Evening Update Friday Friday 12th of April 2024

NEWS

Food safety inspectors plan to carry out 100,000 checks on French restaurants and bakeries this year, almost twice as many as last year, to coincide with the Paris Olympics. With more than 10 million visitors expected this summer, the aim is to check all establishments providing meals around the sites of the Paris 2024 Olympics, to prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses.

France's senate has passed a national plan to combat the Asian hornet, the invasive species that kills bees. The plan includes paying for the destruction of nests, which private individuals will be obliged to report, and compensation for beekeepers who are victims. This bee predator first appeared in France 20 years ago and has since spread widely. It is responsible for around 20% of apiary deaths and represents an annual loss of €12 million for the beekeeping industry.

French health and disability ministers have confirmed that wheelchairs will be fully reimbursed before the end of 2024, meeting a long-standing demand from associations. The decision aims to create a more inclusive society by adjusting reimbursement arrangements to consider the specificities of disabilities. The announcement was made by Catherine Vautrin, the French Health Minister, during a visit to a wheelchair manufacturer in Indre-et-Loire. Currently, health insurance and mutual insurance companies cover some of the cost of wheelchairs, with disabled individuals responsible for 15 to 20% of the remaining cost.

The Courbet Group has launched the "Seasonal Workers Village" at the Collège international de Cannes. This initiative aims to provide suitable accommodation and services for seasonal workers. The village offers simple and freshly painted rooms with shared facilities. It is designed to be a secure gated community centered around a central square. To ensure the well-being of workers, the village provides a gym, yoga room, caretaker, and concierge. The focus is on providing essential services tailored to the needs of seasonal workers. The village goes beyond being just a place to live, as it strives to create a real community. It offers shared living spaces, catering services adapted to the atypical working hours of seasonal workers, and even professional and language training to enrich the residents' experience.

Unexpected visits in Nice-Est Jean-Macé school this afternoon, the Minister of National Education Nicole Belloubet, skier Matthieu Bailet and French professional football manager Didier Deschamps were in Nice today, promoting sport within schools. Guided by mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, they tour the sporting activities and the well-being effect it has on children. The minister said, 'Thirty minutes of activity a day has a tremendous effect on classes and, later, on the health of our young people'. The minister continued her trip to Pierre-Merle school, in the port district of Nice, where she was to address the subject of school bullying, before going to Saint-Laurent-Du-Var.

 

BUSINESS

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being utilized to prevent future blackouts The increasing demand for electricity from renewable energy sources has resulted in greater variability in supply, leading to potential power outages. Winter Storm Uri in Texas highlighted this vulnerability in February 2021. The UK Energy Secretary has warned that, without new gas-fired power stations, the country could face power cuts. AI in the energy sector aims to ensure a stable and uninterrupted electricity supply, despite rising demand and the variability of renewable sources. Texans believe that integrating batteries into the grid could be a viable solution, but this requires accurate forecasts of electricity demand. As a solution, the California-based start-up WattTime has developed AI software that predicts electricity supply and demand, based on weather conditions, holidays, work schedules, and even sporting events to make accurate predictions, enabling batteries to charge and discharge efficiently. This software can also be used at home to help consumers manage their electricity generation and consumption effectively.

Senator Sherrod Brown, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has called on President Joe Biden to ban imports of electric cars made in China, stating that they pose a significant threat to the US auto industry. This is the strongest stance taken by a US lawmaker on the issue, with others advocating for high tariffs as a means to restrict Chinese electric vehicles from entering the country. In February, the White House announced an investigation into whether Chinese cars posed a national security risk. President Biden expressed concerns about China's policies, stating that they could flood the US market and threaten national security. The White House has cited concerns about the collection of sensitive data by Chinese-made cars as a reason for potential restrictions, as internet-connected vehicles record detailed information about US infrastructure. As of now, the White House has not responded to requests for comment on the matter.

 

SPORTS

Climbing - Obstacle course champion Anouk Garnier, aged 34, set out to conquer the Great Iron Lady, suspended from a rope 110 meters above the void on the morning of Wednesday 10 April. In just 18 minutes, the young woman succeeded in meeting the challenge she had set herself: to reach the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. A world record broken, but also a climb to raise awareness of the fight against cancer.

Golf – in this 88th Masters at Augusta National, Bryson DeChambeau leads by one from Scottie Scheffler after a storm-shortened first day at the Masters. The LIV golfer finished seven under par, but world number one Scheffler showed ominous touch in his bogey-free 66. England's 2016 winner Danny Willett, playing his first tournament since September 2023, is four under par.

 

ROLEX MONTE CARLO TENNIS MASTER REPORT FROM BANQUE HAVILLAND

TENNIS - Daniil Medvedev was given a penalty point as he angrily disputed a line call for the second day in a row during his 6-3 7-5 defeat to fellow Russian Karen Khachanov at the Monte Carlo Masters. The world No. 4 lost his temper late in the second set, telling the umpire “open your freaking eyes” and telling a bespectacled line judge that their glasses were not doing their job.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic's recovery from a worrying start to 2024 continued by impressively overcoming Lorenzo Musetti at the Monte Carlo Masters, moving into the quarter-finals with a 7-5 6-3 win.

 

WEATHER

Warm and sunny this afternoon with gentle breeze across the riviera. Highs of 22 degrees in Nice, 24 in Cannes, 25 in Marseille and 26 degrees in Toulon and Saint-Tropez.

Tonight, clear skies with lows of 15 degrees.

The outlook for this weekend, fine and sunny with peaks of 29 degrees in some places.

Sunset at 8:10pm

Weather elsewhere

London 20 degrees cloudy

Marbella 19 degrees Sunny

Montreal highs of 20 degrees rainy

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