Evening Update Thursday 25th May 2023

A young man is in a serious condition in hospital after suffering a 10-metre fall from the ferris wheel in Antibes in the early hours of this morning. The man in his 20s was taken to Pasteur 2 hospital at about 2.30am with significant injuries. The wheel was not operating at the time. An investigation has been launched to shed light on what happened.

The SNCF has begun an investigation, and police are appealing for witnesses, after the tragic death of a 25-year-old woman last weekend, who fell while clinging on to the outside of a TGV in the Var. Maeva was travelling from Paris to the Riviera when she briefly got off the train at Saint-Raphael station for a breather. She didn't make it back on to the train in time - and in a panic, she jumped on to the outside of one of the carriages as the TGV set off. Her body was found a few kilometres further down the line in the Esterel, thanks to the geolocation on her mobile phone. Investigators are keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened at Saint-Raphael station. The number for Frejus police station is 04 94 51 90 00. Meanwhile, Maeva's parents are desperate to retrieve her suitcase and computer, which she had left onboard the train. They say they've been calling police daily, but the suitcase remains untraceable.

Tributes are being paid today to one of the Riviera's best-known celebrities. The 'Queen of Rock' n Roll' Tina Turner has died at the age of 83 following a long illness. Tina Turner was a familiar face here in the region when in the late 1990s she became an honorary citizen of Villefranche-sur-Mer and at the time owned the Anna Fleur villa which she had had built. You can hear our tribute to her on this morning's Full English Breakfast show podcast, including some interviews from our archive, which can be heard now on rivieraradio.mc

With the influx of tourists on the Riviera in recent weeks, police have carried out a major stop-and-search operation targeting mini-cabs and other private hire vehicles around Nice airport. They checked each vehicle's paperwork and insurance status as well as drivers' licences and that their work was declared to the authorities. Police also stopped drivers that they suspected were waiting around busy areas to stand a better chance of picking up their next customer - something which only taxis are legally allowed to do, not private hire vehicles such as Uber cars.

Management at Marineland water park have denied claims that they are looking to sell their four killer whales to an aquarium in Japan. One Voice, an animal protection association, has been in a long-running legal stand-off about conditions at the marine park in Antibes since 2019. It wants the animals to be released into a sanctuary and launched a petition to that effect. The charity claims that the whales, Inouk, Moana, Wiki and Keijo, are now scheduled to be transferred to an aqualife park in Japan when it reopens following renovations next year. Marineland said in a statement that it was looking at several options to rehouse the whales, after a new French law came into force which bans keeping and breeding sea life in captivity by no later than 2026. However, Marineland strongly denied that the animals would be sold for commercial gain. The One Voice charity, meanwhile, is planning to lodge an appeal at a court in Aix-en-Provence for an independent review into the whales' health and wellbeing.

A controversial French comedian accused of spreading hate in his performances has announced he plans to perform in Nice this Saturday. The venue for Dieudonné's show this weekend is being kept secret and will only be revealed to spectators in a text message a few hours before the show. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi has tried on several occasions to prevent Dieudonné from performing in the city. In 2018 he said he would always oppose the comedian playing here.

Meanwhile a planned conference in Nice by a controversial theologian and Islamologist has angered women's rights campaigners. Tariq Ramadan was acquitted of rape charges by a Swiss court yesterday. The claimant plans to appeal. He's due to speak in public at a secret venue in Nice on 4th June. The City of Nice says it can do little to stop the event going ahead, as it's in a private venue, but it said it would do whatever was necessary to prevent any disturbance to public order. Feminist collective We All 06 plans to hold a demonstration against his visit.

A historic building and botanic garden in the hills above Nice has been put up for sale by the city council. The City of Nice bought the Roseland Abbey for €3 million in 2010 and had initially planned to turn it into an artists' residence and cultural venue. Now it's inviting candidates to come forward by the end of June with an expression of interest to take over the property. Despite its name, Roseland Abbey has never actually been an abbey. It was built by a wealthy family in 1763 as a second home and consists of a 700-square-metre main building, several outbuildings and 8,000 square metres of wooded parkland. Any planned conversion to another use cannot be radically different as it's a classified historical monument and its grounds and gardens are also protected. As well as comparing the price of each offer, the quality of each proposal will also be examined and the three best candidates will make a final shortlist. The City of Nice is keen to avoid approaches from speculators. Any buyer must pay a penalty if the property is resold again within three years of purchase. It's reported that the Alpes-Maritimes departmental council is a potential candidate, as it's keen to keep the property in public hands.


Persistent inflation has helped push Germany into recession in the first three months of the year, an upgrade to growth data shows. Europe's largest economy was also badly affected when Russian gas supplies dried up after the invasion of Ukraine, analysts said. The economy contracted by 0.3% between January and March, the statistics office said. That followed a 0.5% contraction in the last three months of last year. A country is deemed to be in recession when its economy shrinks for two consecutive three-month periods.

A ship that was grounded in the Suez Canal, has been refloated, shipping agent Leth Agencies says. Tugboats had been working to refloat the bulk carrier, named Xin Hai Tong 23. Two years ago, the Suez Canal, one of the busiest waterways in the world, was impassable for almost a week after a giant container ship became stuck.

Cathay Pacific Airways has fired three flight attendants after a complaint that they had discriminated against non-English speaking passengers. They were sacked after an audio clip of the cabin crew apparently mocking passengers went viral. The Hong Kong carrier launched an internal investigation and apologised for causing "widespread concern".


Football - Arne Slot says he wants to stay as Feyenoord manager - ruling himself out of contention for the Tottenham job. The 44-year-old Dutchman had been heavily linked with a move to Spurs after Antonio Conte's sacking in March. Slot, who led Feyenoord to this year’s Eredivisie title, held talks with the Rotterdam-based club on Wednesday about a potential extension to his contract.

Chelsea's struggles should serve as a warning for Manchester United before their takeover, says boss Erik ten Hag. Chelsea were taken over last summer and have spent more than £600m in two transfer windows. However, the 12th-placed Blues have endured a torrid season and are guaranteed to record their lowest points total in the Premier League era. Ten Hag was speaking as his United side face Chelsea tonight at Old Trafford.

Formula 1 - Drivers are preparing to take on a challenge unlike any other at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. The 2023 season resumes at the most famous track on the calendar with the chasing pack looking to halt Red Bull's early-season dominance. The unique nature of the Circuit de Monaco makes it somewhat of an outlier, where form can go out the window with Saturday's crucial qualifying often proving decisive. Red Bull have been untouchable, winning each of the opening five races of the season, but Aston Martin, Ferrari and Mercedes are all likely to see this as their best chance to upset world championship leader Max Verstappen and his team-mate Sergio Perez. The cancellation of last weekend's Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix due to flooding in northern Italy means the unveiling of Mercedes' highly anticipated upgrades will come in Monaco, adding a further layer of intrigue.

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