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Riviera and French News Friday 17th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Cannes - The body of a man was found this morning on top of a train at Cannes la Bocca train station. It’s thought he may be a migrant who stowed himself on top of the train, as it came from Ventimelliga, and died of electrocution when he grabbed the pantograph. Police are investigating.

Shooting - A dramatic shooting has taken place on the A55 motorway near Marseille. Witnesses describe seeing a BMW and a C4 in a very high speed in pursuit of a Twingo. As they caught up with the car, gunfire was exchanged, and the Twingo lost control ending up on it’s roof. Then a man from one of the pursuing cars got out, and shot the trapped driver in the Twingo, which then caught fire. The BMW was later found burnt out.

Farmer - The activist and farmer, Cederic Herrou, who received a €3,000 suspended fine for helping migrants cross the border into France is to have his case reviewed. The Nice prosecutor said today they will appeal the ruling and seek a tougher sentence.

Le Pen - Marine Le Pen has strongly denied reports she admitted giving her bodyguard a fake job at the European parliament. Le Pen argues that the money was actually payment due from an earlier period when the bodyguard was employed as a European parliamentary assistant and that the parliament's pay office had accepted the contract as a means of correcting a previous error.

BUSINESS

Unilever has strongly rejected a takeover bid from US giant Kraft Heinz. The UK-based household goods maker said it saw no merit, financial or strategic, in Kraft's offer, which was worth about $143bn. However, Kraft have said they will continue working on the offer sending shares in Unilever surging more than 11% in London. If it were to happen, it would be one of the biggest in corporate history.

SPORT

Football - Arsene Wenger has vowed he will be managing next season, whether at Arsenal or somewhere else. He was speaking after one of the most turbulent weeks of his two-decade run as Arsenal boss where they suffered a 5-1 Champions League defeat from Bayern Munich. The Frenchman's contract expires at the end of this season and he said he would decide on a new deal in March or April.

Gareth Bale is set to make his first appearance since November after being passed fit for Real Madrid's match on Saturday. He’s been out since having surgery on ankle tendon damage. He’ll also be available for Wales' next match, 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland, in Dublin on 24 March.

Rugby - Scotland’s number eight Josh Strauss has been ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations campaign through injury. It’s the second injury blow for the Scots after captain Greig Laidlaw was also ruled out of the remainder of the championship. Strauss, suffered a kidney injury during last weeks game with France.

Golf - Dustin Johnson's bid to become world number one continued as he is tied for second place after the first round of the Genesis Open. Johnson trails fellow American Sam Saunders by two shots for the lead, and can overtake Jason Day with victory if the Australian ties for third or worse.

UPDATE 07:00

Shooting - A shooting has taken place on the A55 motorway near Marseille. Two vehicles caught fire in what police say is a settlement of accounts. The incident occurred at 10.45pm on Thursday. Firefighters reported shots being exchanged between the occupants of  three vehicles in which one of the drivers was shot dead. Meanwhile in Aix-en-Provence a 25 year old man, unknown to police, was shot and killed in a neighbourhood west of the city.

National Front - According to a recent survey carried out by the France 3 regional network, Cevipof and the ISS the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region would collect the most votes for the National Front in the first round of voting in the Presidential elections. The survey published on Thursday showed Marine Le Pen in the lead ahead of Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon. Le Pen obtained the highest score in the region, ahead of the Hauts-de-France region and the Grand Est.

Docetaxel - The cancer centre the Antoine-Lacassagne in Nice has decided to suspend the prescription of the drug “Docetaxel” which is used as a treatment for breast cancer patients. The decision follows an announcement made by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicine and Health products on Thursday concerning the death of five patients in France aged between 46 and 73 years old all of whom were being treated for breast cancer with the drug. A spokesperson for the Lacassagne centre said that the measure was  precautionary  pending  the result of an ongoing investigation.

Sexual Assault - A 37 year old man has been sentenced to two years in prison after sexually assaulting a woman in Cannes. The victim, an English national was reportedly followed home by the man and sexually assaulted after he rang at the front door and forced his way into her home.

Tramline 2 - A road has collapsed during the construction of  line 2 of the Nice tramway. Reportedly the biggest incident so far during the construction of the tramline occurred on Tuesday morning on the corner of Boulevard Victor-Hugo and Rue Grimaldi. The roadway collapsed by 25cm causing a burst water pipe, flooding several cellars.

National

Francois Fillon - France's financial prosecutor has said its investigations into fake work allegations surrounding presidential candidate Francois Fillon and his wife would continue. In a statement released on Thursday prosecutor Eliane Houlette confirmed that it is her duty to affirm that the elements collected by investigators as this stage, do not permit the case to be dropped. Further action has not yet been announced the case can either be dropped, taken further by appointing an investigating magistrate or it could be sent straight to trial.

Emmanuel Macron - Meanwhile, French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has drawn a storm of criticism from his rivals after calling France’s colonisation of Algeria a “crime against humanity”. The comments were made during a television interview in Algiers this week. The violent history between France and Algeria is still a source of tension between the two countries and within French political circles.

Business

The founder of Facebook has said that he fears that the tide is turning against globalisation. In an interview with the BBC,Mark Zuckerberg said that fake news,polarised views and “filter bubbles” were damaging “common understanding”. He said that people had been left behind by global growth,sparking demands to “withdraw” from the connected world. Mr Zuckerberg said that people should not “sit around and be upset” but should act to build “social infrastructures”. The interview came as Facebook published a 5 and a half thousand word letter about the future of the firm and the global economy. The letter quotes former US President Abraham Lincoln who spoke of acting in “concert” and talks about “spiritual needs”,civic engagement and says that many people have “lost hope for the future”.

The heir apparent to the Samsung business empire has been arrested in South Korea and charged a range of offences including bribery. Lee Jae-yong is suspected of giving donations to non-profit organisations operated by Choi Soon-sil-a friend of South Korea’s President Park,in return for government favours. Mr Lee and the Samsung Group have denied any wrongdoing. Prosecutors now have 20 days to file formal charges and can hold Mr Lee in custody pending further enquiries.

And-Snap Incorporated,the owner of the popular messaging app Snapchat has set a lower-than expected valuation range amid investor concern over its unproven business model,slowing growth and tight founder control. The firm was widely expected to be valued at between 20 and 25 billion dollars but has now lowered its valuation to between 19.5 and 22.3 billion dollars. An investor roadshow is due to start in London on Monday. The lower valuation range reflects investor feedback.Snap wants to ensure that there’s sufficient demand for shares that it trades up on its first day in the public market.

Sport

Football-A Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick has put Manchester United in charge of their round of 32 first leg Europa League tie against Saint Etienne.The Swedish striker scored once in the first half and twice in the second period as United won 3-0 to make their passage through to the last 16 practically assured. It wasn’t a good night for Spurs though as they lost 1-0 at Gent in Belgium.

It’s FA Cup 5th round weekend with 5 ties tomorrow and two on Sunday. Tomorrow Burnley play non-league Lincoln City.Huddersfield play Manchester City.Middlesbrough host Oxford United.Millwall play Leicester and Wolves play Chelsea. On Sunday Fulham play Spurs and Blackburn host Manchester United.Non league Sutton United host Premier League giants Arsenal on Monday.

Formula 1-The former Ferrari technical director James Allison has joined rivals Mercedes. The 48 year old,who left Ferrari in July,replaces Paddy Lowe at Mercedes. Lowe joined Williams earlier this year. Allison had two spells at Ferrari and was deputy-technical director at Renault during Fernando Alonso’s championship winning seasons in 2005 and 2006.

Rugby Union-The Wales lock Luke Charteris is back in training as he recovers from a hand injury that’s kept him out of the 6 Nations so far. The 33 year old could make the squad to play Scotland on the 25th of February but the final decision will be taken by medical staff. There’s 1 game in the Aviva Premiership tonight.Gloucester play Saracens. In the Guinness Pro 12 Leinster play Edinburgh and Scarlets play Zebre.

Weather

Mainly fine with light to moderate westerly or variable winds. Top temperature 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 5 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Mainly fine with a high of 15-16 degrees.

Finally

If you buy a game of Monopoly in the future, the family of game tokens will soon look very different.

Owners Hasbro decided to vote off one of the pieces. After putting it to players in an online poll, the token facing eviction is the thimble.

It has been part of the game since it was added in 1935, but soon it will be replaced by something more 21st century. Suggestions include a dinosaur, a rubber duck, an emoji and a hashtag.

 

 

 

 

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