French and Riviera News Friday 22nd September 2023


King Charles III makes speech in the upper house of the French parliament - In a speech to lawmakers in the upper house of the French parliament on Thursday, King Charles III said that Britain and France have a shared responsibility to protect democracy in Europe, ensure the triumph of Ukraine and tackle the “existential challenge” of the climate crisis. The king spoke of Russia’s “unjustified aggression” in invading Ukraine 18 months ago and said France and the UK must stand together in the face of these “horrifying events”, adding: “Together we are unwavering in our determination that Ukraine will triumph.” He also proposed a new “entente for sustainability”, saying France and the UK should strive together to protect the world from the climate crisis.

After the speech Charles visited the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis and the Stade de France, which is being used for the Rugby World Cup and next year’s Olympics. The king was presented with a shirt from the French football team Paris Saint-Germain bearing his name and the number three. He also joined Queen Camilla and Brigitte Macron, who briefly played table tennis while visiting a sports centre. 

Today, the final day of the visit, the royal couple will visit Bordeaux, where they will tour an organic vineyard and meet firefighters and communities who were affect by the devastating wildfires in the region last year.

Pope makes historic visit to Marseille today - Pope Francis is to make a historic visit to the French city of Marseille today Friday 22nd September. A lightning visit that will last just 27 hours and plans to draw further attention to Europe's continuing migration crisis.

Pope Francis has said the visit is "to Marseille, not France," and one of the first events will be a visit on Friday evening to a monument to the heroes and victims of the sea. Marseille is a rare French city where migrant populations still live in the centre. A former bishop of the city once said that "in Marseille you can go around the world in 80 hours, not 80 days," a play of words on the title of the Jules Verne novel. Macron is scheduled to meet the pope twice during the visit and is expected to attend a Mass on Saturday.

Mayor of Menton speaks about the migrant situation - The mayor of Menton has clarified the steps the town is taking in relation to the processing of migrants at the border with Italy. Speaking to France 3, Yves Juhel said that he wanted to make it clear that there will be no migrant camp in Menton. He said that a space was needed to process migrants and three small portable buildings would be installed for this purpose behind the already existing police station at the border on the upper road just above the coast road. He also confirmed that the housing of minor migrants in a hotel in Menton would not go ahead but discussions were being held about other possible accommodation.

Calls for a European and National plan against drug trafficking - A group of elected officials, including Nice mayor Christian Estrosi, have called for a national and European plan against drugs trafficking. In an article in French newspaper Le Monde the group of about fifty officials, which also includes the Mayor of Marseille, Benoit Peyran, said that over seventy victims linked to drugs trafficking had been recorded by the government so far this year.

Alain Ducasse organises first Sustainable Gastronomy Summit - Chef Alain Ducasse has organized his first Sustainable Gastronomy Summit in Monaco. Thursday September 21st, saw an international round table of chefs express their commitment to more responsible eating. Organized in collaboration with the Prince Albert II Foundation, participants drafted a sustainable food charter, which they hope will become standard. Although he has establishments all over the world, the starred chef is still at the helm of the Louis XV at the Hôtel de Paris here in the Principality.

The meeting was made accessible to all via a digital platform set up for the event as the chef pointed out that “there is no reason to travel 10,000 kilometres by plane to come and defend a cause which is opposed to the pollution that this travel generates. Only participants coming from Europe will be present,” hailing a new type of meeting.

Daughter of former footballer marries in Saint-Tropez - Model Carla Ginola and daughter of former footballer David Ginola has got married in Saint-Tropez. Thursday saw the daughter of the former international footballer seal her union with Adrien Rosenpick with whom she has shared her life for almost eight years, in the presence of her father David.

Best student cities in France - The ranking of the best student cities in France has been published and Nice doesn’t fare well. L'Etudiant unveiled its annual ranking of the best student cities and Nice finds itself 24th out of the 46 French cities in the list. Nice stands out for its cultural offerings but is penalized for its poor air quality.

Montpellier in the lead followed by Strasbourg and Rennes. Regarding the other cities in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Aix-Marseille does better than Nice while Toulon and Avignon rub shoulders with the bottom of the ranking.


Rupert Murdoch says he is stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp, with his son Lachlan to head both companies. In a memo to employees, Murdoch said "the time is right" for him to take on "different roles". Murdoch, 92, launched Fox News in 1996. It is now the most watched TV news channel in the US. The transition comes during a turbulent year for Fox, which in April agreed to pay a $787.5m (£634m) settlement after being sued by voting machine company Dominion over its reporting of the 2020 presidential election. The network is still facing a second, similar lawsuit from another voting technology firm, Smartmatic, seeking an even larger sum of $2.7bn.

Energy giant Chevron and unions have struck a deal to end strikes at two large liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia. Workers accepted a proposed agreement put forward by the country's labour regulator.  The current industrial action will now be suspended, a union spokesman said. Strikes had been taking place over pay and conditions since 8 September.

And - The firm behind the Harry Potter film franchise is set to undergo a significant expansion that could boost the UK economy by "more than £200m". The project is expected to create 4,000 "direct or indirect" jobs across Britain and grow WBSL's contribution to the UK economy by "more than £200 million". Chancellor Jeremy Hunt described Warner Bros Discovery's investment in the site as a "huge vote of confidence in the UK".


Rugby World Cup – France achieved a record victory against Namibia in Marseille on Thursday evening beating them 96-0 but, the match was marred after team captain Antoine Dupont suffered a head injury. France just hopes that Dupont will be able to hold his place against Italy on October 6th in Lyon.

Football – In the Europa League Liverpool came from behind to beat LASK 3-1 as they made a winning start to their Europa League campaign. Klopp made 11 changes to the Liverpool team which started against Wolves in their previous fixture.

Formula One - Max Verstappen has set the fastest time in first practice at the Japanese Grand Prix. Verstappen was in a league of his own throughout the session, from a first lap that was more than a second clear of the other cars of the field at the time. The Dutchman appeared set on delivering a message, five days after Red Bull were defeated in Singapore, the first time they had lost a race all season.


Cloudy with some sunny spells. Highs of 26 degrees in Monaco and Nice. 24 degrees in Marseille, Draguignan and Toulon. 27 degrees in Cannes. Winds forecast this afternoon in both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes with gust of up to 40km/hr. This evening going down to 19 degrees along the Riviera coast and 16 degrees inland in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend. Fine and sunny on Saturday and Sunday highs of 24 degrees going down to 14 degrees at night. Strong winds are forecast with gust of up to 65 km an hour in Saint-Tropez on Saturday.

Sunrise       07.17am

Sunset        07.28pm

And Finally

A Swiss couple have paid 200 euros in a reputed restaurant in Sardinia to save a lobster. The lobster was in an aquarium inside the restaurant ready to be killed and cooked. But the Swiss tourist and her husband decided to save the life of the lobster by buying it and promptly placing it in a bucket provided by the kitchen staff and then releasing it into the sea nearby.  The scene, filmed by her husband, quickly went viral on social networks.


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