French and Riviera News.Thursday October 24th 2019

Weather-Heavy rain and violent thunderstorms have been lashing the region with the Var and Alpes Maritimes particularly affected.

The worst appears to be over now but Meteo France says that as much as 80 mm of rain fell in some areas in the space of three hours.

Strong easterly winds  caused a big sea swell with some localised flooding in coastal areas and roads closed from Menton to Antibes.

Rivers including the Argens ,Nanturby and Var are also reported to be dangerously high in some places with the risk of flooding in surrounding areas.

There’s still a sizeable sea swell  after strong easterly winds caused waves as high as three meters to crash over coatal defences.Members of the public  are still advised to  stay away from coastal paths and promenades.


Museum standoff-A man has been apprehended after   barricading  himself  inside a museum in the old town of St Raphael.

Reports say that  the intruder broke into the archaeological museum in the early hours of Wednesday and that several slogans written in Arabic had been daubed on the outside walls.

One of the slogans reads “this museum will become hell”.

Police attended the scene and sealed off the area. The man pelted officers with stones from inside the building before crack anti-terrorist officers arrived and he eventually gave himself up.

He’s been examined by a doctor and detained at a local psychiatric hospital.


Desperado-An armed man who had been threatening his mother at their apartment in Saint-Laurent-du-Var has given himself up to police.

The 70 year old woman left the apartment and called police on Wednesday after her son ,armed with a pistol and intoxicated caused her concern for her own safety.

Police sealed the area on the rue Deiro off while they negotiated with the son who eventually came out of the building of his own accord and was taken into custody.

Neighbours say that the 30 year old man has a history of drug abuse.


Wrong way Monsieur-A 26 year old man who drove the wrong way across the Place du Palais in Monaco has been jailed for two months.

The man ,from Toulouse told the Monaco Criminal Tribunal that he’d been trying to find the way to Eze when he was stopped by police and found to be 4 times over the legal alcohol limit.

The court heard that the defendant had 8 previous criminal convictions in France including 4 for drink driving as well as drugs offences.

He’d been held in custody since the incident on the 18th of October and will now serve a further two months behind bars.


Penetrante crash-A man has been seriously injured in an accident on the penetrante between Cannes and Grasse.

Police say that two cars collided near Mougins resulting in one of the drivers-a 40 year old man being seriously injured and taken to the Pasteur 2 Hospital in Nice.

The accident  caused the road to be closed for a large part of Wednesday morning.The cause of the crash is not yet clear.


Record haul-Customs officers at La Turbie have seized their largest haul of cannabis so far this year.

380 kilos of cannabis resin was found concealed inside a Spanish registered truck which was due to deliver its cargo in Italy.

A man has appeared in court in Nice in connection with the seizure.

Authorities say that its unusual to come across such a large amount of the drug with smugglers seeming to prefer to make multiple journeys carrying smaller amounts in a bid to avoid detection.


In National News.


A Romanian gang that targeted people on the Paris Metro has been jailed for a total of 113 years.

The 20 strong gang exploited children by sending them into the Metro to pickpocket commuters and tourists.

They were convicted of human trafficking ,money laundering and criminal association.

The triable ,which lasted for 3 weeks was the result of a 2016 investigation during which it was found that children aged between 11 and 18 had been sent into the metro to steal phones and wallets mainly from unsuspecting victims using stairs and escalators.

The gang was particularly active during the Euro 2016 football tournament.


Cybersecurity-The cybersecurity firm McAfee has published a list of French celebrities who are most likely to have their names used to create bogus sites that then infect users computers.

McAfee says that hackers are using increasingly devious methods to gain control of computers and warns the public to be vigilant.

Among the most popular celebrity names targetted by hackers are Sophie Marceau ,David Guetta ,Lea Seydoux ,Maitre Gims and Daft Punk.

Internet users are urged to make sure they’re going to an official site before clicking on a link.


Show me the money-The European Union has  requested urgent clarification from the French government over its budget plans for 2020 amid concerns that they do not respect spending cut commitments made to Brussels.

A letter from the EU has requested immediate clarification  and could lead to the Commission rejecting the budget outright and demanding a new draft.

Italy ,Spain ,Finland and Belgium have also been sent warning letters.

The French government unveiled its draft budget for 2020 last month with more than 9 billion euros in tax cuts for low and middle income earners.

The European Commission has warned that the budget is not in line with commitments made to Brussels and risked a significant deviation from the European budgetary rulebook.




The fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil is to face trial in New York next week charged with misleading investors over the business risks associated with regulations aimed at addressing the climate crisis.

The firm is being taken to court by the New York Attorney General for allegedly covering up the costs that it will incur from government rules aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s only the second time that a climate issue has gone to trial in the US.

ExxonMobil has been targeted by environmentalists not only for its fossil fuel business but also over evidence that the firm has known for several decades that burning oil and gas would heat up the planet.

While a number of cases in America have sought to prosecute oil companies over the climate crisis ,this case is more concerned with alleged investor fraud.

Exxon denies the allegations and says that it expects to be exonerated in court.


Boeing has said that it expects its 737 Max jet to fly again before the end of the year.

The plane was grounded following two fatal crashes last year including the Lion Air disaster in which 189 people died.

Indonesian investigators have just blamed mechanical and design faults for the crash but Boeing now says that its developed software updates which correct the problems.

The firm says that it continues to work with regulators to return the jet to service.


And-Time appears to be running out for British Steel after the preferred bidder for the firm failed to agree a deal to save it from collapse.

Ataer Holding of Turkey had been given exclusive access to British Steel’s books innAugust after the company went into liquidation.

British Steel has been kept afloat by the UK government since May as it seeks a buyer for the firm.

Ataer’s decision not to go ahead puts 5,000 jobs directly at risk and a further 20,000 in the supply chain.





Wales are confident that centres Jonathan Davies and Hadleigh Parks will both be fit for Sunday’s World Cup quarter final against South Africa.

Parks has been playing with a broken bone in his hand as well as a shoulder problem and Davies missed the quarter final against France.

The Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins says that he expects both players to start against the Springboks in Yokohama.


The England defence coach John Mitchell says that he doesn’t see any advantage in opponents spying on training sessions.

As the head games intensify ahead of the big showdown against the All Blacks on Saturday ,Mitchell appeared to point the finger at New Zealand following comments made by head coach Eddie Jones.

Mitchell said that “if that is what they want to do and that is the way they want to prepare ,good luck to them”.

New Zealand have denied any knowledge of the alleged incident which is said to have happened on Tuesday.


Meanwhile the All Blacks head coach Steve Hanson is leaving no stone unturned as he prepares his side for the game even in the highly unlikely event of a kicking contest to decide the outcome.

If the scores are level at the end of 80 minutes ,the contest will go into a sudden death ten minute extra period.If that should fail to produce a result , 5 players from each side will take shots at goal.


Football- There were 8 games in the European Champions League last night.Liverpool were 4-1 winner at Genk in Group E while Chelsea won 1-0 away at Ajax in Group  H.


In the Europa League tonight Wolves are away at Slovan Bratislava in Group K.Manchester United visit Partisan Belgrade in Group L.Arsenal face Vitoria in Group F while Celtic host Lazio in Group E and Rangers visit Porto in Group G


In the English Championship last night Bristol City beat Charlton 2-1.Derby beat Wigan 1-0.Fulham were 3-2 winners over Luton.Huddersfield and Middlesbrough drew 0-0  and Hull City were 2-1 winners at Nottingham Forest.


Formula 1-Renault have lost the 9 points they won in Suzuka after being disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix.

The team  were found to have breached brake-bias adjustment regulations.They have until 4pm this afternoon to decide whether to appeal.




Sunshine and occasional showers with light to moderate westerly winds.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 17 degrees on the coast and 11 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Friday and the start of the weekend-Mainly fine with highs of 22-23 degrees.



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