Evening Update Tuesday 14 February 2023

The Prefecture has announced new speed restrictions on the A8 autoroute this afternoon. With immediate effect, vehicles will be required to drive at no less than 70km per hour and no more than 90 km/h. The change is due to dangerous air pollution which is moving from the Bouche-du-Rhone into the Alpes Maritimes area. It’s bringing with it very fine particles of pollutants which are dangerous to humans. The Prefecture is asking people to avoid intense physical or sports activity, to avoid travel during peak periods and in the event of respiratory or cardiac discomfort, to seek advice from a doctor or pharmacy.

A massive demonstration is being planned by taxi drivers for the weekend. They are protesting against the number of licences being issued by authorities and fares being charged by ride-sharing apps such as Uber. It’s thought up to 200 cars could block access to the A8 between Nice Cote d’Azur Airport and Cannes.

It's been revealed Monaco granted citizenship to 52 people in the year 2022. Of approximately 40,000 people resident here, only a quarter are actual citizens. Citizenship can be applied for after ten years of permanent residency in the Principality and each application is personally approved by His Serene Highness Prince Albert. Monégasque citizenship brings privileges, including a safe warm country to live in, very high standard of health and education, low taxes and visa-free travel throughout Europe. The Principality’s newest nationals were welcomed by Monaco’s Mayor Georges Marsan at a special event at the Marie.

And becoming a citizen of France is becoming a little easier with the launch of an online application process. The online service does not change the requirements for citizenship but streamlines the application process with a single, nationwide portal, where you can submit your application digitally. You will then attend a meeting in person at your local prefecture, where you are interviewed and tested on your knowledge of France, French culture and the French language. The portal went live on February 6th and is now the way all new applications must be made.

French actor Pierre Palmade continues to make national headlines after his home was broken into last night. Police believe the intruders could have been paparazzi or morbidly curious trespassers. Pierre Plamade is currently in hospital following a serious car accident on Friday. It’s believed the actor was driving under the influence of cocaine, when he hit another car, seriously injuring three people. One of the three is a six-year-old child, and another a six-month-pregnant woman, who lost her baby in the accident.

Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco has received a donation of €25,000 raised by participants in last weekend's Pink Ribbon Walk at Port Hercule.  The donation will be used for research into combatting breast cancer being conducted at the hospital.

The Cannes Film Festival is looking for up to 400 additional paid workers for the event which will run between May 16th and 27th this year. Applicants should speak fluent English and French, with an additional language being an advantage. A number of volunteer positions are also being offered through the website JeVeuxAider.gouv.fr

Questions are being asked about the actual level of intelligence in a popular AI app which has been taking the world by storm. In an experiment for St Valentines Day, dating experts asked Chat GPT for its best Chat UP line. The app, which has been trained on a large language model containing billions of documents, responded with "Do you have a map? I keep getting lost in your eyes."

BUSINESS NEWS

Airbus has received a massive order of 250 new aircraft from Air India. The order includes 210 narrowbody planes and 40 widebody aircraft, which the airline will use to fly ‘ultra-long’ routes across the globe.

Over 13,000 EY partners are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of splitting the company and putting its consulting arm on the stock market. EY’s Global Vice-Chair told Reuters that clients and regulators also support the change. The vote is due to happen in April with the stock listing expected by year's end. 

Coca-Cola has forecast higher-than-expected profit growth for this year, after edging past fourth-quarter revenue estimates. This is despite price increases to counter higher supply, transport and labour costs. Shares have risen about 1% on the news. Coca-Cola also announced it is to scrap its ‘Lilt’ drink brand. Lilt was famous for its strapline ‘totally tropical taste’ Coke say they will rebrand the drink as Fanta Pineapple and Grapefruit.

SPORT

Football - The Champions League knockout stages start tonight in Paris with Paris St-Germain playing host to Bayern Munich. When the pair played each other in the 2020 Champions League final, Bayern took the league with a 1-0 win. In 2021, they faced each other again in the quarter-final, where the game finished 3-3, but the Parisians advanced due to an away goal rule. How will it be tonight? We’ll find out when the game kicks off at Parc des Princes at 9pm.   Also playing tonight are Milan and Spurs with a 9pm kickoff also.

Liverpool has demanded UEFA fully implement all 21 recommendations made in a report on last May's Champions League final in Paris, where fans were teargassed outside Stade de France. The report ruled UEFA and French police bore responsibility for the chaotic scenes, adding it was remarkable no one died.

Formula 1 - McLaren's Lando Norris says a new rule banning free speech for drivers should be thrown out. It’s said the rule will prohibit personal, religious and political statements without written consent. Norris said drivers are not school-children and shouldn’t have to ask ‘can we do this, can we do that’. Formula 1 says it will issue guidelines clarifying the meaning of its new rule in the coming days.

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