French and Riviera News Monday 22nd April 2024

Appeal for missing man in Var - Gendarmes in the Var have appealed for information after a 34-year-old man went missing in Cavalaire-sur-Mer. Samson Selle left his home just after midnight on Tuesday and hasn't been seen since. CCTV footage shows him walking through Cavalaire town centre to the port. He's 1 metre 70 tall, well-built with dark brown hair and was wearing black trousers and a black jacket with white writing.  Anyone with information is encouraged to call police on 17.

Nice terror appeal begins in Paris - The appeals trial over the 14 July 2016 terror attack in Nice opens in Paris today. Two of the eight men who were convicted in the initial trial in December 2022 are appealing against their 18-year prison sentences for association with a terrorist group. Prosecutors accuse them of participating in the truck driver's plans to commit an attack and providing material and moral support. Their appeal lawyers are seeking their acquittal. 86 people were killed and more than 450 injured when a 19-tonne truck rammed through the crowds on the Promenade des Anglais during the fireworks display for France's national day in 2016.

Another stabbing in Marseille - There's been another fatal stabbing in Marseille over the weekend. A man in his 30s has died and another man was injured in an attack in the city's 10th arrondissement in the early hours of Saturday morning. An investigation is under way. The stabbing happened near a known drugs-dealing point but a link with the ongoing drugs-related violence in Marseille has not yet been established.

Man jailed for Nice knife attack - Meanwhile, a 19-year-old man has been jailed for a knife attack on a passer-by near Nice-Riquier rail station last April. The victim, a man in his 40s, suffered a 9cm-deep stab wound to the stomach, which prosecutors said could have been fatal. The motivation for the attack is unclear. The victim wasn't present during the trial. The court in Nice gave the 19-year-old a three year prison sentence, of which 18 months are suspended.

Fire at Cannes apartment block - Residents at an apartment block in Cannes had to be evacuated from their homes late on Saturday night after a top-floor apartment was completely destroyed by fire. Seven fire engines attended the fire, on Avenue de Saint-Jean, and it was quickly brought under control before it could spread to neighbouring apartments. One person was taken to Simone Veil hospital after breathing in smoke. The rest of the building's residents were able to return home in the middle of the night.

Underground car park fire - Meanwhile, 30 firefighters were called out to a fire in the underground car park of an apartment block in Hyères early on Sunday morning. Residents raised the alarm after seeing thick black smoke emerge from the basement of the six-storey building on Avenue Maréchal Foch. No one was injured.

Two injured in scooter crash - Two people on a scooter are being treated for injuries after they collided with a car near Nice port. Paramedics were called out to the corner of Rue Barla and Rue Arson shortly after midnight on Saturday. An investigation has been opened to determine what happened.

Muslim school in Nice can stay open - A private Muslim secondary school in Nice is celebrating after winning a legal challenge against an order for it to be shut down. Last month, the Alpes-Maritimes préfecture passed a decree ordering the permanent closure of the Avicenne college at the end of the academic year. It had been open since 2015. Alpes-Maritimes prefect Hugues Moutouh said the school had been under investigation for a lack of transparency in its financing. Nice administrative court ruled on Friday that the closure order was disproportionate and unjustified - and the school can carry on operating.

BUSINESS

Volkswagen workers in the US have voted to join the United Autoworkers Union in a massive victory for organised labour in the US. Workers in Tennessee voted 73% in favour, according to the union's unofficial vote count on Friday night. It handed the United Autoworkers Union its first election win at a car factory in the American South in decades. Two prior votes at the factory, including in 2019, had failed, after stiff political opposition. But attitudes toward organised labour appear to be shifting. The US has seen an increase in strikes and petitions to join unions since the pandemic, drawing in Hollywood actors, Starbucks baristas, tech contractors, healthcare workers, and even college basketball players.

Dubai's major airlines say they have resumed a full flight schedule after torrential rain hit the United Arab Emirates and neighbouring countries causing chaos at Dubai airport.
Emirates and flydubai said operations were back to normal on Saturday but a passenger backlog remained. The boss of Emirates said the airline's response was not perfect. The storm battered the UAE last Tuesday, causing flash floods and bringing travel through the airport to a halt. Priority will be given to passengers whose travel plans had been disrupted.

British chancellor Jeremy Hunt is reportedly considering stamp duty and national insurance cuts before the next general election. The chancellor has previously hinted there could be another “fiscal event” before voters go to the polls in an attempt to boost the Conservatives’ tax-cutting credentials. The Times reported that the Treasury was considering plans to increase the threshold at which people buying a house would need to pay stamp duty from £250,000 to £300,000 in the pre-election autumn statement, meaning nearly half of new homebuyers would not pay the tax. It is believed the move would cost about £3bn a year by the end of the decade. Another pre-election “fiscal event” reportedly under consideration is a further 2p cut in national insurance.

Getir, the grocery delivery app once valued at nearly $12bn, is close to pulling the plug on its operations in Britain in a move that would spark concerns for well over 1,000 jobs. According to reports, Getir is preparing to announce this week that it is withdrawing from the three remaining European markets in which it operates: the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. In total, thousands of jobs will be put at risk, including approximately 1,500 in the UK. The process through which Getir plans to exit the UK market was unclear. It could involve a sale of its assets or an insolvency procedure. The company is understood to have drafted in restructuring advisers in recent days.

And British supermarket chain Iceland has dropped the outdated slogan “That’s why mums go to Iceland” to reflect the fact that other people also do grocery shopping. The frozen foods retailer has tweaked its strapline to the more neutral “That’s why we go to Iceland” in an advertising push with the TV personality Josie Gibson as its new ambassador. Iceland first used the mums line in 1970. The retailer has recently aimed to broaden its appeal to UK shoppers.

SPORT

Formula One - Max Verstappen annihilated the competition to win the Chinese Grand Prix. The Dutchman was in a league of his own again - even over his team-mate Sergio Perez - in a race punctuated by two mid-race safety cars in quick succession. Safety cars broke up Red Bull's cruise to a one-two finish, with McLaren's Lando Norris coming second and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc third.

Athletics - Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir stormed to victory in a women's only world-record time of two hours 16 minutes and 16 seconds in the London Marathon. The previous women's only record was 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany in 2017. Kenya's Alexander Mutiso Munyao won the men's race in 2:04:01.

Football - Arsenal put their Champions League disappointment firmly in the past to beat Wolves 2-0. Crystal Palace beat West Ham United 5-2 at Selhurst Park. And Aston Villa came from behind to beat Bournemouth 3-1 and keep their bid for a top-four finish and Champions League football on track.

Everton took an important step towards Premier League survival with a 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park. Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest say they are "considering their options" over what they describe as "extremely poor" refereeing decisions during the match.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says it is "unacceptable" that his side had to play an FA Cup semi-final so soon after a Champions League quarter-final. City overcame Chelsea 1-0 to reach a second successive final on Saturday but Guardiola criticised their schedule after the penalty shootout defeat by Real Madrid on Wednesday. Guardiola's argument is that the other FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Coventry, who are not in European competition, should have been switched to Saturday to allow his players an extra day to recover.

In other European football, Harry Kane scored his 33rd goal in the Bundesliga as Bayern Munich thrashed Union Berlin 5-1. And locally, Nice beat Lorient 3-0 on Friday night at the Allianz Riviera.

Snooker - Last year's Crucible winner Luca Brecel said he "was looking forward to not being world champion again" after he was defeated at the World Snooker Championships 10-9 by David Gilbert. The Belgian was 9-6 ahead and missed two glorious chances to win the match on a dramatic opening day in Sheffield. Brecel said he had been struggling with a throat infection since March, but did not use that as an excuse for losing. Brecel beat former world champions Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby to win his first world title in 2023. However, he said there were some down sides of being the world champion. He said he looked forward to not being a world champion again because he didn't like all the attention. David Gilbert, who's 31st in the world rankings, reached the semi-finals in 2019 and plays either England's 16th seed Robert Milkins or China's Pang Junxu in the last 16 on Thursday.

WEATHER

After a mostly fine and sunny morning, thundery showers are forecast this afternoon in the Alpes-Maritimes with strong winds gusting up to 55 kilometres per hour. Temperatures this afternoon not getting above 12 degrees celsius on the Alpes-Maritimes coast and 15 in the Var. The rain should pass by this evening and the wind should die down to leave clear skies overnight, with temperatures going down to 9 degrees celsius on the coast and 5 inland. The outlook for Tuesday: again, a fine and sunny start, clouding over in the Alpes-Maritimes after lunch with occasional light rain, sunny spells in the Var and temperatures reaching 12 degrees celsius in the Alpes-Maritimes and 16 inland in the Var.

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