French and Riviera News Friday 23rd February 2024

National News France

Motorist dies after Storm Louis sweeps across northeast and southwestern France - A motorist has died after his car was swept away in a river in western France on Thursday. The region which had been placed on an orange alert due to flooding experienced heavy rain and violent winds. Much of northern and western France was on alert due to Storm Louis with gusts of up to 138km/hr recorded at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In the Southwest of the country 4,500 homes were without electricity in the Dordogne and 2,000 in the Gironde. Meteo France has today Friday 23rd February, lifted the weather warning.

France’s Culture Minister calls for the mayor of Paris to take control of the Eiffel Tower - France’s Minister of Culture has called on the mayor of Paris to undertake a “classification procedure” for the maintenance of the Eiffel Tower. For several days, the management of the Eiffel Tower, from the Paris town hall, which owns 99% of the capital, has been at the heart of a debate with employees of the monument renewing their strike action on Thursday for a fourth consecutive day. Culture Minister Rachida Dati said that “the Eiffel Tower does not have sufficient protection” calling on the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo to launch a “classification procedure” claiming that this is a necessary approach, so that the Eiffel Tower can benefit from "a maintenance management by the State”.

Local News

Motorcyclist dies on region’s road - A motorcyclist has died after plunging off the road in Biot on Thursday. The accident occurred at around 5pm on the route des Colles de Biot. The victim in his forties reportedly fell nearly five metres below the road. Emergency services were unable to save him. An investigation is underway.

Var prefecture issues drought alert - The Var prefecture has placed the department on a drought alert. The rainfall deficit observed in the department reaches almost 30% and the hydrological situation of the rivers is already very low, with flow rates below normal. The alert does not yet imply any restrictions but rather recommendations such as limitations on washing your car or filling your swimming pool.

Increased risk of accidents due to poor quality of snow - Isola 2000 ski resort has warned visitors of an increased risk of accidents because of the poor quality of this season's snow. Mild temperatures mean the snow melts during the day and freezes again overnight. Mountain rescue experts say this provides less cushioning in the event of a fall and they strongly recommend wearing a helmet. The relative lack of snow also means that skiers are more concentrated in certain areas, increasing the risk of collisions.

Marseille named as one of the most “dirtiest and dangerous” cities in Europe - A study by the European Commission has named Marseille as one of the dirtiest and most dangerous cities in Europe. The study, based on a poll of more than 800 residents in 80 European cities, puts Marseille third worst for cleanliness behind Palermo and Rome. Paris came eighth worst for hygiene. Marseille also came third worst for safety. Just four in 10 respondents said they felt safe when walking at night, behind Athens and Rome. This compares with almost nine in 10 in Copenhagen, which achieved the best score for safety. Marseille residents taking part in the survey also said they were dissatisfied with access to green spaces. However, it came within the top 10 of European cities where people walk the most each day.

Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament – Finally, organisers of the Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament have unveiled further details of this spring's forthcoming 117th edition. Among the new features this year is a new catering area called Break Point and the ability to order food and drink from your seat using a QR code, to be picked up during a particular time slot. The grandstands have been slightly raised to offer visitors a better view. The tournament runs from 6th to 14th April. One match per day, including the final, will be shown on free-to-air television thanks to a partnership with France Télévisions, with the rest of the games shown on Eurosport. Tickets for all the games on the Cour Rainier III and the Cour des Princes are already sold out - although a handful of tickets have been kept aside and will be made available each day from the box office. A few hundred tickets remain on sale for the opening weekend. Last year's tournament saw record attendance, with 140,000 people over eight days.

“Lou Queernaval” - “Lou Queernaval”, France's first gay Carnival, will make a comeback today Friday February 23, as part of the official Nice Carnival program. Organized with the support of the City of Nice, the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis and the Tourist Office Lou Queernaval, launched in 2015, attracts spectators from the four corners of France eager to party in an exceptional atmosphere to promote a universal message of sharing, tolerance and kindness.

Business

Vice Media is planning to cut hundreds of jobs. Things have been difficult for some years now and Vice had filed for bankruptcy back in May and were bought by Fortress Investments Group. The company has said that it is no longer cost-effective to keep publishing articles in the traditional way.

Meanwhile, almost 20 years after it started as an online message board Reddit is moving forward with a plan to sell shares to the public.  The company publicly filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with US financial regulators on Thursday. The document does not say how much money the firm is hoping to raise by listing on the New York Stock Exchange. But it provides a glimpse of the firm's operations, including its struggles to turn its online popularity into profit.

AT&T has restored access to its mobile phone customers after widespread outages on Thursday.  Tens of thousands of cell phone users across the US reported outages earlier in the day. AT&T apologised to customers and said services had been fully restored by early afternoon. The cause of the outage is under investigation.

Sport

Rugby Union - England captain Jamie George says Saturday's Six Nations game against Scotland will be a "special one" following the death of his mother last week.  George has decided to play saying she "would have wanted me to". The Six Nations game which is taking place at Murrayfield kicks off at 5.45pm French time.

Football - In the Premier League this weekend tomorrow with a 4pm kick off French time Aston Villa are at home to Nottingham Forest, Brighton play Everton, Crystal Palace face Burnley, Manchester United are at home to Fulham. With a 6.30pm kick off French time Bournemouth face Manchester City and the last match of the day with a 9pm kick off will see Arsenal play at home to Newcastle United. On Sunday in the lunchtime game Wolverhampton are at home to Sheffield United.

Sunday will also see the final of the EFL Cup between Cheslea and Liverpool kick off is at 4pm French time.

In other football news a court in Spain has found former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub. He has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The 40-year-old, who is one of the most decorated footballers in history, had denied sexually assaulting the woman in the early hours of 31 December 2022.

Formula One – Driver George Russell has said that Red Bull are "a step ahead of everyone" before the new Formula 1 season. Russell praised Red Bull, calling the constructors' champions "such an impressive team".

Golf – The 15-year-old son of golf legend Tiger Woods has failed in his bid to qualify for a PGA Tour event. Charlie Woods was competing at Lost Lake Golf Club at a pre-qualifying event hoping to reach his first PGA Tour event.

Cricket – The fourth test has got underway between India and England today.

Weather

Sunny with a fresh breeze. Highs of 17 degrees in Nice, 13 degrees in Saint-Tropez with strong winds. 15 degrees and sunny in Monaco. 16 degrees in Cannes with strong winds. This evening going down to 3 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 6 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend. Saturday, sunny with a moderate breeze and highs of 14 degrees, Sunday, light rain in Nice and heavy rain in Saint-Tropez with a gentle breeze and highs of 13 degrees.

Sunrise       07.17am

Sunset        06.10pm

Sea Temperature

Nice            14.2 degrees.

Weather elsewhere

Dublin        9° sunny intervals.

Paris           10° light rain.

London      9° light rain

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