French and Riviera News Monday 10th April 2023

News

Building collapses in Marseille - Two people have been confirmed dead and at least eight are believed to be missing after a four-storey apartment building collapsed in the city of Marseille on Sunday evening. A gas explosion is thought to be one of the possible causes but, has not yet been confirmed as the investigation continues. The collapse of the building occurred on Rue de Tivoli at around 12.40am damaging parts of the two surrounding buildings.

Five people from neighbouring buildings sustained minor injuries in the explosion and around 200 people had to be evacuated from their homes. Two nearby blocks partially collapsed a few hours later without causing any additional injuries. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that he was "thinking of those affected and their loved ones" and thanked the emergency workers for their efforts.

Fatal avalanche – Meanwhile, four people have died and several have been injured in an avalanche in the Alps. France’s interior Minister said that the “rescue operation was still underway” adding that “his thoughts go out to the victims and their loved ones”. The avalanche occurred on Sunday at midday on the Armancette glacier in the Alps.

Forest fire - A hundred firefighters have been deployed after a forest fire broke out on Sunday evening in Vinon-sur-Verdon in the Var. Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after 5pm and reportedly managed to fix the blaze at around 9.45pm. 9.5 hectares were destroyed and two firemen were injured one of whom was taken to hospital.

14-year-old boy falls into well - A 14-year-old boy has been seriously injured after falling into a well located on land on the Chemin de la Piole-Paul-Venel in Sanary. A witness managed to assists the boy while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. The incident occurred at around 3pm on Sunday and both adult and child were taken to hospital where their condition was reportedly stable and not life threatening.

Agreement reached on circulation of taxis and VTC’s - Monaco and France have at last reached an agreement on the circulation of taxis and VTC on both sides of the border. After years of bickering between French and Monegasque taxis and VTCs, the princely government and the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes announced that they had reached an agreement "allowing people transport professionals, to work in both territories". The move marks the end to what had been described “as a ludicrous situation”. Since the beginning of the year Monegasque transport professionals could no longer load customers in France, and vice versa for French drivers in Monaco.

Home of Serge Gainsbourg to open to the public - The home of Serge Gainsbourg, one of France's most notorious singer-songwriters, is to open to the public on 20 September, three decades after the musician's death. The house on Paris' Left Bank, has been a pilgrimage site for fans since the writer of Je t'aime moi non plus died in 1991. The interior has been immaculately preserved, from the ashtrays still brimming with Gitanes cigarette butts to the baroque statues and multitude of musical instruments. Gainsbourg lived in the house from 1969, initially with British-born actress Jane Birkin.

Congratulations to the Monaco Impi’s – Finally, congratulations to the Monaco Impi’s who won the Melrose Sevens rugby at the weekend. The annual rugby sevens event is held at the Melrose Rugby Club, at the Greenyards in Melrose, Scotland and is the oldest rugby sevens competition in the world, dating back to 1883. The result at the weekend certainly was a stunning one for Monaco, the side who beat one of the pre-tournament favourites and last year’s runners-up the Samurai 26-12 in the final, after their opponents had beaten the reigning champions, the British Army 26-5 in the semi-final.

Business

The jobs boom in the US slowed last month but the unemployment rate remained low, as the world's largest economy remained resilient in the face of sharply higher borrowing costs. Employers added 236,000 jobs in March fewer than in February but close to expectations. At 3.5%, the jobless rate remained near historic lows. The data is being closely watched as the US central bank raises interest rates to stabilise soaring prices.

In the UK the BBC is objecting to a new label describing it as "government funded media" on one of its main Twitter accounts. The corporation says it is speaking to the social media company about the designation on the @BBC account to "resolve this issue as soon as possible". In a statement, it said: "The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee."

And - Airbnb hosts in Liverpool are being warned not to try to hike prices on stays already booked ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest. Airbnb said it had "zero tolerance for this behaviour" and was taking action to stop hosts cancelling bookings and relisting at a higher price. Liverpool is expecting an extra 150,000 visitors during Eurovision. All tickets have sold out for the two semis and grand final of the international music competition from 9 to 13 May.

Sport

Football - In the Premier League on Sunday Leeds lost to Crystal Palace 5-1 and Liverpool drew two all against Arsenal. Roberto Firmino scored a dramatic late equaliser as Arsenal's lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to six points in an incident-packed encounter with Liverpool at Anfield. It means the destiny of the title is now in Manchester City's hands as they have a game in hand and have a home game against Arsenal to come.

Cycling - Mathieu van der Poel powered his way to victory to claim his first win in the Paris-Roubaix race on Sunday. The Dutchman was part of a seven-rider leading group that seized control with 50km of the 257km race remaining before making a 15km solo attack. Known as 'hell of the north', Paris-Roubaix is one of the five Monument one-day races and Van der Poel has now won three of them.

Formula One - Charles Leclerc has asked fans to respect his private life and to stop turning up outside his Monaco apartment. The 25-year-old said his address has recently become public, leading to fans gathering outside and ringing the bell. The Ferrari driver said he would still greet fans in public places or at the track, but gathering at his house is "a boundary that should not be crossed".

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Report

Hubert Hurkacz rallied from the brink on Sunday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he clawed past Serbian Laslo Djere 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(5). In a tight clash on Court Rainier III, the Pole battled from a set and a break down and saved one match point at 5-6, 30/40 in the third set to earn a thrilling win after three hours and 19 minutes.

Today’s action will see the 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka and former World No. 1 Andy Murray begin their Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters campaigns as they take to the courts.  Swiss wild card Wawrinka takes on Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, while Murray plays 14th seed Alex de Minaur. Austrian wild card Dominic Thiem is also in action, facing Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Weather

Sunny intervals with moderate breeze. Highs of 17 degrees in Monaco and Nice. 18 degrees in Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Toulon. 21 degrees in Aix-en-Provence. This evening going down to 8 degrees along the coast and 2 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday. Sunny intervals with highs of 17-18 degrees. Rain is forecast inland by Wednesday evening.

Sunrise       06.56am

Sunset        08.07pm

 

 

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