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Riviera and French News Thursday 9th March 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Bridge - A bridge over a motorway has collapsed killing two people near the north-east Italian city of Anc.ona. The two people who died were in a car below the bridge when it fell down onto the A14 road, while two others were injured.

Gold - The French family of four, murdered by their brother-in-law, were killed over gold coins and ingots kept in Monaco. The mother of Pascal Troadec revealed the gold had been found by her husband while on a plastering job in Paris. After his death, Pascal stole the gold and moved it to Monaco, causing controversy in the family. Meanwhile, the brother-in-law has been helping police discover body parts he buried on the families land after cutting up the bodies.

Court - A security cordon was thrown around the courthouse in Nice this morning after a suspicious package was found outside the building. After inspection by security forces, it was established to be an abandoned suitcase. Meanwhile, a 25 year-old man has appeared in front of the court for yesterdays paintballing of Linge Cote d’Azur busses on the Promenade des Anglais yesterday afternoon. The man is known to police and wears a electronic tracking braclet.

Body - The body of a woman in her 70s was discovered in the water off the beach at La Gravette in Antibes this morning by emergency services on a training exercise. The identity of the woman, nor cause of death, is not yet known.

Bike - Drivers are reminded the Paris Nice bike race takes place this weekend meaning traffic restrictions are in place on Saturday. The race will leave Nice at lunchtime with roads closing 20 minutes ahead of the cyclists and reopening 10 minutes after.

BUSINESS

A Swiss bank has described Marine Le Pen as the biggest risk to European stability. The report from  Credit Suisse said any narrowing of the polls in Le Pen's favour will create a high degree of volatility in the markets. The report was launched today to help investors navigate what it described as the upcoming defining months facing Europe.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has said the outlook for Eurozone growth is more optimistic, raising its economic growth forecasts to 1.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018. That’s one percentage point up on previous ECB forecasts.

Italy is trying to attract high net worth individuals to relocate there with a proposed maximum single tax of €100,000 on worldwide income. It’s believed up to a thousand individuals are interested already.

SPORT

Football - The world is talking about Barcelona’s stunning victory last night, where they made Champions League history, by overturning a first-leg 4-0 defeat and knocking Paris St-Germain out of the league with an amazing 6-1 win, to progress to the quarter-finals. It’s reported many grown men were seen crying at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona last night.

Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has confirmed he will retire this summer. The Spanish international, who won club honours with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern along with a World Cup and two European Championships, said ‘Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game.’

Formula 1 - Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has set the fastest time on the second-last day of pre-season testing. His time of one minute 19.024 seconds was just under 0.3secs quicker than the previous best, set by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

Rugby - Billy Vunipola has been named on the bench for England's Calcutta Cup meeting with Scotland on Saturday. The English backline shows three changes, with scrum-half Ben Youngs, centre Jonathan Joseph and wing Jack Nowell all returning.

UPDATE 07:00

Accident - A forty year old man has died after losing control of his scooter. The accident occurred in Breil-sur-Roya on Tuesday night, when the victim lost control on the RD 6204 and is thought to have hit a tree. An investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of the accident and, in particular whether a third party was involved.

Promenade des Anglais - A man has been arrested following a paintball gunfight on the Promenade des Anglais. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when two individuals on scooters reportedly hit four Lignes d’Azur buses with paint.

Presidential Elections – Socialist Presidential candidate Benoît Hamon has accused centrist Emmanuel Macron of lacking the “most elementary sense of social justice” accusing him of “carrying a project which could favour the National Front instead of blocking his party”. The comments were made during a rally on Tuesday in Marseille in front of 2,000 people.  

A8 Motorway - The A8 motorway came to a standstill on Wednesday evening westbound between Cagnes-sur-mer and Mougins. Long delays and up to several kimometres of traffic were reported due to an accident involving three vehicles shortly after 7.45pm.

Paris – Nice - Motorists in the region are reminded that there will be traffic restrictions in place on Saturday due to the Paris-Nice Cycling race. Roads will be closed 20 minutes ahead of the cyclists and will reopen 10 minutes after. Cyclists will be leaving Nice at 12.35.  

Charity Match - According to recent reports legendary Footballers Zidane, Barthez and Deschamps are set to take part in a charity football match on June 17th at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, in aid of the victims of the Nice terror attack. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the “Promenade des Anges” association.

National

Johnny Hallyday - The veteran singer, Johnny Hallyday, has announced he is being treated for cancer. The French rock star said the condition was not life threatening and said that he was doing well. The announcement on Wednesday came after a celebrity magazine reported that his condition was “worrying”. But, in a statement posted on his Twitter account, Hallyday attacked the “pack of lies circulating about my health”, which he said had shocked him deeply.

Yves Saint Laurent - France’s advertising regulator has ordered fashion house Saint Laurent to remove posters of extremely thin female models in “degrading” poses after an outcry over their appearance around Paris. Saint Laurent has declined to comment.

Business

Ministers from 34 Commonwealth countries will descend on London later as the UK Government hosts its biggest international trade meeting since the Brexit vote. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox hopes the event will boost relationships and open up talks for an African free trade zone. But some Whitehall officials fear the Government is placing too much expectation on countries that once belonged to the British Empire.

And - China has given US President Donald Trump the chance to expand his brand, after approving dozens of applications to register the Trump trademark. Many of the requests, for industries from hotels to security, were made during the US election campaign.  President Trump, who already owns about 70 trademarks in China, has pledged not to strike new foreign business deals while in office.  Critics have warned the approvals could breach the US Constitution. The Associated Press reported that 38 trademark requests had been provisionally given the go ahead. The approvals still need to be rubber-stamped. If no one objects to them, they will be formally registered in 90 days.

Sport

Football - Barcelona made Champions League history by becoming the first team to overturn a first-leg 4-0 deficit and knock out Paris St-Germain 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals for the 10th successive season and in the Premier League Manchester City have missed their chance to move up to second in the Premier League table.

Rugby – Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named an unchanged starting line-up for Friday's Six Nations game against Wales. Meanwhile Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards hits back at claims their coaching team has gone stale, and dismisses suggestions that Warren Gatland is still pulling the strings. Wales have lost two of their first three matches in this year’s Six Nations – to England and Scotland.

Formula One - Fernando Alonso has heavily criticised McLaren's Honda engine after another dispiriting day in pre-season testing. The two-time champion said the Honda had "no reliability and no power", with only two days of testing remaining before the first race of the season on 26th March. But the Spaniard said he was "enjoying" driving the faster 2017 cars and added: "I feel confident that this year we will be competitive.

Weather

Clear skies highs of 16 degrees in Nice and 19 degrees in Saint Tropez reaching 21 degrees in Toulon with a moderate north westerly wind. Going down to 8 degrees this evening in the Alpes Maritimes and 5 degrees in the Var.

Friday and the weekend – Friday fine and sunny with highs of 21 degrees and clear skies across the region. Saturday partially cloudy some rain inland, highs of 16 degrees. Sunday much the same as Saturday with variable north easterly winds in the Var and highs of 17 degrees.

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