French and Riviera News Thursday 16th November 2023

News

Demonstration ban continues - The Alpes-Maritimes prefecture will once again ban a demonstration “For a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis” planned for Saturday in Nice. As with previous mobilizations, the prefecture issued a decree to enforce the ban justifying its decision by the, "tense geopolitical context", threats of "disturbances to public order", "fear for the Jewish community" and "a significant increase in acts of an anti-Semitic nature", notably in the Alpes-Maritimes region with 32 people arrested in the department since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. Last week, 450 people gathered in Nice to demonstrate after the demonstration which had already been banned by the Prefecture was finally authorized by the Nice administrative court.

Weather warning due to strong winds - Meteo France has issued a yellow weather alert due to strong winds expected in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var. Gusts of around 70 km/h are forecast from 9pm this Thursday evening possibly reaching 110km in places in the Var. The warning is in place until 3pm on Friday.

I Love Nice sign - If you regularly walk past the I Love Nice sign next to the sea near the port in Nice, you might have noticed that it's changed colour. Normally painted in patriotic blue, white and red, the sign is now orange. The change is in support of the United Nations Orange Day to combat violence against women on 25 November.

Mayor invites people to ask questions - If you've always wanted to ask Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi a question, you now have the opportunity to do so. The mayor said today that people are welcome to ask him questions on any subject via social networks and he will answer them directly on a regular basis on video. He said that being attentive to questions is one of his priorities and has led to him opening "a more direct channel of discussion".

Talk about the weather during your coffee break - According to a recent study talking about money during your work coffee break is frowned upon more than discussing sex or religion, but discussing the weather is ultimately the safest bet. The Ifop study found that 74% of French employees have a “work bestie”. 40% consider it preferable to separate professional and private life and a quarter of French employees believe that their working conditions have deteriorated over the past year. So, if in doubt about what to discuss over the coffee machine stick to the weather which is a safe bet with 78% of those surveyed talking about rain and shine with their colleagues.

Art expert to face trial - A leading French art expert is to face trial on charges of forgery for building furniture that he falsely claimed to be from the 18th century and that was sold at high prices to buyers, including the famous Palace of Versailles. Bill Pallot, an expert on 18th-century French furniture, is charged with implementing the scam between 2008 and 2015, in one of the biggest forgery scandals to rock the art world in recent years.

Valuable painting escapes rubbish tip – Meanwhile, a painting dating from the 13th century which was heading for the rubbish tip during a house clearance has been acquired by the Louvre in Paris. There was a dramatic turn in events when the owner’s family called in an expert at the last minute to see if there was anything of value in the property. Thinking the work could be worth up to €400,000, the expert sent it to an art specialist in Paris who declared it to be a genuine Cimabue. The museum says the pre-Renaissance painting, now one of the oldest works in its collection, will be the centrepiece of an exhibition in 2025 after a four-year effort to keep it in France.  

 

Business

Football club Manchester United has confirmed its chief executive of two years, Richard Arnold, "has decided to step down" as part of a "management transition". Arnold will be replaced by Patrick Stewart, on an interim basis. The change is taking place as the club's owners finalise the sale of a minority stake to the petrochemical’s billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The supermarket chain Iceland has scrapped its Christmas advert this year to "support its customers". The managing director of the company said the decision was a "no-brainer" as nearly a third plan to spend less this Christmas. In a post on X, Richard Walker said: "Rather than spend millions creating and sharing a TV ad, we chose to invest the money supporting our customers during the cost-of-living crisis." This year will see advertisers spend a record amount of £9.5bn during the Christmas season, according to data released by the Advertising Association and the World Advertising Research Centre. That is an increase of 4.8% from last year's record spend of £9bn.

As reported earlier this week in Riviera Radio’s business news the union representing thousands of Starbucks workers in the US is staging a walkout today on one of the coffee chain's busiest days of the year. The action comes amid a bitter fight between Starbucks and Starbucks Workers United, which started organising workers at the company in 2021. The two sides are fighting over pay, scheduling and other issues. Roughly 200 stores are expected to be affected by the strike action.

Data has shown that the UK inflation fell sharply in October to its lowest rate in two years, largely due to lower energy prices. Inflation dropped to 4.6% in the year to October, down from 6.7% the month before. The government says its pledge to halve inflation by end of the year has been met early.

Sport

Cricket – In the Cricket World Cup India have reached the final by holding off New Zealand on a memorable night in Mumbai that included a record-breaking 50th one-day international century.

Football - Chelsea could face further scrutiny from football's authorities over reports of payments connected to the club's former owner Roman Abramovich. The Guardian has reported that leaked files show the Russian billionaire used offshore companies to make transactions worth tens of millions of pounds to agents and associates which appear to have been for the club's benefit and could have breached financial rules if they were not officially declared. Chelsea was fined £8.6m by Uefa in July as part of a settlement for breaking Financial Fair Play rules as a result of "submitting incomplete financial information" between 2012 and 2019.

Rugby Union - Burglars have broken into South Africa Rugby Union's headquarters, however the World Cup trophy was not taken. The burglary took place on Monday at an office park in Cape Town's northern suburbs.

Formula One – F1 is holding it first grand prix this weekend on the famous Las Vegas Strip creating what it hopes will be the most spectacular event the sport has ever staged. Formula One has so far spent more than £500m on the Las Vegas Grand Prix. That outlay includes £196m on buying a plot of land, and a further £327m on erecting a permanent pit building and preparing the track. The city is expecting 105,000 spectators on each of the three days of track action, culminating in the grand prix itself, unusually running on a Saturday night and with a start time of 22:00 (06:00 GMT on Sunday).

Athletics - Ultra-marathon runner Joasia Zakrzewski has been banned for 12 months by UK Athletics for using a car in a race. The runner who accepted a medal and trophy for finishing third in the 2023 GB Ultras Manchester to Liverpool 50-mile race on 7 April was reportedly found to have travelled by car. Tracking information later showed she travelled by car for about 2.5 miles before continuing the race. Zakrzewski claimed she told officials she used a car and finished the race "in a non-competitive way".

Weather

Mainly fine highs of 19 degrees in Nice and Cannes, 18 degrees in Monaco and Saint-Tropez. A freeze breeze in the Alpes Maritimes and moderate winds in the Var. This evening going down to 12 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend. Strong winds are forecast in places tomorrow otherwise sunny with highs of 18-19 degrees.

Sunrise                07.25am

Sunset                 05.04pm

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