Evening Update Tuesday 9th April 2024

NEWS

A bill to restrict transportation strikes to specific periods is under discussion in the Senate today, with the Olympic Games just three months away. The bill, authored by Hervé Marseille, leader of the centrist senators, aims to address the issue of frequent and disruptive strikes. Initially proposed during the SNCF inspector strike in February, which impacted over 150,000 passengers, the bill has since been expanded by the right-wing committee. According to the bill, the government would have a maximum of 30 strike-free days per year for "public transport service staff," with a limit of seven consecutive days per strike-free period. These strike-free periods would only apply to certain times, including school holidays, public holidays, elections, referendums, and events of significant importance. The ban on strikes would only occur during peak hours and for essential staff responsible for service operations.

In Villefranche-sur-mer, Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) are leading an expedition to gain insights into the biodiversity of coastal ecosystems and the impact of pollutants in Europe's coastal regions. They are taking samples of soil, marine sediment, surface water, and aerosols to analyze air quality across a range of distances from the coast. The team is studying a wide range of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, protists, algae, plants, and animals, to understand their diversity in both marine and land environments. Additionally, they are examining various environmental factors such as the presence of pollutants, antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, as well as temperature, pH, and salinity. Over 400 samples are being collected at 120 sites along the European coast, which will be analyzed by more than 70 partner laboratories in Germany. These coastal areas contain biodiversity but are susceptible to pollution, habitat reduction, and climate change. The goal is to better understand the impact of human activities on coastal ecosystems on a molecular level. The expedition will analyze around a thousand chemical molecules, including sunscreens, plastic molecules, and pesticides, to understand their interaction with species and find ways to reduce their impact. The focus is on measuring and mitigating the loss of biodiversity over time, especially among the microscopic organisms that are crucial for ecosystems. The expedition carries high stakes in protecting and preserving these organisms.

A new report estimates that by 2050, 433 homes in the Var could be threatened by rising water levels. This is part of a larger issue affecting the country, as a study predicts that by 2050, 868 homes along the coastline in the PACA region will be at risk. The Var is expected to be the most affected in the region, with an estimated €198 million worth of land in danger. Over the next four years alone, 150 buildings, including homes as well as public and commercial premises, could be at risk, representing a potential loss of €58 million. If no action is taken, climate change could worsen the situation by 2100, potentially resulting in the disappearance of 9,809 homes in the Var. However, the situation in the Var is not as catastrophic as in other departments like Pas-de-Calais, Vendée, or Charente-Maritime, where the plains could be submerged by rising water levels due to the typology of the regions affected.

European elections: are you correctly registered to vote? The European elections are approaching. In two months' time, voters will be invited to go to the polls to choose their representatives in the European Parliament. The vote will take place in France on June 9, 2024. Upon turning 18, individuals are automatically added to the electoral roll of the commune they specified during their civic census. However, if one has moved and wishes to vote in their new commune, they must register with the new town hall. In Nice, residents who have relocated or changed their address within the city must inform the municipality before May 3rd, 2024. Registration can be completed online at the service-public.fr website until May 1st, or through submission of a registration form via post or at the new town hall. Valid proof of identity and residence may be required. Proxy voting is also possible through the maprocuration.gouv.fr platform. The European Parliament currently consists of 705 MEPs, but after the upcoming elections, there will be 720 MEPs, with France having 81 representatives, an increase from the present 79. These MEPs will serve a five-year term.

 

BUSINESS

Tesla has agreed to settle a lawsuit over a fatal accident in 2018 in which an Apple engineer, Walter Huang, was killed when one of their vehicles, in Autopilot mode, crashed into a motorway barrier. The case, brought by Mr Huang's family, was due to go to trial this week, which would have allowed Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies to be examined more closely. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed and still need to be approved by a judge. Prior to the settlement, Tesla claimed that Mr Huang had misused the system as he was playing a video game before the accident. Tesla has already won similar lawsuits in California claiming that drivers failed to follow instructions to maintain their attention when using the system. The company is also facing other lawsuits related to the alleged use of its driver assistance technology, and the US road safety agency is also investigating accidents involving Autopilot. Tesla is now facing a drop in sales in the first quarter of this year. The company has cut prices repeatedly in response to increased competition from rivals such as BYD but demand in key markets like China has fallen. Tesla's shares have lost almost a third of their value since the start of this year.

More and more people are questioning the idea of ​​retiring at the age of 65, given increasing life expectancy and the rising cost of living. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has warned that retirement at 65 will no longer be realistic for many people. Global life expectancy rose from. 67 to 73 between 2000 and 2019, and by 2050, one in six people worldwide will be aged 65 or over. However, as the population ages, many countries will soon reach a point where more people leave the workforce than arrive. This raises questions about the sustainability of social security systems and the need to rethink retirement schedules. This point could be reached in countries such as the UK by 2029, Brazil by 2035, India by 2048 and the US by 2053.

The trial of 27 people charged in the Panama Papers scandal, which revealed how the world's richest people hid their assets in offshore companies, has begun in Panama. The founders of the Mossack Fonseca law firm, Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca Mora, are among those charged with money laundering. They deny any involvement in illegal acts and claim that the information disclosed was false due to a hack in 2017. If found guilty, they could face up to twelve years in prison. The Panama Papers included 11 million financial documents and implicated politicians, billionaires and celebrities, highlighting the use of tax havens to hide fortunes and avoid tax. The documents were leaked to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Mr Mossack was present in the courtroom, while lawyers for Mr Fonseca said he was in a hospital in Panama. Mr Fonseca had served as a minister in Panamanian former President Juan Carlos Varela's government but stepped aside in 2016. The defendants' company Mossack Fonseca was shut down in 2018.

 

SPORTS

Football - Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for elbowing an opponent during his side's 2-1 Saudi Super Cup semi-final defeat by Al-Hilal.

Ronaldo, 39, was shown a straight red card on 86 minutes after appearing to swing his elbow twice into the chest of Ali Al Bulayhi, who fell to the floor.

The Portugal international then appeared to raise his fist towards the referee before leaving the field.

It is Ronaldo's first red card since his move to Al-Nassr in December 2022.

 

Cycling – During the Paris-Roubaix race, a spectator tried to stop Mathieu van der Poel from taking off by throwing his cap into the Dutchman's wheels when he already had a lead of 1 minute and 38 seconds with 42 kilometers to go.

The president of the riders' union, Adam Hansen, warned on his X account (ex-Twitter) that he would take the matter to court, as they had done during the Tour of Flanders.

 

ROLEX MONTE CARLO TENNIS MASTER REPORT FROM BANQUE HAVILLAND

TENNIS - Frenchman Henri Leconte has been speaking about the situation at the top of the men's game, and whether Novak Djokovic is still the dominant force he once was. Djokovic remains at the top of the tree and is the oldest men's world No. 1 in history, but with Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner playing so well, the heat is on for Djokovic to reassert his authority on the men's game. Djokovic opens his campaign in Monte-Carlo on Tuesday against Roman Safiullin, as he bids to add a third Monaco title to his collection. It will be his first match on clay of the year.

 

WEATHER

This afternoon, cloudy in Nice and Cannes. Highs of 17 degrees in Nice, 19 in Cannes, Toulon and Marseille, and 20 degrees in Saint-Tropez.

Later this evening thinnings in Nice and Cannes with highs of 17 degrees in Nice and 19 in Cannes.

Tonight, some thundershowers are expected in Nice and light rain in Cannes.

The outlook for tomorrow, should be mainly fine with scattered showers by the afternoon and feeling cooler with highs of 17 degrees. Thursday sunny with highs of 19 degrees.

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