Evening Update Tuesday 23rd of April

NEWS

After eight months of work and several sea trials, the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has begun a six-week operation in the Mediterranean, with, for the first time, two weeks being under NATO operational control. The NATO mission will involve ships from various countries including the United States, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, all under the command of the Maritime Staff, which is comprised of fifteen nations led by an American vice-admiral. On 25th April, the carrier will host the conference of the 32 ambassadors from NATO member countries, illustrating France's renewed commitment to NATO. This reflects a significant moment in France's relationship with the alliance.

During the Cannes International Film Festival, the Cannes Town Hall will be using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to enhance security. Video protection cameras equipped with AI technology will be installed around the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, the main venue of the festival. The AI system will allow the operators of the municipal Urban Protection Centre to identify suspicious or risky behaviour and respond quickly. This initiative is a collaboration between the Cannes Town Hall and the French Ministry of the Interior. This innovative operation aims to ensure the safety of attendees at the world's largest cultural event and combat the ongoing threat of terrorism.

A police officer in Antibes sustained injuries after being struck by a driver during an attempted arrest last night. Police had located a stolen vehicle in a Carrefour parking lot and tried to apprehend the driver. As an officer was getting into the car, the driver reversed, causing the officer to fall. The officer fired a shot but missed the suspect. The driver was then arrested, and the officer sustained minor injuries to his head and elbow.

Six people were killed on the Var's roads in April alone, mainly motorcyclists. The authorities are calling for the utmost caution in the face of an increase in the number of accidents, which are all too often fatal. Checks are being stepped up. Since the beginning of this year, 16 people have now lost their lives on Var’s roads.

After nearly summer-like temperatures in early April, a cold snap has swept through the Vaucluse, causing significant damage to the region's vineyards. The recent frost has already destroyed several hectares of vines. Since last weekend, nighttime temperatures have dropped below zero, reaching as low as -1 to -2 degrees Celsius in some areas. Strong winds are compounding the problem by further lowering temperatures. Despite this, farmers are actually hoping for the wind to continue until the next heat wave, as a sudden drop in wind could lead to even more severe frost damage if temperatures plummet at night.

A curfew for minors under 13 years old and even 16 in some sectors will be issued. Yesterday, Robert Ménard issued a decree introducing a curfew for minors under the age of 13 in Béziers, the town of which he is mayor. A few days earlier, on a trip to Guadeloupe, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal had taken a similar decision for minors. Now, the idea is gaining ground, as the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, announced today that a decree introducing a curfew for minors aged 13 would be issued. The mayor of Nice admitted he was looking into the possibility of extending the curfew to those under 14, 15 and even 16 in certain neighbourhoods. He cited the case of Les Moulins.

 

BUSINESS

Shares of Sichuan Baicha Baidao (Chabaidao), the third-largest chain of fresh tea drinks in China by retail sales, dropped nearly 30% on their first day of trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, marking the largest initial public offering (IPO) in Asia this year. This significant decline reflects the challenges Hong Kong faces in attracting investment. Despite raising about $330 million (£267 million) in the IPO, investor interest was lukewarm. Concerns include Hong Kong's post-pandemic recovery, national security legislation, and China's slowing economic growth. Last year, IPO fundraising in Hong Kong hit a 20-year low, while the Hang Seng Index dropped by over 16% in the past year. Despite these challenges, China's financial regulator recently expressed support for share offerings in Hong Kong and proposed easing rules to improve stock market connections between Hong Kong and mainland China, aiming to boost Hong Kong's status as an international financial hub.

UPS, the global logistics company, is working to cut emissions while delivering millions of packages. In 2023, UPS's air and ground operations generated 14 million tonnes of CO2 or equivalent emissions. Laura Lane, UPS's Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, highlighted the company's commitment to engineering and technology to improve efficiency and sustainability. UPS's efforts have yielded results. In 2023, they reduced emissions by 8.1%, compared to a 6.9% reduction in 2022. This reduction includes three types of emissions: Type 1 (direct emissions), Type 2 (indirect emissions from electricity), and Type 3 (emissions related to suppliers and customers). UPS uses data at the package level to optimize routes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Advanced technology, like the Orion routing system, helps to achieve these goals by focusing on fuel-efficient routing, emphasizing that the most environmentally friendly mile is the one not driven.

 

SPORTS

Cricket - Surrey beat Kent by an innings and 37 runs in County Championship Division One despite defiant batting by the home side on the final day at Canterbury . The reigning champions dismissed the hosts for 262 in their second innings, with Dan Worrall taking 4-31 and Cameron Steel 3-38. Steel remains the leading wicket-taker in the country this season with 20 after three matches.

Rugby Union - Six Nations champions Ireland will take on New Zealand in their Autumn Nations Series opener on Friday, 8 November before matches with Argentina, Fiji and Australia. The All Blacks knocked the Irish out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in the quarter-finals in Paris in October. The series finale against the Wallabies will serve as Irish Rugby’s 150th Anniversary Challenge match. The games will be Andy Farrell's last as Ireland's head coach before he takes charge of the British and Irish Lions' tour of Australia in 2025. Before November's matches, Ireland travel to South Africa to face the World Cup winners in a two-Test series in July.

Golf - Nelly Korda wins Chevron Championship. By claiming a second major title, with victory at last Sunday's Chevron Championship in Texas, the 25-year-old American equalled the LPGA Tour record of five consecutive wins, matching a record run achieved by Nancy Lopez in 1978 and Annika Sorenstam in 2004-05. However, Nelly Korda has withdrawn from this week's LPGA Tour event "to get some rest".

 

WEATHER

This Tuesday afternoon risks of thunderstorm in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var with moderate winds. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice and Cannes, 15 in Saint-Tropez and 17 in Toulon and Marseille.

Later this evening, the calm after the storm with clouds covering the Cote d’Azur until Marseille. Hopes of clear clear skies tonight, lows of 6 degrees.

The outlook for tomorrow, fine and bright with moderate winds, highs of 18 degrees.

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