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Riviera and French News Tuesday 14th February 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Murder - The man held in custody after a young couple were found dead at a house in Fayence on Sunday, has been giving his version of events. He says a row broke out between the couple at their home in which the man shot the woman, then ordered him to leave. He says the male partner was unhappy with the woman’s flirting throughout the evening and that a lot of alcohol had been consumed. He returned later in the morning to discover the bodies of the 21 year old woman and her 34 year old partner, and called the police.

Road Deaths - 2016 was one of the deadliest years on record for the roads of the Alpes Maritimes. A total 58 people died during the year with motorcyclists counting for 23 deaths, against 21 in 2015. Pedestrain deaths have also increased significantly from 7 to 12. The deadliest day of the week is Friday with 14 fatalities, against only 3 deaths on a Monday in 2016.

Ski - Three of the four victims of the avalanche in Tignes yesterday, are from Pertuis near Aix-en-Provence. They were a father of 48 who owned a pharmacy in the town, his own 15 year old son and a son-in-law.

BUSINESS

The Chairman of Toshiba has resigned, hours after revealing a $3.4bn loss last year and an expected write down of $6.3bn on its US nuclear business. Shares have lost about 50% since late December, when Toshiba first warned about the extent of its problems, then fell another 9% today.

A bribery settlement and the fall in sterling have pushed Rolls-Royce to a record loss before tax of £4.6bn for 2016. However, once one-off costs have been stripped out, the company's underlying profit was better than many experts had predicted.

French carmaker PSA says it is considering taking over General Motors' European Opel business. PSA, which makes Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars, already share production of SUVs and minivans with GM. The French government holds a 14% stake in PSA, as do the Peugeot family and the Chinese firm Dongfeng Motor.

SPORT

Football - The European Champions League returns tonight with two games. Paris St Germain face Barcelona and Benfica play Borussia Dortmund. For Paris St Germain, tonights home game will be a daunting test of their place in Europe's elite, made more vital by the 600m spent on transfers since 2011. However, manager Unai Emery has only won one out of 23 games against Barcelona. Kick off for both matches is at 8.45 French time.

Rugby - Ireland’s Rob Kearney could be ruled out of the remainder of Ireland's Six Nations campaign with an arm injury. The Leinster full-back damaged his bicep towards the end of Saturday's 63-10 win over Italy in Rome. Ireland have declined to comment on the extent of the injury but will issue an update on Friday.

Tennis - Great Britain face a potentially tough test in Romania after the draw was made for April's Fed Cup World Group II play-off games. The match will take place on 22nd and 23rd of April, as Britain bids to reach the competition's second tier for the first time since 1993.

Awards - The Laureus World Sports Awards take place in Monaco tonight with an array of the globe’s top athletes and celebrities in attendance. Nominatees include Usain Bolt, Andy Murray and Mo Farah for Sportsman of the Year, and Allyson Felix, Angelique Kerber and Laura Kenny for Sportswoman. The Awards take place at the Salle des Etoiles and will be hosted by actor Hugh Grant.

UPDATE 07:00

Avalanche - Four skiers have died in an avalanche. The accident occurred on Monday morning at the ski resort of Tignes. The avalanche hit an area used by skiers about ten meters from the ski lifts. The victims, three members of the same family and their snowboard instructor were all equipped with an avalanche SOS detector but became buried under 400 meters of snow. A fifth person, a teenager who was with the group at the time is being interviewed by the rescue services.

Bomb Scare - A bomb scare has been reported in Nice on the Cours Saleya flower market. The incident occurred on Monday afternoon as National Front leader Marine Le Pen visited the area. Police were informed of the threat which turned out to be an abandoned back pack. 

Couple found dead in Fayence - A man is his thirties has been taken into police custody following the death of a couple in Fayence on Sunday. The couple in their thirties were found dead in their house on Sunday afternoon. The man who reported the incident to the police was taken into police custody on Monday. The suspect reportedly spent the evening with the couple and has a previous criminal record for drugs.

Valentine’s Day - Actors, teachers and musicians are giving a helping hand this Valentine’s Day in Marseille. Through rhyme or music they will be walking the streets of the city to give a helping hand to those wishing to write a love letter to the chosen person. The group wearing cupid wings hope to spread a little love and inspiration with their passionate messages.

National

Brexit - A leaked EU document has suggested that Brits across the European Union will face a serious fallout due to the UK’s treatment of foreigners after the Brexit vote. According to the document leaked to The Guardian newspaper the future statue of Brits in the EU will be a matter for each individual member state after the UK leaves the union in 2019. This means that Brits in France will have to see what France decides to do with them.

Royal Visit – Meanwhile, It has been announced that Prince William and his wife Kate will visit France on the 17th March. A trip that will likely coincide with the start of Britain's Brexit process - voted in a June 2016 referendum. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to attend a reception for young French leaders, a formal dinner at the British ambassador's residence and the Six Nations rugby match between Wales and France.

Business

President Trump has said that the United States will be “tweaking” its trade relationship with Canada but stopped short of calling for a major realignment. Speaking after a meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House on Monday.Mr Trump said that his biggest concern with the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) was the US trade relationship with Mexico.He said that trade relations with Canada were much less of a concern than what was happening on America’s southern border adding that the United States and Canada were stronger when they joined forces in matters of international commerce. Mr Trudeau steered around direct questions on trade but said that Canada and the United States should always remain each other’s most essential partner.

The former banker and hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin has been sworn in as US Treasury Secretary following his confirmation by the Senate. Mr Mnuchin has spent most of his career in the private sector but will now be working for the US taxpayer.He’s pledged to create jobs and combat terrorist financing. Democrats opposed the appointment,arguing that Mr Mnuchin had made a fortune foreclosing on families during the financial crisis. Critics have also questioned whether he’s too close to Wall Street banking for which he will be responsible for regulating.

And-In the UK,the Co-op Bank has put itself up for sale and is inviting offers to buy all of its shares. The bank,which is 20% owned  by the Co-operative Group almost collapsed in 2013 and was bailed out by US hedge funds. The bank is well known for its ethical standpoint and has 4 million customers. However,it hasn’t been able to strengthen its finances because of low interest rates.

Sport

The Laureus World Sports Awards take place here in Monaco tonight with an array of the globe’s top athletes and celebrities in attendance. Nominations for the awards include Usain Bolt,Andy Murray and Mo Farah for Sportsman of the Year and Allyson Felix,Angelique Kerber and Laura Kenny for Sportswoman of the Year. Mercedes AMG Petronas,the Chicago Cubs and Real Madrid are among the nominees for Team of the Year and Michael Phelps,Juan Martin del Potro and Nick Skelton have been nominated in the Comeback of the Year category. The Laureus World Sports Awards will take place at the famous Salle des Etoiles at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club and will be  hosted by the actor Hugh Grant.

Football-Manchester City are up to second place in the English Premier League following a 2-0 win at struggling Bournemouth. Sterling put City ahead on 29 minutes with Ming putting through his own net on 69 minutes to wrap the points up for City who are now 8 points behind the leaders Chelsea. The European Champions League round of 16 stage gets underway tonight with two ties. Benfica play Borussia Dortmund and PSG face Barcelona. There’s a full programme in the English Championship tonight.We’ll bring you the results from those games tomorrow.

Cricket-Joe Root has been named as England Test captain following Alistair Cook’s resignation last week. Root,who’s 26,is the 80th man to captain England in the long form of the game. Ben Stokes has been named as vice-captain.

Rugby Union-Anthony Watson has been named in a 24 man England training camp and is thought to be in the reckoning for selection for the 6 Nations game against Italy a week on Sunday. The Bath winger missed the opening two games of the campaign with a hamstring injury but has now recovered. Mako Vunipola could also return against Italy and brother Billy could be fit in time for the Ireland game.

Cycling-Lance Armstrong has failed in his bid to block a 100 million dollar lawsuit brought by the US government. The suit alleges that Armstrong defrauded the government by cheating while riding for the publicly funded US Postal Service team. A Federal judge rejected an attempt to block the case on Monday meaning that Armstrong can now go to trial.

Weather

Overcast with moderate to strong easterly winds-gusting at up to 70 km/h in coastal areas of the Var. Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 9 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies and the wind slackening off.

Wednesday and Thursday-Mainly fine with a high of 16-17 degrees.

Finally

Daredevil Evel Knievel’s iconic star-spangled jumpsuit in which he attempted many death-defying stunts is tipped to sell for more than £60,000. Between 1965 and 1977, Knievel attempted 175 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps and an unsuccessful crossing of the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a steam-powered rocket.

Now, 10 years after Knievel’s death, his family have decided to put some of his most iconic items up for auction. The jumpsuit Knievel wore in 1972 and 1973 is valued at £63,000 while his famous diamond-studded walking stick is tipped to sell for £13,500.

The daredevil wore the leathers during his successful leap over 50 crushed cars at the Los Angeles Coliseum on February 18, 1973, a record which stood for 35 years.