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French Riviera Local News.Monday 19th November 2018

 

Fuel protests-The ‘Gilets Jaune’ or Yellow Vests protest against government fuel protests and a general malaise against consumer spending power has been causing numerous problems for motorists around the region over the weekend.

Initially planned for Saturday,protests spilled over into Sunday in some areas,with motorway and main access roads blocked by demonstrators.

More than 400 people were injured during the protests,14 seriously and one person was killed in the Savoie department on Saturday.

Organisers are promising further protests in the run-up to Christmas.

The French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that some 288,000 people had taken part in the protests  and 157 had been taken into custody.

There are no protests planned for today although there could be some unorganised pockets of disrpution.

 

Retail sales affected-Many shopping centres and large supermarkets have reported lower than normal numbers of shoppers over the weekend as the “gilets jaune” protests resulted in many people staying off the roads.

Supermarket carparks were largely empty in many areas on Saturday on the main day of the protests as retailers suffered in the busy run-up to Christmas.

Retailers reported better numbers on Sunday although sales were still down compared with a normal day of Sunday trading.

 

High winds-High winds over the weekend forced authorities to close the coast road between Antibes and Marina Baie des Anges with a large sea swell slopping water and debris onto the road.

In Menton,a sailing boat broke up and ended up on the beach at les Sablettes.Authorities have erected an anti-pollution boom around the remains in case of an oil spill.

 

Fete du Prince-Today marks Monaco’s national holiday or “fete du Prince” with workers given a day off and many celebrations and ceremonies taking place across the Principality.

The day starts with a service at Monaco Cathedral which will be attended by the Princely family.

Later there will be a parade and concert on the place du Palais and the festivities conclude with a  firework display tonight.

 

In National News.

 

Macron in Germany-President Macron has told the German Parliament  that France and Germany must “push  to make Europe a stronger and more confident global player that could prevent chaos on the world stage”.

Mr Macron wants stronger backing from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a range of reforms to strengthen Europe.

He said that “Europe and the Franco-German couple within it have the obligation not to let the world slip into chaos and to guide it on the road to peace”.

The French leader was speaking at a ceremony to honour the victims of past wars and dictatorships and became the first French President to address the Bundestag for 18 years.

 

Meanwhile,a new opinion poll has shown that Mr Macron’s popularity has sunk to 25 percent.

The poll,carried out by Ifop and published in the Journal du Dimanche Newspaper came a day after the nationwide “gilets jaune” fuel protests which political analysts say have come to represent widespread frustration with the French President.

The poll represents a fall of 4 points in Mr Macron’s popularity on the previous poll in October.

34 percent of those questioned  were “mostly dissatisfied” with Mr Macron while 39 percent said that they were “very dissatisfied”.

 

Deformed babies-The epidemiologist who raised the alarm over clusters of French babies born with missing upper limbs has welcomed the government’s decision to set up a national scientific committee to find the cause.

Emmanuelle Amar said that the move,announced by the French Health Ministry had vindicated her work after she said that she had been “dragged through the dirt” for raising the issue.

The doctor,who runs the independent Remera Health Registry in the Rhone-Alpes region was told after going public with her concerns that the organisation would have its funding withdrawn and that she and her team would lose their jobs.

The government has now withdrawn the threat pending an investigation.

Emmanuelle Amar raised the alarm after 8 cases were reported of babies being born without hands or arms in the Rhone-Alpes region.A further 11 cases have since come to light.

 

Business.

 

An Asian economic summit has ended without a formal leaders' statement for the first time because of US-China divisions over trade.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said "the two big giants in the room" had been unable to agree.

He said a chairman's statement for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit would be released later.

The US and China are engaged in trade war and revealed competing visions for the region at the summit.

In his closing comments, Mr O'Neill said Apec would try to ensure "free and open trade" in the region by 2020.

 

Nespresso, part of food giant Nestle, aims to use sustainable aluminum in all of its coffee capsules by 2020 under a deal with mining major Rio Tinto announced on Monday.

Both companies have faced criticism for adding to pressure on the planet, with campaigners saying Nespresso coffee machines are wasteful and many of the used capsules end up in landfill.

Under the deal, Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto will supply aluminum produced with renewable power and respect for biodiversity to Nespresso, the world leader in the coffee pod market.

The companies are seeking to position themselves as sustainable to boost their investor and customer appeal, and Nespresso has committed to 100 percent sustainable aluminum for its capsules by 2020, Rio Tinto said in a statement released this morning.Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said last month that miners needed new partnerships as the sector competes for talent and seeks to improve its image.

 

And-The British Prime Minister Theresa May has told her critics that getting rid of her as PM would not make delivering Brexit any easier.

Mrs May defended last week's draft agreement for leaving the EU and said there was a "critical" week ahead.

She suggested agreeing more details of UK's future relationship with the EU, ahead of an expected summit next week, could satisfy the concerns of some of the Tory MPs opposed to her plans.

Ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was being "bullied" by the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party could get a better deal in time for Brexit, which is due to happen on 29 March.

Sport.

 

Football-England and Switzerland have made the last 4 of the Uefa Nations League following the final round of group games.

England came from behind to beat Croatia 2-1 at Wembley while Switzerland stunned Belgium 5-2 thanks to a second half hat-trick from Haris Seferovic.

Switzerland will now play the hosts Portugal in the semi-finals next June while England will meet the winner of whoever progresses between France and the Netherlands.

 

 

Cricket-England have wrapped up the Test series against Sri Lanka with a 57 run victory in the second Test in Kandy.

It’s the first time that England have won a series in Sri Lanka for 17 years and they take a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three match series.

 

Tennis-Alexander Zverev has shocked world number one Novak Djokovic with victory in ATP Tour Finals in London.

Zverev came out 6-4 6-3  winner to dent Djokovics’ end to the year and carry off the 2 million pounds prize money.

 

Rugby Union-The Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has laughed off claims that his side are now the favourites for next year’s World Cup in Japan.

Ireland scored their first ever home victory over New Zealand with a wonderful display of rugby in Dublin on Saturday night.

The All Blacks coach Steve Hanson said afterwards that Ireland would be leading contenders to win the World Cup but Schimdt said that his comments were “just a bit of banter”.

 

Golf-Francesco Molinari has won the Race to Dubai after defending champion Tommy Fleetwood failed to win the season ending DP World Tour Championship.

Fleetwood ended eight shots behind winner Danny Willett meaning that the Open champion Molinari was confirmed as European number one.

The 36 year old said that it was “more than I ever dreamed of achieving”.

Weather

Partially cloudy with a moderate easterly wind developing across the region. Top temperatures 12-13 degrees celsius.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and 2 degrees inland with some frost in places and  partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday –Partially cloudy tomorrow with highs of 12-14 degrees.Rain on Wednesday with a high of 14.

Finally.

A group of Russian history buffs was surprised to find a reminder of Soviet resistance to the Nazi invasion in the form of an improvised minefield near a busy road.

Members of a club devoted to the history of the nearby Krasnaya Gorka military fort almost stumbled across the makeshift mines in a quiet stretch of woodland not far from St Petersburg.

Club chairman Alexander Senotrusov said Soviet forces stationed at Krasnaya Gorka had no mines with which to block German tanks on their way to Leningrad in 1941, so they improvised explosives from pre-revolutionary naval shells and laid them out in rows around the fort.

"One pound of pressure, and up you go," he said.

"It's a miracle that there's not been a tragedy here in nearly 80 years," - all the more so as local people have been coming across occasional shells for seven years while out mushroom-picking.

 

 

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