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French and Riviera News Tuesday 14th November 2017

Local

Five year prison sentence - A 32-year-old Tunisian man living in San Remo has been handed a five year prison sentence for having assisted dozens of illegal immigrants across the border  into France. Border police had been investigating the smuggling ring since April 2016, with migrants paying 150 euros per person to get from Ventimiglia to Nice. According to reports it’s one of the heaviest sentences handed down in Nice for the offence.

Tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks - Several local officials have laid a wreath in Nice to honour victims of the Paris terror attacks two years ago.  Amongst those present at the ceremony at the colline du Château on Monday were Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, Frédéric Mac Kain, secretary general of the Prefecture, and deputies Eric Ciotti and Marine Brenier.  In Paris, President Emmanuel Macron attended ceremonies to honour victims of the attacks. The first ceremony was at the Stade de France - where three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium. Former President Francois Hollande, who was present at the stadium on the night of the attack, accompanied President Macron. The names of other victims of the attacks were read out at the bars and restaurants where they died. The final ceremony was held at the Bataclan, where most of the victims died.  In total, 130 people were killed and hundreds were injured.

Victorine Studios - Nice town council has approved the takeover of the famous Victorine studios, renamed “Studios Riviera” in 1999. The studios at the height of its fame welcomed cinema greats such as Francois Truffaut, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen. The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi hopes to put in place a “committee of experts” all in the business to modernise the sight. 

Saint Roch hospital - Meanwhile on Monday Christian Estrosi also presented plans for what used to be the “Saint Roch hospital” to become a police headquarters comprising both national and municipal forces. The project aims to put an end to the current poor working conditions for police making it a leading law enforcement centre in France. The project hopes to be completed by 2022.

Nice Urban Trail - It’s been announced that the Nice Urban Trail has been cancelled again this year.  The run, which was due to take place on the 10th of December, has been cancelled because of security concerns. The organisers were apparently told by the city of Nice that the event couldn’t go ahead after police refused required permissions.  Participants who have already registered will receive refunds.

Cannes elected best destination 2017 - The city of Cannes has been elected best destination 2017 according to the Luxury Travel Guide. The award announced at the travel show in London saw Cannes beat finalist Beverly Hills and Cape Town. A jury of specialised journalists and tourism experts voted it as the “must see” destination in the luxury travel sector.

National

Irish woman found dead - The body of an Irish woman who had been reported missing from her home in central France has been found in a local park where she had been jogging. French authorities have confirmed she died after what appears to have been a freak accident. She was found in a park near the town of Annonay, just south of Lyon, where she worked as an English teacher. Authorities confirmed that she died following a fall while out running on Wednesday.

Police Force - Eight French officers including a high-profile former police chief have committed suicide in just a week sparking renewed concern among the forces of law and order and the government. These latest suicides brought the number of French police officers to have taken their lives this year to 45. There have also been 16 suicides by members of France's military police the gendarmerie nationale.

Sexual harassment - Reports of rape, sexual assault and harassment have leapt by almost a third in France. The rise, described as “exceptional” is believed to have been prompted by victims feeling empowered to come forward after the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc campaigns on social media. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is expected to address sexual violence on 25th November, which is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Business

One of America’s largest corporations General Electric has announced that it’s to focus on the aviation,power and healthcare sectors.The company has also cut its dividend for only the third time in its 125 year history and halved its full-year profit forecast. General Electric’s new chief executive John Flannery said that the plans would result in a smaller,more focused company reversing the deal-driven empire built by his predecessors. The announcement took investors by surprise and the firm’s stock fell to its lowest level in 5 years. Analysts say that GE stock has effectively been dead money since September 2001 when Jeff Immelt became chief executive. There’s pessimism around the firm’s portfolio with businesses coupled with a harsh cut in the dividend which many experts think will take a long time to resolve.

Shares in the toymaker Mattel have soared by 20 percent on reports that rival Hasbro is planning a takeover. Mattel,which makes Barbie has been struggling with falling sales while Hasbo which makes Play Doh and My Little Pony has been gaining in strength. Mattel attempted to take Hasbro over in 1996 but it reported a loss in the third quarter and is now seen as being ripe for a takeover. Both firms shares fell last month following a warning that the bankruptcy of the retailer Toys R Us could limit sales.Analysts estimate that together,Mattel and Hasbro would account for around 33 percent of the US toy market.

And-Credit Suisse is to pay and fine of  135 million dollars after US regulators found that its foreign exchange unit engaged in “unlawful,unsafe and unsound conduct”. The investigation found that traders at the bank improperly co-ordinated with other banks and traded on confidential customer information. The agreement is the latest development in a global investigation of foreign currency markets. Credit Suisse says that it’s “pleased” to have resolved the matter.

Sport

Skiing-The French Olympic skier David Poisson has died following a crash in training in Canada. The 35 year old who won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships was killed at the Canadian resort of Nakisha while training with team-mates for the World Cup at Lake Louise. Poisson represented France at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.A statement from the French Skiing Federation said that the team was “devastated” by the news.

Football-Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958 after being held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden in the second leg of their playoff game in Milan. Sweden go through to Russia 2018 1-0 on aggregate having won the first leg.Italy have only missed  the finals twice-in 1958 and at the inaugural tournament in 1930 when they declined to participate. Following the defeat,Italy’s veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from international football.The 39 year old has made 175 appearances for his country and won the World Cup in 2006.

Tonight,the Republic of Ireland play the second leg of their playoff against Denmark in Dublin.It’s 0-0 after the first leg.

England play Brazil in an international friendly at Wembley tonight.In other games Wales play Panama.Germany host France and Portugal play the USA.

Cricket-England all-rounder Moeen Ali has said that Australians like to “talk a lot” and that the tourists need to stay calm during the forthcoming Ashes series. The first Test starts in Brisbane a week on Thursday and England have been subjected to the usual barrage of media attention and aggressive comments from various Australian players past and present. Moeen has recovered from a side strain and will play in England’s final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville tomorrow. He says that Australians like to “talk a lot and big themselves up” but it’s not something that he hasn’t had to deal with before.

Tennis-Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the season ending ATP World Tour Finals in London after losing his opening match to David Goffin of Belgium. The world number one is suffering from knee trouble again and went down 7-6 6-7 6-4.He says that is season is now finished and he’ll concentrate on recuperating. The other match in the Pete Sampras Group on Monday ended in a three set win for Grigor Dimitrov over Dominic Thiem.

Rugby Union-The England coach Eddie Jones has apologised for swearing on TV after receiving a dressing down from his mother. Jones was caught losing his cool on camera during England’s patchy win over Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday  and later received a phone call from his 93 year old mum who was not pleased by his behaviour. He says that he’s in the “doghouse” and certainly won’t be doing it again.

Weather

Clear skies with a brisk north easterly wind persisting in the eastern Alpes-Maritimes.

Top temperature 17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and  degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 16-18 degrees and windy in the Alpes-Maritimes tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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