French and Riviera News Tuesday 4th October 2022

News

French cities boycott FIFA World Cup - Eight major French cities have said no to the FIFA World Cup which runs from the 20th November to December 18th. The city of Paris will ignore the FIFA World Cup by refusing to install giant screens and fan zones in its streets, like seven other major cities in France, for humanitarian and environmental reasons. Several mayors of large cities have expressed their position towards the event with the socialist mayor of Lille Martine Aubry, describing the event as "nonsense with regard to human rights, the environment and sport". In Marseille, the socialist mayor Benoît Payan, judged that the competition had "gradually transformed into a human and environmental disaster, incompatible with the values that we want to see carried through sport, especially football”. Among the reasons for the boycott include the treatment of immigrant workers and the number of deaths during the construction of the eight stadiums of the World Cup. While the official death toll is three, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reported that 50 workers died in workplace accidents in Qatar in 2020 and 500 were seriously injured, a figure that could be higher. It is not yet known if Nice is amongst the cities which have said no.

Court validates extension of Nice International Airport - The administrative court of Marseille has validated the extension of Nice International airport following a two-year battle. On Monday the court of Marseille rejected an appeal from environmentalist groups for the annulment of the building permit for the extension at Terminal 2. The project will see two buildings of 25,000m2 with six departure lounges and a baggage room being built on existing land targeting three million more passengers to reach 18 million annually by 2025-2030. The latest judgment was of first instance and can however, still be appealed.

Road accident - Three people have been seriously injured in a road accident in Cogolin in the Var on Monday afternoon at around 3.20pm. The accident occurred on the RD98 at the entrance to Cogolin. Two cars were involved the first driven by a 69-year-old New Zealander, the other had two 71-year-old Swedes on board. Traffic was halted as emergency services intervened. Police have opened an investigation into the cause.

Thick smoke in Cagnes sur mer residents told to close windows - Residents in Cagnes sur mer have been advised to keep windows closed on Monday evening after thick smoke was released following a plant fire on the Chemin du Val de Cagne. Firefighters intervened managing to contain the isolated incident however, the smell of fire and unbreathable air was very unpleasant for residents on the Chemin du Val but also for those in the Haut de Cagnes.

Petrol at the pump - Some TotalEnergies service station’s in France are running out of petrol firstly, due to the implementation of a 20 cents reduction per litre at the start of the school year, which has resulted in a 30% increase in the number of visits to petrol pumps and secondly due to a recent strike movement with employees demanding a 10% wage increase to coincide with the company’s record profits thanks to soaring oil prices. According to French media nearly 100 sites out of the 3,500 that TotalEnergies has across France have been affected by fuel shortages.

New system to help protect the elderly in the event of a fall - A new system to protect the elderly from femoral neck fractures is to be marketed in the coming weeks in France. The belt which has been developed in Marseille after more than two and a half years of research should make it possible to prevent the fracture of the neck in the elderly following a fall. The system is connected to an application that allows relatives of an elderly person to know if an airbag has been triggered. The belt can be used repeatedly and aims to reduce the number of fractures of the neck which lead to situations of dependency in the elderly. According to INSEE, by 2030, 77,000 elderly people will be over 75 in the Bouches-du-Rhône region.

New cycling path - A new cycling path has been announced at the Pesquiers saline in Hyères in the Var. Work is to begin in November with the new path being accessible from next summer.

Business

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has hit back at Tesla boss Elon Musk after he posted a Twitter poll with his suggestions for ending Russia's invasion. Mr Musk asked his 107.7m followers to vote on ideas that included ceding territory to Russia. In response Mr Zelensky posted his own poll asking users if they liked the world's richest person more when he supported Ukraine. Other Ukrainians criticised Mr Musk. Mr Musk's ideas included votes in parts of Ukraine occupied by Russia that Russia says it is annexing. The multi-billionaire said: "Russia leaves if that is will of the people."

Shares in Credit Suisse plunged on Monday as fears mount over the financial health of the Swiss bank. Its shares fell by more than 10%, after the bank's boss failed to reassure investors - but later bounced back.

Meanwhile, the pound has climbed after the UK’s chancellor reversed his controversial decision to scrap the top rate of tax. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that while the U-turn may ease market nerves unease remains over how a remaining £43bn of tax cuts will be funded.

Florists in France will soon be able to display the exact origin of each cut flower sold to provide more transparency on the ecological impact of their production. Unlike cut flowers, potted plants are already subject to an obligation of transparency. But this regulation applies more for health than ecological reasons. The majority of flowers marketed in France come from foreign countries and are grown in the Netherlands, East Africa or South America. In 2015, the ratio of imported flowers was estimated at 85%. A proportion that may well have increased since. In addition to transport, the use of heated greenhouses in cooler countries can consume more energy than importing by air.

Meanwhile Quality Street is to abandon the iconic aluminum and transparent plastic packaging in favour of recycled paper for nine chocolates in its range. In a statement released on Monday, Nestlé UK announced that its iconic confectionery brand will now use FSC-certified recyclable paper packaging, while maintaining flavour-specific colours. Quality Street is the second Nestlé confectionery brand to switch to paper. Founded in 1936, Quality Street sweets and their iconic tin box have become very popular in the UK, especially around Christmas time. At its main factory in Halifax, 12 million candies are produced every day.

Cassie, a bipedal robot created by researchers in the US has set a bipedal robot record by sprinting 24.73 seconds over 100m (about 14.5 km/h). Cassie robot is "maybe the first bipedal robot to learn to run, but it won't be the last.

Sport

Cycling - Five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins says it is vital to increase the safety of children in sport. 42-year-old Wiggins revealed in April that he was groomed by a coach as a child and is urging people to support a new NSPCC safety initiative. The child protection charity said that the number of adults contacting a helpline about children in sport has almost doubled in the last five years. The FA and ex-England midfielder Paul Stewart are also backing the campaign. Launching the Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week campaign, the NSPCC said that a poll in the UK of 1,000 parents had shown that 15% of respondents did not feel confident they could spot the signs of their child suffering abuse at their local sports club.

Football - In the Premier League Leicester beat Nottingham Forest 4-0 last night. Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his side have to go "back to the basics" to try to improve their defending. Klopp's side are ninth in the Premier League after just two top-flight wins in seven games this season. They have conceded 14 goals in nine games across all competitions, keeping just two cleans sheets.

Cricket - India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the 2022 Men's T20 World Cup with a back stress fracture. The 28-year-old, one of the best bowlers in the world, recently pulled out of India's T20 series against South Africa with a back issue. India say the decision was taken after "detailed assessment and in consultation with the specialists". They are seen as one of the favourites for the tournament which begins later this month.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. 23-24 degrees along the coast in Monaco, Nice, Saint Tropez and Marseille. 26 degrees inland. This evening going down to 14 degrees in Nice and 11 degrees in Draguignan with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday remaining fine highs of 24-26 degrees.

Sunrise    07.31hr                        Sunset      19.06hr

And Finally

A recent study has suggested that children who spend less than an hour on iPads and other gadgets each day develop better brains than their peers. Researchers in the US found two-year-olds who capped screen time at 60 minutes and engaged in traditional play for at least 15 minutes a day had better executive function than toddlers who spent more time on electronics. They had higher scores than their peers for memory, attention span, decision-making and multi-tasking ability.

Figures suggest that on average toddlers in the US spend two and a half hours of time watching TV, iPads, mobile phone or video games a day. In the UK, Ofcom estimates that three-to-four-year-olds spend three hours a day watching screens. Children’s screen time is thought to have increased significantly during the pandemic when home-schooling and lockdowns became common.

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