French and Riviera News Friday 7th June 2024

National News France

D-Day commemoration - A British naval officer who helped draw up maps for the D-Day invasion has been awarded the Legion d'honneur by French President Emmanuel Macron. Christian Lamb, who is 103 and lives in London, was honoured at the commemoration event in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy. Mrs Lamb told reporters: "I’m very proud of it, it’s a very unusual, unexpected treat."  Lamb spent the war as an officer in the Women's Royal Naval Service and in 1944, she helped plan the D-Day landings from Churchill's secret war rooms in London.

Meanwhile, King Charles and the Prince of Wales joined world leaders and veterans at a series of events to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Both royals made speeches in France on Thursday, praising the "bravery and sacrifice" of those who "served at that critical time". In a speech at the British war memorial in France, the King said the lesson to learn was that free nations must stand together to oppose tyranny.

French citizen detained in Moscow - A French citizen accused of gathering information about Russia's military activities and failing to register as a "foreign agent" has been detained by the authorities in Moscow.  French President Emmanuel Macron has said that the man was not working for France. Relations between Paris and Moscow are strained over Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. In a statement on Thursday, Moscow said a criminal case had been opened, and the suspect would be charged in the "nearest future". The Frenchman, it said, had repeatedly visited Russia for several years, holding meetings with Russian nationals.

Macron guest on 8 o’clock news on Thursday evening - Ahead of the European Elections this Sunday France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron has answered questions relating to aid in Ukraine, the war in Gaza and the European elections.  At the end of the D-Day commemorations, the President of the Republic, was a guest on the 8 o’clock news on France 2 and TF1, on Thursday evening. Concerning international news, he notably announced the transfer of fighter planes to Ukraine and reacted to the arrest of a French researcher in Russia. The head of state also expressed his concern about the election scheduled for Sunday declaring that “Europe has never been so threatened”.

Unable to train in the Seine due to poor quality of the water - The French open water swimming team have been unable to train in the river Seine in Paris due to the poor quality of the water. Just a few weeks ahead of the Olympic Games recent rainfall in May has deteriorated the quality of the water making it impossible to swim in. The French Swimming Federation had been negotiating for months to obtain authorization to swim in the Seine and the team were due to train next Monday June 10th.  Already last August, the open water swimming test event in Paris was cancelled at the last minute due to the quality of the water being below acceptable standards. As a reminder, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo plans to swim in the Seine on June 23, if the tests are good.

Local News

European elections - Valérie Hayer who is representing Macron’s Renaissance party at the European elections has given her last meeting ahead of Sunday’s vote in Nice. In front of less than 700 people Hayer appeared on Thursday evening alongside the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, Renaud Muselier and Édouard Philippe. The meeting took place just a stone's throw from the Promenade des Anglais and the deputy mayor of Nice praised Hayer who she declared was committed to “defending Europe and the French”.

Water cut off in La Croix Valmer - Residence in La Croix Valmer in the Var have been affected by a water cut. The problem is expected to be completely resolved today Friday 7th June. The cut off occurred on Thursday early evening, when pipes ruptured causing water to be cut off in several neighbourhoods.  For the time being the cause has not been identified.

World Environment Day - To mark World Environment Day this week volunteers collected more than 200 cigarette butts on the Larvotto beach here in Monaco. Workshops were set up to raise awareness among Monegasques on the impact on the environment with over 2 kg of waste being collected in just over 30 minutes.

Pétanque party - Finally, Draguignan in the Var has become the capital of pétanque until this Sunday with big names from all over France taking part in seven competitions dedicated to the game. A weekend of non-stop entertainment is planned in the city centre organized by the Bouliste Association of Draguignan Clubs. The finals are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Business

The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced its first interest rate cut in five years, dropping its main lending rate on Thursday from an all-time high of 4% to 3.75%. The ECB's move comes as voters head to the polls for EU-wide elections over the next four days, with the outcome expected to reflect people's unhappiness over cost-of-living pressures. Christine Lagarde, president of the ECB said the outlook for inflation had improved "markedly", paving the way for the rate cut. The news came a day after Canada took a similar step and followed a flurry of similar moves in recent months from countries including Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil and Mexico. Officials in the UK and US, where borrowing costs now stand at the highest rate in years, are expected to hold off on any cuts at their meetings this month.

Digital rights groups have attacked plans to use peoples' public posts and images on Facebook and Instagram belonging to parent company Meta to train artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The social media giant recently has been informing UK and European users of the platforms that, under privacy policy changes taking effect on 26 June, their information can be used to "develop and improve" its AI products. This includes posts, images, image captions, comments and Stories that users over the age of 18 have shared with a public audience on Facebook and Instagram, but not private messages. The European campaign group that advocates for digital rights, called its processing of years' worth of user content on the sites an "abuse of personal data for AI".

A Scottish woman who allegedly inspired the character Martha in the hit Netflix drama Baby Reindeer has filed a lawsuit in a Californian court suing the streamer claiming that Netflix told "brutal lies" about her to over 50 million viewers around the world. The lawsuit seeks over $170m (£132m) in damages. Fiona Harvey claims the Baby Reindeer series falsely depicted her as a convicted criminal who spent time in prison for stalking. The first episode of the hit mini-series claims that "this is a true story". The show's end credits say that the programme "is based on real events: however certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes”.

Sport

Football – After Wolves triggered a vote on the use of VAR in the Premier League clubs have voted by 19-1 in favour of keeping video assistant referees (VAR) next season. The Premier League has come under increasing pressure to modify VAR, which was introduced at the start of the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate has made some big bold moves for his squad ahead of the Euro 2024 in Germany, but has he got it right? One thing for sure is that he cannot be accused of dodging the big decisions as some consider his selection announced on Thursday could give England the high hopes as they travel to Germany.

Tennis – It’s considered as the match “everybody wants to watch” as Carlos Alcaraz faces Jannik Sinner in the French Open semi-final. He and Sinner will face off on Court Philippe Chatrier this Friday lunchtime ahead of Alexander Zverev taking on Casper Ruud in the second semi-final.

Formula One – While Monaco is still on a high following Monegasque Charles Leclerc home win just two weeks ago, Leclerc says the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix this Sunday could be another “opportunity” for Ferrari to beat Red Ball.

Weather

Partly sunny with cloudy patches. A light wind. Highs of 24 degrees in Nice, 23 degrees in Monaco and 26 degrees in Cannes, Saint Tropez and Vence. This evening going down to 17 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Saturday, mainly fine highs of 24 degrees. Sunday, thundery showers are expected by the afternoon highs of 23 degrees.

Sunrise 05.48am

Sunset 09.09pm

Sea temperature

Cannes 19.9°

UV level 6

Weather elsewhere

London      19° sunny intervals.

Dublin                  19° light rain.

New York   28° sunny intervals.

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