Appointments are now open for a covid booster jab for eligible people in France. From mid-September an additional vaccine dose will be available to all over 65s and people at risk of serious forms of Covid-19. There must be a gap of at least six months between the patient’s second and third vaccine dose except for those who have a serious underlying health issue.
Meanwhile, the Head of the World Health Organisation's Europe area has today endorsed the giving of a booster shot. Hans Kluge said that a third dose is a way to keep vulnerable people safe and shouldn't be viewed as a "luxury booster" taking away from someone who is still waiting for a first injection. However, he also said that wealthy countries with excess vaccines should share them with other nations who need them. President Macron said today that France will deliver 10 million vaccine doses to the African Union via the COVAX programme by the end of October. He said that the vaccination rate remains low in Africa and France is in favour of equitable access to vaccines.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that the solidarity fund for businesses will end on 30 September. However, the scheme will continue for the time being in French overseas territories. It will be replaced by a fixed cost support system for which all businesses will be able to apply.
A demonstration in support of vaccination is being held in Lyon this evening. The demonstration, believed to be the first of its kind in France, is being organised by a retired local journalist and is aimed at allowing people to voice an opposing point of view after recent anti-vaccination and anti-health pass protests.
Major works have got underway on railway infrastructure in our region, meaning that there'll be changes to train services between Nice and Ventimiglia in both directions right through until April 2 next year. The works involve reinforcement of the Villefranche-sur-Mer tunnel and renewal of the track in the Cimiez tunnel. Train traffic can only be carried on one track between Nice and Eze-sur-Mer throughout the work period and timetables are being modified accordingly. You can find out more information and timetables on the SNCF ASSISTANT app or on the SNCF TER SUD website https://www.ter.sncf.com/sud-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/horaires/les-grands-chantiers/travaux-ca-2021
Eight forest areas of the Var are at a "Severe" risk of fire today. The Canjuers plateau massif is at "Moderate" fire risk. More details can be found on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr where there is a map of fire risk which is updated daily. The Prefecture has issued a reminder that if you witness the start of a fire you should call 18 or 112 as soon as possible.
An investigation is being opened after a serious fire on a boat in Hyeres over the weekend. A ten metre vessel caught fire as it was being refuelled in Port Saint-Pierre. Several people suffered injuries, including a woman in her forties who is in a serious condition in Sainte-Anne hospital in Toulon.
And we have some very sad news today. One of the best known figures in Monaco, Kate Powers, the co-founder of StarsNBars, passed away this morning after a brief illness. Kate and her family moved to Monaco from the United States in the late 1950's. In the 1980's, along with her brother Mike Powers, she opened the famous Le Texan restaurant. This was later followed by the creation of StarsNBars on the Port of Monaco with her partner Didier Rubiolo. She was also actively involved in a wide range of ecological and climate change initiatives. Kate was a charismatic and highly respected personality in the Monaco community and will be greatly missed by many people on the Riviera. We at Riviera Radio send our deepest condolances to Kate's family and many friends. Details of a memorial service are expected to be announced in due course.
Data released by the European Commission today suggests that economic sentiment has fallen slightly in both the EU and the euro area, down from an all-time high in July, but remaining at high levels in the EU and in the euro area. The Commission's Employment Expectations Indicator increased further in the Euro area and the wider EU, reaching its highest level since November 2018.
Australian mining company Fortescue Metals Group has announced revenue of US$ 22.3 billion in its 2021 finacial year, which is 74 per cent higher than the prior year. Net profit after tax was US$ 10.3 billion, an increase of 117 per cent compared to the previous year.
Football... Manchester City's Ruben Dias has signed a contract extension until 2027. The 24 year old Portugal international joined the club from Benfica in September last year.
Paralympics... It's been day six of the Games and Team GB's Andrew Small has won his first Paralympic title in the T33 100m, Harri Jenkins claimed bronze. Phoebe Paterson Pine took the archery gold medal on her Paralympic Games debut. Powerlifter Louise Sugden won bronze. Local table tennis player Fabien Lamirault, who is from the Var, won gold and Alex Portal won silver in the 200 metres swimming medley.