Evening Update Friday 31st of May 2024

NEWS
Cigarettes Inflation - A Senate report recommends increasing tobacco taxes, raising cigarette prices to 25 euros per pack by 2040. Despite public health efforts, 12 million French people still smoke, causing 75,000 premature deaths annually. The Senate Social Affairs Committee suggests a 5% annual price increase until 2040, doubling the current price.

Heist in Monaco - Two men who robbed a luxury watch boutique in Monaco on Wednesday are still at large. The financial loss, initially estimated at 3 million euros, has been revised to over 4 million euros. The heist, completed in just 7 minutes without any violence, was executed by a man disguised as an old man, who then escaped on a scooter with an accomplice.

Police Officers Suspended - Two police officers have been sentenced for using excessive force during the dispersal of a pension reform protest on March 28, 2023, in Marseille. Found guilty of "aggravated violence by persons acting in an official capacity," they received suspended prison sentences of five and six months. The deputy prosecutor argued that while force is justified to disperse a crowd, its use in this case was disproportionate and amounted to "illegitimate violence." The protest, involving about 300 people near Saint-Charles station, saw damage to street furniture, bin fires, and projectiles thrown at the police.

Clandestine Slaughterhouse - A clandestine claughterhouse has been dismantled in Nice. Public prosecutor Damien Martinelli has confirmed that a preliminary investigation has been opened, including charges of illegal slaughter, mistreatment of an animal, forgery of an administrative document and concealed work in an organised gang. An association took charge of the 650 ewes and 45 cattle intended for ritual slaughter seized from a slaughterhouse in Contes (Alpes-Maritimes). The facility is located 20 kilometres north of Nice. Six people were taken into custody and over €120,000 were confiscated.

Clandestine Slaughterhouse in Nice Flat - A similar story happened in an apartment of Nice in 2023. Two individuals were hosting a clandestine slaughterhouse in their apartment. The police counted 40 sheep, two of which were being butchered, in a 48 m² flat. The two defendants have been sentenced this Thursday, one to an 8-month suspended prison sentence and a €1,000 fine, and the other to 120 days' fine at €10, equivalent to €1,200.

L'Auberge Provençal in La-Colle-Sur-Loup - L’Auberge Provençal, or the Provençal inn, in the centre of La Colle-sur-Loup is set to reopen after years of legal proceedings. The goal is to revive it with a Provençal identity, using local products at fair prices, and creating a family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a friends’ project, with customers welcomed like friends. The inn will be open year-round to help bring life back to the heart of La Colle-sur-Loup.

Historic Market of Vence this Saturday - The historic market of Vence is making a comeback. The historic town of Vence welcomes back its market this Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm in Place Clemenceau. This new weekly market aims to revitalize economic activity, supported by local shopkeepers and the Vence Shop-Windows Federation. It will complement existing markets and feature around twenty food and clothing stalls, adding vibrancy to the town center. Organizers hope to eventually enter it in the Most Beautiful Market in France competition.

 

BUSINESS
The chairman of SK Group, Korea's second largest conglomerate Chey Tae-won will pay over a trillion won for his divorce settlement. South Korean tycoon Chey Tae-won has been ordered to pay his ex-wife, Roh So-young, 1.38 trillion won, or $1bn, in the country's largest divorce settlement. This comes nearly a decade after their marriage ended due to Mr. Chey's affair and child with another woman. The Seoul High Court ruled that Ms. Roh, married to Mr. Chey for 35 years, deserved a portion of his company shares. This decision overturned a lower court's 2022 ruling, which had awarded her 66.5 billion won without shares. The court found Ms. Roh significantly contributed to the value of SK Group and that her father, former President Roh Tae-woo, protected SK's interests. Mr. Chey's lawyers plan to appeal, disputing the court's findings. Following the ruling, SK Inc's shares rose by 9%.

Doctolib, a French start-up founded in 2013, is a major success in simplifying healthcare administration through online appointment booking. It’s free for patients, while doctors pay a subscription. The pandemic boosted its popularity, especially in France. Valued at £5bn in 2022, Doctolib expanded to Germany in 2016 but faced challenges due to the decentralized system and entrenched local companies. Germany’s use of outdated technology, like fax machines, and a preference for local firms slowed Doctolib’s growth. However, the market potential is significant, with high healthcare spending and frequent doctor visits. Doctolib has adapted its approach based on experiences in Germany and Italy and may consider the UK in the future, focusing on major European markets first.

 

SPORTS
Tennis - Women's world number one Iga Swiatek will hope to celebrate her birthday by moving a step closer to a third successive French Open title in Paris on Friday. She will face 42nd-ranked Czech Marie Bouzkova.

Athletics - Britain's Molly Caudery won the pole vault event at the World Athletics Continental Tour meet in the Czech Republic with a world-leading mark this year. The 24-year-old cleared 4.84m, the highest women’s outdoor vault in the world so far in 2024, at the Ostrava Golden Spike.

Rugby Union - Ten current and former rugby union stars have started a charity to support elite players after they retire from the game. To cite of few names, former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, ex-All Blacks number 10 Dan Carter and current South Africa captain Siya Kolisi are among the 10 founding members of the Global Rugby Players Foundation.

 

WEATHER
Fine and bright all across the region this afternoon! Strong winds with gusts of up to 70km/h near Marseille. Highs of 23 degrees in Marseille, 24 in Nice, 25 in Cannes, 26 in Toulon and a warm 28 degrees in Saint-Tropez.
Tonight, clear skies with lows of 16 degrees.
Outlook for this weekend, Saturday: highs of 21 degrees with thunderstorms expected in the afternoon all across the Var, Alpes-de-Haut-de-Provence, Hautes-Alpes and higher in the Alpes Maritimes. On Sunday: much the same with highs of 21 degrees and thunderstorms all across the PACA region. Meteo France has issued a yellow alert that will last until late evening. On Monday: bright and clear with highs of 22 degrees until the evening where thunderous skies will make a comeback in the Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haut-de-Provence that should end in the night.

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