French and Riviera News Tuesday 8th February 2022


Two young skiers from the Netherlands die in avalanche in south eastern France - Two young skiers from the Netherlands have died after being swept away by an avalanche in an off-piste sector of the resort of Saint-Colomban-des-Villards in south eastern France. The incident occurred on Monday February 7th, both victims aged 20 and 21 were declared dead at the hospital of Grenoble. On Monday authorities had issued a level 3 out of 5 avalanche risk in the area.

Fire breaks out in restaurant in Toulon - A fire has broken out in a restaurant in Toulon city centre in the Var. Firefighters intervened shortly before 11am on Monday on the ground floor of a building on Avenue de la République. The blaze is believed to have started in the kitchen of the establishment. Traffic was severely disrupted in the area as the Avenue de la République had to be closed for the duration of the intervention.

Police seize 34,000 euros in cash and Rolex watches - 34,000 euros in cash and Rolex watches have been seized by police from Draguignan in Marseille. Following a three-year investigation officers made several arrests. The thieves had been reported for the first time back in November 2018, robbing delivery men targeting parcels containing mobile phones.

Vaccination centre in Antibes to reduce opening hours - The covid vaccination centre in Antibes has reduced its opening hours due to a drop in demand. The centre will now be open only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8.30am to 6.30pm until Saturday 26th February. For those that have made an appointment by calling or online the centre will open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8am to midday and from 2pm to 5pm.

Road diversions in Plan de la Tour - Due to work being carried out to introduce an additional supply of drinking water from Saint Maxime to the village of Plan de la Tour in the Var, the road which links the RD74 towards Sainte-Maxime and the RD44 towards Grimaud, without going through the village centre, will be closed to traffic from next week until the beginning of May. The village of Plan-de-la-Tour currently has only one pipe to supply it with drinking water which comes from Grimaud and is often saturated during the busy summer season.

Nice Carnival starts on Friday evening – The city of Nice is getting ready for its Carnival which kicks off this Friday evening. This year's theme is the "Animal Kingdom". The event is on until February 27th with a parade of floats and flower festivals throughout.

French President welcomes the progress made following discussions with Russian counterpart - French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken for several hours with Vladimir Putin on the Ukrainian crisis. On Monday the President welcomed the progress made with his counterpart. The head of state assured that the "coming days will be decisive and involve more discussions" before adding that "we have the will to work together to guarantee a new order of stability and security in Europe". For his part Vladimir Putin said the talks with Emmanuel Macron were "useful" and emphasised the demands he has set for a de-escalation of the crisis, such as "the non-expansion of NATO, the non-deployment of combat systems on Russian borders and the return of military infrastructure in the state of 1997". He added that NATO was "far from" being a "pacifist organization". The Russian president criticized the presence of NATO forces near Russia's borders, saying he did not understand, in this context, western countries' criticism of Russian soldiers near the Ukrainian border. He stressed, however, that "certain ideas" of Emmanuel Macron could make it possible to "lay the foundations for common progress" and that he was ready for certain "compromises".

Marseille supporters banned from tomorrow's quarter finals against OGC Nice - The prefecture of the Alpes Maritimes has issued a ban on supporters of the Olympique de Marseille football team, ahead of tomorrow's match against OGC Nice. Nice will play the Olympique de Marseille at the Allianz Riviera for the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France. Kick off is at 9.15pm.


The billionaire investor Peter Thiel is stepping down from the board of Facebook owner Meta. Thiel, who was one of Facebook's earliest investors after he provided half a million dollars in capital at a 5 million dollar valuation in 2004 in return for a 10 percent stake in the company and a seat on its board of directors. Mr Thiel, who co-founded the online payments system PayPal has said that he wants to dedicate more time to helping elect candidates that he thinks will help to advance former President Donald Trump's agenda in the mid-term Congressional elections. He'll stay on the Meta board until the firm's AGM but will not seek re-election. The development comes as Meta's shares have fallen sharply on concerns that privacy changes to Apple products was making it harder for advertisers to see how their wares are working on Facebook. Meta stock fell by a further 5.1 percent on Monday and has lost a third of its value this year.

Oil prices have come off 7 year highs this morning on news of the resumption of indirect talks between the United States and Iran aimed at reviving the nuclear deal that could lead to the removal of sanctions on Iranian sales and increase global supplies. Brent Crude was down by 0.15 percent a little earlier this morning at 92 dollars 55 with West Texas Intermediate down by 0.4 percent at 91 dollars 31. Both oil contracts hit 7 year highs last week amid concerns over Ukraine, supply disruption caused by bad weather in the United States and strong global demand. Talks between the United States and Iran will resume in Vienna today after a ten day pause. Iran is demanding a full lifting of sanctions and a guarantee of no further punitive steps from the United States.

The euro has been paused from recent gains as traders wait for all important US inflation data which is due to be published on Thursday. The single currency jumped by 2.7 percent against the dollar and a basket of other currencies last week following hawkish comments from the European Central Bank. However, last week's Non Farm Payroll numbers in the United States have switched the focus back to inflation which could trigger gains in the dollar. Futures markets are pricing in an almost one-in-three chance of a 50 basis point interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve next month with the prospect supporting the dollar.


Winter Olympics - China leads the medals table on day 4 of the Winter Games in Beijing with 3 gold medals in a total of 5. Sweden which briefly led the table on Monday is in second place with 3 gold medals and several nations including the Russian Olympic Committee, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway have 2 gold medals each.

There are 10 medal events today including the men's Super-G skiing, men's individual biathlon, women's and men's cross country skiing, women's big air freestyle skating, women's singles luge, men's and women's parallel giant slalom and men's 1500 meters skating.

Cricket - Paul Collingwood has been named as England interim Test coach following the sacking of Chris Silverwood. Collingwood will lead the side for the Test match series against West Indies and is reported to be considering major changes to the team. The squad for the series will be announced later today.

Football - There are 3 games in the English Premier League tonight. Newcastle play Everton. West Ham host Watford and Burnley play Manchester United.

Rugby Union - Scotland have called up Dave Cherry to their 6 Nations squad for next weekend's game against Wales with Jamie Richie and Josh Bayliss out injured. Hooker Cherry has won 5 caps for Scotland and has scored 3 international tries.

Ireland have called up hooker Dave Heffernan as cover for injured Rob Herring. Herring has been ruled out of the game against France with a calf injury and Keith Earls remains absent as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Robbie Henshaw and Iain Henderson have both been declared fit as Ireland seek to make it two wins out of two in the 6 Nations against a France side who looked a little undercooked in their opening victory against Italy in Paris.


Clear skies with light to moderate westerly winds. Top temperature 17 degrees. Overnight lows of 6-7 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday - Clear skies with highs of 14-16 degrees.

And Finally

Experts have warned that 'Heart break syndrome', a potentially deadly cardio vascular condition, is on the rise among middle age and older women. The rare heart condition can be caused by stressful or grief-induced events.

Top U.S. medical centers have reported seeing a surge in cases of the condition during the pandemic, especially among women aged 40 and older. Many of the women were relatively healthy, but stress and grief caused by loss and general disruption of life during the pandemic has caused many to develop the condition.

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