French and Riviera News Tuesday 31st May 2022

News

UEFA announces independent investigation - UEFA has announced the opening of an "independent investigation" following the incidents at the Stade de France for the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid on May 28th. The European body promises to "examine the decision-making, responsibilities and behaviour of all parties involved in the final". Fifteen months from the organization of the Rugby World Cup and less than two years from hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, Saturday's incidents "gave a sad image of France in the eyes of the world and arouse serious concerns about its ability to organize international competitions in optimal security conditions".

More than 100 arrests took place on Saturday evening on the sidelines of the Champions League final and fifteen people were still in police custody on Monday, May 30th, none of them were foreign supporters. On Sunday, the Paris police headquarters reported 105 arrests after the jostling and crowd movements that occurred at the entrance to the Stade de France, delaying kick-off by 36 minutes. Several people climbed the gates and tried to enter the stadium. The police had to intervene and use tear gas to disperse the crowd. As of Saturday evening, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, had spoken of "thousands of British supporters without tickets or with fake tickets who forced entry".

War crime investigation - A war crime investigation has been opened after the death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, a journalist for BFMTV who was killed in Ukraine. Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed in eastern Ukraine while accompanying civilians aboard a humanitarian bus. At least five other investigations for acts committed against French nationals in Ukraine have been opened by the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office (Pnat) since the beginning of the war.

Two teenagers arrested for trying to start a fire - Two teenagers aged 13 and 14 have been arrested after trying to start a fire near Camp Robert in Fréjus in the Var on Sunday. A man, who was walking his dog at the time, intervened. He reportedly detained the young boys while waiting for the police by confiscating their mobile phones and a lighter. One of the two minors admitted to having caused a recent fire which occurred on May 23rd, rue de Montourey, in Fréjus when nearly 2,000 square meters went up in smoke not far from two campsites.

Fire - Meanwhile, the origin of a fire which broke out on the Avenue d'Ostende in Monaco at midday on Monday is still unknown. Firefighters intervened at the intersection of avenue d'Ostende and avenue de la Costa. According to initial reports, six scooters and a MonaBike caught fire. No injuries are reported. Traffic was impacted.

Italy to scrap covid related entry rules - Italy has announced that is it to scrap covid-related entry rules. Italy announced on Monday that it was removing from Wednesday any requirement to present proof of vaccination against Covid-19, recent recovery, or a negative test to be able to enter the country. Italy was the first European country affected by the coronavirus epidemic at the start of 2020 and imposed some of the strictest restrictions, in particular by extending the obligation of the health pass at work. With a drop in contamination and the vaccination of the majority of the population, most measures have been lifted, but masks remain compulsory on public transport and in schools. On Monday, Italy recorded 7,537 new cases of contamination and 62 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 166,631, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.

Elon Musk enjoying the sunshine in Saint-Tropez - The richest man in the world Elon Musk has taken a romantic break in Saint-Tropez. The SpaceX founder was photographed with his new girlfriend, actress Natasha Basset. Basset a 27-year-old Australian has appeared in many television series and will soon be on screen as Dixie Locke, Elvis Presley's girlfriend, in the biopic dedicated to the "King".

Business

European Union leaders have agreed on a plan to block more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports. The ban is a compromise that will not affect pipeline oil imports for now, following opposition from Hungary. EU members spent hours struggling to resolve their differences over the ban on Russian oil imports, with Hungary its main opponent.

The Paris Stock Exchange had a good start to the week, driven by the reopening measures in China. On Monday the CAC 40 closed at its best level since the end of April. Meanwhile Wall Street was closed on Monday for Memorial Day. As every year, this last Monday of May is a public holiday in the United States on the occasion of a tribute to soldiers who died in combat. This gives rise to an extended three-day weekend that unofficially kicks off the "driving season" where American households gladly hit the road for vacation and traders are no exception.

A Primark executive has said he "regrets" raising prices, as the fashion firm battles with rising costs. John Bason, finance director for Primark's parent company AB Foods (ABF), also warned some people might shop with them less as budgets are squeezed by the higher cost of living. Primark is hiking prices across some of its range from this autumn. But Mr Bason said the company is still committed to "affordability for everyone".

Sport

Football - Chelsea's £4.25bn sale to a consortium led by American investor Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital has been completed. Boehly said that he was "honoured" and "wanted to make fans proud". The consortium fought off 11 serious rivals to become the new owners, in a sale process that started on 2 March and comprised more than 250 enquiries.

Meanwhile a new report says that Fifa and Qatar's claims that the 2022 World Cup will be carbon neutral involve "creative accounting" and are "misleading". Carbon Market Watch says the tournament will not achieve a net-zero carbon footprint, despite claims it would be the first football World Cup to do so. Researchers believe calculations "ignore major sources of emissions". In a statement, organisers said it was "speculative and inaccurate" to draw conclusions on their commitment.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic says he is ready for the "biggest challenge one can have" at the French Open when he plays 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in a much-anticipated quarter-final today. The pair, who have 41 Grand Slam titles between them, continue their rivalry with a men's record 59th meeting.

Cricket – Jonny Bairstow has said that being England's Test captain will be a "learning curve" for Ben Stokes.  All-rounder Stokes takes over the captaincy with England having just one win in their past 17 Tests. The first Test against New Zealand at Lord's on Thursday will be the first outing for England's new captain and coach, Brendon McCullum.

Rugby Union - Northampton's former England back-row Tom Wood will retire from rugby at the end of the season. Wood won the Premiership and European Challenge Cup with Saints in 2014 and was part of the side that made the 2011 European Champions Cup final. He helped Northampton win the 2019 Premiership Cup and won 50 England caps as well as two Six Nations titles.

Weather

Sunny intervals gentle breeze highs of 24 degrees in Menton and Nice. 25 degrees in Cannes and Saint Tropez and 28 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 16 degrees along the coast and 9 degrees inland with clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday - Fine highs of 24-25 degrees.

Sunrise in Monaco: 05.52                  Sunset: 21.04

Sea temperature: 21.3°                      UV Level: 8

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