French and Riviera News Friday 10th March 2023

News

Weather warning - Corsica, the Var and the Alpes Maritimes are on an orange weather alert today Friday 10th March, with strong winds forecast. In total Météo France has placed eleven departments, four in Brittany and seven in the Southeast, on alert due to violent winds and high waves. The warnings are in place from 4am in the north and 6am in the southeast. Gusts up to 95km an hour are expected reaching up to 110 to 130km an hour in the Fayence region and the hinterland of Grasse.

Meanwhile a small tornado hit the small town of Creuse in central France on Thursday causing significant damage. According to firefighters more than thirty interventions were carried out.

Strike action - Train services in our region continue to be affected by ongoing industrial action. Services at St Charles station in Marseille came to a halt for over an hour on Thursday after several hundred protestors occupied the track. Elsewhere in our region, services continue to suffer disruption because of the ongoing strikes. Nationally, about two out of five local TER trains are running and about one out of three TGV's. Trains are expected to be disrupted over the weekend as well, particularly on Saturday when another day of national industrial action is taking place. Details of specific services are available at train stations, on the SNCF Assistant App and on sncf.com

Anglo-French summit - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is in Paris today to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron alongside senior ministers in the first Anglo-French summit for five years. The prime minister and the president will host a news conference this afternoon and issue a joint statement. It is a month of particularly intense activity between the two countries - as King Charles and the Queen Consort will be in France in a few weeks. Next year marks the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale, which put an end to centuries of rivalry between the two countries.

Drought alert - In other news, water restrictions are to be introduced in the Alpes-Maritimes. The prefecture said that the department is "on the drought alert threshold". A decree is expected to be made in the next few days introducing the measures. Restrictions are expected to include a ban on daytime watering of gardens, the washing of cars and boats with only stations using a water recovery system being allowed to operate, a prohibition of washing terraces and streets with certain types of equipment, no general filling or topping up of swimming pools unless certain works are taking place and the closure of fountains which don't recirculate water. Full details are expected to be published on the prefecture's website once the decree has been made.

Paris-Nice - The start of the 6th stage of the famous Paris-Nice cycling race will be held in Tourves, in the Var today and finishing in La Colle-sur-Loup in the Alpes Maritimes. Divsions are in place for motorists in the Grasse area with parts of the D6085, D111,D2085 and D2085 being closed to traffic between 2.30pm and 3.30pm and parking prohibited from 10am to 4pm. The race will pass through Le Tignet between 2.30pm and 3.10pm again with division in place for motorists and finally cyclists will arrive from the Var into the Alpes Maritimes by the Draguignan road the RD2562 finishing in the Bar-sur-Loup where the race will take the RD2210 in the direction of Pré du Lac/Pont du Loup.

The use of drugs, cannabis or other illicit products, as well as the consumption of alcohol and tobacco is on the decline among 17-year-olds in France - A recent study published on Thursday has shown a drop in tobacco, cannabis and alcohol consumption in France among 17-year-olds. According to the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Trends, in 2022, less than one in two 17-year-olds said they had ever smoked at least one cigarette which is 13% less than in 2017. 15.6% said they smoked daily, a decline of 10 points in five years. Concerning alcohol nearly one in five teenagers declared that they have never drunk alcohol and less than one in two declared that they have never been drunk. The same downward trend was observed for cannabis, which is twice as less consumed on a regular or daily basis, as well as for illicit drugs, which recorded a notable drop compared to 2017.

On the other hand, two new practices have gained popularity among young people: the electronic cigarette, the use of which has tripled in five years and has even been multiplied by six for girls alone, and cannabidiol (CBD), experienced by more than 17% of the young people questioned. Sadly, however the state of health of adolescents has deteriorated, particularly for mental health with disorders related to anorexia, obesity and anxiety-depressive syndromes increasing sharply.

Business

Shares in Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a key lender to technology start-ups, have plummeted as investors moved to withdraw their deposits. The slide came after the bank announced a $1.75bn (£1.5bn) share sale to help shore up its finances. Shares in SVB saw their biggest one-day drop on record as they plunged by more than 60% and lost another 20% in after-hours trade.

Former Shell boss Ben van Beurden received a pay package of £9.7m last year, up more than 50% from 2021. His pay was revealed in the oil and gas giant's annual report and accounts. Shell reported the highest annual profits in its 115-year history last year after a surge in energy prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Massive profits made by energy firms have added to pressure to tax them more as households struggle with rising energy bills. Shell made a record $39.9bn (£32.2bn) profit in 2022, double the previous year's total.

And - Carmaker BMW is preparing to invest up to £600m in its Mini plant in the UK. The money is expected to be used to prepare the plant for a future building electric model. The government has offered support worth £75m to BMW. The first generation of electric Minis was launched at the plant in 2019. The original model was based on an existing design, converted to run with an electric motor and batteries. All Minis will be electric by 2030.

Rugby Report - Sponsored by Van Diemen's Australian Bar & Restaurant

There is plenty of action in the Six Nations this weekend. Starting tomorrow at 3.15pm French time when Italy play Wales. Wales will be hoping to avoid defeat when they travel to Rome and avoid the suffering of taking home their first Six Nations wooden spoon since 2003.

England then face defending champions France at Twickenham at 5.45pm French time. It looks like England’s Marcus Smith will finally get his chance to take charge of England’s attack without the influence of Owen Farrell as Farrell is on the bench.

Finally, arguably the biggest match, though, comes on Sunday when Scotland host Ireland at 4pm French time. The Scots must win in order to have any hope of pipping the Irish to the Six Nations title.

Sport

Football – In the Premier League this weekend – tomorrow, Bournemouth play Liverpool kick off is at 1.30pm French time. In the afternoon with a 4pm kick off French time, Everton play Brentford, Leeds are at home to Brighton, Leicester play Chelsea and Tottenham are at home to Nottingham Forest. The last match is Crystal Palace against Manchester City.

On Sunday Fulham are at home to Arsenal kick off is at 3pm. Manchester United play Southampton, West Ham are at home to Aston Villa and with a 5.30pm kick off French time Newcastle face Wolves.

Golf - Rory McIlroy stumbled to a four-over par 76 to finish 12 shots behind round one clubhouse leader Chad Ramey at the PGA Tour's Players Championship. The Northern Irishman opened with a double-bogey six and, while he birdied his next hole, a series of wayward tee shots left him scrambling at Sawgrass. McIlroy was playing with world number one Jon Rahm, who hit a 71, and number two-ranked Scottie Scheffler (68).

Weather

There is an orange weather warning in place due to strong winds in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. The warning is in place until Tomorrow.

Sunny with highs of 19 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 20 degrees in Cannes. 17 in Toulon and Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 11 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for the weekend. Strong winds to continue tomorrow with highs of 21 degrees. Winds are expected to have died down by Sunday with sunny intervals and highs of 17 degrees.

Sunrise       06.52am

Sunset        06.29pm

 

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