French and Riviera News Monday 15th August 2022

Firefighters in the Alpes-Maritimes were called out to two cases of swimmers getting into difficulty at sea on Saturday - within a few minutes of each other. Lifeguards rescued an unconscious 80-year-old woman from the water at Bijou Plage on the Croisette in Cannes shortly before 11.30am. They managed to resuscitate her while waiting for firefighters and paramedics to arrive. A few minutes later, nine firefighters and four vehicles were called to the Bouches du Loup beach in Villeneuve-Loubet, where a man in his 60s was drowning about 50 metres out at sea. Lifeguards pulled him from the water but he could not be revived.

A young motorcyclist is in a serious condition in hospital after a collision with a car in a tunnel in Nice. The man, in his 20s, was taken to Pasteur hospital just before 6am on Sunday. The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, is unharmed. The Liautaud tunnel, in the Saint-Roch district of Nice, had to be closed for an hour. National police are investigating what happened.

Fifty people joined a remembrance ceremony in Fréjus to mark the first anniversary of the tragic death of a seven-year-old boy, who was mowed down by a car while on holiday. Amine was crossing a road with his mother and older brother when they were hit by the speeding driver. His brother Naïm, who's nine, had to have a leg amputated. Their mother has to use crutches to walk. It was the family's last day on holiday in the Var and they were going to buy souvenirs on the seafront when the accident happened. Balloons were released and a poem was read at the memorial service on Friday. The driver is due to appear in court in November and faces up to seven years in prison.

Saint-Raphaël in the Var has become the latest Riviera town to place restrictions on electric scooters. The mayor has signed a municipal decree expressly banning electric scooters from pavements and pedestrian areas. Bicycles are also covered by the order. It comes after two recent accidents. Eight municipal police officers are patrolling the town's streets to issue fines. Nice, Saint-Tropez and Cagnes-sur-Mer have all recently introduced similar measures.

The Bouches-du-Rhône department has issued a decree banning the use of fireworks. It's due to the ongoing drought and the heightened risk of forest fires. The ban applies to organised displays and people letting off their own fireworks, including on private land. The measure came into force on Saturday and runs until the end of tomorrow. The Vaucluse department took a similar measure around the French national day on 14th July.

Meanwhile, faced with the ongoing water shortage, several seaside towns along the Côte d'Azur have taken the decision to switch off the showers on their beaches. Cagnes-sur-Mer made the decision late last week. Hyères in the Var has done the same, as have Menton and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Cagnes has 30 showers on its beaches and, when running, they consume about 10 litres of water per minute.

Residents in the Alpes-Maritimes village of Tende have been told they can drink their tap water again. The mains supply had been declared unfit for consumption last Wednesday due to the presence of bacteria. Homes were handed bottled water. Regular analyses were carried out, and since Saturday the situation is back to normal.

French president Emmanuel Macron will attend a ceremony in the Var this Wednesday to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Bormes-les-Mimosas. The president has been on holiday at Fort Brégançon in the Var since the end of July - but this will be his first public engagement. His wife Brigitte will also attend the ceremony.

And if you're wondering why a huge bottle of ketchup is adorning the gardens of Monte Carlo casino - it's art. The 18-metre-tall inflatable bottle of Daddies Ketchup is part of a retrospective dedicated to the American artist Paul McCarthy. The rest of the works can be found a few hundred metres away at the nearby Hauser and Wirth gallery.


Saudi oil giant Aramco has broken its own record with a $48.4bn profit for the second quarter of 2022. It is a 90% year-on-year increase and marks the biggest earnings for the world's largest energy exporter since its public listing three years ago. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has seen oil and gas prices skyrocket. Russia is one of the world's biggest exporters but Western nations have pledged to curb their dependence on the country for their energy needs.

Peloton has announced plans to cut jobs, shut stores and raise prices on its exercise equipment including treadmills and top-end bikes as it undertakes a company-wide revamp to shore up its revenue and improve cash flow. The company outlined a plan to aggressively reduce its retail presence in the United States and eliminate a number of jobs in warehouses and customer support teams. This latest round of job cuts affects 800 people. The company has been wrestling with falling sales, as demand for its tech-connected exercise equipment drops. Peloton axed roughly 3,000 jobs in February, as a new chief executive pledged a sweeping turnaround. It scrapped plans for a US factory and last month said it would no longer make