Evening Update Thursday 23rd May 2024

NEWS
Embezzlement  - The national financial prosecutor's office (PNF) conducted several searches on Wednesday at the Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council and five other locations linked to its president, Charles-Ange Ginésy. These searches are part of a preliminary investigation into potential tax offenses, initiated after a Tracfin report in late January. The PNF also searched Nice City Hall and the Nice Tourist Office in a separate investigation into the 2023 Hopman Cup's organization. This investigation, handled by the Montpellier research section, involves suspicions of embezzlement of public funds, following a complaint from members of the Nice Lawn Tennis Club.

Airbnb - According to data from the Collectif des Habitants Permanents, in 2023, 37,016 properties were listed for short-term rental on Airbnb, comprising 4.8% of the nationwide survey conducted by Fnaim. In the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, there are over twice as many rental properties on Airbnb compared to Brittany, totalling 137,700. The Var leads with 38,277 properties, followed closely by the Alpes-Maritimes with 37,016. Cannes tops the list with 8,853 properties, followed by Antibes (5,547), Menton (1,158).

Non-Authorized Travellers - Since the 19th of May, 60 to 80 caravans, along with terraces and a marquee, have been set up in Croix-Sainte park, Martigues. This evangelical community of travellers is crossing France to campaign for their Church. Including cars, there are 200 vehicles in the park without authorization, according to the town council. Mayor Gaby Charroux stated that he has nothing against this community, but they must settle in authorized areas.

UMAF - The Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area's apprentice training center (CFA) introduced Léa Konan and Lyzandra Contesenne, finalists in the "One of France's Best Apprentices" competition (Umaf). Lyzandra, 17, passionate about beauty care since age 8, and Léa, 22, who fell in love with fishmongering during a youth employment contract, both secured their spots in the national finals after winning gold medals in regional events.

Road Fatalities - Road fatality figures in the Alpes-Maritimes department were stable for April compared with last year. Sixteen drivers have died since the start of the year, two-wheelers are more affected, and the number of bodily injury accidents has risen year-on-year.

Cannes Film Festival - In the Cannes Film Festival, Artus’ hit film "Un p'tit truc en plus"’s team, featuring actors with disabilities, made a statement. Artus called out luxury brands on France Inter for not wanting to dress them. This sparked a change, with many luxury brands stepping in. They were then outfitted by Kering. The comedy, released this month, has been a major success, selling over three million tickets in just two weeks.

 

BUSINESS
When Clark Hoefnagels' grandmother lost $27,000 to a scam, he created Catch, an AI system that detects phishing emails, inspired by ChatGPT. Despite rising AI-powered scams, public interest in Catch has been low, even among victims. Due to low demand, Clark is winding down Catch and seeking a buyer. Banks, however, are increasingly using AI to combat fraud, with companies like Strise and Featurespace helping detect fraudulent transactions. Clark now advocates for companies and governments to address the growing risk of scams, recognizing that many individuals don't believe it will happen to them.

The US Justice Department (DOJ) will sue Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, for anti-competitive practices. Supported by several state attorneys general, the lawsuit aims to address Live Nation's dominance in concerts, ticket sales, and venues, which allegedly reduces competition and raises prices. Following a long DOJ investigation, the case could force Live Nation to restructure. Both the DOJ and Live Nation declined to comment. Live Nation, created by the 2010 merger with Ticketmaster, has faced criticism for its influence over live entertainment. The scrutiny intensified after Ticketmaster's site crashed during Taylor Swift's 2022 tour pre-sale. News of the lawsuit caused Live Nation's shares to drop over 6%.

 

SPORTS
Tennis - Britain's Emma Raducanu is set to play at the Nottingham Open in June. The 21-year-old, who won the US Open in 2021, has opted to skip next week's French Open and focus her preparations on the grass-court season, which she missed last year following surgery on both wrists and one ankle. The Nottingham event begins on 8 June and is the first WTA Tour competition of the British grass-court swing before Wimbledon starts on 1 July.

Golf - Sixteen-year-old English amateur Kris Kim will make his debut on Europe's DP World Tour at the British Masters in August. He became the youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour since 2015 at the CJ Cup Byron Nelson in Texas earlier this month.

Cycling - Georg Steinhauser claimed his maiden career win after a stunning solo ride on stage 17 at the Giro d'Italia. Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar crossed the line in second to strengthen his lead at the top of the overall standings.

Formula 1 - Michael Schumacher's family has been awarded 200,000 euros (£170,212) compensation from the publishers of a magazine which printed an artificial intelligence-generated 'interview' with the former Formula 1 driver.

 

WEATHER
Light showers and risks of thunderstorm in most of the region. Moderate winds with gusts of up to 55km/h. Highs of 21 degrees in Nice, 23 in Cannes, Toulon and sunny Marseille, and 26 degrees in Saint-tropez.
Tonight, back to clear skies with lows of 15 degrees.
Outlook for tomorrow, clear mornings, in the afternoon: risks of showers and thunderstorm higher in the region, and back to clear skies at night. Highs of 20 degrees.

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