French and Riviera News Friday 8th December 2023

News

Bedbug scam - French police have arrested two men on suspicion of fraud after they allegedly sold bedbug pest control services for large sums to elderly people who did not need them. The arrests have taken place in eastern France. The men operated by phoning their victims, usually women over 90 and telling them there had been a bedbug infestation in their neighbourhood. Preying on widespread fears of bedbugs that gripped France this autumn, they allegedly gained access to their targets’ homes by passing themselves off as health officials.

In October, France shut several schools over what was thought to be an infestation of bedbugs and the government held a series of emergency meetings. The blood-sucking insects were reportedly spotted on the Paris metro, high-speed trains and at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Minister of the Interior visits our region today - France’s Minister of the Interior is to visit our region today Friday 8th December. Officially, the Minister is coming to "congratulate police officers for their work in the Moulins district of Nice and on the Italian border”. Unofficially, its been reported that the trip is timed ahead of a examination of the immigration bill in the French Parliament on Monday and is seen as an attempt to put pressure on the president of the Republican party Eric Ciotti, to support the bill. The new text will give law enforcement important additional resources. For example, a suspect will no longer be able to refuse fingerprinting. Migrant smugglers will risk 15 to 20 years in prison, a ban on free public transport for foreigners in an irregular situation and those who threaten elected officials will lose their residence permit but, State Medial Aid will be reinstated. According to Éric Ciotti, the bill is “a text without ambition, weak and which will change nothing.”

Clashes in Hauts de Vallauris - Meanwhile, there has been another night of vandalism and clashes with police in the hauts de Vallauris on Thursday. Explosives were thrown at a vehicle and dustbins were set alight for a second consecutive night as youths clashed with police. The feeling of insecurity is on the rise in Vallauris. While Vallauris is safer than the average of other cities in the Alpes Maritimes department and the number of burglaries and theft are down the number of acts of delinquency are on the rise for 2023. Vallauris still however remains behind Cannes which tops the ranking of cities in the Alpes Martimes with the most insecurity with Antibes ranking 2nd Nice 3rd and Menton 4th.

Luxury watch theft - Two men have been jailed for two years and eight months respectively for a spate of luxury watch thefts in Nice. The pair, both Romanian nationals, mainly targeted tourists in bars in the old town earlier this summer.

Weather warning - The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var are on a yellow weather alert today due to heavy rain, a possibility of flooding and an avalanche risk in the mountains. The alert was issued on Thursday and remains in place for the best part of the day today. Heavy rain is forecast for the Var and the Bouches du Rhône areas. The Prefecture announces expected rainfall of 20 to 30 mm in the Mercantour, 30 to 50 mm in the south of the department and 70 to 100 mm in the Cannes-Mandelieu sector as well as in the Haut Var interior and in Esteron.

Winter plan for the homeless - The City of Nice will activate its winter plan for the homeless next Monday - a week earlier than initially planned. An extra night shelter with room for 38 people will be opened up. That's in addition to the 45 places available in the Fondation de Nice shelter near the port and nearly 100 beds in the Abbé Pierre emergency accommodation on Rue Trachel, near Nice railway station. The opening of another shelter comes after the death of a homeless person sleeping rough on Rue Joseph Brès in the city centre on Sunday evening. Various charities and associations had urged the City of Nice to take action as the nights become colder. If you see anyone sleeping rough this winter, the number to call is 115. It handles requests for accommodation and can dispatch a mobile assistance team to provide support.

Telethon - Finally, today sees the start of this year Telethon charity event. Every year many towns and villages will be joining forces in our region for a good cause and to raise money for charity. The event runs today and tomorrow Saturday 9th December. To find out about all the fund-raising events go to https://www.afm-telethon.fr/fr/evenement-telethon

Sport

Football – It was a disappointing night for Tottenham fans as they suffered a 2-1 defeat against West Ham in the Premier League on Thursday evening. The teams captain referred to the latest defeat as “unacceptable” adding that his fellow teammates needed to take responsibility. No team has dropped more points from winning positions in the Premier League this season than Tottenham, who have relinquished 16.

In the Premier League tomorrow. The lunch time game will see Crystal Palace at home to Liverpool, kick off is at 1.30pm French time. With a 4pm kick off French time on Saturday, Brighton play Burnley, Manchester United are at home to Bournemouth, Sheffield United face Brentford and Wolves are at home to Nottingham Forest. The last match of the day, with a 6.30pm kick off French time, will see Aston Villa play Arsenal.

Rugby Union – The European Champions Cup kicks off today with La Rochelle chasing a third title in a row. Their first match will be on Sunday against Leinster.  

Golf - Masters champion Jon Rahm has joined LIV marking a huge U-turn as one of the most significant signings for the 2024 season. Rahm had previously ruled out joining LIV since its inaugural season in 2021.

Tennis - Britain's Emma Raducanu will make her comeback to the tennis tour in Auckland in the first week of January. The 2021 US Open champion has been out of action since April and has fallen to 296 in the world rankings following three operations.

Business

Elon Musk has called for Disney boss Bob Iger to be "fired immediately" after the company stopped advertising on X. Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism. In a post on Thursday, Musk appeared to allude to the recent box-office performances of some Disney firms, saying Mr Iger dropped "more bombs than a B-52". The multi-billionaire also accused Disney of advertising on other social media platforms that allowed controversial materials.

France’s transport minister Clément Beaune has announced plans to make train travel in France affordable for all with a freeze in prices for SNCF Ouigo and Intercités trains in 2024. SNCF Voyageurs, the company which operates SNCF trains, has made no comment on the announcement. However, faced with inflation in its costs, the group could well announce a new increase in TGV InOui prices in 2024 after an average increase of 5% this year. However, the minister insisted his intention to launch "by the summer of 2024" a rail pass which should allow unlimited travel on the TER and Intercités for around 49 euros per month.

The green insurance sticker used in France and displayed on your windscreen is to be scrapped from April 1st next year and will be digitalised. The obligation to have insurance for any motorized vehicle will of course remain, but instead of the detachable certificate (green sticker) and paper certificate (green card) to prove insurance, the police will be able to access a digital platform to check a motorists insurance cover via the numberplate of the vehicle.  According to the interministerial delegate for road safety Florence Guillaume, in 2022 206,190 people committed the offense of driving without insurance in France.

And - In the UK millions of consumers could receive payouts after a legal claim was launched against mobile phone networks. Consumer champion Justin Gutmann alleges Vodafone, EE, Three and O2 overcharged customers for phones beyond the end of their contract. 

He is seeking damages of more than £3bn on behalf of 4.8 million people. Responding, EE called the claim "speculative", while O2 said it hadn't been contacted. Vodafone said it didn't have sufficient detail for its legal team to assess, and Three declined to comment.

Weather

Heavy rain across the region. A yellow weather warning is in place today with rain, flooding, and an avalanche risk for the Mercantor and the Haut Var regions. Highs of 12 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 13 degrees in Saint-Tropez and 10 degrees in Vence. Strong winds with gust of up to 50km/hr along the coast. This evening going down to 8 degrees.

The outlook for the weekend. Mainly fine some cloudy patches with highs of 14 degrees on Saturday. Sunday highs of 19 degrees expected in Nice with a gentle breeze.

Sunrise       07.52am

Sunset        04.55pm

 

 

 

 

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