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French and Riviera News Thursday 24th August 2017

Local

51 year old man drowns - A 51 year old man has drowned in the lac de Saint-Croix in the Var. Rescue services were called out shortly after 7.30pm on Wednesday evening after the victim got into difficultly while swimming back to shore. Police have launched an investigation to determine the exact circumstances.

Court case - The man suspected of having deliberately driven into two bus shelters in Marseille, killing a woman and seriously wounding another, has appeared before court. He is charged with murder, attempted assassination and robbery. According to the Prosecutor of the Republic, he does not remember anything. The driver killed Kenza Tall a 42 year old, mother of two. He seriously injured another 29-year-old woman. While in custody, he only recognized the theft of the van. 

Forest Fires - A 40-year-old man suspected of starting 17 forest fires in the Marseille region has been taken into custody. The fires which broke out in the area in recent weeks destroyed thousands of hectares of woodland and saw firefighters working around the clock to contain them. The man was arrested after witnesses in the area reported a vehicle with an individual acting suspiciously. The suspect may have acted out of revenge.

Abandoned Backpack - The Boulevard Louis II in Monaco was closed to traffic in both directions on Wednesday evening after a backpack was left abandoned in front of the Monaco Yacht Club. The area was cut off while police carried out the necessary checks.

Drivers - As we approach the last weekend of August, drivers are reminded that very heavy traffic is expected on the regions motorways, starting from lunchtime today and hitting a peak throughout the day on Saturday. Local drivers are asked to avoid the motorways if possible this weekend, and long distance drivers are reminded to take a break every two to three hours.

National

Mont Blanc - The bodies of three climbers suspected to have died more than two decades ago have been discovered on the Italian side of western Europe’s highest peak Mont Blanc. According to Italian media, the alarm was sounded by a French climber who discovered the bodies and took pictures of them. Operations were under way to recover the bodies, which were linked together by rope. Mont Blanc, which straddles Italy’s northwest border with France, continues to claim victims among hikers and climbers.

Anti-terror soldier attacked in Lyon - A female anti-terror soldier has been attacked. The incident happened on Tuesday in the southern city of Lyon, police said the assault was "not terror-related". According to reports a 50-year-old man attacked the female soldier on Tuesday night at around 10pm. After jumping on the soldier - the only female on patrol at the time - he tried to strangle her. He was immediately controlled by her colleagues and handed over to the police without putting up any resistance. Police arrested a suspect, who reportedly has previously been committed for psychological problems.

Charlie Hebdo - The French magazine Charlie Hebdo has published a provocative front page about Islam. The latest edition of the magazine, which was targeted by Islamist gunmen in 2015, shows two people lying in a pool of blood having been run over by a van next to the words "Islam, eternal religion of peace." The front cover has been called "extremely dangerous" and has led to widespread criticism.

Emmanuel Macron - Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday French President Emmanuel Macron has said that an EU rule allowing companies to send temporary workers from low-wage countries to other member states without paying local social charges was a "betrayal of the European spirit". The EU rule has come under fire from critics in rich countries, who say it amounts to "social dumping" in which payments to health and welfare systems are avoided.

Business

The UK food industry has warned that a Brexit workforce shortage could leave a third of its businesses unviable. The Food and Drink Federation said: "Our sector faces a rapidly approaching workforce shortage and skills gap." In its survey of the "farm-to-fork" supply chain, almost half of all businesses surveyed said EU nationals working in the UK were considering leaving. It said that 31% of them have already seen EU workers leave the country.

And – Sterling has headed close to €1.08, leaving Britons enjoying holidays at French campsites and Spanish beaches facing higher costs. The pound has hit a fresh eight-year low against the euro after the single currency was boosted by strong economic data while the UK still faces Brexit uncertainty. Sterling slipped close to €1.08 as it continued a recent slide which has taken it beyond previous post-referendum lows. It has not been as low since October 2009.

Sport

Football - Liverpool produced a stunning attacking display against play-off opponents Hoffenheim to ensure five English sides will compete in the Champions League group stage for the first time. Leading 2-1 from the first leg, the Reds virtually wrapped up the tie with three goals in the opening 20 minutes beating Hoffenheim 4-2

Cycling - Britain's Chris Froome extended his Vuelta a Espana lead behind Alexey Lutsenko's breakaway stage-five win. Froome, aiming to become the third man to win a Vuelta crown in the same year as Tour de France success, attacked on the final climb and now has a 10-second advantage over his nearest rival.

Weather

Cloudy with come sunny spells highs of 27 degrees in Nice and 28 degrees in Saint Tropez with a moderate south easterly wind. Possibility of some light showers this afternoon in the Alpes Maritimes with storms forecast for inland areas. This evening going down to 20 degrees.

Tomorrow and the start of the weekend clear skies highs of 30 degrees with a light south easterly wind.

Finally 

A hospital has turned down £2,500 from a fundraising group because a group of men had dressed up as ‘sexualised’ female nurses in order to fundraise.

The group had raised the money for Ludlow Hospital in Shropshire by pushing a bed around the town while wearing skimpy outfits.

Peter Corfield, chairman of the League of Friends of Ludlow Hospital, claimed the stunt was ‘light-hearted’ – but hospital bosses didn’t agree.

 

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