French and Riviera News Friday 24th May 2019


Mayor of Nice denies rumours about OGC Nice - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has denied reports that he has been involved in talks with British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe over the purchase of OGC Nice. Speaking at a reception at the Villa Masséna on Thursday, Estrosi strongly denied the rumours admitting that, while he had met with Mr. Ratcliffe’s brother the subject was not discussed, adding that he was strongly against “selling an important aspect of Nice’s sporting history”.

Prisoner on the run - Police in Narbonne have reported that an inmate is still at large after escaping while being transferred from  prison to court . The incident happened on Thursday morning when the 30 year old asked to leave the vehicle in order to go to the lavatory. 120 police officers, including police dogs and a helicopter were deployed to search for the fugitive. The man was being summoned to the courthouse for a series of burglaries. According to sources close to the investigation, the prisoner was still wearing handcuffs when he fled on foot.

Weather - Local beach businesses have reported their worst month of May for 50 years due to the recent weather. According to Météo France, the weather  is set  to get better with temperatures returning to normal by Monday or Tuesday. The recent spell of bad weather in the region has seen temperatures below normal for this time of year. A clear improvement is expected at the beginning of next week bringing temperatures up by several degrees.

Demonstrations planned this weekend - Local environmental organizations are organising a march in Toulon on Saturday morning. The march, to draw attention to climate change, will begin at 10.30am on Saturday in the Mourillon district of Toulon.

Jewelery left on flight - Jewelery worth 3.5 million euros has been left on a London to Nice flight. The case containing the precious stones was being transported for singer Rita Ora to be worn during the Cannes Film Festival. The passenger responsible for the case reported the missing jewels to police in Cannes. The case was later recovered by the airline and returned to the British jeweller.

Cannes Film Festival – American actors Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio have praised director Quentin Tarantino calling him “one of the most unique voices in the industry”. Following the screening of his ninth feature film Once Upon a Time….in Hollywood at Cannes, DiCaprio said that "When someone like Quentin Tarantino calls you, whether you are on Earth, on Mars or even on Pluto, you pay attention to what he offers you,"


102 year old woman suspected of murder - A 102-year-old woman is suspected of having murdered her 92-year-old neighbour in a French retirement home. It was a carer at the home in northern France which discovered the victim dead in bed, her face severely bruised. The suspected killer is now in a psychiatric hospital.

PSG president under investigation - The president of Paris Saint-Germain Football club has been placed under investigation for alleged corruption as part of an inquiry into the bidding process for the 2017 and 2019 athletics World Championships. He is suspected of bribing Fifa’s then secretary general with use of a luxury villa in Italy to help secure the 2026 and 2030 World Cup broadcasting rights in the Middle East.

Pop up - Singer Rihanna has opened a pop up store in the French capital making her the first black woman to run a luxury brand launched by the French giant LVMH. The launch of the pop up boutique in Paris, a few steps from the Place des Vosges has been followed by 170 million people on social networks. The collection is available for ten days in the store and shoppers will be able to buy on line from May 29th.


President Trump has said that Huawei could be part of a trade deal between the US and China despite describing the telecoms firm as “very dangerous”.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday ,Mr Trump said  “you look at what they’ve (Huawei) done from a security standpoint,a military standpoint.Very dangerous”.

However ,the US President said that it is “possible” that Huawei could be part of any trade agreement with Beijing.

Last week ,the Trump administration added Huawei  to its “entity list” which bans the firm from acquiring technology from American firms without government approval.

Washington argues that Huawei poses a national security risk while Beijing has accused the US of “bullying” the firm.

Facebook is reported to be finalising plans to launch its own crypto-currency next year.

The social media giant is planning to set up a digital payments system in around a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020.

The firm is said to want to start testing its crypto-currency which is known as GlobalCoin by the end of this year.

More details are expected to be announced in the summer.

Last month ,Mark Zuckerberg met with the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney to discuss the opportunities and risks involved in launching a crypto-currency.

And-The Brazilian cosmetics group Natura has announced that it’s buying the UK based Avon direct-selling business.

Natura ,which already owns Body Shop is Brazil’s top cosmetics business  and will now become the world’s 4th largest firm in the sector.

Natura has made an all stock offer worth some 2 billion dollars meaning that its shareholders will hold 76 percent of the combined firm.

The new combined company will have 3,200 stores worldwide and a presence in 100 countries.



Lewis Hamilton dominated both 1st and 2nd practice for Sunday’s Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix as Mercedes carried their epic form onto the streets of the Principality on Thursday.

Hamilton edged out Max Verstappen in the Red Bull in first practice and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the second session although the fight for pole position looks like it could be an intense battle again between the two.

The Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were off the pace again with the race simulation showing later that Vettel was more than a second slower than the Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc ,in front of his home crowd finished 4th quickest in first practice and 10th in the second session.

If anyone is going to take the fight to Mercedes it looks like it will be Red Bull.

Max Verstappen finished second quickest in first practice but a water leak in the second session kept him in the garage and he only managed the 6th fastest time.

Much of the talk in the paddock has been about the death of triple world champion Niki Lauda at the age of 70 at the start of the week.Special tributes will be paid to him over the weekend.

There’s no Formula 1 action today but the cars are back on the track for 3rd practice at noon on Saturday and then its qualifying at 3pm.

The race is at 3.10 on Sunday afternoon.

We’re live on air from 8am on Saturday and Sunday with all the action and the star interviews and our Monaco Formula 1 coverage is brought to you in association with Oyster Yachts.

Football-Arsene Wenger has said that he’s ready to get back into the game but possibly not in management.

The 69 year old stepped down as Arsenal manager at the end of the 2018 season and had said that he’d be looking to return to the game early this year.

He said that he’s enjoyed taking a break but is now at a “crossroads”.

He said that football was still his passion and that he would be back soon but he was not sure in exactly what capacity.

Rugby Union-It’s the Gallagher Premiership play-offs tomorrow.

Saracens play Gloucester and Exeter play Northampton.The games kick off at 2.30 and 5.30.

It’s also the Guinness Pro 14 play-off final between Glasgow and Leinster.That one kicks off at 7.30pm.


Quite cloudy with some bright spells and some scattered thunderstorms inland this afternoon

Light variable winds

Top temperature 20 degrees celsius

Overnight lows of 15 degrees with cloudy skies.

Monaco Formula 1 weekend-Sunshine and afternoon showers tomorrow.Rain on Sunday morning,showery during the afternoon.











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