French and Riviera News Wednesday 18th September 2019


Missing person – Police in the Var have appealed for witnesses following the disappearance of Denis Espinosa.  The 78-year-old, who suffers from Alzheimers was last seen leaving his retirement home in La Seyne just before 2pm on Saturday. Dressed in black at the time, his nephew has appealed on social media in an attempt to find him. Anyone who may have any information is invited to contact the police.

Sir Donald Gosling dies - Second World War veteran and benefactor of naval charities Sir Donald Gosling has died at the age of 90. Sir Donald joined the Royal Navy in 1944 and served in the Second World War on board the cruiser HMS Leander. When he left the navy post-war he teamed up with fellow ex-serviceman Ronald Hobson, buying a bombsite in London and turning it into a car park, which became a business called National Car Parks.

Cervical cancer “particularly high” in the Var - According to the latest figures released on Tuesday 2,920 new cases of cervical cancer have been diagnosed in France since last year. Cervical cancer caused 1,117 deaths in France in 2018 and the number of new cases is “particularly high” in the Var region.

Health authorities are calling for better vaccination and more screening. Cervical cancer can be caused by a very common sexually transmitted infection. In recent months, French and global health authorities have repeatedly stressed the importance of vaccines and screening.

In France, the HPV vaccine is recommended for all girls between the ages of 11 and 14, as well as for men under the age of 26 who have sex with men.

Drugs seized in Beausoleil - Police in Beausoleil have seized 1,250 kilos of cannabis. Officers patrolling the Moneghetti district of Beausoleil on Tuesday found the drugs abandoned by dealers who had hastily left the area. In the ongoing fight against drug trafficking in the area police continue to emphasise their determination to restore calm in the neighbourhood.

Financial scams - Recent research has shown that the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region is the worst hit in France when it comes to financial scams. According to the Paris Public Prosecutor's Office, the stock market regulators (AMF) and the bank insurance (ACPR) an estimated 1 billion euros has been taken in scams on a national level from July 2017 to June of this year. With more than 1,000 websites or fraudulent entities, now listed it is those aged between 60 and 69 years old which are most affected.

Music on the tram - Passengers using line 1 of the tramway in Nice will no doubt have recognized some great tunes from the world of cinema being played over announcements recently. Greats such as A man and a woman by Claude Lellouche, The American night by François Truffaut, The son of the pink panther by Blake Edwards and the gendarmes of Saint-Tropez by Jean Girault. The initiative comes to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Victorine studios in Nice where these films were shot. As part of celebrations the Victorine is opening its doors on the 28th and 29th September with several events celebrating cinema.


Immigration - With less than two weeks to go before the French parliament begins debate on immigration, President Emmanuel Macron has urged his government to take an honest look at the problem and not leave it in the hands of the extreme right. Macron insisted on Monday that "We cannot afford to ignore the problem," urging party and government members to be firm with people who abuse the asylum system. He added that "The bourgeoisie have no problem with migrants because they don't see them. But the working classes do, and they are being seduced by Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration far-right National Rally.

Meanwhile a day after Macron warned his party not to ignore immigration issues French officials have cleared around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk, after a court ordered its closure on the grounds that it was a health and security hazard. It followed complaints from local authorities and residents in the norther city about violence, rubbish and the presence of people-smugglers among the migrants. The mayor of Grande-Synthe had opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold in December. Tuesday's clearance operation began shortly after 7:00 am French time.

Climate protestors – A judge in Lyon has acquitted two climate crisis protesters who removed Emmanuel Macron’s portrait from an official building saying they were justified in doing so because of the severity of the environmental emergency. The ruling has been hailed as historic by campaigners.  The judge conceded “an object of a very strong symbolic value” had been stolen but said the climate crisis was more serious.

Banker to the stars on trial - 'Banker to the stars' Frédéric Levesque has gone on trial in France. The financier is accused of cheating rich celebrity clients out of millions of euros. French investigators have heard how he took calls from clients any time of the day or night, calmed them and proposed solutions to their financial woes; on occasions he did not even ask them to sign documents on the loans he made for hundreds of thousands of euros, When he changed banks, his clients and their money went with him. What the beneficiaries did not know, however, was that the money he came up with was allegedly not his to lend. According to prosecutors, the 49-year-old banker took an estimated €2m out of wealthy clients’ accounts to lend to not-so-rich but famous friends, and borrowed millions more from others.


Rugby Union-The Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been sent home from the World Cup following allegations that he breached the game’s laws on anti-corruption and betting.

The development comes as a major blow to Wales as they put in final preparations for their opening World Cup match against Georgia in Pool D.

A spokesman for the Welsh Rugby Union said that Mr Howley had returned home to “assist with an investigation”.

The 48 year old has been an integral part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team  and it’s thought that he may have breached rules on betting on the sport.

Football-Both Liverpool and Chelsea lost their opening games in the European Champions League last night.

The holders Liverpool went down 2-0 to two late goals at Napoli in Group E while Chelsea lost 1-0 at home to Valencia in Group H with Ross Barkley missing a penalty late on which would have given Chelsea a point.

There are 8 more games in Groups  A ,B,C and D tonight with Spurs getting their campaign underway with an away game at Olympiakos in Group B.Manchester City are away at Shakhtar Donetsk in Group C  while Paris St Germain host Real Madrid in Group A.

Formula 1-Charles Leclerc says that he’s expecting a more difficult weekend in Singapore after winning the last two races.

The Ferrari star won both the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix but says that the Singapore circuit doesn’t favour the car  and that the race “doesn’t look good on paper” for the team.

Meanwhile ,Formula 1 management have issued guidelines on how to cope with poor air quality in Singapore.

A dense cloud of haze has descended on the city following forest fires in nearby Indonesia and has prompted the Singapore National Environment Agency to warn people to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion.

A Formula 1 spokesman said that race organisers are taking measures to reduce the impact of the haze but warned that the air quality situation is “highly changeable”.


Oil prices have fallen back after the Saudi Energy Minister said that supplies will return to normal by the end of the month following last weekend’s attacks on two key facilities.

The news immediately calmed the markets after Monday’s huge spike. President Trump also said on Tuesday that there was now “no need” to release emergency reserves from US stocks of crude.

The Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said that  half the production lost in the drone strikes last weekend had already been restored and the rest would follow by the end of September.

Brent Crude fell by 7 percent on the news and has continued to fall in Asian trade today.A barrel of the benchmark crude was trading at 64 dollars 50 a little earlier this morning.


The US Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates again today at the end of its two day policy meeting in Washington.

Wall Street made moderate gains on Tuesday as fears over oil supply eased and amid a general expectation that the Fed will cut rates by a quarter of one percent later today.

The US central bank appears to be willing to help further stimulate the economy while at the same time getting inflation closer to its 2 percent target.

Growth has been slowing gradually in the US over recent months although there doesn’t appear to be any imminent danger of a contraction.

President Trump has been calling on the Fed to cut rates to near zero but he’s unlikely to see his demands met.


And-An EU court is currently hearing appeals against the decision to order the Republic of Ireland to recover nearly 13 billion euros of unpaid taxes from Apple.

The case follows a 2016 ruling by the European Commission that found that an agreement between Dublin and Apple was against EU law.

The Commission found that the Irish government had allowed Apple to mark nearly all of its EU sales earnings to an Irish head office that existed only on paper which enabled it to avoid paying tax on EU revenues.

Both the Republic of Ireland and Apple are appealing the ruling.


Partially cloudy in coastal areas ,showers inland with light variable winds.

Top temperature 26 degrees.

Overnight lows of 21 degrees on the coast and 17 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Sunshine and possible thundery showers tomorrow,fine on Friday.Highs of 25 degrees.


The coolest neighbourhoods in the world have been named by the influential Time Out guide, and Arroios in Lisbon has taken the top spot. 

But it’s the district that’s been ranked 11th for the second year in a row that has everyone talking - and that's Peckham, in London. Now lined with hip cafés, craft breweries and street food pop-ups.

The list was put together by local Time Out editors, city experts and more than 27,000 people surveyed around the world. Other spots making the prestigious ranking include Footscray in Melbourne, Ancoats in Manchester and Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles. 



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