French and Riviera News Monday 21st May 2018


Marseille - Police in Marseille have arrested a man who was found to be in possession of electrical equipment which can be used to make an explosive device. The man was arrested at Saint Charles train station on Saturday after fellow passengers reported him to be acting suspiciously. French media confirmed on Sunday that police had extended his custody for an additional 24 hours.

Rail strike - According to a recent poll a majority of French consider the ongoing strikes by rail workers as unjustified.  The survey found that 31% considered it to be “completely unjustified” while 27% said it was “rather unjustified.” The remaining 42% said the strike was justified. French rail workers have been on rolling strikes since early April against President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms aimed at making the rail operator the SNCF more competitive. The strikes are set to continue for two days out of every five until June 28th with the next disruptions set for Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Night life - A third nightclub in the region has been closed for administrative reasons. “The box” located in Antibes will be closed until July 15th. Two other clubs “The Kiss” and “Le Village” in Juan-les-Pins were closed last week for a month following a decision from the court in Grasse citing complaints from residents of noisy behavior from customers 

Rainfall - Météo France has announced that the region has had more rainfall since the beginning of the year than the whole of 2017. According to their records 431.6 mm of rain has already fallen in Nice with March being particularly bad, the worst it’s been since 2013.

Rosé –A poor harvest and popular demand has led to reports that there could be a shortage of Rosé this summer with the amount produced not meeting the demands of the consumer. Due to a bad harvest in 2017 especially in Provence, which is the second biggest region to produce rosé along with the growing worldwide demand, which has grown considerably over the last 15 years there are 20 million fewer bottles on the market. France remains the biggest producer and consumer of Rosé with on average 20 bottles a year per person.  


Politics - French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned that the stability of the eurozone will be at stake if the new government in Italy fails to keep its financial commitments. Le Maire said previous commitments by Italy would remain "whichever government" was in place. Brussels is anxious that Italy continues with efforts to bring down its massive debts in line with EU rules, wary that a new government in Rome will seek to increase public spending.

Luc Besson - A young actress has lodged a complaint for rape against French film director Luc Besson. The filmmaker’s lawyer Thierry Marembert said he categorically denied the claims. Police in Paris opened an investigation after the actress accused the 59-year-old director of raping her. News of the allegation emerged shortly before the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival which was marked this year by an emotional speech by a Weinstein accuser.


The threat of an imminent trade war between China and the United States appears to have been averted after both countries said that they will stop imposing punitive import tariffs for the time being.
No details of the agreement have been released but the deal came after talks in the United States aimed at persuading China to buy 200 billion dollars worth of US goods and services to reduce the trade inbalance.
The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin  said that America would impose tariffs worth 150 billion dollars if China did not implement the agreement.
The United States has a 335 billion dollar annual trade deficit with China.
A framework agreement for future deals has now been put on place and Mr Mnuchin says that  a trade war has been “put on hold”.

A House of Commons Committee has accused the UK of turning a “blind eye” to “dirty money” from Russia which it says is putting national security at risk.
The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee says that London is being used to hide the “corrupt assets” of President Vladimir Putin and his allies.
It added that it was “business as usual” for the UK despite the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergie Skripal and his daughter.
The Committee concluded that the UK’s “lethargic response is being taken as proof that we don’t dare stop them”.It said that London’s markets are enabling the Kremlin’s efforts.
Meanwhile the billionaire Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club has faced delays in renewing his UK visa.
Roman Abramovich was not at Wembley to see Chelsea win the FA Cup Final on Saturday with a source saying that it was taking longer than usual for him to renew his visa.

And-Marks and Spencer is set to announce a number of store closures today ahead of its annual results which will be released on Wednesday.
The UK retailer is shutting 100 of its large clothing and food shops amid falling sales and profits.
The firm has already closed 20 stores with the loss of 900 jobs as part of a plan announced 18 months ago to cut the amount of shopfloor space allocated to its clothing ranges.
The City is expecting M&S to report a second year of falling profits with analysts pencilling in pretax profits of 573 million pounds-down from 614 million last year.


Tennis-Rafael Nadal has returned to the top of the world rankings after beating Alexander Zverev in the final of the Italian Open.
Nadal won in three sets in a rain interrupted final 6-1 1-6 6-3.
He replaces Roger Federer at the top of the ATP rankings with the French Open starting on Sunday.

Cycling-Great Britain’s Simon Yates stormed to his third Giro d’Italia stage victory on Sunday to strengthen his grip on the overall lead.
Yates attacked with 18 kilometres of stage 15 to Sappada to go to blow away his rivals with second placed Tom Dumoulin struggling badly.
The 25 year old leads Dumoulin in 2 minutes and 11 seconds heading into stage 16 between Trento and Rovereto tomorrow.Today is a rest day.

Formula 1-The teams are gathering in Monaco for next Sunday’s Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton looking to extend his lead at the top of the driver’s championship.
Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 17 points coming into Monaco with Ferrari looking to play catch up after  difficult weekend in Spain.
Red Bull are also being tipped for a good performance on a circuit where they normally shine.
First practice for Sunday’s race is at 10am on Thursday.


Starting fine but with the risk of some thundery showers developing across the region later with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 24 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with more thundery outbreaks.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Sunshine and thundery showers.Highs of 21-23 degrees.


Work is the first thing on Brits' minds when they wake in the morning. New research has found people in the UK are most likely to wake up worrying about work, the weather and money problems with checking on social meida also a top priority.

Despite being a nation of early risers, getting out of bed at an average time of 6.16am on a workday, it will take 29 minutes before people feel fully awake, alert and ready to start the day. 

The average adult also takes 62 minutes to get ready in the morning, from the second they wake up to the moment they step out the door.



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