French and Riviera News Tuesday 20th August 2019


Sir Elton John defends royal couple - Sir Elton John has defended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's use of private jets - and said he paid to carbon offset their trip to his home here on the French Riviera. The singer said he provided Prince Harry, Meghan and their son Archie with his private plane to "maintain a high level of much-needed protection". Picked up at the Nice-Côte d'Azur airport on Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent a few days in Sir Elton’s villa in Mont Boron overlooking the Mediterranean and returned to London over the weekend. The royal couple have faced criticism after newspapers claimed they took four private jet journeys in 11 days, including to Sir Elton's home in Nice. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin - French President Emmanuel Macron has held talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at his summer residence in southern France, seeking to press the Kremlin to help end the conflict in Ukraine. Macron hosted Putin at his summer retreat Bregancon in Bormes Les Mimosas on Monday afternoon, just days before he hosts world leaders including US President Donald Trump for the 24-26 August Group of Seven (G7) summit in Biarritz. Macron told journalists there was a "real opportunity" for peace in Ukraine.

Man dies in fire in apartment in Nice - One man has died, and several were wounded after a fire broke out in an apartment in Nice on Monday afternoon. Firemen were quick to intervene preventing the fire, which had broken out on the ground floor, from spreading. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause.

Rugby fans - The French rugby team have delighted fans during their training session in Nice on Monday which was made open to the public. 500 spectators gathered at the Arboras stadium in Nice to meet the players who beat Scotland on Saturday 32-3. Next stop for the team is Japan for the 2019 World Cup which starts in September.  


Internet leaders slam French taxation - Representatives of Amazon, Facebook, Google and other Internet leaders have collectively denounced French taxation of digital groups accusing it of retroactivity, discrimination and double taxation. The leaders of the large group known as "Gafa" aired their complaint during an investigation opened by the US Trade Representative (USTR) on Monday.  The investigation was launched following the French decision to tax digital giants.

Notre-Dame - Clean-up operations at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris have resumed after French authorities gave the green light on Monday following an interruption over more than three weeks due to lead contamination fears. Tougher work safety measures -- including footbaths, showers and strict entry and exit rules – have been put in place to guarantee the safety of personnel working on the site.


Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to block what they described as a state-backed Chinese misinformation campaign. Twitter said it removed 936 accounts. The network said the accounts originated in mainland China and were part of a coordinated attempt to undermine the “legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement”.

Facebook said it had, after being tipped off by Twitter, removed "seven Pages, three Groups and five Facebook accounts.”

According to research commissioned by Barclaycard time-poor online shoppers in the UK have failed to take home around £228m worth of goods bought via the so-called click-and-collect option over the past year. Barclaycard and French sports equipment retailer Decathlon commissioned a survey of 2,000 adult shoppers in July, and 15% of respondents who had chosen the click-and-collect option admitted to not going on to collect their goods in-store. It said more than 70% of shoppers in the UK chose click and collect, selecting the option twice a month on average.

Britain's largest pub and brewery company Greene King has agreed to a £4.6bn takeover by a Hong Kong-based conglomerate. CK Asset Holdings, founded by Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing, will pay £2.7bn for the 220-year old brewery company and take on its debt, worth an additional £1.9bn. Greene King, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was founded in 1799 and operates nearly 3,000 pubs, restaurants and hotels.  Greene King IPA, OId Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale are among its beer brands.


Football - Paul Pogba had a second-half penalty saved as Manchester United were held to a Premier League draw at Wolves.

And - Former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is being treated for pneumonia. The 60-year-old Juventus coach spent Monday morning at the Italian club having missed a weekend friendly because of what was initially thought to be flu.

After feeling unwell, further tests diagnosed pneumonia and Juve confirmed treatment had begun.

Cricket - England have named an unchanged squad for the third Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley on Thursday. James Anderson is making progress with his calf injury and will play for Lancashire second XI in a three-day match beginning on Tuesday. England say the 37-year-old will be assessed "on an ongoing basis".

Rugby Union – Hooker Ken Owens says Wales must maintain the standard of the 13-6 win against England in their remaining warm-up matches and into the World Cup. Warren Gatland's side were confirmed as World Rugby's top-ranked team after Saturday's win in Cardiff. The squad are in Turkey for a week's training before facing Ireland twice and starting their World Cup campaign against Georgia on 23 September.

Tennis - Dan Evans says his surprise decision to split with coach David Felgate was because the pair started to see "a few things differently". The British number two informed Felgate of his decision at the start of August, a few days after losing in the first round of the ATP event in Washington.


Clear skies to start, clouding over by this afternoon. Highs of 27 in the Alpes Maritimes for Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Juan les Pins and 32 in the Var with light variable wind. This evening going down to 20 degrees along the coast and 16 degrees inland.

The outlook for Wednesday clear skies feeling slightly warmer in the Alpes Maritimes with highs of 30 degrees in Saint-Martin-du-Var and Théoule-sur-Mer.


If you've ever felt a little twinge of guilt about that a glass of wine , then new findings may help to ease that guilt. In short, a glass of red wine equals an hour in the gym, which is music to our ears.

This good news is backed up by scientists from Washington State University and Harvard, who have discovered that your nightly glass of wine (or two)  can actually assist with weight loss .

According to the studies, you can help prevent weight gain by 70 per cent from drinking at least two glasses of wine a day, and red wine is the best option because of the resveratrol.

But for best results it has to be in the evening - this sadly doesn't apply to a lunchtime glass.


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