Evening Update Monday 15th April 2024

NEWS

The Monegasque government informed its residents today that a fraudulent call campaign is currently targeting the Principality, mainly the most vulnerable people, starting with the elderly. The scammers pretend to be police officers or lawyers, leading callers to believe that a member of their family has been involved in a serious road accident. These scammers then ask their target to raise a sum of money to help their loved one. To protect yourself from this kind of sentimental blackmail, the Princely Government advises: do not answer the call, do not respond to the financial solicitation, block the number and call the Sûreté Publique (93.15.30.15).

In regards of last week’s Bulletin, the daughters of the French Baker’s couple found in Madere in Portugal re-opened their parent’s Bakery in their memory. Numerous clients from Beaumont-de-Lomagne have shown their support.

This week, VINCI Autoroutes will be continuing construction work on the Mougins interchange and widening the Menton slip road on the A8 motorway. Additionally, pavement maintenance and renovation work will be conducted in Villeneuve-Loubet, Nice, and Monaco. These activities will result in traffic modifications at several interchanges along the A8 motorway, including Mougins, Villeneuve-Loubet Plage, Nice Saint-Isidore, Nice Est, Monaco, and Menton. To minimize disruptions, the Monaco tunnel on the A500 will be closed for four nights from 8:30 pm to 6 am, starting from today, Monday, 15th April to Friday, 19th April. During this period, the entry and exit ramps to the interchange will also be closed. To access the A8 motorway during the closure, drivers can use the La Turbie interchange entry slip road (no. 57) or exit via the Roquebrune-Cap-Martin interchange (no. 58).

With 100 days remaining until the Paris Olympic Games, Emmanuel Macron has provided reassurance regarding the safety of the opening ceremony. He outlined "plans B and C" in the event of a terrorist threat, emphasizing that risks will be analyzed in real time. Macron explained that an alternative ceremony at the Trocadero or the Stade de France could be considered, to limit the event to a smaller area if necessary. Despite these security measures, the festival has been downsized, with the number of free spectators reduced to 222,000 and a total attendance of around 320,000 when including those who have purchased tickets. In addition, a recent Ipsos poll revealed that only 53% of French people are interested in the Games, a decrease of eight points from six months ago. Furthermore, the majority of respondents expressed concerns about France's ability to ensure the successful execution of the Games.

Three major incidents occurring in Antibes, Nice, and La Gaude, the Côte d'Azur fire brigade had a busy evening on Sunday 14th April. In Antibes, 39 residents were evacuated from the Le Vauban residence after seven flat balconies collapsed. Fortunately, no casualties were reported. In Nice, a flat fire broke out on the 3rd floor of a six-storey building. Around thirty firefighters and thirteen fire engines were called to the scene to tackle the fire. In La Gaude, a car exploded in a garage, leading to a large villa fire. 28 firefighters and eight engines were deployed, and two people managed to escape unharmed. Despite these incidents, there were no casualties reported in any of the three incidents.

Dog owners are forbidden to walk their dogs without a lead outside of the designated forest paths. A ministerial decree has been issued to protect wildlife in a forest during the period from 15 April to 30 June. Just like each year, this time period coincides with the mating and nesting season for mammals and birds. The presence of dogs can disturb and cause stress to wildlife, which may lead to the abandonment of their young by the mothers. Violators of this decree may face a fine of up to €750. This rule is an extension of the existing regulation, which limits dog owners to keep their dogs within 100 meters of them throughout the rest of the year.

A new vaccination campaign against Covid-19 begins today. Although not compulsory, it is strongly recommended for the oldest and most vulnerable members of society, particularly in view of the "population melting pot" that the Paris Olympic Games will bring. During the winter, of the 33,000 hospitalizations, two-thirds involved people aged over 75. The vaccination campaign will run until 16 June, or even until 15 July "if the epidemiological situation so warrants".

Three departments in the Hauts-de-France region, the Somme, Pas-de-Calais and Nord, will be under an orange alert until the end of the day for strong winds, "with gusts of around 90/100 km/h or even 110 km/h in some cases", announced Météo France on Sunday.

 

BUSINESS

Oil prices have dropped in early Asian trading after Iran surrendered against Israel. Brent crude, a major benchmark for oil prices, fell but remained around $90 per barrel. Prior to Iran's actions, oil prices had already risen. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that the confrontation with Iran had not been resolved. However, market analysis suggests that there is no immediate threat to oil supplies. While Brent may fall below $90, it is not expected to decrease significantly as traders are primarily focused on conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine. Analysts emphasize that global markets will closely monitor Israel's response, as oil prices could rise if Israel reacts strongly. In equity markets, the Asia-Pacific region saw a decline as investors assessed the impact of the attack, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng, Japan's Nikkei 225, and South Korea's Kospi down, while China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite increased by over 1%. Gold prices rose slightly and approached its record level of nearly $2,400 per ounce. Gold is often seen as a safe investment in times of uncertainty and has risen sharply in the run-up to the weekend.

The Methods for Assurance of Self-Driving Vehicles project, known as Massdrive, has been launched with the aim of developing robust methods for approving and certifying autonomous cars. Funded by Innovate UK, the project is a collaboration between the University of Surrey, the University of the West of England, and the University of Bristol. The government has announced plans for new legislation to introduce automated driving to UK roads, with all self-driving vehicles expected to undergo rigorous safety tests. Massdrive will bring together scientists, regulators, and the public to discuss and explore ways to make autonomous cars safe. Regular discussions, workshops, and meetings will be held to encourage the sharing of ideas and best practices, with a focus on ensuring the trustworthiness of AI in cars.

 

SPORTS

Golf - Scheffler secured a four-shot victory over Sweden's rising star Ludvig Aberg at Augusta National on Sunday. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler says his fierce determination to win means he will continue to chase victories despite admitting golf is about to become less of a priority in his life, as between now and next month's major, the US PGA Championship, Scheffler and his wife are expecting their first child.

Athletic s - Mykolas Alekna breaks men's discus record with 74.35m throw. Alekna won silver and bronze at the 2022 and 2023 world championships respectively. His new record throw drops his father Virgilijus, who was Olympic champion in both 2000 and 2004, down to third on the all-time list with his 73.88m back in 2000.

Cycling - Great Britain's Katie Archibald won the omnium on day three of the Track Nations Cup in Canada to claim her third gold of the event. Archibald, 30, won the scratch, tempo and elimination races to claim a maximum of 120 points, before adding 11 more in the points race. The three-time Olympic medallist finished 20 points clear of Italy's Letizia Paternoster in second. Archibald won gold in the team pursuit and madison on Friday and Saturday.

 

ROLEX MONTE CARLO MASTERS WITH BANK HAVILLAND

Tennis - Casper Ruud beat Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo to leave the Serbian great still without a title or even a final appearance so far this season. Djokovic admitted afterwards that his game was "up and down" as he reflected on a very tricky start to the year that has seen more rivals emerge from the next generation to challenge his stranglehold at the top of the men's game.

And to conclude this ROLEX MONTE CARLO MASTERS, Stefanos Tsitsipas clinched his third Monte-Carlo title by beating Casper Ruud in two sets (6-1, 6-4). The player, now down to 12th in the world, played his best tennis throughout the week, winning against Zverev, Khachanov, Sinner and Ruud. With this third title, he joins Nastase, Borg and Muster as the most successful players of the Open era behind the untouchable Rafael Nadal who holds the record of 11 wins.

 

WEATHER

Cloudy for the rest of this afternoon with clearings planned for later this evening. Some strong winds with gusts of up to 75 km/h near Marseille. Highs of 23 degrees in Nice, 24 in Marseille, 26 in Cannes and Toulon and a strong 27 degrees in Saint-Tropez.

Tonight, the clouds will cover the sky once again with lows of 13 degrees in Nice.

The outlook for tomorrow, clear and bright all day, Highs of 24 degrees

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