French and Riviera News Wednesday 4th December 2019

Local

Mayor of Nice accuses French state of being “responsible” for flooding - The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has accused the state of being “responsible" for the recent floods which have hit the South of France pointing the finger at the state’s management of urban planning. Speaking to French media Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, President of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis and Deputy President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region declared that the “state was responsible and not the local communities” and called  for a “reduction in the use of concrete in urban areas”.

Arrests made in connection to murder - Fourteen people have been arrested and placed in police custody following an investigation into the murder of a 44-year-old convicted criminal  in Tanneron in the Var last February. The victim had been on the run since 2017 and was reportedly known to police for several armed robberies and drug trafficking and had been sentenced in 2014 to 15 years in prison by the criminal court in Grasse.  His body was discovered in February 2018 riddled with  bullet wounds. The investigation continues.

Toy collection for Christmas - Three luxury hotels in Nice have announced their participation in the collection of used toys ahead of festive period. Organised by the “Green Father Christmas of the Secours Populuaire” collections opened on Wednesday at the West-End Hotel, the Aston la Scala and the Hotel Beau Rivage. The initiative was created in 1976 by the charity toys can be dropped off from 9am to 6pm on Saturday 7th, Wednesday 11th and December 14th.

Strike - Preparations are underway across our region for a day of industrial action against pension reforms this Thursday. Railway workers, teachers, hospital staff, police, lawyers amongst others have announced that they will be taking to the streets across France on Thursday. At Nice Côte d’Azur airport delays and cancellation are expected, with Air France announcing the cancellation of 30% of its domestic flights. Motorists will be able to park for free as traffic wardens participate in the movement. It’s not yet clear how the strike will affect the postal service on a regional basis. Medical staff have planned to gather at Place Massena in Nice at 10am this morning. Europe 1 has reported that 3 of the 4 unions representing the EDF electricity service have called for strike action with the risk of power cuts, including some public buildings. Currently, over half of the schools in Nice are expected to be closed. And as is usual during industrial action, train services will begin to be disrupted from this evening. Timetables for Thursday are expected to be posted on the SNCF website,  www.sncf.com , from early evening. Bus services will be severely disrupted but some services will be running. Those services are listed on www.lignesdazur.com. It is not sure how long the strike action will last with some unions calling for it to be for an indefinite period.

Pollution - In the fight against pollution Nice city council has recently installed, on a trial basis, four cameras on the Promenade des Anglais which will count and classify the types of vehicles passing through, in particular heavy goods vehicles. The system already in use in Paris, Strasbourg and Grenoble aims to identify the most polluting vehicles. The move comes following the request from the mayor of Nice to France’s transport minister in 2017 wishing to create a low emission zone on the Promenade des Anglais as part of Nice being nominated for UNESCO’s World Heritage.

New head of Monte-Carlo Opera - Following a press conference held here in the Principality on Tuesday it’s been announced that Cecilia Bartoli will succeed Jean Louis Grinda as head of the Monte-Carlo Opera. Jean Louis Grinda has been director since July 2007. Cecilia Bartoli will become the first woman to lead the Monte Carlo Opera taking over on January 1st 2023.

MC Summer Concert – Meanwhile British born Norwegian DJ and record producer Alan Walker is to headline next year’s Monte-Carlo Summer Concert. Held on July 1st the “MC Summer Concert” is free and reserved for young Monegasques, residents, school children, or students in the Principality aged between 13 and 25 years old. The selection of local artist who will perform at the event is still to be announced.

National

France will retaliate - France has said it will retaliate against the United States after it threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion of French goods. The row over digital taxation started at the beginning of the year when the French parliament passed a law taxing US tech giants from Facebook to Google, because of concerns that US technology groups were unfairly avoiding taxes. The row escalated on Monday after the United States threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion of French goods, like sparkling wine, Roquefort cheese and handbags, claiming the digital tax singled out US firms. 

Meanwhile US President Donald Trump has accused French President Emmanuel Macron of being "nasty" for saying Nato was "brain dead". Trump is in London for a summit marking the Western military alliance's 70th anniversary. Trump said Nato served a great purpose, and the President’s remarks had been "very insulting". He also said he could see France "breaking off" from Nato, but did not explain why.

Wild boar - The killing of 158 wild boar in a single day's hunting in eastern France has sparked anger in the region and accusations of "carnage", even if the hunters were within their allowed quotas. Local officials said the hunters were within their rights as they had still not attained their quotas for the season of some 300 animals. Hunters in France insist that their practice is helpful to nature and is rooted in the country's traditions, even in the face of growing protests by animal rights groups.

Business

Asian shares have continued to slide this morning after President Trump said that a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the 2020 Presidential election.

After weeks of optimism that a phase one trade deal with China might be in sight ,Mr Trump poured cold water on the idea on Tuesday with fresh tariffs on Argentina and Brazil as well as proposed punitive tariffs on French exports rattling markets.

Analysts say that it takes just one or two negative comments from Mr Trump and bad feeling sets in again.

Speaking to reporters at the NATO summit in London on Tuesday ,President Trump said that there is “no deadline” for an agreement with China  and that in “some ways” he liked the idea of waiting until after next year’s election for a deal.

The US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday that if no substantial progress was made soon ,another round of duties on Chinese goods including mobile phones ,laptops and toys would come into effect on the 15th of December.

 

The co-founders of Google are to step down from running the online giant’s parent firm Alphabet.

Larry Page and Sergy Brin will leave their roles as Alphabet CEO and president but will remain on the board of the firm.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai will become the CEO of Alphabet as well with Page and Brin saying that they’re stepping down to concentrate on new projects.

Alphabet was formed in 2015 as part of corporate restructuring at Google.

The parent company was intended to make Google’s actions “clearer and more accountable” as it expanded from the internet into other areas such as self-driving cars.

 

And-The budget airline Easyjet is back in London’s FTSE 100 after a six month absence following a quarterly reshuffle of the leading City index.

Easyjet has been struggling with rising fuel prices and economic uncertainty but it’s share price has been boosted in recent months by rising passenger numbers ,the addition of more aircraft and a closer focus on costs.

Easyjet shares closed at 13 pounds and 07 pence on Tuesday-an 18 percent increase for the year so far.

The airline has also benefitted from problems at its competitors including the collapse of Thomas Cook and strikes at Ryanair and British Airways.

Sport

Football-There were 2 games in the English Premier League on Tuesday.Manchester City moved back up to second in the table following a 4-1 win at Burnley while Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 1-0.

In the English Premier League tonight Chelsea play Aston Villa.Leicester host Watford.Manchester United play Spurs.Southampton face Norwich.Wolves play West Ham and the leaders Liverpool play Everton.

Cricket-England have appointed Jeetan Patel as their spin-bowling consultant for the tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The former New Zealand off-spinner was part of the backroom team in their recent T20 win over the Black Caps.He’ll join up with England two days before the start of the first Test against South Africa on Boxing Day.

Motorsport-Formula E will be given world championship status from next season.

The 14 race all-electric series will be certified for the 2020-21 season following a vote by the sport’s governing body the FIA.

Formula 1 is currently the only other single-seater racing series currently acknowledged as a world championship.

The president of the FIA Jean Todt said that Formula E has been a great adventure and is going from strength to strength.

Weather

Mainly fine with moderate to strong north easterly winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy with highs of 14-16 degrees.

Finally

One lucky UK ticket-holder has scooped the entire £40 million EuroMillions jackpot. 

Tuesday's National Lottery EuroMillions winning numbers were : 32, 31, 38, 18, 48. The Lucky Stars were: 12, 04.

The winner will take home £40,957,696.60.

It means one fortunate individual has bagged themselves a life-changing sum of money, just weeks after Steve and Lenka Thompson won a incredible £105 million.

It's the seventh EuroMillions jackpot banked in the UK this year.

 

 

 

 

 

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