French and Riviera News Friday 15th September 2023

Noise and dust nuisance as Acropolis is demolished - Residents in central Nice have complained that the demolition of the Acropolis convention centre is harming their health. Cars and balconies are being covered in dust - despite water jets being used to wet the rubble and try to reduce the dust in the air. Listener Marco Barsotti lives opposite the vast demolition site. He says the dust and noise are a nuisance. The Acropolis is being demolished to make way for an extension of Nice's Coulée Verte.

Garibaldi cleanliness complaints - Meanwhile, locals and traders on the neighbouring Place Garibaldi have appealed to Nice town hall to build a public toilet, faced with growing public hygiene problems. Local officials have visited the square and talked to worried restaurant and cafe owners who say Place Garibaldi resembles an open-air toilet at times. More municipal police patrols aim to stop people in the act.

Today’s air traffic control strike called off - A planned strike today by French air traffic controllers has been called off, with unions promising not to take any further strike action until after next summer's Paris Olympics. The SNCTA trade union had initially called a one-day walkout for today, which could have led to cancellations at Nice airport and had an impact on people travelling to the Rugby World Cup. Unions and management at France's civil aviation authority, the DGAC, have reached an agreement over pay. The agreement includes a commitment by air traffic controllers not to go on strike any time before next September - once the Olympics and Paralympics are over.

Motorcyclist injured in Cannes - A 50-year-old motorcyclist has been seriously injured in a collision with a car in Cannes. The man suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to Pasteur hospital in Nice. The incident happened on the Rue de la Poésie.

Complaint filed over sharing of attack footage - The deputy mayor of Nice, Anthony Borré, says the city will file a legal complaint against those who shared CCTV footage on social media of a brutal attack on a woman in Nice earlier this week. A 53-year-old woman, named in local media as Nadia, was severely beaten by a 24-year-old man on Rue d'Italie early on Tuesday morning. A suspect is being held in pre-trial detention, charged with attempted murder. Anthony Borré said the footage shared on social media, and on some news websites, could jeopardise the investigation.

By-election in Vallauris - Locals in Vallauris-Golfe-Juan will soon head to the polls to elect a new mayor. The Alpes-Maritimes préfecture has called new municipal elections for the town. It comes after a major fallout within the municipal council. 21 councillors have resigned in recent days in a disagreement over budgets.

Hyères water taxi struggling - The operator of a water taxi shuttle service between Hyères and the island of Porquerolles has announced it will be scaling back its operations due to financial difficulties. Operator Le Pelican says it has no choice but to reduce service levels. The water taxi carries 25,000 passengers per year. The firm is looking for sponsors and investors to help make the service viable.

Rugby player’s Nice hotel accident  - And a Scottish rugby player will have to miss next weekend's World Cup match against Tonga after falling down the stairs of his hotel in Nice earlier this week. Dave Cherry is out of Scotland's World Cup squad with concussion after suffering a head injury in the team hotel.

BUSINESS

Australia's highest court has rejected a bid by Qantas to overturn a ruling that it illegally outsourced 1,700 jobs during the pandemic. The court unanimously upheld that the carrier had unlawfully laid off staff at 10 airports in November 2020. The ruling found that Qantas breached Australia's Fair Work Act, which protects employee rights. Qantas apologised for the outsourcing, but maintained it was a necessary financial measure during Covid. The airline fired baggage handlers and cleaners at airports across Australia at a time when the nation had closed its borders and business was plummeting.

British retailer John Lewis has said its plan to return to profit will take two years longer after it reported further losses for the first half of the year. The High Street giant, which also owns Waitrose, said rising business costs and larger than expected investment requirements meant that its recovery plan would not be finished until 2028. The group's pre-tax losses narrowed to £59m for the first half of 2023.

Consumer prices in the US rose by more than expected last month, driven by higher costs for rent and fuel. The inflation rate, which measures the pace of price rises, was 3.7% over the 12 months to August, the Labor Department said, up from 3.2% in July. The figures underscore the challenges facing officials trying to stabilise prices, which soared last year at the fastest pace in decades. The inflation rate has dropped significantly from its peak last year.

SPORT

Cricket - Ben Stokes clobbered the highest score by an England batter in a one-day international in a 181-run trouncing of New Zealand. Stokes' brutal 182 beat the previous England best of 180, made by Jason Roy against Australia in Melbourne in 2018. In only his third ODI since coming out of retirement to play in this year's World Cup, Stokes hammered some wayward New Zealand bowling for nine sixes and 15 fours in his 124-ball stay. England beat New Zealand by 181 runs and lead the series 2-1.

Tennis - Great Britain's bid to reach the Davis Cup Finals knockout stage started with a superb 2-1 victory over Australia as debutant Jack Draper and Dan Evans both won their singles matches. In the first of a best-of-three-match tie, Draper won 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) against Thanasi Kokkinakis. Evans beat Alex de Minaur, ranked 12th in the world, 6-1 2-6 6-4 in the second singles match on Wednesday.

Rugby Union - After a few rest days that have allowed everyone to catch their breath, the Rugby World Cup continues this weekend. New Zealand are hoping to recover from their opening loss to the hosts, while England, Ireland and Wales will bid to move a step closer to the quarter-finals after winning their first pool games. Tonight, the All Blacks will reach 50 wins in World Cups if they beat Namibia in Toulouse. Namibia have lost all 23 World Cup games since their debut in 1999. On Saturday, Samoa face Chile in Bordeaux. Wales play Portugal here in Nice and Ireland meet Tonga in Nantes. On Sunday, it's South Africa v Romania in Bordeaux. Australia play Fiji in Saint-Etienne. And here in Nice on Sunday evening, England are up against Japan.

WEATHER

Sunny spells and light cloud today on the coast, with the chance of some occasional rain further inland only. Temperatures reaching 26 degrees celsius across the region. There's more light rain forecast for the Var overnight, while the Alpes-Maritimes should stay dry, temperatures tonight going down to 22 degrees celsius on the coast and 19 inland. The outlook for the weekend: rain throughout the region on Saturday, sunny spells on Sunday with temperatures reaching 28 degrees celsius.

BEACH WEATHER

On the beach in Nice this afternoon there'll be sunny spells, light winds and 25 degrees celsius. The sea temperature is 24 degrees and the UV  index is 6.In Saint-Tropez, there'll also be sunny intervals, light westerly winds and temperatures reaching 25 degrees celsius. The water temperature is 24 degrees and the UV index is also 6.

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