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Riviera and French News Thursday 20th April 2017

Local

Arrests in Marseille - The investigation into the two men arrested on Tuesday in Marseille accused of planning a terrorist attack has shown that they intended to carry out the act in Marseille over the next couple of days. The suspects aged 29 and 23 had allegedly met in prison, and were known to police as Islamist radicals.

Prison Sentence - Sasa Damjanovic and his companion Vera Vasic have been sentenced to 6 and 4 years in prison by the court in Grasse. The sentence given on Wednesday was for having posed as false victims of the Nice attack. The couple from Cannes had already been condemned for identical acts for the Paris bombings.

Security - The President of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region Christian Estrosi has announced that security guards will be deployed in front of the 252 polling station in Nice on Sunday. The polling stations which are spread over 90 different sites, mostly in schools and communal buildings will see private security agents present for the first round of the Presidential election.

Storm - One person has been taken to hospital after lightning struck their house in Vallauris on Wednesday evening starting a fire. Shortly after 9pm the residents of a detached house on the rue Saint-Bernard  were taken by surprise when lightning hit the roof of the house. Firefighters soon managed to extinguish the blaze.

La Poste – The French post office “La Poste” has announced plans to recruit 3,000 postmen throughout France including 58 in the Alpes Maritimes region. The recruitments come in an attempt to improve the service in certain key areas. To apply candidates must go to www.laposte.fr/recrute.

National

French Presidential Election – A closely-watched poll published on Wednesday has shown that the centrist Emmanuel Macron is still managing to hold on to his lead as favourite to win France's presidential election. Meanwhile left wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon made a return to hologram campaigning beaming himself and his far-left message to six cities. For his last major rally before Sunday's first-round vote, Melenchon transmitted his onstage appearance in Dijon to crowds in Nancy, Grenoble, Montpellier, Clermont-Ferrand, Nantes and Le Port on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

French Artist - The French artist Abraham Poincheval who has spent three weeks sitting on 10 eggs has hatched his first chick. Poincheval - who made headlines last month after spending a week entombed inside an egg-shaped rock -- has hardly slept since he stepped inside a glass vitrine in a Paris modern art museum to sit on the eggs on March 29. But late on Tuesday afternoon the first of the eggs began to hatch, forcing the artist to temporarily rise from his nest for fear of crushing the newborn.

Business

Crude oil prices have clawed back some ground in Asian trade this morning following Wednesday’s steep losses with a slight drop in US inventories raising hopes that a drive to rein in global oversupply could be gaining some traction. Brent Crude futures were trading up 38 cents a little earlier this morning at 53 dollars 31 cents with West Texas Intermediate up 31 cents to 50 dollars 75. On Wednesday,both crude benchmarks fell by more than 3.5 percent following a report of surging gasoline inventories and another rise in US crude production to 9.25 million barrels per day-that’s an almost 10 percent increase since June 2016. The energy giant Exxon Mobil has declined to comment on media reports that its seeking US government approval to drill in several areas of the Black Sea which are currently banned by US sanctions on Russia.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Exxon has applied in recent months to the US Treasury Department for a waiver to drill with the Russian oil producer Rosneft. If a request has been made it’s likely to draw attention because Exxon’s former chief executive Rex Tillerson is now the US Secretary of State. An Exxon spokesman refused to comment on “ongoing discussions” with regulators  but pointed out that the firm has in the past been granted permission by the Treasury to keep intact Exxon’s joint venture with Rosneft,despite the sanctions.

And-Reuters says that the billionaire investor Warren Buffett is supporting the management and board of directors of the under fire US bank Wells Fargo  and has already likely voted shares owned by his Berkshire Hathaway firm in line with the bank’s official suggestions. In an exclusive report,Reuters says that although he recently sold some shares,Mr Buffett  and his firm own nearly 10 percent of Wells Fargo stock. His support is influential because of his status as a leading investor. Wells Fargo is facing a threat at a shareholder meeting next week after proxy advisors have told many shareholders not to support them.The opposition is related to a scandal  where employees of the bank created up to 2 million accounts in customers’ names without their permission.

Sport

Tennis-Andy Murray saw of Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in round 2 of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters on Wednesday as he made the third round with a 7-5 7-5 win. Rafael Nadal is also through as he seeks his 10th Monte Carlo title but he was taken to three sets by Kyle Edmund of Great Britain before coming through 6-0 5-7 6-3. The third seed Stan Wawrinka as well as the 5th seed Marin Cilic and the 6th seed Dominic Thiem are also through to round 3. Play starts at 11am on the Court Rainier III and Andy Murray is first in the order of play for his third round match against the 15th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.That’s followed by the 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka against the 16th seed Pablo Cuevas . On the Court des Princes there’s a tasty encounter first up between the 5th seed Marin Cilic and the 9th seed Tomas Berdych and that will be followed by the 3rd round match between the 11th seed Lucas Pouille of France and unseeded fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. 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

Football-Monaco are through to the semi-finals of the European Champions League after a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund at the Stade Louis Deux last night which gives them a 6-3 win on aggregate. Mbappe,Falcao and Germain scored Monaco’s goals on the night. Juventus are also into the last 4 after holding Barcelona to a 0-0 draw which gave them a 3-0 win on aggregate. The draw for the semi-finals will be made tomorrow.Real Madrid and their city neighbours Athletico are also in the hat.

Motorsport-A 17 year old Formula 4 driver has had both his legs amputated after being involved in a horrific crash at Donnington Park in England last Sunday. Billy Monger ran into the back of another car which appeared to have stopped on the track and was airlifted to hospital.Surgeons were unable to save his legs  and they were amputated on Wednesday. A JustGiving website page set up for the boy has so far raised 300,000 pounds. The website address is https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/billymonger23 if you would like to donate.

Cricket-The South Africa paceman Dale Steyn is to miss the ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales which starts in June. Steyn is still recovering from a shoulder injury which he sustained on South Africa’s tour of Australia last November.

Rugby Union-Warren Gatland has named a 41 man squad for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand. The squad is made up from 16 England players,12 from Wales,11 from Ireland and just 2 from Scotland. Sam Warburton of Wales captains the squad but there’s no place for the England captain Dylan Hartley with Jamie George preferred instead in one of the 3 hooker places.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate easterly or variable winds.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with clear skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Clear skies with highs of 18-21 degrees.

Finally

A man has been caught driving recklessly. Why? He was in a rush, he says, to get to Nando's.

On Tuesday, officers from the Western Australian Police Traffic department pulled a frantic father over who'd run a red light.

The police force tweeted a notice , which included the man's excuse: "I'm in a rush to get the kids Nando's."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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