French and Riviera News Thursday 19th October 2023


Funeral of French teacher killed last Friday in knife attack is to take place this morning - The funeral of Dominique Bernard, the French teacher killed last Friday, during a knife attack at the Gambetta-Carnot high school in Arras northern France, is being held this Thursday morning at 10am at the Cathedral of Arras. French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte will be present. The ceremony, not accessible to the public, will be broadcast on a giant screen which has been set up by the city council, at the request of the family, who said they were “overwhelmed by public support following the attack”. The Minister of National Education Gabriel Attal will also attend the ceremony.

False alerts - Fifteen airports in France, including Nice, have been evacuated and 130 flights cancelled on Wednesday October 18th due to false alerts. Alerts have multiplied in recent days following the fatal attacks in Arras and Brussels. The Palace of Versailles also had another false bomb alert on Wednesday morning, its third since Saturday.

French are worried – Meanwhile, a recent survey carried out by Elabe has shown that the French are worried about the terrorist threat with 61% parents of school children saying they fear that their child's school could be the target of a terrorist attack and more than 4 in 10 French people intend to change their behaviour when it comes to their daily life and going out.

Man armed with a knife attempts to attack the manager of a garage in Cannes - A man armed with a knife has been arrested at a garage in Cannes after attempting to attack the manager. The incident occurred shortly before 7pm when the manager surprised the individual, who was praying at the time. Taking refuge in another room of his establishment the manager alerted police who later arrested the man. An investigation is underway.

Weather warning - Météo France has placed the Var and the Alpes Maritimes on a yellow weather warning with thunderstorms and possible flooding forecast. Strong winds are also expected with the public being advised to avoid coastal areas. The warning is in place until Friday evening.  

Cases of bronchiolitis increasing in France - Public Health France has announced that several regions in France are being affected by an epidemic of bronchiolitis with Brittany and the Pays de la Loire being the latest. Last week saw the Paris region affected as the annual epidemic grows in France. Bronchiolitis, mostly causes babies to have difficulty breathing and while it is generally not serious, it can however lead to visits to A&E and being hospitalised.

Cannabis plants discovered in woodland in Valbonne - 64 cannabis plants have been found in woodland in Valbonne. The discovery was made last week when two walkers came across the cannabis crop and alerted police. A 60-year-old man residing in Valbonne, has since been arrested. After admitting his wrongdoing, the individual will now appear before the judicial court in Grasse. 

Ceremony for deceased pilot - The parents of Cyril Dartois, the pilot of the plane which crashed off the coast of Corsica last Thursday, are organizing a tribute and remembrance ceremony at Antibes Cathedral today, Thursday 19th October at 2pm. Cyril was born in Paris, but he had lived in Biot for more than 15 years and was an integrated member of the local community. The ceremony is an opportunity for his loved ones in the region to say a final goodbye.

Fontvieille Shopping district - Monaco wants to push ahead with ambitious plans for a major redesign of the Fontvieille shopping district, parts of which are showing signs of age. The principality wants to demolish and rebuild the complex, with the creation of 30,000 square metres of shopping space, a multiplex cinema, new housing, a park and more car parking capacity. The aim is to offer a varied experience to better compete with the likes of Cap 3000 and Polygone Riviera. The project comes with a budget of €300 million.

Dreaming of an Olympic medal - Kitesurfer Alexander Ehlen dreams of winning Monaco's first Olympic medal at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. At 22, the Monegasque will try to qualify for his first Olympic Games. Having begun by sailing at the Monaco Yacht Club, Ehlen dreams of a medal to enter the history of sport in the Principality.

Nice closes rugby village - Following the terrorist attack in Arras on October 13, 2023, and with France increasing the threat of a terrorist attack to its highest level, the city of Nice has decided to close the Nice rugby village. All security forces are heavily mobilized to monitor places of worship, schools and places open to the public. The closure of the rugby village will thus make it possible to redeploy the agents assigned to this site to protect citizens. In addition, the absence of the Blues in the semi-final suggests a lower attendance.

Since the start of the competition, the City of Nice had set up a specially dedicated village, with a capacity of 9,000 people, which welcomed supporters wishing to follow the competition. Today, however, the safety of citizens takes priority and, given the current context, Nice city council has announced the closure of the village which will not be broadcasting the two semi-final matches, nor the final.

E-Rallye Monte-Carlo - The 7th edition of the E-Rallye Monte-Carlo got underway here in the Principality on Wednesday as 60 teams set off from the Place du Casino. Competitors completed the legendary Col du Turini. A tough first day in which the Belgians teams made a brilliant start. Today the remaining teams will this morning set of from Les Terrasses du Soleil at 8am.

MIPCOM - A Ukrainian series filmed in the middle of the war has been screened this week at MIPCOM in Cannes. “In her car”, follows Lydia, a psychologist who, the day after the Russian invasion, decides to transport refugees in her car. The series director Eugen Tunik has said that “It was very important not to create a series about war, but about how war affects people's destinies”. The project, co-produced by Gaumont, was unveiled on the Croisette last year to illustrate the resilience of the Ukrainian TV industry, during the largest international audiovisual market. A year later, six out of ten episodes have been filmed and around ten European broadcasters participated in its financing, such as France Télévisions. MIPCOM, the world’s greatest gathering of TV and Entertainment executives has been taking place at the Palais des Festival in Cannes and ends today.

Giant pumpkin - A 355-kilo pumpkin has become the star of a street in Antibes. The giant squash is currently on display in front of the Chez Jules restaurant, rue Thuret, in the old town. Restaurant owner Florent Corsini had already exhibited a 471kg pumpkin in 2018. The world record was won a few days ago by an American at the Half Moon Bay pumpkin festival, in California: 1247kg. The giant pumpkin will only stay on display for only a few more days, as it has been damaged inside and probably won’t last until Halloween. Money raised from the giant pumpkin will go to charity.


The world's most valuable chip company Nvidia and iPhone maker Foxconn are joining forces to build so-called "AI factories". The firms say it is a new kind of data centre that uses Nvidia chips to power a "wide range" of applications. They include training autonomous vehicles, robotics platforms and large language models. It comes as the US announced plans to cut off more exports of advanced chips to China.

Electric car maker Tesla has a Chinese rival as shares in BYD, or Build Your Dreams, jumped this week after it said it expected third-quarter profits to more than double compared with last year. BYD is now ahead of Tesla in quarterly production - and second to the US car maker in global sales. Its success is also a sign of just how much China's auto industry is growing - China overtook Japan this year to become the world's biggest exporter.

In a bid to speed up boarding times United Airlines has announced that it will start boarding window seat passengers first. The airline will then board middle seat passengers, followed by aisle passengers. The new policy is expected to be introduced from next week. The move comes after the US airline tested the scheme - known as "Wilma" for window, middle, aisle - at four domestic locations and one of its hub airports. According to the airline the policy saved up to two minutes of boarding time per flight during the trial.

Netflix has increased subscription prices for some streaming plans in the United States, Britain and France on Wednesday as it shattered expectations for new customers, sending its shares surging 13%.

Almost 9 million subscribers joined Netflix around the globe in the third quarter, surpassing Wall Street analysts' forecast for 6 million. Netflix said it expected a similar number of additions in the current quarter.

And - According to reports Elon Musk, owner of social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is considering removing the service from Europe in response to a new internet platform regulation in the region. The billionaire has discussed removing the app's availability in the region or blocking users in the European Union from accessing it.


Football - Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah has called for "world leaders to come together to prevent further slaughter of innocent souls" amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. Salah, 31, said humanitarian aid to Gaza must be allowed "immediately" adding that “there has been too much violence, heartbreak and brutality”.

Rugby World Cup - Winger Mark Telea is back in the New Zealand side for the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup semi-final against Argentina. The 26-year-old was dropped for the quarter-final victory over Ireland after a breach of team protocol. The Rugby World Cup semi final takes place at the Stade de France on Friday. Kick off is at 9pm French time.

Formula One - Daniel Ricciardo will make his return from injury at this weekend's United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. The 34-year-old Australian has missed five grands prix since breaking a bone in his left hand in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix on 25 August.

Boxing - UFC fighter Conor McGregor won't face charges over a claim of sexual assault at an NBA finals game in Florida in June.  Mr McGregor was accused of "violently" forcing himself on a woman in a VIP bathroom in the Kaseya Center in Miami. The unnamed accuser also said arena security aided the attack by trapping her in the toilet. The 35-year-old Irishman denied the allegation and his lawyer said the fighter was "pleased" it was now over.

Tennis - Billie Jean King says she would happily see the women's cup competition bearing her name combined with the men's Davis Cup into one World Cup of tennis. King told reporters that she “thinks it's really important to have a World Cup for tennis”.


Météo France has placed the Var and the Alpes Maritimes on a yellow weather warning with thunderstorms and possible flooding forecast today and tomorrow. Strong winds are also expected with the public being advised to avoid coastal areas.

Highs of 21 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Menton. 20 degrees in Saint-Tropez. 24 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 16 degrees with cloudy skies and showers.

Outlook for the weekend, sunny with a fresh breeze and highs of 20-22 degrees.

Sunrise       07.49am

Sunset        06.40pm



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