French and Riviera News Friday 5th April 2019

Local 

Mayor of Nice denounces nomadic population - The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has published on social media a statement denouncing an upsurge of “nuisance caused by a nomadic population” in several areas in the west of Nice. Pictures of children with blurred faces were published on Facebook and Twitter as the post attracted a flood of hateful comments toward the Roma population. Estrosi is under increased pressure from local residents due to the situation, calling on the need for local police to intervene.

Strike action by teachers continues - For the third time in just a few weeks, teachers in France have taken to the streets in protest against the government’s education reforms. On Thursday some 5,800 teachers marched in Paris 1,500 in Angers, 500 in Clermont-Ferrand, 400 in Montpellier, 300 in Lyon, 200 in Toulon.

Fake estate agent - A 41 year old man has been posing as an estate agent in the city of Frejus in the Var. The man who had no business card made false rental contracts. He was unmasked when a landlord reclaimed outstanding rent for a property he was supposedly managing. The individual was already known to police and arrested. 

Founder of PIP dies at 79 - It has been announced that the founder of the “PIP Prosthetics Company” based in La Seyne-Sur-Mer in the Var, Jean Claude Mas has died aged 79. Mas was sentenced to four years in prison and fined 75,000 euros for defective breast implants. Mas died on Thursday at a clinic where he had been admitted for surgery. The businessman was known to be at the heart of a public health scandal, in the context of a defective breast implants case. In 2005, many British women filed a complaint against PIP for broken prostheses and health problems. The following year, complaints had also been lodged in France, but it was not until 2010 that the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (Afssaps) sounded the alarm. Jean-Claude Mas was never detained after his conviction on appeal in 2016. he will not have spent a single day in jail following his conviction for aggravated deception.

President of an animal welfare association handed a prison sentence - The president of an animal welfare association in Biot has appeared before a judge in Grasse charged with acts of cruelty and abuse. The case dates back to last November after several dead and abandoned cats were found at her home. She was sentenced on Thursday to a 16 month prison sentence with a further six suspended.

Robbery in luxury hotel - An armed gang has burst into a luxury hotel in Paris seizing jewellery and clothing worth at least €350,000. Two masked attackers took part in the raid on the historic Peninsula Hotel, a stone's throw from the Arc de Triomphe. No-one was hurt and the burglars fled. Hotels in Paris and other major French cities have been targeted before. Jewels worth €4.5m were stolen from a shop at the Ritz last year, although they were later recovered. In 2013, an armed man stole jewels worth €40m from an exhibition at a hotel in Cannes.

No internet in the west of the Var - Parents have been no doubt tearing their hair out on Thursday evening after thousands of internet user were left with no service in the west of the Var including Toulon, Saint-Cyr, Le Beausset and La Cadière. All operators have been affected and according to reports the incident is due to a cable which was damaged during construction work. The situation was due to be resolved during the night. 

Want to work at the French Grand Prix? - The French Grand Prix is hiring as organisers have announced that a recruitment campaign is to be launched on April 27, at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet. Nearly 700 positions are available for this 60th edition of the F1 Grand Prix, which takes place on from June 21st to the 23rd. Posts on offer  include security guards, parking attendants receptionists, cashiers and hostesses. 

OGC Nice – Local media has reported this morning that Jim Ratcliffe, who is reportedly worth more than 24 billion euros making him the richest man in the UK, has expressed his intention to the owner of the OGC Nice that he plans to buy the club. His brother Robert, who is believed to be in charge of the project was in Nice on Thursday to meet with the Mayor Christian Estrosi. Ratcliffe is mad about football and has been a Manchester United fan since his childhood. He also owns a villa in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat and is a Monegasque resident.  

National 

Investment in France from Britain - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has welcomed an increase in investment in France, including a particular increase in investment from Britain. Government figures showed a 33 per cent increase in British investment in 2018 compared to the previous year. French authorities have made a particular effort to encourage the financial sector to relocate to France amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The statistics released on Thursday also demonstrate that the amount of money invested in France by foreign companies has also gone up.

Action against Aids - Action against Aids referred to as “Sidaction” in France starts today and last three days. The association recalls that in France, 173,000 people are HIV positive and that the number of new infections among 15 to 24 year olds has increased by 24% since 2007. Older people are also concerned with a 22% increase in cases since 2008 and according to figures an estimated 25,000 people in France have the disease but do not know.

A night with the Mona Lisa - There is sleeping under the stars and now sleeping under the pyramid at the Louvre in Paris alongside the Mona Lisa. As the pyramid celebrates its 30th anniversary this year the Louvre Museum and the Airbnb platform have launched a competition and the prize is a personalized visit of the museum by night and a night under the pyramid and not just with anyone! You have until April 12th to win and each participant must answer a short questionnaire on the Airbnb website, with a question: "Why would you be the ideal Mona Lisa guest?". Representatives of the Louvre and tour operators will choose the most convincing answer.

On April 30th, the winner and his guest will be invited to spend an entire night in the famous Parisian museum, without any tourists. On the program: a guided tour with a VIP guide, an aperitif in the ephemeral lounge of Mona Lisa, a dinner at the foot of the Venus de Milo, an acoustic concert under the large crystal chandelier in the Napoleon III apartments and a night under the pyramid.

Business

The United States and China have both hailed progress in talks to end their protracted trade war with President Trump saying that an agreement could be signed in “less than 4 weeks”.

High level talks have been taking place since the start of March when both sides agreed a truce on new tariffs in an effort to move discussions along.

The official Chinese news agency says that the two sides have “reached consensus on important issues”.

On Thursday,President Trump met with Chinese   Vice-Premier Liu He in Washington where he said  that any accord on trade would be “monumental”.

Mr Trump added that any deal is probably still “weeks away” but that both sides were making good progress.

 

The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos  has agreed a record-breaking divorce settlement of 35 billion dollars with his wife MacKenzie.

Under the terms of the divorce,Mrs Bezos will retain a 4 percent stake in Amazon but will give up her interests in the Washington Post newspaper  and her ex-husband’s space travel firm Blue Origin.

MacKenzie Bezos made the announcement in a tweet in which she said that she was “grateful to have finished the process” of dissolving her marriage.

The couple had been together since Jeff Bezos set up Amazon in 1994.

Last year the firm generated sales of 232.8 billion dollars.

 

And-Pretty Green-the fashion brand founded by the rockstar Liam Gallagher has been rescued from administration by the JD Sports firm.

JD sports says that it will keep Pretty Green’s flagship store in Manchester open but that 11 other stores and 33 concessions in House of Fraser will close putting at least 97 jobs at risk.

Pretty Green called in the administrators last week citing “challenging” retail conditions  and the House of Fraser’s own financial problems.

Sport

Football-There’s a shortened programme in the English Premier League this weekend because of the FA Cup semi-finals.

Liverpool can reclaim top spot again if they beat Southampton at Anfield while tomorrow Bournemouth play Burnley.Relegated Huddersfield play Leicester and Newcastle host Crystal Palace.

On Sunday Everton play Arsenal while Chelsea play West Ham on Monday.

In the FA Cup semi finals Manchester City play Brighton tomorrow and Watford play Wolves.Both ties are at Wembley Stadium.

Racing-40 horses will line up for the Grand National at Aintree tomorrow with Tiger Roll bidding to become the first horse to win back-to-back Nationals since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.

Tiger Roll is currently the 7-2 favourite with strong money for Rathvinden at 10-1 , Annibale Fly at 11s and Vintage Clouds at 12-1.

The big race starts at 6.15 French time tomorrow evening.

Rowing-The annual University Boat Race takes place on the River Thames in London on Sunday .

The Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell will become the oldest person to compete in the race after being selected by Cambridge.He’s currently reading for a masters degree in human evolution at the university.

Cambridge won the race last year meaning that they have an 83-80 lead over Oxford in the event’s history.

The women’s Boat Race is also taking place on Sunday at 3.15 French time with the men’s race off at 4.15.

Rugby Union-There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England tonight.Sale play Harlequins while in the Guinness Pro 12 Glasgow Warriors play Ulster and Munster host  Cardiff Blues.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate westerly winds and a high o7 17 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 8 degrees on the coast and 6 degrees inland with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend-Hazy sunshine tomorrow,clouding over during the afternoon with rain by evening.Heavy showers and occasional sunny spells on Sunday.Highs of 14-16 degrees.

Finally 

New research show that pet cats know their own names and recognise it when we call for them.

Scientists found that our feline friends are able to tell their names apart from other  words.

The study shows that cats' grasp of our words is closer to a dog's than we think.

"There are so many studies about dog ability to communicate with humans. We think it is important to show cats’ ability," said study author Dr Atsuko Saito, from Sophia University in Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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