French and Riviera News Monday 11th September 2023

Riot police called in to Les Moulins district after unrest - France's interior minister has deployed a specialist group of national riot police officers to the Les Moulins district in Nice after a weekend of violence. The CRS 8 elite police unit is sent out to intervene in cases of serious public order disturbances and urban unrest. Its 200 officers were recently deployed to Marseille and arrived yesterday in Nice. The Alpes-Maritimes préfecture says they will remain on the scene "as long as necessary". It comes after a shootout in Les Moulins, on Rue Santoline at about 4pm on Friday, which left two people injured, one seriously who is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. Two people were arrested. One of them, a 28-year-old man, was placed under police guard at Pasteur hospital in Nice while undergoing treatment for his injuries. But he managed to escape from his hospital room over the weekend.

Knife attacks in Grasse - Meanwhile, four people suffered knife injuries near Grasse railway station, in what is reported to have been a mass brawl on Friday. One victim is in a critical condition and was airlifted to hospital.

12 injured in boat collision - Twelve people have been injured, eight seriously, after two boats collided in the Med about a kilometre off the coast of the Calanques national park. A yacht with seven people on board collided with a 10-metre wooden boat, on which 14 people were taking part in a marine biodiversity census. Several people on the smaller boat were thrown overboard in the impact of the crash. Its skipper suffered a heart attack and was rescued by instructors from a diving club who were sailing near the scene of the accident. The Marseille prosecutor's office has opened an investigation. The yacht's skipper has been taken into police custody for questioning.

Show of solidarity after Morocco earthquake - French president Emmanuel Macron and His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco have sent messages in support of the people of Morocco following Friday's deadly earthquake, in which more than 2,000 people died. Macron said in a statement that "we are all upset after the terrible earthquake in Morocco" and that "France stands ready to help with first aid". Prince Albert II sent his condolences to those affected, adding: "Our thoughts and prayers also go to the emergency services as well as towards people who come to the aid of the injured." The Maison du Maroc in Nice is planning various solidarity actions to raise money for the earthquake victims. Meanwhile, the Alpes-Maritimes branch of the Secours Populaire is planning to make a €50,000 donation to the emergency fund to help families who have lost everything. The Paca region has also pledged financial support, while the city of Marseille has offered to send firefighters to Morocco to help the rescue efforts.

Teen run over in Nice - A 16-year-old girl is in a critical condition after being hit by a driver on a pedestrian crossing on Boulevard Carlone in Nice on Saturday evening. It's reported that the car involved was speeding. The girl was transported to Lenval children's hospital. An investigation is under way.

Air pollution alert today - The Paca region has issued an air pollution warning for the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var today. Elderly and other vulnerable people are being advised to avoid going outside when the sun is at its strongest. The general advice is to avoid intensive physical or sporting activity outdoors and use public transport wherever possible.

Marseille taxi strike during Papal visit - Taxi drivers in Marseille are threatening to disrupt the Pope's forthcoming visit to the city. Pope Francis is visiting Marseille on 23rd September. The Bouches-du-Rhône taxi union is planning strike action on the day, to protest against the implementation of flat fares for taxi journeys to the most popular tourist destinations, such as the cruise terminals, airport, railway station and the Old Port.

18 Riviera towns can claim for drought losses - Eighteen municipalities in the Alpes-Maritimes have been officially recognised as natural disaster zones following last summer's severe drought. The recognition, by the Alpes-Maritimes préfecture, opens up the possibility for individuals and businesses to make insurance claims for any losses or damage to property they suffered due to the drought conditions. Claims must be filed within 30 days of this order being published. The municipalities affected are Ascros, Bendejun, Bézaudun-les-Alpes, Cabris, Cannes, Châteauneuf-Villevieille, Coaraze, Cuébris, Daluis, Mougins, Nice, Peille, Peillon, La Roquette-sur-Var, Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne, Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, Spéracèdes, Touët-sur-Var.

Nice prepares for rugby fixtures - The Rugby World Cup village in Nice has opened to the public this weekend in the Jardin Albert I, showing all the tournament’s matches on two giant screens, with a capacity of up to 9,000 people. Police reinforcements have been brought in from Italy, including police sniffer dogs, to ensure everything goes smoothly when Nice hosts two World Cup matches at the Allianz Riviera next Saturday and Sunday. There'll be a reinforced police presence at Nice airport and railway station.

BUSINESS

London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports have said they are monitoring porous concrete found on their sites after school closures linked to the material. The airports had previously found the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) before extensive news coverage over its use. Heathrow said it had the means to keep it safe until it can put "permanent solutions" in place. Gatwick said it has found no cause for concern. The discovery of the concrete, which can crumble, in schools and public buildings has led to a number of closures since the start of September. The material was discovered at Heathrow Terminal 3 last year, and the airport has put measures in place to make it safe.

Natural gas prices have jumped after strike action kicked off at two major liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia. The walkouts, in a row over pay and conditions, are taking place at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone plants in Western Australia.The US energy giant's two plants account for more than 5% of global LNG capacity. On Friday, wholesale gas prices in the UK rose by about 10%.

A Turkish cryptocurrency boss and his two siblings have been jailed for 11,196 years each for defrauding investors of millions of dollars. Faruk Fatih Ozer, 29, fled to Albania in 2021 with investor assets after his Thodex crypto exchange suddenly collapsed. He was extradited back to Turkey in June and found guilty of money-laundering, fraud and organised crime. The brief trial in Istanbul also found his sister Serap and brother Guven guilty of the same charges. Turkish news agencies said that the defendants were sentenced separately for multiple crimes against 2,027 victims, leading to the total number of years in the judgement. Such extraordinary prison sentences are common in Turkey since the abolition of the death penalty in 2004.

SPORT

Tennis - American teenager Coco Gauff fulfilled the potential she has long promised by landing her first Grand Slam title with a fightback win over Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open final. Gauff, seeded sixth, started slowly in front of an expectant home crowd but grew in confidence to wear down second seed Sabalenka in New York. Gauff clinched a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win.

In the men's US Open final, Novak Djokovic won a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title by outlasting Daniil Medvedev in a punishing US Open final in New York. The 36-year-old Serb won 6-3 7-6 6-3.

Rugby Union – Chile impressed in their World Cup debut but Japan pulled away to comfortably win their Pool D opener in Toulouse 42-12. Scotland slipped to an 18-3 defeat in their World Cup opener as defending champions South Africa put in a typically ruthless and powerful display in Marseille. Wales held out amid a dramatic late Fiji fightback to edge a captivating World Cup opener in Bordeaux, winning 32-26.

Australia subdued Georgia at Stade de France to get their World Cup campaign under way and claim the first win of coach Eddie Jones' second stint in the job, with a 35-15 win. Ireland opened their Rugby World Cup campaign with a bonus-point win as they scored 12 tries to overwhelm Romania 82-8 in stifling heat in Bordeaux. Italy began their Rugby World Cup campaign with a seven-try, bonus-point win over Namibia, 52-8, in Saint-Etienne. George Ford steered England to a magnificent 27-10 victory over Argentina.

Football - In this weekend's Euro 2024 qualifiers, Italy again suffered at the hands of North Macedonia as their poor start to European Championship qualifying continued with a shock 1-1 draw in Skopje. England's winning run in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign came to a halt as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine. Belgium managed a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan, Sweden thumped Estonia 5-0, it was a goalless draw between Andorra and Belarus, a 2-2 draw for Kosovo against Switzerland, and Romania-Israel also ended in a draw, 1-1.

Luis Rubiales has resigned as president of the Spanish Football Federation following criticism for kissing Spain forward Jenni Hermoso at the Women's World Cup final presentation ceremony. Hermoso said the kiss after Spain beat England was not consensual and she filed a legal complaint last Tuesday. Rubiales has also resigned from his position as vice-president of Uefa's executive committee. The fallout from the kiss has engulfed Spanish football in recent weeks and overshadowed Spain's World Cup win, with Rubiales ignoring repeated calls to resign. On Friday, a prosecutor filed a complaint with Spain's high court - following Hermoso's testimony on Tuesday - against Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion.

Hansi Flick has been sacked as Germany manager following Saturday's 4-1 friendly defeat by Japan in Wolfsburg. He becomes the first Germany boss to be sacked since the role was created in 1926. Germany have lost four of their past five games, with Flick overseeing just 12 wins in his 25 matches since replacing Joachim Low in August 2021. Rudi Voller, who managed the team from 2000 to 2004, takes temporary charge for Tuesday's friendly with France.

WEATHER

A generally sunny day with some light patchy cloud here and there, temperatures reaching 28 degrees celsius on the Alpes-Maritimes coast, up to 31 on the Var coast and 32 inland, with light variable winds. Still slightly cloudy overnight, with temperatures going down to 20 on the coast and 17 further inland. The outlook for Tuesday: sunny spells, light cloud and 27 degrees on the coast, up to 30 inland.

BEACH WEATHER

On the beach in Nice this afternoon there'll be sunny spells, light winds, 26 degrees celsius. The sea temperature is 25 degrees and the UV index is 7. In Saint-Tropez, there'll also be sunny spells, moderate southerly winds and 30 degrees celsius. The water temperature is 24 degrees and the UV index is also 7.

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