French and Riviera News Tuesday 3rd May 2022

News

Police protest in support for colleague - Police in France have staged protests in dozens of cities in support of a colleague who was charged with "voluntary manslaughter" following the death of two men during an intervention on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris. The 24-year-old officer used his assault rifle to stop a car as it hurtled towards police on Sunday, 24th April. Both the driver and a passenger were shot dead. A third passenger was wounded. The officer says he acted in self-defence. Under a banner of "be convicted or be killed”, police unions are calling for the "presumption of self-defence" in the event of a fatal outcome during a police response.

Legislative elections – People in France have until tomorrow Wednesday 4th May to register online on the electoral lists for the upcoming legislative elections in June. Registration is possible until Friday, May 6th in town hall or by mail. Details of the procedures can be found on the service-public.fr website.

Thief steals car with baby in the back seat - A thief who stole a car near Tarbes in southwestern France got a surprise when he realised there was a baby inside the vehicle. Police issued a kidnapping alert on Monday May 2nd, following the disappearance of the two-year-old girl who was later found safe and sound. According to police the mother had after her day’s work parked her car in front of the school to pick up her son, leaving her daughter inside with the keys in the ignition. The thief stole the vehicle and fled, but an hour later the abandoned vehicle was found in front of the gendarmerie. Police believe that the thief had probably realized the presence of the girl in the back of the vehicle and decided to abandon it in front of the gendarmerie.

Bathing signage to change - Bathing signage on French beaches is to change with the blue, triangular flags disappearing. Accidental drownings are numerous and in order to standardize the signage on all French beaches and to comply with international standards, the flags are to change shape and the famous blue flags will give way to red and yellow flags. But the colour to indicate the level of risk does not change; Green indicates supervised swimming without apparent danger; Yellow or orange for supervised swimming with limited or marked danger; Red for prohibited swimming and purple to prevent water pollution; Purple means, in particular water pollution or the presence of dangerous aquatic species. There is the appearance of a new checkered flag to indicate an "aquatic and nautical practice area, where swimming is not prohibited but at the risk and peril of swimmers" like surfing. However, the known "blue flag" will always exist and will coexist with the other banners signalling good water quality, or even accessibility for people with reduced mobility. The risk of drowning is high in the open sea and especially near the beach. According to the 2021 DROWNING Survey, from the Ministry of Health, there were 436 drownings in the 300-meter band, which is, by far, the place where the number of drownings is the most important for the period from June 1st to August 31st. The study by the Ministry of Health also underlines that accidental drownings, whether or not followed by death, were more numerous in the coastal regions, particularly in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Occitanie.

Cheapest petrol prices in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var - As petrol prices continue to rise finding the best prices is a must. According to local reports the cheapest diesel in the Alpes Maritimes region in at Leclerc in Cannes and for the SP98 it’s at the Leclerc station in La Colle-sur-Loup. In the Var department, the lowest diesel is at Leclerc de Montauroux and for the SP95-E10, you have the choice between two stations the Total station in Draguignan or at Leclerc in La Seyne-sur-Mer. Finally, for the SP98, head to Leclerc de Brignoles.

Neighbourhood in Nice calls for action - A neighbourhood committee in Nice has called for action. The Cimiez district denounces not having a bakery, few shops and a post office which is about to close. The neighbourhood committee of Boulevard Carabacel and Cimiez, deplores the absence of a bakery while traders speak of a neighbourhood with little demand.

Pedestrian Sunday’s in Menton - The head of the catering branch of the union of hotels in Menton and the French Riviera has praised the initiative of “Pedestrian Sundays” in Menton which according to him, is "security" for his employees who have to cross the street to serve the terraces as well as a "comfort" for his customers. Franck Devergranne says that as a result, customers stay longer and it generates more commercial activity. Pedestrian Sundays are throughout the year when the good weather allows.

Patrouille de France to fly over Cannes today - The Patrouille de France or the French aerobatic patrol is to fly over Cannes today, as part of a preparatory flight for the Cannes Film Festival, for which they are a partner. The Alpha Jets of the French Air Force's official aerobatic patrol will pass through the sky above Cannes between 2.30 and 3pm this afternoon. The Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 17th to the 28th.

Airbnb offers new experience at the mythical Moulin Rouge - Airbnb is offering a new experience in the French capital with the first three people to book on the site on May 17th at 7pm being able to sleep inside the mythical Moulin Rouge. The world-famous Parisian cabaret celebrates its 133-year anniversary and more recently the interior of the mill, which has never been exploited since its creation, has been completely fitted out to become, a very beautiful bedroom decorated in the Belle-Epoque style.

Business

European Union countries are split on how soon they wind down dependence on Russian energy supplies. Energy ministers from the European Union gathered for crisis talks on Monday to discuss the bloc's energy supply, days after Russia cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for their refusal to pay in roubles. There are two main challenges faced by members states - how to pay for Russian energy in a way which doesn't breach or undermine EU sanctions, and also how to source and develop alternative supplies to move away from reliance on Russia. Any new measures would need approval by the bloc’s 27 member countries – a process that may take days. 

The European Commission has accused Apple of abusing its market position for contactless smartphone payments. Apple denies the charge and has promised to engage with the Commission. If the charges are upheld, it could be fined up to 10% of its global turnover of $36.6bn (£29.2bn) based on its revenue last year.

US banking giant Citigroup has said that one of its traders made an error in the so-called stock market "flash crash" in Europe on Monday. Trading was briefly halted in several markets after major share indexes plunged just before 8am GMT on Monday. Nordic stocks were hit the hardest, while other European indexes also plummeted for a short time. Flash crashes can be caused by human error, or so-called "fat finger" trades - a reference to someone incorrectly typing the details of a trade.

Several families in France have filed a complaint against Ferrero, after the series of salmonella contaminations linked to Kinder products. Two complaints "have already been filed" against the Italian company and "four others will follow". At the beginning of April, Ferrero carried out a massive recall of Kinder products manufactured in Belgium and sold in several European countries due to salmonella contamination. In mid-April, 150 cases of salmonellosis had been detected in Europe, including some in France, mostly in children under ten. However, no deaths have been reported so far. The Italian group has launched an online platform to allow people who have been victims of salmonella contamination to report themselves in order to file a complaint.

Finally, carry-on camping, as many campsites in France are reportedly full for the season. After being badly hit as a result of the pandemic the summer of 2022 is looking positive for campsites. According to Logis, the leading European group of hotel and restaurant owners, reservations for July-August are up 24% compared to 2019 – that is to say before the crisis – and revenues should jump 30%.

Sport

Football – Russia have been barred from competing in this summer's women's Euro 2022, while Russian clubs will also be banned from Uefa competitions next season, says Europe's football governing body.

In the Premier League it was a good night for Manchester United as they beat Brentford at Old Trafford 3-0.  The result keeps alive United's slender hopes of Champions League qualification at least until next weekend, while Brentford could still go down, even though their 40 points is almost certainly enough to retain their status as a top-flight club.

In the Champions League tonight Villarreal play Liverpool kick off is at 9pm French time.

Tennis - Andy Murray has beaten 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem c to reach the second round of the Madrid Open. In his first match on clay since August 2020, the impressive Briton won the high-profile first round match 6-3 6-4. Former world number three Thiem is continuing his own comeback after eight months out with a wrist injury but Murray proved the far stronger player.

Formula One - The boss of the group Volkswagen has said that German car companies Audi and Porsche have decided to enter Formula 1. The VW chief executive Herbert Diess said discussions about F1 at board level had created divisions within the group. Porsche is said by F1 insiders to be preparing an alliance with Red Bull. Audi will come in as a team and has been linked with buying out an existing entrant. It is said to have had talks with McLaren, Sauber, Aston Martin and Williams. The VW Group has toyed with the idea of entering F1 for decades, without ever formally committing.

Snooker - Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his seventh World Championship title with an 18-13 win over Judd Trump to equal Stephen Hendry's record in the modern era.

Weather

Cloudy with short clear spells. Light winds. Highs of 20 degrees in Monaco, Cannes and Antibes. 23 degrees in Saint Tropez and the Var. This evening going down to 14 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Wednesday, cloudy with sunny spells, highs of 19-21 degrees. A chance of storms and showers inland. Thursday clear skies are expected to return, with highs of 22-24 degrees.

And Finally

Scientists say that a lifetime of brisk walking can make you feel 16 years younger by the time you reach midlife. Researchers who studied the genes of 400,000 Britons found a clear link between walking faster and a reduced biological age. Based on the results, the researchers estimate that a lifetime of brisk walking could reduce an individual’s biological age by as much as 16 years by midlife.

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