French and Riviera News Thursday 9th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Nuclear - The French nuclear plant hit by an explosion this morning poses no risk of contamination. The explosion on the Normandy coast took place outside the plant's nuclear zone and did not create any fireball as previously reported.

Pedophile - A pedophile former school principal, living in Monaco, has been given 18 months in prison for downloading eleven child pornographic images. He was caught after police monitoring software detected the download. The man, in his 70s, said he was preparing a thesis on the safety of children.

Attack - Shopping centre Cap Trois Mille is to hold a full scale exercise in attack management tonight from 10 O’Clock. The exercise will involve police and emergency services practicing their terror attack response in real conditions on a large existing site.

Police - A police investigation into the anal rape of a man during an arrest in Paris has concluded the officer's baton slipped into the man by accident. The incident has led to several nights of violence in the city.


Shares in Twitter have fallen more than 10% after the company reported fourth-quarter losses totalling  $167m, almost double the $90m loss recorded in the same period last year. Ad revenue and active user numbers are up on last year, but only slightly, with Donald Trump's ardent use of Twitter doing little to boost either.

Meanwhile, President Trump's tweet, attacking a clothing retailer after it dropped a fashion line owned by his daughter, has been attacked by Democrats in the States. Mr Trump tweeted "Ivanka has been treated so unfairly" by clothing retailer Nordstrom. Senators called the post inappropriate while an ex-White House ethics expert dubbed it as outrageous. Nordstrom is the the fifth retailer to drop the Ivanka Trump clothing line, citing lack of sales.


Football - UEFA has asked for 16 European teams to be given places at the expanded 2026 World Cup and that those teams be kept apart during the first stage of the competition. The new-look World Cup will have an initial round of 16 three-team groups, with 32 qualifiers going through to the knockout stage. FIFA is expected to confirm the quotas for each continent in May.

Rugby - Welsh wing George North and fly-half Dan Biggar have been named in Wales' Six Nations team to play England on Saturday despite suffering injuries against Italy. On the English team, Harlequins' Jack Clifford will make his second start for England in the team announced today. And the Irish team have drafted in Donnacha Ryan and Cian Healy for their Six Nations game against Italy in Rome.

Ski - Ski jumper Olivier Jenot has suffered a spectacular fall during the men’s Super-G World Championship in St Moritz. The 28 year old, representing Monaco, lost his balance during a jump and fell on his back. He is recovering after a major but successful operation in hospital.

UPDATE 07:00

Monaco Policeman - A Monaco policeman Johann Jorquera has been awarded one of France’s highest awards, the National Order of Merit. Jorquera was awarded for his bravery while off duty almost three years ago. While shopping in Latte, across the border from Menton, Johann Jorquera witnessed a violent argument between a man and a woman in a car park, he intervened and was attacked by the man. When the carabinieri arrived, they informed Johann that his assailant was a well-known drug addict who was suffering from AIDS and Hepatitis C. At Princess Grace Hospital, he was told there was a 50-percent chance that he had been infected in the altercation. Johann, a resident of Castellar who was born in Monaco, had to undergo debilitating medical treatment. The verdict after a long course of therapy to restore his immune system - Johann was not HIV positive. On receiving the award for his bravery from the French Ambassador to Monaco, Mme Marine de Carné-Trécesson, Johann said: “I am extremely proud today and I am very pleased. I am a policeman and it is normal that I render service. Being a police officer is 24 hours a day. It’s a state of mind, not a function”. Monaco’s Director of Public Security was also present at the Maison de France on Tuesday to pay tribute to the police officer. “The gesture of Johann Jorquera is a strong act which should serve as an example to all his colleagues.”

Flu - This year’s flu epidemic in France has claimed 14,300 lives according to recent figures, with a large number of cases in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. A large number of those hit by the flu epidemic were aged over 75 years old.

Ski Jump - Ski jumper Olivier Jenot has suffered a fall during the men’s Super-G World Championship in St.Moritz. The 28 year old who was representing the Principality of Monaco lost his balance during a jump a fell on his back. He was immediately taken to hospital and is reportedly in a stable condition.

Motorway Delays - Motorists in the region experienced long delays on the A8 motorway on Wednesday evening after  two cars collided between Antibes and Villeneuve-Loubet. Traffic came to a standstill following the accident which also coincided with a large number of people attending the OGC Nice football match against AS Saint-Etienne.

Football - Following their defeat against Monaco, OGC Nice beat Saint Etienne on Wednesday 1-0. The result means that Nice manage to remain three points behind Monaco.


Violence – French police have arrested a dozen people on a fourth night of clashes with youths on a housing estate in the north of Paris. Two other people have been sentenced to six months in prison for acts of violence in the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Violence broke out in the area following the assault on a young man by a police officer during an arrest. Meanwhile 400 people demonstrated in Nantes in support of the victim.  

Le Louvre - The main suspect in last week’s attack on four soldiers at the Louvre Museum in Paris has told authorities he acted alone according to sources close to the investigation. The man, a 29-year-old Egyptian national broke his silence over the incident earlier this week after initially refusing to speak to investigators. The suspect said that he went to the Louvre last Friday morning with the intention of committing a symbolic attack against France by defacing one of the museum’s masterpieces with spray paint found in his backpack, and did not mean to attack soldiers. He said that he acted alone, denying he was under orders from the Islamic State group.


A report by Reuters this morning says that Goldman Sachs is planning to move its Investment Partners business from London to New York. Goldman has confirmed the move and Reuters says that 8 staff members who make up the London team,were recently told to move to the Battery Park City headquarters of the Goldman Sachs Group in lower Manhattan or to find a new job internally in the United States. A spokesman for Goldman says that the decision is not related to Brexit but refused to give any more details. Goldman Sachs Investment Partners launched in 2008 with around 7 billion dollars in assets.

The deputy-governor of the Bank of England has warned against relaxing banking regulation amid claims that the UK could become an offshore tax haven post-Brexit. Sir Jon Cunliffe says that “lax controls” risked undoing progress that had been made since the financial crisis. There have been suggestions that the UK could become an offshore tax haven if it doesn’t secure a good trade deal with the European Union following Brexit by encouraging banks and other financial businesses to move to the country to avoid tougher regulation elsewhere. Sir Jon said that “substantial progress has been made since the financial crisis” and that “no-one wants to see again the sort of events that occurred between 2007 and 2009”.He said that international standards were required  and that it was important to maintain reforms introduced to tackle future shocks.

And-Plans to decommission the Brent Field in the North Sea have been lodged with the UK government. Shell has already started decommissioning one platform but the new plan is for the whole field to be mothballed. The plan includes leaving the legs of some of the platforms in the field in place with Shell describing it as “the safest option”. Oil and Gas UK has estimated that more than 100 platforms are expected to be completely or partially removed from the UK and Norwegian continental shelves by 2025.


Football-Leicester City have won at home for the first time this year as they beat Derby County 3-1 after extra time to move through to the 5th round of the FA Cup. Ndidi and Gray scored the decisive goals in the 94th and 114th minutes to put Leicester through to face Millwall of League 1 in the 5th round.

Rugby Union-Taulupe Faletau is fit for selection for the big 6 Nations game between Wales and England in Cardiff on Saturday. The Wales number 8 has recovered from a knee injury and could be named in the starting line-up. George North and Dan Biggar both still need to pass fitness tests after picking up knocks during the victory over Italy last weekend. Scotland travel to France on Sunday looking for their first victory at the Stade de France since 1999. Scotland started their 6 Nations campaign with a thrilling victory over Ireland at Murrayfield and beat France for the first time in 10 years at home last season. Captain Greg Laidlaw says that they’ll need to be “subtle and clever” if they’re to win this weekend.

Formula 1-The Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that he’s confident that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will work well together this season. Wolff says that Bottas,who moved from Williams to Mercedes to replace the retired Nico Rosberg,has been settling in “well” and he doesn’t anticipate any problems with the partnership.

Golf-Tiger Woods has said that he will “never feel great again” because of the number of injuries that he’s suffered during his career. The former world number one who’s 41,pulled out of last week’s Dubai Desert Classic before the second round after suffering from a back spasm. He’s still hoping to compete in the Masters in April but added that there have been “plenty of times” when he thought that he’d ever play again.


Brightening as the day progresses with moderate north easterly or variable winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with more rain developing.

Friday and the start of the weekend.Brightening tomorrow after a wet start,partially cloudy on Saturday with highs of 12-14 degrees.


If your dog is relaxed and friendly, or nervous and twitchy, you could be responsible. A study has found that dogs belonging to neurotic owners are less able to cope with stress, while relaxed people have more relaxed and friendly pets.

After 30,000 years of living with us, dogs recognise our emotions and may even take them on, according to researchers at the University of Vienna. They found pet owners more prone to anxiety, who are more pessimistic, have dogs which ‘mirror’ these traits.

In an experiment involving 132 owners and their pets, these dogs were less able to cope with perceived threats, as shown by changes in their level of the stress hormone cortisol.



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