French and Riviera News Monday 4th September 2023

Another child falls from ride at Antibesland - Another child has been injured in a fall from a ride at Antibesland funfair. This time, an eight-year-old boy was thrown from the Music Express ride on Friday evening. He landed on a passer-by. Both of them suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital in Antibes for a check-up. Witnesses who were on the ride said they had the impression it was travelling too fast. The family of this latest victim say it is a miracle that the boy escaped relatively unharmed and they aren't ruling out legal action. A week earlier, a six-year-old fell from the Rock Island merry-go-round at the same funfair. Antibesland management said the ride had been in place for two years and was regularly checked. It said it would "do everything to ensure that this kind of incident can never happen again".

Monaco calls for vigilance as new Covid variant emerges - The Monegasque government has called for increased vigilance as the number of Covid-19 cases in the prinicipality is on the rise again. Several cases of the new EG.5 variant of the virus, called Eris, have been detected in Monaco and in the wider region. It's a sub-variant of the Omicron strain of Covid. Monaco said the evidence suggested that symptoms were generally mild and the pressure on hospitals would be minimal But it still recommends vigilance, especially wearing a mask if you have symptoms, and that elderly and other vulnerable people remain up-to-date with their booster vaccines.

Dengue fever case in Nice - Meanwhile, a mosquito control operation has been carried out in a neighbourhood of Nice after a case of dengue fever was detected in the area last week. Roads and gardens around the Lycée Masséna were sprayed with insecticide in the early hours of last Friday morning. Dengue fever is a viral disease spread by the tiger mosquito. Several cases have been reported in the Alpes-Maritimes so far this summer. Local residents were advised to thoroughly wash any fruit and vegetables growing in their gardens and on their balconies.

Nice metropolitan area to grow - A small village in the hills above the Var river has become the latest to want to join the Nice metropolitan area. Tourette-du-Château, in the Esteron, is currently connected to the Alpes d'Azur municipal area, which is based in Puget-Théniers. The local council has now voted in favour of becoming associated with Nice instead. It will submit a formal application in mid-September, with a view to the change happening next January. Each of the 51 municipalities that make up the Nice metropolitan area will have to vote on the new membership.

Paris catering school to open in Cannes - A prestigious school for hotel and catering professions has chosen Cannes as the location for its new Riviera campus. The Paris-based group Vatel will settle in an 18,000m² complex which will eventually welcome thousands of students, with a total investment of €70 million. Works are due to begin next year, with the school hoping to open in September 2026. The school's objective is to train young people looking for work in catering, cooking and the hotel trade. Initially, 500 students will study there - a figure that will eventually double.

Speeding driver 'late for petanque' - And a motorist who was caught speeding at 146 kilometres per hour on a road limited to 80 has explained that he was running late for a petanque contest. Gendarmes pulled the driver over in La Roche de Rame, in the Hautes-Alpes, on Saturday. He didn't make it to the petanque game in the end - as they confiscated his licence and seized his vehicle.

BUSINESS

Mohamed Al Fayed, the former Harrods boss whose son Dodi was killed in a car crash alongside Diana, Princess of Wales, has died aged 94. Born in Egypt, he built a business empire in the Middle East before moving to the UK in the 1970s. However, he never realised his ambition to gain a passport for his adopted country. He spent his later years questioning the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Dodi and Diana. Al Fayed had remained largely out of the public limelight in the past decade.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is confident his plan to reduce rising prices is working and will soon ease the financial strain on UK households. Ahead of parliament returning on Monday, Hunt acknowledged that many households across the country are still struggling financially. Despite the Bank of England's prediction of a 7.1% inflation rate, experts still expect it to drop to around 5% by the year-end. Inflation has eased back to 6.8% from a recent peak of 11.1% last October, but is still far from the Bank of England's 2% target.

Toymaker Lego saw profits fall in the first half of the year as the bumper sales growth seen during the pandemic starts to fade. The Danish company performed exceptionally well during lockdowns as households stocked up on toys and games to keep them occupied at home. However, revenues have since stalled, with sales up just 1% in the first half of the year. Profits at the toymaker dropped 17.7%. The company had pinned its hopes on China, with its burgeoning middle-class who are eager to buy Western products. Lego opened 58 stores in the first half of the year in China, as the world's second largest economy began its big reopening as covid-related restrictions were lifted across the country.

SPORT

F1 - Red Bull's Max Verstappen broke a Formula 1 record with his 10th consecutive win as he overcame Ferrari's valiant challenge at the Italian Grand Prix. Verstappen's 10th win in a row moves him clear of Sebastian Vettel's total of nine, also achieved in a Red Bull, in the 2013 season.

Football - In the Premier League at the weekend, Erling Haaland capped a golden week by helping  Manchester City extend their 100% start to the Premier League season with a 5-1 win over Fulham. Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick as Tottenham recovered from a goal down to thrash Burnley 5-2 away at Turf Moor and continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season. Chelsea suffered a 1-0 defeat away at Nottingham Forest. Arsenal scored twice in stoppage time to secure a dramatic 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.

In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 in the Old Firm derby. And in local football, AS Monaco are back at the top of Ligue 1 after beating Lens 3-0. OGC Nice enjoyed a 2-0 win over Strasbourg at the Allianz Riviera.

Everton winger Demarai Gray has appeared to criticise manager Sean Dyche in a social media post. Gray was in talks about joining Fulham but the move did not materialise before the transfer window closed. The 27-year-old has also been linked with Turkish Super Lig side Besiktas and clubs in Saudi Arabia. Gray joined the Toffees from Bayer Leverkusen for £1.7m in 2021 and has made 75 appearances for the club, scoring 12 goals.

Cricket - Former Zimbabwe captain and coach Heath Streak, who had been suffering from colon cancer, has died at the age of 49. Streak is Zimbabwe's all-time leading wicket-taker. He was serving an eight-year ban from cricket, issued in 2021, for corruption offences. He played in 65 Tests for Zimbabwe, taking 216 wickets, and 189 one-day internationals, in which he took 239 wickets. As a county cricketer, he had spells with Warwickshire and Hampshire.

Cricket - England were outplayed by a resurgent New Zealand who won the third T20 international by 74 runs at Edgbaston. New Zealand managed 202 for 5, while England were bowled out for 128.

WEATHER

A fine and sunny start to the week, with clear skies, westerly winds and temperatures reaching 29 on the coast this afternoon, 32 further inland. There'll be clear skies overnight, staying warm with temperatures not going below 21 on the coast tonight, 19 inland.
The outlook for Tuesday: more of the same, fine and sunny, light winds, up to 27 degrees on the coast and 30 inland in the Var.

BEACH WEATHER

This afternoon on the beach in Nice, it'll be fine and sunny, 27 degrees celsius with light westerly winds. The sea temperature is 24 degrees celsius and the UV index is 7. In Saint-Tropez, it'll also be fine and sunny, 29 degrees celsius, with light south-westerly winds. The sea temperature is 23 degrees and the UV index is also 7.
 

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