Riviera and French News Tuesday 4th April 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Mosque - The controversy over the building of the En Nour mosque in Nice is escalating. Today the ‘President of the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur’ region, Christian Estrosi, has requested an explanation from Prime Minister about reports that a member of the mosque management is on a suspected radical watch list. He also demanded the immediate closure of the mosque. It follows an announcement yesterday from the Nice prosecutor of an investigation into how the mosque is funded, and calls from two local MEP’s for the investigation to be escalated to a full parliamentary enquiry.

School - From September, armed guards may be posted in schools across the region. Although the Minister of Education is calling for guards outside schools, Christian Estrosi plans to take on 110 extra police to maintain a security presence within the schools themselves.

Money - A brand new 50-euro note has come into circulation from today in a bid to battle forgery. The new notes feature a transparent window with a picture of the godess Europa on a metallic strip, and the numbers five and zero change colour when moved from side to side. The 50 euro note is the most widely used note across Europe.


Electric car manufacturer Tesla's market value has overtaken Ford, after shares rose 7% in trading yesterday, following the company’s announcement of record sales. However, while sales may be growing,  Tesla’s 25,000 cars delivered pales against Fords 6.7m.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's face is appearing on cans and bottles of Coca-Cola in China. Mr Buffet, who owns nearly 10% of the company is not being paid for his appearance.


Football - AS Monaco play Lille in the quarter final of the French Cup tonight. Although Monaco are hurting from their loss against Paris St Germain at the weekend, and Lille have picked up form winning their last three games, Monaco are still favourites for a win this evening. Kick-off at Stade Louis II is at 8pm.

The Ireland Slovakia women’s football game may not go ahead Monday as the the team threaten to go on strike. They’re protesting their treatment by the Football Association of Ireland where they feel they are treated as fifth class citizens and are forced to change in toilets.

Rugby - Mike Ford has left as Toulon's head coach, with former Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill replacing him until the end of the season before leaving to become the Edinburgh boss.

France's last minute prop replacement in their 20-18 Six Nations win over Wales is to be investigated. During the game, prop Sli.mani had been taken off but was allowed to return after France's team doctor said his replacement Atonio needed a head injury assessment. Sli.mani's return then coincided with a series of scrums on the Wales line which led to France winning the game in the 100th minute.

UPDATE 07:00

En-Nour Mosque - The President of the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region Christian Estrosi has requested an explanation from French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve into reports that one of the members of management at the En-Nour mosque in Nice is on a watch list of suspected radicalism. Local reports have claimed that the member is currently under observation by the French Intelligence Services. In a statement released this morning Mr Estrosi called for an "explanation to the people of Nice and demanded the immediate closure of the mosque"

Terrorist Attack - The two teenage girls aged 14 and 17 who were arrested on Saturday morning in the Ariane neighbourhood of Nice have been charged with “criminal conspiracy in connection with terrorism” Both are suspected of planning a terrorist attack.

Paintball Incident in Nice - The 24 year old man who shot at a Ligne d’Azur bus with a paintball gun has been given an eight month prison sentence. The incident occurred on March 8th when shortly after midday 24 year old Amine fired at the bus from his scooter on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Appearing in court the young man reportedly claimed that he didn’t want to hurt anyone he was just trying out his new toy.

Cannes Séries - The Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard, has confirmed the launch of the first International Series Festival entitled “Cannes Séries” which will take place in April 2018. The official competition will include 10 unreleased series from around the world and will be organized by Reedmidem.  

Security Drill - As part of Monaco’s government prevention policy a large-scale security exercise was carried out last night at the Auditorium Rainier III in conjunction with French services. The exercise which is part of civil protection and public security was carried out successfully and authorities would like to thank local residents for their understanding of any inconvenience caused.

Regions Roads - Traffic came to a standstill on the dual carriage way between Cannes and Grasse on Monday afternoon after a truck transporting gravel overturned. Four vehicles were involved in the accident and two people were slightly injured and taken to hospital nearby. 


Grand Palais Exhibition - Thieves have snatched 200,000 euros in jewels from an art fair in Paris. The incident happened on Sunday as exhibitors were packing up their stands at the Grand Palais exhibition space in the French Capital. The show of modern and contemporary art is held a short distance from the Champs-Elysees avenue and brings together work from 140 art galleries from around the world.

Polanski - Filmmaker Roman Polanski has lost another bid to end his 1970s rape case without serving more jail time when a Los Angeles judge ruled the French-Polish director could not seek relief from the courts while still a fugitive. Polanski, who lives in France, failed to advance any substantially new arguments in the four-decade-old case involving a 13-year-old girl during a volley of recent legal filings and a hearing in March.

Ticket Scanners - The Montparnasse train station in southern Paris has installed new security gates with all the major train stations across France to soon follow its lead. The ticket scanners, known as portiques similar to those on the Paris Metro are being installed in a bid to boost security on France’s trains but also to fight ticket fraud.


A closely watched gauge of the US economy has shown that factory activity cooled slightly in March although the overall sentiment remains bullish. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) says that its index of national factory activity fell to a reading of 57.2 last month from 57.7 in February. Manufacturing accounts for around 12 percent of the US economy.A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Other data published on Monday showed that construction spending has risen to an 11 year high- lifted by a jump in home building investments. The numbers point to strong fundamentals despite signs of weak economic growth in the first quarter.

The market value of the electric car maker Tesla has exceeded Ford after shares in the company added more than 7 percent in Monday trading. At the close,Tesla had a market value of 49 billion dollars,compared with Ford’s value of 46 billion. Tesla’s shares rose after the firm reported record vehicle deliveries for the first three months of the year. The company delivered more than 25,000 cars in the first quarter-up by 70 percent on the same quarter last year. Tesla’s sales are still only a fraction of those of Ford ,which sold nearly 6.7 million vehicles last year.

And-Unemployment in the Eurozone dropped to a near 8 year low in February. Figures from the Eurostat agency showed that the jobless rate fell from 9.6 percent in January to 9.5 percent in February-the lowest since May 2009. The lowest unemployment rates were in the Czech Republic at 3.4 percent and Germany at 3.9 percent. The highest rates were in Greece at 23.1 percent and Spain at 18 percent. Unemployment in France,the Eurozone’s second-biggest economy was stuck on 10 percent.


Athletics-New figures published by the World Anti Doping Agency show that 1,900 athletes were sanctioned for doping in 2015-an increase of 14 percent on the previous year. 1.929 punishments were handed out for failed drug tests as opposed to 1,693 sanctions in 2014. WADA says that increased focus on investigations,intelligence gathering and whistleblowing are behind the rise.

Football-There are 4 games in the English Premier League tonight. Burnley play Stoke.Leicester host Sunderland.Watford play West Brom and Manchester United host Everton. There’s a full programme in the English Championship tonight although the leaders Newcastle don’t play until Wednesday.

Formula 1-Antonio Giovinazzi will race again for Sauber at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix in place of Pascal Wehrlein. The 22 year old German withdrew from the Australian Grand Prix because of a lack of fitness following a back operation.He’s hoping to be fit for the third race of the season in Bahrain.

Golf-Rickie Fowler says that TV viewers affecting tournaments “is not making the game look very good”. The former world number one says that outside contact with officials should be ended and that all players agree. Fowler was commenting following the four shot penalty imposed on Lexi Thompson of the USA who was leading the first women’s major of the season when she received a four-shot penalty after a TV viewer spotted an infringement and contacted officials. Fowler says that there’s no question that future incidents should not be repeated.

Racing-The top weight Carlingford Lough is to miss Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree and will run in either the Irish National or the Punchestown Gold Cup instead. Last year’s runner-up The Last Samuri now has the top weight . Along with Carlingford Lough,there were a total of 9 withdrawals from the race on Monday,leaving a total of 70 entries.A maximum of 40 horses will be allowed to compete in the race on Saturday.


Clear skies with light south easterly winds. Top temperature 22 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 12 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Sunshine and possible showers tomorrow,fine on Thursday with highs of 19-21 degrees.


British ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont has announced plans to smash the world record for circumnavigating the globe.

The adventurer has set a target to ride around the world in 80 days – less than half the time he took to complete the same route more than nine years ago.

The Scot, 34, will begin his attempt to travel the 18,000 miles around the planet in Paris on July 2.

Mr Beaumont is perhaps best known for completing his cycle around the globe in 194 days in February 2008, setting what was at that time a world record.

Since then, riders have whittled the record down to the current level of 123 days, set by New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson.

Mr Beaumont will therefore have to break the existing world record by more than 40 days to achieve the tough target.






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