French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd January 2020


Storm Gloria - Storm Gloria has arrived in the south west of France with two departments on red alert Pyrénées-Orientales. Dozens of extra police and firefighters have been deployed in the region. 1,500 residents were evacuated on Wednesday evening and 23,000 homes were without electricity.

Promenade du Paillon - Following the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi’s announcement of plans to extend the Promenade du Paillon at the launch of his election campaign last week the owners of the NH and Novotel hotels have expressed their concern adding that this is “the first they had heard about the project which could possibly see their hotels demolished”.

Estrosi had spoken of the plan which would see the Acropolis exhibition area and National theatre demolished “as part of the extension of the Promenade du Paillon and the project of making Nice a green city”.  

French billionaire takes control of Nice Matin - It’s been announced that French billionaire Xavier Niel has bought control of the Nice Matin newspaper group. The billionaire’s holding company NJJ already has stakes in Le Monde newspaper, he owns 55% of Monaco Telecom and is also reportedly co-owner of the rights to the song “My Way.” The telecoms magnate is reportedly worth 6.7 billion dollars making him the 8th richest person in France.  

“Monte Carlo Rally” starts today here from Monaco - The WRC championship starts today with the “Monte Carlo Rallye “. 88 cars are entered in the 88th Monte Carlo Rallye which opens the season of the World Rally Championship. Entertainment for the event starts at 3pm this afternoon here on the Port Hercule with the first car starting from the podium on Quai Albert 1er at 5pm.

The return of the first competitors to the Principality will be from 1.30 pm on Sunday with the award ceremony taking place at 3pm on Quai Albert 1er.

Charles Leclerc - Meanwhile Formula One driver and Monegasque Charles Leclerc has announced on social media that there will be forums at this year’s Monaco and French Grand Prix which will be dedicated to his fans with some even able to visit the Ferrari paddocks. There had been much speculation here at the Automobile Club in Monaco over the last couple of days and it was Leclerc himself that confirmed the news on Wednesday. From May 21st to 24th Grandstand K here in Monaco will be dedicated to the driver’s followers.


Tourists missing in Quebec - Five French nationals who were on a snowmobile trip in Quebec have been reported missing after their vehicles fell through ice on the edge of a lake. Police say a group of eight French tourists were exploring the Lac St Jean region when the accident occurred. Three of the tourists were able to drive to safety and call police.

French President confront Isreali police - French President Emmanuel Macron has confronted Israeli police during a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. Mr Macron accused officers of violating rules that prevent them from entering the Church of St Anne, which is considered French territory. The incident was reminiscent of one involving the late French President Jacques Chirac in the 1990s.

Arrests made in connection with migrant smuggling - Police in France and the Netherlands have arrested 23 people suspected of helping to smuggle about 10,000 Kurdish migrants into the UK. The group is accused of picking up migrants from car parks in France and taking them to the UK in refrigerated lorries and small rubber boats. Migrants were allegedly charged up to €7,000 per person for the journey.

PMA - Single women and lesbian couples in France have taken a step closer to gaining legal access to medically assisted procreation (MAP), following a debate in the Senate.

Opponents from the right failed to have the bill’s flagship Article 1 which extends MAP (“PMA” in French) rights to all women, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation – from being withdrawn. However it appears that MAP may no longer be systematically covered by social security.

Grey wolf spotted in southwestern France - French officials have confirmed the sighting of a grey wolf in the southwestern department of Charente for the first time in nearly a century. The French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) confirmed a grey wolf had been sighted near the Charente department’s border with Dordogne after a local woman spotted the animal in her car and filmed it with her smartphone.


A report by Reuters says that President Trump is set to turn his attention to the European Union now that the phase 1 trade agreement with China has been signed.

Mr Trump has already threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on car imports from the EU although he passed over a November deadline last year to decide on the measures.

The European Union and the United States are at loggerheads over a number of big trade issues including aircraft subsidies and plans by European countries to impose taxes on US digital services.

The European Union has already said that it will respond to any additional tariffs imposed on its exports to the US with duties of its own.

The UK could also be in the firing line even after it leaves the EU at the end of the month with the government of Boris Johnson also planning a new digital tax to start in the summer.

Mr Trump has been promising a “massive” new trade deal with the UK after Brexit but large cracks appeared between the two countries at the Davos World Economic Forum on Wednesday.The UK Finance Minister Sajid Javid insisted at Davos that his country’s first priority after Brexit was a new trade deal with the EU.


A top PWC executive has left the firm following revelations of links with one of Africa’s richest women.

Isabel Dos Santos is under investigation for corruption.PWC has declined to comment on the story and says that it’s launched its own investigation.

Media reports say that PWC helped Isabel Dos Santos with auditing ,consultancy and tax advice for her companies.

She obtained access to lucrative deals involving land ,diamonds ,oil and telecoms when her father was President of Angola. She denies the allegations which she says are “a political witch-hunt”.


And-The chief executive of the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to step down after 6 years in charge.

Mike Coupe said that the decision to resign had been “difficult” but he believed that the time to hand over to his successor had come.

The news came the day after Sainsbury’s announced that it was cutting hundreds of management jobs to reduce costs.

Mr Coupe also oversaw Sainsbury’s failed attempt to merge with Asda in 2018.

He’ll be replaced by the head of the firm’s retail and operations Simon Roberts.


Tennis-Play has been delayed on the outside courts at the Australian Open in Melbourne because of dust and mud that came down in a heavy storm.

The courts had to be power washed before play could start but then rain further delayed play.

Of the matches that have been completed on the show courts the number 4 seed in the men’s event Daniil Medvedev is through to round 3 following a straight sets win over Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez.

In the women’s event Belinda Bencic is through to round three after beating Jelena Ostapenko of Ukraine and there have been second round wins for Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova.

Football-Manchester United’s players were booed off the pitch last night after they lost 2-0 at home to relegation threatened Burnley.

In the other results Leicester stopped the rot after a run of poor results with a 4-1 thrashing of West Ham and Spurs beat Norwich 2-1.

There’s one game tonight.Wolves host the runaway leaders Liverpool.

In the English Championship last night Charlton and Fulham drew 0-0 and Nottingham Forest and Reading drew 1-1.

In the Scottish Premiership Motherwell were 1-0 winners at Aberdeen.Hibs beat Hamilton 2-1.Celtic were 3-1 winners at Kilmarnock.Livingston beat St Johnstone 1-0.Rangers were 1-0 winners over St Mirren and Ross County and Hearts drew 0-0.

Formula 1 is to hold an auction of memorabilia to raise money for the Australian Bush Fires crisis.

The sport says that it feels the need to help  those affected in the worst hit areas.

An online auction got underway yesterday and the proceeds will go to 4 organisations helping to support victims.

You can find out what’s on offer and make bids at



Partially cloudy with moderate to strong north easterly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with showers developing across the region.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Rain for most of tomorrow ,partially cloudy on Saturday.Highs of 13-15 degrees.







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