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1 août 2012 3 01 /08 /août /2012 10:57









Local news
Local News
Nice Olympic swimmers’ honoured - In Nice this afternoon at 3 pm, the mayor is honouring the city's star swimmers who have won gold, silver and bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympics. Camille Muffat, Yannick Agnel and Clement Lefert have won a total of seven medals between them. A ceremony is planned to welcome them home from London at the Maison du Department in the avenue des Phoceens.
Winter Olympics bid - Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has been gripped by Olympic fever, and is now planning a new bid to host the winter Games in 2022. The city failed to secure backing to bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics, with Annecy ultimately losing to South Korea’s Pyeongchang. Mr Estrosi has travelled to London, where there has been more success for Nice swimmers. Camille Muffat has added silver to her gold medal, with second place in the women’s 200-metre freestyle. While Clement Lefert and Yannick Agnel also won silver in the men’s 200-metre freestyle relay. Agnel has also qualified for tonight’s final of the men’s 100-metres. France remains third on the medal table with four gold, three silver and four bronze.
Call for witnesses - In Nice, police are looking for witnesses to an attempted handbag snatching yesterday evening on the promenade des Anglais. At around 7 pm, two men on a scooter tried to steal the bag of an elderly lady in the Lenval area of the seafront. Two suspects were arrested later but deny their involvement. They are aged 22 and 23, already known to police, with one of them wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. Authorities also hope to find the victim of the crime.
Var campsite fire - In the Var, a fire, thought to be suspect, broke out yesterday afternoon in bushes near Les Tournels campsite in Ramatuelle. At around 3:30 pm, a team of firefighters on the ground and also using two water-bombing helicopters, fought the blaze, preventing the fire reaching nearby mobile homes. An enquiry has been opened to try to determine its origin.
Cap d’Ail petrol supply OK - In Cap d'Ail, there will once again be petrol as of this morning at the Total service station on the basse Corniche. The stock started to run out last Sunday and the final drops were used by 11 am yesterday morning. Reports say the reason was because of a ban on heavy-goods vehicles carrying hazardous products across the commune. Local authorities have made an exception so that fuel can be delivered.
Sir Elton in St Trop’ - Sir Elton John was spotted in Saint-Tropez yesterday afternoon, with his civil partner, David Furnish and their son, Zachary. They were shopping on the seafront, along with another couple – the actor Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the role of Barney in the series, How I Met Your Mother and David Butka...the? They had also taken their two babies out for the day on the port.
Nice dancer at Olympics - A local dancer from Nice is in London as part of the troupe entertaining the crowds at the Olympic Games. 21-year-old Sara Maurin Kane from Nice-Nord has has already danced during the Pixie Lott concert in the Olympic Village and is also due to dance during Mika's gig in the next few days. Sara is also one of the formation who will dance during the Basket Ball finals on 11 and 12 August.
Red Cross Ball in Monaco - In Monaco, it's one the most glamorous balls of the season tonight at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club. The Salle des Etoiles will be lit up by the annual Red Cross Ball, hosted by His Serene Highness, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. It's the 64th edition of the Gala de la Croix Rouge, where the red carpet will surely be shimmering tonight. The Scorpions are performing, with Boy George as DJ.

National News
Cottrez released - In Douai in the Pas-de-Calais, a woman convicted for the infanticide of eight of her newborn babies in 2010 has been released from prison on appeal. Dominique Cottrez confessed to the facts during her trial. She has been freed without a monitoring bracelet and has been ordered to remain under psychiatric care.
Carla Bruni statue - A controversial statue of former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has been erected in the Paris suburb of the Val-de-Marne.  At a cost of 82,000 euros, La Valnurese was originally due to be part-financed with public money, causing outrage amongst Socialist politicians.  The two-metre bronze work by sculptor, Elisabeth Cibot, was commission to decorate a new building named La Petite Italie.  The local mayor defended the decision to use Mme Bruni-Sarkozy’s image, saying she was undeniably pretty and was of Italian origin.
European markets fell back on Thursday, after the president of the European Central Bank failed to come up with any concrete proposals to assist struggling eurozone nations.  The president of the bank, Mario Draghi, said on Thursday that ways to ease the debt crisis affecting Spain and Italy in particular would be announced over the coming weeks.  Markets were looking for more decisive action and all fell sharply  following the news.  Speaking in Frankfurt, Mr Draghi said that the debt crisis was worsening and the bank was ready to help countries facing high borrowing costs by buying their debts at lower rates than on the open markets.  However, there was no information on when the bond buying might start, how much it would be or how long it would last.
The US car giant, General Motors, has reported a fall in quarterly profits due to weak sales in Europe.  GM says that net income for the three months to June came in at 1.5 billion dollars, down from 2.5 billion last year.  The company says that the decrease was almost entirely due to the strengthening of the US dollar against other major currencies.  North America continues to be General Motors’ strongest market.  In Europe, its Opel and Vauxhall divisions made  a loss before interest and tax of 400 million dollars.
The business-focused social networking website, Linkedin, has announced a fall in quarterly profits but still managed to beat analysts’ expectations.  The company says that net profit in the three months to June fell by 38 percent to 2.8 million dollars, compared with the same period last year.  However, revenue soared by 89 percent to 228 million dollars, fuelled by an increase in premium subscriptions.  The results came as the shares of its larger rival, Facebook, fell by another 4 percent to 20 dollars and 4 cents.  The share price opened at 38 dollars in May but the stock has been falling ever since.
Olympics News - Great Britain are up to fifth in the Olympic medals’ table, following a fantastic day that  yielded 3 golds and 2 silvers.  Team GB won both gold and silver in the men’s canoe slalom event.  Tom Baillie and Etienne Stottt got the gold with David Florence and Richard Hounslow grabbing silver.
A little later on Thursday, Peter Wilson grabbed Team GB’s fourth gold of the games, as he won the men’s double trap shooting event; and the day was rounded off in style when the British men’s sprint trio cycling team smashed their own world record to beat France to gold in the London Velodrome.
Elsewhere, the incredible Michael Phelps of the United States won the sixteenth gold medal of his career as he pipped team-mate, Ryan Lochte, in the men’s 200 metre individual medley; and there was more success for America in the pool when Rebecca Soni beat her own world record to claim gold in the women’s 200 metre breaststroke.
Meanwhile in the gymnasium, Gabby Douglas of the United States added individual gold to her Olympic team title, as America continued to dominate the women’s gymnastics competition.  The 16-year-old, who’s nicknamed “the flying squirrel”, outscored Viktoria Komova of Russia to win the event.
So, in the medals’ table after day six, it’s still China out in front with 34 medals, including 18 golds. The United States are in second with more medals overall at 37, including 18 golds, but they have less silvers than China.  South Korea are in third with 14 medals including 7 golds; and then it’s France with 16 medals including 6 golds; and Team GB with 15 medals and 5 golds.
Cricket - South Africa hold the upper hand heading into day two of the second Test against England at Headingly.  Alviro Petersen was the star for the tourists as he hit 124 not out in a first day total of 262 for 5.  To add insult to injury, Petersen was dropped when he was on 29 and, as is often the case, he went on to punish the bowling attack with a fine display of attacking batting in sometimes tricky, overcast conditions.  England must hope that they can knock the other five South African wickets over relatively cheaply this morning if they’re to get back into contention.  Play resumes at noon French time.
Football - Liverpool will take a slender first-leg lead against Gomel in their Europa League third-round qualifier. Stewart Downing scored the only goal of the game against the Belarusian side. The match marked Jamie Carragher’s 700th appearance for Liverpool.
Horseracing - Johnny Murtagh continued his outstanding record at Glorious Goodwood as the 2-1 favourite, Saddler’s Rock, landed the Goodwood Cup on Thursday.  Murtagh has now won 10 times on the course in 21 rides.  Askar Tau finished second, with Colour Vision in third.
Meteo France say highs of between 26 on the coast and up to 34 degrees further inland this afternoon, with light to moderate, variable winds…going down to between 22 on the coast and 19 degrees inland…for tomorrow, top temperatures of up to 33 degrees, sunshine and light to moderate, variable winds with the chance of a shower in the hills of the Alpes-Maritimes away from the coast…and for Sunday, the chance of a shower, otherwise a partly cloudy day with highs of 31 and light, variable winds.
And finally...
Former footballer turned TV host, David Icke, claims the London 2012 opening ceremony was a secret Satanic ritual.  The ex-Coventry City goalkeeper and snooker host shocked Britain in 1991 when he announced he was the son of God and predicted that the world would end in 1997.  Now he has resurfaced to insist that Danny Boyle's spectacular was a "mass satanic ritual disguised as a celebration of Britain and sport".  Writing on website TheTruthIsNow.com, Icke - a key BBC presenter during the 1988 Olympics - claimed the giant bell rung by cyclist Bradley Wiggins during the ceremony was tuned to a frequency which could be heard by a group of Satanists who secretly rule the world.  Icke believes the devil-worshippers are shape-shifting lizards who are descended from a reptile race from the Drago constellation.  He explained: "The opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics are mass satanic rituals disguised as a celebration of Britain and sport.  Their medium is the language of symbolism... The Olympic Stadium is also strategically placed on the earth-energy grid to tap into that power on the Global Cabal's own satanic frequencies or vibrations.  The enormous Olympic bell, the biggest harmonically-tuned bell in the world made specially for the opening ceremony, is designed to dictate that frequency right at the start."  And on his own website, DavidIcke.com, he called the Opening Ceremony, which delighted billions across the globe, a "vile, inhumane Satanic ritual" which was held on a key day in the devil-worship calendar.
Tourism numbers down - Figures released yesterday show a slump in tourism. There were less visitors to the Cote d’Azur in July; and those coming are staying for shorter periods, and spending less. As well as the economic downturn, the trade has been hit by Ramadan, with Middle East visitors staying home. Hotels say bookings for August are currently around 70 percent.
Peyrat embezzlement appeal - Former Nice Mayor Jacques Peyrat is heading back to court. An appeal has been lodged against a recent decision to acquit Peyrat on charges of defrauding the city during his time in office. He was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of euros from the Town Hall coffers by paying fictitious employees. Mr Peyrat was Nice Mayor from 1995 to 2008. The Nice Prosecutor has lodged the appeal in Aix-en-Provence.
Paragliding accident - Two people were seriously injured yesterday lunchtime in a paragliding accident near Greolieres. The pair were descending together when the chute failed, causing them to plunge around 15-metres. The instructor, aged in his 40s, suffered substantial injuries, including spinal damage. It was the third paragliding accident in 10 days in the Grasse area.
National news
Ramadan ban overturned - The mayor of the French town who had suspended four instructors at a children's summer camp for observing the Ramadan fast has said he will reinstate them to avoid controversy. The four were suspended on 20 July. The mayor of Gennevilliers outside Paris said their refusal to eat or drink amounted to a breach of contract. The four are considering taking the matter to court.
Burkah ban criticism - The US has criticised France and Belgium for banning women from wearing face-covering Islamic veils in public, while warning of growing anti-Semitism and hostility towards Muslims in Europe. The State Department’s report on religious freedoms warned that freedom of worship was being undermined across the globe.
Arafat poison suit - Yasser Arafat’s widow and daughter yesterday launched legal action in France over claims that the veteran Palestinian leader died of radioactive polonium poisoning. Suha and Zawra Arafat lodged a civil suit for murder “against persons unknown” with investigating magistrates in Nanterre. Yasser Arafat died at a military hospital near Paris in 2004.
Fillon accident recovery - Former French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, should be discharged today from the clinic in Rome where he is being treated after he broke his ankle in a scooter accident while on holiday.  Fillon was holidaying with his family on the island of Capri near Naples as a guest of the head of luxury carmaker Ferrari. He fell off his scooter after hitting a pavement, the machine then fell on his leg.
Deutsche Bank has admitted that a limited number of its staff were involved in the Libor rate-rigging scandal. The bank says that an internal enquiry has cleared senior management of taking part in attempts to manipulate the rate but action has been taken against a small number of staff engaged in conduct that fall short of the company’s standards. At the same time Deutsche Bank announced  a 63 percent fall in second quarter earnings and that it’s shedding 1,900 staff due to the economic downturn. Most of the job cuts will be made at the investment bank branch as part of restructuring with the aim of saving 3 billion euros. Manufacturing activity in China has fallen to its lowest level in 8 months according to new data.
The China Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 50.1 in July from 50.2 in June-A reading of 50 or above indicates an expansion in activity. Economists had expected the Chinese economy to pick up in the second half of this year. Factory output is expanding but new orders including exports contracted more in July than in June GDP fell to a 3 year low of 7.6 percent in the 3 months to the end of June.
Honda Motors has reported a 4 fold increase in earnings as it continues to recover from last year’s natural disasters. Net profit in the period between April and June came in at 1.7 billion dollars and the company’s car sales more than doubled in the U.S and Japan during the quarter. Natural disasters in Japan and Thailand last year hit Japanese carmakers hard. Honda is Japan’s 3rd largest carmaker.
Olympics - Michael Phelps has become the most decorated Olympian in history as he won gold medal number 19 last night as part of the USA’s 4x200 meters freestyle relay team last night. Phelps led America home on the anchor leg of the race shortly after he’d been beaten to gold by Chad le Clos in the men’s 200 meter butterfly final.
Earlier, the controversial Chinese teenager Ye Shiwen won her second gold of the London Games with victory in the 200 meters individual medley.
Elsewhere Great Britain’s three-day eventing team had to settle for silver behind Germany after an epic battle with New Zealand.
Great Britain’s women’s football team booked their place in the quarter finals with a 1-0 win over the favourites Brazil. They’ll now play Canada in the last eight.
At Wimbledon Andy Murray was in superb form as he brushed aside Jarkko Niemenen of Finland in straight sets to move into round 3 of the competition and Jo Wilfred Tsonga of France beat Milos Raonic in the longest ever Olympics tennis match finally coming through in 3 hours 56 minutes. The score- 6-3 3-6 25-23.
The Badminton World Federation has charged 8 female Olympic doubles players with ‘not using one’s best efforts to win a match. Players from South Korea, China and Indonesia could be disciplined amid allegations that they deliberately played badly to secure an easier draw.
So a quick look at the medals table and no surprise to see China still out in front with a total of 23 including 13 golds. The United States are still in second with 23 medals including nine golds and France are in third place with 11 medals including four golds.
Cricket - England coach Andy Flower says that his side need a strong performance in the Second Test against South Africa if they’re to level the series. England trail the three-match series 1-0 after being comprehensively outplayed in the 1st Test at the Oval. It was England’s first domestic Test match defeat since 2010, but their fifth in nine tests so far this year. Flower has insisted that England will resist any calls to make wholesale changes to the side.
Horseracing – Sir Henry Cecil got a welcome boost on the first day of Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday with a notable double. Noble Mission won the Gordon Stakes after a photograph and Chachamaidee took the Lennox Stakes. Sir Henry is unable to attend Goodwood this week as he undergoes further treatment for cancer. The greatest horse that he’s ever trained, Frankel will go for a 12th straight victory in the Sussex Stakes this afternoon.
And finally...
A Stradivarius violin -- possibly worth several million euros -- was handed in at a Swiss lost-property office after a hapless musician left it on a train. The owner had lent the precious instrument to a musician friend who took it on a train on Friday but forgot it when he got off at Bern, police said. After a fruitless search by train staff, surveillance cameras spotted a passenger walking off with the violin at a different station and police launched an appeal for help. The violin turned up Sunday in the lost-property office at Bern station.

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