French and Riviera News Tuesday 22nd May 2018


Masked gang open fire in Marseille - Hooded gunmen have opened fire near a group of young people on a housing estate outside the city of Marseille before reportedly taking a man hostage. At least one person was injured when the gunmen, all dressed in black, drew up in three vehicles, and began shooting. According to local reports the armed gang appeared to be looking for someone and threatened locals before firing several times into the air. They then grabbed a youth and drove off. Police said the incident was not being investigated as terrorism.

Strike Action - Due to strike action today by the civil service half of the crèches, six schools and 91 school canteens will today be closed in Nice. Employees are protesting against the government’s current reforms to the sector and the lack of purchasing power amongst civil servants.

Police appeal for witnesses - Police in the Croix Valmer in the Var have appealed for witnesses after a motorist in Cavalaire gave a lift to a young woman in the early hours of Sunday morning. The driver escorted the woman, who is described as having long brown hair and at the time was wearing grey sweatpants and a black t-shirt, to her home in Cogolin. Anyone with any information is invited to call

Fire at Lidl store in Marseille - A fire has broken out at a Lidl store in Marseille. Firefighters intervened on Monday afternoon as shoppers were escorted to safety. The cause of the fire is believed to be due to an electrical fault. 800m2 was destroyed in the blaze, no casualties were reported.

New asteroid - According to the Côte d’Azur observatory the asteroid from another star system which has been spotted sharing Jupiter’s orbit around the sun - but travelling in the wrong direction is unique. The bizarre rock is the second interstellar space object to be found in the solar system. The first was ‘Oumuamua’, a cigar shaped object that flew into and through the solar system last year. Since asteroids and comets carry organic chemicals and water, the discovery could shed light on the origins of life on Earth, say the scientists.

Marseille one of the world’s greenest cities - A Dutch travel agency has ranked the city of Marseille as one of the world’s greenest cities. The agency, has decided to showcase cities that make a lasting commitment by preserving ecological zones. And Marseille is the only French city to appear in the ranking with nearly 112 square meters of global green space in the city per capita. Marseille is twice the size of Paris with 10,000 hectares of natural areas.

Cuisine Niçoise - The association “Cuisine Niçoise” has seen a successful step forward in protecting typical Niçoise cuisine following a meeting with the Ministry of Culture. The project which was set up two years ago is requesting recognition from UNESCO in order to preserve local dishes. A decision is to be made on May 31st.


Italy and its commitments to the European Union - Italy's new leaders have told France to mind its own business after French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned them to keep the country's commitments to the Europe Union. Le Maire at the weekend predicted that the eurozone's financial stability would be put at risk if the new Italian government does not abide by previous government's commitments on "debt, the deficit and consolidation of the banks".

French student - A French student union leader has been accused by ministers of using her headscarf for political gain. Maryam Pougetoux, who is Muslim has hit back at ministers, calling the claims "pathetic". France's interior minister personally criticized the 19 year old student who is the president of the student union at the Sorbonne in Paris, for being interviewed while wearing her headscarf. The French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said it was a "form of promotion of political Islam", adding that the students' union "should tell us what values it wants to promote, clearly and coherently". Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said Ms Pougetoux's appearance in a headscarf was a "provocation" that he found "shocking". Wearing the Muslim headscarf was banned in French schools and some other public buildings in 2004 but it remains legal in universities.


Sony says that its agreed to buy a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing for 2.3 billion dollars.
The deal which is aimed at boosting Sony’s music portfolio means that the firm will indirectly own around 90 percent of the EMI record label and some 2 million songs from artists ranging from Queen to Pharrell Williams.
EMI is currently owned by a consortium led by Sony and is one of the world’s largest music publishing firms.
Sony already owns some 2.3 million music copyrights and the addition of EMI’s catalogue will make it an industry giant.

A report from Reuters says that US airline stocks which have been depressed by rising oil prices this year could be set for a boost.
The S&P 1500 airlines index has fallen  by more than 10 percent this year while other factors including broader market volatility have been affecting shares.
However,Reuters says that an expected strong summer travel period could lure investors back into the airline market with more enticing values in the face of higher oil prices.
Fuel is one of the biggest costs for airlines and are estimated to make up around a third of operating expenses.

And-The BBC is reporting that Comcast appears to have taken the upper hand in its bid to take control of the UK TV operator Sky.
On Monday,the UK Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said that Comcast’s 22 billion pound bid for Sky was unlikely to be referred to competition authorities.He said that he did not think that the proposed merger posed any public interest concerns in comments that will come as a blow for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox which is also trying to buy Sky.
Unlike Comcast,Fox has been facing lengthy political and regulatory delays and is still waiting for the British government to say whether it should be allowed to buy Sky.


Football-The former PSG and Sevilla manager Unai Emery is set to be appointed as the new Arsenal manager.
Emery has emerged as the unanimous choice by the Arsenal  board following a recruitment process in which all candidates have been spoken to.
The 46 year old Spaniard is available after leaving Paris St Germain where he won one Ligue 1 title and 4 domestic cups during his two seasons in charge.

Formula 1-The Mercedes team boss has said that he’s expecting his drivers to be on the back foot in Monaco this weekend.
Mercedes struggled in Monaco last year and Toto Wolff thinks that the tight,slow track may not suit their cars again this year.
Wolff says that Red Bull and Mercedes will be favourites and he’s being “cautious” in his approach to the race.

Rugby Union-Paul Gustard has been appointed as the new head of rugby at Harlequins.
The 42 year old England defence coach will take up his new position following England’s summer tour of South Africa.His departure may pose problems for England head coach Eddie Jones 15 months before the World Cup

Cycling-Simon Yates takes a lead of more than 2 minutes into today’s 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia.
The 25 year old is 2 minutes 11 seconds ahead of Tom Dumoulin as the riders prepare to tackle the 34.2 kilometre individual time trial between Trento and Rovereto. 


Overcast with rain and scattered thunderstorms.

Light to moderate south westerly winds and a high of 20 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy with occasional showers tomorrow.Fine on Thursday.Highs of 20-23 degrees.










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