French and Riviera News Monday 4th April 2022

News

French President condemns “unbearable” images - French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the "unbearable" images of murdered civilians in a Ukrainian commuter town near Kyiv and said Russian authorities "must answer for these crimes". Reporters have confirmed dozens of corpses were left lying on the streets following the Russian withdrawal. 

Demonstrations – In Nice at the weekend nearly 200 people gathered on Place Masséna demonstrating against the war.

Clashes with police in Corsica – In other news 16 people have been injured following clashes with police during a demonstration in Ajaccio in tribute to Yvan Colonna. Tension remains high in Corsica two weeks after the death of the independence activist. The gathering had been organised in honour of Colonna.

Knife attack - A man has been seriously injured after a knife attack in Golfe-Juan. The incident occurred on Saturday evening shortly after 8pm near the Théâtre de la Mer Jean-Marais. Police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward after the two alleged attackers reportedly fled on foot leaving behind a scooter.

Investigation - Police have opened an investigation after a man in his thirties attempted to strangle a 60-year-old man in his apartment in Antibes. The incident occurred on Sunday morning; the victim was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The perpetrator was arrested on the spot.

Fire - Residents of an apartment block in Toulon have been evacuated after a fire broke out on the third floor. Firefighters intervened shortly after 7.30pm on Sunday evening. Nobody was injured an investigation is underway to determine the cause.

Covid reinfections - Public Health France has said that the rate of Covid cases attributed as being reinfections is rising in France due to the more contagious Omicron variant. The report shows that reinfections now make up 5.4% of the total positive cases. In total, 685,858 cases recorded between March 2, 2021 and March 20, 2022 have been identified as reinfections, with 95.2% of those being reported since December 6th.

Hailstorm - Nice along with several other communes in the region experienced an unexpected hailstorm on Sunday evening all be it brief, many locals captured impressive photos of the streets carpeted in white for a few moments.

Business

According to reports, the UK government is preparing to nationalise Gazprom's British supply arm within the coming days. The move comes amid a stand-off between the Russian state-controlled energy firm and a Wall Street banking giant.

Meanwhile in an interview in the Sunday Telegraph on Sunday, the UK's Energy Minister has said that the UK could build up to seven nuclear power stations by 2050 while banking on offshore wind as part of a new strategy to increase its energy independence after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the newspaper, after intense internal discussions, the government of Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is due to present its strategy on Thursday to reduce the UK's energy dependence and achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

With the Easter school holidays about to begin EasyJet has announced that nearly 100 flights are cancelled today including 62 from the UK, due to staff absences because of covid. In a statement the company said that it had tried to offset the problem by using standby crew but was forced “to make some cancellations in advance”. The airline has “apologised for any inconvenience” and has said that “those customers affected had been contacted and could rebook on alternative flights or receive a voucher or refund”.

Farmers in France are fearing a second difficult season due to the current cold spell. After frost-ravaged crops last year, this year's cold spell is set to intensify. With exceptionally low temperatures for the month of April the weekend saw record lows in the Southwest of the country, particularly Bergerac which experienced -5.1 degrees. Experts predict a loss of between 70 and 100% of the fruit production with the whole of France affected, with the exception of the Rhone Valley, which is protected by the Mistral.

Meanwhile the electricity network operator RTE has called on companies and individuals in France to curb their electricity consumption today, predicting a tense situation due to the current cold spell. In a statement at the weekend the company asked companies and communities to moderate their consumption this morning in particularly “between 7am and 10am”.

Sport

Football - In the Premier League at the weekend it was good news for Tottenham after a 5 – 1 win against Newcastle. Tonight, there is one match Crystal Palace play Arsenal, kick off is at 9pm French time.

In the French league on Sunday Paris St-Germain kept their 12 point lead at the top beating Lorient 5 – 1. Earlier on Sunday, second-placed Marseille won 4-2 at Saint-Etienne, while former champions Monaco, who are sixth, edged a 2-1 victory at Metz.

Tennis – 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has claimed the first Masters 1,000 title of his career as he beat Norway's Casper Ruud to become the youngest winner of the Miami Open. Alcaraz overcame a slow start to win 7-5 6-4 against the world number eight.

Formula One - Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will begin his Formula 1 season at the Australian Grand Prix after recovering from Covid-19. Vettel, 34, will line up alongside team-mate Lance Stroll in Melbourne for the 2022 season's third grand prix on April 8-10.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze highs of 13 degrees in Nice. 15 degrees and sunny intervals in Toulon and the Var. This evening going down to 4 degrees with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Remaining sunny with highs of 15 degrees.

And Finally

Scientists in the UK have found that learning to play the piano could help keep dementia at bay. Research showed that it strengthened white matter – brain tissue which degrades when memory and concentration problems set in. The benefits came with six months of weekly lessons learning the piano. Britain faces a dementia epidemic because of an ageing population with the number affected forecast to rise from 800,000 to 1.2million in England by 2040.Numerous studies have found playing a musical instrument can protect against the incurable condition. 

 

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