French and Riviera News Thursday 13th April 2023

News

Strike action - Between 400,000 to 600,000 demonstrators are expected to take to the streets in France today on the 12th day of mobilisation against the pension reform. 11,500 police and gendarmes have been mobilized, including 4,200 in Paris, where at 2pm protestors plan to gather at the Place de l'Opéra heading towards the Place de la Bastille. The strike action comes ahead of tomorrow Friday 14th April, when the Constitutional Council makes its decision on the legality of the reform which will postpone the legal age of retirement in France from 62 to 64 years old.

As usual, public transportation will be affected. Lignes d'Azur have said that some bus lines on their network will be disrupted but tram services in Nice will still operate. The SNCF have said that 3 out of 5 local TER trains are expected to operate nationally and 4 TGV trains out of 5. One inter- city service out of five will operate and no night trains are expected to run. The SNCF said that Eurostar services will run almost as normal. Demonstrations are planned at several locations across our region including in Nice, Draguignan, Brignoles, Toulon and Marseille. Garbage collectors in Paris are set to resume their renewable strike from tomorrow and dducation unions have also called for mobilization.

Eight victims following collapse of building in Marseille - The prosecutor’s office in Marseille has confirmed that eight people lost their lives in the rubble of the building destroyed by a gas explosion that occurred on Sunday at 17 rue de Tivoli. More than 300 people were evacuated and for 89 of them, including 12 minors, accommodation has been provided in hotels in the city.

Fatal road accident - One person has died and one has been seriously injured after an accident in a tunnel in Ventimiglia last night. Reports say that both were riding motorcycles and the deceased man was employed as a waiter in Monaco.

Technician recused from pylon - A technician has been injured by a high-pressure water jet while cleaning a pylon in Plan-d'Aups in the Var. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when the 28-year-old injured his hand while 60 metres from the ground. The victim was rescued by the emergency services and taken to hospital in Marseille.

Distracted pedestrian fined - A distracted pedestrian has been fined in Monaco for having caused a collision with a moped. A first in the Principality, the 50-year-old was handed a suspended 500 euros fine for having caused the accident on April 12th after crossing the road outside of the zebra crossing, causing the moped driver to fall off.

Football coach contests racist claims - Christophe Galtier coach at PSG football club and former coach of OGC Nice has firmly contested claims that he made racist remarks against players while he was coaching in Nice. The French coach moved from Nice to PSG in the summer of 2022. According to reports from journalists, Christophe Galtier would have notably declared to Julien Fournier former sports director of OGC Nice, that he "could not have so many blacks and Muslims in the team".

French actor Gérard Depardieu accused of sexual violence - Thirteen women have accused French actor Gérard Depardieu of sexual violence in an investigation published this week by the Mediapart. The women denounce facts which would have mainly occurred on the set of eleven films, between 2004 and 2022. The actor, already indicted for rape and sexual assault since March 2022, "formally denies" the accusations.

“Aging well” bill presented to French parliament - France's parliament is debating a bill aimed at adapting society to the growing number of people over 85. The so-called “aging well” bill, presented to MPs this week, aims to make it easier to identify and take care of isolated old people, better report cases of abuse, and offer more help for home carers. Concrete measures include creating a professional card for home carers to give them easier access to parking and less queueing when shopping. Dedicated cells would also be set up in each French department where cases of abuse of the elderly could be reported and centralised. A "single counter" would be introduced to facilitate help for families taking care of dependent, elderly relatives. France has around 2 million people aged over 85. By 2030 there will be 4.8 million – outnumbering the under 15s.

Monegasque population - Finally, figures from the Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies have revealed that despite 2021- showing one of the lowest birth rates in the last fifteen years, Monegasques saw their population increase by 75 in 2022. 2022 recorded 9,686 people with Monegasque nationality, 5,263 women and 4,423 men. The average age of Monegasques is 45 years and life expectancy is estimated at 86.  In 2022, as in 2019, 96 marriages were celebrated with the average age of a first marriage being 33 for men and 31 for women. Divorce statistics, showed around thirty divorces per year since 2017.

Business

A judge has sanctioned Fox News after claims it withheld evidence in a $1.6bn (£1.3bn) defamation lawsuit. Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit argues that Fox News damaged its reputation by airing election conspiracy theories. Dominion said Fox News did not turn over certain recordings. Fox News says its lawyers produced the materials as soon as they learned of them. The judge also complained that Rupert Murdoch's leadership role at Fox had not been made clear to the court.

E-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs has agreed to pay $462m (£372m) to settle claims by six US states after being accused of targeting teenagers. Several states also accused the firm of falsely marketing its vapes as less addictive than cigarettes. The firm did not admit wrongdoing and said the latest deal was part of its "commitment to resolve issues from the company's past".

And - National Public Radio (NPR) in the US has announced it will stop using Twitter in a row over how its account is described. The US not-for-profit news organisation clashed with the social media platform over its decision to describe the outlet as "government-funded media". NPR says it undermines its credibility, as US government funding accounts for less than 1% of its budget.

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

World number five Daniil Medvedev has claimed his first clay-court win of the year with a straight-set victory over Italy's Lorenzo Sonego to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters. Medvedev, beat Sonego 6-3 6-2.

The last 16 is set at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, with all eight third-round matches on today’s schedule. Medvedev, will play Germany's Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic will take on Lorenzo Musetti and two pairs of Top 10 seeds will square off as Jannik Sinner meets Hubert Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev plays Karen Khachanov. Other Top 10 seeds in action include two-time defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, fourth seed Casper Ruud and sixth seed Holger Rune, who will meet Matteo Berrettini.

Sport

Football - Ten men Chelsea lost 2-0 in their first leg away to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday. Chelsea must score at least twice in next Tuesday's quarter-final return leg at Stamford Bridge, but they are now without a goal in their past four matches.

Golf - Fairmont St Andrews will become the first Scottish venue to host an Asian Tour event. The inaugural St Andrews Bay Championship will be played from 24-27 August St Andrews has previously staged events on the DP World and European Seniors Tours, as well as qualifying for the Open Championship. The 156-strong field will compete for a minimum $1.5m prize purse.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 17 degrees in Monaco, Vence and Saint-Tropez. Highs of 19 degrees in Nice and Antibes, 20 degrees in Cannes. Strong winds are forecast for Cannes and Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 8 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Friday fine with strong winds in the Var. Highs of 17-18 degrees. Sunny intervals on Saturday with a risk of rain inland and highs of 17 degrees.

Sunrise       06.51am

Sunset        08.10pm

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