French and Riviera News Friday 20th May 2022


First suspected case of monkey pox in France - Public Health France has announced that a first suspected case of monkey pox had been detected in the Île-de-France on Thursday, without revealing more about the patient concerned. Recently the number of cases of monkey pox has increased worldwide at an unusual rate. Further analysis still need to be carried out to confirm that this is indeed the first case on French soil. Since the beginning of May, several dozen cases have been identified in Europe. The United Kingdom has warned that all of the patients were men who had sex with other men. It should be noted that the disease has been known since the 1970s, and that it circulates mainly in the Congo River basin, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Cameroon and in Nigeria. However, a number of the cases identified in recent days have not made recent trips to these regions.

Police make arrests for burglaries in Nice - Four individuals have been arrested in Fréjus in the Var for burglaries carried out in Nice. The four, all from the Paris region, had been on the Côte d’Azur for several months. Police found them to be in possession of a stolen safe containing jewellery and cash. The investigation continues.

Awareness campaign - Police in the Var have launched an awareness campaign following recent data which shows that each year 140 people get lost while walking or hiking in the region. Since 2017, the Var gendarmerie has carried out more than 700 interventions to search for “lost walkers or hikers”.

Taxi drivers - Disruption of the Monaco Grand Prix by French taxi drivers has been avoided after an agreement was reached between Monegasque authorities and French taxi unions. Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi expressed his thanks to the Minister of State of the Principality who he said, along with the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, was able to find a satisfactory solution for Nice taxis.

French mustard - French mustard producers have said that seed production in 2021 was down 50% after poor harvests, which they say has been caused by the changing climate in France’s Burgundy region and Canada, the second largest mustard seed producer in the world. As supermarkets in France run out of Dijon mustard due to climate change and rising costs, it's questionable if the shortage could soon spread to other countries.

Ultra Paddle race - As part of the Ultra Paddle Race Julien Castel from Frejus and Jean-Frédéric Tillié from Toulon have crossed by paddle, from Corsica to Saint-Raphael in less than 24 hours. Participating in the first edition of the Ultra Paddle Race the pair travelled the 200km from the Corsican port of Calvi to the bay of Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël in 23 hours 46 minutes and 27 seconds!

Riviera Water Bike Challenge 2022- Meanwhile, here in the Principality the Riviera Water Bike Challenge is back. The sporting event organized by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation will be held on June 5th at the Port Hercule. Open to the public the race can also be followed in real-time, from start to finish, on the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation’s website. The race will pit 18 teams of 5 people against each other, including 2 celebrities from different sports disciplines. On Wednesday, May 18th at the Yacht Club de Monaco the team draw selected the 2 celebrities awarded to each team. The Riviera Water Bike Challenge will offer an original sporting challenge in Monaco to raise funds for drowning prevention. This 2022 edition will fund the "Swim for Safety" project supported by the Foundation in Sri Lanka, to teach swimming and water safety to disadvantaged children.

Heatwave - As the heatwave continues, a new record has been set, according to Meteo France. Expected normal temperatures for the season have now been exceeded for 38 consecutive days. With temperatures continuing to be high this weekend, Meteo France have said that this month will probably end up being the hottest May since the Second World War. It's expected to reach 35 degrees in parts of the Var on Saturday.

Sand dust from the Sahara – Meanwhile an episode of sand dust from the Sahara is expected to fall today from 5pm in south-western France before progressing toward the east and centre of France. The spread of dust from the Sahara is intensifying under the effect of global warming. In mid-March, the phenomenon had already lasted several days in France and had tinted the sky orange.


Sri Lanka has defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history as the country struggles with its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years. It comes after a 30-day grace period to come up with $78m of unpaid debt interest payments expired on Wednesday.

Canada has said that it will ban two of China's biggest telecoms equipment makers from working on its 5G phone networks. The restrictions against Huawei and ZTE were announced by the country's industry minister on Thursday. Several nations - including the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand - have already put restrictions on the firms.

Twitter has said it plans to put misleading tweets from official accounts about the Ukraine war behind warning notices. The change follows heightened scrutiny of the social media platform after the war unleashed a new surge of misinformation, sometimes from government sources.

Meanwhile, McDonald's has found a local buyer for its Russian business, after the war in Ukraine pushed it to quit the country. Alexander Govor, who currently operates 25 McDonald's restaurants in Siberia, will take on the firm's restaurants and staff, operating them under a new brand. McDonald's had operated in Russia for more than 30 years. The opening of its first restaurant in Moscow in 1990 came to symbolise a thaw in Cold War tensions.

A parasol set to be sold in China by top western brands Gucci and Adidas for £1,329 is causing an outcry for not keeping out the rain. Criticism of the item the firms call a "sun umbrella" has gone viral. It comes as Gucci's website says it is "not waterproof and is meant for sun protection or decorative use". The parasol is part of a joint collection that is being promoted online ahead of its release next month. One user called the parasol "a very big but useless fashion statement".


Football - Everton secured their Premier League status with an incredible fightback where they came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace last night 3-2.

And Paul Pogba has turned down a move from Manchester United to Manchester City because the 29-year-old France midfielder, who is out of contract this summer, was concerned about a backlash from United supporters.

Premier League action on Sunday will see Arsenal play Everton, Brentford are at home to Leeds, Brighton play West Ham, Burnley play Newcastle, Chelsea play Watford, Crystal Palace play Manchester United, Leicester play Southampton, Liverpool play Wolverhampton, Manchester City play Aston Villa and Norwich play Tottenham.

Golf - Rory McIlroy got his bid to end an eight-year major drought off to a solid start as he finished day one of the US PGA Championship with a one-shot lead. Northern Ireland's four-time major champion closed with a birdie to card a five-under 65 and sat back as the late starters toiled in windier conditions.

Cricket - England fast bowler Mark Wood says he is making "slow progress" in his return from elbow surgery and will not be fit to play Test cricket until the end of the summer at the earliest. The 32-year-old is one of seven pace bowlers side-lined for England's first Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

Formula One - Ferrari's Carlos Sainz wants a broader debate on the long-term health impact of Formula 1's new generation of cars. Sainz says he feels pain from racing in a car that has a stiffer suspension to counter the bouncing up and down, caused by new aerodynamic rules.


Sunny with light winds. Highs of 24 degrees in Nice, Eze and Menton. 26 degrees further along the coast in Cannes, Antibes and Saint Tropez. Inland in the Var reaching highs of 30 degrees. This evening going down to 17 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend - In Nice and the Alpes Maritimes, sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 23-24 degrees. In the Saint Tropez and along the coast in the Var region highs of 27 degrees. Inland in the Var reaching 33 degrees on Saturday.  

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