French and Riviera News.Thursday.07.03.2019

Poisoning verdict-A 49 year old man has been jailed for 20 years for poisoning an elderly woman in a bid to “speed up” a lifetime ‘viager’ property contract in Le Cannet.

Olivier Cappelaere was jailed at the Nice Assize Court on Wednesday following a three day trial.

He was convicted of spiking the drink of his victim with the drug atropine but had maintained his innocence .

His lawyers are expected to appeal.


Fire-30 hectares of forest land has been destroyed by fire near Clans in the Tinee Valley in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Recent dry conditions and a strong wind are once again being blamed for starting the fire which is still burning today.

More than 50 firefighters aided by 8 Canadair water bombing planes are attempting to bring the fire under control.

The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has reinforced fire controls in woodland areas as a precaution.


Blood needed-Health authorities in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var have made an urgent appeal for blood donations.

Stocks are reported to be running very low with experts saying that there are only enough supplies to last for 8-9 days instead of the usual 12-13 days.

One of the reasons for the low supply is the recent surge in cases of gastro-enteritis and flu as well as the school holidays when regular donors were either away or occupied with children.

Blood donors must be aged between 18 and 70 and have a clean bill of health.An ID card will be required when volunteering people should be well hydrated and have eaten before donating.

Men can donate 6 times a year and women 4 times.The process takes around 45 minutes.

More information is available on the website



Domestic violence-Violence against women is reaching epidemic levels in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var according to state prosecutors in Nice and Grasse.

Last year,7 women died as result of domestic violence and prosecutors say that they’ve never seen so many cases come before the courts.

Officials are calling for more action to be taken and tougher sentences to be imposed on offenders.


Handicapped access-Municipal authorities in Villefranche-sur-Mer  are to spend 325,000 euros adapting the entry and exit to some 32 establishments in order to allow handicapped people to use them.

The development comes following a study carried out last year that found that many public buildings were not adapted sufficiently to allow people in wheelchairs and with other physical handicaps proper access.A number of doorways will be widened and ramps put in place to allow proper access for everyone.

France is lagging behind many of its European neighbours in adapting public buildings for the needs of the handicapped.


A street with no name-Authorities in Menton will tomorrow finally give a name to a previously unnamed road in the town.

The road,which is at the angles of the rue Massena and the rue Albert 1ere is to be named after the pioneering surgeon  Suzanne Noel.

Suzanne Noel played an important role during the First World War and was a pioneer in reconstructive surgery carried out on soldiers who’d sustained horrific facial injuries.

The naming ceremony will take place at 11.30 tomorrow morning as part of celebrations marking International Women’s day.


In National News.


Jihadist deaths-The wife of a man who joined Islamic State has said that he was killed in a mortar attack last weekend.

Dorothee Maquere told French media that Jean-Michel Clain had died after being injured in the attack which also killed his brother Fabien Clain,who was France’s most wanted Jihadist.

Reports also say that a French woman,Hayat Boumeddiene was killed in a separate airstrike last weekend in Syria which hit a safe house in the town of Baghouz where many French nationals were staying.She was wanted in France in connection with the January 2015 attacks in Paris  and was the widow of Amedy Coulibaly who attacked a Kosher supermarket in the city after two other gunmen had shot dead a number of staff at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

Dorothee Maquere fled Baghouz last weekend following the attacks and is being held in a screening area along with her 5 children.She says that she doesn’t want to return to France.


Prison protests-Prison guards have blocked access to a number of jails across the country in protest over an attack on two officers at a jail in Normandy by a radicalised inmate.

Protesting officers built barricades and set fire to tyres in front of jails  and said that there would be no access for staff or visitors unless their concerns about the daily dangers they face in their jobs are listened to.

On Tuesday , an inmate at the high security Conde-sur-Sarthe prison in Normandy seriously injured two guards in a knife attack following a 10 hour standoff with authorities.

The Interior Ministry has launched an investigation.


Wot no meat ?- Meatless Mondays in France appear to be growing in popularity.

A call by 500 French celebrities and other public figures dubbed “Green Monday”  asking people to stop eating so much meat in light of the environmental impact has had considerable impact, according to an opinion poll which showed that 51.5 percent of those questioned had heard of the idea.

10.5 percent of those questioned said that they’d adopted the idea while 25.1 percent said that they intended to go meat free on Mondays in the future.

A number of French celebrities including the actress Juliette Binoche urged consumers to go without meat or fish on Mondays to reduce the impact on the environment,combat health problems and improve the treatment of animals.




The US trade deficit jumped to a 10 year high of 621 billion dollars last year dealing a blow to President Trump’s plan to reduce the gap.

Reducing the US trade deficit is a key part of Mr Trump’s policies but last year,the US exported fewer goods compared with how much it imported.

The President thinks that the United States is being “ripped off” by other nations and wants them to reduce tariffs on US goods and buy more American products.

The trade gap is now the widest since 2008  when the global financial crisis hit and the US fell into recession.

The deficit in goods and services in December also hit a 10 year high of 59.8 billion dollars.


The Chinese tech giant Huawei has filed a lawsuit against the US government over a ban that restricts government agencies from using its products.

Huawei says that the US failed to provide evidence to support the ban and rejected claims that it had links to the Chinese government.

The United States has restricted the use of Huawei products over national security concerns.Washington has also been lobbying its allies to shun the company.

The lawsuit is part of a wider push by Huawei in recent months to challenge claims that its products pose a security risk.


And-Toyota has warned that it may end manufacturing in the UK if the country crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

The Japanese carmaker is the latest to warn that it will have to review its UK operations as negotiations over the UK’s exit drag on.

The firm’s head of European operations said  that “if the business environment becomes very difficult to operate,these kinds of decisions will be on the agenda”.

Earlier this week,BMW warned that it may have to shift production of the Mini out of the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit.




Football-Manchester United have pulled off one of their greatest ever European exploits by stunning Paris St Germain in the second leg of their European Champions League round of 16 tie to reach the quarter finals.

United trailed 2-0 going into the away leg in Paris but Marcus Rashford scored a 94th minute VAR awarded penalty to give them a 3-1 win on the night and put them through to the last 8 on the away goals rule with the aggregate score at 3-3.

In the other tie Porto beat Roma 3-1 to move through to the last eight 4-3 on aggregate.


First leg ties in Europa League round of 16 are being played tonight.Arsenal are away at Rennes and Chelsea host Dynamo Kiev.


Formula 1-Paddy Lowe has left his position as Williams chief technical officer following the team’s disappointing performance in pre-season testing.

Williams have been beset by problems  and their new car wasn’t ready for the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona two weeks ago.

Lowe said that he  was taking a leave of absence from the business for personal reasons.


Rugby Union-Ireland have dropped hooker Sean Cronin from their squad to play France in the 6 Nations in Dublin on Sunday.

Cronin has paid the price for Ireland’s line-out problems during their unimpressive win over Italy in the last match.

Rob Herring of Ulster replaces him in the squad.

Robbie Henshaw misses out after not recovering from a dead leg and Joey Carbery is still out with hamstring trouble.


Tennis-Andy Murray says that he’s “pain free” after hip surgery but has put his chances of making Wimbledon this year at “less than 50%”.

Murray had hip resurfacing surgery in January  and said that rehab is slow but going well.

He said that he wants to continue playing but said that the real reason for the latest operation was to get rid of the pain which had hampered his daily life for the past 18 months.




Overcast with outbreaks of rain,clearing this afternoon with light to moderate westerly or variable winds.

Top temperature 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 16-18 degrees.




A man whose damaged car resembled a "mobile sardine can" when he was stopped by police has been jailed.

The left side of Saif Hussain's white Mercedes C220 was "folded back" when he was arrested on the A47 in Norfolk on 5 January, Norwich magistrates heard.

Hussain, of Marylebone, London, said he had hit a tree in the early hours and was taking the car to be repaired.

The 26-year-old admitted dangerous driving, and was jailed for 20 weeks and handed a two-year driving ban.

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