French and Riviera News Monday 5th February 2024

National News France

Parking rates for SUVs to rise in the French capital - Parking rates for SUVs in the French capital are set to increase after Parisians gave their seal of approval. The move triples parking rates for cars weighing 1.6 tonnes or more to €18 an hour in inner Paris. The vote was called for by Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has argued that SUVs are dangerous and bad for the environment. About 1.3m residents of central Paris were able to vote. However, they will not be affected by the result as street-parking for local residents will remain unchanged. The move is mainly aimed at people from the suburbs who drive into the centre of the capital for the day. There are exemptions for fully electric cars, taxi drivers, tradespeople, health workers and people with disabilities. 

Campaigners fight to save part of Marie Curie’s Paris laboratory - In other news nationally in France, campaigners are battling to save part of Marie Curie’s Paris laboratory after opposing a decision to take it apart brick by brick and rebuild it. Those against the plan, which they refer to as “absurd”, have warned that once the Pavillon des Sources is dismantled under the “compromise” plan announced by the new culture minister last week, it is unlikely to be restored. Today, Monday 5th February, campaigners intend to make a last-ditch appeal to the French government and the president, Emmanuel Macron, to preserve the pavilion, one of the few remaining buildings that was used by the Nobel prize-winning scientist.

Local News

40-year-old paraglider falls to his death - A 40-year-old Hungarian man has been killed while paragliding in the Alpes-Maritimes. The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin when the victim, who had been completing a week’s paragliding course, fell to his death. The exact circumstances are not yet known. It was back in July 2011 that the Mont-Gros free flight site in Roquebrune Cap-Martin was closed following a fatal accident, before resuming service more than a year later.

Police stop travellers from settling in Cannes La Bocca - Local authorities have been out in force in Cannes La Bocca after a group of travellers attempted to settle in the area. 25 caravans were stopped by authorities at the motorway exit on Sunday afternoon. They were heading to settle on land in La Roubine when police intervened. Authorities are now looking for a solution to resolve the situation. It was this time last year that around fifty caravans had taken over SNCF land in the same area for several weeks, which led to the railway company filing a complaint.

Sacem official subsidiary in Monaco - Sacem, the French professional association which collects payments of artists’ rights as well as the distribution of rights to original songwriters, composers, and music publishers, has officially opened a subsidiary here in the Principality. Since the beginning of January Sacem Monaco has become an important part of the powerful Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (Sacem) which, since 1851 in France and worldwide enforces copyright so that music creators are paid when their works are publicly performed or used on digital media.

Model makers ambition fails to make the Guinness book of records - The ambition of a French man from the Charente-Maritimes, reported by Riviera Radio in December of last year, to create a model of the famous Eiffel Tower entirely out of matchsticks has gone up in smoke after the Guinness Book of records refused the entry for “not using the right type of matches”. To officially join the Guinness Book of Records, the matches had to be purchased commercially. Plaud had built the 7.2-metre Eiffel Tower, entirely out of matchsticks. However, the matches used to make the model had to be purchased commercially, with the flammable part being removed by scratching it, without cutting it. He had started his project eight years earlier, and completed it on December 27th, 2023, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustave Eiffel.

Dolphins spotted in harbour of Villefranche sur mer – Three dolphins have been spotted in the harbour of Villefranche-sur-Mer. Locals and visitors alike were spoilt on Sunday afternoon with a rare and spectacular display.

Business

Former US president Donald Trump has said he would impose more tariffs on Chinese goods if he wins the US presidential election in November. In an interview with Fox News, he said the tariffs could be in excess of 60%. Mr Trump, currently the front runner for the Republican party, is facing a number of criminal charges including attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. He has denied these. He has long accused China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft.

And – Research has claimed that millions of barrels of fuel made from Russian oil are still being imported to the UK despite sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine.  A so-called "loophole" means Russian crude is refined in countries such as India and the products sold to the UK. This is not illegal and does not breach the UK's Russian oil ban, but critics say it undermines sanctions aimed at restricting Russia's war funds. The UK government denied there had been any imports of Russian oil since 2022.

Sport

Rugby Union - The six nations kicked off with a superb performance from Ireland who beat France 38-17. England managed to beat Italy 27-24 and Scotland beat Wales 27-26 in a match where the winners felt more like the losers described as a “wild ride” and “a journey to the dark side”. Meanwhile Wales coach Warren Gatland described the first half of the match as one of the worst halves of his 30-year coaching career.

In other rugby news, Barry John, the legendary former Cardiff, Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half, has died aged 79. After making his debut in 1966, John played in 25 internationals for Wales and five Tests for the Lions.

Football - In the Premier League on Sunday Bournemouth drew 1-1 against Nottingham Forest, Chelsea lost to Wolves 4-2. Manchester United won 3-0 at home against West Ham and Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-1.  In this evening’s Premier League match Brentford are at home to Manchester City. 

And in other football news according to Le Parisien newspaper Paris St-Germain and France forward Kylian Mbappe, 25, has decided to join Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Cycling - Great Britain won two silver medals and one bronze on the final day of the UCI Track Nations Cup in Adelaide.

Weather

Cloudy with sunny intervals. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, 13 degrees in Monaco and 15 degrees in Saint Tropez and Draguignan, foggy to start, clearing later to give way to clear skies by this afternoon. Light winds.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday sunny intervals and highs of 13-14 degrees.  

Sunrise 07.44am.

Sunset  05.47pm.

And Finally

According to French media a suspected thief has been detained in police custody in the French capital after dropping his phone during a burglary and then calling it to get it back.  Le Parisien newspaper says the intruder fled after being surprised by the resident. The suspect made off with a laptop but, lost his phone while running away. Minutes later, he reportedly rang his own number and offered to hand back the laptop in exchange for his phone. When he returned later that morning, he was arrested by waiting officers.

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