Evening Update Thursday 18th of April

NEWS

Gabriel Attal announced new measures In response to recent acts of violence among young people during a visit to Viry-Châtillon. Attal highlighted the concerning statistics that show more teenagers are getting involved in assault, battery, drug trafficking, and armed robbery compared to the general population. The government is determined to tackle this problem and is calling for a strong response. Consultations will be carried out in each ministry and with those on the ground to develop effective solutions. The Prime Minister has given a deadline of eight weeks to come up with measures, with a progress report due in four weeks. The government aims to address the root causes of this violence and restore authority in the Republic.

Following his expedition to Antarctica, sailor François Miribel and his boat Sir Ernst are embarking on a new project: offering a cruise to children in remission from cancer. This venture, though not as far-reaching as their previous journey, is equally significant to Miribel, and will take the children from Hyères to Monaco. The departure is set for Sunday 21st April, and preparations are already underway on the ship moored in Sanary. Miribel is also grateful for the support of three other members of the Monaco Yacht Club, who have provided their boats free of charge for this cause. The sailor is enthusiastic about this opportunity to contribute and make a difference in the lives of these children, following his monumental expedition.

According to a report by AtmoSud, the air quality observatory, the southern Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region has seen a significant improvement in air quality over the past ten years. However, health issues are still a concern as pollutant concentrations exceed recommended thresholds. Between 2019 and 2023, concentrations of pollutants in the PACA region decreased by 15 to 25%. AtmoSud teams have studied two scenarios for 2030: a stable scenario, where concentrations remain the same as in 2023 without any further actions, and a trend scenario, which assumes the current progress will continue with additional actions of the same effectiveness. The stable scenario predicts that a third of the population in the Aix-Marseille metropolitan area and 40% in the Nice metropolitan area will be exposed to pollutant levels that exceed regulatory limits, compared to 18% and 15% respectively in the trend scenario. This highlights the need to maintain the current efforts and implement further actions to improve air quality and reduce emissions in order to comply with new regulations by 2030, according to Dominique Robin, Director of AtmoSud.

Employees at the Fontvieille hypermarket have initiated a widespread industrial action, which began on Monday. The action was aimed at Carrefour France, as staff representatives informed management of their intention to launch a large-scale strike. The walkout caused a delay in the setting up of shelves and was motivated by the annual negotiations between unions and management, specifically regarding the introduction of a seniority bonus. The union delegate, Alexandra Oukdim, deemed the initial proposal from management as "insulting," which was later confirmed by the company's national management. The proposal included a gradual increase in the bonus based on years of service, starting with an 8 euro gross per month increase for 5 to 10 years, 12 euros for 10 to 15 years, and 18 euros for more than 15 years, accompanied by a one-off bonus of 200 euros gross over the year. Despite the relatively low figures, the strikers have agreed to significant salary reductions between 50% and 70% in order to reach a compromise.

An accident on the A8 motorway this Thursday morning, heading towards Aix-en-Provence after junction 51 Nice Aéroport, and a second one after junction 55 Nice Est, are disrupting traffic. A traffic jam stretching for several kilometers has formed and journey times have been extended by almost 50 minutes in the area.

Employees at the Nautipolis aquatic complex in the Sophia Antipolis technology park went on strike for the first time, supported by the Antibes CGT local union, following a damning report by the General Labor Inspectorate on psychosocial risks at the facility. Although the strike had little support among the approximately forty employees, five lifeguards claimed they were victims of "moral harassment" by management, including abusive sanctions and constant pressure. The lifeguards called for change or for the current management to be replaced. The strikers were also supported by three colleagues who were off sick due to the harassment and others who recently resigned, with one going to the industrial tribunal. These allegations align with the findings of the General Labor Inspectorate's report, which described the employer's power of direction at the facility as "excessive, even disproportionate".

 

BUSINESS

US President Joe Biden has called for a tripling of tariffs on some steel and aluminum from China. It is the latest protectionist policy to be embraced by President Biden as he campaigns for re-election against Donald Trump, who was known for his tough trade stance against China. The White House said the proposal was aimed at protecting US jobs against "unfair" competition. China has previously denied claims of dumping steel and aluminum overseas. Dumping is selling excess product in another country for a very cheap price and can often decimate the local industry's own market of that product. The president of the United Steelworkers union in Pennsylvania, said the Chinese prices were "unfairly low" due to the government subsidizing companies. According to Biden, tens of thousands of steelworker jobs had been lost in the early 2000s because of Chinese imports. The Chinese embassy in the US said it "firmly opposed" the measures proposed by the US President.

Kara Maraden, the Director of Viticulture at Foley Family Farms, oversees a vast expansion of vineyards in California and Oregon. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), she can now remotely monitor the water requirements of each vineyard from her laptop. Previously, human judgment and calculations were used to assess these needs. However, now sensors provided by Tule Technologies, an irrigation company, are utilized. These small weather station-like sensors are placed in the vineyards and collect information on humidity levels, temperature, wind speed, and other environmental factors. This data is then processed by Tule's AI software, which has been trained to calculate the amount of moisture that will evaporate from the soil and vines in varying weather conditions. The AI ​​system determines the necessary irrigation amounts and informs vineyard managers via a notification on the app. Foley Family Farms, along with its sister company Foley Family Wines, produces American wines under 23 different brands. According to Maraden, the adoption of AI irrigation sensors has enhanced the quality and consistency of the grapes.

 

SPORTS

Basketball - The Philadelphia 76ers came from behind to edge past the Miami Heat and reached the NBA play-offs. A sluggish start saw the 76ers booed by the crowd as the Heat took a 51-39 half-time lead. But Joel Embiid's 23 points and 20 from Nicolas Batum's, as well as 15 rebounds and five assists, led the 76ers comeback and secured a tense 105-104 win.

Cycling - Welshman Stephen Williams pulled off the biggest victory of his career by winning La Fleche Wallonne in Belgium. The Israel-Premier Tech rider, aged 27, is the first British male winner of the 88-year-old spring classic. But fellow Briton Tom Pidcock was among several riders to abandon the race amid torrential conditions in Ardennes. Tough Williams came into the race on the back of victory in the Tour Down Under and a series of strong displays at the Volta a Catalunya, few predicted this surprise win.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal's injury comeback was ended by Alex de Minaur as the 12-time champion waved goodbye to the Barcelona Open for possibly the final time. Nadal, 37, returned to court on Tuesday after a three-month absence, making light work of 21-year-old Italian Flavio Cobolli in a straight-set win. A day later, Nadal lost 7-5 6-1 to world number 11 Alex De Minaur in round two. Nadal has indicated he plans to retire in 2024 if he is unable to compete regularly.

 

WEATHER

Rain and risk of thunderstorm this afternoon from Nice to Saint-Tropez while our neighbors enjoy the warmth of the sun and the clarity of the sky past Toulon. Strong winds today with gusts of up to 80km/h. Highs of 16 Degrees in Marseille, 17 Toulon, 18 In Nice and 19 degrees in Saint-Tropez and Cannes.

This evening the clouds will cover the sky in the Alpes-Maritimes before clearings later in the night. Lows of 9 degrees.

Outlook for tomorrow. Fine and clear throughout the day. Highs of 20 degrees.

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