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French and Riviera News Wednesday 27th December 2017

Local

Murder investigation – An investigation will start today into the death of a mother of three from Toulon. The woman was fatally wounded by her husband in front of their three children on Christmas day. The children aged 8, 14 and 15 were present at the time of the attack and according to reports "two of them tried to intervene". The father has been placed in custody following the investigation.

Nursery in Marseille under investigation - A nursery in Marseille is under investigation for negligence and violence towards a 5-month-old baby girl. Suffering from a broken skull the victim was operated on at La Timone Hospital in Marseille. According to reports it was the child’s father who alerted authorities in September.

Shoppers stuck in shopping center car park - Hundreds of vehicles have been stuck for more than an hour in the car park of the Cap 3000 shopping center in Saint-Laurent du Var. The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon, as an important number of motorists attempted to exit the car park. The cause is believed to have been due to bad weather and a considerable number of shoppers during the festive break.

Ski lift breaks down in French Alpes - Around 150 skiers in the French Alps have been rescued after being trapped for several hours when their ski lift broke down at the weekend. The rescue operation lasted about two hours at the ski resort  of Chamrousse, near Grenoble. The cause of the breakdown, was unknown.

CCTV cameras in Antibes - The city council in Antibes has announced plans to increase security in the town by installing ten new CCTV cameras. The decision was met by opposition from some local MP’s questioning the use of the system. The move will bring the total number of CCTV cameras in the town to 147.

Lemon flavoured oysters - After four years of trial and error experiments in his garage a French seafood farmer is proposing lemon-flavoured oysters this holiday season. The process involves plunging the oysters into a tank of sea water laced with lemon extract for between two and 12 hours. Dubault, who says he got the idea from customers at his market stall constantly asking him to throw in a lemon along with their purchase, began marketing the pre-flavoured oysters in October and has found buyers from Belgium to Hong Kong.

Millionaire scratch card - A forty-year-old woman from the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region has won a million euros on a scratch card while out Christmas shopping. According to reports she returned home for her husband to check her win, before celebrating.

National

School bus collision - Families of victims of the fatal collision between a school bus and a train on December 14th in Millas south western France have been received by the prefect of the Pyrénées-Orientales. Several parents of the victims have criticized the lack of psychological support, and the brutal announcement of the death of their children the night of the collision. After individual meetings with the relatives of five of the six victims, the Prefect has announced additional medical support to be provided.

Dairy giant Lactalis - French prosecutors have opened a probe into salmonella contamination and a major international recall of baby milk produced by dairy giant Lactalis. The investigation will focus on possible charges of causing involuntary injuries and endangering the lives of others but also possible cheating and failures in carrying out a product recall. Reports of some 20 children falling sick after consuming Lactalis powdered milk first emerged in early December.

New reform to tighten unemployment benefits - According to an article to be published today in the the French paper Le Canard enchaîné the French government plans to tighten the framework of unemployment benefits. The move comes as part of a new reform to be introduced on unemployment rights in France.  

Business

According to the research group Springboard fewer people have hit the UK's Boxing Day sales this year with shop visits dropping by 4.5% compared with last year. A spokesperson at the group said that Black Friday sales have changed the way people shop in the UK as retailers began discounting a week before 24th November and carried on right up until Christmas. However on the upside, Springboard said early indicators pointed to a strong rise in online shopping for the full 24-hour Boxing Day period.

And - Staff at the Japanese internet firm GMO Group will be among the latest to find out how it feels to be paid in Bitcoin. More than 4,000 employees are being given the option to receive a portion of their salary in Bitcoin from early next year. Critics say it is a marketing stunt, announced at a time when global interest in the financial technology has never been higher.

Sport

Football - In the English Premier League Spurs beat Southampton 5-2, Bournemouth drew 3-3 against West Ham, Chelsea beat Brighton 2-0, Huddersfield drew against Stoke 1-1, Manchester United drew against Burnley 2-2, Watford beat Leicester 2-1. West Brom failed to score against Everton 0-0 and Liverpool beat Swansea 5-0. In this evening Premier League matches Newcastle play Manchester City  - 8.45 kick off local time.  

Cricket - Stuart Broad belatedly kickstarted his Ashes campaign as England fought back to bowl Australia out for 327 on the second afternoon at the MCG. Broad (four for 51) came into this fourth Test with just five wickets in the series, amid calls from some to leave him out as England try to avoid a 5-0 whitewash. But he responded by taking his career Test tally to 397 as Australia lost their last seven for 67 runs.

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton has apologised for making "inappropriate" comments in a video in which he appeared to mock his nephew's princess dress. In an Instagram video, which has since been deleted, the Formula 1 driver says "boys don't wear princess dresses". He was criticised on social media for the clip, which was apparently filmed on Christmas Day.

Weather

Showers to begin with across the region clearing by mid-morning with highs of 12 degrees in Nice and 13 degrees in Saint Tropez and a moderate north westerly wind.

This evening going down to 3 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday clear skies and highs of 11 degrees with a moderate north westerly wind and possible gusts of up to 85km/h in the Var region.

Finally 

The first ever English gold coin that had to be scrapped after a banking blunder meant is was worth less than its weight in gold, is now tipped to sell for £500,000. Some 52,000 of the King Henry III gold pennies were struck nearly 800 years ago before it was realised they were too heavy.  The basic mistake meant the gold it was made from was worth more than the coin itself. This made the coins financially unviable as the holders could get more money from melting them down for gold rather than using them as currency. Virtually all of them were smelted and were replaced with correctly weighed pennies in 1257.

Today only eight of the coins exist, with all but three of them held by institutions.

 

 

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