French and Riviera News Wednesday 21st December 2022

News

Air France guarantees flights tomorrow despite call for strike action - Air France has announced that it will guarantee all flights tomorrow Thursday 22nd December, despite a call for strike action from two unions of hostesses and stewards. The UNAC and the SNGAF union of cabin crew, have filed a strike noticefrom tomorrow December 22nd through until the New Year.

Train strike - Meanwhile, the SNCF has said that two out of three TGV trains will be running on Friday despite the strike notice filed by unions for this weekend and the New Year weekend. Further details for Friday's trains are expected to be released this evening.

Electricity network - French electricity network operator RTE has lowered the risk of stress on its network from high to medium for the next four weeks. However, the operator said that risks to the electricity supply can't be ruled out in the event of very unfavourable weather.

Earlier in the month, French President Emmanuel Macron urged people not to panic over electricity shortages this winter. Demand for power in France went down nine percent in the last four weeks, compared to the average consumption in 2014-2019. The government has urged households and businesses to cut electricity use by ten percent, and put in place an energy savings plan, to avoid power cuts this winter.

Electric scooters becoming a public health risk - The French Academy of Medicine says electric scooters are becoming a public health risk and recommends that helmets be made compulsory. It reports that the number of injuries has increased by nearly 180 percent between 2019 and 2022. According to a recent report by the French Academy of Medicine, 10 percent of French people say they are regular users of electric scooters and three quarters of them are between 18 and 30 years old.  According to road safety authorities, 24 people died following a scooter accident in 2021 in France and 11,256 others were injured. At the end of August, 2022, there had been 19 deaths involving scooters. In 9 out of 10 accidents, scooter users were not wearing a helmet.

Local

Unfit tap water - The consumption of tap water has been restricted in the pays de Fayence due to the high level of turbidity. The ban on drinking or brushing your teeth with tap water was introduced on Friday December 16th. According to the director of the local water authority, the situation should be back to normal tomorrow Thursday 22nd December following results from the regional health agency. The incident is believed to have been caused by the recent heavy rainfall in the east of the Var region.

Recall on smoked salmon ahead of end of year celebrations - A few days before the end of the year celebrations and a brand of smoked salmon has been recalled throughout France. The recall comes due to a labelling issue concerning the best before date of “Scottish Highlands smoked salmon” distributed by the “Petit Navire” in Leclerc supermarkets. The batch number concerned is 1035214328. Due to the labelling error, it is advised not to consume this product. Customers can take it back to where they bought it and get a refund. A few days ago, foie gras with a dubious smell was also the subject of a recall.

Road accident in the Var leaves two people injured - Two people have been injured in a road accident in Cotignac in the Var. The accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon when two vehicles collided head on, on the RD22. Traffic was cut in both directions. Police have opened an investigation to determine the cause of the collision.

Lock of Napoleon’s hair fails to sell at auction - If you’re still looking for that last minute Christmas gift? a lock of Napoleon’s hair has failed to sell at auction. Estimated at between 4,000 and 6,000 euros the piece was part of a lot, which included a fragment of one of his flannel waistcoats and a piece of curtain from one of his beds. The auction organised last Wednesday took place at the Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo (HVMC). Anyone interested is still able to make an offer by contacting the auction house.

Business

Manufacturing giant 3M has said it will stop making and using so-called "forever chemicals", common materials that have been linked to a range of health problems including cancer. The firm, which also makes Post-Its, cited increased concern about the substances, known as PFAS. The chemicals are used in many everyday items, including food packaging. Campaigners called the decision a "win for public health".

Elon Musk has said he will resign as Twitter's chief executive officer when he finds someone "foolish enough to take the job". The billionaire promised earlier to abide by the result of a Twitter poll which saw 57.5% of users vote "yes" to him quitting the role. He says he will still run the software and servers’ teams after his replacement is found.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former boss of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has agreed to be extradited to the US to face charges. The 30-year-old, who lives in the Bahamas, has been accused of committing "one of the biggest financial frauds in US history”.  FTX has filed for bankruptcy, leaving many people unable to withdraw funds. According to a court filing, FTX owed its 50 largest creditors almost $3.1bn (£2.5bn).

And - Figures prepared by the data and intelligence platform Dealroom for the Digital Economy Council suggest that fast-growing UK tech companies raised £24bn this year - more than their counterparts in France and Germany combined. It takes the total raised by UK tech companies during the last five years to £97bn. Germany's tech sector is now valued at $467.2bn while that of France is worth $307.5bn.

Sport

Football – Argentina's World Cup celebrations have been marred by the death of a 24-year-old fan, after he fell through a roof 'jumping up and down' celebrating during Tuesday's victory parade after their dramatic penalty shootout win over France.

Argentina's players delivered the nation's first World Cup triumph since 1986 and it caused millions in Argentina to throw parties.

But after Tuesday's bus parade was cut short due to safety concerns of fans jumping onto the top of the bus with the players, the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health detailed how another fan died in hospital on Monday due to a head injury picked up while celebrating.

In other football news, in the League Cup Newcastle reached the quarterfinals with a hard-fought win over Bournemouth at St James' Park winning 1-0 on Tuesday. Later today Blackburn play Nottingham Forest, Charlton Athletic face Brighton and Manchester United play Burnley.

Golf - Augusta officials have confirmed that players who have signed up to the controversial LIV Golf circuit will be allowed to play at the 2023 Masters. LIV players, which include previous Masters champions Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, have been suspended indefinitely from the PGA Tour.

Tennis - Andy Murray says he is one "big injury" away from calling time on his career, but that he is currently in the best shape he has been in for some time. The three-time Grand Slam champion, 35, had hip surgery in 2018 and 2019. While 2022 has been disappointing, a training block with coach Ivan Lendl in Florida has convinced him he is fit enough to compete at the top level.

Weather

Light rain across the region. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 16 degrees in Cannes and Saint Tropez. Clear spells by this afternoon in the Var. This evening going down to 10 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow fine and sunny. Highs of 16 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes. 18 degrees forecast for Saint-Tropez and the Var. Friday - sunny intervals, gentle breeze highs of 16. Looking ahead to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the forecast is sunshine and highs of between 16-18 degrees.

Sunrise:      08.00hr

Sunset:       16.55hr

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