home to Everton.Wolves beat West Ham 3-0 and Manchester United and Burnley drew 2-2.

There are 4 more games tonight.Bournemouth play Chelsea.Southampton host Crystal Palace.Liverpool play Leicester and Spurs host Watford.

In the English Championship last night-Swansea and Birmingham drew 3-3 and Bolton and Reading drew 1-1.

There were two 4th round replays in the Scottish Cup last night.Aberdeen were 4-1 winners at Stenhousemuir and Queen of the South beat Dundee 3-0.

Formula 1-The sport’s Promoters’ Association has expressed concerns about the future  and demanded a more open approach from its owners.

The FOPA which represents 16 of the 21 races on the calendar says that it wants a “more collaborative approach from Formula 1”.

Circuits are concerned about the loss of free-to-air television coverage ,a lack of clarity over rules  and the methods that the sport’s owners are using to attract new races.

FOPA says that it feels that it is being ignored since Liberty Media took over in January 2017.

Rugby Union-The England centre Ben Te’o has been ruled out the first 6 Nations game against Ireland with a side strain.

Te’o picked up the injury during training in Portugal  and will not travel to Dublin.

Brad Shields is also unfit as is Joe Cokasinga.

Weather

Rain clearing away with sunny periods and a moderate to strong Mistral affecting the Var with gusts of up to 65 km/h.

Top temperature 10 degrees.

Overnight lows of 6 degrees on the coast and -1 degree inland with cloudy skies and wintry showers over the higher ground.

Thursday and Friday-Rain developing tomorrow with snow down to 600 meters continuing into Friday.Highs of 9-12 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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