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Riviera and French News Monday 20th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Body - The body of forty year old man, with his hands and feet tied, has been discovered by hunters in woods at  Esparron-de-Verdon, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The victim, who’s identity is still unknown, was found wrapped in a sheet where head injuries are believed to have caused his death. Meanwhile, the body of a woman in her 70s has been discovered in a bin at a residential building on  Avenue Franklin Roosevelt in Le Cannet. It’s believed the woman died of natural causes as she was throwing out her rubbish.

Police - A court near Paris has ruled a second police officer could face trial for rape, after allegedly introducing his baton into the rear of a young man he was arresting in 2015. The case is receiving renewed attention today, in the light of protests over the alleged baton rape of Théo Lu-haka near Paris earlier this month.

Baby Names - Figures for child births in Nice show slightly more boys were born in the city last year. Of almost 7,000 births, boys outnumber girls by 29. The most popular boys names where Gabriel, Adam and Raphael, while for girls they were Mila , Lina and Chloe.

Salad - McDonalds has put itself at the centre of a social media culinary scandal by offering a Niçoise salad in their Italian restaurants. What’s causing concern is the McDonalds version of the salad includes potatoes.

BUSINESS

The German Finance Minister has said the institutions in charge of Greece's bailout have reached a common position on how to proceed. It comes after a deadlock between the EU and the International Monetary Fund over how Greece can pay its huge debts before further rescue funds can be released.

Kraft Heinz has formally abandoned its offer to buy Unilever. Shares in Unilever jumped 13% on Friday on the announcement of the offer, however, in a joint statement today saying the deal was off and both companies hold each other in high regard, shares fell again by 7.3% in lunchtime trading in London.

In a world first, Google and Microsoft search engines have signed up to a voluntary code of practice in the UK to demote pirate websites in their search results, making it harder for UK residents to find pirated video and music websites. The entertainment industry reached the agreement with the tech giants after talks brokered by the government.

SPORT

Football - Manchester City’s position as the UK Premier League’s best hope for Champions League success, faces a huge challenge tomorrow, as they face a last 16 knockout game with AS Monaco. French league clubs are really making their mark this year with AS Monaco’s stunning win over Tottenham and Paris St-Germain’s 4-Nil annihilation of Barcelona. The game kicks off in Manchester tomorrow at 8.45 French time. Meanwhile AS Monaco’s under-19 team have been knocked out of the Coupe Gambar-della by OGC Nice in a local derby playoff yesterday which ended 3–1.

Mario Balotelli was sent off for the third time this season in Ligue 1, as OGC Nice leapfrogged Paris Saint-Germain into second place, after a 1-Nil win over bottom club Lorient.

Tennis - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have moved up to 11th in the World Rankings today, after winning the Rotterdam Open and gaining his first ATP title in two years. The Frenchman beat Belgian David Goffin 4-6 6-4 6-1 in just under two hours.

Rugby - Pro12 club Edinburgh have appointed former Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill as head coach from next season in a two year deal. Cockerill, who was sacked by Leicester last month, is working as a consultant with Toulon in the French Top 14.

UPDATE 07:00

Dead body - Hunters in Esparron-de-Verdon in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence have found the body of forty year old man. Police were alerted on Saturday afternoon. The victim had reportedly suffered head injuries and his fists and feet were tied. The circumstances of his death remain unknown.

Fire - A fire has broken out at a riding school in Nice. The fire broke at 9.30pm on Sunday evening on the route de Grenoble. No casualties were reported and firefighters at the scene managed to bring the blaze under control shortly after 10.30pm.

Fox Attack - An eight year old boy has been attacked by a fox while hiking in Saint-Martin Vésubie in the Alpes Maritimes. The boy accompanied by his mother had stopped at a shelter when they saw the fox which, for no apparent reason, attacked the boy in the neck and the head. The boy was taken to safety by mountain rescue services and treated at a medical centre nearby.  

Tobacco - The price of rolling tobacco increases as of today in France. While cigarette prices remain stable for the time being, the price of tobacco is to increase from 7.40 euros to 8.50 euros.

Emmanuel Macron - Protesters have gathered in Toulon during a meeting held by French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. The demonstration of about 150 people took place on Saturday afternoon as 1,200 supporters of Macron attended the meeting. Macron had come under criticism earlier in the week for describing the French colonisation of Algeria as a “crime against humanity”.

Local Currency - For the first time a local currency is about to be launched in a rural part of the region. The currency, an attempt to “revitalise the local economy” will soon be in circulation in the Pays Vallées d’Azur Mercantour including shops in Valberg and Villars-sur-Var. A local currency has already been introduced in urban areas such as Nice and Cagnes sur mer.

National

Marine Le Pen - France’s far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will meet Lebanon’s President today in what is her first official head-head talk with a head of state. Le Pen is currently leading the polls of voter’s intentions for the first round of the French election on April 23rd.

Michelin - Waiters at a cheap and cheerful restaurant in central France have been worked off their feet since the eatery was awarded a Michelin star by mistake. The guide which published its 2017 version on Thursday last week, mistook the Bouche à Oreille restaurant for another place of the same name. It took nearly a week to correct the error on its website. Bouche à Oreille which serves beef bourguignon for 12 euros temporarily found itself among France’s finest thanks to the mix-up.

Business

Kraft Heinz says that it’s dropped its plan to by its Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever. On Friday,Unilever rejected a bid by the US food giant after saying that it saw “no merit,either financial or strategic” for the offer which was worth around 143 billion dollars. The deal would have been one of the largest in corporate history and would have combined dozens of household names. Unilever owns Ben and Jerry’s ice cream as well as Marmite,Dove soap and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise while Kraft Heinz’s range includes Philadelphia cheese and the Heinz range of products. Reports suggest that Kraft withdrew from the bid because it felt that it would be too difficult to negotiate following public disclosure.It also underestimated the strength of opposition to the deal at Unilever.

The online retailer Amazon has announced that it plans to create 5,000 new jobs in the UK this year. The firm says that it’s looking for a range of staff including software developers and warehouse workers. New jobs will be created at Amazon’s London head office as well as at the customer services department in Edinburgh. The recruitment will take Amazon’s UK workforce to 24,000. The UK is Amazon’s second biggest marketplace outside the US behind Germany. Services which are developed in the US are usually launched in the UK first such as Amazon Fresh,the grocery service which was unrolled in the UK last summer.

And-Reports suggest that General Motors shares could rise by as  much as 35 percent if it offloads its loss making European brand Opel. Last week,GM confirmed that it was in talks with the PSA Group of France to sell Opel and its UK subsidiary Vauxhall. The proposed deal has raised job concerns in both Germany and the UK but could net GM up to 1 billion dollars in cash should it go ahead. Last year,Opel lost 247 million dollars and GM is keen to secure a sale.

Sport

Football-The draw has been made for the quarter finals of the FA Cup in England. The tie of the round is Chelsea against Manchester United with Millwall against Spurs,Middlesbrough against Manchester City or Huddersfield and non league Lincoln City against the winners of tonight’s final 5th round tie between Sutton United and Arsenal. There were 2 games in the Scottish Premier League on Sunday.Dundee beat Rangers 2-1 and Aberdeen were 2-1 winners at Kilmarnock.

Cricket-The former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has retired from the international game. The 36 year old quit Tests and one day internationals in 2015 but continued to play Twenty20 games. He played 27 Tests,388 one day internationals and 98 T20’s.He’ll continue to play domestic cricket.

Rugby Union-There were 2 games in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.Sale downed the leaders Wasps 34-28 and Newcastle beat Northampton 46-31.

Weather

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

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Mainly fine with a high of 15-16 degrees.

Finally

A woman has donated a rare £5 note, which is reportedly worth up to £50,000, to charity. The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, found the note in Northern Ireland, last year.

It’s worth a lot because it has a golden micro inscription of Jane Austen and one of her well-known quotes.

She told the charity that at her ‘time of life’ she did not need the note and asked them to use it to help people.
Four £5 notes have the special inscriptions which can’t not be viewed by the naked eye. So far three have been found. The final note’s serial number is: AM32 885554.

 

 

 

 

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