French and Riviera News Friday 9th December 2022

News

Streets in Paris in total darkness following power cut - Many streets in the French capital have been plunged into darkness this Thursday evening shortly before 11pm. A power cut affected several districts in the 3rd, 4th and 5th arrondissements of Paris with 125,000 homes without electricity. The Enedis group claimed earlier in the evening on its website that 75 streets were affected in the 1st and 4th arrondissements, 62 streets in the 3rd and finally 34 streets in the 5th arrondissement. On social networks, many internet users shared shots and photos from 10:30pm of Parisian streets in total darkness. One resident in the heart of Paris on the Boulevard Saint Germain said “I’ve never experienced this in my life. Long live candles. It's really weird no internet no light, no nothing”. The cuts take place in a context of an energy crisis in France, but the exact cause of the power cut is currently unknown.

Chemists to distribute free preservatives to 18–25-year-olds from next year - In other news, during a health trip to Poitiers on Thursday French President Emmanuel Macron announced that chemists in France will distribute free condoms from 2023 for young people aged 18 to 25. Condoms have already been reimbursed by Social Security on prescription from a doctor or midwife since December 2018. The move comes as an additional tool to fight against AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. In addition it will also be possible to screen for certain sexually transmitted infections without a prescription for everyone, and free of charge for those under 26.

Weather warning - The Alpes-Maritimes region has been placed on a yellow weather warning with heavy rain and high waves along the coast and snow, ice and an avalanche risk in the hinterland. The warning was issued on Thursday afternoon and runs until at least 4pm this afternoon.

Cold weather across France today – Meanwhile, Meteo France says today will see very cold weather across the country with minimum temperatures varying between 0 to -3 degrees over the north. The maximum will be between +1 and +3 degrees in the north-east, between 3 and 6 on the north-west, between 6 and 12 further south, 14 to 15 on the shores of the Mediterranean and up to 19-20 degrees on the coast of Corsica.

Covid - In France, the ninth wave of covid continues, with deaths and hospitalizations on the rise. Incidence rates continue to increase in all regions of mainland France, under the effect of a wave still driven by the Omicron variant. In the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, the incidence is increasing. It is currently at 761 on the Côte d'Azur and 904 in the Var. On Thursday Public Health France called once again for vaccination of those most at risk. Booster Covid and flu vaccinations are still lagging behind. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron put on a mask on Thursday during a trip to Vienne, believing that it was necessary to "get back to old habits" in the face of the rise in the Covid-19 epidemic, "on a voluntary basis". With the run up to Christmas and end of year celebrations, the government wants to encourage the wearing of a mask, but caregivers, and patient associations are urging for it to be imposed in closed places.

Christmas tree dedicated to the child victims of July 14th terror attack - A special Christmas tree dedicated to the child victims of the 14th July terror attack in Nice has been unveiled on the Promenade des Anglais. It's the initiative of a local association, Une Voie des Enfants, which helps children who survived, and families who lost a child in the attack in 2016. Dozens of local schoolchildren came along to help decorate the tree, which can be found outside the Palais de la Méditérannée until the new year.

Art therapy at the Princess Grace Hospital – As part of an ongoing project the Princess Grace hospital here in Monaco has put art at the heart of healing in an art therapy project. Patients from the hospital with psychiatric and psychological disorders have been taking part in art therapy workshops. A bubble of freedom which helps them to verbalize their ills and to work within a group. The most recent work from students is currently being exhibited in the corridor of the Roseraie.

It’s arrived! The “Your Monaco” app - The "Your Monaco" app has been launched in the Principality replacing the Your Monaco website which was launched in 2020. “Get informed, go out and get around”. For some time now, the Principality has been working incessantly to be ever more attractive. A quest that is now increasingly combined with digital technology. At the request of the Prince's Government, the interministerial delegation in charge of the digital transition and attractiveness under Frédéric Genta has been working for more than a year on the Your Monaco application. Unveiled to the press on Wednesday it’s an essential tool for one of the most beautiful places in the world. In English, French and Italian it offers news on transport, the environment, discovering Monaco, urbanism and leisure. A calendar of events as well as a list of restaurants and shops, sport events and facilities, emergency and health and all practical information.

New luxury shopping in Nice - Construction work is well under way on what is planned to be a new luxury shopping street in Nice's Carré d'Or. A new boutique hotel is being built on the Avenue de Suède, replacing the former Boscolo Hotel. At the foot of the building will be 11 stores. The City of Nice is in talks with several luxury brands to occupy the new units. They should open in the spring of 2024 and complement the existing luxury stores that can be found on the neighbouring Rue Paradis.

275th anniversary – One of Grasse's oldest perfumeries, Galimard, is celebrating its 275th anniversary. Founded in 1747 and passed down through the generations, the Galimard workshop is a place where everything is still done by hand. Grasse's perfume history and know-how has been part of Unesco's list of intangible heritage since 2018.

Digital museum on our doorstep - You can now visit the permanent collections of some of France's biggest national museums - without going any further than Beausoleil. The cultural centre in the border town with Monaco has just inaugurated a 100-square-metre "digital museum" space where visitors can access collections from museums including the Louvre, Quai Branly and Paris's Grand Palais. The €100,000 project has been part-financed by the Alpes-Maritimes departmental council and it's hoped it will be put to good use by regular visitors as well as school groups.

Restaurant refuses to serve children - A grandmother has been refused entry to a restaurant in north-eastern France in Ribeauvillé because she was in the company of her four-year-old grandchild. On Thursday after having visited the Christmas market in the town, the woman was left waiting half an hour outside before the waitress informed her that she could not serve them as there was a child, pointing to a sign on the door which acknowledged the refusal to serve children. According to the owner of the restaurant “they don’t hate children; they just refuse those who are unbearable”. The sign has since been taken down. Meanwhile the regional union of hotel trade industry has reacted saying that they are “outraged” at the behaviour from the restaurant owner adding that “while the whole profession is doing everything to welcome people, especially after covid, there are people in the industry doing the exact opposite.”

Business

The UK government is set to announce what it describes as one of the biggest overhauls of financial regulation for more than three decades. It is expected to loosen rules on banks introduced after the financial crisis in 2008 when some banks faced collapse. The changes will be presented as an example of post-Brexit freedom to tailor regulation specifically to the needs and strengths of the UK economy. Critics will say it risks forgetting the lessons of the financial crisis. The plans to ease regulations on financial services are being described as a second "Big Bang" - a reference to the deregulation of financial services by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1986.

The US is entering a legal battle with Xbox-maker Microsoft to block its plan to purchase the gaming firm behind hit titles such as Call of Duty. Regulators cited competition concerns, saying they feared that if the deal went through, Activision Blizzard's games would stop being offered on non-Microsoft gaming consoles. The Activision purchase was set to be the biggest in Microsoft history. The company said it would fight to complete the $69bn (£56bn) deal.

According to the Forbes ranking, the CEO of LVMH has overtaken Elon Musk with a fortune estimated at more than 186 billion dollars in a ranking updated in real time. The game of musical chairs at the top of the ranking of the richest personalities on the planet continues. On Thursday evening at 6pm Bernard Arnault (and his family) was once again the richest man on the planet, overtaking Elon Musk again. The boss of LVMH is credited with a fortune of 186.2 billion dollars ahead of the boss of Tesla who is worth 183.4 billion dollars. Bernard Arnault has recently benefited from the jump in the results of LVMH, the world leader in luxury, whose net profit had reached 12 billion euros in 2021. Meanwhile Elon Musk has seen his fortune melt since his arrival at the head of Twitter, which he bought for 44 billion dollars at the end of October. In addition according to reports Tesla shares have notably lost more than 47% since the billionaire acquired Twitter.

A DJ, K-pop rapper, and a space YouTuber are to go on a trip around the Moon, after they were picked by a Japanese billionaire for a private SpaceX flight. Businessman Yusaku Maezawa revealed his crew on Friday after a global search for creative individuals last year. The flight, scheduled for next year, could be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972. However, US regulators are yet to give permission for the Starship rocket from Elon Musk's SpaceX company.

World Cup

“Fabulous Friday” at the World Cup with the kick off of the quarter final stage giving you that Friday feeling. Croatia play Brazil kick off is at 4pm French time and the Netherlands play Argentina kick off is at 8pm.

Meanwhile Brazil’s coach has said that he will not apologise to those who "do not know Brazilian history and culture" after criticism of his players for dancing after scoring goals at the World Cup. Speaking before Friday's quarter-final against 2018 runners-up Croatia, he added: "I'm not going to apologise when it's our culture to dance and have fun."

England winger Raheem Sterling is to return to Qatar before Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against France. The Chelsea player, 28, flew back to England on Sunday following a break-in at his family home in Surrey.

Tomorrow will of course see the other quarter final matches with Morocco playing Portugal at 4pm and England playing France 8pm kick off.

Sport

Cricket – Day one of the five-day test series is currently underway with England winning the toss to bat.

Formula 1 – Formula One will continue to race in the Netherlands until at least 2025 after an extended contract was signed. The deal adds races in 2024 and 2025 to the initial three years agreed with F1. The event has proved a hit with fans supporting Red Bull's Max Verstappen since it returned to the calendar in 2021. The Dutch driver has won both races at the historic track at a beach resort on the North Sea close to Amsterdam.

Rugby Union – Reports from administrators have revealed that Wasps had debts totalling £95m when the club went into administration, reports by administrators FRP have revealed. They show that the combined debts of the rugby club's parent company Wasps Holdings and their three Coventry Building Society Arena companies have cost taxpayers millions of pounds.

Cycling - Cycling's Tour of Britain race will start in Manchester next year. The Grand Depart of the eight-day event, the UK's biggest professional cycle race, will take place in the city centre on Sunday, 3 September. Manchester City Council's John Hacking said it was an "honour" for the city.

Weather

The Alpes Maritimes has been placed on a yellow weather warning with heavy rain along the coast forecast and snow, ice and a risk of avalanches in the hinterland.

Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Antibes. 13 degrees and thundery showers in Saint Tropez. 12 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 9 degrees.

The outlook for Saturday - cloudy along the coast with sunny intervals inland highs of 14 degrees. Sunday sunny intervals in the Alpes Maritimes and Nice with highs of 12 degrees. In the Var strong winds and sunny highs of 10 degrees.

Sunrise    07.52  

Sunset     16.52 

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