French and Riviera News Tuesday 24th May 2022

News

Fire near campsites in Fréjus - 2,000 square metres of land have been destroyed after a fire broke out near two campsites in Fréjus in the Var on Monday evening. Firefighters intervened on rue de Montourey, in Fréjus, near two campsites in the district of Caïs. The cause of the blaze remains unknown.

Drought alert in the Bouches-du-Rhone - A new decree has come into force concerning 19 communes in the  Bouches-du-Rhône and certain districts of Marseille due to the risk of drought. Since the beginning of April, the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture had placed the department on drought alert as the major rivers in the department have abnormally low flow. The use of water for any type of watering is prohibited from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. According to Météo France, rain is not forecast and on the contrary, temperatures should continue to climb and exceed seasonal norms again this week.

The municipalities affected by the drought crisis are Jouques, Peyrolles-en-Provence, Auriol, Belcodène, Cadolive, La Bouilladisse, La Destrousse, Peypin, Roquevaire, Saint-Savournin, Allauch, Aubagne, Gémenos, Carnoux-en-Provence, Mimet, Plan de Cuques, La-Penne-sur-Huveaune, Roquefort-la-Bédoule and Marseille for districts 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

Recall of Volandry brand smoked cooked chicken sold in Leclerc - The supermarket chain Leclerc has recalled chicken contaminated with listeria marketed throughout France. Volandry brand smoked cooked chicken, sold in Leclerc stores across France, has been recalled due to the potential presence of listeria bacteria. Marketed between May 13th and 19th in Leclerc supermarkets, Volandry brand smoked cooked chickens are the subject of a massive recall, warns the government website Rappel Conso. The poultry sold throughout France, and whose use-by date is set for June 8th, 2022, are part of a batch where the barcode begins with 2860050 followed by 6 random digits. Customers are advised to return the product to the point of sale and can also contact the consumer service of the Leclerc centers at 0800865286.

Three confirmed cases of monkey pox in France - Public Health France has identified three confirmed cases of monkey pox. In a statement the organisation says that "to date, these cases have occurred mainly, but not only, in men who have sex with men, without direct links with people returning from endemic areas". Monkeypox is a rare disease which originated in Africa. The virus can be transmitted by direct contact with broken skin or mucous membranes of a sick person, as well as by droplets. You can also become contaminated through contact with the patient's environment (bedding, clothes, dishes, bath linen). Infection with the virus begins with a fever, which is often high and accompanied by headaches, body aches and fatigue.

French government promises bill to increase spending power of consumers - The French government has promised to table a bill containing measures to increase the spending power of consumers, immediately after the parliamentary elections in June. Two topics dominated Monday's inaugural council meeting of Elisabeth Borne's government. Apart from the promise of action to boost spending power in the immediate wake of the June elections, the government has also had to face a major problem as the Solidarity Minister, Damien Abad, faces accusations of rape from two women.

Cable car project - The project for a cable car linking Saint-Laurent du Var to Nice has moved forward with a “public call for the competition of the design”. On Monday the Métropole launched the construction, design and maintenance contract for the cable car project which will link the two cities by 2025.

Encouraging results from the department of the environment here in Monaco - As part of its ecological restoration program, the Department of the Environment here in the Principality had installed five "Tide-pool"-type riprap reefs at water level in front of the Port of Fontvieille breakwater in 2019. These modules were manufactured by the ECOncrete Company, which specializes in "bio-improving" concrete structures and they have been scientifically monitored over the past three years to ensure their ecological effectiveness. The first results obtained are very encouraging to the point that it is easy to observe, with the naked eye, the species that have colonized them. The ecological restoration program is part of the "Clean Ports" approach and more particularly of the "Clean Ports Active in Biodiversity" certification.

Two tourists arrested for using drones at Film Festival - Two tourists have been arrested for using drones at the Cannes Film Festival. According to local reports the drones were in the air for an hour and a half to capture photos of the stars from the sky. Police intercepted the two individuals, and the drones were seized.

Giant Karaoke - Meanwhile for those of you that love a little karaoke now is your chance to participate in a giant karaoke on the beach for the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Organized by the Arte television channel, a giant karaoke will take place tomorrow Wednesday May 25th on the beach. The karaoke will take place after the screening of the film at the Cinéma de la plage. The event will be hosted by journalist, actress and DJ Aline Afanoukoé. The evening will begin at 9:30 p.m. with the usual free film screening every evening at the Cinéma de la plage during the Cannes Film Festival. At 11pm the karaoke will begin with microphones being distributed to participants, which will bring together the greatest standards of French song, international pop and rap.

Business

Airbnb is shutting down its domestic rentals in China, where a "zero-Covid" policy has meant lockdowns are ongoing. All listings for homes and experiences in the country will be removed from the company's website by summer. Stays within China made up only 1% of Airbnb's revenue over the last few years. The company is expected to instead focus on Chinese residents travelling abroad to other destinations.

Calling for a fairer tax system worldwide while gathered at Davos, UK millionaire Phil White, along with a handful of wealthy attendees has called the situation “outrageous” adding that "while the rest of the world is collapsing under the weight of an economic crisis, billionaires and world leaders meet in this private compound to discuss turning points in history”. The gathering took to the streets alongside left-wing activists to call for a fairer tax system worldwide calling on world leaders to tackle the cost-of-living crisis by pushing up taxes for people like them.

The number of dividends paid to shareholders reached a new global record in the first quarter, thanks to the strength of the oil and mining sectors, as well as the post-Covid-19 rebound, according to a study published on Tuesday. The report  shows that "payments have more than doubled" since 2009, the year the study was created, which measures the evolution of dividends paid by the 1,200 largest market capitalizations. Pay-outs to investors rose 11% to $302.5 billion in the first three months of the year, a record for this "traditionally calmer" period, according to a report by asset manager Janus Henderson.

Head of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde has expressed her doubt towards the cryptocurrency market. After the recent turbulence experienced in the market Lagarde interviewed on Monday, said “many have no knowledge of the risks involved, I have always said that cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and very risky assets. My very humble assessment is that it is worthless. It is not based on anything, there are no underlying assets to act as a secure anchor adding that she “is very worried to see individuals investing their savings as many have no knowledge of the risks involved. They risk losing everything. This is why I think that all this should be strictly supervised". However, this does not prevent one of Christine Lagarde's sons from having invested heavily in cryptocurrencies. For Christine Lagarde, he is a free man, specifying that she does not hold any cryptocurrency. "I want to be consistent with my own beliefs," she admits. Christine Lagarde notably took advantage of the interview to promote a future digital euro, on which the ECB has been working for several years.

TikTok is to launch paid subscriptions to allow creators to “generate predictable monthly revenue and customise their “live room”. The new feature will be tested starting this Thursday. The popular application will offer paid subscriptions to content creators' live sessions, a way for the company and its stars to be less dependent on advertising. This new tool is reminiscent of the formula that made the success of Twitch, the video game streaming platform.

Sport

Tennis – British number one Emma Raducanu showed fight and spirit to come back from a set down and win her senior debut at the French Open against Czech teenager Linda Noskova. Raducanu, 19, twice trailed by a set and a break, but dug deep to eventually win 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1 at Roland Garros.

Cycling - Ellen van Dijk has made history by setting a new women's hour world record on Monday. The 35-year-old Dutchwoman raced 49.254km in 60 minutes at the Velodrome Suisse in Switzerland, beating Joss Lowden's record - set in September last year - by 848 metres.

Football - According to report the UK government is set to approve Chelsea's £4.25bn sale in the next 24 hours. However, the deal "still has major hurdles to overcome" according to a senior Whitehall insider. It is understood that, because owner Roman Abramovich has a Portuguese passport, the takeover needs to be licensed by authorities in that country too. Chelsea have agreed terms on a deal with a private-equity funded consortium led by US investor Todd Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team. The club was put up for sale before owner Abramovich was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine. The UK government then issued a special licence for Chelsea to continue to operate, which expires on 31 May.

Formula One - Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that Formula 1 teams will be forced to miss races this season unless the sport's budget cap is increased. The current budget limit is $140m (£111m). Horner said that "seven of the teams would probably need to miss the last four races to come within the cap this year”. Horner, whose Red Bull team lead the drivers' championship, through Max Verstappen, as well as the constructors' championship, said F1's governing body the FIA "needs to address" the problem. Horner's position is backed by title rivals Ferrari, world champions Mercedes and McLaren. 

Weather

Hazy sunshine. Light winds. Highs of 24 in Nice, Cannes and Antibes. 27 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 16 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 18 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday - Fine in the morning. Rain is forecast by the afternoon in Nice. Highs of 27-28 degrees.

And Finally

A new study has shown how having a dog can also be good for your gut. Researchers from the University of Toronto found that young children who grow up with a family dog have healthier guts and are less likely to develop Crohn's disease – a common inflammatory bowel disease. Dr Williams Turpin, senior author of the study said 'our study seems to add to others that have explored the "hygiene hypothesis" which suggests that the lack of exposure to microbes early in life may lead to lack of immune regulation toward environmental microbes.

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