French and Riviera News Tuesday 19th November 2019

Local

National Day of Monaco - As Monaco celebrates “La Fete du Prince” or the National Day of Monaco today celebrations will see a sequence dedicated to the late Princess Grace of Monaco, who would of turned 90 this month, with the presence of the guard of honor of the US Air Force. After a year of tributes, the memory of Princess Grace will be part of celebrations with the military parade planned at midday on the Place du Palais.

Two Mayors of the Riviera to appear in court today - Two Mayors on the Riviera are to appear in court this morning.The pair are accused of embezzling 160,000 euros of allegedly fictitious overtime hours.The mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet Lionnel Luca and his predecessor Richard Camou will appear before the Criminal Court of Grasse for embezzlement of public money. The fictitious overtime was in favour of agents who succeeded each other between 1996 and 2014 at the head of the municipal police. An "arrangement", which was uncovered during a 9-year judicial process, which goes back 24 years.

Drug trafficking - A man accused of participating in a large drug trafficking ring in Toulon in the Var has been released. After four years on the run the man was initially sentenced to ten years in Prison following an investigation which led to half a ton of cannabis being seized in Toulon in June 2015.

International Congress of Victims of Terrorism – July 14th 2016 - The association “Promenade des Anges- July 14th,2016” has decided to disassociate itself from the “International congress of victims of terrorism”. The news comes three days ahead of a major meeting in Nice for “victims of terrorism from around the world”. Promenade des Anges-July 14th, 2016 was first created after the attack on the Promenade des Anglais. In a statement the association has said that due to “refusals of their proposals put forward” and “objectives not respected” they would no longer be participating in the event. Nice prepares to host the VIII International Congress of Victims of Terrorism from 21st to 23rd November. The event is organized by the French association of victims of terrorism (AFVT), hosted by the City of Nice and is placed under the high patronage of the President of the Republic. The association added that while they were initially in favour of the event which aims to “bring together victims and experts from around the world, to issue proposals and create positive dynamics of reconstruction," there seems to be an important gap between the announced objectives and their implementation. In response to the statement the president of the AFVT, has evoked a "misunderstanding" and assured: "Of course, they will be associated".

National

Child sex abuse - French prosecutors have announced that a retired surgeon jailed since May 2017 for sexually abusing four girls may have had more than 250 victims. Joël Le Scouarnec has now had a series of new cases opened against him by a court in Brittany, in what may be the most serious case of child sex abuse in France. According to the state prosecutor in the city of La Rochelle, of those identified, 209 have been interviewed.  The initial investigation into the surgeon dealt with sexual abuses committed against four girls between 1989 and 2017. He is awaiting sentencing in early 2020. 

Suspension bridge collapses - A 15-year-old girl and a truck driver have been killed after a suspension bridge collapsed in south-western France. Two vehicles fell into the River Tarn north of Toulouse. Five people were also seriously injured including two rescuers and local people who had tried to save victims. An investigation has been opened.

Pernod Ricard staff claim they were under constant pressure to drink - Staff at the French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard have claim that they were under constant pressure to drink at work to the point of damaging their health. One former salesman told how he felt obliged to knock back up to 12 glasses of the drink a day and drove his car while drunk. Another spoke of three-day binges. The accusations, denied by Pernod Ricard, come after a member of the firm’s sales team took the company to a labour court in September claiming he had been made ill by excessive drinking.

Business

The Trump administration has granted the Chinese tech giant Huawei a further 90 day extension which will allow US companies to continue doing business with it as US regulators continue to build new rules on telecommunications firms that pose national security risks.

Huawei was added to an economic blacklist in May over national security concerns but the US  Commerce Department has allowed it to purchase some American made goods in a series of 90-day license extensions.

The Chinese firm says that the decision to place it on a national security risk list has caused more harm to the US than to itself and added that the latest extension wouldn’t have a substantial effect on its business either way.

The development comes as China and the US continue discussions aimed at coming to an initial agreement to resolve their damaging 16 month old trade war.

 

Burger King is being sued by a vegan customer who has accused the fast food giant of contaminating its meatless “Impossible” Whopper by cooking them on the same grills as its traditional meat burgers.

Phillip Williams says that he bought the plant-based alternative to Burger King’s regular Whopper at an Atlanta drive-through  and would not have bought the product if he’d known that the cooking would leave it coated in “meat by-products”.

Mr Williams has filed a lawsuit in Miami which seeks damages for all US purchasers of the Impossible Whopper and an injunction on Burger King to “plainly disclose” that the plant-based burger and the regular Whopper are cooked on the same grills.

Burger King has refused to comment and says that it does not discuss ongoing litigation.

 

And-Airbus has won 30 billion dollars worth of orders for 170 aircraft in a further sign of the continued expansion of Middle Eastern airlines.

Deals were announced on the second day of the Dubai Air Show including  the purchase of 50 Airbus A350-900 XWB’s by Emirates and 170 Airbus A320’s by Air Arabia.

Both of the airlines are likely to get a discount on the catalogue price given the size of the orders.

Emirates has also been in talks with Boeing  and could still be in the market for 40 787 Dreamliners but has not yet firmed up the order.

Sport

Football-The Republic of Ireland will have to go through a playoff if they’re to reach the finals of Euro 2020.

Mick McCarthy’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by Denmark in Dublin last night.A win would have taken them through to the finals automatically.

They could now meet Wales ,Slovakia or Bosnia-Herzegovina in the playoffs.

Wales will be hoping that they’re taken out of the equation tonight with a win in their final group game against Hungary taking them through automatically.

Also tonight,Northern Ireland visit Germany in Group C with a playoff place now only on offer.

Scotland will need to go through the playoffs too and will be hoping for a home win against Kazakhstan in Group I.

Formula 1-Both Ferrari drivers have been called to a meeting at the team’s headquarters in Maranello to explain why they collided while contesting 4th place in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Team principal Mattia Binotto described the incident as “silly” and will now have to find a way to reinstall some discipline into the pair’s behaviour.

Charles Leclerc is the rising star of Formula 1 and is seen by many as being Ferrari’s natural choice for top driver ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Both drivers put the tangle down to a racing incident but will be expected to explain their actions to the boss later this week.

Cricket-Sam Curran looks like he might get the nod ahead of Chris Woakes in the England team to face New Zealand in the first Test which starts at the Bay Oval in Tauranga at 11pm tonight French time.

Curran has impressed on the tour so far and is thought to be a better choice than Woakes because of his ability with the bat as well as the ball.

Rugby Union-Saracens say that they won’t contest their points deduction in the Gallagher Premiership in England or a fine of 5.36 million pounds for breaching the salary cap.

The decision puts Saracens bottom of the table on -22 points with the England coach Eddie Jones saying that it may have repercussions for the national side in the 6 Nations with some players having divided loyalties as to whether to play for England or fight to save Saracens from relegation.

Tennis-Croatia have started the defence of their Davis Cup title with a 3-0 win over Russia in the Group phase of the new look tournament.

The new format sees 18 nations split into 6 groups of three with the group winners and two best placed runners-up progressing to the quarter finals.

In Group F on Monday Canada beat Italy 2-1  and in Group D Belgium beat Colombia 2-1.

Russia play Spain in Group B today.

Weather.

Rain for most of the day with some brief sunny intervals this afternoon and light variable winds.

Top temperature 15 degrees.

Overnight lows of 11 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with more rain in the Alpes-Maritimes and partially cloudy skies in the Var.

Wednesday and Thursday-Unsettled with sunny periods at times mixed in with more rain and thunderstorms.Highs of 14-15 degrees.

Finally

A study has found that having hundreds of friends on Facebook is no substitute for a handful of close friends in real life.

Researchers have discovered that people with only a few friends were at least as happy as those with far more if many of theirs were online.

Social media, the researchers said, has encouraged younger people to have larger but more impersonal networks of 'friends'.

But instead of trying to amass friends, they added, a better cure for loneliness might be spending time with those you're closest to.

 

 

 

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