French and Riviera News Monday 8th January 2024

News

Cold spell to hit France - France is preparing itself this week for a cold spell which is forecast to affect the whole of the country, with the coldest day of the week expected to be tomorrow Tuesday 9th January. After several weeks of abnormally mild weather, temperatures are to drop suddenly with some regions being more affected than others. The east of France is expected to see the lowest temperatures with -15°C forecast locally. Almost all of mainland France will be negative: -5°C in Strasbourg, Clermont-Ferrand and Lille; -4°C in Bordeaux; -3°C in Dijon, La Rochelle, Montpellier and Toulouse; -2°C in Lyon and Brest and -1°C in Perpignan. Temperatures will warm up a little in the south by Wednesday afternoon, with 10°C in Perpignan, 11°C in Marseille and 12°C in Nice.

Government reshuffle - In what has been described amongst French politicians as a situation of “Russian roulette”. French President Emmanuel Macron has met with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, to discuss “important issues” as a possible government reshuffle is on the cards. Macron met with Borne on Sunday evening to discuss the devastating floods in the Pas-de-Calais and the arrival of a cold spell across the country this week. New measures are expected to be announced today, Monday 8th January, to help flood victims. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has held her position for twenty months, despite “everyone giving her no more than three weeks as head of the government”. Now however, there appears to be a majority calling for a new Prime Minister.

Train strike - Train traffic in our region is expected to be disrupted today and tomorrow due to strike action. The president of the regional council Renaud Muselier has denounced the latest strike action saying that it comes “at the worst possible time” as many return to work and school after the holidays. Unions are striking against the possible privatization of the rail service with 100% of drivers in the Alpes Maritimes planning to take part in the action. On its website, the SNCF confirms that TER traffic will be “seriously disrupted on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 January 2024 on the lines between Nice and Marseille, the Côte d'Azur and the Roya valley”. If you are planning on travelling by train you are advised to check on the website before travelling.

Apartment fire - An apartment in Monaco has been partly devastated after a fire broke out on Friday evening. 21 firefighters intervened shortly after 8pm at the Auteuil residence, located at 2 boulevard du Ténao. One man was injured and was taken to the Princess Grace Hospital Centre. According to the first elements of the investigation, it seems that a halogen lamp had accidentally fallen on the bed of the occupant of the premises.

Minister of State defends TV Monaco - Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout has defended TV Monaco following criticism from elected officials about the budget for the new public channel. Speaking to local media Dartout points out that “the channel, which is just starting, will gradually grow, develop its audience and generate advertising revenue, which will in turn compensate for the expenses". It was during the December budget debates that national advisors questioned the princely government on the substantial funds (24 million euros) allocated to the Monegasque public channel. TV Monaco was launched on September 1st, 2023 and is the first national public channel in the history of the Principality.

Number of births in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez - 439 births were recorded in the Gulf of Saint- Tropez last year with 226 boys and 213 girls revealing a drop in the number of births compared to 2022. The latest data also showed that some of the most popular names in the area remained some of the old French classics such as Gaston and Pierre for boys and Abigaele and Alice for girls.

Survey - According to a survey published on Sunday young people aged between 16 and 24 in France, know little about the history of France and Europe. The results have revealed significant gaps. Nearly half (46%) of respondents do not know, for example, that the French Revolution took place in 1789, when nearly seven out of ten young people (69%) are unable to place when women obtained the right to vote in France (1944). The results were similar for historical questions that concern European history. Six out of ten young people (60%) do not know when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and 63% do not know that Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933. The survey showed that 16–24-year-olds chose social networks as their main news outlet.

Guinness Book of Records – Finally, it's taken eight years to make and is now hoping to officially join the Guinness Book of records, a 7.20-metres matchstick model of the Eiffel Tower. Completed using 706,900 matches and nearly 23 kilos of glue the model was completed on Friday by Richard Plaud, a resident of Charente-Maritime, Plaud embarked on this crazy construction on December 30th, 2015, and completed it on December 27th, 2023, the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustave Eiffel.

Business

China has announced sanctions on five Western defence firms over the latest round of US arms sales to Taiwan. The announcement comes as Taiwan prepares to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on 13 January. US weapons sales to Taiwan are a frequent source of tension between Beijing and Washington. Last month, the US State Department approved a $300m (£236m) sale of equipment to help maintain Taiwan's tactical information systems.

The US aviation regulator has said 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes will remain grounded until it is satisfied the planes are safe. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been inspecting the jets after part of an Alaska Airlines plane's fuselage fell off on Friday. The FAA said its first priority was "keeping the flying public safe". Thousands of passengers saw their flights cancelled after major US airlines grounded dozens of the jets.

The owners of SoundCloud, one of the world's largest music streaming services, are preparing for a sale that could fetch in excess of $1bn. Founded in 2007, SoundCloud provides artists with the tools to build their careers by providing them with an online home to publish their work. In total, more than 40 million artists have released 320 million tracks on the platform.

Sport

Football - Liverpool have knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup with two late goals on Sunday evening. With a 2-0 Liverpool now reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

This evening in the third round Wigan are at home to Manchester United. Kick off is at 9.15pm French time.

Locally AS Monaco beat Lens in a crazy penalty shootout and now advances to the 16th round of the Coupe de France.

Cricket – Australia have beated Pakistan by eight wickets in David Warner's final Test match to seal a 3-0 series clean sweep.

Today in Men’s One Day International Series Sri Lanka play Zimbabwe.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal will miss the Australian Open and instead return to Spain for treatment on a hip injury he sustained at the Brisbane International.

Rugby Union - Gloucester fell to a record-breaking ninth consecutive Premiership defeat as they were beaten 17-10 by rivals Bath.

Weather

Cloudy, with highs of 10 degrees in Nice, 9 degrees in Monaco and Saint-Tropez, 8 degrees in Rayol Canadel and 6 degrees in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. A gentle breeze with the chance of some scattered showers in places. This evening going down to 5 degrees and cloudy.

The outlook for tomorrow rain with highs of 9 degrees. Wednesday cloudy highs of 10 degrees.

Sunrise       08.04am

Sunset                 05.11pm

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