French and Riviera News Thursday 27th January 2022

News

Strike action - Due to a national strike across France today Thursday 27th January, disruptions are expected on transport networks and in some schools. Several unions have called for action against poor wages and working conditions. According to the SNCF between 33% and 90% of trains will be running depending on the lines. Due to the strike action no trams will be running in Nice and very few buses will be circulating. Passengers are advised to check on the SNCF and the Ligne d'Azur website.

Health agency warns of rise in covid deaths in the Alpes Maritimes - The regional health agency for the Alpes Maritimes has warned of a rise in the number of covid deaths in the region's hospitals. Figures have shown an increase since the beginning of January with 176 deaths since January 1st, which is already 40% more than in December. It is also higher than the total number of deaths due to covid in the Alpes Maritimes last October, November and December.

138 new cases of covid in Monaco – Meanwhile 138 new cases of covid have been identified in Monaco on Wednesday bringing the total number of residents affected to 7,928. Sixty-four people are currently in hospital and 365 are being followed by the Home Monitoring centre.

Drug network dismantled in Toulon - Following nine months of investigation police in Toulon have dismantled a drug network. 53 kilos of cannabis and 19,000 euros in cash were discovered as several arrests were made in the western district of the city.

Napoleon's landing cancelled once again - The festivities related to the landing of Napoleon have once again been cancelled. The event was due to take place on March the 5th and 6th in Vallauris-Golfe-Juan. The city council has said that "there are still too many uncertainties concerning the health situation". The last festivities of its kind were held in 2018.

Victorine studios in Nice - The Victorine studios in Nice is continuing its development in a new collaboration with the Nice Conservatory and the Cours Florent from this Spring. The new courses will be open to all from 17 years of age and will take place between April and August. In recent months the studio has worked on several important partnerships including most recently with Amazon Prime.

National

"Good signal" following meeting on Russia and Ukraine - France and Germany have said that they got a "good signal" following a European diplomatic meeting on Wednesday January 26th in Paris held in an attempt to lower tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Russian, Ukranian, French and German negotiators met at midday in the French capital to try to defuse the crisis after a series of talks between Russia and the US last week. France's head of state Emmanuel Macron spoke of a "good signal" from the Russians even if the meeting was "difficult". Russia and Ukraine will continue their discussions with France and Germany in two weeks in Berlin.

Arrests made related to fake health passes – Thirteen people suspected of participating in a network which established more than 60,000 falsified health passes have been arrested in Lyon and Paris. This network is suspected of having created more than 62,000 fake certificates by impersonating the digital identity of 35 doctors across France.

Origin of meat to be indicated in restaurants from March 1st - The origin of all meat served in French restaurants as well as school and company canteens must be indicated from March 1st. The obligation has only concerned beef since 2002 and will now apply to all meats. The packaging must specify the country of breeding and the country of slaughter. It will also be necessary to mention whether it is fresh, chilled, frozen or deep-frozen meat. According to France's Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie, this will notably make it possible to improve the quality of the meat served to children in school canteens. According to figures from the ministry, 50% of the meat consumed in school canteens is imported. This is the case for 60% of meat in collective catering.

Wordle - You may be one of many who now plays Wordle every morning however on Wednesday Twitter suspended an account which insulted players of the new famous word game along with revealing the answer to the next day's game. The online word game, which offers only one puzzle per day, has conquered millions of people. The twitter profile was suspended for violating Twitter's rules on automated profiles and for sending unwanted 'mentions'.

Business

The US Federal Reserve has announced that it intends to raise interest rates as it starts to unwind the support that it's given to the economy since the start of the pandemic.

The Fed left interest rates on hold at near zero on Wednesday but said that an upward move would "soon be appropriate".

The central bank is under pressure to bring inflation under control with prices in the United States rising at their fastest rate in nearly 40 years.

A first rate hike is expected in March and would be the first since 2018.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has not said how far or how fast that rates will rise but he said that officials were "of a mind" to raise the bank's key rate in March adding that he was confident that action could be taken without hurting the economy.

Higher interest rates help to cool inflation by reducing demand for goods such as cars and homes but investors are concerned that the move could stifle economic activity more than intended and also have a negative effect on equities.

The chief executive of Tesla has said that he expects sales will grow by more than 50 percent this year compared with 2021 despite supply problems.

The news came as Tesla announced record earnings of 55.5 billion dollars last year with sales rising by a jaw-dropping 71 percent to 53.8 billion.

Elon Musk says that 2021 was a breakthrough year for Tesla and for electric cars in general.

The firm has warned that growth will slow this year as supply chain issues continue to affect manufacturing capacity but he added that he was confident that expansion will be "comfortably above" 50 percent.

And-Oil prices have fallen this morning as investors cashed in profits from the 2 percent gain in Wednesday's session after the US Federal Reserve indicated a rate hike in March.

Oil futures have pulled back amid a broader decline in financial markets triggered by the near certainty of an interest rate rise and a surge in the US dollar.

Oil markets have surged amid growing tensions between Ukraine and Russia ,the world's second largest producer.

Brent Crude futures were down by 0.3 percent a little earlier at 89 dollars 65 with West Texas Intermediate down 0.3 percent at 87 dollars 09 cents.

Analysts say that they expect the market to continue to rise as the Ukraine situation support prices and that the falls today are little more than a technical correction.

Sport

Tennis-The women's semi-finals at the Australian Open are being played today with world number one Ash Barty up against Madison Keys and Daniella Collins facing Iga Swiatek.

On Wednesday ,the men's semi final lineup was completed. Matteo Berrettini will play Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev meets Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Football-There was one game in the English Championship last night. West Brom lost 2-0 at home to Preston.

In the Scottish Premiership Dundee United beat Ross County 2-1.Celtic were 2-1 winners at Hearts.Motherwell and Hibs drew 0-0.Rangers beat Livingston 1-0 and St Johnstone and Dundee drew 0-0.

Cricket-West Indies have beaten England by 20 runs in the third T20 international in Barbados to take a 2-1 lead in the five match series.

West Indies made 224-5 from their 20 overs with Rovman Powell making a magnificent 107.

In reply ,England could only manage 204 for 9 leaving them 20 runs short.

Rugby Union-The England captain Owen Farrell has been ruled out of the entire 6 Nations tournament with an ankle injury.

The 30 year old has not played since limping off with an ankle injury during England's win over Australia in November.He was due to make his comeback for Saracens last weekend but injured his other ankle in training which will require surgery.

Wales say that Alun Wyn Jones may return before the end of the 6 Nations after making good progress with a shoulder injury which he picked up before the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

The 36 year old had been expected to miss the entire tournament but coach Wayne Pivac says there's now an outside chance that he could be fit for the latter stages of the tournament.

And-Ireland's Iain Henderson may miss the first 6 Nations match after being unable to train this week owing to an ankle injury.

The Ulster lock is the only doubt for Ireland's opener against Wales on February the 5th but coach Andy Farrell says that the situation is being monitored.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable winds.

Top temperatures 12-14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 4-6 degrees on the coast and -2 degree inland with partially cloudy  skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 12-15 degrees.

And Finally 

A political party which is centred on beer and originally started as a joke in order to bypass covid rules limiting gatherings, has turned into a “real party with a mission”. Le Parti de la Bière launched on January 4th is made up of 51 members who want to promote artisanal jobs and local distribution as well as raise concerns over hardships encountered in the industry. The party is now planning new political meetings every Friday and its president Virginie Maréchal has even suggested that candidates could represent the party in the next elections. Each French person consumes an average of thirty litres of beer per year, placing France in last place in Europe.

 

 

 

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