French and Riviera News Wednesday 8th September 2021

News

Road accident - A motorcyclist has been seriously injured in an accident in Cap d'Antibes. The accident occurred on Tuesday evening at around 6pm when local residents heard a terrible noise. The biker in his thirties, is believed to have lost control and hit a parked car. He was taken to Pasteur hospital in Nice. Police have opened an investigation.

TER link between Marseille and Nice - France’s SNCF train network risks losing one on its lines after the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region announced on Tuesday its proposal to elected officials to vote in favour of the transport group Transdev, for the TER train link between Marseille and Nice.

The Marseille-Nice rail link, via Toulon, concerns 10% of regional traffic in terms of the number of trains offered. Three companies were in competition: the SNCF, Transdev and the Italian Thello. If regional elected officials confirm this choice on October 29th it would be the first rail line not to be operated by the SNCF.

Brigitte Bardot pays tribute to “Bebel” - French actress Brigitte Bardot has paid tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo saying, “I think of him, I loved him and I miss him”. The two emblematic actors of French cinema had, over the years, become close. In 2012, Belmondo had even adopted his dog "Chipie" from the Bardot Foundation. Following Belmondo’s death at the age of 88 on Monday the Elysée announced that the national tribute will take place tomorrow, Thursday, September 9th at the Invalides in the French capital.

MIPIM and Yachting Festival start in Cannes - Real estate professionals are gathering in Cannes for MIPIM World, which got underway at the Palais des Festivals on Tuesday. The main theme of this year's gathering is New World, New Era - Time to Reconnect. Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard was present at the opening ceremony of the two-day event, as was the Minister of Housing Emmanuelle Wargon. The Cannes Yachting Festival also opened on Tuesday. The show features almost 600 boats and 430 exhibitors. It's taking place until this Sunday, 12th September.

Collection of toys and games for Lenval foundation - The Monaco town hall is involved in the Voiles Blanches Bettimask operation, the aim of which is to collect children's toys and games for the benefit of the Lenval Foundation. If you would like to contribute, two drop-off boxes are located in the Principlaity - one at the entrance to the Town Hall, the other at La Condamine Market. Everyone is welcome to drop off a game or a toy, which must be new and without gift wrapping, to be given to children in hospital.

Hottest summer on record - A European climate change agency has reported that the summer of 2021 was the hottest on record in Europe. The average June-July-August temperature for Europe was nearly 1 degree higher than the 1991-2020 average, which makes it the hottest summer, by a small margin (0.1 ° C), ahead of the summers of 2010 and 2018.

32 departments placed on weather warning - Meanwhile Météo-France has placed 32 departments, from the southwest to Île-de-France, on an orange weather alert with the risk of thunderstorms. The warning is in place from 4pm today until at least, tomorrow morning.

All the departments of the Ile-de-France region are concerned. The other departments are: Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Yonne, Sarthe, Loir-et-Cher, Cher, Nièvre, Indre-et-Loire, Allier, Indre, Creuse, Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Dordogne, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Aveyron, Tarn, Gers, l 'Aude, Ariège, Haute-Garonne and Hautes-Pyrénées.

Business

A judge in the United States has said that the board of directors of Boeing must face a lawsuit from shareholders over two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max plane. Judge Morgan Zurn said that the first crash was a red flag about a key safety system on the aircraft that the board should have heeded but instead ignored. He said the real victims were those who died and their families but investors had also lost billions of dollars. The crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019 killed all 346 people on board and led to the 737 Max being grounded around the world. Investigations later found that a flaw in an automated flight control system was at fault. In January, Boeing paid $2.5 billion to settle criminal charges that it concealed information about changes to the flight control system from safety officials. The firm is still facing civil lawsuits from families along with the latest action from shareholders. Boeing says that it will consider its next steps adding that it was disappointed with the court’s decision.

Leading business groups in the UK have reacted with dismay to the government’s national insurance hike and surcharge on dividend income to boost health and social care spending from next April. The British Chamber of Commerce said that the extra financial burden from higher tax charges ignored the damage suffered by thousands of small businesses during the pandemic. The Institute of Directors meanwhile, accused the government of an opportunistic ambush “exploiting public sentiment at the expense of some of the most productive and entrepreneurial segments of the economy”. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a 1.25 percentage point increase in employee and employer national insurance would contribute towards a £14 billion annual increase in spending on health and social care to bring down waiting lists and protect vulnerable people from using all their savings to pay social care bills. Business leaders say that the increase in employers national insurance is a further blow to the business community and would be a drag anchor on jobs growth at an absolutely crucial time. The head of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry said that the tax increases would demoralise business owners and sole traders at the point when they’re trying to recover from the most difficult 18 months of their professional lives.

French wine makers are expected to make a third less wine this year than usual after vineyards were struck by frosts, poor weather and disease during the spring and summer. Wine output across France is predicted to tumble by 29% this year compared with 2020 to the lowest level in decades. Almost all of the country’s wine growing regions were affected by unseasonal spring frosts which damaged grapes growing on the vine that had developed during a burst of warm weather. The French Agriculture Ministry is forecasting production this year of 33.3 million hectolitres which is 25 percent lower than average national output over the past five years. Such a shortfall could cost almost €2 billion in lost sales.

Sport

Tennis – The Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez has produced another stunning performance to reach the semifinals of the US Open. Fernandez who turned 19 on Monday beat Elina Svitolina in three sets to set up a last four meeting with Aryna Sabalenka.

In the men’s event the second seed Daniil Medvedev is through to the last four after beating Botic van de Zandschulp in four sets.

Football – There were a number of World Cup qualifiers last night with Scotland getting their campaign back on track with a 1–0 victory in Austria. The Republic of Ireland and Serbia drew 1–1 while France beat Finland 2-0. There are more games tonight including Poland against England, Northern Ireland against Switzerland and Wales against Estonia.

Formula One – George Russell says that he is "absolutely buzzing" about his move from Williams to Mercedes. The 23-year-old will replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next season but has admitted it will be a “steep learning curve”. The Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says that Russell has been a winner in every racing category and the past three seasons with Williams has given a taste of what the future could hold for him in Formula One.

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate easterly winds. Top temperatures 26-39 degrees. Overnight lows of 18-22 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Thursday and Friday - Partially cloudy with highs of 26-28 degrees.

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