French and Riviera News Thursday 30th January 2020

Local

Knife attack outside school in the Bouches du Rhone - Two 17-year-olds have been hospitalised following a knife attack outside of their high school in Vitrolles in the Bouches du Rhone. The attacker fled after seriously injuring one of the two. The incident is thought to have occurred after a fight broke out shortly after 4pm on Wednesday. An investigation is underway to find out the reasons for the attack.

Child on scooter hit by motorist - An 11-year-old girl has been taken to hospital in Antibes after being hit by a car while on her scooter. The accident occurred on the Avenue Jules-Grec at a pedestrian crossing .

Strikes against pension reform - Following Wednesday’s national strike action unions have since called for a new day of strikes against the pension reforms planned for February 6th.

Just over 108,000 people marched in France on Wednesday, according to the Interior Minister. A figure much lower than those of the previous seven national interprofessional days.

In Nice railway workers symbolically burnt their work clothes in front of Nice the railway station as part of the national day of protest against pension reforms. Estimates of numbers varied between the unions and the authorities. Unions put the number of people at 4,000 but police estimated about 800.

Areas of natural disaster - Many municipalities in the Alpes Maritimes have been recognised as areas of natural disaster following the floods and landslides that affected the region from last October until early December. They include Cagnes-sur-Mer, Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Pierrefeu, Antibes, Biot and Villeneuve-Loubet. Many coastal towns are also listed in the Official Journal published on Wednesday because of damage caused by high waves. They include Antibes, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cannes, Cap-d'Ail, Menton and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. In order to benefit from the statutory compensation scheme, those making a claim have 10 days from the date of publication to file an estimate of losses with their insurance companies.

Aladin new geolocation app - A new geolocation app designed for autistic people by a business manager from Draguignan has been presented to the general public. Named “Aladin” the app is not yet marketed, but it hopes to revolutionise the lives of parents, allowing them to establish if necessary, a perimeter beyond which the child has no right to go and also being able to locate their child. The app could also potentially be used to help Alzheimer patients and the blind.

168 million euros for hospitals in Marseille - The French Ministry of Health has confirmed that the heavily indebted hospitals of Marseille are to benefit from a state support of 168 million euros. The move will see the renovation of the biggest hospital in Marseille and the 3rd University hospital in France La Timone which has 15,000 employees.

French rugby players visit children’s ward at L’Archet – Meanwhile the French rugby team has visited the children’s ward at the Archet hospital in Nice. The players who are currently training in the Riviera capital took the opportunity, on their day off on Wednesday to meet the children. The team have been in Nice since January 19th and will leave today in time for their meeting of the Six Nations Tournament on Sunday against England at the Stade de France. Kickoff is at 4pm.

Michelin guide - The famous Michelin guide unveiled its 2020 selection this week and if the Chantecler, Negresco restaurant loses a star, Pure & V in Nice is one of the winners with the restaurant receiving its first star.

The restaurant, located at 15 rue Bottero opened in May 2018 and Chef Mads Thomson is Danish and is associated with Vanessa Massé, the owner and sommelier.

Offering local and sourced products. 90% of the products are of organic origin and cultivated within a radius of 100 km.

Six other restaurants in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region received a star in 2020 “La Flibuste-Martin's” in Villeneuve loubet, “Chateau de la Gaude” in Aix en Provence, “La Magdeleine” in Gemenos, “Le Mas Bottero” in Saint Cannet, “The Tree in the Sun” in Le Lavandou and “The Old Fountain” in Avignon.

National

Coronavirus – A fifth case of coronavirus has been identified in France. The other confirmed patients in France are a 48-year-old Chinese Frenchman hospitalised in Bordeaux, an 80-year-old Chinese tourist and a Chinese couple (a 31-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman), all three hospitalised in Bichat. France’s health minister Agnes Buzyn announced that a first plane would leave France on Wednesday evening for Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic which has left 132 dead to date in China, to bring back "around 200" French nationals wishing to be repatriated.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus which has now spread outside of China, the flow of Chinese tourists to Paris has all but dried-up putting specialist outlets in financial difficulty as travellers postpone their trips amid fears of contamination.

With 2 million visitors to France per year, China represents a significant share of the tourism market and are seen as the biggest spenders.

Roman Polanski - Film director Roman Polanski has sparked outrage in France after receiving 12 nominations for the César awards for French cinema. Polanski's film An Officer and a Spy, or J'accuse in French, swept the nomination list at the awards, which are the French equivalent of the Oscars.

The Polish-French director fled the US after his rape conviction in the 1970s. He has since faced other accusations of sexual assault.

 

Business

The US Federal Reserve has kept interest rates on hold at its first policy meeting of the year.

The central bank pointed to continued moderate economic growth and a strong job market and gave no signal of any imminent changes in borrowing costs.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that he believed that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate to support sustained economic growth, a strong labor market and inflation returning to the 2 percent objective.

He added that global economic growth is stabilising and that there are diminishing concerns around trade policy-both of which were key factors in the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates three times last year.

 

Facebook has recorded its first annual fall in profits for 5 years as efforts to respond to privacy and content concerns took a toll on the firm’s bottom line.

Facebook which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp said that profits had slipped by 16 percent last year to 18.4 billion dollars.

The firm’s advertising business continues to grow though with revenue up 27 percent last year.

Shares in Facebook fell by 6 percent on the news.

The company has been facing criticism over its handling of fake news and has been trying to beef up privacy protections and content moderation across its platforms.

US regulators fined Facebook 5 billion dollars last year to settle privacy concerns.

 

And-The famous British motorcycle company Norton has gone into administration.

The firm has been struggling to pay a tax bill and faced a winding-up order.

Norton was founded in 1898 and is one of the last remaining British motorbike brands.

Around 100 jobs at the firm’s Castle Donington factory are under threat with administrators BDO called in to look at the assets and protect creditors’ interests.

Norton started making motorbikes in 1902 and became associated with races such as the Isle of Man TT.

Among its most famous brands are the Dominator and Commando while its Interpol bikes were used by UK police in the 1980’S.

Vintage models are now considered as collectors items.

 

Sport

Tennis-The American 14th seed Sofia Kenin has stunned home favourite and top seed Ashleigh Barty by beating her in the semi final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Kenin reached her first Grand Slam final with a 7-6 7-5 victory to prevent Barty becoming the first home woman to reach the Australian Open final in 40 years.

She’ll now play either Simona Halep or Garbine Muguruza in Saturday’s final.

Later today ,the first men’s semi final is being played between old adversaries Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Football-Manchester City will play Aston Villa in the English League Cup Final.

City lost 1-0 on the night at home to Manchester United but they’d done enough in the first leg and took the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Liverpool have extended their lead at the top of the English Premier League to 19 points following a 2-0 win at West Ham last night.

Jurgen Klopp’s side need just 8 more victories to secure their first ever Premier League title.

There were 2 games in the Scottish Premiership last night.Rangers beat Ross County 2-0 and the leaders Celtic were 3-0 winners at St Johnstone.

Formula 1 says that its monitoring the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China and is in close contact with the organisers of the Chinese Grand Prix.

The race is due to take place in April and Formula 1 says that it’s waiting to see how the situation develops.

The last Grand Prix to be cancelled as a result of an emergency situation in the host country was the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011 after protests erupted as part of the Arab Spring.

Rugby Union-England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie is doubtful for Sunday’s 6 Nations Opener after leaving the training camp in Portugal for family reasons.

Tom Dunn could make his debut in France as a result and the Saracens’ hooker Jack Singleton is on standby.

Meanwhile the England defence coach John Mitchell has warned the squad about the danger posed by the hot France property Virimi Vakatawa who’s scored 7 tries in top 14 and European action for his club side Racing 92 and has been in startling form recently.

Weather

Mainly fine with light variable or westerly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 15-16 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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