French and Riviera News Wednesday 9th February 2022

News

Police launch appeal to find 14-year-old girl who ran away from home – Police in the Var have launched an appeal following the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl on February 6th. Manon Schlencker, reportedly ran away from home in her father's car, a black Peugeot 308 with the registration number FA-015-RT. She was at the time wearing grey tracksuit bottoms, a white T-shirt and a black hooded jacket. The teenager was last spotted the following day on February 7th in Avignon. Police in Lorgues in charge of the investigation are looking for any witnesses to come forward. They can be contacted on 04 94 73 70 11.

Several villas in the Cap d'Antibes evacuated following gas leak - Several villas in Cap d'Antibes have been evacuated following a gas leak. The incident occurred in the Garoupe district on Tuesday morning as residents were evacuated, while emergency services and agents from the gas board intervened.

Arrests made in connection with arson attack on restaurant in southern Corsica - Seven people have been questioned by police in Corsica and the PACA region, in connection with an arson attack on a restaurant in southern Corsica, dating back to July 2021. Several arrests were made on Tuesday February 8th, as part of the investigation into the incident. The attack was made on the hotel "Bella Vista" in Ajaccio with the terrace of the hotel being ravaged by flames. No casualties were reported. The investigation continues.

Two teenagers arrested for attempting to steal a scooter in Cannes - Two 16-year-olds have been arrested in Cannes for attempting to steal a scooter. The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The two teenagers were caught red handed thanks to CCTV footage and will appear in court in the coming days.

Teacher suspended for not wearing a mask - An internal investigation is currently underway at the university in Cannes after a teacher was suspended for not wearing a mask. The incident occurred following an altercation with a student when the teacher arrived in class not wearing a mask.

Several earth tremors felt in the Var region - Several earth tremors have been recorded in the Var region. At least 14 small earthquakes were recorded between Monday and Tuesday night in Draguignan. A rather rare event, the strongest tremor was detected at 5.13am on Tuesday morning with a magnitude of 2.3.

Homeless man treats himself to fine dining experience in restaurant in Cannes - A 22-year-old homeless man from Cannes has treated himself to a fine dining experience without paying the bill. According to local reports the individual went to one of the town's finest restaurants and ordered food, wine, coffee and dessert, before finishing off his experience with a cocktail at which point, he told staff that he could not pay the bill. Arrested and placed in police custody the man justified his actions by saying "he has to eat". He is to appear in court in April.

Historically low snowfall rate in region's ski resort - The ski resort of Auron in the Alpes Maritimes has experienced historically low snowfall, with no snow since January 8th. The last snowfall greater than 10cm dates back to Christmas Day. Forecasters say snow is on its way, expected on February 14th however, they warn that "the natural snow cover will probably not return to normal this season".

The body of an Italian woman has been discovered at her home two years after her death – The body of an Italian woman has been discovered at her home, two years after her death. The 70-year-old woman, found mummified in her chair more than two years after her death has sent shockwaves through Italy, reviving the debate about the loneliness of the elderly. Marinella Beretta, who no longer had a living relative, was found in her home in Prestino, near Lake Como, in Lombardy (north of Italy). Her neighbours hadn't seen her in at least two and a half years, according to media reports. In Italy, nearly 40% of people over 75 live alone. The same percentage of people have no relatives or friends to turn to when needed. Beretta's neighbours, who hadn't seen her since September 2019, thought she had moved at the start of the pandemic, which hit Italy in early 2020. Police found nothing at the scene that could suggest a suspicious death.

National News

French government announces increase in number of beds in intensive care - France's Minister of Health has announced an increase in the number of beds in intensive care in hospitals in France. Olivier Véran made the announcement on Tuesday February 8th without specifying when. The increase will see 1,000 additional beds, an increase of 20% on the current capacity.

Presidential elections - Although he is still not a candidate, French President Emmanuel Macron remains firmly in the lead in voting intentions for the presidential election according to a poll conducted by Elabe. Two months ahead of the first round of the 2022 presidential election, the race is tightening behind Macron between far-right Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, along with Republican Valérie Pécresse. However, in the second round, none of these three candidates seems to be doing well against Macron. The poll shows that if he was to face his closest rival Valérie Pécresse, he is given 54% of voting intentions compared to 46% for Pécresse. Marine Le Pen would reach 44% compared to 56% for the head of state and against Eric Zemmour, Emmanuel Macron would win more widely given 64% of the voting intentions, compared to 36% for his potential opponent.

Meanwhile the Constitutional Council has validated a sufficient number of sponsorships for candidates Anne Hidalgo and Valerie Pecresse, now certain to be on the starting line of the first round. Hidalgo and Pécresse have obtained the 500 sponsorships necessary from local elected officials to be able to run for president. The Republican candidate received 939 while the representative of the Socialists obtained 652 signatures. Emmanuel Macron, without being officially a candidate, has already since last week collected 926 sponsorships.  

Business

The president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank has said that inflation may worsen before subsiding as a result of action by the central bank. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Mary Daly said that she doesn't expect inflation to fall to 2 percent by the end of the year but that the situation would definitely improve once higher interest rates have kicked in. The Fed is expected to start raising interest rates from near zero levels next month although Daly says that the central bank should not be "too aggressive". US consumer prices rose by 7 percent last year, eating into the disposable income of many Americans. Daly added that central bank action, easing of supply chain issues and the weakening effects of the pandemic should all help to tame inflation towards the end of the year.

The European Central Bank has issued a warning about possible Russian-sponsored cyber attacks as tensions over Ukraine increase. The stand-off between Russia and the West is rattling political and business leaders in Europe with concerns that an invasion of Ukraine would inflict damage on the entire region. The ECB is reported to be on alert for the threat of cyber attacks launched on European banks from Russia. Leading banks are said to be conducting "war games" to test their ability to ward off any attack. In America, the New York Department of Financial Services issued an alert to banks in January warning of retaliatory cyber attacks should invade Russia Ukraine thus triggering US sanctions.

A cross-party committee of British MPs has warned that there could be further disruption to trade with the EU this year if more is not done to improve post-Brexit border arrangements. The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee says that the main impact of Brexit on UK firms had been "increased paperwork, costs and border delays". It added that things could worsen as the year progresses as new import controls are introduced. The Committee said that it was concerned about what will happen when passenger traffic across the UK border returns to normal levels as the pandemic subsides and described the government's plans to create the "most effective border in the world" by 2025 as "optimistic given where things stand today".

Sport

Winter Olympics - The Nordic nations lead the medals table on day 5 of the Winter Games in Beijing. Norway has 4 gold medals in a total of 9 with Sweden in second place with 4 gold's in a total of 7. Success in the skating events has taken the Netherlands into third place with 3 gold medals in a total of 7 while China and Germany have 3 gold medals each with Italy on 2 and France with one. There are 6 medal events today in women's alpine skiing, men's big air freestyle skiing, luge doubles, Nordic combined, women's snowboard cross and men's short track speed skating.

Football - There were 3 games in the English Premier League last night. Newcastle beat Everton 3-1, West Ham beat Watford 1-0 and Burnley got a 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

There are 4 games tonight. Manchester City play Brentford, Norwich host Crystal Palace, Spurs play Southampton and Aston Villa play Leeds.

In the English Championship last night Coventry and Blackpool drew 1-1, Derby beat Hull 3-1, Fulham were 3-0 winners over Millwall, Luton beat Barnsley 2-1 and Stoke beat Swansea 3-0.

Cricket - The veteran England bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been left out of the squad for the Test series in the West Indies. England's interim team manager Andrew Strauss has stressed that it's "not the end" of their England careers but said that it was important for other, younger bowlers to be given a chance. Anderson, who's 39 is England's all time leading wicket taker with 640 wickets in 169 Tests, while Broad has taken 537 wickets in 152 matches.

Formula 1 - Lewis Hamilton has been at the Mercedes factory this week as speculation continues over whether he'll race next season. The 7-time world champion has shared some pictures of himself doing physical training and preparation and is reported to have completed some pre-season tasks. The 37-year-old is still upset about how last season ended after race director Michael Masi failed to follow safety car procedure in the closing laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw Max Verstappen lift the driver's championship. Hamilton is not expected to make a decision on whether to return to the sport until the FIA enquiry into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is finished and its findings published.

Weather

Clear skies with moderate westerly winds. Top temperature 15-17 degrees. Overnight lows of 5-8 degrees on the coast and 3 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday - Mainly fine with highs of 12-15 degrees.

And Finally

Is 60 the new 40? New research has shown that you now hit old age at 76. That’s the figure which has emerged from a survey of over-60s. Research found that most pensioners feel about 12 years younger than their actual age thanks to sporting activities, puzzle solving and spending time with grandchildren. One in ten even said they had more energy than their children and would be capable of working as a spy or a private investigator. The research found that the average Briton aged 60 or over feels 12 years 5 months younger than their actual age.

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