French and Riviera News Friday 21st December 2018


Yellow Vests - A ninth person has been killed in Yellow Vest protests, after being run over by a lorry. French Interior minister Christophe Castaner has said the violence must stop, as lawmakers rush to approve new tax cuts and a rise in the minimum wage. The victim is a 61-year-old, believed to be part of the Yellow Vest protest movement. Authorities say he was run down by a truck at a roundabout in Agen, southwestern France, where several thousand people are still holding demonstrations despite police efforts to dislodge them.

Meanwhile here in the Var “Yellow vest” protestors have demonstrated in front of the police station in Frejus following the arrest of three people on Thursday evening. Three people were taken into custody after protestors reportedly threatened police officers at the pay toll of Frejus. The clash came as motorway authorities Vinci attempted to reinstate barriers which had been broken during the yellow vests movement.

In response to the Yellow Vest movement the National Assembly gave the go ahead after more than 13 hours of heated debate last night. The draft law was approved allowing several concessions proposed by the government including exceptional premiums, tax-free overtime hours and  extended exemption of the CSG for pensioners.

Strasbourg Attack - The association of the families of victims of the Nice attack “Promenade des Anges”, has paid tribute in Nice to the memory of those killed in the attack in Strasbourg on December 11th. The ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon in the gardens of the Villa Massena, in front of the memorial of the victims of the attack of Nice. Five people were killed in the attack in Strasbourg and eleven people are still wounded.

Firework ban - The Prefecture of the Alpes Maritimes has decided to introduce a temporary ban on fireworks over the festive period. This measure has been taken to prevent any disturbance to public order. The sale, possession, and use of fireworks will be strictly prohibited until January 2nd.

In the statement published by the Prefecture they also reminded the public that consuming alcohol in the street across the region and in the region’s ski resorts is also banned over New Year from Monday 31st to 5am on January 1st 2019.

Prince Albert - His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will be making his annual address on 106.5 Riviera Radio on Christmas day. The Prince covered a range of topics from Monaco development to the work of his wife’s Princess Charlene Foundation. Prince Albert also raised his increasing concerns about climate change and the failure of world leaders to properly address the problem . You can hear Prince Albert’s festive address on 106.5 Riviera Radio on Christmas day and New Year’s Day after the BBC News at noon.

Oceanographic Museum - A new permanent exhibition at the Oceanographic museum highlights the Principality of Monaco’s commitment to the blue planet for more than a century. “Monaco and the Ocean, from exploration to protection” offers a panorama of contemporary issues of ocean preservation. The new exhibition will engage some of the 650,000 annual visitors in a series of interactive activities.


Police protests - After two days of protests by police officers, the French government has announced that a salary adjustment agreement has been concluded following negotiations with unions.  A first re-evaluation of 40 euros per month will take place from January.

Rugby - The French Rugby Federation (FFR) and the National Rugby League (LNR) have proposed to the International Federation (World Rugby) to lower the authorized line of shoulder tackling to the waist. The two institutions also want to ban the two-player tackle and penalize the head-to-head penalty harder.  The three institutions met on Thursday in Paris after the death on December 12th, Nicolas Chauvin. 18 year old Chauvin played for the French Stade Espoirs team and had been hit a few days earlier by a double tackle in the middle of the match. Previously two other young rugby players died in 2018 after receiving a shock in full match: Adrien Descrulhes (17), May 20, and Louis Fajfrowski (21), August 10.


The former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested on fresh charges ,dashing any hopes that he could be freed on bail.

Japanese media report that Mr Ghosn has now been accused of shifting a private investment loss of more than 16 million dollars onto Nissan in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

On Thursday a Japanese court rejected a request by prosecutors to extend Mr Ghosn’s detention after he’d been held in jail for a month accused of misusing funds and hiding some 80 million dollars of income.

His re-arrest will certainly put an end to any hopes he had of being freed on bail in time for Christmas.


Tens of thousands of people have had their Christmas holiday plans thrown into chaos with Gatwick Airport still out of action as authorities attempt to stop two drones from interfering in runway operations.

The problems started on Wednesday night when two drones were seen flying over the perimeter fence and into where the runway operates from at the airport.

Police have been in a cat and mouse chase with the drones which disappear as soon as they try to take action.The army has now been called in and police say that they may attempt to shoot the drones out of the sky despite having previously said that it would not be possible because of the risk of stray bullets.

There will be no flights in and out of Gatwick until the problem has been resolved and passengers are advised to check their flight status before setting out.Flights to and from Gatwick to Nice will not be operating.

The cost to passengers and airlines is expected to run onto tens of millions of pounds.As the drone interference is viewed as “exceptional circumstances” airlines are not liable for compensation although some have said that they will offer “reasonable costs” to passengers.


Football-Manchester United’s interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that he wants his players to “enjoy football again” as he prepares for his first match in charge against Cardiff.

The 40 year old former Old Trafford hero took over from Jose Mourinho who was sacked on Tuesday following United’s worst start to a Premier League season for nearly 30 years.

United are 6th in the league,19 points behind the leaders Manchester City.

There’s one game in the English Premier League tonight.Wolves host Liverpool.

Then  on Saturday Arsenal play Burnley.Bournemouth host Brighton.Chelsea play Leicester.Huddersfield face Southampton.Manchester City play Crystal Palace.Newcastle play Fulham.West Ham face Watford and Cardiff host Manchester United.

On Sunday Everton play Spurs  and then there’s another full Premier League programme on Boxing Day.

Rugby Union.There’s  one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England tonight.Worcester play Northampton while in the Guinness Pro 14 Ulster host Munster and Cardiff Blues play Dragons.

Racing-The Champion Chase winner Altior has been withdrawn from the King George on Boxing Day  alongside Presenting Percy.

The Nicky Henderson trained Might Bite will be hoping to defend his crown in the 26th of December show piece race while this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River  and Bristol de Mai are also included.

The 11 horse line-up also includes the 2016 winner Thistlecrack.


Mainly fine with moderate to strong westerly winds.

Top temperature 145 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Partially cloudy with a high of 15-16 degrees.

The outlook for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day-Similar with highs of 15-16 degrees




























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