French and Riviera News Friday 15th April 2022

News

Latest poll ahead of Presidential elections - According to a BVA poll for RTL and Orange published today Friday 15th April, outgoing President Emmanuel Macron would win in the second round of the presidential election against Marine Le Pen, with a score of 54% against 46% for the National Rally candidate. Published nine days ahead of the second round the poll also showed that the "average participation" envisaged would be 73%, a level very close to that of the 1st round (73.7%).

Former Presidents call for vote in favour of Macron - Meanwhile former President François Hollande has called on the French to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round. Speaking on Thursday evening during TF1’s “20 hours” the former head of state said "in an election of this importance, the main thing is France. This is why I call on the French, given what is at stake, to vote Emmanuel Macron". He went on to say that “if Marine Le Pen arrived at the Elysée, there would be three fundamental challenges: our values and membership of the European Union”. Hollande is not the only one to have encourage people to vote for Macron. On Tuesday, former head of state Nicolas Sarkozy gave his support to the En Marche candidate.

Students block university buildings - And several hundred students have blocked university buildings in Paris in a bid to bring ecological and social issues to the attention of presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the lead up to the runoff on 24 April. Students denounce a "fake choice" between Macron and Le Pen.

Menton Hospital given a “gold” label - Menton Hospital has been awarded a "Gold" label for its daily actions in favour of the environment. Few hospitals in France have obtained the "gold" label which is awarded to those “committed to a sustainable development approach”. La Palmosa hospital showed a very “high health, social and environmental quality” with a “93% success score” which it intends to continue.

Lollipop ladies and men needed - The city hall of Saint-Laurent-du-Var in the Alpes Maritimes is looking for lollipop ladies and men to ensure the safety of families and schoolchildren. Known in France as « mamie and papy trafic » it can be the ideal job for those retired who wish to remain active. Candidates must be available four times a day for 45 minutes. For more information you can call 04.92.12.42.75.

Cannes Film Festival - The official selection for this year's 75th Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled. Eighteen films are in competition for the Palme d'Or. More than 2,000 films were put forward for inclusion in this year's programme. A successor for Spike Lee as president of the jury is due to be announced in the coming days. 35,000 people have accreditation for the festival. After being moved about by the pandemic these past two years, the Cannes Film Festival is finally headed back to its regular May slot. It'll run from the 17th to the 28th. 

Busy on the roads for Easter weekend - Vinci Autoroutes is forecasting very heavy traffic on the A8 this weekend. Congestion is likely in both directions from mid-afternoon on Friday. Saturday and Sunday mornings are also expected to be much busier than usual. Heavy traffic is also forecast for Monday afternoon and evening in both directions towards Nice, as holidaymakers head home from the long weekend.

Trains - There are no TGV high-speed trains running between Nice, Toulon and Paris this weekend - and next - due to engineering work. TGVs heading to the Côte d’Azur from Paris will terminate in Marseille. A replacement bus will take passengers to Aubagne, where you'll need to continue your journey along the coast by TER local train. The line is due to reopen at 8am on Monday

Nice’s iconic blue seaside chairs - And some of Nice's iconic blue seaside chairs on the Promenade des Anglais have been repainted red and black - the colours of OGC Nice - ahead of the team's appearance in the Coupe de France final against Nantes on 7th May. The "#ILOVENICE" sculpture overlooking the Baie des Anges has also been decked out in the colours of the local football side. Tickets for the match at the Stade de France went on sale to the general public this week.

Business

Twitter - What next for Twitter after Elon Musk’s surprise offer yesterday to pay $54.20 a share which puts the company at a value of $40bn. Twitter's share price rose jumped by 5.3% to $48.32 in early trading, before falling back to more than $46.20 later on. The Tesla boss believes he is the right person to "unlock" the social media platform's "extraordinary potential". Mr Musk also said that if the board of directors at Twitter chose to reject the offer, it would be "utterly indefensible not to put this offer to a shareholder vote". According to Elon Musk, Twitter has the potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, which he sees as a societal imperative for a functioning democracy, adding that Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company in order to achieve that goal. Mr Musk was recently confirmed by Forbes magazine as the world's richest man worth $219bn.

Mercedes - A Mercedes-Benz AG electric car drove more than 1,000 kilometers from Germany to the French Riviera on a single charge, taking the fight to seize the technology limelight from Tesla to the next level. The EQXX prototype rode from Sindelfingen near Stuttgart to Cassis near Marseille via Switzerland and Italy with a battery half the size of Mercedes’s EQS flagship electric vehicle. According to Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius. The EQXX “is the most efficient Mercedes ever built. “The technology program behind it marks a milestone in the development of electric vehicles.” Mercedes plans to spend 60 billion euros up to 2026 win back the title of the world’s best-selling luxury-car maker from its rival BMW AG. The company has a goal to sell only EVs where possible by the end of this decade and plans to set up eight battery factories with partners. 

Samsung - In a major win for the right-to-repair movement, Samsung has now unveiled its own plan to enable customers to repair their own devices. As part of the program, Samsung will give customers and third-party Fixit companies access to parts, repair tools, and step-by-step repair guides for the first time. That’s in contrast to users having to rely exclusively on the company’s in-house repair services. The move from both Apple and Samsung to enable users to repair their own devices comes after years of pressure from consumers and regulators to make fixing products easier. 

Sport 

Football - There were a few surprises in the Europa League last night as Eintract Frankfurt stunned Barcelona  to set up a semi final against West Ham who surprised Lyon in France. Eintracht Frankfurt won 3-2 at the Nou Camp, while West Ham earnt a 3-0 away win in Lyon. Rangers also won in extra time against Sporting Braga and will play Leipzig for a place in the final. 

In the Europa Conference League, Ricardo Pereira scored a late winner as Leicester City produced a superb comeback to beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 to reach the club's first European semi -final. 

Manchester City's superb Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid could have come at a cost, with Pep Guardiola admitting his side are "in big trouble" as a result of injuries picked up in the Spanish capital.B oth Kevin de Bruyne and Kyle Walker were forced off as City staged a defiant defensive display to claim a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, securing a 1-0 aggregate win. 

Guardiola did not reveal the extent of the injuries but was clearly concerned, with an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool coming up this week-end. 

Scotland's World Cup play-off semi-final with Ukraine has been rescheduled for 1 June, with the winner playing Wales in the final four days later. The Hampden semi was due to be played on 24 March but Ukraine asked Fifa to postpone the tie following Russia's invasion of the country. 

F1 - Formula One's governing body has defended the Aston Martin safety car on Thursday, reminding drivers that its top speed was of secondary importance, after world champion Max Verstappen compared it to a turtle. "The FIA said in a statement that the primary function of the ... safety car is, of course, not outright speed but the safety of the drivers, marshals and officials

Golf  - Tiger Woods has been added to a star-studded field for the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor. The 15-time major winner will play the two-day event in the Republic of Ireland on 4-5 July - less than two weeks before the Open Championship. Woods stated his intention to play at the 150th Open at St Andrews having completed 72 holes at the Masters on his competitive comeback. His stirring return came 14 months after a life-threatening car crash. 

Tennis - Emma Raducanu is ready to "embrace her position" as leader of a new-look Great Britain team when they face the Czech Republic in the Billie Jean King Cup, says captain Anne Keothavong. US Open champion Raducanu, 19, assumes the role in a young squad which, for the first time since 2010, is without either Johanna Konta or Heather Watson. World number 12 Raducanu is the highest-ranked player in the British team which also includes Harriet Dart, Katie Swan and Sonay Kartal. 

ROLEX MONTE CARLO TENNIS MASTERS 

Holder Stefanos Tsitsipas moved into the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals with a 7-5 7-6(1) victory over Laslo Djere on Thursday while fourth seed Casper Ruud was knocked out in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov. 

Tsitsipas broke only once in a match where break points were in short supply but the Greek third seed pounced when it mattered most at the end of both sets to seal victory. 

Second seed Alexander Zverev fired eight aces and smashed 26 winners to beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2 7-5 on the back of a strong first serve. Zverev will take on Jannik Sinner, who rallied from a set and a break down to upset last year's finalist Andrey Rublev. The Italian converted seven of his 12 break points and saved six of 10 en route to a 5-7 6-1 6-3 comeback win. 

Diego Schwartzman stole the show on the day, however, after the Argentine fought back from a set down to beat Lorenzo Musetti 2-6 6-4 6-3, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd after the 2-1/2 hour contest. 

Schwartzman was 3-1 down in the second set when he found a second wind and stormed back into the contest, winning 11 of the next 15 games to book a quarter-final clash with Tsitsipas. 

The Unseeded Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who beat world number one Novak Djokovic earlier this week, reached the last eight with a 6-4 6-1 win over David Goffin. 

He will meet 10th seed Taylor Fritz, who beat doubles partner Sebastian Korda 7-6(4) 7-5 in a battle of Americans. 

Weather

Plenty of sunshine today along the coast and inland with no sign of any rain, although it will become slightly hazy around lunchtime with the skies brightening up again this afternoon. Winds are light and temperatures are set to rise to 21° along the coast 26° inland in the Var. Tonight will be mostly clear with occasional cloudy spells. Temperatures will drop to an overnight low of 14°. 

The weekend will be mostly clear and sunny but with a risk of showers inland in the VAR tomorrow afternoon and possibly some rain across the region tomorrow evening and early Sunday morning.

And Finally

According to recent research cats are less selfish than they may appear and could possibly know the names of their owners and also their feline friends.

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