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French and Riviera News Friday 10th November 2017

Local News

High School evacuated in Cannes - A high school in Cannes has been evacuated after two explosions on Thursday afternoon. The source was reportedly a homemade bomb, made in a bottle of coca cola with hydrochloric acid and aluminum. No injuries were reported.

Police are appealing for information regarding a missing British man who may be in the South of France.  Bernard Ross is 51 year old and suffers from bipolar disorder. He is a fluent French speaker and was seen in Marseilles on the 22nd of October and in Grasse on 31st of October.  Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Mr Ross is asked to contact Thames Valley Police in the UK or to contact Interpol.

 Anti-terrorist suspect - According to reports, one of the five suspects arrested on Tuesday in Menton as part of the anti-terrorist operation was 65 year old Frédéric Renet, a former legionnaire. The eldest of the five suspects had converted to radical Islam after a few years in the  military. Reports suggested on Tuesday that the arrests were in connection with a plot to kill a police officer and civilians. The five men were taken from the Auvare detention centre  in Nice on Thursday to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport for a flight to the French capital where investigations will continue.

Death threats - The mayor of Ventimiglia, Enrico Ioculano has received several death threats in recent months according to local reports. Loculano has decided to publicly denounce the threats to the Italian media saying he is “worried and sorry for his family”. The threats are believed to be in connection with the complex migratory situation in the town.

Galderma tension rises - Nearly 400 employees have gathered in front of the headquarters of Galderma in Sophia-Antipolis. The protest, against the restructuring plan that affects their company saw employees block for more than an hour the access between the group's headquarters and the roundabout Saint-Philippe on Thursday morning. The employees called for the intervention of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron.

Car accident - According to one eye witness a motorist has narrowly escaped running over two pedestrians near the Mayol stadium in Toulon. The incident happened on Thursday evening when the driver lost control of his vehicle and ended up on the roundabout in front of the stadium where employees were installing Christmas decorations at the time. The driver was arrested and police have opened an investigation. 

Local airports - Local media has reported that a request from the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region to reconsider the government’s decision to close the border crossing points of the Castellet and La Môle Saint-Tropez aiports has been refused. Renaud Muselier and Christian Estrosi and other elected officials of the Var, had been fighting for many months to preserve the border crossing points for these two strategic airports for Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur meaning that for the time being Castellet and La Môle airports will remain closed to flights outside Schengen.

National

Emmanuel Macron visits Saudi Arabia - French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will stress the importance of stability in Lebanon as he began an unscheduled visit to Saudi Arabia. Mr Macron also said he would discuss the crisis in Yemen with Saudi leaders, after the Saudi-led coalition shut all aid routes to the war-torn nation.

Poverty levels in France - According to a new report the number of children, single women and foreigners in need in France continues to rise, The report reveals details and figures on poverty levels in one of the world's wealthiest nations. The new report published by French charity the Secours Catholique shows that society's most vulnerable groups are getting poorer. That means the numbers of children, single women and foreigners living in France without a stable legal status struggling to make ends meet are on the rise. In total there were around nine million people living below the poverty line in France in 2016. In France this means they are living on an income of less than €1,015 a month. Bernard Thibaud, the charity's director warns: "The French have got used to poverty levels not improving."

Faked kidnapping - A woman who pretended to have been kidnapped so she could see her lover has been given a six-month suspended jail sentence by a French court. The court heard that 25 year old Sandy Gaillard, an activist with the far-right National Front, sparked a huge search involving 50 soldiers and a helicopter. She was fined €5,000 and ordered to see a psychologist. Following a 24-hour search she turned up showing no signs of any trauma and claimed that her abductors had simply decided to free her. She later under police questioning admitted she had made the story up in order to spend a romantic break with her lover in Le Puy-en-Velay.

Piscine des Amiraux reopens in Paris – Paris’s Piscine des Amiraux, an art deco masterpiece has reopened to the public following a complete renovation. Since the historic swimming pool closed two years ago, €16.5m has been invested in its reconstruction, during which the 33-metre pool was completely demolished and rebuilt according to the original designs.The pool is lined with the same tiles used in the Paris Metro and is surrounded by two stories of balconies with 164 cabins. 

Business

Republican Senators in the United States have said that they want to cut corporate taxes in 2019,later than the proposed schedule. The House was due to vote on the measure next week but the new development complicates plans for the biggest overhaul in US tax law since the 1980’s. A formal bill is yet to be drafted in the Senate where Republicans have a much smaller majority than in the House of Representatives.The proposed legislation is contentious and could face a battle for approval in the Senate. Leading Republicans say that they hope a compromise is possible but have conceded that a delay in the Senate could complicate matters.

Shares in Walt Disney have rallied after the firm announced a deal to make three new Star Wars films. The company says that it’s also working on a live-action Star Wars series for a new online streaming service. Disney’s chief executive Bob Iger says that the company has struck a deal with Rian Johnson,who directed the forthcoming “Last Jedi” film to create a new trilogy of the science fiction hit. The Last Jedi is the second film in the current trilogy and the new deal means that fans and investors can be assured that it won’t be the last. Disney shares rose by 1 percent on the news.

And-A leading member of the US Federal Reserve has said that interest rates are likely to increase again next month and a further three times next year. John Williams who is a member of the Federal Open Markets Committee said that a rate rise in December “makes sense” and said that he was “pencilling in” three further increases next year. The key rate target is now between 1 and one-and-a-quarter percent-the highest level since 2008.

Sport

Football-A controversial penalty has damaged Northern Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup Finals after they were beaten 1-0 at Windsor Park in last night’s first leg playoff against Switzerland. Ricardo Rodriguez scored from the spot for Switzerland after Corry Evans was judged to have handled inside the area.Replays show that the ball clearly struck the player’s shoulder and not his hand. The second leg is on Sunday night. The other first leg playoff last night ended Croatia 4 Greece 1 In last night’s friendly international at Pittodrie Scotland were beaten 1-0 by the Netherlands.

Tonight-Sweden play Italy in the first leg of their World Cup playoff and in friendly internationals England play Germany at Wembley while France host Wales.

Rugby Union-The autumn internationals get underway tomorrow with six top internationals to look forward to. Italy play Fiji at 3pm with Scotland hosting Samoa at 3.30.England play Argentina at Twickenham at 4pm with Wales against Australia in Cardiff at 5.15.Ireland face South Africa in Dublin at 6.30 and the action rounds off with France against the All Blacks in Paris at 8.45.

Formula 1-First practice for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix takes place at 1pm this afternoon with second practice at 5pm. Drivers are fighting for pride now with Lewis Hamilton having already bagged the world championship. Qualifying is at 5pm tomorrow with the race at 5pm on Sunday. The Brazilian Grand Prix will be an opportunity for Felipe Massa to say goodbye to his home fans before his retirement at the end of the season.

Cricket-England are getting a good workout with less than two weeks to go before the start of the first Ashes Test against Australia in Brisbane. The tourists are playing a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide and took nine of the home side’s wickets before they declared on 233-9. In reply England had moved on to 83-1 in their second innings at Lunch with Mark Stoneman on 47 not out.

Cycling-The Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara could face an investigation following allegations that he used a hidden motor in his bike. The sport’s governing body the UCI says that they are not ruling out the possibility of an enquiry after the allegations were made in a book by former cyclist Phil Gaimon. Rumours that Cancellara had been using a hidden motor first surfaced in 2010 following his victories in the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix. He’s been world time trial champion four times and has always denied the allegations.

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine but with a strong Mistral developing from Saturday evening,continuing into Sunday.Highs of 16-17 degrees.

 

 

 

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