a weekly update of the local news


Colourful protest in Perpignan – The Maillol Fountain in the centre of Perpignan looked like a grisly crime-scene today as the waters ran red.  It turned out to be the work of a local militant group drawing attention to the fact that 780,000 people die each year for lack of access to clean water.  Local authorities are less impressed and are considering whether to press charges.
Prison guards protest – Prison guards protested outside Perpignan Prison following an attack on one of their children.  The young girl was boarding a school bus when a person called to her and and asked if she was the daughter of ‘M’, and then kicked and slapped her.  The child was taken to hospital, shocked and injured, and a complaint has been filed.
Pensioners attacked in their home – A couple in their 60s were tied up and beaten by three men who burst into their home in St. Jean-la-Saleilles on Wednesday night.  The aggressors demanded their bank cards and valuables but were interrupted by the arrival of a visitor to the house – at which point the wife managed to untie her husband and they managed to escape to seek refuge at the Mayor’s house.  They were taken to hospital suffering from extreme shock, and despite an extensive search, the robbers are still at large.
Murder trial continues – Narcisco Mingorance Ruiz cried in court today where he stands trial accused of murdering his older brother Francis on Christmas Day 2011 in Rivesaltes.  The court heard the sad tale of how Narcisco, of limited IQ, had tried to make his own way in the world but had to return home and lived in a caravan in the garden where he lived a miserable life, being blamed for everything, including when the hen didn’t lay eggs. The elder brother was his mother’s favourite son “As is the way for Andalusians” and jealousy played a strong part in family life, as did alcohol although the defendent said he ‘only’ drank 3 beers with a meal and a 1.5 litres of red wine every day.  On the day in question, the jealousy and alcohol mix turned into an argument which ended with Narcisco shooting Francis dead.  A verdict is expected this week.
Operation ‘Armes66’ – An international operation launched on Tuesday, commissioned by a judge from Perpignan concerned about the supply of firearms via the internet, has been deemed a success.  76 people have been arrested and 43 others are ‘helping with inquiries’ following the seizure of : 545 handguns, 11 machine guns, 128 rifles, 40 grenades and a rocket launcher.  Investigations are continuing. (I should point out that not all of this was found in this department)
Man sentenced for armed robbery – Just 6 months after being released from prison, a young man relapsed back into the life of crime and entered 3 shops in Perpignan and demanded that they hand over the cash tin as he was ‘armed’.  When police arrested him he was found to be carrying a 20cm kitchen knife, and has now been sent back to prison for a further 18 months.
Ici c’est Pepsi – Milles, the local soft-drink producer and bottlers have just been awarded a huge contract by Pepsi.  They first suggested the idea of changing the bottle size from 25cl to 33cl and, after a year of testing and deliberation, Pepsi have agreed and awarded them the contract to produce the bottles at their plant in Toulouges.
Monday meteo – After a cold and rainy weekend it is hard to remember that last Monday was so hot – but apparently it wasn’t a record-breaker.  The top temperature on Monday was recorded as 26.3°C but this does not beat the hottest day recorded for a day in March which was in 1997 when the thermometers hit 28°.
And finally……
Not ‘Politically correct’  – After reading a small item in L’Independent, where a journalist questioned why 6 of his National Front running mates were not actually registered on the electoral roll, Louis Aliot, the National Front candidate for mayor blew his top.  He quickly fired off a text message to the reporter, peppered with strong language and questioning his parentage, shortly followed by a second one saying that the National Front would not be attending a forthcoming ‘soirée’ at the newspaper offices.  The final one was an apology stating that the messages had been intended for somebody else….

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