French and Riviera News Monday 22nd August 2022

Local News

Man dies in road traffic accident on the Basse Corniche - A 21-year-old man from Eze has died after he lost control of his Audi and plunged almost 30 metres to his death early on Saturday morning. The driver was returning home from a night shift and emerged from the Cap Estel tunnel when he careered off the basse corniche at high speed. The car first fell on to the railway tracks, before rebounding on to the rocks near the shore. Mountain rescue experts had to be called out to abseil down to reach the wreckage of the car and extract the man's body, which was then taken away by helicopter. Thirty firefighters attended the scene. The train line from Nice to Ventimiglia was closed completely on Saturday morning. A reduced service resumed in the afternoon. Road deaths in the Alpes-Maritimes are on the rise this year. In the first seven months of the year, there have been 32. In the same period last year, there were 23.

CRS riot police return to Paris - Seventy CRS riot police officers from the outskirts of Paris are returning home this week after spending the summer providing reinforcement to the local police in Nice. The officers were seconded to Nice by the interior ministry, on request from the city's mayor Christian Estrosi. Since the beginning of June they have made more than 1,500 arrests. 27 people were caught carrying a weapon, 67 for possession of narcotics and 99 thieves were caught in the act. According to Estrosi, the presence of CRS officers in Nice this summer has been a deterrent and has led to a drop in crime.

80 extra national police officers on the French Riviera - Meanwhile, France's interior minister has announced that an extra 80 national police officers will be stationed on the Riviera in the ongoing fight against crime - especially drug trafficking and urban rodeos. Gérald Darmanin said in a newspaper interview that 11 cities around France would get a reinforced national police presence. One of those mobile units will cover the area between Nice and Cannes, reporting to the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes. It comes after a successful trial in Marseille.

Valberg tap water - Residents in Valberg have been told they can now drink their tap water again. It was strongly discouraged late last week amid concerns the recent storms might have contaminated the local supply. The town hall and tourist office have been distributing free bottled water, after several residents reported stomach bugs. Water supplier Suez says analysis shows the supply is now safe again.

Beaches in Marseille remain closed - Meanwhile, several beaches in Marseille have remained closed over the weekend due to the risk of pollution from waste water following last week's violent storms. The results of bathing water analyses should come back today.

Access banned to 11 forest areas - Also in the Bouches-du-Rhône, authorities have banned access to 11 forest areas to prevent potential fires starting out. A dozen other forest areas in the department are on a yellow alert - that means access is still possible, but any work involving machinery is not allowed after 1pm. Among the closed areas is La Montagnette, which was devastated by a fire earlier in July. The current restrictions will remain in place until at least 1st September.

Cyclist taken to hospital in Nice - A cyclist was taken to hospital in a critical condition on Friday evening after being run over by a driver on the Promenade des Anglais. National and municipal police were on the scene to direct traffic around the site of the collision. An investigation into what happened remains ongoing.

Cars destroyed by fire in Mandelieu-la-Napoule - Four cars were destroyed by fire in Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the early hours of Saturday morning. Firefighters were called out to the Avenue Janvier-Passero. Gendarmes carried out ID checks on four passers-by without making any arrests. It's not yet clear whether the fire was accidental or criminal. No one was injured.

Giant packet of cigarettes on the Promenade des Anglais - And a giant packet of cigarettes has popped up on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice to raise awareness of littering. The oversized pack contains 10,000 cigarette butts that were recently collected during a clean-up operation on the beach. It's the work of a local street artist going by the name of Toolate - and it took the artist eight hours to fill. On the box you'll find the message: "Here is the work of a pack of idiots."

Business

Shares in Cineworld have fallen more than 60% as concerns mount that the world's second largest cinema chain is about to file for bankruptcy. The company, which also owns the Picturehouse chain in the UK, is struggling under $5bn worth of debt. Like other cinema chains, Cineworld was hit hard by the pandemic. Cineworld recently said post-Covid customers levels were lower than expected and blamed "limited" film releases. The Wall Street Journal reported that Cineworld is preparing to file for bankruptcy, sending its share price tumbling.

A US judge ordered Starbucks to reinstate seven workers in Tennessee who say they were sacked in retaliation for pro-union activity. It is a victory for labour regulators, who sued Starbucks over the sackings, arguing that restoring the jobs was key to prevent future labour violations. Starbucks denies retaliation and said it would appeal against the decision.

Dock workers at the UK's largest container port have gone on strike for the first time in 30 years. About 1,900 members of the Unite union at Felixstowe in Suffolk are walking out for eight days in a dispute over pay. Unite said members rejected a 7% pay offer from the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, which it said was below the rate of inflation.

Sport

Football - Arsenal swept aside Bournemouth to continue their perfect start and rise to the top of the Premier League table, with a 3-0 victory. It is the first time Arsenal have won their opening three fixtures since the 2004-05 season. Also in the Premier League, Tottenham beat Wolves 1-0, Crystal Palace managed a 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Everton v Nottingham Forest ended in a 1-1 draw. Fulham beat Brentford 3-2 and Southampton won away to Leicester, 2-1.

In local football, AS Monaco suffered a disappointing defeat against Lens on Saturday, losing 4-1.

Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling says he was left "fuming" and "raging" by his exit from Manchester City. Sterling, 27, moved to Stamford Bridge this summer in a deal worth £50m, having won four Premier League titles during seven years at City. He started just 23 league games last season, and believes his sacrifices were not being rewarded.

Boxing - Oleksandr Usyk took a second consecutive victory over Anthony Joshua to defend his unified WBO, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles over the course of an epic 12-round battle.

Weather

A generally fine and sunny day across most of the region, light southerly winds - just a chance of some light rain further inland in the Alpes-Maritimes. Temperatures reaching 29 on the coast in the Alpes-Maritimes, 31 on the Var coast and up to 33 further inland in the Var. Clear skies tonight, temperatures going down to about 22 on the coast and 18 further inland. 

The outlook for Tuesday: more fine and sunny weather, just some patchy cloud inland in the Alpes-Maritimes. Staying very warm, up to 30 on the coast and 34 inland in the Var.

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