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Riviera and French News 31st January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Fire - Police are investigating a major fire in Menton last night and believe it may have been started deliberately. The fire which broke out in a ground floor apartment on Avenue de Sospel in Menton destroyed the apartment, three cars in the courtyard and caused damage to nearby apartments. Five fire trucks attended the scene and eight residents have had to be relocated.

Tramway - President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, Christian Estrosi, has announced that work on the third tramway line in Nice will start this year, sooner than expected. Costing €56m, the line is projected to renew the area bringing some 25,000 new jobs, 12,000 residents and 5,000 new homes in the next ten years. When the line is completed, the journey from Nice city center to Saint-Isidore will take just 25 minutes serving eleven stations over seven kilometers.

Ice and Salt - Parents are warned to be aware of the latest challenge popular among teenagers on social networks.  The challenge involves placing salt on your arm and then holding an ice cube to it for as long as possible, despite the pain. However, the chemical process of doing this can drop temperature on the skin to -20d and cause significant frostbite burns.

Travel Ban - The French Foreign Minister has said it would make common sense for US President Donald Trump to scrap the travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. He was speaking on a visit to Iran. The Foreign Ministry has advised any French citizens holding dual nationality with any of the blacklisted countries to forget about travelling to the US. Meanwhile, the National Front party says if Marine Le Pen is elected president, they would consider a similar ban. Their spokesman Steeve Briois said we not living in the word of Care Bears anymore.

Miss World - Iris Mittenaere, from Lille, has been crowned this years Miss Universe. The last time a French woman won a world beauty contest was Denise Perrier, who won Miss World in 1953 and now lives in Nice. She also appeared in Sean Connerys ‘James Bond’ movie; Diamonds are Forever

BUSINESS

Deutsche Bank has been fined US$630m by American and UK regulators in connection with a Russian money laundering plan. Under the scheme, clients illegally moved $10bn out of Russia via shares bought and sold through the bank's offices. Authorities said Deutsche Bank had missed "numerous opportunities" to detect, investigate and stop the scheme.

The eurozone's economy is showing signs of recovery after the latest figures show a fall in unemployment while growth and inflation are up. Rising energy prices pushed inflation to 1.8% in January, a near four-year high. The Eurostat data also showed the jobless rate across the EU fell to 9.6% in December, the lowest rate since May 2009. GDP growth also edged up to 0.5% in the final three months of 2016, up one percentage point from the previous quarter.

SPORT

Rugby - England prop Joe Marler is fit for the first Six Nations game against France at Twickenham this Saturday. He has recovered from a fractured leg quicker than expected. Welsh #8, Taulupe Faletau, is due a fitness test tomorrow to see if he’ll be able to start against Italy on Sunday. Meanwhile, Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony will both miss Ireland's Six Nations opener against Scotland on Saturday due to injury.

Football - There are 7 games in the English Premier League tonight with the leaders Chelsea away at Liverpool. Second placed Arsenal host Watford with third placed Spurs away at struggling Sunderland. Rob & Sarah will have all the results from those games tomorrow morning along with the main movers from todays transfer deadline day with ends at midnight tonight.

Athletics - Claims that Lord Coe misled a British MPs' inquiry have grown after new emails confirmed he was made aware of corruption allegations four months before they became public. He had told the investigation in December that he was not aware of specific allegations of corruption around the Russian doping scandal, however in an email he sent the previous August he admitted he had.

UPDATE 07:00

Free - Customers of Free, the television and telephone operator, have found themselves without internet access this morning. Nice, Cannes and Antibes are reportedly affected by the crash. Free have yet to comment on the problem.  

Cannes Film Festival - It has been announced that Spain’s most celebrated living movie director Pedro Almodovar,  will lead the jury at this year’s Cannes film festival. The director who made his name with a string of colourful and melodramatic black comedies including “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!”, said, “I am grateful, honoured and a bit overwhelmed.”He is the first Spaniard to preside over the world’s top film event in its 70-year history.
 

Cannes - More than a year since severe flooding hit Cannes the city has been recognised as a natural disaster zone. The ruling,which was  published on January 27th means that victims have ten days to estimate their losses and file a report with their insurance companies enabling them to benefit from compensation.

Tramway - The President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region Christian Estrosi has announced that the works on the third tramway line in Nice will start this year, sooner than expected. From 2020, the journey from the city center to Saint-Isidore will only take 25 minutes. The future line will serve eleven stations over seven kilometers.

Nice Carnival - The Nice Carnival has announced that this year’s parade  will include some new faces from the French political circle including Emmanuel Macron, Manuel Valls and Francois Fillon. Already part of previous carnivals, Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Marine Le Pen will also be present.

National

Road Accident - Sixty-five people have been injured in a pile-up on a French motorway on Monday. A major pile-up occurred at 5.00am on the A13 motorway near Paris involving two buses, a truck and four cars. At least 65 people were injured, five of them seriously.

Francois Fillon - French presidential candidate François Fillon and his British wife, Penelope, have been questioned by anti-corruption police. The couple were questioned separately as part of an investigation into charges of embezzlement of public funds, misappropriation of corporate assets and receiving stolen goods.

Smoking - Plans to ban several brands of cigarettes in France have been announced in the fight against tobacco. After the introduction of neutral packages the French health Minister, Marisol Touraine, reportedly intends to end the sale of brands such as Marlboro Gold and Vogue which are considered misleading to consumers by suggesting beneficial effects in terms of weight loss, sex appeal, social status and social life. The brands pinned by the decree will have a year to change their name or stop their marketing. At the same time prices for packets and tobacco are set to increase.

Business

Deutsche Bank has been fined 630 million dollars by US and UK regulators in connection with a Russian money laundering scam. Under the scheme,clients illegally moved 10 billion dollars out of Russia via shares bought and sold through the bank’s Moscow,London and New York offices. Authorities say that the bank missed “numerous opportunities” to detect,investigate and stop the scheme. The bank said that it was co-operating with regulators. It also said that it had set money aside to cover the cost of the settlement.

Donald Trump has moved to cut business regulations by signing an executive order aimed at improving the trading environment for small enterprise. Mr Trump said that the order would “cut regulations massively for small business” and that the “American dream is back”. Mr Trump said that a large proportion of the American workforce was employed by small businesses and therefore he wanted to make it easier for small business owners.

And-Volkswagen has overtaken Toyota to become the world’s best-selling carmaker. It’s the first time that Volkswagen has held the position after reporting sales of 10.31 million vehicles last year. The milestone comes despite the emissions scandal being faced by the firm which has sparked a global backlash and multiple lawsuits. The firm,which makes VW,Audi,Porsche and Skoda brands saw a 3.8 percent rise in sales last year-buoyed by demand from China.

Sport

Rugby Union-The England prop Joe Marler is fit for selection for the first 6 Nations game against France at Twickenham on Saturday. Marler fractured his leg on the 10th of January but has recovered quicker than expected and could start in the front row. Meanwhile the Wales number 8 Taulupe Faletau is facing a fitness test tomorrow to see if he’ll be able to start against Italy on Sunday.The 26 year old hasn’t played since Christmas eve after suffering a knee injury. The Ireland pair Jonathan Sexton and Sean O’Brien have resumed full training ahead of their 6 Nations opener against Scotland on Saturday. Both players had been suffering from calf injuries but should be fit to play.

Football-The draw has been made for the 5th round of the FA Cup in England. Non-league Sutton United have been drawn at home to Arsenal with Lincoln City away at Burnley. In the other ties the holders Manchester United will visit Blackburn Rovers.Fulham host Spurs.Middlesbrough will play Oxford United.Wolves host Chelsea.Huddersfield will play Manchester City and Millwall will play Derby County or Leicester. Ties to be played over the weekend of the 17th to 20th of February. There are 7 games in the English Premier League tonight with the leaders Chelsea away at Liverpool. Second placed Arsenal host Watford with third placed Spurs away at struggling Sunderland. In the other games Bournemouth play Crystal Palace.Burnley play Leicester and Swansea play Southampton. There’s a full programme in the English Championship tonight.We’ll bring you the results from those games tomorrow morning.

Racing-A post-mortem into the death of the 2015 Grand National winner,Many Clouds shows that he died from a bleed on the lung. The horse collapsed and died shortly after winning the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham last Saturday.He was treated on the course before being pronounced dead. The post-mortem showed that there were no underlying health problems and that the horse had suffered a severe pulmonary haemorrhage. Animal rights activists have once again called for horseracing to be banned as a cruel sport.

Weather

Rather cloudy with some bright spells and light,variable winds.

Top temperature 14 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast tonight and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Partially cloudy tomorrow with a high of 16 degrees.Sunshine and showers on Thursday with some more persistent rain developing by evening.

Finally

Runners in a town in the UK say they are being attacked by a mystery yob who is throwing vegtables at them.

Joggers in Chletenham in Gloucester have been pelted with potatoes, eggs, turnips and even avocades in the drive-by attacks.

The first incident saw a runner hit with a spud flung from a passing car and a spate of vegetable-based peltings have since been reported.

Toby Lewis said: "I was the victim of a 'drive-by spudding' when I was walking home from Cheltenham town centre."

And Mike Smith added: "I was walking with a group of friends and we were pelted with eggs from an unknown vehicle.

"Assuming it's the same people, and they've 'upgraded' to potatoes, it would be great if the police could find them and do something about it."