French and Riviera News Thursday 5th January 2023


Report on handling of covid crisis - The General Inspectorate of Social Affairs, the IGAS has issued a report concerning the health crisis and in particularly, the management of the crisis by the French government particularly the Ministry of Health. The report reveals a lack of preparation, disorganization and poor decision-making. The "confidential" report was submitted to the investigation of the Court of Justice of the Republic which will have to now determine whether members of the government have a responsibility in the management of the health crisis linked to Covid-19.

Ban of online sale of paracetamol-based products - The French government has banned the online sale of paracetamol-based products due to the risk of shortages. The ban introduced on Wednesday is in place until the end of the month. For several months, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) has been asking pharmacists to ration the sale of paracetamol to each patient. In December, the Ministry of Health had already warned that, despite these measures, the situation remained "complex" and would not be resolved for several weeks.

The government highlights the worsening health situation in China, where Covid cases are exploding after a sudden lifting of drastic health restrictions. The Chinese government has banned the export of paracetamol. China produces a large part of the active ingredient used by laboratories worldwide.

Teenager out of danger - The teenager stabbed in front of his high school in Hyères in the Var is reportedly "out of danger". The 16-year-old was stabbed six times by a fellow student in front of the professional high school on Tuesday morning. The investigation into the attack continues.  

School rugby suspended - School rugby has been suspended until further notice after a serious accident in mid-December. Competitions organized by the National Union of School Sport were stopped on December 16th following the accident which occurred during a match in the Hautes-Pyrénées. Experts from the French Rugby Federation met on Wednesday January 5th and are expected to soon announce the conclusion of the meeting.  The accident which occurred on December 14th during a tackle left a 17-year-old high school student quadriplegic.  In a letter, the National Union of Physical Education, affiliated to the FSU, questioned the UNSS on the suspension.

Future of Stars’N’Bars – Following the sad news of the closure of Stars’N’Bars after 30 years of service here in Monaco, it’s been revealed that the future project will see the establishment transformed into a new restaurant with workspaces, conferences and based around the environment. Last November marked the end of an era following the announcement of the upcoming closure of Stars'N'Bars which will close its doors on January 27th.  The new chapter will remain true to raising awareness “substituting industrial for organic” something which has been at the heart of Stars’N’Bars for over a decade.

Francoise Hardy in ranking of best singers of all time - French singer Françoise Hardy has appeared in the ranking of the 200 best singers of all time, published on January 1st by Rolling Stone. The only Frenchwoman to appear in the ranking, 78-year-old Hardy reacted to the news on French radio saying she had been “blown away by the news” adding that she “didn’t deserve to be in such a ranking”.  

Françoise Hardy occupies the 162nd place of the selection of the American magazine. The publication calls the French singer an "international superstar" who "wrote what she sang herself", "a rarity in the mid-1960s, especially for women".

Since its publication, Rolling Stone's ranking of the 200 greatest singers of all time has been debated. The most recurring criticism concerns the absence of Celine Dion, but other points astonish and annoy Internet users: the fact that Madonna, Cher or Judy Garland were not selected, or even that Michael Jackson was relegated to the 86th place.

Treasure hunt - A bakery in Nice has hidden a jewel worth 1,000 euros in one of its galettes des rois. "Les Petits Marchands" in partnership with the Nice jewellery store "Messika" has decided to play Willy Wonka and has for the Epiphany, recreated the mythical search for a golden ticket hidden in the middle of one of its cakes. The lucky winner will win a gold bracelet worth 1,000 euros from the Messika jewellery store a favourite of Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner.

Also, in Nice, another bakery has launched a similar treasure hunt. The Armand establishments have decided to offer three customers a real crown by the Nice sculptor Frédéric Fortuné.


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