French and Riviera News.Tuesday 05.03.2019

Poisoning trial-The trial has started in Nice of a 49 year old man who’s accused of poisoning  pensioners in a bid to speed up his lifetime sale contract.

Olivier Cappelaere is accused of contaminating  drinks with  the drug atropine which is used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisonings.

Doctors became suspicious after high levels of the drug were found in the blood of the victims and one of them died.

Mr Cappelaere denies the charges.The case is set to last for three days.


Fire-20 hectares of forest land has been destroyed near Valdeblore in the Alpes-Maritimes.

The recent extremely dry conditions coupled with strong winds on Monday are being blamed for the fire.

Firefighters have been battling to reach the remote area with Canadair aircraft also sent out to help.The area remains under high surveillance today.


Problem area-Schoolchildren from an underprivileged area of Toulon have been telling a local MP of shocking incidents that they’ve witnessed on the streets.

The children, aged between 9 or 10 said that gunshots in the area were a regular occurrence and that there was quite often “blood on the streets”.

Several of the children said that the incidents had  caused them nightmares.

The area concerned is reported to be rife with drug dealers and other criminal gangs.


Lemon fest-The sale of thousands of citrus fruits used at this year’s Menton Lemon Festival will go on sale to the public this coming Wednesday.

Oranges and lemons will be available for purchase at the knockdown price of 1 euro 50 for three kilos.

Baskets of flowers used on displays will also be available for 4 euros.

The sale will take place in front of the Jardins Bioves opposite the Barriere Casino from 2pm on Wednesday.


Charles de Gaulle sets sail-The flagship French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will leave port in Toulon today on an international mission.

The French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly will be present to see the vessel off.

The Charles de Gaulle will first of all take up a “strategic” position in the Mediterranean before sailing on to the Indian Ocean to take part in Franco-Egyptian and Franco-Indian naval exercises.

There will also be joint exercises with the Japanese Navy but the aircraft carrier will not be sent to the sensitive South China Sea in order to avoid sending any kind of provocative signal to China.


In National News.


Macron warning-President Macron  has warned that Brexit is “a symbol of Europe’s crisis in not being able to provide for the people’s need of protection in the face of today’s threats”.

In an opinion piece published in several French newspapers today,Mr Macron said that no-one warned the British people about losing access to the European market or the risks to peace in Ireland.

He says that nationalist retrenchment offers nothing and that it is “rejection without an alternative”.

The French President goes on to say that the Brexit impasse is a lesson for all of us and that one day ,Britain will return to being a close part of Europe.

He’s also suggested reforming the 26-member Schengen area which allows free movement between members and says that those who belong to the Schengen area should accept both stricter controls on outer borders and a common asylum policy for migrants.


Calais strike-French customs officers have staged a strike in protest over the extra work load they say that they’ll be forced to carry out once Britain has left the EU.

Long queues built up at ports on both sides of the Channel on Monday as officers in Calais and Dunkirk took part in the protests.

Customs officers are calling for extra staff and more pay when Britain leaves the European Union.

Further delays are expected for the rest of the week with officers saying that the strike is “open-ended”.


Storm Freya-Parts of northern France have been battered by Storm Freya which has swept through the region bringing winds of up to 150 km/h.

44 departments across the north of the country were placed on an orange weather alert on Monday with strong winds accompanied by rain and snow in places.

The abrupt change in the weather came only a few days after much of the country was basking in warm early spring sunshine and abnormally high seasonal temperatures.

The northern half of France as well as Britain and Ireland have born the brunt of the storm.


Get your motor off ! –French police appear to be cracking down on a previously, largely unenforced law on leaving a vehicle’s engine running when parked.

The Local France reports that the law requiring parked cars to have their engine switched off has been in force since 1963 but police have only recently been enforcing it more regularly.

The offence is punishable with a fixed fine of 135 euros which can rise to a whopping 750 euros depending on the severity of the case and how long it takes an offender to pay the fine.

The law was introduced to  reduce the fumes caused by motor vehicles and is now being enforced on a regular basis as environmental problems continue to mount.




The former boss of Nissan has been granted bail in Japan after spending more than 3 months in detention.

Carlos Ghosn is accused of financial misconduct but has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Reports say that bail has been set at one billion yen or 8.9 million dollars and that Mr Ghosn could be released today.

The 64 year old has been in custody since last November following allegations that he understated his income at Nissan.He’s also been charged with breach of trust.

Last month ,Mr Ghosn appointed a new legal team with his lawyers saying that they expected bail to be granted.


President Trump has said that the United States is planning to end preferential trade status for India under a scheme that allows some Indian products to enter America duty-free.

Mr Trump says that India has failed to assure the United States that it would provide reasonable access to its markets.

The US is also planning to end Turkey’s preferential status after saying that it no longer qualified.

The latest developments are part of Mr Trump’s drive to end what he sees as unfair trade practices.


And-Elon Musk has said that he expects production of the 35,000 dollar version of Tesla’s Model 3 to start this month but that “volume production” will not be reached until midway through the year.

Mr Musk didn’t explain what he meant by “volume production”.The launch of the 35,000 dollar version of the Model 3 comes at a critical time for Tesla  with some analysts warning that demand for the higher-priced versions of the electric car is starting to dry up in the United States.

Last week,Tesla said that global sales would shift to online only in a bid to cut overhead costs.




Football-There are two round of 16 second leg ties in the European Champions League tonight.

Spurs travel to Borussia Dortmund leading 3-0 from the first leg but with the club in a poor run of form while the other tie is between Real Madrid and Ajax with the Spanish giants leading 2-1 from the first leg.


There was one game in the English Championship last night.Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United drew 0-0 and in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup Partick Thistle and Hearts will have to replay after the game ended 1-1.


There’s one game in the English Championship tonight.Frank Lampard will be looking to get Derby back on track following a poor run of results when they host Wigan.


Cricket-West Indies play England in the first Twenty20 international today.Play is due to start at 9pm French time tonight.

India are playing Australia in the first one day international in Nagpur.Play starts at 9am French time.


Rugby Union-Chris Robshaw is back in the England squad for Saturday’s 6 Nations match against Italy at Twickenham.

The former captain has been out of action with a long standing knee injury but has been included in the 31 man squad although he may not make the final cut.


Leigh Halfpenny could be back for Wales as they bid to secure the 6 Nations Grand Slam.

Wales visit Scotland on Saturday and the full-back says that his concussion problems are over.He’s played twice for Scarlets since suffering the concussion during last November’s match against Australia and says that “the head is all good now”.


Boxing-The former British world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno is recovering after being treated in hospital for Pneumonia.

The 57 year old is said to need a few weeks rest after being taken ill last week.

Last week marked the 30th anniversary of Bruno’s most famous fight when he lost to Mike Tyson in 1989.




Partially cloudy with a moderate Mistral across the Var.

Top temperature 18 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday -Mainly fine tomorrow with a high of 16.Some rain coming along on Thursday morning,clearing during the afternoon.




A US maths professor has received praise after images of him looking after a student's baby during class went viral on social media.

Baby Assata was brought to the lesson by her father, Wayne Hayer, who had been unable to find a babysitter.

After explaining his situation, Professor Nathan Alexander held the child for his whole 50-minute class so Mr Hayer could "take good notes."

"I don't have children of my own," Mr Alexander said.

"I was worried that she would start crying but it actually went perfectly. She was extremely well behaved."


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