French and Riviera News Friday 16th June 2023

News

“Time to wake up and step up the pace in response to global warming” pleads Secretary General of the United Nations - The Secretary General of the United Nations has denounced the world’s “pitiful” response to global warming. The UN is set to organize a summit on climate action in New York on September 20th. Antonio Guterres believes that "countries are far from keeping their climate promises and commitments" and that "we are rushing towards disaster with our eyes wide open." Current policies lead the world towards a warming of +2.8°C by the end of the century. The secretary General pleaded during a press conference saying "It is time to wake up and step up the pace", believing that respecting the ideal objective of the Paris agreement (limiting global warming to +1.5°C) is "still possible".

Shock at official visit to France by Saudi Crown Prince - The president of Amnesty International France Jean-Claude Samouiller has expressed shock in response to French President Emmanuel Macron, welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Ben Salmane, who started an 8-day official visit to France on Thursday. Samouiller told French media “We are outraged by the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, first of all the use of the death penalty, 186 executions in 2022 compared to 87 in 2021". The Élysée has justified the meeting: saying that Emmanuel Macron would like the prince to put pressure on Putin, to whom he is close, to accelerate the end of the conflict in Ukraine. Macron also wants to prepare for the summit for a new global financial pact next week in Paris.

Macron to visit Marseille – Meanwhile, Macron is expected to be in Marseille from the 26th to the 28th of June. The visit will be in the context of his "Marseille en Grand" plan announced during a previous visit to the city in September 2021. The plan involves the state giving financial assistance to the city, particularly in the areas of education, transport and housing.

Anti-squat law - The president of the National Union of Property Owners has welcomed a new anti-squat law. The legislation in France will triple the penalties incurred by squatters with up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. Christophe Demerson, the president of the UNPI said this “is good news for homeowners but also for tenants”. The resolutory clause, however, does not lead to initiating the eviction procedure. The owner must still go to court.

Towns deprived of drinking water - Two towns in the Bouches-du-Rhône have been deprived of drinking water, Thursday June 15. Nearly 50,000 residents are affected after a parasite which triggers symptoms of gastroenteritis was detected in the pipes of the municipalities of Vitrolles and Rognac. As a matter of urgency, the town hall of Vitrolles has decided to deliver mineral water to priority establishments: nurseries, retirement homes and scools. In Rognac (Bouches-du-Rhône), the town hall distributes the bottles free of charge: one per day and per inhabitant. The regions water company is planning to reinforce its treatment of water by ultraviolet radiation, to eliminate the bacteria.

Mayor of Nice alerts the government - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has asked for "an action plan from the French government" after "Muslim prayers" and a "minute of silence in memory of the Prophet Muhammad" was held in several schools in Nice. Estrosi was alerted by the education board on June 14th as the academy inspector spoke of "Muslim prayers in the playground of primary school children”. The acts are considered to be an attack on secularism. Secularism is a core concept in the French Constitution: Article 1 formally states that France is a secular republic.

Heavy rainfall - The Var Prefecture has said that after the storms and heavy rainfall of recent days, swimming may be prohibited on certain beaches for temporary pollution reasons. The Prefecture recommends enquiring at your local tourist office or town hall for specific information.

Drought conditions – There's been some rare, good news regarding the recent drought conditions. Meteo France have said that the total rainfall in the Provence Alpes-Cote d'Azur region for the last 30 days reached 143 mm, which is twice the normal amount. Since records began in 1959, only two years have had a greater 30-day total on this date, 1984 and 2008. Meteo France added that rainfall over the past month has increased water levels in the soil in south-east France. The soil moisture index, which was in deficit everywhere in the region at the beginning of May is now above normal, except in the Hérault and Pyrénées-Orientales.

Tyson visits Mayor of Cannes - Finally, former boxing star Mike Tyson has been seen sporting his boxing gloves in the mayor’s office in Cannes. The photo of both the box star and mayor of Cannes David Lisnard has been circulating on social networks as Tyson enjoys time here on the Côte d'Azur. Why? His daughter has started at the Patrick Mouratoglou's tennis academy in Sophia-Antipolis. Tyson is also expected this Friday at the Carlton in Cannes to inaugurate a ring in the presence of Richard Melloul, a former photographer who took a snapshot as Mohammed Ali at the hotel back in 1982.

Business

Insee has announced that the French economy is expected to grow by 0.6% in 2023, down from the 2.5% rise in 2022, due in particular to prices which will remain high even if inflation recedes. The forecast is similar to that of the Banque de France but more pessimistic than that of the government. presenting for the first time its annual forecasts the National Institute of Statistics, specified that the rise in consumer prices should slow to 5% on annual average, compared to 5.2% in 2022. The Institute thus expects household consumption to fall by 0.2% (after +2.1% in 2022), which would explain the slowdown in activity, while this household consumption usually contributes to drive the French economy.

As tension between the US and China increases, iPhone maker Foxconn is switching to electric cars and shifting some supply chains away from China. The chairman and boss of Foxconn has said the company must “prepare for the worst”.

Spotify has ended its lucrative deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the couple to produce podcasts. In a joint statement from is was written that they had "mutually agreed to part ways". Spotify confirmed it was not renewing for a second series, Meghan's podcasts, which ran for 12 episodes from August 2022. The contract was estimated to be worth $25m (£18m) in late 2020. The podcast deal was one of the major commercial agreements the couple entered into after quitting royal duties and relocating to the US in 2020.

And - "Space: the final frontier," as Sir Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic says it will launch its first commercial flight before the end of this month. The firm is targeting a launch window for the flight, which is called Galactic 01, from 27 June to 30 June. After the announcement, Virgin Galactic shares jumped more than 40% in extended New York trading. In May, Virgin Orbit - a separate space firm owned by the UK billionaire - shut down, months after a mission failed.

Sport

Cricket - As the Ashes 2023 - first Test gets underway today, England and Australia will pay tribute to the victims of the Nottingham attacks.

Players and management will wear black armbands, while there will also be a moment's silence before play starts. The same tributes will be paid on day one of the women's Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on 22 June.

Football - In the European Championship qualifying today. In group B Gibraltar are at home to France kick off is at 8.45pm French time and Greece are at home to the Republic of Ireland. In Group C Malta play England, North Macedonia are at home to Ukraine. In Group D Latvia play Turkey and Wales are at home to Armenia. In group H Denmark play Northern Ireland, San Marino are at home to Kazakhstan. In group I Andorra play Switzerland; Belarus v’s Israel and Kosovo play Romania. Kick-off is at 8.45pm French time for all matches. With the exception of a 6pm kick off in group H for Finland who are at home to Slovenia.

Meanwhile, in Lionel Messi's first match since agreeing to join American side Inter Miami the Argentinian scored his fastest career goal while comfortably beating Australia on Thursday evening in a friendly in Beijing.

Tennis – In a record-breaking day for British tennis Andy Murray reached the Nottingham Open quarter-finals and Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and Jodie Burrage joined Heather Watson in the women's last eight. It’s the first time four British women have reached the quarter-finals of the same WTA Tour event.

Formula One – The Canadian Grand Prix gets underway today with first and second practice starting at 7.30pm French time. Tomorrow third practice and qualifying takes place from 6.30pm French time with the race on Sunday at 8pm French time. Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s race Max Verstappen said that if he cannot win any race this year, he would like to see Fernando Alonso win it instead. Verstappen's Red Bull team have won all seven races so far this year and he says it is possible they could win them all.

Cycling - Thirty-one riders have been disqualified from the Under-23 Giro d'Italia for cheating on stage four. Spectator footage showed a number of riders holding on to team cars and motorbikes during the summit finish. Britain's Noah Hobbs was among the disqualified riders.

Weather

Sunny in both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes with a gentle breeze. Highs of 28 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 30 degrees in Menton and 29 degrees in Antibes and Théoule sur mer and 25 degrees in Tourettes sur Loup. Inland in the Alpes Maritimes highs of 30 degrees in Saint Martin du Var, 24 degrees in Berre les Alpes with the chance of scattered showers by this afternoon in Villars sur Var.  

Highs of 30 degrees in Saint Tropez and Le Luc, 29 degrees in Rayol Canadel and 28 degrees inland in Brignols but remaining dry.

This evening going down to 18 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 15 degrees in Saint-Tropez with clear skies. The outlook for the weekend is remaining fine chance of showers inland in the Alpes Maritimes remaining dry in the Var. Clouding over by Sunday afternoon with sunny intervals. Highs of between 24-26 degrees.

Sunrise       05.47am

Sunset        09.14pm

London      27 degrees and sunny.

Paris           30 degrees and sunny.

Sydney       18 degrees and sunshine.

Milan         30 degrees and sunny.

Beach weather

Cap d’ail – Sea temperature is 23 degrees. Air temperature is 28 degrees. Sunny. UV level 9.

Bandol -  Sea temperature is 22 degrees.. Air temperature is 28 degrees. Sunny. UV level 9.

Le Lavandou - Sea temperature is 22 degrees. Air temperature is 28 degrees. Sunny. UV level is 9.

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