French and Riviera News Monday 25th February 2019


Fires in Corsica - A series of fires have ravaged 1,600 hectares of vegetation in Corsica. Fanned by high winds and due to a particularly dry winter, the fires, which are believed to have been started deliberately, spread across the north of the island south of Calvi. Three Canadairs and two tracking planes were mobilized, with about 170 firefighters on the ground. Reinforcements from the continent arrived overnight as fire services continue to intervene. So far no homes have been affected.


Six people stuck in lift - Six people, who found themselves stuck in the lift of an underground car park in Nice, have been rescued by homeless people. The Incident occurred on Saturday night. After having raised the alarm, those trapped began to suffer from breathing difficulties. It was a group of homeless people which heard their cries for help and managed to widen the gap allowing more air to circulate inside the lift. The six people were released two hours later by a technician.

Therapeutic cannabis - The hospital La Timone in Marseille has announced that it is to start testing therapeutic cannabis as a treatment for patients suffering from Parkinson's, motor disorders, anxiety and depression. Doctors are looking for healthy, non-smoking volunteers. The study is expected to last one year, during which subjects will inhale therapeutic cannabis. French patients who want to resort to therapeutic cannabis have so far been forced to do so illegally or by going abroad. Between 300,000 and one million patients could be affected. Currently Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Finland, Chile, Colombia, Israel and 23 US states have already legalized therapeutic cannabis.

Road death - A 30 year old man has been killed in a road accident at the weekend. The accident happened on avenue Michel-Jourdan in Cannes in the early hours of Sunday morning. Police have opened an investigation into the cause of the accident. It’s the 11th death on the regions roads since the beginning of the year.

Pollen levels - Pollen levels in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var are currently at very high levels. According to the French national aerobiological surveillance network, the two departments are in a "red" zone. The network said that the risk of pollen from cypress trees in particular will remain at its maximum level for the next few days and the concentrations of pollen are expected to remain high for the next few weeks. 

One Monte Carlo - Monaco’s elaborate new complex One Monte Carlo has been inaugurated. Overlooking the world-famous Casino Square and boasting no less than 23 luxury stores, the residential complex lines a brand new promenade dedicated to Princess Charlene. Prince Albert, together with Princess Charlene and their twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, officially opened One Monte Carlo on Friday.


Yellow Vests - Some thirty "yellow vests" have protested at a Starbucks near the Champs-Elysees, in Paris. In a long video published by a protester on Facebook, entitled "We invade the Starbucks", yellow vests occupied the café on Sunday on the sidelines of the planned demonstrations in Paris.

Agriculture Fair - French President Emmanuel Macron has been greeted by large crowds at the International Agriculture Fair, where he came to reassure struggling farmers about plunging food prices and soaring costs. Macron urged new EU reforms to reinvent the agricultural sector in a bid to protect farmers against competition from the US and China. The French government is banking on a new agricultural and food law passed in January to prevent distributors and retailers from selling at a loss and limit price wars that farmers say are squeezing their margins to the limit.

French Oscars - “Custody", a film about domestic violence and a divorced couple's battle over their son, was the big winner at the "French Oscars" - the Cesars - on Friday, where veteran US actor and director Robert Redford was presented with an honorary award. Released in France under its original title of "Jusqu'à la garde", "Custody" is director Xavier Legrand's first feature-length movie and took home four awards including best film and best original screenplay.


President Trump has announced that the United States will delay imposing further tariffs on Chinese goods.

The rise in import duties on Chinese goods had been due to increase from 10 percent to 25 percent on the first of March but Mr Trump says that “good progress” has been made in trade talks between Washington and Beijing over the weekend.

He added that he was planning a summit meeting in Florida with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to cement the trade deal if more progress is made.

A report by China’s official news agency over the weekend also said that “substantial progress” had been made on specific issues such as technology transfer, intellectual property protection and agriculture.

The US casino operator Caesars Entertainment is reported to be in talks with the billionaire investor Carl Icahan to give him a role in selecting the firm’s next CEO and to give him seats on the board.

Reuters says that sources familiar with the talks say that the development came after Mr Icahan revealed a 9.8 percent in Caesars on Tuesday and said that he could nominate directors to the board.

He also asked the firm to launch a process to explore a sale.

Caesars Entertainment later said that all the deals that it had explored so far undervalued the firm and did not create enough value for shareholders.

Sources said that Caesars was open to giving Mr Icahan board representation and having a say in the selection of the firm’s new CEO.

And-The chemicals and seed giant Bayer is to face a second US court case over claims that its glyphosate based weed killer Roundup causes cancer six months after the firm’s share price was rocked by a 289 million dollar verdict in the state court of California.

A lawsuit against Bayer by California resident Edwin Hardeman is set to start in a Federal court today in what’s being seen as a test case  for a larger litigation.

Some 760 out of the 9,300 Roundup cases nationwide are consolidated in the Federal Court of San Francisco which is hearing the Hardeman case.

Bayer denies allegations that Roundup or glyphosate causes cancer saying that decades of independent studies have shown it to be safe for human use and noting that regulators around the world have approved the product.


Football-Manchester City have won the first piece of domestic silverware in England after beating Chelsea in a penalty shootout at Wembley in the League Cup Final.

City won 4-3 on penalties after the scores were tied at 0-0 after extra time.

The match was marred by a bizarre incident shortly before the end of extra time when the Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa refused to be substituted by manager Maurizio Sarri despite appearing to be suffering from cramp.

The  incident undermined Sarri’s role as manager and questions are now being asked about both his and the goalkeepers futures.

There were 2 games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0 and Liverpool moved back to the top of the table despite being held to a 0-0 draw at Manchester United.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday the leaders Celtic beat Motherwell and second placed Rangers thrashed Hamilton 5-0 away from home.

Rugby Union-Wales lead the 6 Nations Championship after the third round of games following a bruising 21-13 victory over England in Cardiff on Saturday.

England slip to second place while Ireland are in third after beating Italy 26-16 in Rome on Sunday.

France got a much needed win over Scotland on Saturday to move up to 4th place with Scotland in 5th and Italy looking like candidates for the wooden spoon again in last place.

There’s a two week break before the next round of matches that will see Scotland host Wales,England play Italy and Ireland face France.

Cricket-The third one day international between West Indies and England is being played in St George’s today.

The 5 match series is tied at 1-1 after West Indies won the second game.Play is due to start at 2.30 French time this afternoon.


Clear skies with light  variable winds.

Top temperature 16-18 degrees.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with highs of 17-20 degrees.


If your cat seems a bit grumpy or aggressive, you may have only yourself to blame. Scientists have found felines really are copycats – and develop personalities that mirror their owners. 

Pets that were neurotic, overweight or cheerful had owners who had similar traits, researchers found. 

While dogs are often said to be like their owners, cats have long been considered to be more independent creatures.

Animal behaviour experts at Lincoln University said owners who were neurotic were less likely to allow their cats outside. 

As a result their pets had a higher chance of being overweight and ‘anxious or fearful’ and show behavioural problems such as scratching the furniture. 

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, involved personality tests on 3,300 cat owners and also found that pedigree cats were more likely to be overweight.

The research builds on studies that show how parenting style can affect a child’s personality. Other cat experts backed the findings.





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