French and Riviera News.Tuesday July 30th 2019

Murder hunt-Police are still hunting for the suspect or suspects who shot dead three people at Ollioules in the Var on Sunday night.

French media say that two men were targeted at a petrol station in the town while a third , a  57 year old French holidaymaker who was riding pillion on a motor scooter  was caught in the crossfire and her partner was critically   injured.They’ve been named as Catherine and Philippe Santos aged 56 and 57 respectively.Mr Santos has undergone emergency surgery in Toulon Hospital.

The French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said that no stone will be left unturned in the hunt for those responsible.

The murders have shocked the local community which is normally a quiet residential area.

The motive for the shootings is not yet clear but its been suggested that it was connected with criminal gangs from the Marseilles area.Both the men initially targeted and shot dead were known to police for drugs offences and authorities say that at least two weapons were used including an assault rifle.


Diving accident -A 12 year old boy from Nice has been seriously hurt in a diving accident while on holiday in Corsica.

The boy has been rushed back to the mainland after diving from rock at a beach and misjudging the depth of the water.

He hit the seabed at speed and immediately lost all feeling in his lower limbs.He also suffered a cardiac arrest but fortunately emergency services were able to revive him.It’s reported that he’s fractured several vertebrae but it’s too early to say whether he’ll be permanently paralyzed.


Monster traffic -Huge traffic jams have built up around western Nice after a truck misjudged the height of the railway bridge near the Voie Rapide and got wedged underneath.

The incident at one of the city’s most strategic intersections happened at 4pm on Monday and caused huge tailbacks in all directions.

It took engineers several hours to free the truck with the problem also causing delays to train services.


What a mess-A judicial enquiry has been opened after a group of travellers moved of private land at Sainte-Anne near Lorgues in the Var leaving tonnes of rubbish behind.

Authorities are in the process of clearing up what’s been described as a mountain  of refuse from the site.

Broken televisions ,washing machines  and gardening implements are among the many items left on the site along with several tonnes of rotting rubbish.

The travellers had been illegally occupying the area since the 10th of May.


Prison drops-Unions representing prison officers at the Aix-Luynes jail have called for protection nets to be positioned on the exterior walls to prevent people throwing packages for inmates inside.

A number of items have been seized over the past few days including mobile phones ,drugs and most worryingly knives.

Unions say that other jails in the region are fitted with protection nets and they urgently need to be installed at Aix-Luynes before someone is seriously injured or killed.

There have also been increased cases of drones being used to carry illegal items into prisons which officers say there is very little that they can do to prevent.


Crossing the Alps by...A Frenchman has smashed 10 hours off the record for crossing the Alps on foot.

Roman Sophys completed the journey from Thonon-les Bains to Nice in 161 hours and 47 minutes beating the previous record , also set by a Frenchman by more than 10 hours.

The 39 year old schoolteacher achieved the feat in 39 different stages and said the secret to success was pacing himself correctly and not trying to go too fast.

The 620 kilometer journey took in 60 peaks and total altitude changes of 4,000 meters.


Fallen tree-The chemin Saint-Claude in Antibes is closed to traffic today owing to a fallen tree.

The tree came down following the weekend’s storms and needs to be cut up and removed by workers.

Diversions are in force and line 1 of the Enviebus service has been rerouted to the route de Grasse.

The road should be reopened tomorrow.


In National News.


Brexit-The French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen is threatening to close the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port in England if it becomes unprofitable after Brexit.

The Financial Times reports that PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares has said that the firm has an alternative to the plant which employs 1,000 people making Vauxhall and Opel Astra cars.

He said that if conditions become unprofitable then he has a duty to protect the rest of the firm with the FT saying that production could be shifted to southern Europe.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit ,supply chains for the automotive industry would be seriously disrupted  because of a sharp increase in trade tariffs.

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the European Union by the 31st of October deal or no deal.


Banks-French banks have warned that they could be forced to close the accounts of 40,000 American customers because of ongoing difficulties with US tax regulations.

The international FATCA banking accord requires banks to notify US authorities about any accounts held by American citizens and to provide a US tax number for each client.

However , the accord means that some US citizens of modest means living overseas or those who have US citizenship by birth but have never lived in the country are falling foul of the regulations.

Many do not even have a US tax number and a short term agreement signed between Washington and Paris whereby an account holder’s date of birth is accepted expires in December meaning French banks may have to close accounts or face fines of 30 percent on their US revenue.

President Macron says that he’s raised the issue with Donald Trump and the European Banking Association has been lobbying Washington in a bid to get the problem resolved.


Mr Zapata-The Frenchman who failed in an attempt to cross the English Channel by hover board last week is to have another go.

Franky Zapata is hoping that his Flyboard device will attract investment from the French military and looks set to make a fresh attempt to cross the 22 mile Channel on Friday ,Saturday or Sunday depending on the weather conditions.

The attempt last week failed because of unfavorable winds which prevented the adventurer being able to land on a boat to refuel.

The kerosene powered hover board which is supplied from a pack worn on Mr Zapata’s back has autonomy of 10 minutes before refueling is necessary and is capable of speeds of up to 190 km/h.




US markets ended mixed on Monday as investors took a breather ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate cut this week.

At the close the S&P 500 was down by 0.15 percent to 30 20 with the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.1 percent at 27,221 and the Nasdaq down nearly half a percent at 82 93.


Sterling has slipped to below 1 US dollar 21 cents as fears over a no deal Brexit intensify.

On the day of the 2016 EU referendum ,the pound was trading at 1 US dollar 50 but has been a downward trajectory ever since.

Sterling also fell to 1 euro 9.2 cents as the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ramped up the rhetoric on leaving the EU on the 31st of October with or without a deal.

During a visit to Scotland on Monday , Mr Johnson said that the existing withdrawal agreement with the EU was “dead” and “had to go”.

Meanwhile ,the Prime Minister’s chief Brexit negotiator has urged his EU counterparts not to underestimate Mr Johnson.

David Frost said that many people are inclined not to take Johnson too seriously but that this would be a mistake.

In an email sent on Monday , Mr Frost warned that EU leaders should be in no doubt about the UK government’s commitment to the October 31st date.


Just Eat has agreed a deal in principle to merge with Dutch rival which would form one of the world’s largest food delivery firms.

The joint group would have a market value of some 8.2 billion pounds and bring together two firms that process around 360 million orders worth around 6.6 billion pounds.

Just Eat is considered by analysts to be the dominant force in the UK food courier business but is facing fierce competition from rivals Uber Eats and Deliveroo.


And-President Trump has taken to Twitter to renew his attacks on the US Federal Reserve.

Mr Trump has been a loggerheads with Fed chairman Jerome Powell for several months over the speed and scale of interest rate cuts.

The President tweeted that while the EU and China will further lower interest rates to pump money into their systems and make it easier for manufacturers to sell product ,the Fed does nothing and probably will do very little by comparison.

The Federal Reserve is forecast to cut interest rates this week for the first time since the financial crisis.

Some analysts think that cutting rates would result in a stock market boom , fuel bonds and property and encourage another wave of risky borrowing.

That could be followed by falling prices and an economic downturn.




Football-Gareth Bale has pulled out of Real Madrid’s squad for a friendly game against Munich after his proposed move to China collapsed.

Reports say that Bale is not in the right mental state to play as the saga over his future continues.

The Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has repeatedly said that it would be best if Bale leaves the club but apart from his wages being a problem for most clubs ,the Spanish giants are also now said to want a fee for his transfer.


Cricket-England and Australia are getting ready for the Ashes battle with the first Test starting at Edgebaston on Thursday.

England’s director of cricket Ashley Giles says that the players will have to “raise their game” if they’re to win the series.

Australia hold the urn after a 4-0 victory in the last series down under in 2017-18  but England have not lost a series at home since 2001.


Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton called for his car to be retired at the German Grand Prix on Sunday according to media reports.

In a radio message to the team that was not aired during Sunday’s race ,the 5 time world champion called for the car to be retired with 11 laps to go.

Mercedes insisted that he completed the race but called him in for fresh tyres.

Hamilton finished 11th but was promoted to 9th after the race following time penalties imposed on the two Alfa Romeos. He still has a healthy lead of 41 points at the top of the drivers’ championship heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.


Rugby Union-Jack Nowell is unlikely to feature for England in their World Cup warmup game against Wales on the 11th of August after leaving the squad’s training camp as he continues to recover from ankle surgery.

Nowell was sent home following a routine medical assessment and will continue to receive treatment at his club.

The 26 year old winger has made 33 appearances for England since making his debut in 2014.


Racing-Glorious Goodwood starts today with Frankie Dettori looking to continue his 2019 dominance.

Dettori first won at Goodwood in 1987 at the age of 16 and his partnership with trainer John Gosden has been paying big dividends so far this year.

The Festival is on for 5 days and the feature race is today is the Goodwood Cup in which Stradivarius is the favourite.




Mainly fine  with moderate westerly  winds and occasional showers in the mountains later.

Top temperatures  28 degrees in coastal areas,32 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 20 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 28-32 degrees.



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