French and Riviera News Thursday 28th April 2022

News

Rescue operation - The Ocean Viking, the ship of the NGO SOS Méditerranée, based in Marseille has carried out two new rescue operations with a total of 295 migrants being rescued since Sunday. During the night of Tuesday to Wednesday 72 people including women and children were rescued by the Ocean Viking ship chartered by SOS Méditerranée in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross.  

Ukrainian ambassador to France and Monaco says the “situation is critical” - The Ukrainian ambassador to France has said that the “situation is critical” and called for help. In an exclusive interview with the Nice Matin Vadym Omelchenko ambassador of Ukraine to France and Monaco takes stock of the war. Asked if the risk of “World War III” was very “real”, Omelchenko replies that it’s a testimony of weakness as the “Russians realise they are losing, they resort to threats” adding that in reality he thinks “the prospect is quite possible”, because “no one knows what is going on in the head of the Russian head of state”. Concluding that “future initiatives will depend on the determination of the West and the Western community”.

Russian President gives warning - Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin has since warned that any country trying to intervene in the Ukraine war will face a "lightning-fast" response. Ukraine's allies have stepped up the supply of weapons, with the US vowing to make sure Ukraine defeats Russia.

Sabotage of optical fibers - Fixed and mobile internet networks have been disrupted in several French regions on Wednesday following cable cuts as optical fibers were sabotaged. The French Telecom Federation called it “an attack of an unprecedented scale”. All operators have since lodged a complaint and filed civil action to understand the motivations and secure the networks. There are more than 50,000 pylons in France, nearly 30 million homes and businesses have access to fiber.

Police officer charged - The police officer who killed two men on Sunday by shooting at their car near Pont-Neuf in Paris, after they were suspected of having fled a police check has been charged with "intentional homicide against the driver of the vehicle". The 24-year-old officer has been placed under judicial control.

Cases of measles soars worldwide - The World Health Organization and Unicef ​​has announced that the number of cases of measles has soared nearly 80% worldwide this year. So far, some 17,338 measles cases have been reported globally in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 in the first two months of 2021. The WHO has sounded the alarm in recent months about the risk of an "absolute catastrophe" if the dangerous delay in the vaccination of children due to the covid pandemic is not caught up and if health restrictions are lifted too quickly.

Opinion poll - According to an Elabe Opinion poll published on Wednesday more than 6 out of 10 French people (61%) want a majority of MPs opposed to Emmanuel Macron to be elected in June, during the legislative elections, which would lead to a period of cohabitation for the second five-year term. In 2017, only 47% of French respondents said they wanted a majority opposed to Emmanuel Macron, the recent poll therefore reveals an increase of 14 points.

Looting of heritage site - An investigation has been opened by the maritime gendarmerie of Marseille following the discovery of "significant looting" on a wreck dating back to the conquest of Alexander (331-323 BC) and Roman domination (31 BC) in the western Mediterranean located north of Islands of Lérins opposite Cannes. The heritage site was discovered back in 2017 at a depth of 19 m.

Business

The CAC 40 gained 0.48% on Wednesday evening ending a series of three sessions of decline. Wednesday was marked by high volatility on the Paris Stock Exchange, due to investors fears about the risk of a slowdown in global economies and the consequences of Russia’s blackmail over gas supplies.

The French government has changed the conditions of the ecological bonus, an aid for the purchase or rental of low-polluting vehicles. The aid will only be valid if individuals commit to owning the vehicle for at least a year rather than six months which had been previously stated. You must also drive at least 6000 kilometers, a condition which remains unchanged.

The chief executive of Boeing has said that former US President Donald Trump's new deal for Air Force One was a bad one for Boeing. His comments came as the firm said it expected to lose $1.1bn (£875m) on the two planes for the White House. Mr Trump had forced the company to renegotiate its contract, calling the initial deal too expensive. The new agreement made Boeing, not taxpayers, responsible for changes to costs.

According to its parent company Meta the number of daily active Facebook users has grown to 1.96 billion in the first three months of the year marking a turnaround from last year, when the social network reported a decline in users for the first time. The drop wiped billions from the firm's market value.

A second country, Central African Republic (CAR) has approved Bitcoin as legal tender. CAR is one of the world's poorest countries, but is rich in diamonds, gold and uranium. In a statement from the CAR presidency lawmakers voted unanimously to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as an official currency in September 2021 - a move criticised by many economists, including the International Monetary Fund, which said it increased the risk of financial instability.

Sport

Football – Former Liverpool players Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Peter Crouch have unanimously labelled the current Liverpool side as the “greatest Reds team ever” after their 2-0 victory against Villarreal at Anfield last night.

The second leg in Villarreal is still to come next Tuesday but Liverpool now look firmly on course to meet either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final in Paris in May.

Athletics - Five Metropolitan Police officers will face a gross-misconduct hearing over the stop-and-search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams, following an investigation by the police watchdog. The 28-year-old British sprinter and her partner were stopped in their car, in west London, in July 2020. The couple were handcuffed, searched for weapons and drugs and separated from their three-month-old son.

An independent panel will now determine whether to uphold the allegations.

Formula One - Mercedes say they are aiming to have upgrades at the next race in Miami which they hope will begin to solve the recent car problems. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton has had a difficult start to the season. The 37-year-old has managed only one podium finish in the four races so far and lies seventh in the championship.

Tennis - Emma Raducanu says it was a "tough" decision to split with coach Torben Beltz after only five months but is "very confident" in her training. The US Open champion is seeking her fourth coach in a year after parting ways with Beltz on Tuesday.

Weather

Mainly fine with light winds. Highs of 21 degrees in Monaco, Antibes and Cannes. 22 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var. This evening going down to 13 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend remaining fine highs of 21-22 degrees.

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