French and Riviera News Monday 12th February 2024

National News France

French government announces change - The French government has announced a controversial plan to amend the constitution to revoke birthplace citizenship on the French Indian Ocean Island of Mayotte, claiming it would help stem an immigration crisis. The reform was announced by interior minister Gérald Darmanin on Sunday after he arrived on the island, the country’s poorest department (administrative region), following three weeks of protests there. Speaking to journalist the interior minister said “we are going to take a radical decision. It will no longer be possible to become French if you are not the child of a French parent”. France currently grants citizenship through both bloodline and birthplace, and the proposal risks further ramping up of tensions in France following the adoption of a new immigration law.

Local News

Teenager hit by train - A 16-year-old boy has been seriously injured after being hit by a train in the town of Miramas in the Bouches du Rhone, north of Marseille. The accident occurred on Sunday evening at around 5pm, the circumstances of the accident have yet to be determined. Rail traffic was interrupted in both directions between Miramas and Rognac, but none of the 80 passengers on board the train were injured.

Apartment fire in Nice - 37 firefighters have been mobilised in Nice after a fire broke out on Sunday evening in an apartment on avenue de Pessicart. The incident occurred at around 8.30pm. A 56-year-old man was taken to hospital suffering from smoke poisoning. The cause of the blaze remains unknown an investigation is currently underway.

Modifications on the A8 motorway - VINCI Autoroutes has announced changes to traffic on the A8 motorway from today Monday 12th February through until Friday. As part of ongoing works and maintenance there will be modifications at night from 8.30pm to 6am at the Mougins exit 42, Monaco exit 56 and Menton interchange exit 59. Motorists are also reminded that this weekend due to the Mandelieu-la-Napoule mimosa festival, the exit of the Mandelieu interchange (n°40) will be closed, Saturday February 17 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Fighter planes flew over Nice on Sunday - You may have heard and seen them, two fighter planes which flew over Nice on Sunday. A rather unusual sight both aircrafts came from the aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle, which was cruising off the coast of Nice and were taking part in a training exercise.

French village bans scrolling in public - Finally, in the fight against the smartphone “invasion” a French village has voted to ban scrolling in public.  Seine-Port, in the Seine-et-Marne area south of Paris, with a population of fewer than 2,000 people, last weekend voted yes in a referendum to restrict smartphone use in public, banning adults and children from scrolling on their devices while walking down the street, while sitting with others on a park bench, while in shops, cafes or eating in restaurants and while parents wait for their children in front of the school gates. Those who might check their phone’s map when lost are instead being encouraged to ask for directions. The village has also approved a charter for families on children’s use of screens: no screens of any kind in the morning, no screens in bedrooms, no screens before bed or during meals. If parents of teenagers sign a written agreement not to give their child a smartphone before the age of 15, the town hall will provide the child with an old-fashioned handset for calls only. It is not enforceable by police, officers could not stop or fine people scrolling in the street because there is no national law against smartphones – but the mayor describes it as an incitement to stop scrolling and guidance for limiting phone use. Shopkeepers are being urged to put up stickers in windows and kindly ask people to stop scrolling.

Business

French Prime Minister Gabirel Attal has outlined his upcoming action after having completed his government at the end of last week. Speaking to French media at the weekend Attal announced that “several urgent measures would be resolved” with a “summer of social progress” and an “autumn of work”. On the economic level, he promises to "lift one by one the shackles that restrain the French" announcing that a draft "Macron 2 law" will be presented before the summer "to free economic activity, growth and industrial development”. Attal also announced projects planned for farmers, youth and housing, with a modification to the Solidarity and Urban Renewal (SRU) law, which sets quotas for social housing in certain municipalities. He also confirmed that negotiations were underway concerning unemployment benefits with changes planned in January 2025. A reform which would encourage employment and possibly tighten current allowances.

According to a stock market filing on Friday Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who’s fortune is estimated by Forbes at $195.5 billion, making him the third richest man on the planet sold approximately $2 billion worth of shares of the online distribution giant.  The fortune of the founder of Amazon makes him the 3rd richest man on the planet, behind Frenchman Bernard Arnault, CEO of the LVMH group, and Elon Musk, boss of Tesla , Twitter or even SpaceX. Amazon released its financial results on February 1, which far exceeded expectations. The group achieved a turnover of 170 billion dollars, an increase of 14% over one year, and a net profit of 10.6 billion, driven by faster deliveries and a particularly successful holiday season.

And - Uber Eats made last minute changes to its Super Bowl ad following criticism made last week after the food delivery firm was accused of making light of food allergies. The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) charity thanked Uber Eats for agreeing to edit out parts that showed a man having an allergic reaction to peanut butter.

Sport

Athletics – 24-year-old men's marathon world record holder, Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum, 24, has died in a road accident in his home country. He was killed alongside his coach, in a car on a road in western Kenya on Sunday. Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 and been named in Kenya's provisional marathon team for the Paris Olympics later this year.

Superbowl - The Kansas City Chiefs fought back to beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime and win their third Super Bowl in five years. American singer Taylor Swift's attendance at the game didn’t go unmissed hogging most of the headlines. The world's biggest pop star flew back from her 'Eras' tour in Tokyo to watch boyfriend and Kansas City star Travis Kelce in the Super Bowl.

Rugby Union - In the Six Nations at the weekend, it was only just a 20-16 win for France against Scotland after a last-minute try was refused by the referee. England managed to beat Wales 16-14 but once again the game was lacking in performance. And after a slow start Ireland went on to do what was expected of them by beating Italy 36-0.

Golf - Dustin Johnson birdied three of the last six holes to claim the LIV Golf Las Vegas title by one shot. Johnson battled cold and windy conditions to top the leaderboard on 12 under for his third LIV title and claim $4m in prize money.

Football – In the Premier League on Sunday West Ham were thrashed at home by Arsenal 6-0 and Aston Villa lost to Manchester United 2-1. This evening Crystal Palace play Chelsea kick off is at 9pm French time.

And in local football it’s congratulations to AS Monaco who beat Nice 3-2 in a crazy derby.

Weather

Sunny intervals with a gentle breeze. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, Antibes and Saint-Tropez, 13 degrees in Monaco and Vence. 12 degrees in Marseille and 11 degrees in Aix-en-Provence. This evening going down to 6 degrees along the coast and 2 degrees inland with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow, sunny with light winds highs of 16-17 degrees. Wednesday fine with highs of 15 degrees.

Sunrise Monaco           07.34am

Sunset Monaco           05.55pm

Sea temperature -      

Saint-Tropez                 13.8 degrees

Nice                               14 degrees

London                          10 degrees and sunny.

Paris                               11 degrees with light rain.

Dublin                           9 degrees and light rain.

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