Evening Update Friday 26th of April 2024

NEWS

Paddle in Larvotto - A Self-service rental system for paddle boards has been implemented on the Larvotto beach in Monaco. Users can access the equipment through a paying application, enabling them to set off to sea completely autonomously. The rental system was implemented in response to a lack of activities and entertainment on Larvotto beach. The cost for renting a paddle board is 20 euros per hour, and if users want to rent it for longer, they need to return to the machine. The facility is available seven days a week throughout the year.

More Assaults and Antisocial Behaviour Within France Travail - Reports of assaults and antisocial behaviours at France Travail (previously Pôle Emploi) have risen by 12% in the past year, totaling nearly 16,000 incidents in 2023. This marks an 82% increase in rude behaviours and a 37% increase in verbal assaults over the past five years. On average, there are 43 daily incidents of antisocial behaviour or aggression across the 900 branches in France. Since the murder of an adviser in Valence in early 2021, France Travail has urged employees to report incidents. The main union, SNAP, attributes the aggressive behavior towards staff to tensions in the labor market, pressures on jobseekers, and concerns over unemployment insurance reforms.

Are you All Set to Vote? - The 2024 European elections are approaching, and the poll in France will take place on Sunday 9 June. All French people of voting age will be called upon to vote for their representatives in Parliament. If you are not yet on the electoral roll, you have until 1 May to register online, or until 3 May at your local town hall. To register, all you need to provide is valid proof of identity and proof of address less than three months old (such as your electricity bill).

Sand Storm this Weekend - The sky might turn yellowish this weekend as a new Sahara air mass moves in, coinciding with rainy weather in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes. A Mediterranean weather system will impact the southeast of France, with Météo France Sud-Est predicting rainfall totals of 5 to 20mm, more due to the duration of the rain rather than its intensity.

Recycling the Waste of Mount Everest - A group of French students is tackling the challenge of recycling the waste on Mount Everest, the world's highest rubbish dump. They argue that clean-up campaigns alone are insufficient and are working to establish a recycling centre at the base of the mountain. The project, "Tri-haut pour l'Everest," launched in 2020, is passed down to new student teams each year. Despite technical and bureaucratic hurdles, they aim to start operations this summer. Over 10 tonnes of waste are left on Everest annually, with previous clean-ups only shifting some rubbish further down the mountain. The team, made up of engineering students and architects, plans to build a waste management centre in Pangboche, a village 4,000 meters high, strategically located between lodges and high-altitude base camps. The centre will have sorting and recycling machines to provide a sustainable solution for plastic waste.

 

BUSINESS

ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, has stated it has no plans to sell the video app despite a new US law requiring it to do so or face a ban in America. The company posted on its social media platform Toutiao, "ByteDance doesn't have any plans to sell TikTok." TikTok did not respond to a BBC request for comment, but said it would challenge the "unconstitutional" law in court. ByteDance's founder owns 20% of shares through a controlling stake, while institutional investors hold about 60%, including US firms Carlyle Group, General Atlantic, and Susquehanna International Group. The remaining 20% is owned by its employees globally, with three of ByteDance's five board members being American. The Chinese government has criticized the US law, dismissing it as paranoia and warning of repercussions. However, a ban is not imminent, as ByteDance has nine months to sell TikTok, with an additional three-month grace period, pushing the potential ban deadline to sometime in 2025, after the 2024 US presidential election.

New Belgium Brewing, based in Colorado, has been in operation since 1988, when co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch were inspired by a cycling trip through Belgium to bring Belgian brewing techniques back home. By 1991, they were selling their first beer, Fat Tire, at a local festival. The brewing process relies on steam for both sanitizing equipment and brewing itself. However, this steam is generated using fossil fuel boilers, which have a large carbon footprint. In 2018, fossil fuels accounted for 73% of industrial energy use in the US, with 40% of that used to heat boilers. To address this, some breweries are looking at alternative methods to generate steam. One option is to switch to electric boilers, but this can be costly. US-based AtmosZero offers a different solution: a heat pump-based boiler that extracts heat from the air to create high-temperature steam. This process involves circulating refrigerants with low boiling points, compressing them to generate steam. This approach reduces operating costs and has a lower carbon footprint. AtmosZero is still in its early stages, with plans to build a manufacturing plant and deliver boiler systems by early 2026. The company aims to become carbon-neutral by 2030, with these innovative steam-generating methods potentially playing a key role in achieving this goal.

 

SPORTS

Rugby Union - Ireland assistant coach John McKee says his side's approach to their final Women's Six Nations game against Scotland will not be dictated by the result of Saturday's opening game between Wales and Italy. The Scots, the Irish and the Italians are all vying for the third-place finish which would secure a place at next year's Women's World Cup. Scotland occupy that position at present on eight points, with Italy and Ireland two points worse off going into the final round of fixtures.

Formula 1 - Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey is to leave the team in the wake of the controversy involving allegations about team principal Christian Horner. Newey, regarded as the greatest Formula 1 designer in history, has told Red Bull he wants to move on, BBC Sport has learned. The 65-year-old has been unsettled by the situation at Red Bull since Horner was accused of sexual harassment and coercive, abusive behaviour by a female employee, which Horner denies. Red Bull and Newey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tennis - Emma Raducanu said she felt "mentally and emotionally exhausted" after losing in the first round at the Madrid Open. The 21-year-old was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Argentine qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle. Raducanu helped Britain beat France in the Billie Jean King Cup before reaching her first WTA quarter-final in 19 months at the Stuttgart Open last week as she continues her comeback from an injury-hit 2023 season.

Rafael Nadal began his Madrid Open farewell with a crushing straight-set win over American teenager Darwin Blanch. The five-time Madrid champion, who has indicated he plans to retire after the 2024 season, took just 63 minutes to complete a 6-1 6-0 victory against his 16-year-old opponent. Nadal, 37, said this week he will only play at the French Open next month if he feels "capable enough to compete".

Motorsports - Finally, the first of three motor-racing highlights in Monaco is happening tomorrow, with the seventh edition of the Monaco E-Prix, ahead of next month's Historic and Formula 1 Grand Prix. The fan village on Quai Antoine 1er opens on Saturday at 9am, and entry is free even to those without a ticket for the race. The first practice session starts at 9.10, second practice is at 10.40, qualifications at 2.30pm and the race gets under way at 4pm. Tickets for the race are still available, from €30, and children under 16 go free.

 

WEATHER

Cloudy this afternoon with episodic showers and moderate winds. Quite chilly today with Highs of 14 degrees in Toulon, 15 in Nice and Saint-Tropez and 16 degrees in Cannes and Marseille.

Later this evening, the sky should clear up before the clouds make a come back throughout the Riviera. Lows of 9 degrees.

Outlook for tomorrow, sadly much the same as the sky will be painted in grey throughout the day accompanied by episodic showers, especially in the evening. Highs of 17 degrees.

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