French and Riviera News Thursday 31st May 2018


Court case - The trial of Martine Landry has opened in Nice. The 73 year old pensioner who works with human rights group Amnesty International faces up to five years in prison and a 30,000 euro fine for human trafficking for helping migrants. Landry is accused of facilitating the passage of two boys, who were at the time aged 15 and 16, into France from a Franco-Italian border post on 28th July 2017 so that they could have access to social services.

Elan bill - More than 300,000 people have signed a petition against the Elan bill which plans to modify the existing law on construction on coastal areas. Some elected officials fear that the bill which was discussed at the National Assembly on Wednesday could see some protected areas disappear to housing development. In the La Croix Valmer in the Var the Vallon Valmer has been protected by the coastal law for 30 years. Associations and officials fear a change in the law could mean a change to the existing landscape.

Football - France’s football team will be landing in Nice this morning ahead of tomorrow’s friendly match against Italy. For the blues, who according to reports are staying at the Radisson Hotel, it will be their second friendly match ahead of the World Cup in Russia. Kickoff is at 9pm


Paris refugees - French riot police have cleared more than 1,000 migrants and refugees from one of the largest makeshift camps in Paris. Hundreds of homeless people were taken by bus to temporary shelters on Wednesday. More than 2,000 migrants and refugees had been sleeping on pavements under bridges and canals in northern Paris. Further camps along the canal and at Porte de la Chapelle, where hundreds more are sleeping on the streets, are expected to be cleared in the coming days.

Illicit drug trade - According to figures published the trade in illegal drugs contributes an estimated 0.1 percent of France's GDP, earning 2.7 billion euros. An estimated 3.1 billion euros-worth of drugs are consumed in France each year, according to the findings, but 400 million euros represent imports and so must be subtracted and credited to the GDP of the exporting countries, leaving a balance of 2.7 billion euros. According to the estimates France's trade in cannabis is worth a billion euros and that in cocaine 800 million euros. The statistics are the first ever produced in France on the contribution of drug trafficking to the economy.

Champagne - French champagne producers are counting their losses after a battering by a wave of hail storms that wiped out 1,000 hectares of grapes. The northeastern Champagne region experienced four particularly heavy hail storms in late April and May just as the vines were beginning to flower. Winemakers in the southwest have also been affected by torrential summer storms which have hit earlier this year than usual.


The European Trade Commissioner has said that she’s not optimistic that Europe will be able to avoid some kind of restriction on steel and aluminium exports to the United States. A report in the Wall Street Journal has said that the Trump administration is planning to let a temporary exemption granted to the EU expire. Talks between EU and US officials have been taking place in Paris with European leaders expecting a final decision on the tariffs today.

If they go into effect then the US will levy a 25 percent tariff on EU steel and 10 percent on aluminium. Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March citing the need to protect domestic US steel and aluminium producers for reasons of national security.

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, slightly slower than the initial 2.3 percent estimate. The US Commerce Department published the revision on Wednesday in its second estimate of GDP. Exports,inventory investments and consumer spending were weaker than first estimated. The first quarter is typically the weakest of the year and most economists expect economic growth to accelerate in the coming months.

And-Major European companies have warned the British Prime Minister that they may cut investment without more clarity on the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. Business leaders from BP,BMW,Nestle among others told Theresa May that “time is running out” at a meeting in Downing Street on Wednesday. In a joint statement following the meeting,the firms said that a trade deal with the EU must be “frictionless as with a customs union”. Downing Street said that the meeting had been “open and productive”.


Tennis-Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov both came through tough 5 set matches to reach the third round of the French Open at Roland Garros on Wednesday.
Zverev,the second seed was taken all the way by the world number 60 Dusan Lajovic before coming through 2-6 7-5 4-6 6-1 6-2 while the 4th seed Dimitrov eventually came out as 5 set winner against Jared Donaldson of the United States.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori was also taken to 5 sets by Benoit Paire of France before coming through 6-3 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3.
In the women’s event Caroline Wozniacki came through her second round match with Georgina Garcia Perez 6-1 6-0 and there were wins too for the 4th  seed Elina Svitolina and  the 8th seed Petra Kvitova.

Football-Egypt say that star striker Mo Salah should be fit to play some part in the country’s World Cup campaign.
Salah injured his shoulder in Liverpool’s Champions League defeat by Real Madrid last weekend but the Egypt national team doctor says that he doesn’t expect him to be out for more than 3 weeks.

Formula 1-Williams have parted company with their head of aerodynamics following a disappointing start to the season.
Dirk de Beer joined Williams from Ferrari early last year and his departure follows that of chief designer Ed Wood who left earlier this month.
Williams finished 5th in the constructors championship last year but they’re in  last place  this season and are putting their problems down to aerodynamics.
Chief engineer Doug McKiernan has now been given full design responsibility.

Cricket-England’s James Anderson says that the side must show “spirit and fight” in the second Test against Pakistan which starts at Headingly tomorrow.
England lost the first Test by 9 wickets and need to win the 2nd Test to draw  the two match series.
Anderson says that it’s going to take some special individual performances.
Ben Stokes is facing a fitness test today on a tight left hamstring with the Surrey left-arm seamer Sam Curran called in as cover.


Sunshine and showers with light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperature 24 degrees.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Sunshine and showers.Highs of 23-26 degrees.





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