French and Riviera News Tuesday 15th February 2022

News

Woman found dead in her home in Mandelieu - Police in Cannes have opened an investigation after a woman was found dead in her bed at her home in Mandelieu. It was the woman's sister who made the discovery on Sunday afternoon. The victim's partner has since been arrested and placed in police custody, as police continue the investigatation to determine the exact circumstances and cause of death.

Vaccination pass - Today Tuesday 15th February, will see a change to the vaccination pass in France, with those who have not received a booster jab running the risk of losing their right to the pass. To coincide with the change authorities have invited those in possession of a false pass or having used somebody else's, to get vaccinated today to regularise their situation without the risk of being fined. On December 30th the Interior Minister reported at least 192,000 false passes in circulation in France.

Easing of health protocol in the office – Meanwhile, the French government is expected to further ease covid restrictions in the workplace with companies being able to once again, hold office gatherings in "compliance with strict barrier gestures". The move comes as teleworking is still "recommended" although it is left to the "discretion of the company's management".

Coastal path closed due to bad weather - The coastal path in Cap d'Antibes has been temporarily closed due to the strong winds. The closure was put in place on Monday February 15th, as heavy rain and strong winds hit the region. It is expected to reopen, as the fine weather returns today.

Mobility 2028 - Plans for the "Mobility 2028" project have been revealed which will include the construction of an additional cycling path linking Nice to Monaco. The path connecting the city of Nice to the Principality should be completed by 2023. The project will see an additional 160km of cycling paths created, including 75km in Nice by 2026.

Inquiry into death of 27 migrants in the English Chanel last November - An inquiry into the sinking of a canoe in the English Channel in November of last year has shown that the French emergency services had been alerted. On November 24th 27 migrants died in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK. Until now, the maritime prefecture of the Channel claimed to have known of the sinking only on November 24 at 2 p.m., when a fishing boat spotted the lifeless bodies of the migrants. But a French source told Radio France's Investigation Unit that some of the migrants had dialled 196, the CROSS number, that night to ask for help. The inquiry continues.

Greenpeace asks for withdrawal of palm oil import - Greenpeace has asked the prefecture of the Bouches du Rhone to immediately withdraw the palm oil import permit granted to its refinery, located near Marseille. Greenpeace accuses the French group TotalEnergies of concealing "the real effects on the climate" of its production of palm oil fuel imported from Asia in its refinery in La Mède in the Bouches-du-Rhône. The environmental NGO has asked the prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône to immediately withdraw the fuel import authorization. The energy company, which has pledged to stop using palm oil from 2023, has always defended itself against accusations from NGOs by saying that the oils purchased for La Mède meet "the sustainability criteria set by the European Union".

Bobsleighing - Monaco's bobsleighing team put on a fine performance at the Beijing Olympics on Monday, as Rudy Rinaldi and Boris Vain took to the track. Setting a tough score to begin with they were however overtaken coming 9th with everything being decided in today's last two rounds at 1.15pm and 2.50pm.

Business

European petrol and diesel prices have hit record highs putting a further squeeze on household budgets as tensions rise over the situation in Ukraine. Although oil prices have pulled back from 7 year highs this morning on profit taking, motorists are being hit hard in the pocket by the soaring price of crude which is rising for a number of factors including Ukraine and a shortfall in supply from Opec+ nations. JP Morgan has forecast that Brent could rise as high as 125 dollars a barrel in the coming weeks if Russia invades Ukraine and Opec doesn't increase production. If the Ukraine situation deteriorates then oil and gas supplies from Russia to Europe may be interrupted which would push wholesale prices up further. Opec and its allies have struggled to increase production in line with output targets due to a combination of outages and technical issues.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the country's Emergencies Act to crack down on anti-vaccine mandate protests. In an unprecedented step, Mr Trudeau said that the scope of the measures would be "time limited" and would not see the military deployed. Banks will be allowed to freeze the assets of anyone linked to the protests without requiring a court order and police are being given more powers to fine or imprison demonstrators. Demonstrations over the vaccine mandate are now into their third week in Canada and hundreds of people are still occupying the centre of the capital Ottowa after protests started initially over a new rule that all truckers must be vaccinated to cross the border to from the United States or quarantine when they return home.

The beleaguered Australian gaming group Crown Resorts has agreed to be taken over by the US private equity giant Blackstone. The firm said on Monday that its board had backed Blackstone's 6.3 billion dollar buyout offer after previously rejecting an earlier bid. The deal will give billionaire James Packer the chance to exit Crown Resorts which has been mired in scandals and is facing regulatory scrutiny. Regulators allege that Crown has knowingly dealt with criminal organisations and misled authorities. It's licence for its flagship casino in Sydney remains suspended and its operation in Melbourne is only allowed to open under government supervision for two years.

Sport 

Winter Olympics - It's day 11 of the Winter Games in Beijing with Norway still out in front in the medals table. Norway has 9 gold medals in a total of 21 with Germany in second place with 8 gold medals in a total of 15 and the United States in third place with 7 gold medals in a total of 16.

There are 9 medal events today including in women's downhill skiing, two man bobsleigh, men's relay biathlon, large hill Nordic combined, men's and women's big air snowboard and men's and women's team pursuit speed skating.

Football - The European Champions League gets back underway tonight with two first leg ties in the round of 16. Paris St Germain play Real Madrid and Sporting Lisbon host Manchester City.

There's one game in the English Premier League tonight. Manchester United play Brighton.

In the English Championship last night, Blackburn and West Brom drew 0-0.

Formula 1 - The FIA has said that its enquiry into last season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is still "ongoing". At a meeting on Monday between the Formula 1 Commission of Teams, Formula 1 management and the FIA it was announced that there could be changes to race management later this week but that the enquiry into what happened in Abu Dhabi at the end of last season is still not complete. The meeting did reach agreement on sprint races next season with 3 confirmed on the calendar. Reports say that race director Michael Masi may be replaced as a result of the fiasco in Abu Dhabi after he failed to follow safety car procedures when the race was restarted.

Golf - The Argentine player Eduardo Romero has died at the age of 67. Romero, who was nicknamed "El Gato" or The Cat is considered to be one of the greatest South American players of all time. He won 8 European Tour titles and represented Argentina at the World Cup of Golf 14 times. He'd been suffering from cancer.

Weather

Mainly fine with a strong Mistral developing across the Var with gusts of up to 65 km/h. Top temperature 15 degrees. Overnight lows of 4-8 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Mainly fine with highs of 15 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 17-19 degrees in the Var.

And Finally

According to a study the majority of children aged five and younger are not meeting screen time limits. The study showed that only a quarter of children under two, and one in three aged two to five, are meeting international recommendations.

Global guidelines suggest infants younger than two avoid screen time altogether, while children aged two to five should spend no more than an hour a day in front of one. Earlier studies have shown there may be a link between screen use and behavioural problems or poor development.

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