French and Riviera News Monday 23rd October 2023


French President to visit Israel - French President Emmanuel Macron is to visit Israel tomorrow, Tuesday October 24th. Macron is to meet with Israeli Prime Mininster Benjamin Netanyahu. The visit of the French head of state comes more than two weeks after the deadly attacks by Palestinian Hamas on Israeli territory, which left more than 1,400 dead, including 30 French nationals. Seven French people are still missing.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations - At the weekend 15,000 people gathered in Paris in support of the Palestinians in what was the first pro-Palestinian demonstration in the capital not to have been initially banned by the police. Locally in Nice on Sunday, despite the prefect’s ban, people demonstrated on Place Masséna in support of the Palestinian population which led to the two organisers’ being arrested.

Warning against over-the-counter cold remedies - France’s Medicines Safety Agency has raised the alarm concerning over the counter cold remedies such as Actifed, Dolirhume, Nurofen and Humex saying they are suspected of increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Best-sellers in pharmacies across France during the winter season and available without a prescription, last year alone, 3 million boxes were sold. Although the agency does not yet have formal proof of exactly how dangerous they are, the Agency has decided to advise against them as a precaution. Unable to ban or suspend their marketing, a decision which needs to be taken by the European Union, in the meantime France is asking pharmacists to no longer promote them.

Demonstrations against the construction of motorway - Police have intervened following protests from ecologists on Sunday, against the construction of the A69 motorway planned in southern France connecting the city of Toulouse with Castres. Some of the demonstrators set up camp on the site with radical individuals spilling over onto private property. Police decided to intervene on Sunday October 22 at around 1 p.m.

Demonstration in Nice - VTC or (Tourist Vehicle with Driver) drivers are planning to demonstrate in Nice today Monday 23rd October. The VTC 06/83 union has called for action against the poor working condition and poor pay. They also want elected officials to take an interest in the regulation of their profession. According to the union the future of their profession is in danger if nothing is done. Traffic is the West of the city is expected to be disrupted due to the demonstration.

Residents express anger - Residents of Saint Martin Vesubie in the hinterland behind Nice, have expressed their anger after being cut off from the world once again, three years after Storm Alex following storm Aline which hit the area on Friday. The Nice Côte d'Azur metropolis has ensured the community that it is its "immediate priority" to restore road access which has once again been damaged by the bad weather.  The temporary road which connected the heart of Saint-Martin-Vésubie to Venanson was swept away on Friday evening and a temporary bridge which allowed access from one bank to the other was also damaged. Local authorities have announced that a makeshift bridge will be put in place to allow the 170 people isolated in Venanson to reach Saint-Martin-Vésubie and on Saturday equipment was already on site. A helicopter also transported 2.5 tonnes of food, water and hygiene products to the residents of the now isolated village.

Homemade - A new law could see restaurants in France obliged to indicate dishes which are not homemade on their menus. The labelling has existed since 2014 but has been “optional” and is rarely used. The change however would see it become an obligation by 2025. The French government says it wants to provide “more transparency, to everyday customers and tourists alike”. The president of the French association of master restaurateurs, Alain Fontaine, estimates that only 7,000 restaurants offer “totally homemade cuisine”.

Lottery winner to represent his country at the European Pool Championship - And finally, a tiler whose first purchase after winning £2.4 million on the UK National Lottery was a pool table is now set to experience his “proudest moment” as he prepares to represent his country at the European Pool Championships in Malta. Neil Jones, 59, had just £13 in his pocket when he and his partner Julie Kirkham won the life-changing cash just before Christmas 2010.


In a report published today Monday 23rd October, by the EU Tax Observatory, it has been suggested that governments should open a new front in the international clampdown on tax evasion with a global minimum tax on billionaires which could raise 250 billion dollars annually. The report points out the previous plans for a minimum tax rate have only brought in a third of what was hoped for. The 2024 Global Tax Evasion Report shows that currently billionaires' effective personal tax is often far less than what other taxpayers of more modest means pay because they can park wealth in shell companies sheltering them from income tax. Some have spoken of an epidemic of tax evasion and avoidance which “has reached an unprecedented scale”.  While millions across the world live in poverty, rich individuals and companies, exploiting the secrecy provided by tax havens, are continuing to dodge their taxes, depriving the poorest countries from being able to provide vital services.

Oil prices have slid more than $1 as diplomatic efforts grew over the weekend to contain a conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, amid worries of a wider confrontation in the oil-rich region and pressure on supplies. Brent crude futures fell 67 cents to $91.49 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 72 cents to trade at $87.36 a barrel, after sliding $1.72 to $87.03 a barrel earlier on Monday.

Chinese state media has reported that an investigation has been launched into Taiwan-based iPhone-maker Foxconn. Foxconn says it will co-operate with the investigation. Foxconn is the biggest maker of iPhones and is one of the largest employers in the world.


Rugby World Cup – It was disappointment for the England team and fans, as they surprised many in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup by being very much in the lead for most of the match on Saturday night only for South Africa to finish and win the game 16-15 with a last minute one point lead, a similar episode as that experienced by France just a week earlier. England’s head coach Steve Borthwick said he was “disappointed but immensely proud”.

The final of the Rugby World Cup which takes place on Saturday October 28th, will now see New Zealand play South Africa, after New Zealand beat Argentina 44-6 in the other semi-final match on Friday.

Football – Manchester City say they will act after a "small number of individuals" were heard singing offensive chants following the death of Sir Bobby Charlton. The world of football united in tribute to Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who died on Saturday. Charlton, who "passed peacefully in the early hours of the morning" after being diagnosed with dementia in 2020, lifted three league titles, an FA Cup and a European Cup in a distinguished 17-year career at Old Trafford. He also scored 49 goals in 106 appearances for the Three Lions, famously helping them win the World Cup in 1966. City have condemned the chants, which were heard during their game against Brighton on Saturday afternoon. The club say they are "extremely disappointed" by the reports.

Formula One – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the US Grand Prix at the weekend. In a race which saw Lewis Hamilton disqualified from second place with his car being declared illegal for excessive wear on the underfloor skid blocks. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc suffered the same fate after finishing sixth. Hamilton's disqualification promoted McLaren's Lando Norris to second and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to third.


Cloudy, with highs of 23 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Saint-Tropez. Strong winds and scattered showers are forecast for the Var. Rain inland in Puget Théniers with highs of 20 degrees. Reaching 26 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 14 degrees with cloudy skies and rain in places.

The outlook for Tuesday, unsettled with showers and possible thunderstorms inland highs of just 21 degrees. Wednesday fine with highs of 24 degrees.

Sunrise       07.54am

Sunset        06.34pm

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