Evening Update Friday 16 December 2022

At least ten people have lost their lives in a fire in the Rhone department in the early hours of this morning. Five children were amongst the victims of the fire in a seven storey apartment building in Vaulx-en-Velin, an eastern suburb of Lyon. Nineteen people have been injured. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin visited the scene this morning, saying that the tragedy affects all French people. He also praised the heroism of firefighters, who he said were able to save fifteen people by taking considerable risks with their own lives. He said that the priority is now identifying the victims.

Traffic was disrupted in Bagnols-en-Foret in the Var this morning when a vehicle left the road and fell 30 metres. The cause of the accident, on the departmental road 47, is still being investigated.

Cannes City Hall has arranged a live broadcast of Sunday's World Cup final on a giant screen inside the Palais des Victoires in Cannes-La Bocca. The capacity is 2,000 people, including 1,400 seats in the stands and 600 standing places. Kick off is at 4 p.m. Doors open at 1.30 p.m. and will be closed as soon as capacity is reached. Access to the screening is free.

Many people across France are preparing to travel by road for the end-of-year holidays which begin today. Motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes have said that traffic may be dense this weekend in the Ile-de-France region, in the Rhône Valley and in our region as well as around major cities. A strike by SNCF signal operators is underway and will run until Monday at 8am. The SNCF have said that train traffic will be slightly disrupted on certain lines.

The Var Prefecture has reminded residents who are going away for the holidays not to publicise their absence on social media. They have also reminded everyone that they can ask the National Police or the National Gendarmerie to monitor their home no matter where they live in France. You need to sign up for the free Operation Tranquillité Vacances service at least several days before you leave, either at your local police station or gendamerie or online on the service-publique.fr website https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R43241

An exciting wave of change for Riviera Radio has been announced as Reg Grundy Capital comes onboard. Monaco-based Riviera Radio, the only local radio in English, has been broadcasting to Monaco and the South of France for more than 35 years. Since its entry to the local market, the station has become a trusted companion, advisor, news provider and entertainer. Today through its digital development and website, Riviera Radio attracts a worldwide audience of not just listeners but readers too. The station works with and supports local businesses and the community through its strong on-the-ground relationship with its high-end audience. Riviera Radio will now be owned and controlled by a new structure, which brings 2 successful media forces together. Reg Grundy Capital was founded by eminent businessman and media icon Reg Grundy AC OBE. Grundy got his start in radio, as a broadcaster and producer of high-profile programming, and went on to build the world’s largest and most successful independently owned production company: Grundy Worldwide. Along with his wife and business partner Joy, Grundy created and owned a library of over 160 top rated television series and movies, produced in over 76 countries, including long-running hits “Neighbours,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Questions Pour Un Champion.” The successful company sold in 1995, and the popular catalogue of Grundy shows are now part of the Freemantle Media library, still entertaining audiences around the globe. Today, Reg Grundy Capital is headed by Joy Chambers-Grundy, who will join the board of Riviera Radio. Chambers-Grundy says: “We are most honoured and delighted to become part-owners of the unique Riviera Radio, a station I have listened to multiple times in the past. I am excited by this amazing acquisition, just as I know my beloved husband, Reg would be.” Grundy has owned and been involved in a variety of media businesses, including radio, and more recently is behind the Monaco Streaming Film Festival, which brings international media professionals to Monaco. Paul Kavanagh who has set up and run many successful media businesses across Europe over the last 40 years will remain as shareholder and Managing Director of Riviera Radio. And Morris Communications, who have sold Riviera Radio in a statement said; "it is indeed nostalgic that I announce today the sale of Riviera Radio, SAM. Our family has owned this wonderful radio station in Monaco since April 12, 2000. It remains the only English-speaking radio station on the French Riviera, broadcasting to Monaco, Nice, Cannes, Antibes and all the way to St. Tropez. Over the last 22 years our family’s relationship with the Principality has evolved and grown from mere acquaintance to enduring friendship and heartfelt admiration. It has been an honour for our family to serve the residents and visitors to your magnificent part of the world. We wish the Grundy Group continued success in the operation of this unique property and extend our gratitude to those Riviera Radio employees who assisted our family there for many years. Thank you, one and all. Best wishes and continued good luck with this endeavour".


BUSINESS

The EU has threatened Twitter owner Elon Musk with sanctions after several journalists covering the company had their accounts abruptly suspended. Reporters for the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post were reportedly among those locked out of their accounts. EU commissioner Vera Jourova said that the news "is worrying". She said that the EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights which is reinforced under the EU's Media Freedom Act and Elon Musk "should be aware of that".

UK retail sales saw a surprise fall last month after Black Friday failed to give its expected boost to online shopping. The Office for Natonal Statistics said that sales volumes declined by 0.4% in November. However, food store sales volumes rose by 0.9% with anecdotal evidence from retailers suggesting that customers stocked up early for Christmas.

Workers at the Rolls-Royce car plant in Goodwood have been given a pay rise worth up to 17.6%. The Unite Union described it as a "top-notch pay deal".

 

SPORT

Cricket.... Rehan Ahmed will become the youngest ever player in the history of England men's Test cricket, after being named in side for the third Test against Pakistan. The 18-year-old breaks the record of Brian Close, which has stood since 1949. Ben Foakes is also included in the side. England have already won the series and are looking to achieve a 3-0 victory.

Sydney Thunder have been dismissed for just 15 runs - the lowest score in men's Twenty20 history. They were beaten by Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League. Chasing 140 to win, Sydney Thunder were bowled out in just 35 balls.

 

WORLD CUP REPORT

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has hailed the Quatar World Cup as "the best World Cup ever", saying that 62 matches had been played "without incidents". The first match happening this weekend is the match for third place between Croatia and Morocco which kicks off at 4pm tomorrow our time. Morocco head coach Walid Regragui says that he wants Morocco to become the first African nation to win medals at a World cup. The final, between France and Argentina kicks off at 4pm on Sunday.

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