French and Riviera News Wednesday 23rd February 2022

News

Man seriously injured following knife attack - A young man has been seriously injured following a knife attack at a sports stadium in Nice. The man in his twenties was taken to hospital after being stabbed on Tuesday evening shortly after 6pm. The incident occurred following an altercation, the exact circumstances are still to be determined. Police have since opened an investigation.

Police officer arrested in the Var - Following a national manhunt, police in the Var have arrested a fellow officer for femicide. Authorities say the officer gave himself up on Tuesday morning after phoning from his father’s house near Draguignan. He has been wanted since January 28th, when the body of his 28-year-old girlfriend was found strangled at their apartment in Paris. The man is already known for domestic abuse, and avoided prosecution in 2019 with another partner, after agreeing to take an awareness course on the danger of domestic violence. His father has last week appealed on national television for his son to turn himself into the police.

Mayor of Saint-Raphael gives sponsorship to far right - The mayor of Saint-Raphaël Frédéric Masquelier has given his sponsorship to far right leader of the National Rally Marine Le Pen. Masquelier made the announcement on Tuesday. It comes after earlier this week the mayor of Cannes gave his sponsorship to far left leader Jean Luc Mélenchon. Both mayors say they remain republican but have given sponsorship to other leaders for democratic reasons. Candidate in the presidential election Marine Le Pen is still missing about fifty of the 500 sponsorships needed to be part of the race for presidency in April.

Macron top of the polls - Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron, who has still not announced his official candidacy is quietly continuing his race at the top of the polls for the election. According to the Opinion 2022 poll carried out by Elabe for BFMTV and L'Express in partnership with SFR and published this Wednesday Macron continues to maintain his lead, with 24.5% of voting intentions. Marine Le Pen is second at 18%, and Éric Zemmour remains at 13.5%.

Nice Carnival - The gradual lifting of government covid restrictions has allowed the city of Nice to release 3,000 extra tickets for the finale of the Nice Carnival. The final show, with its massive, illuminated procession, will take place Saturday night after which the king of the carnival will be burned.

Port Vauban - A pontoon in Port Vauban in Antibes has reopened after being closed for several weeks. The floating structure with 76 berths cost 200,000 euros to renovate and now boasts a new water and electricity network.

Cannes Film Festival recruiting - Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival are recruiting with 300 jobs on offer. The festival runs from Tuesday 17th to Saturday 28th May and applications are now being accepted for a range of positions. For more information go to Randstad.fr

Road closure to help save toads and frogs from being run over - As the breeding season for toads and frogs is fast approaching, elected officials in Brittany have closed one of the region's longest departmental roads to save thousands from being squashed by cars and to preserve biodiversity. The move, however, has not pleased everyone with some residents expressing their anger saying that “the closure of the road, which has existed for 200 years and never bothered anyone, is causing many to take a diversion to get to work on narrow roads which are in poor condition”.

Business

Asian markets have steadied a little this morning and demand for safe-haven assets has fallen slightly as investors looked at Russian troop movements near Ukraine and initial Western sanctions against Russia as leaving some room for a diplomatic solution to the spiralling crisis. Commodity prices remain elevated although oil fell back a little after reaching 7 year highs on Tuesday as markets reacted to the latest developments and the S&P 500 tipped into correction territory having dropped by 10 percent since January’s record peak. US stock futures have risen this morning after President Biden left the door open to diplomacy as he announced sanctions on two Russian banks as well as some oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin. The European Union and the UK also announced some sanctions targeting banks and Russian elites while Germany halted plans for the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which resulted in an 11 percent jump in Europe’s benchmark gas price. Analysts say that markets see the various sanctions as modest and perhaps not as aggressive as feared.

Oil prices have dipped slightly this morning as the market judged that sanctions against Russia will not do much to disrupt supplies from the world’s 3rd largest producer. Crude prices have surged in recent weeks on alarm about a potential conflict in Ukraine which might affect supplies from Russia which produces around 11 percent of world output. Brent Crude fell by 0.1 percent to 96 dollars 71 a little earlier after soaring as high as 99 dollars 50 on Tuesday. Potential for a return of more Iranian crude to the market has also helped to settle the market a little with Tehran and world powers close to reviving their nuclear agreement.

Virgin Galactic Holdings has posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss and says that its cash position has improved. The space tourism company says that it held around 931 million dollars in cash at the end of December compared with 679 million at the end of 2020. The figure excludes the 425 million dollars that the firm raised in January through a debt offering to help fund the launch of its commercial service which is set to start later this year. Virgin Galactic is now offering ticket sales to the public for space travel with prices fixed at 450,000 dollars per person with an initial deposit of 150,000. Total revenue for the quarter came in at 141,000 dollars, well below expectations of 331,000.

Sport

Football - Chelsea have the advantage over Lille following the first leg of their European Champions League round of 16 tie. Chelsea won 2-0 on the night thanks to goals from Havertz and Pulisic. The other game last night ended Villareal 1 Juventus 1. There are two more games tonight. Athletico Madrid play Manchester United and Benfica host Ajax.

In the English Championship last night, Bristol City lost 2-1 at home to Coventry, Barnsley were 2-0 winners at Hull, Middlesbrough beat West Brom 2-1, Preston and Nottingham Forest drew 0-0 and Reading beat Birmingham 2-1.

There are three games in the English Premier League tonight. Burnley play Spurs, Watford host Crystal Palace and Liverpool play Leeds.

Golf - Phil Mickelson has announced that he’s taking a break from the game and has apologised for what he called his “reckless” comments about the regime in Saudi Arabia. Mickelson described the Saudi regime as “scary” adding that plans for a new Saudi backed Super League was a “once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates”. He says that his comments were taken “out of context” but has now said that he “deeply regrets his choice of words”. The publication of the comments taken from an unofficial biography of the left-handed star prompted a number of top players to withdraw their support for the new Super League.

Cricket - Ireland have made the finals of the T20 World Cup after beating Oman by 56 runs in a qualifier on Tuesday to make the tournament proper. The United Arab Emirates will also be there after they beat Nepal by 68 runs.

Formula 1 - Pre-season testing gets underway in Barcelona today as the new season edges closer. Testing runs from today until the Friday with a second series of tests in Bahrain between the 10th and 12th of March. The first race of the season is in Bahrain on the 20th of March.

Rugby Union - Manu Tuilagi is set to start for England against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday in the third round of the 6 Nations Championship. Centre Joe Marchant has been left out of the 25 man squad paving the way for Tuilagi’s return. Flanker Courtney Lawes is also set to return but Joe Launchbury has been released back to Premiership side Wasps.

Weather

Clear skies with light variable or easterly winds. Top temperatures 15-17 degrees. Overnight lows of 7-10 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday - Partially cloudy with highs of 14-16 degrees.

And Finally

Recent research has claimed that older women who regularly clean, wash up and cook meals have healthier hearts than those who avoid housework. Researchers followed 5,500 women who were asked to wear movement-tracking gadgets for a week. The results showed women who did at least four hours of 'daily life movement' cut their risk of a death from a heart attack or stroke by almost two thirds. Daily life movement was defined as just simple routine activities, which include cooking, household chores, gardening and even showering.

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