French and Riviera News Wednesday 3rd January 2018


Weather Warning - Météo France has placed most of north and eastern France as well as Corsica on alert for wild weather as Storm Eleanor looks set to hit the country with winds of up to 120km/h. An ‘orange’ weather warning was issued on Tuesday night with winds expected to last for between 12 and 18 hours before subsiding this afternoon. Under the orange warning, residents are expected to be "very vigilant" warned to look out for falling trees and other objects, and advised not to go out onto roofs of buildings. The Alpes Maritimes has been issued a yellow weather alert with violent winds and avalanches forecast for today.  

Armed robbery at the ‘Salon des Antiquaires’ - Police in the Var have launched an investigation following an armed robbery at the ‘Salon des Antiquaires’ in Saint Tropez. The robbery took place on Tuesday night, at around 7 pm, when four masked men crossed the Place des Lices before rushing into the exhibition building armed with shotguns and ordering the exhibitors to lie on the floor while they broke the windows of a jewelry stand. Upon fleeing the scene police spotted the perpetrators who opened fire shooting four or five times.

Missing person - Authorities are searching for a 16 year old girl who went missing in Antibes on Tuesday, Manon Lovera was last seen waiting for the line 8 bus towards Vallauris at the bus stop on the place De Gaulle in Antibes on Tuesday morning.  According to local media she has light eyes, and brown hair. She was probably wearing black leggings, a grey cap, a black scarf and a black top.

Fire on the Col de Vence - Firefighters were fighting a blaze on the Col de Vence on Tuesday. The fire which was visible from afar broke out shortly after 5.30pm. Firefighters on site said the blaze posed no imminent danger as no houses were located nearby. 

Earth tremor in the Var - There was a small earth tremor in the Var on Tuesday morning. Authorities reported a tremor of 2.8 on the Richter scale at ten to eight on Tuesday morning off the coast of the Var between Toulon and Six-Fours.

Eurovision- A local musical duo ‘MadameMonsieur’ has been preselected to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest. The Eurovision will take place in Lisbon in May. The duo will participate in three television programs "Destination Eurovision" on France 2, which starts on January 13th. 

Picasso's former home demolished - Demolition has begun on Picasso's former home the ‘Chene Roc villa’ in Juan Les Pins, which he shared with his first wife Olga. Despite protest from locals an apartment block is planned to be built on the site.  

Artwork - Images of Nice have been projected onto a statue located in Rio de Janeiro. The optical illusion created by artist Gaspare Di Caro from Antibes has been created on an existing historic monument. It's not the first time that Di Caro has projected images of Nice, following the Nice terror attack the famous blue chairs on the Promenade des Anglais were projected onto a statue. The monument is to celebrate 40 years of Nice and Rio de Janeiro being twinned. 


French government takes tough action - The French government has promised tough action after a violent attack on police officers outside a party on the outskirts of Paris on New Year's Eve. A video that has gone viral on social media shows the female police officer being knocked to the ground and kicked, while others show vehicles being turned over and vandalised. The two victims were among several officers who were called to a warehouse party on an industrial estate in Champigny-sur-Marne, east of Paris, on New Year's Eve.

France plans to put phones in every prison - France has announced plans to install landline phones in prison cells across the country in an ambitious bid to improve rehabilitation rates - and cut down on rampant mobile phone trafficking behind bars. The justice ministry said that it had called for bids to operate the new service after "successful tests of this experiment" at one prison since 2016.

Changes for 2018 in France - January is often a time for change and there are several new laws and price hikes coming into existence in France. The price of petrol and diesel price are to rise as is the minimum wage and in a bid to tackle pollution levels the French government is offering car owners a bonus of between €1,000 and 2,000 if they trade in their old car for a new one. To qualify for the bonus you have to have an old petrol car from before 1997 or a diesel car from between 2001 and 2006. For anyone who buys an electric car the bonus will be up to €2,500. Daily hospital charges are set to rise and the number of vaccinations that are compulsory for children rises from three to 11 in 2018. Finally anyone who takes their driving test in France from now on will need to know basic first aid skills which will be taught by driving schools and town halls have announced plans to set fixed parking fees and fines.


The US has blocked the $1.2bn dollar sale of money transfer firm Moneygram to China's Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of Alibaba. It is the highest profile Chinese deal to be rejected by Washington since Donald Trump came to power. Regulators overseeing foreign investments in the US had refused to support the takeover, the firms said. The geopolitical environment had "changed considerably" since the merger was announced last year.

Spotify has been hit with a lawsuit that accuses the streaming service of infringing the rights of songwriters and publishers. Wixen Music Publishing is seeking damages of at least $1.6bn dollars. The California company represents artists that include Janis Joplin, The Black Keys and Tom Petty. Spotify have declined to comment. The firm has been trying to settle a class action lawsuit brought by songwriters.

And - A dating website's claim that it used a "scientifically proven matching system" to pair up those looking for love has been banned. An advert for eHarmony on the London Underground in July read: "It's time science had a go at love". The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) called the claim "misleading". The online matchmaker said while it "respectfully disagrees" with the ruling, it would make its advertising "as clear as possible". The firm had argued that its matching system was scientific and could provide an advantage in finding a compatible partner over a chance-based system or meeting. It said that consumers would not interpret the ad to mean it was a guarantee that they would find a long-term relationship. It uses an algorithm to match couples, based on data collected from more than 50,000 married people in 23 different countries.


Football - Runaway leaders Manchester City showed no ill-effects from the end of their 18-game Premier League winning run by comfortably beating Watford 3-1. 

In other Premier league matches on Tuesday Crystal Palace beat Southampton 2-1, Spurs beat Swansea 2-0 and West Ham beat West Brom 2-1. This evening Arsenal play Chelsea local kick off time is at 8.45pm

PDC World Championship - Rob Cross has risen to stratospheric heights from winning a measly £7 in a pub darts competition to bringing home £400,000 for beating Phil Taylor in the PDC World Championship final. The former electrician dominated 'The Power' 7-2. Now Cross is champion of the world and has a bright future stretching out in front of him.

Tennis - Britain's Andy Murray says he may have to consider surgery after withdrawing from the Brisbane International because of his long-term hip injury. The 30-year-old is down to 16th in the world, having not played since July. The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on 15 January and Murray added he would decide by the weekend whether to stay in Australia or fly home.


There is a yellow weather warning in place for the Alpes Maritimes with strong winds and a high risk of avalanches. Gust of up to 70km/h are forecast for the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. Top temperature is 18 degrees going down to 6 degrees this evening.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday winds are forecast to drop in the Alpes Maritimes but remain strong in the Var for most of Thursday. Highs of 18 degrees going down to 11 degrees - rain is forecast across the region by Friday evening.


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