Riviera and French News Thursday 19th January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Farmer - The French farmer and activist, Cédric Herrou, who avoided a jail sentence earlier this month for aiding migrants, has been arrested. The arrested was made when he was stopped at the Braus Tunnel at 11 O’Clock night night with three migrants in his car. He’s being held in custody in Menton.

Avalanche - Rescuers have removed three bodies from a hotel buried by an avalanche after earthquakes in central Italy yesterday. Heavy snow and aftershocks are hindering rescue efforts at the Rigo-piano Hotel in the Abruzzo region where’s it believed up to 30 people could be buried alive.

Cannes - It’s now believed the thief behind the robbery on a jewellery store on the Croisette in Cannes yesterday, got away with €15m worth of diamonds. The robbery took place yesterday morning at the Harry Winston store, when the thief, posing as a customer, held up staff with a shotgun and a grenade.

Monte Carlo Rally - The 85th Monte Carlo Rally starts tonight with two special stages in the north-west of Nice and finishing in Monaco on Sunday. There are four days of racing over a total of 382km with 75 teams participating.


The European Central Bank has kept its main interest rate unchanged at zero for another month. It was also decided not to change it’s bond-buying stimulus scheme, which was extended last month amid worries about economic growth. ECB head Mario Draghi said the eurozone economy is stronger, but still fragile.

Shares in Toshiba have dived 16% on reports that the Japanese conglomerate faces bigger losses at its newly-bought US company that builds nuclear power plants in America. It’s feared Toshiba may have to write down the value of the unit by a larger-than-expected $6.1bn.

Theresa May has told leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the UK will be a world leader on trade. However the prime minister also warned that inequality blamed on globalisation was aiding the politics of division. Her speech comes after EU leaders said a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK would be difficult.


Tennis - In Melbourne, Novak Djokovic has been knocked out of the Australian Open in a shock defeat by world number 117 Denis Istomin, in a game that lasted nearly 5 hours. Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash has described Djokovic as a shadow of what he was at his peak. Andy Murray, who has lost to Djokovic in four previous Australian Open finals, is now favourite to win the competition for the first ever time. Britain's Johanna Konta eased through to the third round but Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund both lost in the second round. French 18th seed Richard Gasquet is also through to the third round following a straight sets win over Carlos Berlocq of Argentina.

Vendee Globe - French yachtsman Amel le Cleac'h has won the Vendee Globe in a new record time of 74 days, three hours and 35 minutes. He crossed the finish line on France's Atlantic coast at 4.30 this afternoon. Welsh sailor Alex Thomson is due to finish second in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Rugby - The Leicester Tigers boss has said they are keen to sign Toulon's international centre Maxime Mermoz until the end of the season. Injuries to summer signings Matt Toomua and Manu Tuilagi have left Tigers struggling for numbers in the backs.

Football - Manchester United generated the most revenue of any football club in the world last season, according to a report published by Deloitte. They take over from Real Madrid who held top spot for 11 years. Deloitte say the combined revenue for the Top 20 soccer clubs last year was a record 7.4bn euros.

UPDATE 07:00

Avalanche - Many people are feared dead after a ski hotel was buried by an avalanche in earthquake-hit central Italy, local media reported this morning. An earlier report had said up to 30 people had been found dead. "There are many dead," Antonio Crocetta, the head of a group of Alpine police that was trying to reach the cut-off hotel, was quoted as saying. Media reports said there had been at least 20 guests and seven staff at the Hotel Rigopiano on the lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain when the first of four powerful quakes hit the region yesterday morning. 

Corsica Ferries - Passengers on a Corsica Ferry have been unable to dock in the port of Bastia due to high winds and a strong swell. The ferry which left Toulon on Tuesday night at 9pm made several attempts to enter the port but was forced to stay at sea overnight and will be making another attempt this morning. 163 passengers are on board and 74 crew members.

Train Delays - The regional train network the TER has reportedly the highest number of delays in France. According to figures in 2016, the PACA region had the highest number of TERs with more than a five minute delay at more than 15% compared to the national average of 9.22%.

Port Vauban - The chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Alpes Maritimes has announced plans to modernise the port in Antibes. The plans for Port Vauban and its neighbouring port Galice are part of a 150 million euros investment over 25 years. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry already manages the ports of Nice, Cannes, Villefranche and Golfe Juan and has been managing Antibes port since January 1st.  Plans reportedly include a restaurant, promenade and an underground car park.

Monte Carlo Rally – The 85th Monte Carlo Rally starts tonight with two special stages in the north-west of Nice and finishing in Monaco on Sunday.There are four days of racing over a total of 382km with 75 teams participating.


Brexit - A group of British nationals, has told a Parliamentary Select Committee in Westminster that the UK should make the first move when it comes to the issue of the rights of EU citizens in Britain and those of Brits living in France.

Manuel Valls - The 18 year old man who slapped Manuel Valls on Tuesday during his visit to Brittany has been given a three month suspended prison sentence, 105 hours of community service and ordered to pay a one euro symbolic fine.

Elections - The French socialist outsider Benoit Hamon looks like he is set to be a serious contender ahead of Sunday’s first round vote for the left-wing presidential primaries. Hamon who reportedly wants to legalise cannabis and introduce a universal basic income of 750 euros in gaining ground. Hamon, an admirer of Bernie Sanders,  has long been considered the “third man” in the primaries. The polls currently predict that Manuel Valls will come first in Sunday’s first round of the primaries, in which any French citizen can vote.


The Chair of the US Federal Reserve Janet Yellen has said that it “makes sense” to gradually raise interest rates. With the United States economy close to full employment and inflation nearing the Fed’s 2 percent target,Ms Yellen  warned that “waiting too long to begin moving towards the neutral rate could risk a nasty surprise down the road”.She said that could mean either too much inflation,financial instability or both. The Fed raised short-term rates last month for only the second time since the financial crisis. The rate increase in December reflected confidence that the US economy will continue to recover.

The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that Brexit will result in a certain amount of “pain” for the UK economy. In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday,Christine Lagarde said that the Brexit process would be complicated and that uncertainty over the deal is “always a risk”. She said that any deal that Britain strikes with the EU post Brexit will not be as good as remaining inside. She said that “when you belong to a club,whatever that is,the members of the club have a degree of affinity and particular terms under which they operate.Someone outside the club has different access”.

And-The outgoing US Vice-President Joe Biden has used his farewell speech to tell an audience of the world’s richest people that they don’t pay enough tax. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos on Wednesday,Mr Biden said that “the top 1% is not carrying its weight”. He also issued a “call to action” in defence of liberal democracy and said that Russia would try to interfere in European elections this year. Mr Biden said that the tax system in the United States was not equitable and said that inheritance tax breaks were a “waste of money”.


Tennis-It’s day 4 of the Australian Open in Melbourne and the French 18th seed Richard Gasquet is through to round three following a straight sets win over Carlos Berlocq of Argentina. The 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov is also through after beating Hyeon Chang of Korea 1-6 6-4 6-4 6-4 and in the women’s event there have been second round wins for the 9th seed from Great Britain Johanna Konta,the 17th seed Caroline Wozniacki and the 5th seed Karolina Pliskova. The third seed in the men’s event Milos Raonic looks like he’s on the way to the third round.He’s 2 sets up against Gilles Muller but the 2nd seed Novak Djokovic has dropped the first set of his match against Denis Istomin.

Football-Liverpool are through to the 4th round of the FA Cup in England but they were far from convincing in a 1-0 win in last night’s 3rd round replay at Plymouth Argyle of League 2. In the other replays last night Newcastle beat Birmingham 3-1 and Southampton beat Norwich 1-0.

Formula 1’s governing body has given its backing to the sale of the sport’s commercial rights to Liberty Media. The FIA’s approval was the final regulatory hurdle to be cleared before the sale which will see Liberty take over from the investment group CVC Capital Partners. The takeover is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.

Cricket - Tributes have been paid to the former England women’s captain Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint who’s died at the age of 77. Heyhoe Flint captained England from 1966 to 1978 and played in the first ever women’s match at Lords,against Australia  in 1976. The president of the MCC Matthew Fleming said that she had been a “pioneer of women’s cricket and had been a global superstar in the game”.He added that her overall contribution to the MCC,cricket and sport in general had been immense”. The second one day international between India and England starts in Cuttack at 9am this morning.India lead the series 1-0. Australia are playing Pakistan in the 3rd one day international in Perth.Australia won the toss and elected to field. Pakistan had reached 146-3 after 28 overs.


Mainly fine with light to moderate variable winds.

Top temperature 13 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 5 degrees on the coast and -1 degree inland with partially cloudy skies and some frost in places.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with a high of 13 or 14 degrees.


If you've got a parent who quite often gets your name wrong and confuses you for your siblings, dad or even pet dog, you know how annoying it can be. And it's frustrating for the parents, too, if they have to go through a million names every time they want to tell you to do something. 

A study has found that names don't even have to sound entirely alike for people to get them confused repeatedly - it's actually all to do with the 'categories' the names belong to.

Researchers found that "family members are misnamed with another family member's name and friends are misnamed with another friend's name."

So when your Nan goes through every one of your cousin's names before getting to yours, it's because she's picking it out of a little filing cabinet in her brain labelled "grandchildren".


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