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Riviera and French News Wednesday 22nd February

UPDATE 18:00

Train - A man in his sixties, struck at by a train at Nice Riquier this morning, has died. He was attempting to cross the tracks to catch the 6.30 train to Menton when he was struck by a freight train coming the other direction. The accident threw train services from Cannes to Monaco into disarray during the morning rush-hour but services have now returned to normal.

Court - Nine men and one woman are to appear at the Assize Court of Bouches-du-Rhone in connection with the killings of Monaco heiress Helene Pastor and her aide three years ago. Prosecutors believe one of the accused, a former Polish Honorary Consul to Monaco, was suffering financial problems which eventually led to the murders.

TV - The world premiere of the new Riviera Sky TV series is to take place at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes as part of the MIP TV Festival in April. Riviera is a thriller in which the Côte d'Azur is the backdrop to characters with ‘questionable’ morals and complex relationships. It will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria later this year.

BUSINESS

A new international Trade Facilitation Agreement which has come into force is forecast to boost global trade by £1 trillion a year. The World Trade Organization called it the biggest reform of global trade in a generation, streamlining or eliminating customs tarrifs, reducing fees and making customs procedures simpler and faster.

Airbus reported a drop in profits due to a charge on the A400M military plane. The airline manufacturer’s net income fell by 63% to 995m euros, although revenue went up by 3%.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has said he would like UK banks and workers to relocate to France. He was speaking at London’s Downing Street following discussions with UK Prime Minister Theresa May. He said there was a series of initiatives aimed at getting talented people working in London to come to France.

SPORT

Football

AS Monaco provided one of the most thrilling and highest scoring matches of the Champions League so far in an eight goal extravaganza against Manchester City last night. Monaco led 3-2 with 20 minutes to go but Manchester City scored a staggering three goals in the closing minutes of the match to eventually win it 5-3. The second leg match takes place on Monaco’s home ground in March. In the Europa League, Manchester United are playing St Etienne this evening.  Kick-off is at 6pm. 

Formula 1 - Lewis Hamilton says he believes the new faster Formula 1 cars this year will be a massive challenge. The Mercedes driver admitted that although he has trained hard, he had no idea if he was fit enough for the cars, which could be four seconds faster a lap than last year.

Rugby - Johnny Sexton and Rob Kearney are back from injury and set to play for Ireland against France in the Six  Nations on Saturday, while it’s been confirmed Welsh wing George North is also fit for selection for the Wales game against Scotland.

UPDATE 07:00

Breaking News - A man is in a critical condition in hospital after being hit by a train at Riquier train station in Nice. The accident occurred shortly after 6.30 this morning with the regions train network being brought a standstill between Nice and Monaco.

Firefighters – Several firefighters have been attacked while attending  a blaze which broke out on Tuesday evening shortly before 9pm on Boulevard Henri Sappia in Nice. The incident occurred when three security cameras were reportedly set alight and six of the firemen at the scene came under attack with stones being thrown at them from neighbouring buildings. The firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the fire under police protection.

Drug Trafficking - Fifteen kilos of cocaine has been seized in Bastia, Corsica. Fourteen people were arrested believed to be part of a drug trafficking ring between the Netherlands and Corsica. The drug had been hidden in the boot of a rental car. According to reports, cocaine consumption on the Island has dramatically increased in recent years.

Terrorists – Three men, suspected of planning a terrorist attack, were arrested on Tuesday. One in Marseille, the other two in Clermont-Ferrand and Paris. Police believe the three were at an advanced stage of a planned attack.

Football - It what was described as a crazy match Monaco lost against Manchester City 5-3 in last night’s knockout round of the Champions League. Reported as the most exciting match of the Champions League this year Monaco managed to take the lead but conceded two goals in the last 20 minutes of the match allowing Manchester City to take the lead and win the game.

National

Emmanuel Macron - Emmanuel Macron, candidate for the French presidency, has said his campaign will learn from the mistakes of David Cameron’s Brexit and Hillary Clinton’s failed election campaign by being boldly pro-liberal and pro-Europe. Macron was speaking after a meeting with Theresa May in Downing Street on Tuesday he added “In the current environment, if you are shy, you are dead”.

French Artist - A French artist is preparing to be entombed for a week inside a 12-tonne limestone boulder in a modern art museum in Paris, after which he will emerge and attempt to hatch a dozen eggs by sitting on them for weeks on end. Abraham Poincheval is not stranger to bizarre and hair-raising performances he once spent a fortnight inside a stuffed bear, was buried under a rock for eight days and navigated France’s Rhone river inside a giant corked bottle. Speaking of his performance which is called “Egg” he said “I think of it as an inner journey to find out what the world is.”

Business

The US telecoms giant Verizon has reached a deal with Yahoo to buy the firm’s core internet business for 350 million dollars less than originally agreed. Verizon now says that it will pay around 4.48 billion dollars for the Yahoo business following a series of large data breaches. Under the new deal,Verizon and Yahoo will split the cost of some lawsuits arising from the data breaches. Verizon wants to combine Yahoo’s search,email and messaging assets as well as its advertising tools with its own AOL unit. Verizon bought AOL in 2015 for 4.4 billion dollars.

The world’s biggest retailer Wal-Mart has reported better than expected sales for the US holiday season as low prices encouraged comsumers into stores and online sales accelerated. Wal-Mart shares rose by 3 percent on the news as its results bucked a nationwide trend of disappointing holiday sales from the likes of Target. Sales rose by 1.8 percent,excluding fuel price fluctuations in the 4th quarter.Analysts had been expecting a 1.3 percent increase.

And-Champagne is making a comeback in the Irish Republic as the sparkling wine has been included again in the basket of goods used to calculate the Consumer Price Index(CPI). Contents of the basket of goods are updated every 5 years to keep pace with shopping trends and Champagne is back in the mix for the first time since being dropped in 2012. Other goods making the 2017 basket include avocados,sweet potatoes,large television sets and stockbrokers’ fees.

Sport

Football-Manchester City beat Monaco in an 8 goal thriller in the first leg of their round of 16 Champions League game last night. City took the lead through Sterling on 26 minutes only for Falcao to equalise on 32 and Monaco went into the break 2-1 up thanks to Mbappe’s goal on 40 minutes. City scored 4 times in the second half while Monaco could only manage one more through Falcao,who also missed a penalty so it’s advantage Manchester City ahead of the second leg of the match here at the Stade Louis Deux in two weeks time. Last night’s other tie ended Borussia Dortmund 2 Athletico Madrid 4. There are two more ties tonight.Porto play Juventus and Sevilla host Leicester City. In the Europa League tonight Manchester United visit Saint Etienne in the round of 32 second leg,leading 3-0 from the first leg. There were 4 games in the English Championship last night.Derby and Burton drew 0-0.Huddersfield beat Reading 1-0.QPR beat Wigan 2-1 and Sheffield Wednesday lost 2-1 at home to Brentford.

Rugby Union-Johnny Sexton and Rob Kearney are set to play for Ireland against France in the 6 Nations on Saturday after recovering from  injury. Sexton has been out with a calf strain and missed the games against Scotland and Italy while Kearney has recovered from a biceps injury. The Wales wing George North has resumed training and should be fit for selection for the game against Scotland on Saturday. North missed the last match against England after picking up a bruised thigh in the match against England.

Formula 1-Renault have unveiled their 2017 car which management say will result in a “significant” step forward in competitiveness. The team’s chief technical officer Bob Bell says that he thinks the RS17 is the “first real Renault Formula 1 car of the modern era”. Renault finished 9th in the constructors championship last season after picking up the struggling Lotus team late in 2015. The team is targeting 5th place this season.

Cricket-New Zealand are playing South Africa in the second one day international in Christchurch. The home side batted first and made 289-4 from their 50 overs.In reply,South Africa had reached 257-8 from 47 overs.

Racing-The Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite,Thistlecrack is out for the rest of the season. The 9 year old has picked up a slight tendon tear and will be rested. Thistlecrack won his first 4 starts over fences including a 3 length victory over Cue Card in the King George the VI on Boxing Day.

Weather

Partially cloudy in coastal areas,fine inland with light,variable winds.

Top temperature 16 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy tomorrow,clear skies on Friday with highs of 16-18 degrees.

Finally

Seaside resort Weymouth in Dorset had been named Britain’s best beach and the bucket and spade favourite was the only UK beach to make it into the European top ten in a Tripadvisor survey.

For the picture postcard setting with three miles of golden sand and celebrity chef restaurants in the region was took the Travellers’ Choice award for the UK.

Visitors rated its mix of old fashioned donkey rides, side show, Jurassic coastline and unspoiled beaches the one to visit this summer.

Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwll came second and St Brelade’s Bay Beach, Jersey was third.

Dorset took three of the top ten UK spots with Bournemouth and Hengistbury Hewad also on the list.