French and Riviera News Monday 20th August 2018


Genoa bridge disaster - Rescue workers in Italy have found the bodies of three more people in the wreckage of Genoa's collapsed motorway bridge, bringing the death toll to 43. On Saturday Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte led a state funeral for 18 of the victims in Genoa. The company that operated the bridge has set up a fund for victim's families. The government meanwhile has set up a commission to examine the causes of the disaster.

60 year old woman drowns in swimming pool - A 60 year old woman, who was on holiday with her family in Biot, has drowned in the swimming pool of their holiday villa. Police have launched as investigation to determine the exact circumstances. Emergency services at the scene on Sunday afternoon were unable to revive the victim.

Drug trafficking - A 55-year-old woman from Nice is to appear before court for drug trafficking. The woman was stopped at Riquier train station in Nice after police had set up surveillance system at the beginning of August. The woman reportedly made regular trips importing the drug from Italy for her own personal consumption as well as for some customers in Nice.

Traffic jam on A8 motorway - Traffic came to a standstill on the A8 motorway at Puget-sur- Argens on Sunday afternoon after a vehicle overturned. The accident occurred shortly after 4.30 just after exit 37 eastbound. No casualties were reported.

Uber drives off jetty in Cannes - Two Britons have managed to escape a sinking Uber after it drove into the sea in Cannes. Nick Christoforou managed to open the door and swim to safety after the vehicle plunged off the end of a jetty in Cannes. He said he was then able to find fellow passenger Sophia Toon. Uber said the driver, who also escaped, was reportedly breathalysed and found to be sober. An Uber spokeswoman confirmed that "the company had contacted both passengers to ensure they were OK and were offering counselling while they await the outcome of their insurance claim.

South Korean swaps bitcoin for 2 million euros worth of fake notes - A South Korean businessman with a company specialising in the crypto-currency bitcoin in Singapore, has swapped two million euros worth of bitcoin for two million euros in fake cash. The exchange which took place in a luxury hotel here on the Riviera has led to one man being arrested and charged with fraud and being part of an organized crime network. The South Korean said he had been approached by the men initially over a possible investment in his company. The discussions led instead to the transaction that would see the South Korean transfer the bitcoin to a foreign account in exchange for the cash.


Fire - 22 people have been injured in a fire in Aubervilliers north of Paris. Seven are reported to be in a critical condition including five children. The blaze broke out on Sunday evening on the third and top floor of an apartment block. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Court rejects text message - A French court has said that a French person cannot change his or her last will and testament by text message. The decision was announced during a ruling concerning a man who was going through a divorce. At the time, the text, sent to his sister, said their mother should get a share of his estate, rather than his wife. When the man took his own life in 2016, the family solicitor decided to ignore the SMS, saying it had no legal value. The mother contested that decision in court, but her arguments were rejected. The court in the eastern city of Metz said that under France's civil code, "a will can only be valid if it has been written by hand, dated and signed".

Culture Pass - Four hundred young people in five départements in France are currently testing the technicalities of France’s new culture pass, which fulfils a campaign promise by President Emmanuel Macron to improve popular and particularly youth access, to a broad range of cultural events, activities and goods. According to the culture ministry, from late October, 10,000 young people will start using the app in real time in a six-month trial. The scheme is set to be rolled out nationally for all from next spring. Its key aim is to “encourage cultural discovery and diversification”.

Refuge for unwanted goldfish - Paris's biggest aquarium has created a refuge for goldfish, providing a second life for any unwanted pets who might otherwise find themselves flushed down the toilet. The Aquarium de Paris allows the city's residents to drop off their fish, instead of facing death in the city's sewerage system, the rejected goldfish find themselves given a full medical checkup involving antibiotics and anti-parasite treatments. Since it was created two years ago, the goldfish rescue service has been used by around 50 people a month and the tank now contains about 600 specimens, mostly the classic golden-red version, as well as striped and black ones.


Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone bailout programme designed to help it cope with the fallout from its debt crisis. For the first time in eight years, Greece is now free to borrow money on the financial markets. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) provided the country with €61.9bn (£55bn; $70.8bn) over the three years. This supported the Greek government's efforts to reform the nation's troubled economy and recapitalise its banks.

A Standard Chartered bank executive says tough demands by EU regulators could mean more jobs being moved from the UK overseas than currently thought. Europe and Americas boss Tracy Clarke says the relatively small size of the bank in the EU market means it would not "be moving hundreds of people". But she says the impact on banks with large EU services may be "significant". Standard Chartered is to spend about £15m turning its Frankfurt office into a European base due to Brexit.

Meanwhile the co-founder of clothing label Superdry has made a record donation to the campaign for a referendum on the final Brexit deal. Julian Dunkerton has given £1m to the cause, saying: "I've got a good instinct for when a mood is going to change and we're in one of those moments now." His words come as Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab prepares to head to Brussels on Tuesday to speed up talks with the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.


Football - Manchester United did not show the right attitude in their surprise Premier League defeat at Brighton losing 3-2 and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said Sergio Aguero is in the best condition he has seen him in, after the striker scored a superb hat-trick in a thumping win over Huddersfield 6-1. Here’s more from BBC Sport

In Sunday’s other Premier League match Watford beat Burnley 3-1. Tonight Liverpool play Crystal Palace kick off is at 9pm.

Cricket – An awful England batting collapse gave India complete control of the third Test on day two at Trent Bridge. The home side were bundled out for 161, surrendering all 10 wickets in the period between lunch and tea.

Tennis - Former world number one Novak Djokovic became the first player to win all nine Masters 1,000 tournaments with victory over Roger Federer in Cincinnati.

Rugby Union - Dan McFarland will take up his role as Ulster head coach today after the Irish Rugby Football Union secured his early release from Scottish Rugby. The unions have reached an agreement to allow the Englishman to leave his post as Scotland forwards coach before the end of his nine-month notice period.


Clear skies with highs of 31 degrees in Nice and 33 degrees in Saint Tropez with a light westerly breeze. This evening going down to 23 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 18 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday clear skies with highs of 34 degrees in the Var and possibility of showers inland Wednesday becoming increasingly cloudy with storms forecast in Nice by late afternoon.


A luxury resort in the Maldives is now hiring for the world's best job - running a pop-up shop on a desert island frequented by a host of A-list celebrities and the super rich.  

Philip Blackwell, who ran the British bookshop chain Blackwells that his family owned until 2006, is hiring someone to run a bookshop based in the luxury resort Soneva Fushi.

Applicants must write a 'lively blog' about their experiences as a desert island bookseller, and entertain kids with storytelling.

The successful applicant will have to run the pop-up bookshop for at least three months and host creative writing courses.







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