French and Riviera News Wednesday 30th October 2019


Migrants - France, Germany and Italy have reached an agreement following the call launched by SOS Méditerranée in Marseille and Médecins sans Frontières to allow 104 migrants, who have been at sea since October 20th to dock in Italy.  On 18 October, the Ocean Viking ship of the non-governmental organization SOS Méditerranée based in Marseille, rescued 104 migrants on board an inflatable boat off the coast of Libya. After 11 days of discussions, the migrants will finally be able to land in the port of Pozzallo in Sicily.

Road accident - Police in the Var have appealed for witnesses following a road accident on Tuesday. The accident occurred on the RD 559 in Bandol shortly after 6pm. For reasons still to be determined the vehicle left the road and ended up on its roof. The driver a 69-year-old man was taken to hospital in Toulon suffering from minor injuries. Traffic in the area was severely disrupted as emergency services intervened.

Meanwhile A 33-year-old man from Hyeres in the Var has been handed a ten-month prison sentence on Monday for a driving offence committed on October 31st 2018. The man  failed to stop for police leading to a chase on the A57 motorway between Valetta and Hyères. The motorist reached speeds of up to 150km an hour and was later found to be driving without a license.

There are expected to be delays and cancellations on trains between Nice and Marseille this holiday weekend because of engineering works. A railway bridge in the 11th arrondissement of Marseille is being widened and services will be affected from this Thursday evening until Sunday.

Thales Alenia Space, which has its headquarters in the Cannes Mandelieu Space Centre, has signed a contract to build a new satellite. The agreement with Eutelsat is for the construction of a satellite which will provide internet access on aeroplanes and boats and is expected to be launched in 2022. 

Christmas allowance - Social services in Cannes have announced this year’s special Christmas allowance for the pensioners and elderly people living in the city. The allowance along with a festive lunch is offered to those on a modest income aged over 62 and who have been living in Cannes for at least a year as their principal residence. Registration is now open until the 18th November at the CCAS and the Town hall of La Bocca.


Crack down on domestic violence in France - In a move to crack down on domestic violence in France the French government has announced plans to create 1,000 new places in emergency shelters. After a series of killings of women by their male partners this year, 11 working groups commissioned by the French government have put forward over 60 propositions to deal with domestic violence as part of a national concertation period known as the 'Grenelle'.  Among the proposals that are being discussed is one that would see perpetrators of conjugal violence face 20 years in prison for causing the death of someone through intentional violence, without intent to kill. The interior ministry said 121 women were killed at the hands of current or former partners last year in France.

Religious symbols - French politicians have been examining a proposed law aimed at banning the wearing of religious symbols by parents accompanying children on school trips. The issue is being debated in the wake of an attack at a mosque in Bayonne, where two elderly worshippers were injured by gunshots. An 84-year-old, identified as a former local candidate for the National Front (now known as National Rally), is being questioned by police over the incident.

The senator for Bouches-du-Rhône, Samia Ghali, has called on the debate on the bill to be abandoned calling it “dangerous and hateful”. France has one of the largest Muslim minorities in Europe, estimated at five million or more out of a population of 67 million. In 2010, conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy introduced a law that bans the full-face veil in public.

It’s been announced that proceeds from an online fundraising in aid of police and firefighters injured during the Yellow Vest Protests has been fully distributed to recipients. One million euros of the fund was paid to 1,176 injured agents and amongst other payments, 360,000 euros was paid to the orphanages of the police, fire and gendarmerie services.

New figures suggest that the number of homeless people who died on the streets of France rose 15 per cent last year. The Collectif Les Morts de la Rue said that 612 homeless people lost their lives on the streets. The organization, which aims to draw attention to the plight of the homeless, said that in reality the number could be six times higher than that recorded by the group.


The US economy looks like it slowed again in the third quarter according to a snapshot of GDP released by the Commerce Department.

The report suggests that the economy is losing momentum although not tipping into recession with the major issue being the 15 month old trade war between the United States and China.

The fading effect of stimulus following last year’s 1.5 trillion dollar tax cut package and the slowing global economy is also hampering the longest US expansion on record which is now into its 11th year.

The fresh data could push the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again in a bid to keep the expansion on course.

The report will say that GDP probably increased at an annualised rate of 1.6 percent in the third quarter after rising by 2 percent in the second quarter.

The trade gap is also forecast to shrink owing to the flow of goods being restricted by import tariffs and weakening global demand.


Reports this morning say that the owner of the French car manufacturer Peugeot is exploring a merger with its US-Italian rival Fiat Chrysler.

A deal between the PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler would create a business with a combined market value of nearly 50 billion dollars.

It’s the second time this year that Fiat Chrysler has attempted a merger after it pulled out of an agreement with Renault in June.

Fiat Chrysler shares rose by 7.5 percent on the news in New York.

PSA has refused to comment and no-one from Fiat Chrysler was available for comment.

Reports say that talks are still at an early stage  and that there is no guarantee of a final deal.

A merger of the two firms would bring a number of well known brands under th same roof including Alfa Romeo ,Peugeot ,Citroen ,Jeep ,Opel and Vauxhall.


And-A study by the UK National Institute of Economic and Social Research has suggested that Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will leave the country 70 billion pounds worse off a year than if it stayed inside the European Union.

The report concluded that growth would be 3.5 percent lower in ten years’ time under the deal.

The outlook is one of the first independent assessments of how the UK economy would fare under the new deal.

However ,the UK Treasury said that it is planning on a “more ambitious” agreement with the EU than the report’s findings were based on.

The report said that customs and regulatory barriers would “hinder goods and services trade with the continent leaving all regions of the United Kingdom worse off than they would be if the country remained in the EU”.



England have been fined for crossing the halfway line as the lined up in a V formation to face the haka before the World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand last Saturday.

World Rugby rules stipulate that teams must remain in their own half of the pitch when facing the challenge.

The referee Nigel Owens and his team had to usher several England players back after they strayed over the halfway line.

World Rugby said that England had breached tournament rules relating to “cultural challenges”.

The fine runs into four figures but the exact amount hasn’t been revealed.

New Zealand haka experts say that the challenge posed “no problem at all” and have expressed disappointment that England were fined.

With all eyes on Saturday’s World Cup final between England and South Africa ,the matter of the bronze medal game between Wales and New Zealand shouldn’t be ignored which is being played on Friday.

The Wales coach Warren Gatland who’s taking charge of his last game in charge has made 9 changes to the side that lost to South Africa in the semi-final.

Gatland has kept a core of experienced players in the side with Alun Wyn Jones captaining the team again in his 134th appearance for Wales

Wales haven’t beaten New Zealand since 1953 and they’ve lost all 11 games against them since Gatland took charge in 2007.

Gatland is returning home to New Zealand after the World Cup to coach the Chiefs.

Football-There were 5 fourth round ties in the English League Cup last night.Leicester City moved into the quarter finals with a 3-1 win at Burton Albion.Colchester United were 3-1 winners at Crawley Town.Everton beat Watford 2-0.Manchester City beat Southampton 3-1 and Oxford United beat Sunderland 4-2 on penalties after the scores were tied at 1-1 after extra time.

There are three more games tonight.Liverpool play Arsenal.Aston Villa play Wolves and Chelsea host Manchester United.

Formula 1-Ferrari say that they’ll be sharpening up their race management over the last 3 races of the season with a view to being well placed for 2020.

The team has let a number wins get away this season owing to a combination of driver errors and operational and strategy mix-ups.

Team principal Mattia Binotto  says that while Ferrari have been encouraged to have a package that can win at most tracks , he wants to use the final races of the season to further develop as a group  and operate in the sharpest manner possible in order to be better prepared for next year.

Tennis-Kiki Bertens has beaten world number one Ashleigh Barty at the season ending WTA finals in Shenzen.

The Dutch world number ten was only added to the tournament as a replacement for Naomi Osaka who pulled out on Tuesday with a shoulder injury.

She came from a set down to win 3-6 6-3 6-4

Belinda Bencic kept her hopes of making the semi finals alive by beating Petra Kvitova in three sets in the red group.


Partially cloudy with light variable winds and the chance of a shower or two in the Alpes Maritimes this afternoon.

Top temperatures 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with further showers in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Thursday and Friday-Rain across the region tomorrow.Sunshine and Showers on Friday.Highs of 18-20 degrees.


A survey of commuters in the UK has explored the attitudes towards commuter etiquette revealing that one in three women apply some form of makeup on public transport at least once a week.

Glaswegians are most offended by women wearing rollers in their hair on the morning commute, with 42 percent of people responding. Whereas in Edinburgh the sight of someone applying lipstick is the worst offender.

Commuters in Brighton are overall the worst, with 63% admitting to spraying hairspray on the way in to work at least once.  Whilst lipstick and mascara were amongst the most acceptable products to be applied on public transport, there are some things that should be kept private.

52% of commuters surveyed believed that both spraying hairspray and plucking eyebrows/nose hair were the most offensive cosmetic crimes.

What’s worse than makeup? 40% said that eating fast food was worse than painting or filing nails and putting a bag on a free seat was deemed worse than any form of cosmetic application.

Topping the scale for overall commuter crimes was passing gas, with 75% surveyed saying they would be offended if they heard or smelt it.


The most offensive crimes

Passing wind - 75.92%

Talking loudly on the phone - 71.49%

Swearing - 69.39%

Picking nose -  73.28%

Taking up more than one seat - 68.39%

Blocking the aisle with large luggage - 68.39%

Playing loud music - 66%

Putting bag on free seat - 57.72%

Drinking alcohol - 52.54%

Spraying hairspray - 52.54%

Plucking eyebrows or nose hair - 52.40%

Man spreading - 55.43

Eating fast food - 40.43%

Wearing rollers - 33.79%





















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