Riviera and French News Wednesday 25th January 2017

UPDATE 18:00

Fire - A five year-old girl has died in a fire at an apartment in Nice. The fire broke out in a ground floor apartment in the Azur Campus near Pasteur Hospital this morning. Several other people were treated for smoke inhalation.

Odeon - The Mayor of Beausoleil and the Marzocco brothers have been cleared of corruption charges in relation to Monaco’s Odeon Tower. In a court decision handed down today, other key members of the high-profile case have received various sentences including a three year suspended sentence and €100,000 fine for Italian businessman Lino Alberti. For tax fraud and misuse of corporate assets, the family of the former Mayor of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, René Vestri, received a number of suspended sentences.

Celine Dion - World superstar Celine Dion has announced she is to play a concert on the Cote d’Azur this summer. Her European Tour will stop at the Allianz Stadium in Nice for one night only on July 20th. Tickets go on sale next week.

Saint Devote - As part of the celebrations for St Devote, the patron Saint of Monaco, there will be extra security in place on Thursday around Monaco including the closure of some entrances to the train station.


Santander has reported increased profit in nine of its ten main markets with net earnings in Brazil jumping 9.5%. Overall, the Spanish bank said it earned 6.2bn euros last year while increasing its customers by four million to 125 million. However, earnings in Britain fell by almost 15%, largely because of the weakening of the pound against the euro and the introduction of an 8% bank corporation tax.

Sales and profits at Boeing slipped last year due to lower deliveries of military aircraft. The world's number one aeroplane manufacturer made sales of $94.6bn, down 2%, and net earnings of $4.9bn, 5% lower.


Athletics - Usain Bolt will have to hand back one of his Olympic Gold medals after his Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance. Bolt ran with Carter as part of the Jamaican quartet that won the 4x100m in Beijing in 2008.

Tennis - At the Auustralian Open, Grigor Dimitrov made short work of David Goffin beating him 6-3 6-2 6-4 for a place in the semis. He will next meet Rafael Nadal who is through to his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2014 after 6-4 7-6 6-4 victory over Canada's Milos Raonic. Britain’s Johanna Konta has been knocked out by Serena Williams who easily won in two sets; 6-2 6-3. Serena now advances to the semi-finals, and if she beats the unseeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni she is in with an excellent chance of a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title.

Football - Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho has signed a new five-year contract worth about £150,000 a week, making him the highest-paid player at the club. The 24-year-old Brazil international joined the Reds from Inter Milan January 2013, and this new deal will take him through to 2022.

UPDATE 07:00

Unemployment - Figures have shown an increase in unemployment in the Alpes Maritimes for the month of December but an overall decline for 2016. According to figures published on Tuesday a slight increase was reported in the Alpes Maritimes, however on a national level unemployment for 2016 saw its first decline since 2007.

Hiker Dies - The 35 year old hiker reported missing on Monday has been found dead. Rescue teams found the body on Tuesday afternoon, police believe the hiker accidentally fell to his death while hiking on Saturday in the Vésubie valley.

Scam - Two Irish men have been arrested in the south of France for a tarmac scam on local farmers. A farmer near the south-western city of Albi went to police after the two men tried to overcharge him for poor-quality work and became violent when he refused. According to police the scam is widespread in France.

Retirement Homes - Two retirement homes in Drap and Contes in the Alpes Maritimes have been extensively searched by police as part of an investigation into potential violations related to ill-treatment of patients and possible financial offences. Several documents were seized and are now to be examined in order to confirm or disprove the accusations.

Restaurants - The French restaurant industry has seen a drop in turnover of between 3 and 4.5% with the Côte d’Azur being one of the worst affected areas. The decline in business is reportedly due to terrorist attacks.  

Property - A Dutch businessman has decided to sell an exceptional property in Mougins. Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins is the farmhouse which belonged to Picasso and is where the artist died in 1973. The property will go under the hammer in Grasse estimated at 15 million euros.

Saint Devote - As part of the celebrations of the Saint Devote the patron saint of Monaco. Reinforced security will be in place on Thursday 26th January with access restrictions to the Principality’s train station.


Politics – A report published on Tuesday has claimed that the British-born wife of French presidential candidate Francois Fillon was paid around 500,000 euros over ten years from parliamentary funds made available to her husband. Penelope Fillon was reportedly paid from money which had been made available to her husband as a longstanding MP. Hiring family members is not against the rules as long as the person is genuinely employed, but according to the reports  there is no trace of any work being carried out by Mme Fillon.

César Awards - The film director Roman Polanski has stepped down from presiding over next month’s César awards after his nomination sparked outrage. A petition claimed Polanski had enjoyed “scandalous protection” in France while being wanted for the rape of a child in America. On Tuesday, his lawyer told Agence France-Presse he would not preside over the Césars because of the “unjustified” row his role had caused.


The head of BT’s continental European operation is to resign after the firm was forced to write down the value of its Italian unit by 530 million pounds. “Years of inappropriate behaviour” is said to have led to the imminent resignation of Corrado Sciolla. BT’s shares plunged by 21 percent on the news after the firm revealed that the scandal would cost it a lot more than the 145 million pounds initially forecast. The investigation of BT’s Italian business,which included an independent review by the accountancy firm KPMG,found improper accounting practices and a “complex set of improper sales,purchase,factoring and leasing transactions”. Mr Corrado was appointed as head of BT’s European operations in 2013.Previously he’d been head of the firm’s Italian unit and had his role expanded to include France in 2013.

A senior executive at Airbus says that “we are entering a dangerous phase” if the firm can’t seamlessly move people and products around Europe. Giving evidence to a UK House of Commons Treasury Select Committee,Tom Williams,who’s the Airbus chief operating officer,said that Washington would be “delighted” if that happens. Airbus employs around 6,000 people at its wings plant in Flintshire in Wales. He said that he was “sceptical that relying on World Trade Organisation  rules if an EU deal could not be worked out would be effective at resolving disputes. Airbus and its US rival Boeing have been in dispute over subsidies for production and development.

And-Ikea is recalling a beach chair in the UK following reports that it can collapse on cause injury. The Swedish furniture chain is asking customers who’ve bought the Mysingso chair to return it for a full refund. The development comes as part of a global recall of the product following complaints in Europe,Australia and the US that customers had received injuries to their fingers that required medical treatment. In a statement,Ikea said that the chair had a risk of “falling or finger entrapment”.


Tennis-Serena Williams is through to semi-finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne as she seeks a Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam title. The second seed saw off Johanna Konta of Great Britain 6-2 6-3 and will now meet the unseeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni who continued her fantastic run by beating the 5th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-4. There are two men’s quarter final ties today.Grigor Dimitrov is already 2 sets to love up against David Goffin while a little later,Rafael Nadal meets the third seed Milos Raionic.

Formula 1-The sport’s new racing chief Ross Brawn says that he wants to develop a purer,simpler spectacle in which more teams and drivers can win. Speaking to the BBC,Brawn said that he wanted to “narrow the gap between top and bottom” and give Formula 1 a broader appeal. The 62 year old former Ferrari,Brawn GP and Mercedes boss said that it should be possible for a good team,with a good driver to mount a championship challenge but at the moment it’s not really possible.

Football-Brighton have gone top of the English Championship after winning their game in hand against Cardiff City 1-0 last night. The Seagulls are 2 points clear of Newcastle on 60 points. Reading moved into 3rd place on 49 points following a 1-0 win over Fulham. The first semi-final second leg tie in the English League Cup is being played tonight.Liverpool play Southampton at Anfield trailing 1-0 from the first leg.

Cricket-South Africa play Sri Lanka in the first T20 international later today.Play starts at 5pm French time.

Rugby Union-London Welsh have ceased to exist as a professional club after being denied permission to stay in the English Championship by the Rugby Football Union. Welsh were granted a temporary license in December to play their last two league games after going into liquidation. The RFU says that the club has not met its financial obligations required to extend the license. London Welsh were formed in 1885 and have produced 177 Welsh internationals.


Quite cloudy with some bright spells and light variable winds. Top temperature 13 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 4 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Cloudy to start then rain arriving from the west during the course of the afternoon with a high of 11 degrees.

Unsettled on Friday with a mixture of sunshine and showers during the day and more persistent rain by evening.


A ticket holder in Ireland has won a EuroMillions jackpot of £76 million following Tuesday evening’s mammoth prize draw. A single ticket purchased in the Irish Republic with the numbers 05, 01, 23, 17, 07 with the lucky stars 03 and 08, won the prize. 

The winner will have to contact the Irish National Lottery organiser to collect their prize. 

The jackpot had been building up since December 30 and is the tenth time someone in the Irish Republic has won the big prize.   An estimated EuroMillions jackpot of £14 million is up for grabs on Friday.

In 2005 Dolores McNamara from Limerick became one of Europe's richest women when she scooped €115 million (worth now approximately £99 million) on the EuroMillions. 


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