French and Riviera News Thursday 18th April

Floating beach resort off Riviera coast gets green light to open - The owners of a vast floating artificial island that had been planned for last summer off the coast of Mandelieu have won a legal battle to be allowed to go ahead. Canua Island is a 1,700-square-metre platform that had sought permission to be anchored 600 metres from the shore, with room for 350 people who will be ferried out by shuttle boat. The private resort features a restaurant, bar-lounge and freshwater swimming pool. It was built in Italy and has been sitting idle in a dock in La Seyne-sur-Mer since last May. Environmental campaigners gathered a 15,000-strong petition arguing that the floating beach resort would have "catastrophic environmental consequences", as well as causing noise and light pollution. They also said it sets a dangerous precedent - and could lead to many more floating resorts being granted permission to clutter the Med. But management at Canua Island say they have won their legal challenge and now have all the necessary permits needed to open to the public. Work is under way to recruit 100 staff.

Missing hiker’s body found - The body has been found of an 88-year-old hiker suffering from Alzheimer's who went missing two years ago in Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée. An intense search operation was carried out in May 2022, including thermal imaging helicopters and mountain rescue dogs, after Augustine Rapuc went missing. A hiker raised the alarm last week after discovering her remains, clothes and keys. The Nice prosecutor's office has begun an investigation and the results of a post-mortem are pending. The most likely scenario is she suffered a fall while out walking alone.

Mass brawl in Villefranche - Two people were taken to hospital with stab wounds after a fight broke out on a street in Villefranche-sur-Mer last night. Police were called out to the Boulevard de la Corne d'Or in what's believed to have been a settling of scores between two people involved in a financial dispute. About 20 hooded men were involved in the fight. Two men in their late 20s were stabbed, in the hip and cheek respectively, and treated at Pasteur 2 hospital. Police are treating the incident as attempted murder and are trying to identify the attacker.

Cagnes youth curfew back in force - Cagnes-sur-Mer has reintroduced its late-night curfew, which bans all children under the age of 13 from being outdoors without their parents between 11pm and 6am. The measure has been in place every year from mid-April to the end of October since 2004. It applies to the centre of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Cros-de-Cagnes and the Val-Fleuri neighbourhood. If a child is found on the street unaccompanied at night, their parents risk a fine. According to the town hall, the measure works. Since 2010, no sanctions have been issued.

Walkers find cocaine on beach - A group of walkers in the Var have discovered €100,000 worth of pure cocaine on a beach. They were enjoying a stroll in Six-Fours when they saw an unusual object floating on the water surface a few metres off the shore. Out of curiosity, they went to see what it was - then alerted police. It's believed the 1.2 kilos of drugs washed up on the beach from a passing boat. Police, gendarmes and customs officers searched the area for further clues without luck. The drug will be analysed in a lab to try to determine where it's come from and make any possible link with other cases.

IOC to discuss Winter Games venues - Representatives from the International Olympic Committee will be visiting the French Alps and the Riviera next week, as delicate discussions continue about which venues could host the 2030 Winter Games. France has been retained as the sole candidate to host the event - an application that's been jointly backed by the Paca and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions. But, while Isola 2000 featured in the initial plan, according to some reports, hopes of the Riviera ski resorts hosting some of the skiing and snowboarding events are fading. The IOC is reportedly keen to concentrate the 2030 Winter Games at fewer venues and avoid having events too far from each other - and Isola could be one of the places to miss out as a result. The mayor of Isola, for now, remains hopeful. An official announcement is expected this summer, before the Paris Olympics begin.

SBM provides drivers for Be Safe shuttle - The Monte-Carlo SBM has announced it will give funding this summer to an initiative that aims to prevent drink-driving in the principality. Be Safe Monaco provides breathalyser self-testing kits and gives a free ride home to night-owls in Monaco who find they've exceeded the drink-drive limit. In July and August, the SBM will second two drivers and a vehicle to reinforce the Be Safe shuttle service. It will operate seven nights a week from 1am until 5am, and can take passengers as far as Menton or Nice.

BUSINESS

The UK’s annual inflation rate fell by less than expected last month to 3.2%, complicating the timing of a potential first Bank of England interest rate cut. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed inflation continued to ease in March from 3.4% in February to reach the lowest level since September 2021, as food prices rose at a slower pace than a year earlier.

United Airlines has blamed Boeing for a $200m (£161m) hit to its earnings in the first three months of this year. The carrier was forced to ground its Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet for three weeks after a mid-air cabin blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight in January. United said that pushed it to a pre-tax loss of $164m for the first quarter.
The airline said it "would have reported a quarterly profit" otherwise. However, the loss was smaller than Wall Street expected and United's shares rose by more than 5% after the announcement.

And Asos has said it will take “necessary actions” to transform its fortunes after the fast fashion retailer’s first-half losses widened and sales fell by nearly a fifth. The company reported an 18% drop in sales year on year for the first six months to 3 March. Asos, which benefited as physical shops were shut during Covid lockdowns, has been hit by more challenging trading conditions post-pandemic as consumers shift away from buying goods exclusively online.

SPORT

Football - UEFA have been asked to delay the deadline for squad submissions for Euro 2024. Several countries have raised concerns that, with the last round of friendly internationals finishing just two hours before the final squad lists must be registered on Friday 7th June, there will be very little time to assess any potential injuries before player names must be submitted to UEFA at midnight. However, it's unlikely that UEFA will move the deadline because their regulations state that final squads must be registered seven days before the tournament kicks off, with hosts Germany playing Scotland on June 14th. The matter will be discussed at a UEFA National Competitions Committee meeting on Monday.

Athletics - The majority of elite female athletes questioned for a new study support the categorisation of women's sport by biological sex, rather than gender identity. The research, from Manchester Metropolitan and Swansea universities, found 58% of respondents favoured categorisation in this way. That rose to 77% among 'world class' athletes - those who had competed in Olympic or World Championship finals - regarding their own sports. The research, published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, is the largest of its kind to date, assessing the opinions of 175 national, elite and world class female athletes - current and retired - from a range of sports and countries. It shows for the first time that opinion varies according to career stage, competition level and sport type. In the debate surrounding the inclusion of transgender athletes, many argue that transgender women should not compete in elite women's sport because of any physical performance advantages they may retain - but others argue that sport should be more inclusive.

WEATHER

Clear skies and sunshine across the Riviera this morning, still with those strong winds in the Var gusting up to 75 kilometres per hour. Occasional thunderstorms are forecast this afternoon in the Alpes-Maritimes and eastern parts of the Var. Noticeably cooler than recent days with temperatures ranging from 13 to 16 degrees celsius later today. There's light rain and more thunderstorms forecast this evening and overnight, especially in the Alpes-Maritimes, while the Var should have clear skies tonight. Temperatures overnight going down to 9 degrees celsius on the coast and 6 inland. The outlook for Friday: fine and sunny, 17 degrees celsius on the Alpes-Maritimes coast, 19 on the Var coast and up to 20 inland.

The sun rose this morning at 6.43 and it’ll set tonight at 8.17.

Last local news

Evening Update Friday 24th of May

A seventh person was killed today, for the first time by a member of the police force, in New Caledonia, still in a state of uncertainty in the wake o... Evening Update Friday 24th of May Read More

24/05/2024

French and Riviera News Friday 24th May 2024

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and the president of the National Rally far right party in France Jordan Bardella have taken part in a live televi... French and Riviera News Friday 24th May 2024 Read More

24/05/2024

Evening Update Thursday 23rd May 2024

The national financial prosecutor's office (PNF) conducted several searches on Wednesday at the Alpes-Maritimes Departmental Council and five other lo... Evening Update Thursday 23rd May 2024 Read More

23/05/2024

French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd May 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that French security forces will remain in New Caledonia as long as necessary. Macron made an urgent visit t... French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd May 2024 Read More

23/05/2024

F1 Drivers Interviewed on PLACE D'ARMES

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Grand Prix Drivers will be interviewed on the Place d'Armes on the Quartier to port. An event that is free to ... F1 Drivers Interviewed on PLACE D'ARMES Read More

22/05/2024