French and Riviera News Wednesday 4th September 2019

Local 

Violence in front of college in Saint Laurent du Var - Five teenagers from Paris have been placed in police custody for noisily demonstrating in front of the college Saint-Exupéry in Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Some students reported that the young people uttered violent, terrorist words such as "I'm going to kill you". Students were confined inside the college for safety reasons.

Two young girls arrested for burglaries - Two young girls have been arrested in Saint-Raphael in the Var suspected of committing several burglaries in the area over the last month. Both Italian nationals they are thought to be living in a camp between Aix and Marseille.

 Man arrested with a knife - A man with a knife has been arrested after assaulting his girlfriend in Cannes la Bocca on Tuesday morning. According to local reports, the police alerted a police patrol after seeing the man physically attacking his girlfriend in a car. Local police tracked the car by video surveillance through Cannes and brought the vehicle to a halt. The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, has congratulated municipal employees for their intervention.

Criminal investigation - The public prosecutor in Grasse has opened a criminal investigation for murder  in the case of Salome, the 21-year-old woman whose body was found in Cagnes-sur-Mer at the weekend. The 26-year-old partner of the woman is in custody and reportedly denies being "the perpetrator of violence". On Tuesday evening, about one hundred people gathered in front of the Cagnes-sur-Mer train station to pay tribute to Salome. Other gatherings are being planned, including on Thursday at noon at Cagnes-sur-Mer and Place Garibaldi in Nice on Saturday.

Meanwhile a national forum - or grenelle - on domestic violence has been launched in Paris. The forum which opened on Tuesday will see over 80 participants including ten ministers among which will be Marlène Schiappa, the minister for equality. Police officers, lawyers and various association representatives are also taking part in the event, and families of victims of feminicides will attend too.

Ahead of the official opening of the Grenelle domestic violence on Tuesday French President Emmanuel Macron was at the Paris headquarters of 3919, the helpline for victims of domestic violence. While observing officers answering calls he overheard a police officer refuse to help a woman in distress who had just filed a complaint for threats from her husband. The scene visibly annoyed the President of the Republic and led to representatives of the helpline pointing out that in some cases police officers are unable to assist as there is no law in France’s criminal code making it possible. 

National

Emergency services - France’s emergency services have been on strike for the last six months, with personnel at breaking point. The new measures announced by the health minister on 2 September are seen by doctors’ representatives as too minor to make a real difference. There are 637 hospitals and clinics across France, and emergency services say they can no longer deal with the ever-rising number of patients, with less staff and less hospital beds than before.

Banksy - A mural by famous artist Banksy has been stolen from outside the Pompidou Centre in central Paris. The artwork, depicting a rat with a face mask holding a penknife, was taken from its location on the back of a road sign on Sunday. Police have launched an investigation. Past Banksy pieces have sold at auction for over £1m. This artwork, which appeared in June last year, was protected behind glass.

Gare du Nord - Leading French architects have attacked the planned glass renovation of the Gare du Nord rail station in Paris, warning that the project to create a vast shopping space is “unacceptable”, “indecent” and a “serious offence to transport users”. The award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel as well as historians and town planners wrote an open letter to Le Monde saying the €600m renovation plan to create a glass structure – with tens of thousands of square metres of shops, walkways, split-levels and 105 escalators – was a “serious urban error” that would deform the historic building, fail Parisians and visitors.

 

Business 

Sterling has made gains on the foreign exchanges after the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was defeated in a House of Commons vote and the governing Conservatives lost their overall majority in Parliament.

The first sitting day of the House of Commons since the summer recess started badly for Mr Johnson as one of his MP’s ,Phillip Lee crossed the floor and joined the Liberal Democrats to remove his majority and then the government was defeated by a rebel alliance of opposition parties and moderate Conservatives who voted to seize control of Parliamentary business in a bid to rush through legislation barring a no deal exit from the European Union and requiring the Prime Minister to request a 3 month extension to the 31st of October deadline from Brussels.

The pound rose to above 1 US dollar 20 and 1 euro 10 cents on the news after having earlier slipped to its lowest level since October 2016.

Mr Johnson says that he won’t be the Prime Minister who asks Brussels to extend the exit deadline and says that the government will table a motion calling for a general election.

However ,under the Fixed Term Parliament act ,he requires a two thirds majority of MP’s voting in favour which may not be easy as the opposition parties don’t trust him not to shift the date of an election to suit his own purposes which could yet see the UK crash out of Europe without a deal.

The pound is expected to remain extremely volatile over the coming days.

 

The retailer Marks and Spencer is expected to be relegated from the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s biggest listed companies today for the first time since the index was launched in 1984.

Marks and Spencer has had a tough year with its shares down by 40 percent.

The firm’s clothing business has continued to struggle  and its food business has been showing signs of weakness.

The FTSE 100 index is reshuffled four times a year  which allows a handful of firms to enter while the weaker firms slip out to the lower tier FTSE 250.

Marks and Spencer has been close to being relegated for some time as investors are steadily losing faith in the brand.The change will take effect from the 23rd of September.

 

And-The Chinese tech giant Huawei has accused the US government of “using every tool at its disposal” to disrupt its business.

The firm says that Washington has launched cyber-attacks to infiltrate its networks and was threatening its employees.

It did not provide any evidence for its allegations.

US officials are yet to respond.

Huawei was placed on a US trade blacklist earlier this year  and has become the centrepiece of the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

Sport

Cricket-The 4th Ashes Test between England and Australia gets underway at Old Trafford today with the home side looking to carry through the momentum from Ben Stokes’ magnificent batting performance which gave them an improbable victory in the third Test at Headingly last month.

Steve Smith returns for Australia after missing the last match with concussion and he’s likely to be the key man again if the tourists are to build a big score.

Play is due to start at noon French time.The weather in Manchester doesn’t look great for the next three days and rain interruptions are highly likely.

Tennis-Roger Federer has suffered a shock defeat in the quarter finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows after being beaten in a late night thriller by Grigor Dimitrov.

Dimitrov came through in 5 sets 3-6 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2 with Federer needing treatment on a back injury in the closing stages.

Dimitrov will now play Daniil Medvedev in the last 4.

In the women’s vote Serena Williams cruised past Wang Qiang of China 6-1 6-0 to reach the last 4 and underline her strong credentials to win the tournament.

Rugby Union-Henry Slade of England may go to the World Cup without having played in any of the warmup games as he struggles with a knee injury.

Slade trained separately from the rest of the squad on Tuesday and is unlikely to feature in England’s final warmup game against Italy on Friday.

He hasn’t played any international Rugby since March but England insist that they’re happy with his recovery.

The England squad will fly out to Japan on Sunday.

Cycling-Primoz Roglic has eased to victory in stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana after winning the individual time trial.

The Jumba-Visna rider put in a time of 47 minutes 5 seconds on the winding 36.2 kilometer route between Jurancon and Pau in southern France and is now 1 minute 52 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde in second.

Weather

Fine in coastal areas-occasional showers inland with light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 27-30 degrees.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Fine in coastal areas tomorrow-showers inland.Showers and scattered thunderstorms on Friday.Highs of 27-31 degrees tomorrow,24-26 degrees on Friday.

Finally 

A disgruntled labourer has admitted smashing his digger into the reception of a Travelodge after his employers refused to pay him over Christmas.

John Manley ploughed the vehicle into the front of the hotel on January 21, the day the building was due to be completed.

The incident, which was filmed by several witnesses on mobile phones, saw the digger mount the hotel steps and enter the lobby through its glass entrance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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