French and Riviera News Wednesday 29th January 2020


Ocean Viking - More than 400 migrants on board the humanitarian ship Ocean Viking, rescued in the Mediterranean, will disembark in Italy, following an announcement from the NGO Médecins sans frontiers.

Nearly 650 people were rescued in four days by three humanitarian ships, the last operation was carried out on Tuesday morning. The ship was heading for Italy after Malta refused to allow it to dock.

French citizenship refused - 32,000 people in the Dordogne have signed a petition calling for a “change of heart” after carpenter Mark Lawrence who has lived in France for 27 years and his children are French, was rejected by the authorities following his application for French citizenship.

As the UK's departure from the EU approaches, Mr Lawrence has said he is "gutted" by the decision. French authorities argue he does not have "sufficient and stable resources". Mr Lawrence will still be able to stay as a resident and does not risk being deported.

Strike action - As unions call for an 8th inter-professional day of strikes and demonstrations across France today to protest the pension reform train services are expected to run as normal however there will be no trams running in Nice and Lignes d'Azur buses will be disrupted.

Envibus services in Sophia Antipolis will be cancelled as will bus services in Antibes. However, on-street parking in Nice will be free of charge. A demonstration is scheduled to take place in central Nice. The march starts at the Jardins Albert Premier at 10am with motorists advised to avoid the area.

Sold villa labelled the “Most expensive villa in the world” - The wealthiest man in Ukraine Rinat Akhmetov has a long way to go if he wants to catch up with the Belgian king Leapold II despite having just purchased an estate in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat labelled as "the most expensive villa in the world" for 200 million euros. The Ukraine billionaire is already well known on the Cap where he already owns two adjoining estates totaling more than four hectares. With his new acquisition the total area owned by the businessman will reach nearly twenty hectares. Leaving him still a way to go compared to the Belgian King Leopold II who, on his death in 1909 owned more than 60 hectares on the peninsula.  

Rinat Akhmetov was born in 1966 and has two sons. Himself the son of a miner reportedly owes his fortune, according to him, to risky but juicy investments made after the breakup of the Soviet bloc between 1990 and 1995 and recalls that he obtained his first million dollars by selling coal and coke.

Summer job - If you are looking for a summer job for the coming season you can apply to the Antibes city council as of today. To apply, you must be at least 17 years old before June 1st, 2020, be a high school student or resume your studies at the start of the school or university year. Contracts run from May to September. Different sectors are recruiting. Requests for seasonal jobs must be sent before March 31 for information of where to apply go to

Apply to: Human Resources Department of the City of Antibes. Human Resources Department, Employment Service, Seasonal Training and Internship Unit, 21 boulevard Chancel, 06600 Antibes. Either by email at the following address: or by downloading the file on

High quality rosé champagne - A wine estate owned by actors and former couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt is reportedly teaming up with the Perrin winemaker family and another champagne house to create a specialty rosé champagne. The new venture with the actors is aiming to create a high-quality rosé champagne, using the expertise of the Perrin family and the Miraval company.

Jolie and Pitt first joined up with the Perrins in 2011 to create the ‘Miraval Côtes de Provence’ rosé wine, taking the name of their shared property in Correns, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.


Coronavirus in France - France has a fourth confirmed coronavirus case, according to information released on Tuesday. The patient was a Chinese tourist who has been hospitalised in Paris in serious condition.

The death toll from a new coronavirus in China rose sharply to 132 on Wednesday with nearly 1,500 new cases, heaping pressure on Beijing to control the disease as U.S. officials said the White House was weighing whether to suspend all flights to the country.

Total - An alliance of six environmental groups and 14 local officials have asked a French court to order oil company Total to sharply reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the first-ever lawsuit of its kind against a French multinational.

A French law passed in 2017 stipulates that large companies are required to publish annual plans that address any adverse impact of their activities on people and the environment. The campaigners’ lawsuit argues the Total’s activities failed to comply with 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to limit a rise in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

LVMH another record year - The global luxury giant LVMH has reported another record year in 2019, earning € 53.7 billion in sales. During the presentation of the French group's annual results. CEO, Bernard Arnault said “Thanks to our teams, we managed to make a record in terms of turnover, we happily exceeded 50 billion, [a record] in operating profit. We have a very good financial situation; the cash flow is improving significantly ".


The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in London today for talks with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

At the top of the agenda will be the decision on Tuesday by the British government to allow the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei a limited role in the country’s 5G networks.

The United States has been putting the UK under extreme pressure to block Huawei’s involvement in 5G as it considers the Chinese firm to be a security risk.

The British government has ruled that Huawei will be banned from supplying equipment to sensitive parts of the network ,known as the core.

The firm will also only be allowed to supply 35 percent of the equipment in the network’s periphery which includes radio masts.

Huawei will be excluded from sensitive sites such as military bases and nuclear zones.

The United States says that Huawei can’t be trusted because of its links to the Chinese State-allegations that the firm denies.

Investors in the failed Woodford Equity Income Fund have been told that they’ll receive an initial payout of between 46 and 57 pence per share compared with the 100 pence price launch five years ago.

The payout is the first distribution of investments that were liquidated by the fund’s administrators Link Asset Solutions since the suspension in June.

Some 2.1 billion pounds is being handed back to investors with the money largely coming from the sales of the liquid part of the Woodford Equity Income Fund.

Many small investors have lost large sums of money after putting their faith in Neil Woodford on the back of his reputation for picking winning stock during his time at the City investment firm Invesco Perpetual.

A second distribution of cash will follow after the sale of so called “unquoted” investments in the fund-stakes in firms that Mr Woodford invested in but were not listed on the stock market.These assets are proving more difficult to sell.

The implied 40 percent fall in the value of Woodford shares is in contrast to a typical gain of around 31 percent in an average fund in the equity income sector over the past 5 years.

And-Ryanair has warned pilots that it could close bases and cut jobs following a further delay for the delivery of the first 10 of Boeing’s grounded 737 Max aircraft.

The delivery date for the new aircraft has now been pushed back to the autumn which the airline says has messed up its schedule and profit projections.

Ryanair says that its commercial team will be drawing up plans for job cuts in the coming weeks with staff informed next month.

The airline says that its summer schedule had relied on the delivery of the 10 planes.Its apologised to pilots for the uncertainty adding that it would try to prioritise cuts in flight frequencies over the closure of bases.


Tennis-Simona Halep is through to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The Wimbledon champion disposed of Anett Kontaveit in just 53 minutes to set up a last four meeting with Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

The other women’s semi final is between home favourite and top seed Ashleigh Barty and Sofia Kenin of the United States.

Two men’s quarter finals are being played today.Stan Wawrinka is up against Alex Zverev and Rafael Nadal faces Dominic Thiem.

Football-Aston Villa are through to the League Cup Final in England.

Villa beat Leicester City 2-1 on the night to take the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

They’ll now play the winners of the second semi final between Manchester City and Manchester United.City lead 3-1 after the first leg.

There’s one game in the English Premier League tonight.The leaders Liverpool can extend their lead at the top of the table to a massive 19 points if they beat West Ham at the London Stadium.

In the English Championship last night Blackburn beat QPR 2-1.Nottingham Forest were 1-0 winners at Brentford.Cardiff beat the leaders West Brom 2-1.Hull lost 2-1 at home to Huddersfield.Leeds United are the new leaders following a 3-2 win at Millwall.Luton beat Derby 3-2..Wigan were 2-1 winners over Sheffield Wednesday and Reading lost 1-0 at home to Bristol City.

Rugby Union-The former England captain and coach Martin Johnson has said that if England lose in Paris in their opening 6 Nations game then their run at last year’s World Cup will be forgotten.

Johnson says that England’s worst case scenario is that they play a “fired up” French on Sunday and then a fired up Scotland in the Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield followed by a fired up Ireland.

He said that England would have to be on their mettle particularly on Sunday against France who will be fielding a new look team with the influence of new defence coach Shaun Edwards being shown.

Elliot Dee is an injury concern ahead of Wayne Pivac’s first 6 Nations game in charge of Wales against Italy on Saturday.

Dee hasn’t trained because of a rib injury but apart from the hooker ,the rest of the squad appears to be fit and ready for selection.


Partially cloudy with a moderate to strong westerly wind.

Top temperature 17 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 8 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday-Partially cloudy  with a high of 13-15 degrees.








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