French and Riviera News Friday 8th October 2021

News 

Association in the Roya Valley calls on French President - An association for disaster relief in the Roya valley has called on French President Emmanuel Macron, due to slow down in the mobilization of volunteers. One year after Storm Alex hit the Alpes-Maritimes, the association is launching a call on social networks for volunteers and in particular to the Head of State, sending him a letter to help save the hamlet of Casterino in the town of Tende.  

Radar cars deployed in the PACA region from next year - France’s Interior Minister has announced that from next year private radar cars will be deployed in the PACA region. The cars run by private companies and equipped with non-visible radars able to identify speeding motorists without a visible flash and will operate in the whole region of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. The government first started experimenting with this system on France’s roads back in 2018 but our region was not previously included. According to figures from Road Safety on August 1st, 2021, 202 vehicles were driven by the police, 183 by private operators.

Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation signs partnership with Shibuya Productions - The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and Shibuya Productions have signed a partnership for the distribution of a special edition of the Activ5 fitness device. Shibuya Productions is a multimedia content production and editing company which markets the Activ5 device in Monaco, dedicated to sports and personal development. Activ5 is a small object giving access to many exercises and complete sheathing programs. Linked to an application, the system uses pressure sensors to measure muscle strength and adapt difficulty according to individual progress. With this partnership, a limited edition of Activ5 will be distributed in the colours of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. Part of the profits from the sales of this original version will be donated to the Foundation, to finance projects highlighting the positive values ​​of sport. Through the Sport & Education program, the Foundation encourages the practice of sport for all and promotes the well-being and development of children. On Thursday October 7th Mr. Gareth Wittstock, Secretary General of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation said "this is a unique opportunity for the Foundation to partner with the special sale of Activ5, an innovative and high-performance connected object. The Foundation is committed to positivity in sport, and Activ5 seeks above all to practice sport in an inclusive and intuitive way. Thanks to Mr. Biscay and Activ5 for their support for several years. "

Apartment in Monaco left to small town in northern France - A 7.5-million-euro apartment in Monaco has been left to a small town in northern France. Just a stone's throw away from Monaco train station. The benefactor, Louis Sandras, a stylist with no descendants, left his heritage to the small town of Caudry in the North. Speaking to local media the mayor or the village Frederic Bricout, referred to it “as a hell of an early Christmas present”. Caudry is a small northern town specializing in lace and located south of Valenciennes. After the death of his wife, Louis Sandras moved to Monaco with his second wife. With the money from the sale of the apartment the village of Caudry will amongst other things, invest in a health centre, the renovation of schools and in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, the municipality will set up an annual football tournament.

End to free covid tests in France – From October 15th anti covid tests will no longer be free of charge in France. PCRs will cost 44 euros and antigens 22 euros if they are carried out in a laboratory, 25 euros if they are from a pharmacy (30 euros on a Sunday). PCR and antigen tests will continue to be reimbursed for medical reasons. All unvaccinated adults, but with symptoms, will also be able to access a free test upon presentation of a prescription. The tests will remain free for those vaccinated.

UN calls for European Union to welcome 42,000 Afghan refugees - The UN wants the European Union to welcome 42,000 Afghan refugees over five years. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees made the request, estimating that the EU should welcome half of the Afghan refugees in the world. On Thursday the European Commissioner Ylva Johansson declared it was an "achievable" objective. However, at the forum on Thursday EU countries did not announce any commitments.

Protection of bees - MPs in France have announced plans to make the protection of bees a "great national cause" in 2022. The government is to reflect on the development of a national plan to combat the Asian hornet", a predator largely responsible for "the disappearance of nearly 30% of bee colonies each year". On Thursday October 7th the National Assembly called on the government to make the protection of bees, seriously threatened by insecticides, diseases and the proliferation of the Asian hornet, a "great national cause" in 2022.

Employment minister announces 1,000-euro bonus for long-term job seekers - France’s employment minister Elisabeth Borne has announced a bonus of 1,000 euros for long-term job seekers in training. Borne announced the new measure as part of the government solutions to combat long-term unemployment.

Death of Bernard Tapie - Supporters of Olympique de Marseille have bade farewell to Bernard Tapie, at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône). The coffin of the "Boss" was placed in the center of the field during the tribute ceremony on Thursday. Covered by scarves and flags of Olympique de Marseille, the coffin of Bernard Tapie entered the Velodrome stadium, in front of him, the final of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, won in 1993 by OM, was broadcast. The people of Marseille gave a standing ovation to their former president, who died on October 3.

Former programme director and vice-president of the TF1 group has died at the age of 81 - The former programme director and vice-president of the TF1 group, journalist Etienne Mougeotte has died at the age of 81. Etienne Mougeotte had been news director for Europe 1, before joining the "Journal du Dimanche", "Télé 7 Jours" then TF1 in 1987. The journalist, born in 1940 in La Rochefoucauld (Charente), made his debut with the daily Paris-Normandie, before joining France Inter, Europe 1, "Information Première" then RTL.

Delivery man finds wallet with cash and takes it to the police station - Police in Toulouse have praised the honest action of a delivery man after he found a wallet with 500 euros in cash and dropped it off at the police station. The man who was at the time delivering home meals found the wallet containing both the cash and identity papers and took the time to hand it in to the local police station. Police later found the owner and returned the wallet.

Business

Senators in the United States have voted to temporarily extend the country's debt ceiling, less than two weeks before it was due to be reached. There were fears that the US would default on its national debt, with catastrophic global implications.

The number of countries on the UK Covid travel red list will be cut from 54 to seven. South Africa, Brazil and Mexico come off the red list, which requires travellers to quarantine in an approved hotel at their cost for 10 full days. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the changes begin on Monday and "mark the next step" in opening travel. This latest move will be seen as a boost to the airline industry and families separated during the pandemic.

According to an assessment by the European Commission, the rate of deleting reported messages on social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok is falling. Between March 1st and April 14th such platforms removed an average of 62.5% of the content reported. Almost two-thirds of online hate messages reported in the European Union to platforms are deleted. The report concerns Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Jeuxvideo.com, TikTok, all signatories of the European Union Code of Conduct to Combat Illegal Hate Speech Online, launched in 2016. While the report shows that it has decreased on Facebook and YouTube, this proportion has increased on Twitter and Instagram. First-rated TikTok removed 80% of reported content. And the evaluation clarified that it is hate speech based on sexual orientation and xenophobia that are most frequently cited.

Ireland has joined the global tax reform deal and has agreed to raise corporate tax. The text of the agreement mentions a corporate tax at the minimum effective rate of 15%. Ireland has a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, one of the lowest in the world. In what’s considered to be "a very important step" the Irish government agreed to raise its corporate tax rate on Thursday, October 7, so that Dublin would join the global tax reform agreement negotiated under the backing of the OECD. This decision thus removes one of the last obstacles to the success of the project. The historic agreement announced in July under the patronage of the OECD, and signed by 134 countries, would be binding on multinationals with at least 750 million euros in turnover, including many large technology groups. This reform intends to fight against the tax avoidance of multinationals, largely American, which register in countries with the lowest tax rates such as Ireland.

Sport 

Football - France came from 2-0 down on Thursday night to beat Belgium 3-2 and advance to the final of the Nations League after a pulsating match at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. France will now face Spain on Sunday.

A Saudi Arabian-backed £305m takeover of Newcastle United has been completed.

Formula One - Red Bull's Max Verstappen says he is not feeling the pressure of the Formula 1 title fight because winning would not "change his life". The 24-year-old is two points behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings. Ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix, Verstappen said "the whole team wants to win so that mentality is definitely there, but it is nothing you can force or you have to stress about because we always want to do the best we can."

Cricket - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has had a second operation on his injured finger but is unlikely to play in the Ashes against Australia this winter. The 30-year-old took an indefinite break from cricket in July to protect his mental health and rest his left index finger, first injured in April. He originally had surgery in April but has now had a second operation to remove two screws and scar tissue from the finger. The Ashes are due to begin in December.

Tennis - Andy Murray says he is "back in the good books" at home after his "stolen" tennis shoes and wedding ring were found in Indian Wells. The British three-time Grand Slam champion had left his shoes with his wedding ring attached under the car his team are using in California in order to dry out after practice. After discovering they were missing the next day, Murray put out an appeal for their return on Instagram, saying he was "in the bad books at home".

Weather

Clear skies highs of 22-23 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes with a gentle breeze this evening going down to 15 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend - Fine on Saturday, Sunday starting off cloudy with a chance of showers by the afternoon highs of 19-21 degrees.

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