French and Riviera News Friday 21st February 2020


Missing person - Police have launched a missing persons appeal folloiwng the disappearance of 80 year old Roger Verrilli on Thursday. Verrilli had been seen on Thursday morning visiting his local bakery in Toulon and was last seen at the wheel of his grey Renault Clio registered 482 BQA 83 on the A8 motorway at the pay toll of Aix en Provence shortly after 5.15pm. Described as being of large build with blue eyes, balding grey hair and a mustache he was at the time wearing black tracksuit bottoms, grey sweater and a cap. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the police on

Footballer Mario Balotelli - The Italian justice system has opened two investigations into footballer Mario Balotelli, accused of rape. The former OGC player has said he is the victim of “blackmail and attempted extortion” following the accusations by a teenager in Nice. The accusations date back to 2017 when the then 26-year-old Italian striker was playing for Nice.

Ski accident - An 11-year-old boy from Fréjus has been airlifted to hospital in Nice after a ski accident in the Val d’Allos. The accident occurred on Thursday afternoon when according to local media the boy lost control of his skis hitting a tree almost 20 metres below the slope. His condition is reported to be stable.

Man arrested for stealing mail - A man has been arrested in Antibes for stealing mail. The man from La Fontonne district in Antibes had in recent months, been discreetly following the postman's round on an electric bicycle and while the latter was delivering mail to mailboxes on private property, the individual stole the mail remaining on the bicycle.

Complaints were filed with the Antibes police station by La Poste following four successive incidents in recent weeks.

The man spotted by the police was arrested on Thursday and placed in police custody.

Police officers remanded in custody - Two police officers have been remanded in custody accused of taking money in return for cancelling a speeding ticket. The officers stopped a delivery vehicle in the Haute-Garonne on the 14th of February. The driver recorded his conversation with the officers who were subsequently taken into custody.

Monegasque delegation - The Commission for Social Development  has been held, in which the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Monaco to the United Nations in New York participated and for the first time, the subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council has addressed the issue of homelessness. The Monegasque delegation noted the importance of sport, in particular for people who are homeless, as a guarantee of social ties, physical and mental health, essential for fostering a dynamic integration.


Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris city council has announced that they plan to reopen the forecourt and crypt of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris to the public in March. Authorities have carried out an extensive lead pollution clean-up following the fire which ravaged parts of the church in April 2019.

The reopening of the cathedral itself will be much later. President Emmanuel Macron has estimated the restoration period will take at least five years and millions of euros.

Bed bugs - Following a suggestion to get rid of bed bugs from two French MPs, which we reported earlier in the week. The French government has launched the campaign in Paris today along with an emergency number  

More than 130,000 sites across the country are estimated to be infested with bed bugs, according to authorities, including hotels, cinemas, and hospitals.


The global airline industry body has warned that Airlines stand to lose $29.3bn of revenue this year due to the coronavirus outbreak,

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts demand for air travel will fall for the first time in more than a decade.

It comes as carriers around the world have been forced to reduce flights.

On Thursday two major airline groups warned of a severe financial impact Australia's Qantas said the outbreak would result in a 100m -150m Australian dollar hit for the financial year and European carrier Air-France KLM estimated the coronavirus would cost it between €150m and €200m between February and April.

Economists at JP Morgan have warned that human life "as we know it" could be threatened by climate change,

In a hard-hitting report they said that without action being taken there could be "catastrophic outcomes".

The bank said the research came from a team that was "wholly independent from the company as a whole".

Climate campaigners have previously criticised JP Morgan for its investments in fossil fuels.

Lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret is to change hands in a deal valuing the company at $1.1bn (£850m).

It comes after sales at the brand's stores dropped 12% during the most recent holiday season.

It said on Thursday that same-store sales had declined by 10% during the fourth quarter.

At its peak, Victoria's Secret was known for its supermodels and annual TV special which combined fashion, models and music.


Rugby Union - The coach of France’s rugby team has accused Wales of a "lack of respect" ahead of Saturday's Six Nations encounter.

Wales said they expected France to “cheat in their bid to gain scrum supremacy when the teams meet in Cardiff.

Wales face France in the Six Nations on Saturday kick off is at 17.45 French time.

In other matches this weekend on Saturday Italy play Scotland kick off is at 3.15 French time and on Sunday England face Ireland kick off 4pm French time.

Football – Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo says he won’t get carried away despite his side taking a huge step towards reaching the last 16 of the Europa League by beating Espanyol 4-0 on Thursday.

In the Premier League this weekend on Saturday Chelsea play Tottenham kick off is at 1.30pm French time. 4pm kicks offs include Burnley against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace v’s Newcastle United, Sheffield United play Brighton and Southampton face Aston Villa. The last match on Saturday will see Leicester City play Manchester City at 6.30pm French time.

On Sunday Manchester United play Watford and Wolverhampton play Norwich kick off at 3pm French time. Arsenal face Everton kick off 5.30pm.

Monday will see leaders Liverpool face West Ham with a 9pm kick off.

Formula One  - The Mercedes team have said that they believe a “trick steering innovation” which could give them an advantage in 2020 is within the rules. The team’s technical director James Allison said it "introduces an extra dimension for steering which we hope will be useful".

The Mercedes system came to light from on-board camera footage on the second day of the first pre-season test in Spain.

Boxing – To avoid any possible on-stage clash Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will not face off at Friday's weigh-in.

Fury, and WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder pushed one another at a news conference before their 2018 fight.

They did so again at a news conference on Wednesday, when organisers were left frustrated by the time it took for security to intervene.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has now chosen to scrap the face off.


Clear skies and sunshine highs of 18 degrees in the Var and 16 degrees in Alpes Maritimes with a moderate south easterly wind. This evening going down to 5 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend fine and sunny reaching 21 degrees in the Var on Sunday.

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