French and Riviera News Thursday 17th May 2018


Violence breaks out amongst football fans in Marseille - Fighting has broken out amongst football fans in Marseille following last night's loss to Atletico Madrid in the final of the Europa League. Gangs of Marseille hooligans who hadn't made the trip to Lyon, where the final was staged - began rioting following their team's defeat outside of the cities stadium. Meanwhile several stewards were called into action following several incidents outside of the stadium in Lyon after fans clashed with Atletico Madrid supporters cheering their side's victory.  

The Olympique de Marseille’s dreams were shattered as thousands of fans watched the match with the situation only being made worse by the fact that Frenchman Antoine Griezmann was “man of the match” but playing for the wrong team - scoring two goals out of the three for Atlético Madrid.

Fisherman found dead - The body of a man found in the sea near Hyeres in the Var has been identified as 66 year old Diego Filancia. Three divers made the discovery on Tuesday and an autopsy has shown that the victim had suffered a heart attack. Filancia was a well-known professional fisherman representing the profession in the Toulon region.

Weather warning - Météo France has for a fifth consecutive day issued a yellow weather alert with storms forecast in the Var. The warning is in place from 2pm to 8 o’clock this evening.

Swimming - St Laurent-du-Var has prohibited swimming at three of its four beaches until tests can conclude showing the water is safe. The ban is because of the proximity of the River Var, where after bad weather, bacteria in the water can exceed European standards.

Post – Postal deliveries in Monaco are to be affected when the sorting office at Nice Airport is moved to Toulon. The further distance means mail trucks will arrive up to an hour later than usual in the Principality with knock-on delays to mail sorting. Mail pickup times will also change from June 11th, with mail from Post Offices leaving at 3:45 pm instead of 4:30 pm.


Nicolas Sarkozy - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has attended a legal hearing on whether he must stand trial on charges of illicit financing of his failed 2012 presidential campaign. The legal inquiry is one of several which have dogged the rightwing politician since he left office. If an appeals court upholds a judge's decision last year ordering the trial, Sarkozy could face a potentially embarrassing public ordeal as well as up to a year in prison if convicted. Prosecutors claim Sarkozy spent nearly 43 million euros on his lavish re-election bid -- almost double the legal limit of 22.5 million euros -- via fake invoices which a public relations firm charged instead to his UMP party.

Poll - According to a recent poll carried out, which is to be published today Jean-Luc Mélanchon leader of the political party “France insoumise” is considered by the French to be the best opponent to current President Emmanuel Macron. 47% claim Mélanchon is Macron’s strongest opponent, a rise of 5% compared to a survey on the subject carried out in November 2017. Meanwhile Marine Le Pen comes second with 29% giving her a favourable opinion.


The French energy giant Total is preparing to pull out of a billion dollar gas deal in Iran if the United States re-imposes sanctions on Tehran.

Last year,Total signed a deal to develop the latest phase of Iran’s South Pars gas field with an initial planned investment of a billion dollars.

However,on Wednesday the firm said that it would unwind its operations by November unless sanctions are waived.

Some other large European firms including the German insurer Allianz and the Danish tanker operator Maersk are also winding down their businesses in Iran.

Earlier this month,President Trump withdrew the United States from an international nuclear agreement with Iran after calling it “decaying and rotten”.

Washington is now set to re-impose strict sanctions on Tehran which were lifted under the 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Lachlan Murdoch has been named as the heir to Rupert Murdoch’s business empire.

The media tycoon’s eldest son will be the new chief executive and chairman of 21st Century Fox once it’s sold some of its holdings to Disney.James Murdoch will leave the company to pursue his own ventures.

Last year,Fox agreed to sell the bulk of its TV and film assets to Walt Disney in a deal worth 52.4 billion dollars.Shareholder approval for the transaction is expected to be sought in the summer.


And-In the UK,the government is set to announce new rules for fixed-odds betting terminals today with the maximum stake expected to be cut to 2 pounds.

Currently,people are allowed to bet 100 pounds every 20 seconds on electronic casino games like roulette.

Anti-gambling campaigners have welcomed the decision,describing the games as the “crack cocaine” of the betting world.

Bookmakers have warned that it could lead to thousands of outlets closing.

William Hill currently makes just over half of its retail revenues from fixed-odds betting terminals and says that a 2 pound limit would have a devastating effect on the high street betting industry with the loss of some 20,000 jobs.



Football-Athletico Madrid have won the Europa League Final for the third time in 9 years after brushing aside Marseilles 3-0 in Lyon.
Antoine Griezmann scored twice for the Spanish side with Gabi adding the third on 89 minutes.
Meanwhile Dimitri Payet’s World Cup hopes appear to have been dashed after the France star was forced off for Marseilles through injury during last night’s game.Payet suffered a thigh strain before the match and was only able to play for 32 minutes before coming off.

Rugby Union-Three men have been fined for verbally abusing the England coach Eddie Jones at a railway station in Manchester.
The three,aged between 22 and 25 hurled foul mouthed taunts at Mr Jones the day after England had lost to Scotland in the Calcutta Cup.
They were fined between 105 and 140 pounds each and ordered to pay court costs of 115 pounds each.

Tennis-Kyle Edmund’s good form on clay continues as he reached the last 16 of the Italian Open in Rome with a straight sets win over Lucas Pouille of France.
The British number one is inside the world top 20 for the first time in his career.He’ll play Alexander Zverev next.

Cycling-Simon Yates of Great Britain has won stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia to extend his overall lead in the race.
Yates kicked for the line with one and a half kilometres to go to hold off a challenge from Tom Dumoulin who remains in overall second.
Yates has a 47 second overall lead heading into stage 12 today which is 214 kilometres on the flat between Osimo and Imola.



Partially cloudy with light variable winds in coastal areas and some showers and scattered thunderstorms this afternoon.

Top temperature 20 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 20-23 degrees.


World’s ‘oldest EVER human’ who claims she is turning 129 says she’s not had a single happy day in her life The claims would mean Koku Istambulova was already 55 when World War 2 ended and 102 when the Soviet Union collapsed

The Russian government claims to have found the oldest woman in the world at 128 years old – who says she hasn't lived a single happy day in her life.

If true, the claims would mean Koku Istambulova was already 27 when the last tsar Nicholas II abdicated.

She would also have been 55 when World War 2 ended, and 102 when the Soviet Union collapsed a generation ago.

But the claims are dubious as she would also have smashed the global record for the oldest person who ever lived by some six years.

The claim is made by the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation and is based on her internal passport which shows her date of birth as June 1, 1889.

Asked how she lived so long, Koku, from a village in Chechnya, who claims she will be 129 next month, told an interviewer:  “It was God’s will – I did nothing to make it happen she added "Long life is not at all God’s gift for me – but a punishment.”



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