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Riviera and French News Monday 3rd April 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Mosque - The Nice Prosecutor has announced an official investigation into the mosque En-Nour. There has been controversy around the mosque and how it raised €750,000 in funding to build it.

Fillon - Presidential candidate Francois Fillon is facing ridicule today for claiming he has no savings, despite earning over €150,000 a year. A French satire website has set up a joke crowd-funding campaign, which they say will help “Fillon and his family to live in dignity.”

Drugs - Two Niçoises have been arrested at Nice Côte d'Azur airport after trying to smuggle in 28kg of cocaine in their suitcases from Brazil. It’s one of the biggest catches this year for customs officials at the airport.

Arms - The man arrested for possessing a military arsenal of weapons in Cap d’Ail has been released under police supervision until his trial. It’s believed the man is part of a survivalist movement and was preparing to defend himself, in the case of a third world war.

BUSINESS

The Eurozone's unemployment rate is at a near eight-year low with latest figures from Eurostat showing the current jobless rate at 9.5%. The lowest unemployment rate is in the Czech Republic with under 4%, while the highest was Greece with 23%. In France, the second-biggest economy in the eurozone, the current jobless rate is 10%.

Shares in UK chip designer Imagination Technologies have plunged 60% after Apple announced the end a deal to use Imagination products. Apple's royalty payments account for about half Imagination's revenues. Shares fell from £2.70 to just £1.02, valuing the company at about £250m, down from the £765m it opened up at this morning.

SPORT

Football - Paris St Germain chalked up a fourth successive Coupe de la Ligue title with a 4-1 victory over their championship rivals AS Monaco in Lyon yesterday. It’s the first time this season the Parisians have beaten Monaco. Meanwhile OGC Nice are beating their own club records with their win over Bordeaux at the weekend giving them 67 points in the League 1 table. It’s the clubs best performance in years and likely to beat their record 70 points set in the early 70s.

Rugby - Premiership club Gloucester have named former South Africa lock Johan Ackermann as their new head coach ahead of the 2017-18 season. He will replace Laurie Fisher, who left the club last month.  The Spanish city of Bilbao has been chosen to host next season's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals. It is the first time the games will be staged outside traditional rugby union countries.

UPDATE 07:00

Tribute - Prince Albert of Monaco has praised the courage of Magali, the 34 year old policewoman who fired at the terrorist during the July 14th Nice Attack. Speaking at a Medical conference in Monaco, Prince Albert spoke of her exceptional courage. The policewoman shot at the terrorist at the wheel of his truck whilst running after the vehicle after having been shot three times herself.

Murder Investigation - A former Conservative councillor has been placed under investigation in south-west France on suspicion of murdering his wife. 62 year old David Turtle was arrested after the body of his 50-year-old wife Stephanie was found beneath a car by firefighters on Friday morning. Mr Turtle served on Bournemouth Council from May 2015 to July 2016. He and his wife moved to Prayssac in the Lot department last year to set up a guest house. He was placed under investigation for aggravated murder after telling police he argued with his wife, but her death was an accident.

French Presidential - French Presidential election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has held talks with a high-profile member of Les Republicains party and President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region Christian Estrosi.  Mr Estrosi had called on his party candidate François Fillon to quit his campaign for president in the wake of the ‘fake jobs’ scandal and voiced his “respect” and “friendship” for Macron. The surprise meeting held at the weekend came prior to Macron addressing around 5,000 supporters in Marseille.

Rescue Operation - Three migrants have been successfully rescued from a cliff overlooking the Saint Louis border crossing at Menton. Rescue services intervened after the alert was given on Saturday morning. All three found themselves blocked against the rocks, with only branches to hold onto. Despite poor weather conditions all three were successfully brought back to Menton where they were taken care of by medical staff.

Arrests - According to local reports, two girls, aged 15 and 17, have been arrested in the Ariane neighborhood of Nice. Both had reportedly been planning to commit a terrorist attack. The arrests were made on Saturday morning, at the homes of the two adolescents - no weapons were found during the search and authorities say it is too early to say exactly when or where they were planning the attack.

Demonstration – More than 300 people have demonstrated on the old port of Marseille to demand justice.The protest was  organised by the Chinese community and was the first of its kind in the city.It came following the death of a man of Chinese origin on March 26th at his home in Paris.

Greenpeace - Greenpeace has protested in several towns in France including Nice. The demonstration “April Oil Fish” took place on April 1st at Place Massena in Nice.  The protest is against plans by the group Total to drill for oil at the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil.

Rave Party – A piece of private land at Saint-Julien in the Var has been invaded by more than two thousand party goers. More than two thousand people attended a rave party in the Var on Saturday night. According to reports an important police presence was deployed however, no arrests were made.

National

Presidential Election Poll - A poll published on Sunday by Journal de Dimanche states that the French people believe Presidential election candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon best embodies “the ideas and values of the Left”. While Mélenchon got 44 per cent of the votes, Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon came in second with 31 per cent followed by the election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron on 21 per cent. Forty-nine per cent of the respondents think Mélenchon is “capable of reforming the country” while 46 per cent believe he “has the stature of a President of the Republic” with 54 per cent voicing a contrary opinion.

“Rives de Seine” - The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has inaugurated the ‘Rives de Seine’ park, a 10 hectare space along the banks of the river Seine which is dedicated to relaxation and sporting activities. The park, located in the heart of the French capital includes a multi-sports ground with outdoor games facilities, a mini-football field and climbing walls.

Business

The UK Finance Minister Phillip Hammond is leading a business delegation to India this week as Britain starts its bid to drum up trade in the post-Brexit world. Mr Hammond will be accompanied by the international trade minister Mark Garnier and the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney for talks in New Delhi and Mumbai. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that boosting trade and investment “beyond the borders of Europe” is now more important than ever,adding that it was vital to make links with the world’s “most vibrant economies”. The UK has started to look to establish new trade deals with non-EU nations,although it can’t sign them while still a member of the bloc.

The electric car maker Tesla says that it delivered just over 25,000 cars in the first three months of the year. Tesla says that the figures are a 70 percent increase on the same period last year and a rebound from 4th quarter figures after production problems resulted in a 9 percent fall in deliveries. Last week,China’s Tencent Holdings bought a 5 percent stake in Tesla for a reported 1.8 billion dollars. The investment came as a welcome boost for the company which has been investing heavily in increasing production and faces and expensive year with the launch of its new Model 3 vehicle.

And-Ford is recalling 52,000 F-250 pick-up trucks because of a fault that can cause the vehicle to roll while the automatic transmission lever is in park position. The company has advised users of 2017 models which have been sold in the US and Canada,to use the hand brake when shifting the car into park mode. Ford says that it is not aware of any injuries associated with the issue. It’s the company’s third vehicle recall in a week. Last Wednesday,Ford ordered the recall of 211,000 vehicles in North America over potentially faulty side door latches while 360,000 vehicles in North America and Europe were recalled because of a fire risk in the engine compartment.

Sport

Football-There were two games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Arsenal and Manchester City shared a 2 all draw which does nothing for either side’s chances of finishing in the top 4 while at the other end of the table Swansea and Middlesbrough played out a 0-0 draw.Middlesbrough are second from bottom of the table,4 points from safety while Swansea are one point outside the relegation zone. Celtic have won the Scottish Premiership for the 6th season in a row after thrashing Hearts 5-0 at Tynecastle. It’s manager Brendan Rogers’ 1st Scottish Premiership success.Celtic now only need to win the Scottish Cup to complete a domestic treble.

Tennis-Roger Federer says that he will rest until the French Open after beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets on Sunday to win the Miami Open. Federer beat his old rival 6-3 6-4 but said afterwards that  he’ll be focusing everything on the French Open and doesn’t expect to play a competitive tournament before then.

Rugby Union-Saracens will play Munster in the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup after beating Glasgow 38 13 in Sunday’s quarter final. The other semi final will be between Clermont Auvergne and Leinster. Clermont won the all French quarter final against Toulon on Sunday by 29 points to 9.

Golf-The American Russell Henley has clinched the final place at this year’s Masters after winning the Houston Open by 3 shots. Henley shot a seven-under-par final round including 10 birdies for his third PGA Tour win. The Masters in Augusta starts on Thursday.

Rowing-Oxford have made in 4 wins out of the last 5 as they came home ahead of Cambridge in the 163rd University Boat Race along the River Thames on Sunday. Oxford won by  11 lengths after taking an early advantage and never looking back. The women’s event was won by Cambridge,who claimed their first victory over Oxford since 2012.

Weather

Clearing skies with light variable winds.

Top temperature 20 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Fine and sunny tomorrow,sunshine and showers on Wednesday.Highs of 18-21 degrees.

Finally

They say that you should never ask a woman her age. So it was a surprise not just for the public, but for Doris Day herself, when it emerged that the Pillow Talk actress turned 95 today, when it had been held she was 93.

The mistake only came to light when a copy of Day’s birth certificate showed that she was born on April 3, 1922 and not in 1924.

But if the lost years had been cause for any concern, Day was quick to shrug off the years joking that she had never ‘paid much attention’, to her age.