French and Riviera News Friday 18th February 2022

News

Missing person - Police in the Var have appealed for witnesses following the disappearance of 16-year-old Thalya. The teenager was last seen in Marseille on January 23rd and has not been seen since. Anyone with any information is invited to call 04 94 00 73  62.

Thales employees continue blockades - Employees of Thales have continued blockades in protest against wages. On Thursday filter barriers were installed in front of the entrance to the Cannes site to challenge employees on the issue of the salary increase proposed by management and deemed insufficient.

Strike action – Meanwhile, commuters in Antibes and Sophia-Antipolis are advised a strike has been called on the local Envibus network, next Thursday 24th February. The action will affect all routes, except for school buses, between 9am and 4pm.

Green light given for demolition of Nice Theatre - France’s administrative court has given the green light for the first stages of the demolition of the National Theatre of Nice. A request had been filed by the association defending the “Promenade des Arts” against Nice city council, concerning the demolition. The go ahead was given following a decision from the judge on Thursday.

Health minister’s visit to Nice - While on a visit to l’Archet hospital in Nice on Thursday France’s Minister of Health Oliver Veran has outlined the conditions set by the government, to end the wearing of Covid masks indoors. He said when France reaches a threshold of 1,500 patients in intensive care, masks will no longer be compulsory indoors. He expects the country to hit that level by mid-March. Currently, there are 3,126 people in critical care units across France, 402 of those are in the Alpes-Maritimes.

African swine flu - Also in health news, the Prefecture in the Alpes-Maritimes has called for vigilance, after a diagnosis less than 100km into Italy from the border with France, of a case of African swine fever in a boar. While deadly for animals, the disease is harmless to humans.

Airbus publishes record net profit - The aircraft manufacturer Airbus has published a record net profit of 4.2 billion euros in 2021, a year marked by an increase in the rate of its production and the adaptation of the group to the historic air pocket caused by the health crisis. The European aircraft manufacturer, which delivered 611 commercial aircraft, 8% more than the previous year, is planning a sharp increase in production and expects to deliver 720 aircraft in 2022.

Monaco and Ventimiglia - Prince Albert of Monaco has received thanks from the Mayor of Ventimiglia for the Principality’s support in rebuilding a bridge over the Roya River, which remains destroyed since Storm Alex in 2020. The mayor said the mobilization was enduring proof of the friendship that has bound the two areas together for years. Work on rebuilding the bridge is expected to begin in September and cost ten million euro.

Seasonal work for students - Students looking for seasonal work are invited to Cannes this Saturday, where employers will be looking to meet suitable candidates for summer positions. 28 employers issued 1,432 job offers at the last event in 2020. The event will be held from 9 am to 1 pm at the Gare Maritime this Saturday.

Tour des Alpes Maritimes and the Var - Disruptions are expected on the roads in the Var today Friday 18th February with the arrival in La Seyne of the “Cycling Tour des Alpes-Maritimes and Var”. The 1st stage of the event will take place in La Seyne with several road closures and the public is invited to park in the public car parks.

Crossover of school holidays - Meanwhile France’s motorway authorities have warned of a busy day for motorist’s tomorrow Saturday 19th February, classing it as a “red day” on the roads, in both directions in the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region. The crossover comes as the February school holidays end for zone B, which includes Nice and marks the start of the holidays for zone C.

French rapper in concert in Monaco - French rapper MC Solaar will be in concert at the Grimaldi Forum in June. The singer joins Francis Cabrel, Iggy Pop and Christophe Maé for the spring programme of the Grimaldi Forum. Tickets range from 49 to 79 euros. For more information and reservations go to www.grimaldiforum.com or call 99.99.30.00.

Storm alert – Meteo France has placed five regions of the north of France on an orange weather alert today with high winds forecast.

Warm weather – Meanwhile the recent warm weather in our region has hit a record high in Toulon in the Var, reaching 23.2 degrees on Thursday. After exceptional sunshine between the end of December and the beginning of February, Thursday marked a record high beating the previous record of 22.5 degrees recorded back in February of 1990.

Business

Pressure on Asian stocks has eased this morning and US futures have bounced on news that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed to a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a bid to defuse the Ukraine crisis. Mr Blinken has agreed to meet Mr Lavrov late next week provided that Russia “does not invade Ukraine”. Markets have been battered by the threat of impending war while gold has shot up to an 8 month peak on repeated warnings from the United States that Russia will invade Ukraine. Investors are concerned about the possibility of a wider war in what’s being seen as the worst global crisis in post Cold War relations. Safe haven currencies such as the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc have climbed to two week highs as risk appetite fell sharply. Markets are also being rattled by the prospect of a series of interest rate hikes in the US with some analysts speculating that their could be as many as 7 increases before the end of the year.

A judge in New York has ruled that President Trump and two of his children must testify in the investigation into their business practices. Judge Arthur Engoran ruled on Thursday that Mr Trump along with his son Donald Trump Jr and his daughter Ivanka Trump must each comply with legal orders issued by prosecutors in December. The New York Attorney General has accused the Trump Organisation of obtaining tax breaks and loans through “fraudulent or misleading asset valuations”. Mr Trump has denied the allegations and is likely to appeal the ruling. If he’s unsuccessful then he’ll have to give sworn testimony within 21 days. He could also invoke his right to remain silent in any deposition. Last night, the Trump Organisation said that the allegations were baseless and that the entire system “is corrupt”.

UK inflation is forecast to hit 8 percent in April when household energy bills soar by hundreds of pounds. Economists say that they expect the consumer prices index to rise from 5.5 percent in January to 8 percent in April further harming living standards and pushing more firms towards insolvency. The employers group the CBI said that the government needed to react by cutting taxes on investment to boost productivity and allow businesses to award sustainable annual wage rises while the Trade Unions Congress said that extra energy costs and tax rises in April would force consumers to make savings elsewhere which would mean that business revenues would fall and the economic recovery would be choked off.

Sport

Winter Olympics - It’s day 14 of the Winter Games in Beijing with Norway still out in front in the medals table. Norway now has 14 gold medals in a total of 29 with Germany in second place with 10 gold medals in a total of 22 and the USA in third with 8 gold medals in a total of 21.

There are 5 medal events today in women’s and men’s mass start Biathlon, women’s halfpipe and men’s ski cross freestyle skiing and the men’s 1,000 meters speed skating.

Formula 1 - Michael Masi has been replaced as race director following last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fiasco. Massi failed to follow safety car procedures at the end of the race which resulted in Max Verstappen winning the world championship leaving a sour taste in the mouth of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. The FIA says that Masi will be moved to another position and will be replaced by two new race directors Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich. They’ll be assisted by Formula 1 veteran Herbie Blash. Direct radio communications between the teams and the race director will no longer be allowed and a remote race control similar to the video assistant referee in football is to be introduced.

Football - Rangers were 4-2 winners at Borussia Dortmund last night in the Europa League round of 32 first leg.

In the Europa Conference League Celtic lost 3-1 at home to Bodo Glimt and Leicester beat Randers FC 4-1.

In the English Premier League this weekend, on Saturday West Ham play Newcastle, Arsenal host Brentford, Aston Villa play Watford, Brighton play Burnley, Crystal Palace play Chelsea, Liverpool host Norwich, Southampton play Everton and Manchester City play Spurs. On Sunday Leeds play Manchester United and Wolves play Leicester.

Rugby Union - There’s one game in the Gallagher Premiership in England tonight. Worcester play Bristol while in the United Rugby Championship Munster play Edinburgh. The match between Cardiff and Zebre has been called off because of Storm Eunice.

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate variable winds. Top temperature 16 degrees in the Alpes-Maritimes and 19 degrees in the Var. Overnight lows of 9-12 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend - Cloudy tomorrow, fine on Sunday. Highs of 14-17 degrees.

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