French and Riviera News Monday 16th December 2019


Strike - Due to the strike, the region’s rail network has announced several cancellations and delays today with only three out of ten trains running in the Alpes Maritimes.

As the strike continues with unions threatening to continue action until the government withdraws its pension reform negotiations are planned on Thursday and Friday between union officials and the government to try and reach an agreement.

A national day of strike is planned for tomorrow Tuesday 17th December affecting transport and schools. Meanwhile more the 600 French hospital doctors have threatened to resign if the government does not increase health funding. The doctors warn that budget cuts, bed closures and staff shortages are bringing France’s health system to the brink of collapse and putting patients’ lives at risk.

Weather - Météo France has warned of another “Mediterranean episode” to hit the region on Friday and over the weekend with heavy rainfall forecast. The Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has said that the city will “prepare” ahead of the weather warning. November was a record month in the Alpes-Maritimes with 17 days of rain recorded in Nice.

The French Housing Federation announced last week that over 42,000 claims have been received in respect of the floods that hit the Alpes-Maritimes and Var at the end of November and the beginning of December. The total cost of insured damage is provisionally estimated at 390 million euros.

Meanwhile on Sunday flood warnings were still in place across eleven departments in south-western France after heavy rains and violent winds killed two people and cut off electricity in about 70,000 homes.

Climbers resuced by helicopter - Two young climbers in their twenties have been rescued by helicopter after getting into difficulty in Saint-Jeannet. Rescue services intervened on Sunday evening around 6pm after the climbers became stranded.  

Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation signs partnership with Peace and Sport - The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has signed a partnership with Peace and Sport joining forces to promote sporting activities for children. The collaboration will increase the importance of the Foundation’s “sport and education” programme which uses sporting activities to contribute to the wellbeing and development of all children regardless of their background or circumstances.

In addition, the symbolic “#White Card” Campaign which promotes peace through sport will be proposed to the participants of the Saint Devote Tournament which is to be held on May 9th next year here in Monaco. 240 players aged under 12 from different countries are expected to take part. This strong alliance will allow the development of additional activities dedicated to youths across the globe.

Secondly, the partnership will integrate the “Learn to Swim” and “Water Safety” programmes, into the globally deployed Peace & Sports’ projects. Since its creation in 2012 and thanks to its three programmes – “Learn to Swim”, “Water Safety” and “Sport & Education” – more than 680,000 people, mainly children, benefited from the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation’s actions in 34 countries.


Nouvelle Vague film star Anna Karina dies - Tributes have poured in for the Nouvelle Vague film star Anna Karina who died on Saturday from cancer at the age of 79. Born in 1940 in Denmark, she fled in the late 1950s to Paris where she initially found work as a singer. She later married French film director Jean Luc Godard and starred in several of his films including "Pierrot le fou".


The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said that the “phase 1” trade deal with China will see US exports nearly double over the next two years and is “totally done” despite the need for translations and revisions to the text.

Speaking on CBS Television on Sunday ,Mr Lighthizer said that there would be some routine “scrubs” to the text but that the deal was “done ,totally”.

A date for senior Chinese and US representatives to sign the text is yet to be fixed but is expected to go ahead.

Under the terms which were announced on Friday ,Beijing will reduce tariffs on some US goods while pledging to increase purchases of US agricultural ,manufactured and energy products by some 200 billion dollars over the next two years.

China has also agreed to better protect US intellectual property and curb the coerced transfer of American technology to Chinese firms. Beijing has also promised to open its financial services market to US firms and to avoid the manipulation of its currency.


Walt Disney is to launch its Disney+ service on Vivendi’s pay-TV business Canal+ platform in France by the end of March.

Executives from the two groups made the announcement on Sunday in the French Les Echos publication.

Traditional media firms such as Canal+ have been under pressure to beef up their content as they face competition from streaming services such as Netflix.

The chief executive of Canal+ Maxime Saada said that the exclusive partnership is a new major step in the transformation of the Canal+ model.

It’s not yet been revealed how much Canal+ will charge subscribers for the new Disney+ service.

Data released on Friday suggests that around 28 million customers in 5 countries have so far signed up for Disney+ since its launch on the 12th of November.


And-The firm due to take over British Steel says that its confident it will win approval for the deal in the new year.

The statement released by China’s Jingye came after several newspapers reported that the rescue bid could collapse.

Jingye said that it was continuing to make progress in securing the necessary approvals to complete the transaction following the signing of an agreement on the 10th of November.

Jingye agreed to buy British Steel for 50 million pounds last month which should result in some 4,000 jobs being saved.


Cricket-Ben Stokes has been named the BBC Sports Personality of the year.

The England all-rounder was man of the match as his side won the World Cup against New Zealand at Lord’s and also hit an unbeaten 135 in the one-wicket third Ashes Test against Australia at Headingly.

6 time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton finished second in the public vote while the sprinter Dina Asher-Smith was third.

Stokes is the first cricketer since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to win the award.

Football-There were 3 games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton.Spurs were 2-1 winners at Wolves and Arsenal lost 3-0 at home to Manchester City.

There’s one game tonight.Crystal Palace play Brighton in the A23 derby.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Rangers were 2-0 winners at Motherwell while Celtic maintained their 2 point lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Hibs.

In the FA Women’s Super League on Sunday Everton lost 3-1 at home to Arsenal.Manchester City thrashed Brighton 5-0.Liverpool and Chelsea drew 1-1 and Reading beat Spurs 3-1.

Rugby Union-There were 2 games in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.Exeter moved towards a place in the quarter finals with a 35-10 win over Sale in Pool 2  while Clermont Auvergne thrashed Bath 52-26 in Pool 3.

Boxing-Tyson Fury has parted company with his trainer Den Davison after two years together.

The Fury camp had been critical of Davison following the victory over Otto Wallin in Las Vegas in October .He also oversaw Fury’s draw with Deontay Wilder in December 2018.

Fury is set to fight Wilder again on the 22nd of  February.


Quite cloudy with some sunny periods and moderate to strong easterly winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees with cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Similar with the chance of some rain on Wednesday afternoon.Highs of 15-17 degrees.


















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