French and Riviera News Monday 18th December 2023


France calls for “immediate and durable truce” - France has called for an "immediate and durable truce" in the Israel-Hamas war, saying that it is deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza. France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna added that too many civilians were being killed while the Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said a ceasefire would be an error, describing it as a gift to Hamas. The UK and Germany earlier called for a "sustainable ceasefire", but stopped short of saying it should be immediate.

Air traffic control strike - An Air traffic controllers strike today Monday 18th December, is expected to see 30% of flights cancelled at Paris-Orly and 50% in Brest. Air traffic controllers are walking out in protest against a planned reform on their right to strike.  The reform would oblige air traffic controllers to individually declare themselves on strike 48 hours in advance, as is already the case for the train services of the RATP and the SNCF. French civil aviation authority the DGAC has asked passengers to postpone their trips if possible. They advise anyone with a flight booked during the strike to contact their airline before travelling to the airport. The strike could also cause delays for overflights from other countries that use French airspace.

Train traffic disrupted due to left luggage - Meanwhile, forgotten luggage caused train traffic at Marseille train station to be interrupted on Sunday evening. Marseille’s Saint-Charles station was evacuated, and train traffic came to a complete standstill, finally resuming shortly after 7pm.

French singer relaunches debate on euthanasia in France - French singer Françoise Hardy has written to French President Emmanuel Macron to relaunch the debate on euthanasia in France. The singer who had recently in an interview with Paris Match, said that due to throat cancer, she was experiencing a “living hell” and “wished to leave this world sooner, rather than later”. The letter has since led to one of Macron’s minister’s saying that a reform on the subject will be examined in 2024. François Hardy is due to celebrate her 80th birthday on January 17th.

Fatal car crash - A female student from the International University of Monaco has been killed in a fatal road accident at the weekend. The driver, also a student at IUM, and a second female passenger are believed to be in a critical condition in hospital and it is believed that there may have been two more passengers in the car who are also hospitalised in a critical condition. The accident occurred close to the Cemetery in Monaco in the early hours of Sunday morning. An investigation is underway to determine the cause and our thoughts go out to the family of the passenger who died and those who are fighting for their lives in hospital following this horrific crash.

Brawl breaks out in Old Nice - At least two people have been slightly injured after a fight broke out in Old Nice on Sunday evening. Five people were arrested as police try to establish the cause of the brawl in which some brandished knives. The incident occurred shortly after 6pm on the rue de l'Abbaye, two teenagers were taken to the Lenval hospital suffering minor injuries.

Fire - 90 firefighters have been deployed and customers were evacuated, after a fire broke out at a fancy dress store in Antibes on Sunday evening. Two warehouses also went up in smoke as the blaze spread. No casualties were reported. Police are investigation the cause.

Miss France – Finally, 20-year-old Eve Gilles from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais in northern France has been crowned Miss France 2024. The contestant however has caused quite a stir due to being the first in the history of Miss France with a pixie style haircut. 7.5 million TV viewers watched as Ms Gilles told viewers 'We're used to seeing beautiful Misses with long hair, but I chose a genderless look with short hair’ going on to praise here win as a win for 'diversity'.


Football – Liverpool have failed to go top of the Premier League with a 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday evening.

In other Premier League matches, Aston Villa came from behind to dramatically beat Brentford 2-1 and West Ham were back on track with a 3-0 victory over Wolves at London Stadium.

Formula One - Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button has joked that he has been “given a pass by his wife” to return to the track next year in the World Endurance Championship, which includes the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Button says the machinery is "more technologically advanced than F1 cars". Adding that he is still at his best and is a better person when racing."

Rugby Union - Leicester have claimed a dramatic 27-24 win over Stade Francais in the Investec Champions Cup.

Handball – Congratulations to France as they clinched their third title at the IHF Women’s World Championship on Sunday evening, with a sublime performance against reigning champions Norway, taking a 31:28 win, which saw them lift the trophy for the second time in the past four editions of the competition.


Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world's largest shipping group, has announced it is diverting its ships away from the Red Sea because of an increased threat of attacks. French company CMA CGM have also taken a similar step. The decision comes after attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. They say they are targeting ships travelling to Israel.

And - The chief executive of Sellafield has hit back at reports that computer systems at the nuclear site in Cumbria have been hacked. Euan Hutton told the BBC there was no evidence of Sellafield's IT networks having been targeted by groups linked to foreign governments. He also rejected allegations of serious safety failings at the plant. Mr Hutton was responding to claims in a series of articles published in the Guardian earlier this month.


Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 16 degrees in Nice, Monaco, Toulon and Marseille. 17 degrees in Cannes and Saint-Tropez. 12 degrees inland in Tende. This evening going down to 7 degrees in Nice, 4 degrees in Marseille and 3 degrees in Toulon with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday. Tomorrow, mainly fine with highs of 15 degrees. Wednesday cloudy to begin with highs of 14 degrees.

Sunrise       07.58am

Sunset        04.54pm

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