French and Riviera News Tuesday 4th February 2020

Local

Weather warning - Météo-France has issued a yellow weather alert for the Alpes Maritimes and Corsica with strong winds forecast and gusts of up to 110 km/h in coastal areas of the Var. The warning was put in place at 3am this morning and is expected to remain until 4pm this afternoon. In other parts of France the North east has been place on an orange alert due to the risk of flooding.

Meanwhile temperatures have hit a new record high for this time of year in the region especially inland where a high of 24 degrees was recorded on Monday. In Nice this morning the thermometer was already showing 17 degrees at 5.30am. It is not however expected to last with a cold spell soon on its way.

Strike action - Local public transport is once again expected to be badly affected by another day of national industrial action this Thursday. No trams will run in Nice and local buses will be disrupted but, as usual on strike days, on-street parking in Nice will be free.

Meanwhile strike action by lawyers in Nice and Grasse has been called "Historic" with many claiming that "It will take at least two to three years to make up for the delay caused by the industrial action"

And rubbish is overflowing in the French capital Paris and Marseille due to strike action from waste incineration sites in what is being described as "A very worrying ecological situation". The action looks set to continue. 

Vaccination - 4000 people working at a dry dock in the city of Marseille have been vaccinated after the discovery of a streptococcus infection that can lead to potentially deadly pneumonia and meningitis. 

According to the regional health agency some 15 vaccination teams were deployed in Marseille's maritime port on Monday to "protect workers that may have been contaminated on the site.

The health authorities were reportedly alerted last Thursday that several cases of infection had been reported among people working on the refurbishment of a cruise ship. Thirteen people have been diagnosed with the illness.

Lucky escape - An 80-year-old woman has had a lucky escape after falling into a drain which was under construction. The incident occurred in Menton on Monday afternoon. According to emergency services at the scene “the fall could have been more serious had she not been cushioned by a technician” who was at the time inside the pipeline.

National

‘Brexit deal’ residency cards – It’s been reported that from July a new website for applications for a special new 'Brexit deal' residency cards for Britons will be up and running following an announcement from the French government.

The French government announced on Monday that it had closed the website that it had previously created for Britons to apply for the ordinary 'third country citizen' residency cards that they would have required in the 'no-deal' scenario and is working on updating and modifying it. A revamped website will open from early July for applications for a card called titre de séjour ‘accord de retrait du Royaume-Uni de l’UE’(Brexit deal card), which is expected to be free of charge.

However, the government says Britons in France and their family members who had already applied via the ‘no-deal’ card site will not need to make a new online application. 

Pension reform bill - 71 French members of Parliament have started examining a controverisial pension reform bill.The opposition has submitted some 22,000 amendments. The 71 members have just two weeks to examine the 70 articles of the two pension reform bills which have fueled strikes and protests across France since 5 December 2019. The bills will then be subject to debate in Parliament on 17 February.

Coronavirus - A new hashtag has gained popularity in France in recent days as the Coronavirus spread from China to dozens of other countries. #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus or "I'm not a virus" reflects the increasing frustration of French-Asian citizens, who are facing a new wave of stigma and discrimination in the wake of the epidemic. This phenomenon is affecting not only citizens of Chinese descent but Asians as a whole. And it's not just happening online but also on public transport and in schools.

Business

The pound has fallen in value following comments from the British Prime Minister about a future trade deal with the European Union.

Boris Johnson says that he favours a Canada style free trade deal but that the UK would use the existing Withdrawal Agreement if they failed to reach terms.

Earlier on Monday ,the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that it’s “ambitious” trade deal required a “level playing field”.

The pound fell by 1.4 percent against the dollar following the two statements to 1 US dollar 30 and slipped by 1 percent against the euro to 1 euro 17.85 cents.

Analysts say that the foreign exchange market is likely to be nervous over the coming months as the two sides slug it out in a bid to find the most advantageous trade deal.

Businesses have warned that failure to reach a deal could hamper investment.

 

Shares in Alphabet ,the parent company of Google have slipped after it published details of its YouTube and cloud business for the first time.

Alphabet said that advertising sales at YouTube rose by 31 percent year-on-year in the final quarter of 2019 while overall its revenue increased by 17 percent-the slowest rate in more than 2 years.

The figures show that while YouTube is growing rapidly ,Alphabet’s cloud business is lagging its rivals.

The firm’s shares fell by more than 4 percent in after-hours trade.

 

And-The UK’s aviation industry is promising to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

The industry group Sustainable Aviation says that cleaner engines,new fuels and planting trees will all help to meet the target.

The group says that airlines will be able to cut pollution even with passenger numbers growing by an expected 70 percent.

However, campaigners say that the only way to cut emissions is by reducing air travel and cancelling new airports and runways.They want to see more railways and buses take up the slack and for a green tax to be applied to frequent fliers.

Sport

Football-There are 5 FA Cup 4th round replays in England tonight.

Birmingham play Coventry.Cardiff face Reading.Derby face Northampton.Liverpool play Shrewsbury and Oxford United play Newcastle.

Cricket-The first one day international between South Africa and England is being played in Cape Town today.

South Africa will be looking to restore some pride after losing the Test series 3-1 while England will want to maintain the form that saw them win the World Cup last year.

Play starts at noon French time.

 

Rugby Union-Fin Russell has been left out of the Scotland squad to play England in the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The Racing 92 fly-half left the squad before last weekend’s defeat against Ireland after “breaching team protocol” during a drinking session.

The Scotland defence coach Steve Tandy says that he has “no idea” whether Russell will feature in this season’s 6 Nations.

 

England’s Manu Tuilagi will stay with the squad as they prepare for the Scotland game despite picking up a groin injury in the defeat by France.

The 28 year old centre was taken off after 16 minutes and is having medical checks.An update on his condition will be given on Thursday.

 

Garry Ringrose will miss Ireland’s games against Wales and England after breaking a finger in the win over Scotland.

The centre has had surgery and he should be fit to face Italy in Dublin on March the 17th.

 

Formula 1-The Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that he “trusts the judgement” of the sport’s authorities over whether to cancel the Chinese Grand Prix in April.

The race is in doubt following the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus and Formula 1 says that it’s monitoring the situation closely.

Horner says that he expects the matter to be on the agenda at tomorrow’s meeting of the Formula 1 strategy group adding that if the situation remained as it is now then the event would have to be cancelled.

Weather.

Clear skies with a strong north westerly Mistral across the region with gusts of up to 110 km/h in coastal areas of the Var.

Top temperature 18 degrees.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday.Clear skies with highs of 16

Finally 

A recent report has shown that teachers, nurses and doctors are the workers least likely to 'pull a sickie'.  But shop staff, tour guides and gym trainers are among those who pretend to be ill most often. Fewer than one in four teachers admitting lying about the reason for missing work, but more than three quarters of shop workers did, according to the survey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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