Evening Update Wednesday 19th of June 2024

NEWS
Climate Change - The High Council for the Climate of France (HCC) has warned of legislative delays in addressing climate change in its annual report released Thursday. The delays concern several key climate action texts, which are pending the outcome of the legislative elections. The HCC urges the swift finalization and adoption of the third National Climate Change Adaptation Plan, the National Low Carbon Strategy, and the Multiannual Energy Program. According to HCC President Corinne Le Quéré, this is urgent to provide necessary visibility for all actors to act coherently over time.

Bomb Threat in Avignon - The Court of Avignon has been evacuated this early afternoon after a bomb threat. Traffic has been blocked around the Palais de Justice and through the avenue Pierre Semard, creating considerable traffic jams.

Alert for Fine Particle Pollution - The Vaucluse prefect has issued an alert for fine particle pollution due to a desert dust cloud lingering in the region, leading to deteriorating air quality. This alert may remain in effect for several days. In response, the following safety measures have been implemented: Reduce maximum speed by 20 km/h on all roads; Avoid using generator sets; Postpone all maintenance or cleaning work; Prohibit open-air waste burning.

Anti-Fascism Demonstration in Marseille - Nearly a thousand people have joined the CGT late this morning in a demonstration on the Canebière in Marseille. Following the first conscription of the Bouches-du-Rhône and Raphael Glucksmann's visit to Marseille, the protest was against fascism and austerity, urging voters to support the new Front Populaire in the legislative elections on June 30th and July 7th.

Reward for Information about  Watch Thieves - A reward will be offered to anyone that can help find the stolen watches from the Monaco Watch Compagny. Eighty-three luxury watches have been stolen on the 29th of May for a loss estimated at 4 million euros in the boulevard des Moulins in Monaco. The owners have announced they would offer a reward for any information that would directly lead to the culprit’s arrest, or the recovery of watches.

Unstable Balcony in Nice - Firefighters intervened this morning to secure a balcony on the verge of collapsing in the Riquier district of Nice. The Rue Arson has been blocked during the intervention, and no one was hurt.

Arsonist in Toulon - A fire destroyed a van and damaged three vehicles in the late hours of Wednesday in Toulon. Police believe the fire was of criminal origin, caused by a firework mortar. That’s the third fire on vehicles in ten days. An investigation for arson has been opened.

Refuse Collection Strikes in Marseille - Refuse collection strikes began today, Thursday, June 20th, at Marseille's train stations. Employees of Laser Propreté, responsible for cleaning RTM metros and SNCF train stations, initiated the strike demanding immediate payment of owed salaries and bonuses, reimbursement of wage garnishments, and a complete overhaul of the holiday pay system.

 

BUSINESS
The EU's European Commission (EC) announced that Chinese EV manufacturers could face tariffs unless discussions with Chinese authorities are successful. Cooperating firms may face a 21% duty, while non-cooperating ones could face 38.1%, in addition to the existing 10% tariff. This follows the US increasing its tariff on Chinese electric cars from 25% to 100%. China condemned these actions as protectionism and retaliated by investigating imports of European pork and chemicals from the EU and US.

Mobile phones are getting smarter with AI, but telecom networks must also adapt. Apple, Samsung, and Google are adding AI to their devices, increasing data usage and network strain. Telecom firms like O2, EE, Vodafone, and AT&T are using AI to manage networks, optimize energy use, and improve service reliability. Global operators use AI for rapid fault fixing, predictive maintenance, monitor network performance and enhance customer service with its digital assistants. The rise in AI-generated data drives investment in 5G Standalone networks, which offer better speeds and capacity. However, experts believe AI’s full potential will be realized with 6G from 2028. AI is also expected to revolutionize customer service with Global Telco AI Alliance developing a sector-specific chatbot. Despite job loss concerns, AI could empower lower-income countries and make telecom networks more efficient and environmentally friendly.

 

SPORTS
Tennis - World number five Daniil Medvedev and defending champion Alexander Bublik were both knocked out in the second round of the Halle Open. Russian Medvedev, the 2021 US Open winner, lost a final set tie-break in a 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5) defeat by China's Zhang Zhizhen.

Golf - Tiger Woods has been awarded a lifetime exemption by the PGA Tour to enter all of its designated 'signature' events. Woods has won 82 PGA Tour titles including 15 majors, but the 48-year-old has struggled with injuries over recent years.

Athletics - United States sprinter Erriyon Knighton has been cleared to compete in the Paris Olympics after avoiding a ban for a failed drug test. The 20-year-old was provisionally suspended in April after testing positive for a metabolite of trenbolone in March. An independent arbitrator ruled that it was more likely than not that Knighton ingested the banned substance through contaminated meat.

 

WEATHER
Mostly cloudy all across the region with moderate to strong winds on the Riviera. Highs of 28 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez, 30 in Toulon, and 31 degrees in Marseille.
Tonight, cloudy skies with rain inland and lows of 21 degrees.
Outlook for tomorrow, cloudy with occasional showers and highs of 30 degrees.

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