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Riviera and French News Monday 17th April 2017

Local

Church Incident -The man who threatened a church congregation in Nice yesterday morning has reportedly been placed in a psychiatric unit. The man entered Saint-Pierre-d'Arène church in central Nice during the Easter Sunday mass at about 11.30 yesterday morning exhibiting odd behaviour and making threatening statements.  Security forces detained him shortly afterwards.

A8 Accident - Police are asking for witnesses to the fatal accident on the A8 near Antibes in the early hours of this morning. It's reported that the accident involved at least two vehicles, a Fiat 500 and a Bentley convertible.  There was severe traffic disruption on the westbound A8 this morning and into the early afternoon as police examined the scene.  trafic has now returned to normal.

 

Skiing Accident - A skier is in intensive care after a serious accident on a blue slope at Isola 2000. The 34 year old victim hit rocks at high speed and was reportedly not wearing a helmet. The accident happened shortly after 2.30pm on Sunday.Emergency services at the scene immediately transported the victim to hospital in Nice.   

Smoking Ban - The town of Villeneuve-Loubet has announced that it will ban smoking on its beaches as of this summer. Villeneuve-Loubet will follow Nice which was the first French city to introduce such a ban in 2011.  As of this summer six out of the seven beaches will be smoke free.

Football Match - A match between Bastia and Lyon was abandoned on Sunday after home fans invaded the pitch in Corsica. Kick-off was delayed by 55 minutes, as Bastia fans tried to attack visiting Lyon players during their warm-up. Stewards held off fans while players were rushed down the tunnel and a gate closed behind them. Lyon were then persuaded to start the match - having initially refused - before further incidents caused the match to be called off completely at half-time. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), which governs France's professional leagues, will meet on Thursday to decide what action to take. In other football news Nice have managed to end the season in the top 3 of the championship for the first time in 41 years after beating Nancy 3 – 1 on Saturday.

Cannes Triathlon - German triathlete Sebastian Kienle has won the Cannes triathlon. Kienle crossed the finishing line on Sunday completing the challenge in four hours.

National

Presidential Elections - With a week before France’s presidential election, the four top candidates began a final push on Sunday to encourage undecided voters to turn out in what is being reported as a tight race between the hard left, centre, right and far right. The French will go to the polls in the first round on April 23rd in the most unpredictable vote in the country’s post war history. Opinion polls show one in three voters are still undecided about who to back.

Breastfeeding in Public – There has been outrage after a woman was allegedly told to leave a police station in Paris after asking if she could breastfeed her baby. The incident occurred a police station in central Paris when the woman,accompanied by her partner  were carrying out some administrative tasks. An online petition has attracted more than 13,000 signatures in the three days since it was launched. Public breastfeeding in France is legal, although it isn’t as popular among French women as it is in northern European countries. One study in 2014 found that French women are among the least likely to breastfeed in Europe.

Business

China’s economy grew by 6.9 percent in the first quarter,according to official figures. The growth rate was slightly higher than many forecasts and was led by state infrastructure spending and demand for new property. Last month China cut its growth target for the year from 6.7 to 6.5 percent. In a statement issued earlier today the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said that “the national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development for the second half of last year,getting off to a good start IN 2017 and laying a solid foundation for accomplishing the whole-year growth target”.

A report published by the BBC says that the Lloyds Banking Group has decided to set up a European base in Germany after the UK leaves the EU. The BBC says that Lloyds will convert its Berlin branch into a European hub in order to maintain a presence inside the European Union. Several UK based financial institutions are putting plans into place to protect their EU operations after Brexit. The Lloyds branch in Berlin currently employs 300 people.The bank is thought to have looked at both Amsterdam and Frankfurt for its European base before deciding on Berlin. HSBC has already said that it will move 1,000 staff from London to its European headquarters in Paris.

And-United Airlines is changing its policy on giving staff last-minute seats on full flights following last week’s scandal in which a man was dragged off an overbooked plane. The airline says that in future,staff would be allocated seats at least an hour before departure. Dr David Dao lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose when he was forcibly removed from the United flight last Sunday. The incident caused outrage and widespread condemnation of the airline.

 

Sport

Tennis-The Monte Carlo Rolex Masters is underway at the Monte Carlo Country Club with the weather set fair for today’s 1st round action. Play starts on the Court Rainier III at 11am with the match between Viktor Troiki and the 16th seed from Uruguay Pablo Cuevas and that’s followed by the 14th seed Alexander Zverev  against Andreas Seppi. Out on the Court des Princes the first match is between Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and the 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut and then there’s an all British clash between Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund. On Court 2 proceedings start with Bernard Tomic against Diego Schwartzman and there are plenty of doubles matches on court number 9. If you’re driving in to attend the tournament then please use one of the numerous carparks on the port area,many of which will offer a flat parking rate for the day on presentation of your match ticket.There’s a free bus shuttle service running from the port to the Monte Carlo Country Club. The easiest way in though is by train with special services operating from all main line stations to just by the Monte Carlo Country Club. Some tickets are available online by going to www.montecarlotennismasters.com

Formula 1-Sebastien Vettel is leading the drivers’ championship after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. The Ferrari star won an action packed race ahead of Lewis Hamilton who had to settle for second after picking up a 5 second time penalty for driving too slowly while entering the pits in a bid to hold up Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Valtteri Bottas finished in third place after starting the race on pole. Vettel leads the drivers’ championship with 68 points with Hamilton 7 points behind on 61 and Bottas in third place on 38 points. The next race is the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi on the 30th of April.

Football-Chelsea’s lead at the top of the English Premier League has been cut to 4 points after they were beaten 2-0 at Manchester United on Sunday. The win keeps United in the hunt for a Champions League spot next season.They’re currently in 5th place in the table,4 points behind Manchester City. Liverpool moved up to 3rd place on the back of a 1-0 win at West Brom.

In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Ross County drew 2-2 with the champions Celtic.

Rugby Union-There were two games in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.Saracens were 27-25 winners at Northampton and Bristol were relegated to the Championship after losing 36-21 at home to Wasps.

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate variable or easterly winds.

Top temperature 22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine tomorrow but with a brisk easterly wind developing.Sunshine and possible showers on Wednesday.Highs of 19-22 degrees.

Finally

Teams from all across the globe have gathered at a Sussex pub for the World Marbles Championships.

The Greyhound pub in Tinsley Green, near Crawley, hosted 15 teams of six players from as far afield as the US, Algeria and Germany.

The Good Friday competition has been held there since 1932 and follows in the tradition of the game dating back to the 16th Century.

It was once one of the few sports that could be played during Lent.

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