French and Riviera News Wednesday 1st December 2021

News 

Man dies in a fire in the Var - The director of a dance school in La Crau in the Var has been killed after a fire broke out on the premises. The blaze broke out in the early hours of Tuesday morning and spread to a residential part of the building where the director, 36-year-old Vincent Hermitte, his partner and her five-year-old daughter were staying. The woman and her daughter were able to be pulled to safety and were hospitalised in Hyeres. A firefighter was also injured during the intervention. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the blaze.

Residents evacuated after fire breaks out in underground carpark – Meanwhile thirty residents have been evacuated from their apartment block in Grasse after a fire broke out in the underground car park. Shortly before 5pm on Tuesday November 30th, firefighters were called for a fire in a car park in the basement of a two-storey apartment building located on Route de Saint-Mathieu. The blaze was soon contained and extinguished. Police are looking into the cause.

Beaulieu college evacuated – And some 560 students from the Cocteau college in Beaulieu-sur-Mer have been evacuated after a threatening message circulated on the intranet of the establishment. Police have since opened an investigation into the incident after intervening on site on Tuesday morning. The students were unable to return to school in the afternoon and parents were asked to pick up their children. Classes which were interrupted are scheduled to resume this Wednesday.

Closure of tunnel in Nice causes long traffic jams on Tuesday evening - Motorists in Nice found themselves stuck in traffic during Tuesday evening's rush hour due to the closure of the Liautaud tunnel. As reported on Tuesday lunchtime the tunnel had been closed as a precaution due to an incident, which occurred while work was being carried out inside of the tunnel. The closure meant that the city on Tuesday evening had to change the circulation on the port of Nice causing long tail backs in and around the port area. The tunnel connects the Promenade to the Paillon and has been undergoing renovation work but had until now remained open.

Cases of covid in Monaco - Twenty-nine new cases of covid have been identified in Monaco on Tuesday 30th November bringing the total number of residence affected since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,767. Eight people are currently in hospital and 136 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

WHO advises at risk and unvaccinated not to travel - Meanwhile the World Health Organization on Tuesday night advised at-risk and unvaccinated people not to travel, while deeming unnecessary the travel bans taken by many countries that "will not prevent" the spread of the new variant.

Public Health France says fifth wave continues to grow - According to the latest data from Public Health, the fifth wave of covid continues to grow in France. The nationwide incidence rate rose above 300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday. France's Health Minister Olivier Véran warned on Tuesday about the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, saying that 47,000 infections had been reported in the last 24 hours.

Cold snap - If you were feeling the cold in the Var region on Tuesday, then it may have been normal, as according to figures such cold temperatures had not been recorded in the region for the last twenty years. With frost along the coast, -9 degrees in the Haut-Var, -1 in Toulon and -4 in Bormes Les Mimosas the lowest since 1998 when it dropped to -7.  

Eric Zemmour confirms presidential candidacy - Described by the official French government spokesperson as a "Trump ordered on the (cheap shopping site) Wish" Eric Zemmour confirmed on Tuesday 30th November, his presidential candidacy, claiming that he will "save France from the tragic destiny that awaits it". Zemmour a far-right political commentator made the announcement in a video published on YouTube.

Meanwhile the mayor of Paris and presidential candidate Anne Hidalgo, is to travel to Carpentras in the Vaucluse this Friday 3rd December. The socialist candidate plans to spend the day meeting farmers and relaunch her campaign for the 2022 presidential elections.

Business

Stock markets around the world have fallen after the boss of Moderna cast doubts on the effectiveness of vaccines against the new Omicron Covid variant while speaking to the Financial Times. The Covid variant was first detected in South Africa, and the symptoms have been mild so far. But travel restrictions have been imposed as a precaution by places including the UK, the EU and the US.

According to Eurostat, inflation in the euro area rose again in November, to 4.9% year-on-year. A level not reached since its first estimates more than twenty years ago. Eurostat has never recorded such a figure since its estimates began more than twenty years ago. In October, the inflation rate in the 19 countries that have adopted the single currency had already jumped to 4.1% year-on-year, the highest since July 2008, according to the European Statistical Office.

Life insurance in France, according to data released by the French Insurance Federation; with a net inflow of 2.7 billion euros in October, life insurance has been more successful since September 2019 and the best October in its history. According to the statement, contributions (or deposits) reached 13.2 billion euros "a record level for a month of October" and benefits (or withdrawals) 10.5 billion euros.

The social media platform Twitter has announced an expansion to its private information policy which will ban the sharing of 'private' photos and videos of people without their consent. In an announcement on Tuesday November 30th Twitter said that "if a user shares an image or video of another person, that person can contact Twitter to report it was posted without their permission and the social media platform will remove the media in question". The move is to curb harassment and intimidation on the platform. Users who violate the new rule could be permanently banned. The policy, however, excludes public figures, but applies if the sharing of media is to 'harass, intimidate or use fear to silence them.'

Elon Musk has made an apparent joke about whistle-blowers as he promoted the latest piece of Tesla-branded merchandise. Mr Musk tweeted "Blow the whistle on Tesla!" with a link to a $50 (£38) "Cyberwhistle". It is currently marked as out of stock on Tesla's website.

Sport 

Football - Football fans and players have paid tribute to Liverpool and England legend Ray Kennedy who has died aged 70 following a 35-year battle with Parkinson's Disease. Kennedy, who scored three times in 17 appearances for England, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984.

He scored 71 goals in 212 games for Arsenal, winning the First Division and FA Cup Double in 1971, before joining Liverpool in 1974. During an eight-year spell at Anfield, where he scored 72 goals in 393 appearances, Kennedy won five league titles and three European Cups. In a club statement, Liverpool said Kennedy was "legendary".

The Premier League action this evening kicks off with Southampton at home to Leicester, Watford play Chelsea, West Ham against Brighton, Wolverhampton play Burnley, Aston Villa against Manchester City and Everton play Liverpool.

Cricket - There was more frustration for England on Wednesday with their four-day intra-squad warm-up match still to get under way after two days because of rain. England's Ashes squad will be restricted to an optional indoor training session later in the day. There is a slightly improved forecast for the last two days of their final practice match before the Ashes series set to begin in Brisbane on 8 December.

Golf - Tiger Woods says he would "love to play at St Andrews" on his "favourite course in the world" when the 150th Open is staged in the Scottish town next July. The 45-year-old, who won two of his three Opens on the Old Course, faces a race to be fit after sustaining serious injuries in a car crash last February.

Weather 

Sunny intervals and a fresh breeze. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice and Cannes. 13 degrees in Bormes les Mimosas and Le Rayol Canadel. 15 degrees in Toulon with light rain. This evening going down to 7 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Thursday and Friday - Sunny in the Var. Some cloud in the Alpes Maritimes with a moderate breeze and highs of between 12-14 degrees.

And Finally

Television viewers of the French daily programme on TMC the "Quotidien" have been left totally stunned by a clip aired on Monday November 29th, where an elderly woman with a green fur cape and sunglasses pretends to be Lady Gaga and enters the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes.

The reporters from the show had meet the lady on the Croisette, along with two other friends. All three wanted to go to the party but had no idea as to how to get in. One of the three, however, suggested : "I have a plan!" The reporter from the "Quotidien" played along suggesting that she says she is Lady Gaga.

The trio, with the new Lady Gaga leading the way, presented themselves in front of the security service, which didn't notice, even though the fake Lady Gaga was walking around with a dog in a push chair. She walks quietly through the security gates, without the slightest concern.

Viewers praised the clip but at the same time questioned the "standard of the security service".

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