French and Riviera News Wednesday 20 November 2019


Students protest against reforms - Students at a high school in Hyères in the Var have demonstrated against reforms to education introduced by the French government. Tuesday afternoon saw students block entrances to the school which led to security forces firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. Five people were arrested.

Marseille attack - Two years after an attack claimed by the Islamic State organization in Marseille, the parents of the victims are still fighting for the French State to recognize its responsibility. The two students 20-year-old Mauranne and 21-year-old Laura were murdered in front of the main train station in Marseille on 1st October 2017 by a Tunisian national Ahmed Hanachi. 29-year-old Hanachi had been arrested and placed in police custody the day before the attack for shoplifting in Lyon but was later released. The parents claim that authorities failed to take the necessary legal procedures which allowed Hanachi to walk free and the next day carry out the attack.  

Pablo Picasso - A French court has confirmed the two-year suspended jail terms for Pablo Picasso's former electrician and his wife, who hoarded 271 of the painter's works for four decades, claiming they were gifts. Pierre and Danielle Le Guennec were initially handed the suspended jail terms in 2015. That verdict was upheld in 2016 by a higher court but then reversed by the final appeals court, which ordered a retrial. The former electrician, 80, and his wife, 76, were not in court Tuesday when they were found guilty for a third time.

Waste - A school canteen in Nice has launched a campaign to raise awareness on waste. According to figures of the 4.6 million meals served in the department, 644 tons of waste is generated. As part of the European Week of Waste Reduction the Alphonse Daudet college has elected twenty "Eco delegates", dedicated to organising and sorting of food waste.

Ski resort opens early - The recent snowfall in the region has led to the resort of La Colmiane in the Alpes Maritimes opening early this weekend, a first since the 80s.La Colmiane announced on Wednesday its early opening, with preferential rates. The resort was initially scheduled to open on November 30th along with many others. However, with 40 centimeters of snow at the station and 70 at the top of the slope’s skiers will be able to make the most of an early start to the season.

Christmas market in Toulon - The Christmas market in Toulon has postponed its inauguration due to bad weather. The popular attraction will open as planned today from 10am however its inauguration due to be held on Friday at 6pm with be postponed. A new date is yet to be set.

Spartan race to be held in Saint Raphael - Some 5,000 participants have signed up to participate in a flagship event in Saint Raphael in October next year. The Spartan race created in 2007 in the United States will take place for the first time in Saint Raphael. The race is a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances. Held in the US, it has since been franchised in 30 countries including Canada, South Korea, Australia and several European countries.


Pregnant woman killed by dogs - A pregnant woman has been killed by dogs in forest land in northern France while a hunt with hounds was happening in the area. The body of the 29-year-old, who was walking her own dogs, was discovered near the town of Villers-Cotterêts. She died after "several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs and the head,". Tests on 93 dogs were being carried out to establish which of the dogs were responsible for the attack. Five dogs belonging to the woman were among those being tested.

French teacher under investigation - A French teacher has been taken into police custody in an unprecedented case which sees her under investigation for involuntary homicide and harassment, after the suicide of an 11-year-old pupil. In June, the parents of the young girl, Evaëlle, found her body hanging above her bed. She is suspected of having committed suicide because she could no longer bear being bullied by her classmates. After months of investigation, the police have now taken her French teacher into custody where she is being questioned about her role in harassing the girl. Evaëlle’s parents are suing the French state for what they see as its failure to protect their daughter from bullying. They have also filed a complaint against the teacher, accusing her of doing nothing to stop other students from harassing their daughter.

Paris Olympics 2024 - The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has strongly criticized the announcement on Monday confirming that Airbnb has become a leading partner of the Olympics in a nine-year deal In the deal unveiled in London on Monday, the home rental platform became a "top" International Olympic Committee (IOC) partner, joining Coca Cola and Visa on the highest sponsorship level. Hidalgo is battling hard to reduce the amount of Parisian flats on the Airbnb platform as she claims it is driving people out of the city.

Paris has 65,000 Airbnb listings alone, which city officials say is pushing up rents and encouraging property owners to favour the tourist market over residents.


Reports today say that a potential “phase one” trade agreement between China and the US could be expanded to something bigger if President Trump agrees to Beijing’s demands to roll back existing tariffs on Chinese goods.

Sources close to the talks say that rolling back existing tariffs could lead to the United States demanding bigger concessions from China.

It’s reported that Mr Trump wants to have the option of a bigger deal with China that would soothe financial markets and help to ease tensions between the two sides.

However ,the major caveat appears to be whether the US President considers that such a deal which would take in financial services and agricultural products would boost his chances of re-election to the White House.

It’s thought that both Mr Trump and the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer are convinced that a “phase 1” trade deal which fails to address the core issues of the dispute would not be a very good outcome for the President who will have the final say on any potential  agreement.


The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is set to raise up to 12.9 billion dollars in its second share listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Sources close to the deal say that shares will be priced at 176 Hong Kong Dollars which represents a 2.8 percent discount on the New York share price.

Alibaba is pressing ahead with a Hong Kong listing despite the ongoing US-China trade war and anti-government protests in the former British colony.

The price for the retail component of the listing will be finalised in Hong Kong today  and institutional investors will be told at the same time how much stock that they’ll be allocated.


And-A Which ? investigation in the UK has found that both Amazon and eBay have failed to stop toys from being listed for sale which appear to have been declared unsafe by the EU.

The consumer group is asking the next British government to make online marketplaces legally responsible for stopping dangerous products from being listed.

Which ? said that it had found 12 products for sale which it believed posed a risk to children.

In response eBay removed 12 flagged products while Amazon took down 5.

The British Toy and Hobby Association has also raised concerns warning that one in 5 toys it found sold on Amazon and eBay were dangerous for children.


Football-Wales have qualified for next summer’s Euro 2020 finals after beating Hungary 2-0 in their final group game in Cardiff.

A brace of Aaron Ramsey goals was enough to give Wales the win they needed and take them through to the finals for the second consecutive time. They missed out on the World Cup in 2018.

In other games last night Germany hammered Northern Ireland 6-1 in Frankfurt with Northern Ireland now facing the playoffs in their bid to make the finals and Scotland beat Kazakhstan 3-1 to end third in their group and book a place in the playoff semi finals.

Jose Mourinho is reported to be in advanced talks with Spurs to take over from Mauricio Pochettino who was sacked after 5 years in charge on Tuesday.

Mourinho has been out of work since he was sacked by Manchester United last year.

Pochettino was sacked with Spurs down in 14th place in the English Premier League and despite taking them to the Champions League final last season.

Cricket-Dom Sibley will open the batting for England in the first Test against New Zealand which starts tonight.

The 24 year old is set to partner Rory Burns at the top of the order as England play their first Test under new coach Chris Silverwood.

Zak Crawley is likely to bat at three with Joe Root at 4 and Sam Curran coming in for Chris Woakes.

The match gets underway at 11pm French time tonight.

Rugby Union-The Glasgow Warriors coach Dave Rennie is to join Australia as head coach next summer as replacement for Michael Cheika who resigned after the Wallabies’ World Cup quarter final defeat against England.

Rennie confirmed his interest in the job last month and has now signed a three and a half year contract which has been described by Rugby Australia as a “massive coup”.

The 55 year old had also been linked with the head coach position with New Zealand after Steve Hanson stepped down.

Tennis-Canada are the first team to make it through to the quarter finals of the revamped Davis Cup after beating the USA for the first time in 16 attempts.

France survived a scare against Japan before coming through 2-1 in group  A and will now play Serbia tomorrow.

The Group B match between Spain and Russia is tied at 1-1 with the deciding doubles match being played this morning while in Group E the Netherlands were beaten 2-1 by Kazakhstan.


Overcast with outbreaks of rain and light easterly winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 9 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Mainly overcast with more rain.


Is it you?  A UK ticket-holder has won the £105 million EuroMillions jackpot.

The lucky winner has a ticket with the numbers: 10, 15, 42, 30, 08.  The Lucky Stars are: 04, 06. 

The jackpot has been rolling over since £170million was won back on October 8.  

The National Lottery draw results from Tuesday 19th of November





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