French and Riviera News.Friday June 8th

Up the junction-The latest strike by SNCF railway workers is continuing today before ending at 8am on Saturday.

50 percent of regional and TGV services are expected to be running with the SNCF putting on extra long trains to deal with demand at peak times.


Counterfeit notes-Police in Nice have carried out a number of raids in the city to break up a gang who’d been distributing counterfeit banknotes.

Reports say that more than a hundred gendarmes have been taking part in the operation which started on the 5th of June and has resulted in 22 people being arrested.

Raids have been taking place in the Ariane and Bon Voyage areas of the city.The counterfeit notes were being made in Italy and then passed into France.So far more than 3 million euros worth of fake notes have been confiscated.



Accidental death-The coroner’s court in Toulon has recorded a verdict of death by misadventure on a woman who went missing on the 8th of November last year at Le Revest-les-Eaux.

The body of the 52 year old woman,who was receiving treatment at a local clinic was found in a dam reservoir nearby on the 9th of January.An autopsy later confirmed that she’d drowned.

Authorities think that  the victim may have fallen into a small stream in the village during heavy rain and was then swept into the reservoir.



‘Tis the season-Police in the Var have issued a warning to motorists who are being targeted by crooks across the department.

One current scam is pretending to help motorists at parking meters and then pretending that the cash machine has swallowed the credit card while other criminals are pretending that the driver of another vehicle has damaged the wing mirror of their car and then asking for “payment” to avoid going through the insurance.

Police say that under no circumstances should people make cash deals to settle a road incident and that anyone in doubt should call 17 and wait for authorities to arrive.

Motorists are also advised to lock their cars internally when in busy urban areas and not to leave valuables such as handbags on the passenger seat.



Bravo madame-A Dutch tourist who filmed a burglar climbing out of the window of a mobile home at a campsite in Frejus has been praised by police.

Authorities were able to identify the thief who already has a string of convictions for burglary thanks to the footage on the woman’s mobile phone.

The 40 year old offender from Saint Raphael has now been jailed for 9 months.

Thieves regularly target campsites in the region and members of the public are advised to make sure that their valuables are in a secure place.



Oops-A 15 year old youth has been arrested after trying to break into a car which belonged to a police officer.The owner of the vehicle was alerted during the early hours after hearing a noise outside his residence on the rue des Mouettes in Saint Raphael and went outside where he caught the young crook in the act.

The offender was already known to authorities and has been freed on bail pending an appearance before a youth tribunal.


In National News.


G7 showdown-President Macron and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have expressed support for “strong multilateralism” during talks in Ottowa ahead of the start of the G7 Summit in Quebec.

Both leaders say that they intend to tackle US President Donald Trump about metal import tariffs during the summit with Mr Macron suggesting that the talks could end with a “G6+1” declaration if Mr Trump is unwilling to give ground.

Mr Macron says that there will be “ frank  and difficult discussions around the G7 table.

The G7 Summit is taking place at La Malbaie,a small town some 140 kilometers from Quebec City.


Get off the phone-French lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban the use of mobile phones in school by students.

The Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer says that the new bill is “a law for the 21st century and a law for addressing the digital revolution”.

Critics say the ban will do little do reduce classroom disruptions and the growing problem of cyberbullying.

According to a 2016 survey,nine out of every 10 French schoolchildren aged between 12 and 17 owns a mobile phone.

Teachers have been complaining about students sending text messages and chatting on social media during class.



Flash floods-Emergency services across France have been called out more than 8,000 times over the past 48 hours as violent storms and torrential rain continue to batter parts of the country.

3 people have now died as a result of the bad weather and the eastern half of France is forecast to have more stormy conditions today.

Some sporting events including the French Open tennis tournament in Paris and the Criterium du Dauphine cycle race have been disrupted by the weather.


Parlez-vous Alexa ? Amazon has announced that its Alexa smart assistant will go on sale in France from Tuesday of next week alongside its line of Echo speakers.

Amazon says that it’s been working with developers to create the skills necessary for the French market.

Nearly 19 million units of Alexa have been sold so far,most of them in the US and the device is now available in 10 countries worldwide including India and Japan.

French customers will now be able to get the latest news,music,weather and more just  by asking Alexa-She’ll even play Riviera Radio for you if you ask nicely in  French accent.




The International Monetary Fund has agreed to lend Argentina up to 50 billion dollars as the country seeks to bolster its faltering economy.

The three year agreement still needs approval from the IMF board.Argentina asked the organisation for assistance after its currency hit an all time low on the 8th of May.

The country’s President has pledged to tackle double-digit inflation and public spending as part of the deal.

The IMF is deeply unpopular in Argentina where its blamed for the country’s 2001 economic collapse after it pulled the plug on an  aid package and denied it financial support.


G7 leaders are set to clash at their 2 day summit which starts in Quebec today.

Leaders will call on President Trump to lift import tariffs on steel and aluminium which they fear could spark a trade war.

President Trump looks unlikely to concede after attacking the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau twice on Twitter on Thursday and the mood at the summit is expected to be tense.

Mr Trump says that the tariffs are necessary to protect US industry.

Canada and the European Union disagree and say that the tariffs are illegal and have prepared retaliatory measures.


And-Ikea says that it will stop selling single-use plastics by 2020.

The Swedish retail giant  says that the ban will apply across its stores globally and in future it will design products that can be repaired,resold or recycled.

The move follows an announcement by the European Union that it plans to ban plastic items including straws,cotton buds,cutlery,balloon sticks and plastic drinks stirrers.




Tennis-The women’s final at the French Open in Paris will be between world number one Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens.

Halep made short work of Garbine Muguruza in the semi finals coming through 6-1 6-4 while Stephens beat fellow American Madison Keys 6-4 6-4.

It’s men’s semi finals day today.Top seed Rafael Nadal plays the number 5 seed Juan Martin del Potro and Dominic Thiem takes on the unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato.


Football-England won their final warm-up game ahead of the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica at Elland Road Leeds.

Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck scored the goals as coach Gareth Southgate made 10 changes to the team that beat Nigeria last weekend.

In last night’s other games South Korea and Bolivia drew 0-0.Portugal beat Algeria 3-0 and Iceland drew 2-2 with Ghana.

There are more international friendly games tonight with Switzerland playing Japan,Germany taking on Saudi Arabia and Poland against Chile.


Formula 1-First practice for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix takes place at 4pm this afternoon with second practice at 8pm.

Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers’ championship by 14 points from Sebastien Vettel with Daniel Ricciardo in third place following his win in Monaco in the last race.

Ricciardo will face a grid penalty this weekend for using too many extra parts while Hamilton,who’s been the king of Montreal in recent times could face problems because an expected new engine hasn’t appeared in time.

Qualifying is at 8pm tomorrow evening with the race at 8.10 on Sunday night.


Rugby Union-There are 4 big internationals tomorrow as sides from the Northern Hemisphere start their summer tours.

Japan host Italy,New Zealand play France,Australia host Ireland,South Africa play England and Argentina play Wales.

Scotland are in action against Canada on Sunday.





Sunshine and occasional showers with the chance  of  some thunder inland and light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperature 24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 23-25 degrees and becoming windy from the west.




London water pipes have burst and leaked 36,000 times in the last six and a half years, water company data shows.

Some streets in the capital have seen more than 30 water leaks between November 2011 and February 2018.

Businesses in one street in Hammersmith believed the leaks were causing damp in their basements.

Thames Water said it was working to replace Victorian era water-piping, and is developing new methods to prevent major incidents before they happen.

Analysis of the data released has shown that central London has the largest concentration of leaks.

Over the period, the total number of leaks in the Thames Water area went up from 4,160 in 2012 to 4,809 in 2017. However the number has fallen from 6,154 recorded in 2013.

This comes as Thames Water has been criticised by Ofwat for "not paying enough attention" in solving leakage issues. The company will have to pay £120m to compensate customers for leaks.






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