French and Riviera News Thursday 14th September 2023

Witness appeal after man beaten to death outside Var nightclub - Gendarmes in the Var have launched an appeal for witnesses after a soldier was beaten to death outside a nightclub near Toulon on 27th August. Three security guards and five nightclub visitors are facing charges over the attack at the QG nightclub in Solliès-Pont. The charges include battery, failing to assist a person in danger and obstructing rescue efforts. The victim suffered fatal head injuries and prosecutors say his body was dragged from the scene and hidden between two parked cars. He died of his injuries a few days later.

Nice attack latest - More details have emerged about the brutal attack in Nice earlier this week that left a woman in intensive care. The 53-year-old was repeatedly struck in the head and left for dead on Rue d'Italie at about 3am on Tuesday. Prosecutors say the man suspected of attacking her had no apparent motive - and it does not appear that the two knew each other. CCTV allowed police to make an arrest shortly after the attack. The suspect is a man in his 20s. He's been charged with attempted murder.

Mother acquitted after abandoning 18-month-old child - A mother has been acquitted after she abandoned her 18-month-old baby on a street in Nice in November 2021. Passers-by found the unaccompanied child in a pram at Pasteur tram stop. Social workers took 18 months to identify the child's mother. She told court that she had agreed to move to France from Nigeria under false pretences and had been left desolate and penniless. Prosecutors had sought a one-year suspended prison sentence for putting a child in danger - which the judge refused.

New prefect for Alpes-Maritimes - French president Emmanuel Macron has appointed a new prefect for the Alpes-Maritimes. Hugues Moutouh, a 55-year-old lawyer and senior civil servant, moves to the Riviera from the préfecture in the Hérault department. He replaces Bernard Gonzales who has spent four years in the job, a tenure that included enforcing Covid-19 restrictions and the response to Storm Alex.

Marseille worst city for pedestrians - A new report by a campaign group for pedestrian rights has named Marseille as the worst city in France to walk around. The Place aux Piétons collective put Marseille last in its ranking of French cities over 200,000 inhabitants, scoring just 4.3 out of 20. The findings are based on a survey of 70,000 people in cities all over France. Marseille scored poorly for pavements obstructed by vehicles and a lack of infrastructure for pedestrians with disabilities.

Government funding to make Grasse retail park less ugly - Meanwhile, Grasse has made a list of 20 cities around France that could receive government funding to make its out-of-town retail park less ugly. The government has set aside €24 million to renovate commercial zones on the outskirts of towns. La Marigarde in Grasse has been identified as one of the retail parks that is architecturally - and ecologically - outdated. France's minister for trade, Olivia Grégoire, says ugly shopping districts dating from the 1960s that encourage mass consumption and that can often only be reached by car should be a thing of the past. In this experiment, the money will be spent on making these areas more attractive, greener and cleaner. Grasse has been pre-selected for the renovation operation, but the préfecture must still submit a formal application. The final projects will be announced at the end of this year.

Monaco jobs fair tomorrow - The Monegasque government is organising a jobs fair tomorrow, as the principality seeks to fill hundreds of vacant positions. Posters in French, English and Italian are advertising the big recruitment exercise at the Grimaldi forum this Friday. Hotels, restaurants and the construction sector are among those having difficulty filling jobs. Another jobs fair is already being planned for next March, to recruit seasonal workers for next summer's tourist season.

Renovation delays for Star cinema in Cannes - A legendary cinema in the centre of Cannes, which has been closed for seven years, has announced a delay to its renovation plans. Cinéma Star has been a popular venue in the film city since 1913. It shut down in 2016 for financial reasons. Last summer, the building's owner put forward a plan to fully renovate and modernise the cinema. Work was initially due to begin earlier this year and be completed by the second half of next year. But now, a delay means the massive project is not expected to begin until early next year, pushing back the reopening date to spring 2025 at the earliest. The total cost of the cinema's renovation is estimated at €10 million.

House-swapping over holidays grows in popularity - Summer house swaps have seen growing popularity this year, according to stats from a website specialising in holiday exchanges. HomeExchange said it had seen a 30% increase in families in the Paca region trading places with someone elsewhere in the country for their summer getaway. The site said it facilitated 5,000 house swaps over the summer holidays. The Paca region was the third most popular destination after Brittany and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

How much pocket money? - And a new study suggests teenagers in the Paca region receive more pocket money than elsewhere in mainland France. Pixpay, a provider of pre-paid debit cards for teens, says monthly pocket money for 10 to 18-year-olds in the Paca region averages €39. Only Corsican teenagers earn more - €48 per month. The national average is €36.

BUSINESS

The head of oil giant BP has resigned as chief executive amid a review of his personal relationships with colleagues. In a shock announcement, the firm said Bernard Looney, who had led the company since 2020, was stepping down with immediate effect. BP said it had recently started an investigation into alleged relationships Mr Looney had with colleagues, the second in two years. The firm said he had admitted he was not "fully transparent" initially.

The former chairman of China Life Insurance, Wang Bin, has become the latest high-profile boss to be imprisoned as Beijing's crackdown on the financial industry continues. Mr Wang was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. That means that after two years, the sentence will be commuted to life in prison without parole. A court in Jinan in eastern China's Shandong province found Mr Wang guilty of taking $44.6m in bribes.

Apple has confirmed its new iPhone will not feature its proprietary lightning charging port, after the EU forced the change. The tech giant said that the iPhone 15, unveiled at its annual event this week, would use a USB-C cable as the "universally accepted standard". A new Apple Watch series was also unveiled with a more advanced chip.

SPORT

Football - England continued their modern-day superiority in the 150-year rivalry with Scotland by beating their in-form hosts in a friendly at a raucous Hampden Park. The Scots last triumphed in this fixture in 1999. Final score: England 3 - Scotland 1.

Argentina rested Lionel Messi but still beat Bolivia 3-0 to make it two wins from two in World Cup qualifying.

After 26 years and 137 caps Ildefons Lima has played his last game for Andorra - ending the longest career in men's international football. The 43-year-old made his Andorra debut aged 17 in a 4-1 loss to Estonia in 1997, scoring in the nation's second ever official fixture. He has played in every decade since and on Tuesday he started his final international match, a 3-0 defeat by Switzerland. After 23 minutes he was substituted and was given a standing ovation by Swiss and Andorran supporters as he left the field. In 2021, Guinness World Records claimed Lima had achieved the longest international playing career.

Formula 1 - This weekend it's the Singapore Grand Prix. Red Bull remarkably remain unbeaten in 2023 and Max Verstappen is on an unprecedented run of 10 consecutive wins.

WEATHER

Sunny spells on the coast, the chance of thunderstorms and light rain further inland in both the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var this afternoon, temperatures reaching 26 degrees celsius on the coast and 27 inland with light variable winds. The stormy weather inland should pass by this evening, leaving a partly cloudy night and overnight temperatures going down to 20 on the coast and 17 further inland. The outlook for Friday: generally fine and sunny, some occasional light cloud and up to 25 degrees on the Alpes-Maritimes coast, 27 on the Var coast and 28 inland. The weekend looks set to be rainy on Saturday, sunny spells on Sunday.

BEACH WEATHER

On the beach in Nice this afternoon there'll be sunny spells, 24 degrees celsius with a gentle breeze. The sea temperature is 25 degrees and the UV index is 6. In Saint-Tropez, there'll also be sunny intervals, light winds and 26 degrees celsius. The water temperature is 24 degrees and the UV index is also 6.

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