French and Riviera News Friday 9th September 2022

News

Emmanuel Macron pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II - French president Emmanuel Macron has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, who died on Thursday at the age of 96. In a statement last night, Emmanuel Macron said: "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century." Queen Elizabeth II had reigned for 70 years. Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday. Queen Elizabeth II was a Francophile and was taught French from an early age. It was in May 1948 that the 22-year-old Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, who she had married the previous year, visited France for the first time. Her interest in France was mutual. The queen's reign was extensively covered by the French media and followed with much interest by the French public.

Local News

18 people injured in OGN Nice - Cologne match - In local news, 18 people were injured - one critically - after violent clashes between OGC Nice and Cologne football supporters on Thursday evening. Earlier in the day, several Cologne supporters vandalised the OGC Nice supporters' store on Place Masséna. Then, further violence broke out around and inside the Allianz Riviera stadium, prompting kick-off to be delayed by an hour.

Lawyer speaks out about man shot dead by police in Nice - A lawyer representing the family of a man shot dead by a police officer in Nice on Wednesday afternoon has spoken out about the attack – claiming that what happened was an act of "murder". The police officer who fired the shot was arrested and questioned on Wednesday evening. He can be detained for up to 48 hours without being charged. The victim was driving a car that had refused to stop. It was spotted by police zigzagging dangerously on the Voie Rapide and officers gave chase. The director-general of the French national police acknowledged that several eyewitness videos were doing the rounds on social media - but he said it was important not to take a short clip out of context. France's League of Human Rights has condemned the shooting. A police union defended the officer involved, who believed his colleague was in danger and had to make a split-second decision to shoot.

Dentists in Marseille jailed - Two dentists in Marseille, a father and son, have been jailed for five and eight years respectively for injuring hundreds of patients by carrying out unnecessary dental procedures. 42-year-old Lionel Guedj was sentenced to eight years in prison for performing dental surgery on more than 300 patients needlessly in a bid to defraud the French social security system. His father, Carnot, who's 70, was jailed for five years for his help in setting up the scam. Social security officers became suspicious when they noticed that a single dental practice in Marseille was carrying out 28 times more implants than the national average. Guedj junior had become the highest earning dentist in France, building up an almost 10 million euro property portfolio, a 15-metre yacht and luxury cars. 327 patients registered as civil claimants in the case. Many of them visited the dentist with a simple cavity and came away with botched surgery that left them with permanent damage.

Ski resorts to put prices up - The operators of the Riviera's ski resorts have warned that they'll have to put prices up this coming winter to help cover the soaring cost of energy. After a 2021-22 season that was marked by a lack of snow, anyone hoping to get back on the piste this winter could find themselves paying higher prices. Valberg ski resort alone has warned that it faces a €600,000 electricity bill this coming winter - that's more than double that of previous seasons. The Alpes-Maritimes departmental council says it is already in discussions with operators about setting this winter's rates. The Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area, which decides on the rates for the Mercantour resorts of Auron, Isola 2000 and Saint Dalmas, will also be discussing what action to take shortly.

A man has drowned in Bormes-les-Mimosas - In the Var, a man in his 70s has drowned while swimming at the Favière beach in Bormes-les-Mimosas. The incident happened on Thursday morning. The beach had been closed the night before because of the storms. The victim was airlifted to Toulon hospital after suffering a heart attack.

Europe’s largest telecommunications satellite launched into orbit - Europe's largest telecommunications satellite, which was partly built in Cannes, has successfully been launched into orbit. 150 people have worked round the clock for the past three years at the Thales Alenia Space facility in La Bocca to build the impressive nine-metre-wide satellite – which is about the size of a three-storey building and weighs six-and-a-half tonnes. It cost around 100 million euros. This week it was successfully deployed into space. It will provide ultra-high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity to under-served regions.

Long queues at Lignes d’Azur ticket shops - As is traditional at the start of the new academic year, long queues are snaking their way out of Lignes d'Azur ticket shops around the Nice area. It's the time of year when every student's public transport season ticket has to be renewed for the year ahead. Lignes d'Azur has given some tips to avoid a very long wait. It says the busiest time is always between midday and 2pm. Turning up before 9.30am or mid-afternoon is recommended. Annual and monthly season tickets can also be renewed online, via the app and at the ticket machines on tram lines 2 and 3.

Business

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has launched her own private equity firm, co-founded with a former partner at investment firm the Carlyle Group. SKYY Partners, will focus on investing in consumer and media businesses, they said in a tweet. Ms Kardashian will serve as a co-founder and co-managing partner, while Jay Sammons will handle the day-to-day operations of the firm. Ms Kardashian's mother, Kris Jenner, will also be a partner at the firm.

Holiday Inn owner, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), has confirmed the company has been hit by a cyber-attack. IHG, which has some of the world's largest hotel chains, issued a statement saying it was investigating "unauthorised access" to a number of its technology systems. The UK-based company said its "booking channels and other applications" had been disrupted since Monday. It manages the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Regent hotels.

Apple has launched the iPhone 14 as its "most advanced" smartphone yet - with longer battery life and a series of camera upgrades. Its four new models are between 6.1 and 6.7 inches in length, meaning they have larger screens than the iPhone 13. They can also last all day on a single charge. However, one expert noted that Apple had reserved the "biggest leaps" - such as a more powerful processor - for the Pro, its more expensive handset.

Sport

Football - Graham Potter will be Chelsea's manager, ending his three-year spell with Brighton. Potter, 47, spoke to Chelsea owner Todd Boehly on Wednesday night after Thomas Tuchel was sacked and has reached a verbal agreement with the club. Chelsea were keen to have a new manager in place ahead of Saturday's game away to Fulham. The club, currently sixth in the Premier League, had also held talks with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim about the vacant role.

Newcastle are ready to sign former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius following an injury to Karl Darlow in training on Wednesday. Karius is a free agent after his Liverpool contract ended in the summer. He hadn't played for Liverpool since 2018, spending the last two years on loan at Besiktas and Union Berlin. The 29-year-old is already in Newcastle to undergo a medical and sign a short-term deal to move to St James' Park.

Weather

Another fine and sunny day with a Mistral blowing through the Riviera, temperatures reaching 31 degrees celsius this afternoon on the coast, 28 inland. Clear skies tonight, staying warm, 23 on the coast and 18 further inland. Staying fine and sunny this weekend, still with that Mistral, 30 degrees celsius on the coast on Saturday and 28 on Sunday.

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