French and Riviera News Thursday 12th January 2023

News

Stabbing attack at Gare du Nord - The man who stabbed and injured six people at the Gare du Nord in Paris on Wednesday morning has been identified as a Libyan, aged around 20, who arrived in France 3 years ago. According to reports the individual was already known to police and was under an obligation to leave French territory in the summer of 2022. The attacked happed early on Wednesday morning at the entrance to the Gare du Nord. France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said a man was stopped by two off-duty police officers who were returning home from a shift. He said the suspected attacker was shot three times and taken to hospital with serious injuries. Authorities are trying to establish if there was a motive for the attack. Mr Darmanin thanked the police for their "brave and effective" intervention, which he said saved many lives.

Franco-British summit - French President Emmanuel Macron is to welcome British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Paris for a bilateral summit at the Elysée Palace in early March. According to a statement from the Elysée Palace on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron has invited the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Paris on 10 March for a bilateral summit, as the two countries seek to revive their ties after recent tensions. The Franco-British summit "will be the first meeting of its kind since 2018”. Relations between France and Britain have come under stress in recent years, in particular since Britain officially left the European Union in January 2021.

Crit’Air - Crit'Air vignettes for low emission zones will come into force in April in Toulon. Scheduled to be implemented on January 1st, 2023, the measure should finally be applied next April. The delay has been justified by authorities due to what they say is the “social impact on the least favoured population”. Officially set for January 1st, 2023, the measure is already in force in Nice, Marseille and Lyon, with stickers ranging from 0 to 5 depending on the pollution level of the vehicle.

Brigitte Macron in Nice for launch of “Pieces Jaunes” charity campaign - Brigitte Macron has been in Nice. On Wednesday France’s First Lady visited the Woman, Mother and Child department at the CHU hospital and later launched the “Pieces Jaunes” charity campaign for 2023 at the Kiosque in Nice. The First Lady was accompanied by Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi and French national football manager Didier Deschamps.

Nice and Cannes are among the cities where the rich and the poor mix the most - Nice and Cannes are among the cities where the rich and the poor mix the most. According to the study published by INSEE on Wednesday the segregation between the richest and poorest populations has increased in most major French cities between 2004 and 2019. The study shows that Marseille, Lille, Rouen, Tours, Angers, Le Havre, Avignon, Limoges and Poitiers are among the least mixed cities. However, Grenoble, Nice, Saint-Etienne and Cannes are where the two populations mix the most.

Could Brad Pitt to settle permanently in the Var? - Finally, American actor Brad Pitt could settle permanently in the Var. The Château Miraval acquired in 2008 in the Var could become much more than a pied-à-terre for the famous American actor who is reported to already be thinking about early retirement. According to an interview with US media Pitt would indeed be thinking of gradually moving away from cinema in the next few years to devote himself to more personal projects. The American actor is particularly fond of the Var, where he has already acquired the Château de Miraval wine estate and where he has been showing his winemaking talents since 2011. It is also in this sumptuous setting that he chose to reopen the legendary Miraval studios, where Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Cure and Muse have recorded in the past and it was last summer that he also entrusted the manufacturing and packaging of his range of anti-aging cosmetics from the grapes at Château Miraval.

Business

Collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX has located more than $5bn (£4.1bn) of assets. However, a US bankruptcy court was told on Wednesday that the extent of losses to customers is still not known. Prosecutors have accused FTX's former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried of orchestrating an "epic" fraud that may have cost investors, customers, and lenders billions of dollars. Mr Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to charges that he cheated investors.

Sri Lanka's central bank has urged China and India to agree a write-down of their loans as soon as possible. The crisis-hit Indian Ocean state defaulted on its debt repayments and negotiated a $2.9bn (£2.4bn) bailout. But the International Monetary Fund will not release the cash until China and India first agree to reduce Sri Lanka's billions of dollars of debt.

Normal air traffic operations are slowly resuming in the US after flights were halted on Wednesday.  The disruption was due to a "damaged database file" and "at this time, there is no evidence of a cyber-attack". Flights began taking off again though airlines have warned of further delays. Airports nationwide were affected, from Denver to Atlanta to New York City.

And - The world's richest man, Bernard Arnault, has appointed his daughter to head up fashion house Dior. Mr Arnault promoted Delphine Arnault, 47, as part of a reshuffle at LVMH, Europe's most valuable company. It owns a portfolio of high-end brands including Fendi and Louis Vuitton and is worth about £336bn. All five of Mr Arnault's children hold management positions at brands in the group.

Sport

Football – Southampton have stunned Manchester City with a 2-0 win last night seeing them qualify for the EFL Cup semi-finals. Manager Nathan Jones recorded the biggest win of his short reign at Southampton as they beat favourites Manchester City.

Locally, it was a fanfare debut for Didier Digard as OGC Nice crushed Montpellier 6-1 at home on the 18th day of Ligue 1 last night.

Tonight, in the Premier League Fulham are at home to Chelsea. Kick off is at 9pm French time.

And - French football's most powerful administrator for more than a decade Noël Le Graët has been sidelined from his post as president of the Fédération française de football (FFF). Le Graët's retirement was announced nearly 18 months before the end of his fourth term. The 81-year-old had been fighting to keep his job since Sunday following disparaging comments made during a radio interview on the RMC about the former France international Zinedine Zidane. Asked whether the 50-year-old former Real Madrid boss had contacted the FFF about possibly replacing Didier Deschamps as head coach of the France national team, Le Graët responded: "I wouldn't even have taken his call on the phone”.  "To tell him what? 'Hello sir, don't worry, look for another club, I just agreed a contract with Didier." Even though Le Graët apologised for his remarks on Monday, his clumsiness unleashed a wave of discontent.

Tennis - Rising British star Jack Draper will play top seed Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open first round. The Australian Open, which is the first Grand Slam tournament of the new season, takes place at Melbourne Park between 16-29 January.

Rugby Union - England captain Owen Farrell is set to be available for their Six Nations opener with Scotland despite a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle. His ban will be reduced to three weeks if he completes the World Rugby coaching intervention programme. That would allow him to be picked by new England boss Steve Borthwick to face Scotland on 4 February.

Weather

Mainly fine with highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Saint-Paul de Vence, Mougins and Antibes and a moderate breeze. Lights winds sunshine and highs of 16 degrees in Cannes. Marseille highs of 14 degrees. This evening going down to 7 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend. Fine tomorrow, sunny intervals on Saturday highs of between 15-16 degrees.

Sunrise       08.02hr

Sunset        17.14hr

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