French and Riviera News Wednesday 16th September 2020



46 arrests in connection with Calabrian mafia - Police have made 46 arrests in connection with a gang trafficking arms and drugs between Marseille and Genoa. According to reports the individuals were linked to a powerful Calabrian mafia with 33 arrests being made in the south of France and 13 over the border in Italy.

One million euros of criminal assets and weapons were seized.

Internet scam – Meanwhile an Internet scam has been dismantled by police in the Gard. The scam which had claimed a thousand victims across Europe over the last three years led to 10 people being arrested across France.

The scam involved various products being sold over the internet which were never dispatched to customers.

Investigators estimate that there were a thousand victims for a total damage of 1.9 million euros.

Maurice Agnelet released for medical reasons - Maurice Agnelet who was sentenced back in 2014 for the murder of Agnès Le Roux has been released for medical reasons.

The 82-year-old former lawyer was given a 20-year prison sentence for the assassination of Agnes Le Roux, the heir to the Casino of the Palais de la Méditerranée. 

Angelet face trial for the first time in 2006, twenty-nine years after the disappearance of his ex-mistress, Agnès Le Roux who had mysteriously disappeared on All Saints' Day 1977. Her body has never been found.

Les Voiles d’Antibes sets sail today - Initially scheduled for June but postponed due to Covid-19, Les Voiles de Antibes gets underway today. The event is on until Sunday at Port Vauban.

Grand Braderie of Nice - Dozens of retailers in Nice will be taking part in the Grand Braderie sale from this Thursday to Saturday. During the sale, participating retailers will be authorised by the town hall to set up sales racks and stands in the street outside their shops.


Edouard Philippe moves to the Atos IT group - The mayor of Le Havre and former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who left the government in early July, has been nominated for the position “as a director of the Atos IT group”. The news was confirmed following a meeting with the Atos Board of Directors which met on Monday September 14th.

Atos is at the heart of the digital and technological industry in France and is present in 73 countries, presenting itself as an international leader in digital transformation.

Atos employs 110,000 people and generates annual sales of 12 billion euros. Before entering politics, 49-year-old Edouard Philippe had already worked in the private sector.

Former French Prime Minister tests positive for Covid-19 - Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur has tested positive for Covid-19. 91-year-old Balladur has self-isolated at his home with his wife and son, who have also tested positive. According to his close entourage, his state of health is not a cause of concern.

Edouard Balladur was Prime Minister under François Mitterrand between 1993 and 1995 and presidential candidate in 1995.

Request to ban advertising junk food on television and internet - The association which defends consumers in France the UFC-Que Choisir, has launched a petition to demand a law to moralize food marketing. Entitled "Childhood obesity: Say 'STOP' to advertising for junk food" the petition follows an initial appeal to the public authorities, thirteen years ago, which called for supervision of television advertising.

Today they are demanding a complete ban on advertising junk food aimed at children on television and on the Internet.

Obesity is gaining ground among the youngest in France, 3% of children were affected in the 1960s compared to 17% today.

According to the association, 9 out of 10 adverts are aimed at minors

Frenchman breaks world freediving record - 24-year-old Arnaud Jerald from Marseille has beaten the world record in freediving reaching up to 112 metres. Jerald reached the record depth in 3 minutes and 24 seconds during the competition being held in Greece on Tuesday.


The dollar ,US yields and gold have all held steady today as investors wait for the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

The Fed’s policy statement is due later today and will be the first since chair Jerome Powell announced an increased tolerance for higher inflation.

Analysts say that the risk is that there will be no new developments since Mr Powell’s comments about inflation at Jackson Hole last month.That could induce near-term pressure on yields ,send gold and precious metals lower and see the dollar rise.

If there is a surprise announcement on the accommodative side then the situation could be reversed including a boost to the gold price.

The Fed is due to make its statement at 18.00h GMT this evening and Mr Powell will give a press conference afterwards.

The Fed meeting is taking place as US lawmakers remain deadlocked over a new stimulus package amid lingering concerns about the recovery of the world’s largest economy from the coronavirus pandemic.


Apple has announced a new virtual fitness service and a bundle of its most popular subscriptions with a focus on services as the firm seeks to strengthen the backbone of its growth strategy.

The company has also introduced a new Apple Watch Series 6 that monitors blood pressure at a price of 399 US dollars with a more basic watch costing 279 dollars.

The Apple One bundle will cost 15 dollars per month for an individual plan or 20 dollars per month for a family package and includes television ,music and games,

An enhanced package which also includes news ,the fitness service and extra storage will cost 30 dollars.

The aggressive price strategy which the firm hopes will encourage customers who are already paying 15 dollars a month for some content to move up has been criticised by Apple’s rivals including Spotify who say that the firm is abusing its market position to favour Apple Music.

Spotify is currently pursuing an anti-trust case against Apple in the European Union and has also spoken to US regulators.


And-In the UK ,the Unite Union has called on the government to extend the furlough scheme or face “redundancy floodgates” opening.

The Union says that without a “clear and urgent sign” from the government that it’s responding to calls to extend the scheme ,it fears that employers facing short-term struggles will issue redundancy notices.

The British government has been urged by businesses ,unions and political opponents to continue the furlough programme in which workers placed on leave receive 80 percent of their pay up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds per month.

In response ,the government said that it had “not hesitated to act in creative and effective ways to support jobs”.

The furlough scheme is due to end on the 31st of October and today marks 45 days before it’s due to end which is the same amount of time that employers must give for redundancy notice.


Cycling-Lennard Kamna of Germany made a superb solo break to win stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday as Primoz Roglic retained the Yellow Jersey.

Kamna pulled away on the penultimate climb on the 164 kilometer stage from La Tour du Pin to Villard de Lans to claim his first Grand Tour stage win.

Roglic finished nearly 17 minutes later but still leads the general classification  by 40 seconds from fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

Today’s 17th stage is a tough 170 kilometers from Grenoble to Meribel which includes a brutal climb up the Col de la Loze.

The finish at Meribel will be attended by President Macron.

Cricket-The third and decisive one day international between England and Australia is being played at Old Trafford today.

The three match series is tied at one all and England will be seeking to defend their 5 year unbeaten bilateral record.The last time they lost a one day series against Australia was in September 2015.

Play is due to start at 2pm French time.

Football-Reports say that Spurs are in talks to re-sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid.

Bale left the London club to join the Spanish giants in 2013 and has since scored more than 100 goals and won 4 Champions League titles.

The player’s agent says that he still loves Spurs and it’s “where he wants to be”.

Golf-Former US Open champions Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy have been paired together for the first two rounds of this year’s tournament which starts at Winged Foot ,New York tomorrow.

The pair will play alongside Adam Scott and will tee off in the first round at 13.07 local time.

Tiger Woods will play alongside Collin Morikawa who won last month’s US-PGA Championship while the defending champion Gary Woodland will play alongside  the 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry.

World number one Dustin Johnson who’s been in excellent form of late will go out at 18.16 local time alongside fellow Americans Bryon DeChambeau and Tony Finau.


Clear skies with light to moderate south easterly winds.

Top temperatures 28-30 degrees.

Overnight lows of 23 degrees on the coast and 20 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies with highs of 27-29 degrees.



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