French News Tuesday 20th September 2016



Nice Attack - A young French Muslim woman who lost three family members in the 14th July terrorist attack on Nice has made an impassioned plea to not confuse the Islamic faith with terrorism. Speaking in Paris, on Monday at a national ceremony in tribute to the French victims of terror attacks 21 year old Yasmine Bouzegan Marzouk, said that the attacks were carried out by “barbarians who do not follow the law, faith or religion”. Bouzegan Marzouk, who herself survived the attack, recalled how one of her relatives, 13-year-old Mehdi Hachadi, was crushed under the wheels of the truck that sped through the crowd on the Nice waterfront.

Pierrefeu - Two inmates have escaped from a psychiatric hospital near Toulon. The two men aged 26 and 30 escaped on Saturday night from the hospital in Pierrefeu in the Var. According to reports the two detainees benefited from a change of shift amongst hospital workers between 9 and 9.30pm. The first elements of the investigation suggest that they broke a window which opens onto a terrace and escaped.  A police search carried out in the area failed to locate the inmates.

National Front - France's far right National Front leader Marine Le Pen has praised Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Thousands of supporters waved French flags at a meeting held in Frejus in the Var.Le Pen declared that "the time of the nation state is back" she added that plans to build walls across the world – including one to keep out migrants and refugees at Calais - showed a return to “the time of borders”. With only seven months until the French presidential election, the question of who will lead France remains wide  open. While France’s mainstream parties on the left and right are yet to choose their candidates, Le Pen, who will stand for the National Front, calmly claims to have the upper hand.

School stationary – The city of Nice has taken new measures to ban toxic stationary from the classroom. The move came following a report published in a French magazine by the European Ecologist group. The study showed that certain stationary products found in pupils pencil cases are highly toxic with more than half of those items tested containing too many toxic substances.


Hoax - French authorities have arrested a teenager over a false terror alert which mobilised dozens of police officers in Paris on Saturday. Two adolescents had been  bragging about the hoax online. On Saturday, French police received a call from a certain “Father Mathis” claiming ten armed men had entered a church in central Paris and taken about twenty people hostage. The teenagers reportedly hacked the church’s phone number to make it look as if the call was coming from inside the church itself.



Investors are betting that the US Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates at the end of its two day policy meeting which starts in Washington today. There’s less certainty about what the Bank of Japan might do where a two day policy meeting is already underway. Analysts say that the markets are resigned to the fact that the Fed won’t move on interest rates this month but speculation is growing that there will be a rate hike in the US next month provided that the economic indicators continue to point in the right direction. Global markets have been blowing hot and cold in recent weeks over the Fed’s interest rate intentions. Meanwhile the Bank of Japan is carrying out what it says is a “comprehensive assessment” of its policies and could shift negative interest rates to the primary focus of its monetary policy.

The head of Germany’s central bank has said that UK banks would lose the automatic right to trade in EU states if Britain leaves the single market. Jens Weidmann says that a “hard Brexit” will strip banks of passporting rights that give unlimited access to the EU trading bloc. The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has claimed that passporting rights for banks would be preserved even if Britain leaves the single market. However,in an interview with the Guardian newspaper,Mr Weidmann said that passporting rights were “tied to the single market and would automatically cease to apply if the UK is no longer at least part of the European Economic Area”.

And-A report by Bloomberg says that the British Prime Minister Theresa May has “shrugged off” warnings from the European Union’s eastern members that they’ll veto a Brexit deal,saying that it’s in “everyone’s interests” to reach an agreement.

On Monday,the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister said that his country won’t support a deal that’s not “balanced”.The development came after Slovakia,Hungary and the Czech Republic all said that they were ready to block any deal that gave the UK access to the single market while ending the right of their citizens to move to Britain. Speaking en route to New York,Mrs May said that the 27 EU member states will sign a deal with the UK and that she believed in good trading relations.


Athletics-Russian hackers have published the medical files of several gold medal winning stars from the Rio Olympics. 26 files were leaked on Monday by the Russian hackers the Fancy Bears including medical details about Mo Farah and the golfer Justin Rose. The tennis star Rafael Nadal is also on the list. The medical records mainly detail Therapeutic Use Exemptions or TUEs which allow banned substances to be prescribed for athletes for verified needs. There’s no suggestion that any of the stars named are involved in any wrongdoing. The files were stolen from a World Anti-Doping Agency database with the Fancy Bears accusing WADA of being corrupt and deceitful adding that the TUEs are “licenses for doping”.

Football-Rangers have suspended Joey Barton for three weeks,6 days after he was sent home from training following an argument with a team-mate. Rangers say that a “cooling off”period is necessary  and would not be making any further statement. Barton,who’s 34 has admitted  that he “said some inappropriate things” to team-mate Andy Halliday during a review of the side’s 5-1 defeat against Celtic in the old firm derby.

Formula 1-A lawyer acting for Michael Schumacher has told a German court that his client “cannot walk” or even “stand up” following his skiing accident in Meribel. Felix Damm was giving details of Schumacher’s medical condition at a lawsuit against the German magazine Bunte. Last Christmas,the magazine published an article that said that the 7 time world champion could walk again. Mr Damm told the court that the 47 year old “cannot walk” more than 2 and half years after the accident and said that speculation about his health is irresponsible given the extent of his injuries.

Rugby Union-The Saracens and England wing Chris Ashton is facing a lengthy ban after being charged with biting the Northampton prop Alex Waller. Last season the 29 year old was banned for 10 weeks for gouging and he’s now been charged with two counts of biting. Ashton will appear before a disciplinary panel today and is set to receive a lengthy ban if found guilty.


Mainly fine with light to moderate variable winds. Top temperature 25 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast tonight and 15 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Thundery showers developing tomorrow,fine on Thursday.


According to a new study Pigeons may be smarter than previously thought as they have the ability to 'read'.

Research shows that the feathered creatures can learn to distinguish real words from non-words by looking at their letter combinations.

The study is said to be the first to prove than a non-primate species has 'orthographic abilities' - which is the ability to recognise a three-dimensional object represented in two dimensions, such as a word.