French and Riviera News Thursday 21st September 2023

News

King Charles III urges France and the United Kingdom to reinvigorate their friendship - During a state dinner in the sumptuous decor of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, King Charles III on Wednesday, urged France and the United Kingdom to continue to "reinvigorate their friendship" in order to meet together the challenges to come, after the turbulence of Brexit. “It is up to us all to reinvigorate our friendship so that it is up to the challenges of this 21st century,” launched the King of England in French. The sovereign welcomed the fact that Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had initiated a “renewal of the Entente Cordiale” between the two countries, after years of tensions around Brexit, during a Franco-British summit in March at the Elysée, the first in five years.

President Macron, for his part, thanked the king for his visit, referring to it as “a sign of friendship and trust” as well as a “tribute to our past” and a “guarantee of the future” saying to the King that “as your reign begins, you can count on the friendship and unfailing support of France, in order to make common cause for our people and humanity”.

More than 150 guests, including Mick Jagger and Hugh Grant, were seated along one vast, 60-metre-long table in order for everyone to be present “at the king’s table”.

Today, Thursday September 21st, King Charles III will deliver a speech to the Senate, followed by a visit to the Notre-Dame construction site and the flower market on the Île de la Cité, a place cherished by his mother. In the afternoon King Charles III will visit the National Museum of Natural History, to meet, along with Emmanuel Macron, entrepreneurs and creators specializing in sustainable development.

On Friday, the royal couple will travel to Bordeaux which was once under the rule of the English King Henry II, and where 39,000 Britons now reside. They will visit a vineyard and meet firefighters who took part in the fight against the devastating forest fires which ravaged the region last year.

French government defends the arrests of a teenage boy - The French government has defended the arrest of a teenage boy in the middle of class over claims of bullying a transgender classmate. The incident which occurred on Monday saw the 14-year-old boy arrested and marched out of his classroom of the school in the suburbs of Paris. Government spokesperson Olivier Veran said the arrest had been made “in compliance” with policies against abusive behaviour and aimed to send “a very strong message” to bullying students.

Orange rain flood alert in the Ardèche and the Drôme - The Ardèche and the Drôme region of France have been placed on orange rain-flood alert from today, Thursday 21st September, at 2pm. The two departments were already affected by heavy rain on Monday. The warning is in place until midnight tonight.

Police dispatched on Italian French border - Locally, the Prefecture has announced that 132 police officers, gendarmes and soldiers have been dispatched to the border with Italy throughout the Alpes-Maritimes department, and another 68 in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Hautes-Alpes. The move is to “prevent migrants from crossing the border” and comes following announcements from France’s Ministry of the Interior Gérald Darmanin.

Pope to visit Marseille - Pope Francis will arrive in Marseille tomorrow, Friday September 22nd, and after an official welcome from France’s Prime Minister, will head to the Basilica of Notre Dame de-la-Garde. The following day, Saturday, 23 September, he will participate in the final session of the Mediterranean Meetings, which bring together bishops and young people from North Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe. He will then meet privately with French President Emmanuel Macron. After lunch, Pope Francis will travel to Marseille’s Vélodrome stadium, where he will celebrate Mass for the general public. The Vatican has stressed that the trip ought not to be understood as a visit to France, but rather as a visit to the city of Marseille one of France’s most ethnically diverse cities. According to reports Pope Francis will also devote a large part of his visit to Marseille to the tragedy of migrants who died in the Mediterranean Sea.

Sale of antibiotics - The sale of certain antibiotics in France will be made individually in the event of a shortage. The shortage of antibiotics is accelerating as winter approaches. The measure which is already in force and optional since 2022 will now become compulsory. The decision could also help reduce waste by delivering the exact number of tablets prescribed, in a country where the consumption of antibiotics remains among the highest in Europe and which was faced last winter with shortages. According to data, of all the boxes of medicine purchased every year by each French person, around 1.5 kilos of capsules end up wasted.

Severe public health crisis - An investigation carried out by the Guardian newspaper in the UK has found that Europe is facing a “severe public health crisis”, with almost everyone across the continent living in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, data gathered reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas which exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines. The worst hit country in Europe is North Macedonia.

Business

One of Japan's oldest and biggest firms, Toshiba, is set to end its 74-year stock market history as a group of investors have bought a majority stake. The firm's roots date back to 1875, as a maker of clocks and mechanical dolls. Under the deal its shares could be taken off the stock market as early as the end of this year.

The key interest rate at the US central bank has remained unchanged the bank debates whether it has done enough to stabilise prices. The announcement in the US comes ahead of Thursday's meeting of the Bank of England, which is facing its own inflation fight. The European Central Bank will meet next week. Forecasts in the US released after the meeting showed a majority of policymakers expect rates to stand above 5.5% by the end of the year, implying at least one further hike. They also saw rates remaining higher next year than previously forecast.

Concerns have been raised by the UK car industry about the decision to delay the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales which could put off drivers switching to electric. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed the planned ban was being pushed back five years from 2030 to 2035. He said it was "not right to impose more costs on working people", adding "sensible green leadership" was needed.

Parents in the US whose children purchased items in the popular game Fortnite without their permission will be able to claim a refund.  The US regulator accused the game of tricking players into making unintended purchases. Fortnite developer Epic Games agreed to pay $245m (£198m) in refunds in 2022.

Sport

Rugby World Cup - Italy beat Uruguay in Nice on Wednesday and go top of Pool A at the Rugby World Cup. Uruguay profited from two Italian yellow cards to lead 17-7 at half-time. But the second half belonged to Italy ending the game 38-17. France play Namibia in their third pool game today, while Italy are next in action against third-placed New Zealand on the 29th September.

Football – Harry Kane helped Bayern Munich to victory beating Manchester United 4-3 in a high scoring and eventful Champions League opener.  Meanwhile, Arsenal returned to the Champions League in style as they started their first campaign in six years with an impressive win over PSV Eindhoven.

Cricket - England's first one-day international against Ireland at Headingley was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain.

England face Ireland in the second ODI at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Formula One - McLaren have extended their contract with Australian rookie Oscar Piastri until the end of 2026. The 22-year-old has impressed alongside British team-mate Lando Norris this season with performances that suggest he could be a star of the future.

Weather

Cloudy with scattered showers and a gentle breeze. Highs of 24 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Antibes. 23 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 18 degrees with cloudy skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Light rain in places. Gradually clearing as we head into the weekend. Fine on Saturday and Sunday but feeling cooler with highs of 23-24 degrees.

Sunrise       07.15am       

Sunset        07.30pm

And Finally

A study has found that ignoring nagging worries and fears does actually make them less powerful. Researchers recruited 120 people in 16 countries, asking each to list fears for the future which had repeatedly caused them distress over the previous six months.

Many people think burying negative feelings makes them come back more strongly. But in fact, immediately after blocking out their fears, people found they remembered fewer of them compared to worries they had not suppressed.

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