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LifeStyle 74 News From the Papers

LifeStyle 74 News From The Papers… Friday, January 17th, 2020

Happy Birthday RADIO 74… LifeStyle 74.   38 years of faithful community service. Thank you to each and every listener, and especially to those who donate… past, present and future… to keep the bills paid and the station running.

French public interest in news down by 8 points

RFI - 16/01/2020 - Text by Christina Okello

French people are less interested in news and consume less of it, according to a new survey, with 71 percent of respondents saying they don't trust news outlets to accurately report their concerns.

The public's interest in traditional media has fallen so low that only 59 percent of people say they still have a slight interest in what the media report, while four out of ten people have stopped consuming news altogether.

The findings were published in the annual Trust Barometer for 2019 by Kantar polling institute for the daily La Croix and represent an eight-point dip.

"This loss of interest, observed over five years, has been reinforced by news coverage that is centered almost entirely on the pension reform. It is a reform that few French people understand and which is covered in a very classic manner by journalists," Guillaume Caline, who carried out the survey for Kantar, told La Croix.

Ordinary concerns ignored

The Yellow Vest protest movement, which erupted in 2018, is thought to have driven a wedge between the public and the media.

The Yellow Vests often called out journalists for failing to report on daily concerns that mattered to ordinary people and sought to defend more local reporting.

More than a year after the movement for better of standards of living began, 71 percent of French people still reckon the media fail to give a realistic portrayal of their concerns.

Misleading

Other criticism levied against the media has been to mislead the public.

Last year, news outlets went into a frenzy when Le Parisien newspaper reported that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, a French fugitive wanted for killing his wife and four children eight years ago, had been arrested.

The man arrested turned out not to be the murder suspect.

Le Parisien was forced to apologize "for having made public information which turned out to be wrong". Several other media outlets, including AFP, offered similar excuses.

Sociologists note that young people are more likely to perceive inaccuracy and misinformation on television. Under 35’s nowadays favor the Internet for their news consumption, although 66 percent of them believe online media is biased.

Too much, too little

For 2019, French people said the media talked too much about the Yellow Vests, the false arrest of Dupont de Ligonnes and the Notre Dame fire.

On the other hand, many regretted the lack of attention paid to the forest fires in Amazonia or California, Europe and the French government's plans to open medically assisted procreation (PMA in French) to all women.

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French senior citizens at work: A choice for some, a necessity for others

FRANCE 24 - 16/01/2020 - By Karina CHABOUR / Wassim Cornet

French workers' and employers' unions have until April to find a way to balance out the country's pension schemes. If they fail, the government will reintroduce the controversial "pivot age" in its reform plan, which would force all French citizens to work until the age of 64 to be eligible for a full pension.

Older citizens are often the first employees to be laid off when a company needs to slim down. 

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French teachers threaten exam boycott over bac reforms

Connexion - 16 Jan 2020

Teachers have threatened to boycott the first tranche of baccalaureate exams, which are due to start next week, in protest at what unions have described as the government's 'ill-prepared' reforms.

They will refuse to supervise or correct history, geography, modern languages ​​and mathematics bacs - the reform of which are at the heart of the dispute, and which start on Monday, and are to take place over the next six weeks in high schools across France.

This set of exams account for 30% of a student’s final mark.

Some schools were closed Thursday with many teachers opposed to the bac reforms, also protesting against planned pensions changes.

The new baccalaureate was introduced for the 2018-19 academic year. Further changes will take effect from 2021.

It will replace the broad subject areas pupils currently choose from – science, literature or social sciences – with more specific courses.

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Pension strikes in France weaken but travel disruption to continue in Paris on Friday

The Local - 16 January 2020

Transport strikes continue today, causing travel disruption, particularly in the Paris region, but the situation has improved.

Friday

All Metro lines in Paris will operate on Friday, albeit mostly with limited services and restricted hours.

All the RER commuter lines, including RER B which serves the city's two airports will operate with slightly fewer trains.

Transilien trains are running in the Île-de-France at reduced frequency.

High-speed TGV trains are running closer to normal. Nine out of 10 today. Low-cost Ouigo trains and Eurostar are normal.

Eight out of 10 TER trains and two out three Intercité services are running.

800 million euros

Philippe's office estimated Wednesday that the strike had cost the SNCF around 800 million euros, plus nearly 200 million euros for the Paris transit authority RATP.

But while labour leaders have called for port blockades and other walkouts to amplify their protest, demonstration numbers have steadily eroded since December, even as several polls show public support for the strike hovering at around 60 percent.

About 452,000 people protested across France last Thursday, including 56,000 in the capital, according to the police, compared with 805,000 nationwide on the first day of the strike on December 5.

The government aims to finalize its bill for approval at a cabinet meeting on January 24 before submitting it to parliament, where a vote is expected within months.

The reform would be rolled out gradually for workers born in 1975 and later, though the government has already granted exceptions to police and military personnel, while delaying the shift for Paris Opera dancers, who also have their own pension regime.

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'Energy monsters': Could Paris cafes survive a ban on heated terraces?

The Local - 16 January 2020 - Ingri Bergo

Green campaigners say heated terraces are energy monsters, while Paris café and bistro owners say they are vital to their business.

“Parisians are très terrasse (very fond of terraces), said Dominic Dettomme, owner of Le Jaurès café in Paris' 19th arrondissement.

“They love eating and drinking outside during the winter.”

But several French cities - Paris included - are in the process of deciding whether to ban heating lamps from all cafés and restaurants.

“We would lose between 30 and 40 percent of our usual turnover,” Dettomme said, expressing a worry that has been widely echoed by the French restaurant businesses.

The national union representing hotels, restaurants and cafés (Synhorcathas long warned that a ban of terrace heaters could have disastrous consequences for the many restaurants and cafés that depend on them.

In Paris, 60 percent of cafés have terrace heaters, a union representative told Le Parisien.

In an interview with Le Monde, one owner claimed the terrace generated 80 percent of his restaurant’s revenue.

Synhorcat puts the number at around 20 percent on average.

According to one of their studies, a medium sized terrace consumes on average as much energy as nine families in the winter.

But that’s without the heating. Add five gas braziers, and a terrace measuring 75 m2 would according to the study emit 13,7 tons of carbon dioxide. That equals the emission level of "a new car circling the earth three times (40,000 km)," according to Le Monde.

Terraces became increasingly popular the last 30 years, according to Dettomme. After smoking inside restaurants and cafes was banned in 2006, they became indispensable.

“[The smoking ban] was already a tough blow for us," the restaurant owner said.

"Luckily we could install heating lamps so that smokers could relax with a cigarette without being a nuisance to others."

Fourth time a charm?

Rennes is currently the only French city to have successfully banned terrace heaters.

In Paris, the French Greens (EELV) have tried several times to get terrace heaters banned, first in 2007, then in 2008 and again in 2011.

In 2011 the ban went through, but the Paris Legal Tribunal ruled against it.

This past December, the Greens tried again, and will likely try again and again until they get their way.

But for café owners like Dettomme - already struggling with a drop in business since the transport strikes - green arguments don’t cut the ice.

"I don't think a few heating lamps in Paris pollute more than all the huge boats that cross international waters on a daily basis," he said.

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Nine million households sent a tax office payout

Connexion - 16 Jan 2020

Almost nine million households were eligible to receive a transfer of money from the tax service this week, linked to tax credits and reductions.

As part of the prélèvement à la source (income tax at source) system brought in last year, people who last year declared expenses eligible for certain tax credits and reductions, obtain an instalment this January of 60% of the amount of the credits, and reductions they obtained last time.

The rest of the money will be paid out in the summer after submitting this year’s tax declarations. Note that if one does not declare similar ‘tax credit or reduction’ amounts this year, then one may be asked to pay some money back.

The transfer will be marked on bank statements as ‘CREDIMPOT ALASOURCE’.

If you failed to provide the tax service with bank details, then you will be sent a check by end of the month instead.

Usually everyone who is a resident in France has to declare the previous calendar year's income annually in May of the following year, however this year this will not be an obligation for some people whose tax affairs are simple and whose incomes are known to the tax office already, such as from French-based salaried work.

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Driving Rules in France after Brexit?

The Local - 16 January 2020

With the latest Brexit date looming… and it looks likely to finally happen… the rules for British drivers in France after the UK exits the EU will change.

At present, driving from Britain to France is a fairly painless experience - place a GB sticker on your car, make sure your headlights have correctors, you are carrying a high-vis yellow vest, and warning triangle, and off you go.

British driving licenses are accepted and most standard car insurance packages will cover you for driving in France.

And Brits living in France have been able to drive on a British license unless certain conditions meant they've need to exchange it for a French one.

So what changes after Brexit day on January 31st?

Transition period

We then enter a transition period during which most things stay the same for individual travelers. British licenses will continue to be accepted by French officials, and most car insurance policies should continue to cover a trip to France, although check the fine print of your contract.

The transition period continues until December 31st, 2020, if it doesn’t get extended. What happens afterwards is less clear.

Residents in France

For people residing in France, things have been confusing.

At first British people living in France were advised to swap their license for a French one.

Thousands of people did so, with the result that authorities in Nantes, where applications are processed, became completely overwhelmed and a massive backlog of applications was created.

Brits were then advised to stop sending in applications for exchanges.

In the end French authorities issued a decree saying that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, British people could carry on driving legally in France on a UK license.

That decree - published in April 2019 - was specifically related to a no-deal Brexit.

However it seems likely that the same system would be in place with the Withdrawal Agreement. Kim Cranstoun who runs the Facebook group Applying for a French Driving License said this has been confirmed to her by authorities in Nantes.

The decree states that British people who have their normal residence in France (i.e. full time residents, not second home owners or tourists) can continue driving in France using their UK license unless;

  • The license has been lost or stolen
  • You have added a new driving category to your license
  • You are specifically instructed to exchange it by a gendarme (this usually happens if you have committed serious driving offence - three points or more, and are issued a notice to do so rather than a one point speeding offence.)
  • Your license or photo card is due to expire within six months. Anyone turning 70 must exchange their license and the photo card licenses, which need renewing every 10 years for most categories.

If you need to renew your license for any of the above reasons you cannot do it in the UK, as you will need a UK address and have to make a declaration that this is your full time address. If you actually live in France this would obviously be a false declaration, which is a criminal offence in itself.

So when the time comes to renew you will need to exchange your British license for a French one.

The good news is that this is a simple exchange of documents - you will not need to take a French driving test unlike some USA license holders. The bad news is that there is still a big backlog of applications which authorities in Nantes are slowly working their way through.

You cannot send off your license for renewal unless it has less than six months left to run, but once you reach that point we would suggest doing it sooner rather than later.

If your license expires while you are stuck in the very long queue unfortunately we don't have much advice more constructive than to simply wait and keep the acknowledgment of your application with you to show a gendarme in case you get stopped while driving.

For more information, help and advice about exchanging licenses, head Facebook and the group Applying for a French Driving License.

Moving to France later

The above all applies to anyone who has become a permanent resident of France at any time before December 31st, 2020. After that (or after the transition period end date if it is extended).

After that we don't yet what or if new rules will be put in place for British nationals.

As things stand now new arrivals will have to apply for a French licence as Third Country Nationals unless new rules are laid out by the French gov

The system - the same one currently in place for non EU residents such as Australians - gives you 12 months after moving to exchange your licence. You will only be able to drive on a UK license for 12 months, so if you don't manage to exchange it in that time you will be faced with taking the French driving test to gain a French license.

Just visiting

The above all applies to people who actually live in France, but what about people who are visiting, either regularly in the case of second home owners or infrequently in the case of tourists?

Well during the transition period nothing changes and you can continue to drive on your UK licence during trips to France.

What happens after the transition period ends is one of the things yet to be negotiated.

The UK and France could come to a bilateral agreement that tourists can drive on the licence of their own countries. If this agreement is not reached, drivers from the UK may be required to get an International Driving Permit. If these do become necessary for France, they cost just £5.50 and are available over the counter at British post offices.

If there is no separate bilateral agreement, you will also need to obtain a 'green card' from your insurance company. Readers of a certain age may remember these, they are issued by the insurance company to state that you are covered while driving abroad.

And another thing

Not specifically related to Brexit, but something that there seems to be some confusion over is re-registering of British cars in France.

If you move to France and bring your British car with you - or buy a British car after moving - you will have to re-register with a French registration plate and you only have six months after moving to make your application.

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That’s LifeStyle 74 News From The Papers… on Thursday, January 17th.

Today LifeStyle 74 is commemorating 38 years of community service. Birthday presents are welcome, to be used exclusively for pay our 1st quarter DAB+ transmission fees, due this past Wednesday.

 

LifeStyle 74 weather…

Friday, January 17th   LifeStyle 74's 38th Birthday Today!

A moderately active Cold Front is crossing our area today, followed by several days of glacial polar air with strong Northerly winds.

Friday
Clouds arriving from the West. Precipitation along the Jura beginning around noon, spreading eastward to all of Switzerland by this evening. The snow line near 1400 meters at first, lowering to 800 meters tonight. 5 to 15 cm of snow this evening above 1000 meters. Max temps 6 to 9 C this afternoon. Cooling to -6 at 2000 meters. Weak to moderate SW winds 2nd half of the day. Gusty Joran winds possible towards evening. Moderate to strong SW winds in the mountains.

Saturday
Some light snow at low elevations at dawn. Minimum temps 1 to 3 C. Rapidly becoming sunny on the plain, more slowly North of the Alps. Max Temps 5 to 7 C. -9 at 2000 meters elevation. Bise winds on the Plateau and the Lake Leman area.

Sunday
Quite Sunny. But some high Cirrus clouds. Cold. Max Temp 2 on the Plain. 5 in Valais. -11 at 2000 meters elevation. Strong Bise winds, becoming gale force around Lake Leman.

Monday
Quite Sunny. Max Temp 2 C. Moderate to strong Bise winds on the Plateau.

Tuesday
Stratus clouds on the Plateau up to near 1000 meters. Sunny in other areas. Max Temp 2 to 4 C.   Less Cold in the mountains.

Wednesday & Thursday
Mostly Sunny days north of the alps. Blue skies in Valais.

That’s LifeStyle 74 weather, elaborated by Meteo Suisse, Comprehensive, Accurate, Reliable.

Today, LifeStyle 74… formerly RADIO 74… is celebrating 38 years of broadcasting, thanking God for His merciful watch-care and providence.

We also thank our listeners, as we renew our commitment to continue providing you with the finest quality programming, to serve the most significant needs of the community.

Thank you for your Birthday Gifts, which will be fully applied towards our operating budget, which is presently about 40,000 behind.

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