French and Riviera News Friday 4th February 2022

News

A man seriously injured in quad bike crash - A man in his twenties has been seriously injured after a crash on a quad bike. The accident occurred on the RD9 in Moissac-Bellevue in the Var. The victim was airlifted to hospital in Toulon. The exact circumstances of the collision are still to be determined.

Fugitive suspected of robbery on the Riviera arrested in Paris - A fugitive suspected of several thefts on the Riviera has been arrested in the Paris region. The man is suspected of having participated in the theft of a diamond of 4.5 million euros, in Cannes. The 38-year-old Frenchman has been on the run since November 2020 and was arrested in a shopping centre in Seine-Saint-Denis. He is allegedly part of a gang suspected of the theft of two diamonds, one in Barcelona worth 12 million euros, the other in Cannes estimated at 4.5 million euros.

Three young people arrested for vandalism - Three young people aged between 15 and 16 years old have been arrested for acts of vandalism in Le Cannet. For two nights, several vehicles, as well as two bus shelters, were vandalised in the Aubarède district. The three culprits were identified through CCTV footage and have admitted the facts.

Presidential elections - While the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has shown his support for Emmanuel Macron in the Presidential elections, the mayor of Cogolin in the Var, is the first elected representative of the PACA region to support Eric Zemmour the far-right candidate. Zemmour has so far totalled 58 sponsorships out of the 500 needed to run in the presidential election.

Emmanuel Macron collects required 500 sponsorships – Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron has collected the required 500 sponsorships for the Presidential election, even though he has not yet announced his candidacy. Presidential candidates must collect 500 sponsorships before 4th March in order to be able to run in the election.

Right wing candidates have more than 80% of interactions on Facebook for the month of January in France – According to data compiled by BFMTV, the five most right-wing candidates for the Presidential elections in France have more than 80% of interactions on Facebook in France, over the month of January 2022. The two far-left candidates Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Fabien Roussel (French Communist Party) have only 8.86% of interactions. According to the January ranking, Eric Zemmour is well ahead, with 2.3 million interactions, followed by Florian Philippot (1.8 million), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (1.7 million), Marine Le Pen (1.6 million) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France insoumise, 0.8 million). The parties of the left, centre or right, represented by Emmanuel Macron (La République en marche), Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party), Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains), Yannick Jadot (Europe Écologie Les Verts) or Christiane Taubira account for only 8.43% of the total interactions.

Toyota Prius most stolen model of car in France for 2021 - The magazine Auto Plus has revealed that the Toyota Prius topped the ranking for the model the most stolen in France in 2021. 120,000 vehicles are stolen every year, that's 328 car thefts every day. The Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region has the highest number of car thefts in the country ahead of Paris.

John Taylor announces record sale in Monaco - The president of John Taylor, one of the leading luxury real estate companies, has announced a record sale here in the Principality. At the end of 2021 John Taylor Monaco achieved the biggest sale in its history. The company said it was “a 9 figure sum which can’t be disclosed, between 100 million and 1 billion euros, adding that it’s probably the biggest sale of a single apartment in recent years in Monaco, and it is not by the sea."

Most expensive streets to buy property in France - The news comes as MeilleursAgents published on Thursday February 3rd, its ranking of the most expensive streets to buy property in France. While the most expensive streets are found in the French capital, where property in certain streets can exceed 20,000 euros per square metre, Nice is next with Avenue Jean Lorrain where the price per square metre is more than 9,000 euros.

Air France - Since the reopening of the US borders last November, Air France is gradually increasing its service with a daily flight to New York from Paris-Orly. For the summer 2022 season (April-October), as of March 27, 2022, the company will resume its flights between Paris-Orly and New York JFK, with a daily flight. New York will therefore be connected to the two Parisian airports with a total of up to 7 daily flights.

During the summer of 2022, Air France will serve 14 destinations in the United States from Paris with nearly 200 weekly flights, 20% more than in the summer of 2019. The company nevertheless warns that this flight schedule is likely to evolve depending on travel restrictions.

Business

Shares in social media firms have been hit following Meta's decline after it blamed competition from Apple and TikTok for its under par growth forecast. Meta's results wiped nearly 1 percent off the value of the tech heavy Nasdaq index while Twitter fell by 5.6 percent and Pinterest and Snap were down by 10.3 percent and 23.6 percent respectively. Big tech stocks such as Alphabet fell by 3 percent and Microsoft was also down 3 percent. Analysts say that in the current environment, only firms who can deliver strong earnings growth will be rewarded and that there will be more divergence between megacaps and lower quality names which are not making any money. Tech stocks have enjoyed a dominant period with low interest rates as investors sought high growth but with inflation rising and interest rate rises on the way, fund managers are now adjusting portfolios.

Amazon is to raise the price of its Prime service for US customers as it announced record sales and profits. The e-commerce giant said that prices would increase by 17 percent to 139 dollars for an annual subscription citing bigger wage and shipping costs. Amazon shares rose by more than 15 percent in after-hours trading on the news as it announced its fourth quarter results. Sales for the final three months of 2021 rose by 10 percent year-on-year to 137.4 billion dollars. Profits almost doubled to 14.3 billion and sales for the year rose by 22 percent to 468.9 billion dollars. It's the first time that the US Prime subscription has risen since 2018. Amazon said that it had not plans for the time being to extend the increase to other countries.

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the second time in three months as it tries to curb a rapid rise in the cost of living. The hike to half of one percent from a quarter of one percent came as the Bank warned that price rises could speed up further. Prices are rising faster than pay which is putting the biggest squeeze on household finances for decades. Rising gas and electricity prices are the main factor with households preparing for a massive 54 percent jump in energy bills from April. Inflation is expected to peak at 7.25 percent in April and average close to 6 percent for the year. The Bank's governor Andrew Bailey has urged workers to accept pay restraint in order for inflation to be tamed more quickly.

Sport

Winter Olympics - The opening ceremony at the Beijing Winter Olympics is taking place later amid criticism that the Games should not be held in a country with such an appalling human rights record and with environmentalists scathing about the amount of artificial snow that's been created for the alpine events. The president of the IOC Thomas Bach has also been criticised for taking a "neutral position" on the plight of the oppressed Uyghur population of China after saying that the organisation can't comment on political issues as it would "put the games at risk". Many world leaders will stay away from the opening ceremony which will be held in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping. Athletes, officials and journalists will be cordoned off from the rest of the world during the games with their movement restricted to the airport, official buses and venues and hotels and leaving the bubble is strictly forbidden.

Rugby Union - The first round of the 2022 6 Nations Championship is being played this weekend with France seen by many as favourites to pull off the Grand Slam. France have what looks like an easy opener on Sunday against Italy in Paris while Ireland kick the tournament off against Wales in Dublin at 3.15 tomorrow.

That's followed by the Calcutta Cup game between Scotland and England at Murrayfield at 5.45. England have a number of injury absences with the side captained by Tom Curry as Owen Farrell is out following ankle surgery.

Football - Egypt will play Senagal in the Africa Cup of Nations Final. Egypt won their semi-final against the hosts Cameroon 3-1 on penalties after the scores were tied at 0-0 after extra time. Senegal booked their place after beating Burkina Faso 3-1 on Wednesday.

It's FA Cup 4th round weekend in England with the holders Leicester City away at midlands rivals Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Of the minnows, Kidderminster Harriers take on West Ham of the Premier League tomorrow while non-league Borham Wood travel to Bournemouth of the Championship on Sunday.

Chelsea play Plymouth at home tomorrow while Liverpool host Cardiff City on Sunday. It's the top of the Premier League against the top of the Championship with Manchester City at home to Fulham tomorrow while Manchester United host Middlesbrough tonight.

There's one game in the English Premier League with a relegation six pointer between Burnley and Watford.

Cricket - The England head coach Chris Silverwood has stepped down following the side's disastrous Ashes tour. Silverwood, who was appointed in 2019 saw his side lose the Ashes 4-0 to Australia and has overseen a decline in Test match performances that's only yielded one win in the past 14. Earlier this week, England's director of cricket Ashley Giles was also sacked. Sir Andrew Strauss has stepped into the role on a temporary basis and will be in charge of appointing an interim coach for the tour of the West Indies.

Formula 1 - The sport's management has put forward a compromise deal on sprint races for next season following an argument over money with the teams. Formula 1 had agreed in principal to double the number of sprint events from three to six but a stand-off developed over financial terms. A compromise to run only 3 sprint races next season on the same financial terms as 2021 has now been proposed but 8 out of the 10 teams will need to approve the plan for it to go ahead.

Weather

Partially cloudy with light to moderate westerly winds. Top temperature 15-16 degrees. Overnight lows of 6-10 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

The weekend - Mainly fine with highs of 15-17 degrees.

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