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Riviera and French News Monday 6th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Drugs - Fourteen people, including a former professional footballer with Montpellier, were in front of the Criminal Court in Marseilles today for drug trafficking between the Cote d’Azur and the Caribbean. It’s believed two people from Vallauris, Antonio Magnoli and Rocco Magnoli were at the heart of operation where 89 kilos of cocaine were seized on a sailboat in the Caribbean. Included in the charge is former Montpellier footballer, Julio Colombo, who played for the club from 2002 to 2010.

Brawl - A public knife fight between residents in Cannes La Bocca has left two people in hospital suffering from knife wounds. The incident happened yesterday afternoon as a dozen people started fighting in front of a block of flats, when a meat knife and a tear gas canister were produced. Two people were stabbed and four others injured. A police investigation has begun into what started the brawl.

Death - Another immigrant has died trying to cross the Italian border into France. The man, in his early twenties, was hit by a train as he attempted to walk through the tunnel just before the Italian border yesterday afternoon. The SNCF said the driver saw him but was unable to stop in time.

Traffic - The RD123 at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin will be closed Wednesday to Friday this week for essential works. A detour will be in place in both directions, from Gorbio Valley through Menton.

BUSINESS

Ryanair report profits slid 8% to €95m as the fall in sterling hit its results. Ryanair hold 15% of the European aviation market with average flight capacity at 95%. They said would maintain their full-year profit guidance of in around €1.3bn. The airline also warned it would be reviewing it’s free second cabin bag policy after abuse by a number of passengers.

Toyota says its full-year profits will be better than expected thanks to a pick-up in sales and a boost from currency fluctuations. The Japanese car-maker, who recently lost their top selling status to VW, expects net profit in the year to March of $15.1bn.

SPORT

Rugby - Former South Africa captain Joost van der Westhuizen has died at the age of just 45, six years after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Regarded as one of the finest scrum-halves in history, he won 89 international caps and captained the Springboks for four years, including at the 1999 World Cup.

Wales, England and Scotland have maximum points following the Six Nations first round at the weekend. Wales stuttered in the first half of their match against Italy but came out convincing winners by 33 points to 7. Scotland had a fantastic 27-22 win over Ireland while England just came out on top against France 19-16.

Football - AS Monaco have taken their revenge on OGC Nices 4-0 win from last September by beating them in this weekends local derby 3-0 at Stade Louis II.

There were 2 games in the English Premier League yesterday with Manchester City beating Swansea 2-1 and Leicester losing 3-0 at home to Manchester United.

American Football - The New England Patriots have won the Superbowl with a thrilling extra time win over the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons had led 28-3, but in the final quarter the Patriots pulled it back to 28-All. Then for the first time in Superbowl history, took the game into overtime for the win. The closing score was 34-28.

Tennis - Great Britain reached the quarter finals of the Davis Cup in a bizarre way, when Canada’s 17 year old Denis Shapovalov lost his cool and hit the ball angrily off court and into the umpire’s face. He was disqualified and Great Britain won the match 3-2. They next face France in the quarter finals in April.

Golf - Sergio Garcia has won the Dubai Desert Classic by three strokes. The Spaniard fired a final round 69 to finish on ‘19 under par-three’ clear of Henrik Stenson.

UPDATE 07:00

Strike Action – Teachers in the region have allegedly threatened strike action this afternoon. Some teachers will reportedly be striking in Nice against the lack of specialized teaching positions in the Alpes Maritimes and the closure of some classes. 

Brawl - A brawl has broken out between residents in Cannes La Bocca leaving two people suffering from knife wounds. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon around 4:30pm. The reason for the brawl remains to be determined by the police. Reports say a dozen people started fighting  in front of a block of flats and six people were wounded, two of them stabbed. The first was taken to hospital  in Cannes, while the second was transferred to Nice. A meat knife and a tear gas canister were found by police at the scene.

Death - The man found dead on Sunday morning in the train tunnel situated just before the Italian boarder was of North African origin. The victim aged between 20 and 25 years of age had been hit by a train.The SNCF issued a statement saying that the driver claims to have seen him but was unable to stop in time. The Italian Green Cross, firefighters and police were at the scene.

Marseille police - A man suspected of being a drug dealer has been arrested in Marseille by two police officers who had donned traditional Muslim dress in order to make the arrest. The scene was filmed and shared on French social media, with many people asking the question as to whether the move was entirely legal? One of the police officers who appears in the video is wearing a qamis, a long tunic often worn by Muslim men. The other officer is wearing a jilbab another long tunic that also covers the head, usually worn by women. In the video, the officers are joined by another officer in uniform after having arrested the suspect. 

The Balloon Concept Challenge - The first ecological aeronautic race is to take place this week in Switzerland and among them will be the Aeronauts of Monaco. The Balloon Concept Challenge will see eco-balloons take off at the same time on Wednesday 8 February and carry out flights which can bring pilots, depending on the weather, more than 1000 kilometers from the starting point.  

Football - Beaten 4-0 at the Allianz Riviera in the first leg, AS Monaco took its revenge by beating OGC Nice 3-0  at the Stade  Louis-II on Saturday.

National

French Politics - Francois Fillon, starts a “crucial week” for his political future today following the "penelopegate" affair. Fillon is reportedly due to hold a press conference today at 4pm in Paris. Meanwhile the mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppé has declared to the French press this morning that under no circumstances would he consider running as a candidate for the Presidential election should Fillon step down.

Weather Alert – Two departments in the South of France are still on an orange weather alert due to violent winds forecast, according to Meteo France. The l’Aude and les Pyrénées Orientales have been issued with the severe weather warning until midday today.

Le Louvre Attack - The father of a man shot by a French soldier as he carried out a machete attack at the Louvre museum in Paris says his son is not a terrorist. The retired Egyptian police general accused the soldier who shot him of "using brute force with a poor young man". The French authorities say his son Abdullah, was shot when he attacked the soldiers, injuring one of them. French investigators began questioning Abdullah on Sunday, but he has reportedly refused to speak.

Power Cuts - More than a quarter of a million homes have been left without power as Gale-force winds battered France's southwestern Atlantic coast on Saturday. National weather agency Meteo France said winds reaching speeds of up to 148 kilometres per hour had battered the coast and warned that in some places they could even reach 160 kph. Three western regions were put on red alert as the storm brought down powerlines, cutting off roads although there have been no immediate reports of casualties.

Emmanuel Macron - French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has vowed to unite France and boost ties with Germany. In a major speech given on Saturday to a crowd in Lyon Macron also promised to boost defence spending. The former socialist economy minister set up his own party last year and according to opinion polls he is the most likely candidate to face far right leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting.                       

Jean-Luc Mélenchon – Meanwhile French far-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon held simultaneous presidential campaign rallies on Sunday in two cities that are nearly 500km apart. Appearing in the flesh in Lyon and as a three-dimensional hologram in Paris.

Business

Volkswagen is facing its first major legal action in Germany over the diesel emissions scandal. Deutsche See,which leases 500 vehicles from VW has said that it’s been unable to reach an out of court settlement with the firm and has no alternative but to take its complaint through the legal system. Deutsche See is one of Germany’s major fish and seafood producers.It promotes itself as an environmentally friendly business and in 2010 won an award for being Germany’s “most sustainable company”. The company says that it went into partnership with VW because it promised the most environmentally friendly and sustainable mobility concept. German media is reporting that Deutsche See has filed its complaint for “malicious deception”. VW has yet to comment on the development.

Oil prices have edged up this morning on fears that fresh US sanctions against Iran will be extended to affect crude oil supplies. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been  increasing since last week’s Iranian ballistic missile test which prompted the Trump administration to impose sanctions on a number of individuals and entities linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard military unit. However,the rise in the price of crude was tempered by further signs of growing US production. US drillers added 17 more rigs to production in the week to February the 3rd bringing the total count up to 583-the most since October 2015. Brent Crude was trading up 10 cents at 56 dollars 91 a little earlier this morning with US West Texas Intermediate futures up 8 cents to 53 dollars 91.

And-The dollar has started the week on the back foot after US data showed a smaller-than-expected rise in wages last month that reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will not increase interest rates next month. The dollar index dropped to 99.688 against a basket of 6 currencies-moving back towards last Thursday’s low of 99.233 which was its weakest since mid-November. While the headline figure of last Friday’s non-farm payrolls report for January showed a greater-than-expected rise in job growth,the unemployment rate edged up  and wage growth was disappointing.

Sport

American Football-The New England Patriots have won Superbowl LI with a thrilling overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the NRJ Stadium in Houston. The Falcons led 28-3 in the final quarter and must have thought they had it in the bag  but amazingly the Patriots pulled it back to 28 all and took the game into overtime for the first time in Superbowl history.The comeback was completed when James White scored a touchdown on a two-yard run to give the Patriots a 34-28 victory to claim their 5th Superbowl title.

Tennis-Great Britain have reached the quarter finals of the Davis Cup in bizarre fashion after Canada’s 17 year old Denis Shapovalov was defaulted in the final singles rubber for hitting the umpire with a ball. Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund was winning by 2 sets to one and by 2 games to one in the decisive rubber when Shamovalov lost his cool and hit the ball angrily off the court and into the umpire’s face.He was disqualified for the incident and Great Britain won the match 3-2 and will now go on to face France in the quarter finals in April.

Rugby Union-Wales,England and Scotland have maximum points following the first round of the 6 Nations. Wales stuttered in the first half of their match against Italy in Rome on Sunday but came out convincing winners by 33 points to 7. Scotland had a fantastic 27-22 win over Ireland on Saturday while England just came out on top against France 19-16. In next weekend’s matches Italy play Ireland and Wales play England on Saturday while France play Scotland on Sunday.

Football-There were 2 games in the English Premier League on Sunday.Manchester City beat Swansea 2-1 and Leicester lost 3-0 at home to Manchester United. There were two games in the English Championship on Sunday.Brighton missed out on the chance of going back to the top of the table after drawing 3-3 at Brentford while Huddersfield beat Leeds 2-1. In Scotland on Sunday,Celtic opened up a 27 point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League following a 5-2 win at St Johnstone.

Cricket-New Zealand have beaten Australia by 24 runs in the third one day international to regain the Chappell-Hadlee trophy. New Zealand made 281-9 from their 50 overs before bowling Australia out for 257.

Golf-Sergio Garcia has won the Dubai Desert Classic by 3 strokes. The Spaniard fired a final round 69 to finish on 19 under par-three clear of Henrik Stenson. Meanwhile Hideki Matsuyama has retained his Phoenix Open title after beating Webb Simpson in a playoff at the 4th extra hole. Both players had ended on 17 under par to take the match into a playoff.

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate north westerly winds-strong in coastal areas of the Var.

Top temperature 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Hazy sunshine tomorrow with a high of 14 degrees.Rain on Wednesday with a high of 13.

Finally

A student had the shock of her life when she sobered up from a night out and discovered she'd splashed £130 on tickets to see Sean Paul - 600 miles away in Milan.

21 year old Claudia Barrall,  had been out celebrating a friend's birthday when she thinks she disappeared off to the toilets to buy the tickets.

But the Sean Paul fanatic only remembered later that morning when she was locked out of her student accommodation in Norwich and noticed she'd tweeted about going to see the artist in Copenhagen in April.

After spending almost a fortnight researching accommodation and things to do in Denmark, the tickets arrived last Wednesday - and turned out to be for the show in Milan.