Evening Update Monday 20th of May 2024

NEWS
La Teste-De-Buch Forest Grows Back - Nearly two years after the devastating summer 2022 fire, the La Teste-de-Buch forest is naturally regenerating. Volunteers from ADDUFU report the return of pine trees and biodiversity, with new trees already 30 to 40 centimeters tall. Despite 70% of the 3,800-hectare forest burning and bark beetle damage, nature is slowly recovering. Pine seeds from burnt trees have sprouted, indicating a positive outlook, although it will take decades for the landscape to fully restore.

Eco-Meeting in Var - Business innovation drives economic development and ecological transition, as discussed at Var-Matin conferences in Toulon. Ecological challenges are now central in science, media, and business, emphasizing urgent action to prevent a critical future. Industries must stay competitive, but by investing in sustainable innovation, they can reduce their environmental impact, promote renewable energy, ensure economic viability, and create new business models.

Cannes Film Festival - Demi Moore, iconic 1990s actress known for "Ghost" and "Striptease," returns with "The Substance," a feminist horror film by Coralie Fargeat, screened at Cannes last night. The film, starring Moore and Margaret Qualley, was a highlight of the festival. On the red carpet, Moore dazzled in a glamorous silk mermaid dress with a unique "detached bow" neckline, the fabric of which was stretched far to the right.

Protest Against Transphobia - Around fifty people gathered at Place de l'Horloge in Avignon on Sunday to protest against transphobia. This demonstration was part of a series of protests across France against a "transphobic offensive." Protesters demanded the withdrawal of a bill by LR senator Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, which seeks to regulate medical practices for minors questioning their gender, including banning puberty blockers and hormone treatments.

VTC Drivers - VTC drivers in the Côte d'Azur are struggling due to an influx of new drivers during the Cannes Film Festival. The Alpes-Maritimes union reports six drivers for every customer, leading to a 70% drop in turnover for local drivers. Despite the festival's popularity, the arrival of 5,000 out-of-region drivers has led to burnout, impoverishment, suicidal thoughts, and some quitting the profession according to the Alpes-Maritimes union.

Monday Traffic - Traffic will be difficult and classified as orange in the homebound direction on Monday for the Whitsun weekend according to Bison Futé, the last extended weekend before the summer holidays.

 

BUSINESS
The Yumuri sugar co-operative in Cuba has long relied on men like Miguel Guzmán, who has worked in the cane fields since his youth. However, the Cuban sugar industry is now in crisis, facing its worst conditions ever due to spiraling inflation, fuel shortages, and decades-long US embargo. Last season's production hit a historic low of 350,000 tonnes, far below the 1.3 million tonnes in 2019. The country now imports sugar to meet domestic demand. Chronic mismanagement and underinvestment have worsened the situation, with the government prioritizing tourism over sugar. Meanwhile, private entrepreneur Martin Nizarane's company, Clamanta, thrives by importing sugar from Colombia to produce yogurt and ice cream. His business is considered a model for Cuba's future.

The United Autoworkers Union (UAW) faced a setback in its effort to expand in the American South, as Mercedes-Benz workers in Alabama voted 2,642-2,045 against joining the union. This defeat follows UAW's recent success at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee and its goal to unionize 13 foreign-owned factories in the region. Opposition included state and local politicians, and Mercedes-Benz, which denied allegations of labor law violations. UAW President Shawn Fain described the effort as a "David and Goliath" fight and pledged to continue despite the loss, noting some worker benefits had already improved due to the unionization threat.

 

SPORTS
Basketball - The Minnesota Timberwolves knocked defending NBA champions the Denver Nuggets out of the play-offs by beating them 98-90 in the deciding game of their Western Conference semi-final series. The Timberwolves were trailing by 20 points at one stage in the third quarter but staged a comeback to win game seven and take the series 4-3.

Cricket - England completed a 3-0 T20 series clean sweep over Pakistan as Danni Wyatt's belligerent 87 set up a comfortable 34-run win at Headingley.

Rugby Union - Unbeaten Gloucester-Hartpury sealed top spot in Premiership Women's Rugby with a thumping 59-12 bonus-point win over Trailfinders. Mia Venner and Bethan Lewis both scored two tries each as the defending champions crossed on nine occasions to send out a warning ahead of the semi-finals.

Athletics - Britain's Megan Keith won a dramatic sprint finish at the Night of the 10,000m PBs in London to book her place at the Paris Olympics. The 22-year-old Scot finished in a time of 31 minutes 3.01 seconds at the Olympic trial event after surging ahead of the United States' Fiona O'Keeffe in the home straight.

 

WEATHER
Rather cloudy this afternoon with occasional showers and risks of thunderstorm higher in the region. Highs of 21 degrees in Marseille, 22 in Nice, Saint-tropez and Toulon and 23 degrees in Cannes.
Tonight, clear skies on the riviera and light showers in Nice. Lows of 15 degrees.
Outlook for tomorrow, Fine and bright all day with highs of 24 degrees.

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