French and Riviera News Thursday 28th July 2022


Missing person - A man has been reported missing between La Tour-sur-Tinée and Lantosque in the Alpes Maritimes. Damien Riposati was last seen several days ago when he left to visit a farmer in a neighbouring village. A search was carried out in the area on Monday, but for the time being he has not been found. The town of Valdeblore has launched an appeal on its Facebook page for anyone who may have seen or have any information to come forward.

Fatal road accident - A motorcyclist has died in a road accident in Cabasse north of Le Luc in the Var. Emergency services intervened on Wednesday afternoon on the RD33 when a motorcycle collided with a car. An investigation has been opened as police. It is not known if the motorist involved fled immediately or left after stopping.

Road deaths in the Var declining – Meanwhile, according to the latest report published, the number of road deaths in the Var department has dropped in 2021 and the number of people killed on French motorways is at its lowest for twenty years.  In 2021, 61 people lost their lives on the roads in the Var, this represents a drop of 16% compared to 2019.

Customs officers in Marseille intercept 20 tonnes of peanuts and 12.8 tonnes of spices - Customs officers in Marseille have intercepted 20 tonnes of peanuts and 12.8 tonnes of spices, contaminated, and deemed to be dangerous. The batch of nearly 20 tonnes of peanuts, originating from the United States, was intended for a professional in the international trade of dried fruits and vegetables based in Marseille. A sample taken by the "Marseille Food Safety" Unit of the Marseille Port customs office, on delivery on July 7th, revealed the presence of a high level of aflatoxins. The lot was immediately destroyed.

Blue sharks - Blue sharks have been spotted near two beaches in the Var on Wednesday morning. The first sighting was off the Port Hélène beach in Hyeres and a little later in Bormes, a few meters from Cabasson beach. In Hyéres a person on a paddle board took a video of the two-metre-long shark while in Bormes it was a swimmer who spotted two fins. Firefighters temporarily closed the beach at Cabasson to confirm the sightings with the objective to protect bathers even if the blue shark is harmless to humans.

Investigation - An investigation is underway, and several boats have been seized after companies running sea excursions to swim with dolphins in the Mediterranean have not respected regulations in place protecting the animals.  For 300 euros per person, three companies on the Côte d'Azur claiming to practice "responsible ecotourism", offer the opportunity to go swimming in the Mediterranean with dolphins. But the French justice has seized their boats as the practice is prohibited. Those responsible risk up to two years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros as well as a fine of 750 euros per client.

SNCF busiest day of an already record summer - France’s rail network the SNCF has said that tomorrow Friday 29th July will be the busiest day of an already record summer. 400,000 main line travellers are expected and the level of reservations at the end of July is 10% higher than that of 2019 before the Covid pandemic.  The SNCF has so far sold more than 18 million main line tickets for July and August,

The most popular destinations are unsurprisingly the Mediterranean, the South-West and Brittany, the "top 5" of the most requested cities being, like last year, Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Avignon.

Check your small change! – Finally, you might want to check your small change as Monegasque one centime coins dated 2001 and 2002 are now virtually impossible to find and according to traders are worth more than 100 euros. The same goes for 2 centimes coins from 2002, 2003 and 2004. According to the collectors' website, coins issued by the Principality are very rare and therefore highly sought after by collectors.


The US central bank has announced another unusually large interest rate hike as it battles to rein in soaring prices in the world's largest economy. The Federal Reserve said it would increase its key rate by 0.75 percentage points, targeting a range of 2.25% to 2.5%. The bank has been raising borrowing costs since March to try to cool the economy and ease price inflation. But fears are rising the moves will tip the US into recession. Many expect official figures this week will show the US economy shrank for the second quarter in a row.

Gas prices have jumped after Russia further cut gas supplies to Germany and other central European countries. European gas prices rose almost 2%, trading close to the record high set after Russia invaded Ukraine. Critics accuse the Russian government of using gas as a political weapon.

The owner of Facebook and Instagram was hit by a fall in advertising sales in the three months to July which caused the first year-on-year revenue decline in the firm's history. Meta's total revenue slipped 1% to $28.8bn (£23.7bn), but the company fended off a decline in users. Analysts fear the company's growth may have peaked after years of large gains. Rivals such as TikTok have eroded its popularity, while more firms are competing for ad spending.

The number of job seekers in France is down by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter according to figures published on Wednesday by France’s employment minister. The number of category A unemployed registered with Pôle Emploi fell by 15.1% over one year.


Commonwealth Games - The 22nd Commonwealth Games are upon us. Starting today in Birmingham more than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories are set to compete in 19 sports and 280 medal events over a packed 11 days. This year's event features the largest number of events for women (136) and Para-sport athletes (42) in the Games history.

Football – Germany have beaten France 2-1 which means that the eight-time European champions will now play England in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley on Sunday.

Meanwhile Manchester United have completed the signing of Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez from Ajax in a deal worth up to 67m euros (£57m). He joins the club on a five-year contract which keeps him at Old Trafford until 2027, with the option of a further year.

Cricket - England have beaten South Africa by 41 runs in a breathless, high-scoring first Twenty20 international in Bristol.

Rugby Union - Wales have lost Olympic silver medallist Sam Cross to injury before the Commonwealth Games Sevens. Cross suffered a knee injury in Bucharest as Wales qualified for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa.

Tennis - Cameron Norrie is willing "to make as many sacrifices" as it takes to become men's world number one. The Wimbledon semi-finalist is currently 11th and was a place higher earlier this year.

Golf - The 2023 LIV Golf schedule will not compete with the majors, international team events or heritage events, say event organisers. The announcement comes before the start of the breakaway Saudi-funded series' third tournament. Play begins in Bedminster on Friday.


Sunny with highs of 29 degrees in Nice and Saint Paul de Vence. 30 degrees in Cannes and Antibes with a gentle breeze. Still a risk of cloudy and showers in land. This evening going down to 21 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and the weekend remaining fine and sunny along the coast highs of 30 degrees. Possible showers inland on Friday.

Sea temperature:    28 degrees       UV level:           9

Sunrise:                       06.14hr              Sunset:     20.58hr

And Finally

Finally, the incredible story of James Howells who wants to recover his 8000 bitcoins which are buried underground. Back in 2013, the Welshman claimed to have mistakenly thrown a hard drive containing the private key of 8000 bitcoins into his local rubbish dump. Ten years later, he is still not giving up. For years he has faced Newport City Council's refusal to dig into the rubbish dump to recover his hard drive, due to cost and environmental reasons.  The current value of its crypto-assets is over $170 million. James Howells say that if the famous hard drive were to be found, he would keep 30% of the assets, a third would go to the recovery team, 30% to investors and the rest to local causes. In case of refusal of the municipality, he says he is ready to attack the local authority considering that his actions constitute an "illegal embargo" on the hard disk.


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