French and Riviera News Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Local

Nice Attack investigation - A third suspect who had been charged for criminal conspiracy in 2016 following the investigation into the Nice attack has been released. The Tunisian born man was released under judicial supervision in late January, he is the third out of eight people charged to be released. A ninth suspect committed suicide in prison in June 2018. On July 14th 2016 86 people were killed and 400 wounded in the attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

Missing person - Police have launched a missing person appeal following the disappearance of Christiane Gibelli. Gibelli who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, was at the time hiking with her husband in Castellar. Despite mountain rescuers carrying out a search on Sunday following her disappearance, there is still no sign of the 68 year old. Described as having short white hair and wearing a white t-shirt and green trousers. Police in Menton have asked for anyone with any information to contact them.

“Air Cocaine” - As the “Air Cocaine” trial continues the public prosecutor has declared that in his mind there in no doubt that the pilots “knew” that they were carrying  hundreds of kilos of drugs aboard their Falcon 50. After ten hours in court on Monday the prosecutor called for a seven year prison sentence for Bruno Odos and Pascal Fauret. In March 2013 both pilots were preparing to take off for Saint-Tropez, but were arrested in Punta Cana and sentenced by the local justice system to 20 years in prison. The case continues.

Fly tippers - The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has called for increased penalties against fly tippers. Estorsi is seeking the re-classification of the random dumping of household waste as a criminal offence so that prison terms may be introduced. Two members of parliament for the Alpes Maritimes are planning to table a bill which seeks to increase penalties.

Works on local train network - The SNCF has announced that work is being carried out to reinforce the walls of the Cimiez tunnel located between the stations of Nice Ville and Nice Riquier. The work will be carried out at night from today until the end of September, except at weekends and on holidays, in order to minimize the impact on train traffic. The SNCF has warned that the schedule of some trains at the beginning and end of the day may be disrupted.   

Extension of Red Period - The Alpes Maritimes has extended the Red Period for the lighting and use of fires until the 15th of April.  The measures were previously due to expire today but have been extended because of the dry condition of vegetation.

National

Listeria contamination in charcuterie - French supermarket chains Casino, Auchan and Monoprix have recalled batches of charcuterie which were distributed under the brand name "Montagne Noire " due to the risk of listeria contamination. Consumers are advised not to consume these products and to take them back to the point of sale. For more information: 

Compagnie Montagne Noire 05 63 77 31 31 and outside office hours: 06 60 36 63 96. Monoprix customer service at the following toll free number: 0 800 08 4000

Brexit - Ahead of another Brexit vote on Monday in the House of Commons which was again rejected, the European Commission president has announced that the EU is running out of patience with Britain. Speaking on Italian radio Jean-Claude Juncker said “With our British friends we have had a lot of patience, but even patience is running out,”. At the moment, the EU has set a deadline of April 12th for a decision with two likely options: Britain leaves with no deal at all, or agrees to a lengthy extension to allow time for a new approach.

Electricity prices set to increase - French Minister François de Rugy has confirmed that as of April 1st electricity prices are to increase by nearly 6%, after being frozen during the “Yellow Vest” crisis.  In response, the president of the consumer protection association CLCV Jean-Yves Mano said this morning that his association will attack "the Council of State" if the rise in the price of electricity equals + 50% in a decade. According to figures the rate increase confirmed by the minister would affect about 25 million homes.

State of the art speed cameras - The French interior Ministry has announced that 400 state of the art speed cameras are to be installed in France this year and three times more by 2020. 75% of fixed speed cameras have been destroyed or degraded in recent months, especially since the beginning of the "yellow vests" movement. The government intends to replace them with radars that are more difficult to vandalise. A dozen have already been deployed in France, including Strasbourg and Marseille.

Bird protection - Bird protection campaigners have planned to lodge an official complaint with the European Union accusing France of breaking rules on hunting and trapping and failing to protect endangered species. The Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) which outlaws the “massive or non-selective” killing of birds says it was forced to act after the French government refused to respond to its complaints and the state council approved gluesticks, saying the method was traditional and there was no other satisfactory method of trapping the birds.

Business

Oil prices have risen to  fresh highs for the year in Asian trading this morning after a US official said that Washington is considering more sanctions against Iran and a key Venezuelan export terminal halted operations.

Prices have also been boosted after a Reuters survey showed that supply from Opec members fell to a four month low in March.

Brent Crude was trading up 26 cents a barrel or 0.4 percent a little earlier this morning at 69 dollars 27 while West Texas Intermediate  was up 28 cents or half a percent to 61 dollars 87.

On Monday.a senior White House official said that the US government is considering additional sanctions against Iran that would target areas of its economy that had not been hit before.

Meanwhile-in Venezuela the Jose oil terminal has ceased operations due to a lack of electricity supply.

 

In the UK, an influential committee of MPs has said that the country’s four big accountancy firms should be split into audit and non-audit businesses.

The Business,Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is calling for a full structural breakup of the firms.

Between them Deloitte , KPMG ,EY and PwC conduct 97 percent of the audits of large firms and also provide them with other services.

The Committee’s report comes amid  a review by the UK Competition and Markets Authority  which is proposing a split between the two functions.

MPs have gone further and are calling for a total split and structural breakup of the firms.

 

And-The founder of the clothing retailer Superdry will find out today whether his bid to return to the firm has been successful or not.

Julian Dunkerton , who left Superdry a year ago has blamed the firm’s new management for a collapse in sales and profits and says that he wants to return to restore the company’s fortunes.

Superdry has urged investors to reject Mr Dunkerton’s approach saying that it would be “extremely damaging”.

Shareholders are being asked to vote on Mr Dunkerton’s return to the board  alongside the appointment of Peter Williams,the chairman of the online retailer Boohoo as a non-executive director.

Sport

Football-Arsenal are up to third place in the English Premier League following a 2-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates.

The win boosts Arsenal’s chances of making next season’s European Champions League and puts them two points clear of rivals Spurs and Manchester United with Chelsea a point further back.

There are two games in the English Premier League tonight.Watford play Fulham and Wolves host Manchester United.Fulham will be relegated if they lose while even a draw might not be enough to save them from the drop.

Formula 1-Sebastian Vettel says that he needs to “digest” his spin at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday which cost him a podium place.

Vettel lost control in an exchange with Lewis Hamilton while fighting for second place  and has admitted that he made a mistake.

He said that he didn’t have a “feel” for the car and will be looking very hard at how to rectify the problem in time for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Meanwhile the Renault boss has said that engine problems that have affected the team since the start of the season are “increasingly frustrating and unacceptable”.

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo both retired at the same time in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix  with different issues.

Cyril Abiteboul  says that it’s been a very difficult start to the season and he wants answers.

Rugby Union-The Ireland forward Dan Leavy has been ruled out of the World Cup with a complex knee ligament injury.

Leavy was carried off on a stretcher during Leinster’s European Cup victory over Ulster in Dublin on Saturday  and has been ruled out for several months.

Racing-69 horses are left in the field for Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree following the confirmation stage.

A maximum of 40 horses will line up for the 172nd running of the race with the final field named on Thursday.

The Irish trainer Gordon Elliott is set to have a record number of horses in the race.He has 12 including last year’s winner Tiger Roll.

The previous record was held by Martin Pipe who had 10 runners in 2001.

Weather

Partially cloudy in coastal areas with some showers inland and light to moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 17-19 degrees.

Overnight lows of 10 degrees on the coast and 7 degrees inland with outbreaks of rain across the region.

Wednesday and Thursday-Overcast with rain tomorrow,sunshine and showers on Thursday.Highs of 14-16 degrees.

 

 

 

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