French and Riviera News Friday 9th February 2024

National News France

France’s government reshuffle - Nicole Belloubet has been appointed France’s Minister of Education replacing Oudéa-Castéra. The former Justice Minister from 2017 to 2020 was appointed by French Prime Minister Gabirel Attal on Thursday and will replace Amélie Oudéa-Castéra who had only stayed in office for barley a month and was hit by a recent scandal after removing her own children from a state school and moving them into a private education establishment. Oudéa-Castéra will however, keep the sports and Olympic division of the educational ministry.  Meanwhile François Bayrou is nowhere to be seen amongst the new government reshuffle after having been considered for the role of education minister, having held the post 30 years ago, he finally announced this week that he had “failed to come to an agreement with the President or Prime Minister.”  France’s government now has 35 ministers and among the 20 appointments made on Thursday, Horizons MP Frédéric Valletoux becomes France’s new Health minister.

Cost of a visit to the doctors could increase - Meanwhile, while on the subject of health France’s social security is paving the way for an increase to 30 euros for a consultation at your GP (general practitioner) surgery. The announcement comes after a new session of price negotiations were held between Health Insurance and doctors' unions on Thursday. The current cost for a visit is 26 euros 50.

SNCF announces exceptional bonus to avoid strike action - Ahead of strike action planned by the SNCF, which will no doubt impact train travel during the upcoming school holidays, the CEO of the railway group Jean-Pierre Farandou has announced an exceptional bonus of 400 euros along with other perks. Farandou made the announcement on Thursday just one week ahead of planned industrial action from controllers. Unions welcomed some of the new promises, but are waiting to consult union members before deciding on lifting the notice period for strike action.

Local News 

Investigation into suspicious odours in several districts of Nice - Nice city council has opened an investigation following reports in several districts of smoke and suspicious odours. Since last weekend, many residents have reported suspicious pollution, particularly in the eastern districts of the city. A smell of “burnt tires”, “waste” or “sulphur”. The smells apparently appear in the early morning and fade away by mid-morning and are experienced in Cimiez, Rimiez and even as far as the port.  Nice town hall has in response contacted the State services (DDPP) asking them to carry out an investigation and all the necessary checks in order to guarantee that these odours do not present any risk for the population.

Forest fire - Firefighters have been mobilised in our region after a forest fire covering 8 hectares of land, broke out in the Vésubie on Thursday afternoon. Two houses had to be evacuated as a precaution. The origin of the incident is at this stage unknown. The blaze was under control by 10.30pm on Thursday evening. It is the first forest fire recorded in the Alpes-Maritimes in 2024.

Speed limit to be temporarily lowered - The speed limit on four sections of the A7, A50 and A55 motorways, in Bouches-du-Rhône region will be lowered between February 19th and 23rd. The measure aims to reduce road accidents, but also improve air quality. The speed limit will be lowered from 110 to 90 km/h and in some cases from 90 to 70 km/h.

Monaco ranks second for best place to travel in Europe in 2024 - According to the independent travel website “Best Destinations in Europe” Monaco has ranked as the second-best place to travel to in Europe in 2024. The ranking saw more than one million people from 172 countries take part in the vote. Marbella in Spain pipped the Principality to the top, with Malta ranking third. The information gathered showed a “clear desire for exclusive travel to destinations recognised for the quality of their offers and services”.

Pink Ribbon Monaco walk - Finally, the 12th Pink Ribbon Monaco walk, supporting breast cancer prevention and awareness, will take place this Sunday February 11th 2024, at 10:15 am on the Port Hercules in Monaco. Hundreds of participants will be mobilised in support of breast cancer awareness. With funds raised, Pink Ribbon Monaco contributes to breast cancer screening, in Monaco. The 5km circuit passes in front of the Palace, the Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum and the terraces of the Monte-Carlo Casino and allows people of all sporting levels to participate. So get involved! And the lady behind Pink Ribbon Monaco Natasha Frost-Savio will be joining Sarah Lycett live in the studio this morning after 9.30am.

Business

An advert launched by Uber Eats ahead of this Sunday’s Super Bowl has caused backlash after being accused of making light of a man having an allergic reaction to peanut butter. The complaint comes from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) charity which said it was "surprised and disappointed" to see the company use allergies as a joke. Food Allergy Canada said that food allergy was "no laughing matter" and asked the company to edit the ad.

In the UK TikTok and Temu have pulled cheap electric heaters from their online stores after Which? found they could explode or start house fires. The consumer group tested eight heaters, the cheapest of which was £7.20, and found most did not meet UK safety standards. It said the devices, some of which had been promoted by influencers on TikTok, posed "a serious safety risk" to users.

Sport

Rugby Union – Ahead of this weekend Six Nations action England captain Jamie George has said he expects to be "very emotional" when he leads out the team for the first time in a Six Nations match at Twickenham. Scotland play France tomorrow kick off is at 3.15pm French time and England face Wales at 5.45pm French time. On Sunday Ireland play Italy kick off is at 4pm French time.

Football – In the Premier League this weekend tomorrow Manchester City are at home to Everton in the lunchtime match. Fulham play Bournemouth, Liverpool are at home to Burnley, Luton face Sheffield United, Tottenham play Brighton, Wolves are at home to Brentford and Nottingham Forest play Newcastle.

In local football news Rouen beat Monaco 6-5 on penalties last night meanwhile, fans are preparing for the local Derby match this weekend between Monaco and OGC Nice. The upcoming Ligue 1 fixture will take place on Sunday at Nice’s home stadium. Both teams are close to the top of the league with AS Monaco placed fifth behind the second-placed OGC Nice. Tickets are still available at the usual outlets.

Formula One - The future of the Red Bull Formula 1 team is in the spotlight as their boss Christian Horner faces an internal hearing today into a complaint of inappropriate behaviour. The 50-year-old, who has led Red Bull Racing since its founding in 2005, will be quizzed by an independent lawyer on the complaint. Horner has denied the allegations.

Weather

A Mediterranean episode is forecast for the Alpes Maritimes and the Var today Friday 9th February, with heavy rain expected. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice and Monaco. 16 degrees in Marseille and 9 degrees in Puget-Theniers. This evening going down to 11 degrees along the coast and 8 degrees inland. The episode is expected to last until Saturday evening.

Sunday the outlook is sunny intervals in the Alpes Maritimes, clear skies in the Var, with strong winds and highs of 13 degrees across the region.

Sunrise       07.38am

Sunset        05.51pm

Sea temperature Monaco    14.3 degrees.

Bordeaux   15 degrees, light rain.

Milan         12 degrees, heavy rain.

Belfast        7 degrees, light rain.

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