French and Riviera News Tuesday 12th December 2017


Weather update - After storm Ana hit most of France on Monday, Météo France has announced that seven departments in the southeast and the north of France remain on an orange weather alert. The Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, and Southern Corsica are all still on alert because of potential avalanches. Monday saw the region hit by heavy rain and gale force winds as well as two meters of snowfall. Schoolchildren were sent home early on Monday afternoon due to the severe weather warning and Nice airport remained closed until 7am this morning with all flights cancelled. Meanwhile at the request of the prefect, the City of Nice opened additional shelter for the homeless on Monday to accommodate those sleeping on the streets.

Police officer killed - A municipal police officer from Carpentras in the Vauclause has died after being hit by a motorist. According to reports the incident happened on Monday night shortly after 5pm after the officer was hit by an on coming vehicle while attending to an accident on the dual carriage way between Carpentras-Avignon.

Train service between Toulon and Marseille - The train service between Toulon and Marseille was interrupted on Monday morning after an individual was hit by a train at Cassis train station. Police have launched an investigation into the incident which caused long delays in both directions.

Kidnapping investigation - Five people have been taken into custody as part of the investigation into the abduction of Jacqueline Veyrac, in October 2016. They’re suspected of having participated in the kidnapping of the 76 year old woman near her home in Nice before she was released two days later after a neighbour spotted her tied up in the back of a van. The main suspect   is an Italian restaurant owner who had managed the “La Réserve” restaurant, owned by Jacqueline Veyrac's family. The case continues.


Man on trial for sexual assault - A Frenchman is on trial accused of eight sexual assaults on young women he drugged with chocolate mixed with tranquilisers after they signed up to travel with him in his car through ride-sharing app Bla Bla Car. The 52-year-old was finally arrested in November 2014 when one of his alleged victims ended up in hospital after reacting badly to the cocktail of tranquilisers and antidepressants. His alleged routine was to offer his passengers chocolate when they got into the car which he frequently drove from his home in Nantes to the Calais area to visit relations. He went on trial on Monday in Nantes accused of administering toxic substances and sexual assault. He faces up to seven years in jail if convicted.

“Make Our Planet Great Again” - French President Emmanuel Macron has awarded millions of euros in grants for eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere to relocate to France. The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants – are part of Macron’s efforts to counter Trump on the climate change front. Macron announced a contest for the projects in June, hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.

France’s Republican party - Xavier bertrand has announced his resignation from the Republican party following the election of party leader Laurent Wauquiez. Bertrand president of the region of Hauts-de-France was formerly minister of employment and health under Nicholas Sarkozy. In a statement released on Monday Bertrand said "I no longer recognize my political family so I have decided to leave," he added. "I do not believe anymore in traditional political parties". Xavier Bertrand announced in June that he would not run for the presidency of the party against Laurent Wauquiez having repeatedly criticized the political line of Wauquiez, accusing him of chasing after the extreme right.


A leading United States think tank has said that nearly all of the possible trading relationships between the UK and the EU post Brexit would be less favourable than staying in the European Union.
The Rand Corporation study found that the worst possible outcome for the UK would be a “no deal” which would leave the British economy 4.9 percent worse off by 2029.
The study also found that a “no deal” would have a negative effect on Europe although it would be relatively minor.
The report said that even a “soft Brexit” with the UK remaining inside the single market would not be a positive economically as remaining in the EU.
Half of the Rand Corporation’s funding comes from the US government and in the past it has advised the UK government on several policy issues.

Comcast,the biggest cable provider in the US  has announced that its dropped its bid for most of Twenty-First Century Fox leaving the Disney Corporation as the sole suitor in pursuit of a deal.
A report by Reuters says that Disney is now the clear leader to acquire the assets of Fox which include the National Geographic cable channels,movie studio,the Star Network in India and a stake in the European pay-TV provider Sky.
Reuters says that the Murdoch family which controls Fox would prefer a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in Disney stock than Comcast stock.
It also expects a deal with Disney to be cleared by antitrust regulators in the US more easily.

And-Apple has announced that its reached a deal to acquire the music recognition app Shazam.
No price details for the deal have been announced but it’s thought to be in the region of 400 million dollars.
If correct,the money is far less than the recent 1 billion dollar valuation for Shazam which was set up and developed in the UK.
Apple said that Shazam would be a “natural fit” for its music streaming service  and would help users to discover new songs.
It added that there would be no major changes at Shazam and that its team would be moving to California to oversee the acquisition process.


Football-The draw has been made for the last 16 of the European Champions League with Chelsea given the short straw with a tricky tie against Barcelona.
The other English clubs have got relatively favourable draws with Manchester City playing Basel,Manchester United against Sevilla,Liverpool against Porto and Spurs against Juventus.
The tie of the round though is Paris St Germain against Real Madrid.
In the other games Shakhtar will play Roma and Bayern Munich have been drawn against Besiktas.
The first leg of the ties will be played on the 13th and 14th and the 20th and 21st of February.

There was one game in the English Championship tonight.Reading and Cardiff City drew 2-2.

In the English Premiership tonight Burnley play Stoke.Crystal Palace host Watford and Huddersfield play Chelsea.

Rugby Union-The crisis at Saracens has deepened after they were beaten 46-14 at home by Clermont Auvergne in their rearranged European Champions Cup game last night.
Saracens have lost their last 5 Aviva Premiership games and the home defeat to the side they beat in last season’s European Cup final will come as a bitter blow.
Clermont ran in 6 tries and outclassed their opponents who’ll need to stop the rot soon before their season and reputation  crumbles away.

Cricket-The England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow says that the players need to re-build trust following off the field incidents in Australia.
Bairstow was involved in a “headbutting” incident at the start of the tour while the England Lions batsman Ben Duckett was suspended on Monday after pouring a drink over James Anderson.
Bairstow says that “that’s not what the team is about” and that they’ll have an opportunity to repair some of the damage on the field at Perth.
The third Test between Australia and England starts at the WACA on Thursday with England trailing 2-0 in the 5 match Ashes series.


Mainly fine with a moderate south westerly wind.

Top temperature 14 degrees.

Overnight lows of 6 degrees on the coast and 2 degrees inland with some frost in places and clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy,moderate westerly winds and a high of 13-14 degrees.


From drinking lots of tea to driving on the left-hand side of the road, foreign visitors can be left feeling perplexed by life in Britain.

And new research has revealed the questions countries from around the world ask the most on Google when it comes to the UK.

Australians wantrf to know why Britain is no longer a superpower, Canadians asked why Brits are miserable and the Spanish inquired as to why people in the UK have 'bad teeth'.

Germans wanted to know 'why Brits are ugly', the Irish asked why they are 'always negative' and the Portuguese were keen to know why Brits are 'so pale'.

The French inquired as to 'why do Brits drink so much?' While for Americans, they are keen to know why Brits are so good at waiting while Mexicans are eager to find out why they love their Queen so much.

Meanwhile, the research also shows the most-asked questions Brits themselves have about other countries.

In Europe, Brits want to know why Iceland 'smells of eggs', why Germany is so good at football and why Swedish people are so happy and finally  'why is Australia in Eurovision?'




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