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Riviera and French News Tuesday 14th March 2017

Local

Skiing Accident - A 52 year old Italian skier has died and a British holidaymaker has been left seriously injured after a violent collision in a French Alpine resort. The accident occurred on Sunday in Les Deux Alpes when the Italian was knocked unconscious and could not be revived after he skied into the 33 year old Briton. The British skier was taken to a nearby hospital in Grenoble where he is being treated for head injuries.

Bomb scare - The Galerie Lafayette department store in the centre of Nice was evacuated on Monday morning because of a suspicious suitcase. Bomb disposal experts were able to confirm that the suitcase was empty.  The tramway was also stopped for a short time in the area before the all clear was given just after midday.

Nice Attack - A couple who posed as Paris attacks victims to win compensation are facing trial again over a similar claim about the Nice attack last summer. The pair were imprisoned in December after claiming €60,000 from a victims fund for the November 2015 Paris attacks, despite being on the Cote d'Azur at the time. The fraud was exposed when they claimed to also be victims of the Nice attack. They will now stand trial again in April and face 14 years if convicted.

SNCF - SNCF halted traffic between Lyon and Nice for two hours on Monday evening after a TGV train bound for Nice ran into someone. The incident happened shortly after 9pm - police are yet to determine whether it was an accident or a suicide.

Flights - According to a committee in Antibes by 2028 aircrafts landing at Nice International airport will no longer fly over Antibes. The committee which fights noise pollution in the region claims that a “new landing system” will put at end to planes flying over Antibes, Cannes and Vallauris and still allow for a safe landing even in adverse weather conditions. Traffic at Nice International Airport has increased significantly from 42,000 arrivals in 1993 to more than 100,000 today.

Bathing – Due to works at a nearby waste water treatment plant bathing in the sea in many areas of Antibes will be prohibited from this morning until midnight on Thursday. The restrictions will be clearly marked and police will patrol the affected beaches to ensure nobody goes in the water.

National

EDF Scam - According to reports, eight employees of the French National Electricity company EDF have been arrested and taken into custody. The arrests were made on Monday in the Yvelines region and are in connection with a possible scam worth 700,000 euros carried out by several EDF employees.

Paris - The mayor of Paris has said the city would spend 1.5 million euros to rid the French capital of rats and install more public ashtrays to clean up the city's streets. In an interview, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo unveiled a 10-point plan. Paris had come under fire in December for allegedly dragging its feet before launching what has been dubbed a “war on rats”.

Business

US chipmaker Intel is taking a big bet on driverless cars with a $15.3bn dollar takeover of specialist Mobileye. Intel will pay $63.54 a share in cash for the Israeli company, which develops "autonomous driving" systems. Mobileye and Intel are already working together, along with German carmaker BMW, to put 40 test vehicles on the road in the second half of this year.  Intel expects the driverless market to be worth as much as $70bn by 2030.

Shares in Japanese conglomerate Toshiba have fallen more than 7% on media reports it will postpone its earnings for a second time. In February, Toshiba's chairman stepped down and the firm delayed the results over disagreements with its auditors.

And - The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and National Crime Agency (NCA) are warning that digital attacks are happening on "a scale and boldness not seen before". In their first joint report, the NCSC and NCA also say that ransomware - software that makes a device unusable until a ransom is paid to the attacker - will target connected personal devices like phones, watches and TVs. The report, which discusses the cyber threat to UK business, points to attacks on the Bangladesh Bank, Democratic National Party and Ukrainian power grid as examples of the increasing audacity of hackers.

Sport

Football – Chelsea remained firmly on course for a domestic Double after the FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 win.  Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho told Chelsea fans "I'm still number one" after being heckled during his side's FA Cup loss at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho, sacked twice by Chelsea, was called 'Judas' by fans during United's 1-0 defeat, responding by pointing three fingers in reference to the three league titles he won with the club. Chelsea and Tottenham will face off at Wembley for a place in the FA Cup final. Arsenal and Manchester City meet in the other game, with the ties taking place over the weekend of April 22 and 23.

Rugby – George Ford's midfield partnership with Owen Farrell is "crucial" to England's success, says winger Anthony Watson. Watson was among the try-scorers as they thumped Scotland 61 – 21 at Twickenham to retain the Six Nations.

Horse Racing - The Cheltenham Festival starts today and will last for four days.  The Festival looks set to weave its magic on one of the sport’s most intoxicating stages.  

Weather

Clear skies and plenty of sunshine in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var with a light south westerly wind. 17 degrees in Nice and 18 degrees in Antibes going down to 8 degrees this evening in the Alpes Maritimes. In the Var highs of 19 degrees in Saint Tropez and 18 degrees in Hyeres going down to 5 degrees this evening.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday is much the same as today. 

Finally

The largest Jaffa Cake ever to exist has been baked.

Measuring a massive four feet in diameter, this chocolatey orange beast has beaten the previous record-breaking Jaffa Cake which was a measly less-than-three foot.

It is nearly 23 times as large as a normal Jaffa Cake.

 

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