French and Riviera News Tuesday 11th August 2020

Local

Movement of panic on the Croisette in Cannes - Several people have suffered minor injuries as hundreds fled after false reports of a gunman on the loose on the Croisette in Cannes on Monday evening. At around 11.30pm passers-by thought they heard gunshots followed by rumours of a gunman having entered one of the hotels.

The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard later confirmed that 'According to information recorded by the forces of law and order, there was no gunfire in Cannes nor a trapped intruder, but a collective panic after an individual shouted 'gunfire'.

Body of tourist found in Ramatuelle - A body, believed to be that of a missing tourist, has been found in Ramatuelle. 54-year-old Olivier Tetart had been missing from a local campsite for about a month. The body was found in a vineyard about one kilometer from the campsite. The prosecutor has been informed and DNA tests will now be carried out to confirm the man's identity.

Young child almost drowns in Antibes - A young child has been hospitalized after almost drowning at the Gravette beach in Antibes on Monday. Reports say that the girl was with her parents when she began to drown and became unconscious. Lifeguards intervened and firefighters took her to the Lenval Hospital in Nice. Her life isn't thought to be in danger.

International School of Monaco new collaboration with Kings College School - The International School of Monaco has announced a new collaboration with one of the best schools in the world, Kings College School. Described as “a collaboration which will be a complete game changer for international education in Monaco and the South of France”. It is a unique agreement for schools in different countries and a “significant step for the ISM to achieve its aspirations”.

The news comes as the school welcomes new Director Mr. Julian Thomas.  

Pierre and Jean Sarkozy in Saint Tropez - While former French President Nicolas Sarkozy spends summer with his wife Carla Bruni in Cap-Nègre in the Var his sons Pierre and Jean Sarkozy have been enjoying the sunshine further down the road in Saint-Tropez.

While Pierre otherwise known as DJ Mosey spent time visiting his friend Jean-Roch (French singer songwriter and producer) his older brother Jean was seen participating for the first time in the “Traversée de Pampelonne”. The event which, sees swimmers cover 4.5km in the bay of Pampelonne, marked its 50th anniversary this year. Jean Sarkozy ranked 47th out of 73 participants completing the swim in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Pebble castle world championship - The pebble castle world championship has taken place in Villeneuve Loubet on Monday with Vincent Poiz and Michael Spinelli from Antibes winning the competition. This year marked the 29th edition of the event which saw 16 teams take part with holidaymakers from Bordeaux, Paris, Italy, Germany and a few locals getting involved. The objective is to create the most beautiful work from the beach pebbles.

This year’s winner was a tribute to Notre-Dame de Paris

National

Power cut brings cable car to a sudden halt in Lourdes - 12 people have been injured including two seriously after a cable car was bought to a sudden stop at 5pm on Monday following a power cut caused by a severe thunderstorm in Lourdes.

Passengers were thrown into the back of the cabin. Twelve people were slightly injured, according to firefighters. The cable car which contained 27 passengers was on the way down, from the peak of Jer to the town of Lourdes, when lightning struck the rails.

Scam - Authorities are warning of a scam involving an e-mail which claims to have been sent by the Finances Publiques. The fraudulent e-mail says that the recipient is entitled to a tax refund and invites them to click on a link to enter their personal details, including their bank card number. Finance Publiques say that they never ask anyone to fill out a form by e-mail in order to receive a refund. 

Coronavirus figures - According to a statement from France’s Ministry of Health published on Monday evening the number of hospitalizations and people admitted to intensive care due to Covid-19 has increased since the last figures which were released on August 7th.

In France, 30,340 people have died from the coronavirus, with 16 more deaths compared to the latest data issued last Friday in a press release from the Ministry of Health. The figures concerning the deaths in nursing homes will be news published later today.

396 people are currently admitted to intensive care according to the latest data. That's 13 more beds occupied, compared to Friday.

In total, 108,315 people have been hospitalized in France since the start of the epidemic and 83,047 have returned home.

The Ministry of Health notes in its press release that "the circulation of the virus is intensifying, especially among young people and in certain regions of Paris and Marseille". The authorities recall the importance of wearing a mask and respecting barrier gestures.

Business

McDonald's has taken new legal action against former chief executive Steve Easterbook, accusing him of lying about sexual relationships with staff. The company fired Mr Easterbrook last year after finding he had a consensual relationship with an employee.

But the firm says further investigation found the British executive had three additional relationships with staff, about which he lied to the board. McDonald's is suing to recover his pay-off, reportedly worth £35m.

According to industry figures published today British consumers spent the most last month since the country went into a coronavirus lockdown in March, as pubs, restaurants, barbers and beauty salons reopened.

Data from Barclaycard and the British Retail Consortium has shown that spending was close to getting back to normal levels though not all sectors were benefiting.

Barclaycard said consumer spending was 2.6% lower than in July last year, the smallest shortfall since the lockdown began.

Official figures which are due to be published on Wednesday are expected to show Britain suffered the biggest economic hit from COVID-19 of any major economy between April and June with output expected to be down by about 20%.

And – Scientists have said that while crop and forest fires are a ritual during summer in France, a warming climate has meant the risk has increased and the danger zone has expanded from southern France to the north.

A fire in July that destroyed a combine harvester was in a district near the border with Belgium where, farmers say, worrying about wildfires is something new.

Sport

Football - Antony Martial's performance in Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Copenhagen on Monday night drew extremely high praise from pundits. The Frenchman was the driving force as United snuck into the semi-finals.

Formula One - Team principal of Mercedes Toto Wolff has challenged rivals to protest if they believe his team have broken the rules in the Racing Point 'copying' row. Racing Point have been docked 15 points and fined 400,000 euros for illegally copying Mercedes' brake ducts.

Rivals have questioned whether Mercedes fully complied with rules that forbid the sharing of key parts.

Wolff said: "If someone thinks we have done something wrong, they should protest. We are happy to go to court."

Cycling - The 2021 Tour de France will start in the western French port of Brest after the Grand Depart in the Danish capital of Copenhagen was postponed by a year.

As well as hosting the Grand Depart, the Brittany region will host four full stages of the race.

 

Tennis - British pair Johanna Konta and Heather Watson both made losing returns to the WTA Tour with straight-set defeats at the Lexington Open in Kentucky.

Weather

Clear skies and sunshine in Monaco, Nice, Juan-les-Pins and Cannes with highs of 29 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 32 degrees in Hyeres, Toulon and Saint Tropez in the Var. Light south westerly wind.

This evening going down to 23 degrees in Nice and 20 degrees in Saint Tropez with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday remaining much the same as today. Thursday starting of cloudy with highs of 32 degrees.

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