French and Riviera News Friday 17th June 2022

News

French President visits Kyiv - French president Emmanuel Macron has visited Kyiv for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion. Accompanied by the German Chancellor and Italian Prime Minister the three met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The visit, eagerly awaited by President Volodymyr Zelensky, was a way for the French head of state to give pledges to his Ukrainian counterpart, as relations between the two men had deteriorated over the months. Macron declared during the meeting that he had come to send "a message of European unity" and "support" to Kyiv "both for the present and for the future". The trip ended with the announcement of France's decision to grant Ukraine the status of candidate country for membership of the European Union (EU). The Twenty-Seven must now agree at a summit on June 23rd and 24th.

Heatwave - Twelve departments in the west of France have been placed on a top-level red alert for extreme heat. The alert will be operational from this afternoon. An additional twenty-five departments, mostly also in the western half of France have been placed on an orange alert, which is the third highest level of the Meteo France alert levels. The French government education department has said that students in schools and colleges in the departments under a red alert will be allowed to stay at home today Friday 17th June. 

Toll-free number - The French government has activated the heatwave toll-free telephone number. The number, 0800 06 66 66 is open from 9am to 7pm and provides advice on how to protect yourself and those around you, especially the most fragile.

Risk of fires - The French government has issued a warning about the risk of fires breaking out during the heatwave. The General Directorate of Civil Security said that it "recommends great caution" for this Friday and Saturday due to the heat wave situation and the high danger of fires which results from it, particularly for low vegetation such as agricultural fields, wasteland, and roadsides. It said that this very high fire danger is linked to very hot and dry conditions and the moderate winds expected on Saturday.

Speed limit in French capital - A speed limit of just 10 km per hour has been imposed on the Ile-de-France region tomorrow because of ozone pollution. The Prefect of Police has asked motorists to defer road travel if possible and to use public transport, car pooling, walking or cycling and appealed to businesses to consider teleworking.

Investigation into incidents at the Stade de France on May 28th - A first investigation report has pointed to a series of "failures" at the Stade de France on May 28th during the Champions League final. The senatorial delegation has denounced the "unpreparedness" of the public authorities and qualified the non-conservation of the CCTV footage as a "serious misconduct". Further hearings are to take place next week, in particular those of the supporters.

Migrant dies from injuries - The migrant who was shot by police during a chase from Sospel to Nice yesterday has died from his injuries, according to the Nice prosecutor, who was speaking to France Bleu. The man was 35 years old and was of Egyptian nationality.

Young man shot dead in Marseille - A young man has been shot dead in Marseille. The shooting occurred early on Thursday evening in the north of the city. The victim, in his twenties had already died when help arrived. It’s the second fatal shooting in less than a month in the area. In early June, a 23-year-old man was shot dead in a parking lot. No further details were given on the shooting. It’s the 14th fatal shooting in the Bouches-du-Rhône since the beginning of the year.

Fire at holiday village - A fire has broken out at the holiday village of La Bayette, in Le Pradet. Thick clouds of black smoke and explosions were heard for miles around on Thursday afternoon. The flames destroyed a technical room in the heart of the bungalow village. The reason for the fire remains to be determined.

Drug trafficking network in Cannes la Bocca - Eight people have been arrested for drug trafficking in the Frayère district of Cannes la Bocca. Eighty officers intervened on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into a drug network operating for some time in the area.  

City centres of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins closed to motorists this evening - Motorists are banned in the city centres of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins this evening Friday 17th June. From 6pm until 1am the old town prohibits the circulation of cars as part of the pedestrianization policy of the mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti. The measure does not apply to cyclists.

Catholic festival – HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco has joined her husband HSH Prince Albert and their seven-year-old daughter Princess Gabriella on Thursday during a balcony appearance for the Catholic festival, Corpus Christi. The holiday is celebrated on the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday (60 days after Easter) to proclaim the truth of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the actual body of Christ during Mass.

Historique Grand Prix de France - The Paul Ricard circuit is to host the 2nd Var edition of the Historique Grand Prix of France. Cancelled due to the health crisis in 2021, the vintage Grand Prix is taking place this weekend on the star-studded track at Le Castellet. Formula 1 cars from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s will hit the track from today.

Business

Asian stocks have fallen after major losses in the US and Europe as worries about the economy intensifies following a series of rate hikes around the world. The UK and Switzerland raised interest rates on Thursday, a day after America's central bank announced its steepest interest rate rise since 1994. Policymakers are raising rates to slow demand in hopes of easing some of the pressures pushing up consumer prices. Investors fear the moves will tip the global economy into sustained slowdown. Markets had already been in shaky territory, with the S&P 500 down more than 20% from its January high ahead of the US rate hike this week.

UK interest rates have risen further as the Bank of England attempts to stem the pace of soaring prices. Rates have increased from 1% to 1.25%, the fifth consecutive rise, pushing them to the highest level in 13 years. It comes as finances are being squeezed by the rising cost of living, driven by record fuel and energy prices. Inflation - the rate at which prices rise - is currently at a 40-year high of 9%, and the Bank warned it could surpass 11% later this year.

Foreign tourists are finally returning to Paris after the covid epidemic. Between January and May 2022, 12.1 million tourists visited the capital compared to 15.1 million over the same period in 2019 (and only 3.7 million in 2021), 80% of whom were foreigners. The Americans are the most numerous (12.7%), followed by the Germans (5.8%), the English (5.7%) and the Spaniards (4.2%).

The American cosmetics group Revlon has said that it will try to restructure its debt in order to be able to revive itself after its sales never returned to their pre-Covid level. US nail polish, lipstick and perfume maker Revlon filed for bankruptcy by filing Chapter 11 proceedings to reduce its debt. The company says supply chain disruptions have driven up the cost of raw materials for its products. The 90-year-old firm says it has also been struggling with supplier payments, inflation and labour shortages. In a document filed this week in a New York court, the company said the total value of its debt was between $1 billion and $10 billion. It reported long-term liabilities of $3.3 billion in the first quarter. The amount of its assets is also in the range of $1-10 billion. It was $2.4 billion as of March 31.

Sport

Football – Premier League Champions Manchester City face West Ham away on the opening weekend of a 2022-23 Premier League campaign that will include a mid-season break for the World Cup. There will be no top-flight games after the weekend of 12-13 November until 26 December because of the World Cup. The first fixture takes place on Friday, 5 August when Crystal Palace host Arsenal. Liverpool play at promoted Fulham, with Nottingham Forest at Newcastle. Forest are back in the Premier League for the first time since 1998-99.

Cricket - England's white-ball captain Eoin Morgan will rotate himself this summer, casting further doubt on his playing at the 2023 World Cup. Morgan, who has skippered the limited-overs side since 2014 and led them to 50-over World Cup glory in 2019, has been trying to manage injuries. England play the first of three one-dayers against Netherlands on Friday.

Formula One - Formula 1's governing body the FIA says it is taking steps on safety grounds to reduce the high-speed bouncing that has affected drivers this season. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton described the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the "most painful" he had experienced and many of his rivals have also raised concerns. The ninth round of the 2022 season takes place in Canada this weekend.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 29 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 31 degrees in Cannes and Saint Tropez. Reaching 34 degrees inland in the Var. Light winds. This evening going down to 22 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend - Clear skies highs of 34 degrees on Saturday. Sunday fine with highs of 29-30 degrees. Possibility of scattered showers inland by Sunday afternoon.

Sea temperature:              24              UV level;  9

Sunrise:                       05.47hr              Sunset: 21.14hr

And Finally

A new study has suggested that the majority of people don’t want to be billionaires. If an unlimited amount of money sounds appealing to you then you may be in the minority. Researchers have surveyed more than 7,000 people living in countries around the world, including the UK, the US, China, France, India and Australia. They found that the majority of people don't want any more than £8.2 million ($10 million) to live an 'absolutely ideal life'. Results suggest 'unlimited wants' – an economic principle that people want an unlimited amount of money and possessions – is untrue. 

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is currently the world's richest person, with a net worth of $216 billion (£176 billion). But most people would ideally like far less than this over a lifetime, possibly because they think that such a colossal amount is too greedy.

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