French and Riviera News Thursday 20th June 2024

National News

French President calls for a “discussion hour” in French schools - French President Emmanuel Macron has asked schools to hold a "discussion hour" on racism and antisemitism this week, after the rape of a Jewish girl in a Paris suburb added to France's charged social climate ahead of elections. Three teenagers were arrested this week following a complaint from a 12-year-old girl from Courbevoie, west of Paris, who told police she had been gang-raped while being insulted with antisemitic slurs.

Local News

Red alert for air pollution in our region - The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var have been placed on a red air pollution alert today Thursday June 20th. In a press release, Atmosud indicates that both departments are affected with speed limits on our region’s motorway being lowered by 20km/h.  According to Atmosud, "a large mass of air with desert dust has gradually arrived since yesterday evening in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region". It is recommended to reduce intense physical and sporting activities as well as avoid major roads during peak periods and to limit outings during the afternoon.

Weather warning - Meanwhile, the Var region has been placed on a yellow weather alert today with storms forecast. The alert is in place until 4pm this afternoon.

Tsunami risk on the Mediterranean coasts – France’s Intergovernmental Ocean Commission has warned that within the next 30 years there is probability close to 100% of a Tsunami happening on the Mediterranean coasts. According to the study "Probabilistic tsunami in the Mediterranean Sea", recently published in the journal Géophysique pure et appliqué a tsunami in the Mediterranean Sea is inevitable. The report claims that due to global warming, the chances of such an event occurring have increased. The authors of the study believe that the cause of this possible tsunami could well be found in the Alboran Sea. Located between Spain, Morocco and Algeria, it is one of the areas with the strongest seismic activity in the region. According to researchers, the effect of a tidal wave would be practically immediate on the Spanish coast, with waves up to six meters high. And France with its 5,800 km coastline, would not be spared from the risk and the city of Nice is highly exposed, already having been hit by a tsunami in 1979. In 2022, faced with the risks, UNESCO deployed a global “Tsunami ready” program to train threatened coastal populations by 2030 and nine departments around the Mediterranean participated in an exercise to raise awareness of the risk of tsunamis last January.

Seven-month-old baby dies after being left in the car – In other news, a seven-month-old baby boy has died after being left in car in very hot weather. Emergency services intervened in vain late afternoon on Wednesday in Carpentras in the Vaucluse. According to reports the father had forgotten that the child was in the car leaving him for more than eight hours in the vehicle whilst he was at work. Temperatures in the region reached 30 degrees on Wednesday. The father is still in police custody.

Investigation into attack in Nice –Police in Nice have opened an investigation following an attack on a 75-year-old woman on Wednesday. The incident occurred at around 1.30pm near the Nice etoile shopping centre on boulevard du Dubouchage in Nice. The victim for no apparent reason was attacked by an individual brandishing a Japanese sword. She was slightly injured to the hand and the suspect was immediately arrested thanks to the intervention from nearby witnesses. The 36-year-old Frenchman was reportedly already known to the police and is undergoing a psychiatric examination.

HANDIPACT - Monaco has this month presented its HANDIPACT to the United Nations. HANDIPACT is the Principality’s policy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities and was launched by the prince’s government in 2023. The aim is to mobilise public and private stakeholders in the Principality to improve accessibility, services and the inclusion of people affected by all forms of disability.

Travelators to be replaced in Prince Pierre Gallery – Finally, as part of the plan to renew mechanical connections launched in 2020 and its mobility policy, the Prince's Government will replace the six moving sidewalks, travelators, in the Prince Pierre gallery, which will be added to the 50 devices already replaced. The work began on Wednesday and will end on April 30th, 2025. During this period, part of the travelators will remain in service in addition to the pedestrian paths which will be permanently maintained. The mechanical connections installed in 2000 will be replaced by more efficient devices, equipped with technology allowing automatic restarting if the emergency stop button is pressed.

Business

The employers' organization in France Medef, which has 200,000 member companies employing 10 million people has warned of the threat to the French economy from the National Rally far right party and the left-wing coalition the New Popular Front. The Medef, judges that the measures proposed by both parties in view of the parliamentary elections of June 30th and July 7th are "inappropriate" and "dangerous" for the French economy warning that they would result in "tax increases, the departure of foreign investors and massive business bankruptcies". The situation is all the more worrying in France since last week the borrowing rates of the second largest European economy suddenly increased and the financial centre of Paris fell under the effect of the instability caused by parliament being dissolved and the risk institutional blockages after the elections.

The families of victims in two Boeing 737 Max plane crashes have asked for prosecutions and a fine of $24.8bn for "the deadliest corporate crime in US history". The families' lawyer said the amount was "justified and clearly appropriate" given "enormous human costs of Boeing's crimes". 346 people were killed in two crashes in 2018 and 2019.

The political party Reform UK has received hundreds of thousands of pounds from a Muslim entrepreneur who claims that the UK has “lost control of its borders”. While the sum has not been disclosed the party says it is the biggest donation of their general election campaign so far.  Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has faced criticism from Muslim organisations after he said a growing number of Muslims do not share British values.

Sport

Football - Scotland have managed to keep their Euro 2024 campaign alive with a one all draw against Switzerland on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Germany have continued their winning start to Euro 2024 with 2-0 victory over Hungary to become the first side through to the knockout stages.

Today in Group C Slovenia play Serbia with a 3pm kick off French time. Denmark face England at 6pm French time and in Group B Spain face Italy in the last match at 9pm this evening.

Cricket - England produced their best performance of the T20 World Cup so far to begin the Super 8s stage with a composed eight-wicket win against West Indies.

Rugby Union – Ahead of Saturday’s friendly between South Africa and Wales Flanker Taine Plumtree has said that Wales will adopt a "nothing-to-lose" mentality against the world champions.

Tennis - Andy Murray says he remains hopeful that the back injury which has ended his Queen's campaign will not deny him what is expected to be a final appearance at Wimbledon this year.

Weather

Cloudy with rain inland and possibly some showers reaching the coast. Strong south westerly winds with gust of up to 55km/hr. Giving way to some sunny intervals by this afternoon. Highs of 30 degrees in Nice, Monaco and the Alpes Maritimes. 31 degrees in Saint-Tropez and the Var region. This evening going down to 22 degrees along the coast with cloudy skies.

The outlook for Friday cloudy patches to start, clearing by the afternoon mostly fine. Highs of 26 degrees. Saturday fine and sunny highs of 25 degrees.

Sunrise       05.48am

Sunset        09.15pm

Sea temperature

Monaco 21.7°

UV level 8

Weather elsewhere

Amsterdam and Liverpool - 21 degrees sunny intervals.

Paris – Thundery showers 21 degrees.

London – 22 degrees and sunny.

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