French and Riviera News Friday 15th March 2024

National News France 

France becomes first country to limit fast fashion - The lower house of parliament in France has backed a string of measures to make low-cost fast fashion less attractive to buyers. In a vote on Thursday France became the first country in the world to legislate to limit the excesses of ultra-fast fashion. The measure still requires a vote in the Senate. Key measures include a ban on advertising for the cheapest textiles, and an environmental charge on low-cost items.

Macron speaks about Ukraine - In an interview on French television on Thursday evening French President Emmanuel Macron said that Europe's security was "at stake" in Ukraine, warning that a Russian victory against Kyiv "would reduce Europe's credibility to zero". Macron also said that his country stood ready to ensure that Russia does not win the war in Ukraine, urging allies not to impose limits on assistance. The head of state said it was important for Europe not to draw red lines, which would signal weakness to the Kremlin and encourage it to push on with its invasion of Ukraine. He refused to give detail on what a deployment to Ukraine might look like. Macron plans to meet the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Berlin today in a summit to show unity.

Local 

Fire in chalet in Isola 2000 - A fire has broken out in a chalet in the ski resort of Isola 2000. Firefighters intervened on Friday evening. The four occupants had already evacuated the premises before firefighters arrived and fortunately no casualties have been reported. The fire spread to the entire roof. Police are present and an investigation into the cause has been opened.

Electric bike hire firm Pony - Electric bike hire firm Pony says it will gradually put some of its bikes back into service in Nice, after all 800 of them were recalled as a safety precaution. Nice city council has been putting pressure on the hire firm to at least reinstate the 200 manual push-bikes that are not affected by the safety recall, which relates to a possible battery defect in the electric model. Pony's bikes have been unavailable since this weekend. The manual bikes will be back in service next week. As for the electric bikes, 40 of them will have been checked and put back in use next week. The other 560 will gradually return to the streets over the coming weeks once safety checks have been completed.

Protests - Environmental activists have held protests in Nice and Grasse to call for a cap on air traffic at Nice and Cannes-Mandelieu airports. The joint demonstrations condemned the growing impact of aviation on the environment, in terms of climate change but also air and noise pollution, which can lead to health problems and sleep disorders. Similar demonstrations were held at the same time in 20 other French towns and cities. The campaigners in Nice were also protesting about the extension of terminal 2 at Nice airport, which they say will lead to a 50% increase in passenger numbers by 2030. New figures out this week show French airports have returned to pre-pandemic levels of traffic. Nice Côte d'Azur is the third busiest airport in France behind Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly. It registered a 17% increase in passenger numbers last year, at 14.1 million.

Menton - Menton tourist board has unveiled its summer plan to attract visitors to the area. Its main focus this year will be on nearby markets, including French and Italian tourists, plus visitors from the UK and Scandinavia. A big priority for the summer season will be advertising nature and outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking. Menton will also organise an eco-tourism festival in mid-June, in partnership with the Mercantour national park.

Birthday celebrations - Finally, several thousand people gathered in front of the palace here in Monaco on Thursday for the birthday of Prince Albert II. Prince Albert II appeared alongside his wife Princess Charlene and their children, hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. The princely family was given ovation from the square, where people had gathered, including several hundred children chanting the prince's name. The Prince then gave a walkabout just after cutting a cake to the sound of the traditional “Happy Birthday” performed by the carabinieri orchestra.

Business

China has attacked a bill going through Congress that could ultimately see TikTok banned in the US, accusing it of "unjustly" behaving like a "bandit". The bill passed by the House of Representatives would give TikTok's parent company six months to divest from the firm or face a ban on the app. It still faces an uphill battle in the Senate, but President Joe Biden says he will sign it if it passes Congress.

Energy giant Shell has revealed that their new boss received a pay package of almost £8m in his first year in the role. Detail of the pay emerged as Shell watered down one of its carbon reduction targets. Wael Sawan was paid a total of £7.94m, including bonuses, although that was below the £9.7m received by his predecessor, in 2022. The size of the pay package came under fire from pressure groups.

Sport

Football – In the Premier League on Saturday Burnley are at home to Brentford, Luton Town play Nottingham Forest and Fulham face Tottenham. On Sunday West Ham are at home to Aston Villa.

In the FA Cup quarter finals Chelsea play Leicester City and Manchester United are at home to Liverpool.

And – This year’s Champions League final takes place at Wembley on Saturday 1st June. Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid are the teams which are through to the quarterfinals.

Rugby Union – In the Six Nations tomorrow Wales play Italy kick off is at 3.15pm French time, Ireland face Scotland with a 5.45pm kick off and France play England at 9pm French time.

Tennis - Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner extended his winning run to 19 matches to reach the Indian Wells semi-finals - before a swarm of bees stopped play. Sinner will face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz or German Alexander Zverev in the last four.

Weather 

Light cloud highs of 16 degrees with some sunny intervals in places. 14 degrees in Monaco, 16 degrees in Cannes and 15 degrees in Saint-Tropez. A gentle breeze. This evening going down to 9 degrees with clear skies. 

The outlook for the weekend Saturday fine to start with some cloudy patches by the afternoon and highs of 17 degrees. Sunday sunny intervals  with light winds and highs of 16 degrees. 

Sunrise   06.41am

Sunset    06.36pm

London 15° light rain 

Paris       16° light rain 

Dublin   12° light rain 

 

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