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French and local news.Thursday 21.12.17

Alps murder probe-Police in the French Alps are to re-examine the cases of dozens of missing people after charging a man with a second murder in the region.

Nordahl Lelandais has been charged with the murder of a 24 year old soldier who was last seen hitchhiking in the early hours of the 12th of April after leaving a nightclub in Chambery.

Previously he was charged with the abduction and murder of an 8 year old girl who vanished during a wedding half an hour’s drive from Chambery in August.

Police say that they’re now looking at the cases of many more disappearances in the region and that further charges could follow.

The suspect’s black Audi car has been identified on CCTV cameras in the areas where people were last seen and analysis of his phone has found that he had looked up “decomposition of a human body” on the internet.

 

Murder enquiry-Police in Cannes have launched a murder investigation after a homeless man was found dead on the rue de la Pompe in the early hours of Tuesday.

The 49 year old was found slumped on the pavement near the Olympia Cinema.He’d been badly beaten and had suffered severe head injuries.

Emergency services tried their best to save the man,a Polish national but he died on the way to hospital.

Police are trying to establish whether the victim had been beaten on purpose or whether his injuries resulted from a street fight which went wrong.

CCTV footage is now being examined to see if it can shed any light on the crime.

 

Fire-35 firemen have been attending a large fire that broke out in an underground carpark in Toulon on Wednesday evening.

Emergency services were called to the blaze at 8.30 last night under the commercial centre in the Rode area of the city.

The fire resulted in smoke filling a supermarket above the carpark and several people had to be evacuated.

The fire service thinks the fire may have started in a car parked underground but the exact cause of the blaze is not yet clear.

 

Missing cat scam-Gendarmes in the Var have issued a warning over a scam which has resulted in a number of thefts since the start of December.

Authorities say that two crooks have been knocking at houses,usually picking out elderly people and making out that a cat has been lost in the occupants garden.

One of the thieves stays hidden and when the occupier goes out with the first man to look for the missing animal,he enters the house and robs it of anything valuable he can find.

Gendarmes warn people to be extremely vigilant and not to leave cash,credit cards or any valuables lying around.

Anyone who’s been a victim of the scam is asked to call 17 immediately.

 

Towed away-A 25 meter crane-barge that ran aground off Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat during the storms earlier this month has been refloated and is being towed to Genoa to undergo repairs.

The barge broke its mooring in high seas on Monday the 11th of December  and ended up marooned in the Baie de l’Espalmador facing the avenue de Grasseuil.

It’s taken engineers more than a week to free it from rocks and it sustained substantial damage in the process.

The barge is owned by the Trasomar company of Monaco which specialises in maritime and underwater works.

 

Bus injuries-5 people have been injured after a car collided with a bus on the chemin de Saint-Claude in Antibes.

Police say the driver of the car was distracted by a conversation he was having with his passenger and didn’t see the bus which had to brake sharply and throwing passengers out of their seats.

The 5 injured are all women aged between 28 and 77.They were taken to La Fontonne Hospital suffering from cuts and bruises.

 

Didier Deschamps-The French national football coach Didier Deschamps has been in Monaco to take part in festivities organised by the charity that he represents.

Les Amis du Liban is a humanitarian association which promotes peace in the Lebanon and helps underprivileged and traumatised children in particular.

The former Monaco coach signed footballs and handed out gifts to children at the Auditorium Rainier –III on Wednesday evening.

Members of the association in Monaco are now flying to the Lebanon to distribute Christmas gifts to children.

 

In National News.

 

Birthday bang-The French President Emmanuel Macron will have extra cause to celebrate today as he marks his 40th birthday with the National Statistics Office INSEE revising upwards its growth forecast for 2017.

INSEE says that it now expects GDP to increase by 1.9 percent this year instead of the previous estimate of 1.8 percent.

The National Statistics Office described the French economy as “buoyant” and said that it expected steady growth in 2018.

Last week,the European Central Bank said that it expected the eurozone to grow at 2.3 percent next year,up from its September forecast of 1.8 percent.

 

How much ? Perhaps not such good news for the President though is the row concerning his Prime Minister.

Edouard Philippe has defended his decision to charter a private plane to bring him and a delegation back from Tokyo earlier this month at a cost of 350,000 euros.

Mr Philippe’s office hired an Airbus A340 with first-class seats to fly from Tokyo to Paris on the 6th of December.Reports say that a French army transport plane flying the same route had been available at roughly the same time.

The Prime Minister’s office has defended the decision saying that Mr Philippe needed to return to Paris urgently as President Macron was leaving for an overseas trip.

Speaking on RTL Radio on Wednesday,Mr Philippe  said that he took full responsibility for the decision and that “it’s complicated to move the Prime Minister around and it’s expensive”.He went on to say that he understood “both the surprise and the questions that French people are asking themselves”.

 

Cat squad-The French government has called in the cats in a bid to eradicate rats from ministry buildings in Paris.

The French capital has a long-standing problem with rodents but now the animals have gone a step too far for ministers who say that the problem has to be brought under control.

The Ministry of the Interior in the Place Beauvau next to the Elysee Palace is one of the  buildings affected  and other government offices have also reported rodents on the loose.

Rats are thought to outnumber humans in Paris  and the numbers are reported to be increasing rapidly.

 

Business.

 

The US Commerce Department has ruled that Bombardier received Canadian government subsidies  which allowed it to sell the C-Series jet below cost in America.

The ruling comes following an investigation triggered by a complaint from Boeing which said that it was losing out to unfair competition.

The decision could result in tariffs of some 300 percent being imposed on the C-Jet and the loss of jobs in Northern Ireland where the plane’s wings are assembled.

Bombardier said that it was extremely disappointed by the ruling and the dispute is contributing to escalating trade tensions between the US and Canada.

 

The US telecoms giant AT&T says that it will pay a 1,000 dollar bonus to more than 20,000 staff as a result of the US tax reform bill being cleared to pass into law.

The company also says that it will invest more than a billion dollars in its US businesses next year.

AT&T described the tax reforms as “monumental” and its decision to pay bonuses has been followed by many other firms.

The company is currently seeking government approval as it attempts the takeover of Time Warner.

Last month the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the merger which it says will reduce competition  and raise consumer prices.

 

And-The crypto-currency trading firm Coinbase is carrying out an insider trading investigation.

Coinbase says that it fears that its own workers may have exploited its move into Bitcoin Cash-a spinoff from the original Bitcoin.

The investigation was started after the price of Bitcoin cash rose rapidly.

Coinbase allowed its users to start trading the spinoff crypto-currency on Tuesday in a surprise move but it’s now temporarily suspended all trade.

Bitcoin cash came into being in August after several developers became frustrated at the lengthening transaction times for the original Bitcoin.

 

Sport.

Football-Manchester United have been knocked out of the League Cup in England by Championship side Bristol City.

City’s winner came in injury time as they beat the Premier League giants 2-1.They’ll now play Manchester City in the semi finals.

In the other tie last night Chelsea beat Bournemouth 2-1 to set up a last four date with Arsenal.

 

Cricket-The England batsman Mark Stoneman has claimed that “Australia are not a better side” although he conceded that losing the first three Ashes Tests was “pretty devastating”.

Stoneman says that England are capable of winning games down under and that England will give everything they’ve got to try and get a positive result in the 4th Test which starts in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

 

Rugby Union-The Welsh Rugby Union says that it’s considering plans for an alcohol free zone at the Principality Stadium following complaints about drunken fans at the autumn internationals.

There were several reports of bad behaviour by fans during the recent games and the WRU says that an alcohol-free zone could be trialled at next year’s autumn internationals.

The WRU pointed out that a recent survey had found that the stadium experience in Cardiff ranked “above other experiences that people have in sport”.

 

Weather

Clear skies with light south westerly winds.

Top temperature 12 degrees.

Overnight lows of 7 degrees on the coast and -2 degrees inland with a widespread frost.

Friday and the start of the Christmas holiday weekend-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 13 degrees.Fine on Saturday with a high of 14.

Finally.

The results of a forensic examination of bones linked to 270-year-old mystery are to be revealed next month.

Scientists, led by Dame Sue Black, have been studying what are believed to be the remains of notorious clan chief, Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat.

Nicknamed the Old Fox, he was executed in London in 1747 after supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Prof Black and her team are to explain their findings at an event in Inverness on 18 January.

A body, minus the head, is in a lead casket inside Wardlaw Mausoleum at Kirkhill, near Inverness.

It has long been believed that the skeleton is the Old Fox.

 

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