Glance around France: Uber to challenge Velib’ in Paris and dengue fever hits the south

Glance around France: Uber to challenge Velib' in Paris and dengue fever hits the south
Photo: AFP
Our round-up of the stories from around France on Thursday includes Uber setting up a rival to Velib' in Paris, an outbreak of dengue fever in the south and road deaths shooting up in September.
Uber to set up rival to Velib' in Paris
US ride hailing app Uber might have shaken up the taxi market in the French capital but now it has set its sights on a different challenge. 
From early 2019, the taxi app will be offering a bike hire service just like the pioneering 10-year-old Velib system which recently turned into a fiasco.
The service, introduced by Uber at a trade show on Thursday, will be called Jump and its bright red, electric bikes will no doubt prove hard to miss on the streets of the French capital. 
So far it is unclear exactly when the launch will happen and how many bikes will be available for hire. 
“The deployment will be progressive, but the goal will be to compete with other offers,” Uber said. 
Like other rival bike hire services in the capital, Uber's Jump bikes will be available to be picked up and dropped off anywhere in the city instead of using docking stations.
Customers will be able to book them on the Uber app. 
Road deaths shoot up in September 
The number of people killed on French roads shot up by 8.8 percent in September.
After a sharp drop in August (-15.5 percent) and July (-5.5 percent), the news of the increase will no doubt come as a blow to the French government which has made cutting road deaths one of its priorities. 
In September, 323 people were killed on France's roads – 26 more than were killed in the same month in 2017. 

Hunter shot dead during nighttime boar hunt 
A 50-year-old man who was taking part in a wild boar hunt in a forest near Bordeaux was killed Thursday night by a fellow hunter. 
The rescue services said the man who fired the shot mistook the hunter for game. 
Local police have opened an investigation. 


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Outbreak of Dengue fever in southern France 
The regional health authority in the Alpes-Maritimes is asking the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites after four new cases of dengue fever were reported in the area. 
All five cases occurred in the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Var in the French Riviera and the health agency has described the situation as having a “limited risk of becoming an epidemic”.
Nevertheless it has asked people living in the area to be cautious. 
“Although the risk of an epidemic developing is, for now, considered limited, the authorities are fighting unwaveringly against mosquito-borne diseases,” the authorities said.
“Residents are encouraged to limit the spread of mosquitoes (including by emptying stagnant water sources where mosquitoes lay their eggs) and to protect themselves from stings.”
Symptoms of dengue fever typically begin three to fourteen days after infection and may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash.

126 towns affected by floods in south west declared in 'a state of natural disaster'
A total of 126 towns in the south western Aude department, the worst affected by the floods this week, have been declared to be in a state of 'natural disaster'. 
The deadly floods killed 14 people and 75 were injured, according to reports in the French press.

Firefighters in Haute-Loire file unlimited strike notice
Firefighters in the south central department of Haute-Loire took the unusual step of filing an unlimited strike notice on Thursday morning, denouncing the unsustainable working conditions due to a lack of staff. 
Members of the SNSPP (National Union of Professional Firefighters) and the hard left CGT union joined forces to file the notice which means there is no set end date. 
“We have to do more, but the numbers do not change, we are in a tight state of flux,” Pascal Rizet from the CGT told the French press.


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