French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd February 2023

News

French President reacts to teacher assassinated by student - French President Emmanuel Macron has reacted to the fatal stabbing of a Spanish teacher by one of her students at a high school near Biarritz on Wednesday morning saying, that he shared the pain of her family, colleagues and students adding that the “nation is at their side - to our teachers who devote their lives to transmitting the knowledge to future generations”.

It was at around 10am on Wednesday 22nd February, that a 16-year-old high school student stabbed his 52-year-old Spanish teacher. She succumbed to her injuries shortly after. The teenager was arrested and taken into custody. While the investigation continues a minute’s silence in all schools in France will be held today Thursday 23rd February, at 3pm.

Drought in France - With no rain for 32 days in France, a historical record, ministers are meeting today Thursday 23rd February, to discuss measures to be taken region by region. France has indeed experienced its driest winter since 1959 and a result restrictive measure are expected from March in order to deal with the drought ahead of the summer.

Several departments are already subject to water restrictions such as the Pyrénées-Orientales, the Var, the Bouches-du-Rhône and the Isère. Authorities have emphasised how the next two months are crucial for the summer, calling on inhabitants of these departments to make efforts "from now on", in particular on "filling swimming pools".

French tax expects to recover 14.6 billion euros for 2022 - The French government has announced that the fight against tax evasion carried out in 2022 should bring 14.6 billion euros to public finances in France. Speaking to French media minister Gabriel Attal welcomed the fact that in 2022 the government’s fight against fraud has produced historic results with 1.2 billion euros more than in 2021, which was already a record year. Attal assures that tax officials are "more efficient than ever" and are increasingly relying on new technologies to fight against fraud. For the first time, more than one out of two tax audits were guided by artificial intelligence.

Apartment fire in Nice disrupts traffic - Traffic has been disrupted in Nice following an apartment fire on Wednesday afternoon. The blaze broke out in the centre of the city in a third-floor apartment, on the Rue de la Rivoli. A total of thirteen firefighters were dispatched to the scene, thanks to their intervention, the fire was quickly brought under control. Nobody was injured.

Drugs seized - Eight people have been imprisoned after 30 kilos of cocaine were seized in Nice. Police intervened two vehicles returning from Spain and travelling at great speed on the motorway near Salon-de-Provence last Friday evening. Officers discovered 20 kilos of cocaine in one of the cars and an additional 10 kilos was seized during searches carried out as part of the same investigation, in Cagnes-sur-Mer and Nice. 60 kilos of ecstasy, 50 kilos of cannabis, two handguns and 30,000 euros in cash were also found. The arrests were part of a long surveillance investigation on the Riviera. The drugs were intended for the Côte d’Azur market representing more than 2 million euros.

Man given prison sentence and fine for violent incident - A man has been given a ten-month suspended prison sentence and a 500 euro fine for attacking two Ukrainian refugees in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. The incident dates back to September of last year when two Ukrainian refugees were violently beaten in the street by an individual who they thought was Russian. In reality, Viktor, a 34-year-old, is a Ukrainian national who works in security. He admits to having slapped the victims after he was, according to him, insulted by the two women. He was arrested two days later by Menton police.

Artist expresses anger at work being copied - An artist from Nice has claimed that the poster for the 150th edition of the Nice Carnival is in fact his work. Philippe Hurst affirms that the main idea of the visual of the poster, a head with a wide-open mouth, is greatly inspired by his work. Hurst’s work has notably included the visuals of the Ballets or the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Taking to social media, the artist expressed his amazement and anger at being copied.

Business

Toyota and Honda the Japanese motor giants, say they have agreed to give their workers in the country the biggest pay rises in decades. They are the latest firms in the world's third largest economy to increase wages as prices jump. Official figures published last month showed Japan's rate of inflation was at its highest level in over 40 years. That has put pressure on businesses and authorities to help people as their spending power shrinks.

Unions have warned on the future of UK steelmaking after British Steel announced it will cut up to 260 jobs. The Chinese-owned firm blamed an "unprecedented" rise in energy costs and demands to be greener. The biggest steelworkers' union said the cuts could have a "catastrophic impact" on steel production in the UK.

According to the latest published accounts in the UK, Arsenal’s Women Football Club has increased pay by almost 30%. However, the entire team still earns considerably less than some individual male players. The total wage bill for the 2021-22 season was £4.3m, giving an average figure of £98,000 across playing and non-playing staff. Arsenal FC said it is keen to grow the women's game in a sustainable way. These accounts cover the season before England beat Germany to win the Euros, filling Wembley stadium and lifting the women's game to new heights of popularity.

Sport

Rugby Union – It’s on! Wales' Six Nations match against England will go ahead after the Welsh players decided against strike action. Saturday's game in Cardiff was in doubt with players threatening not to play because of a dispute with Welsh rugby bosses over contracts. But the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and Wales squad players have reached a compromise on some key issues.

Football - Blocking clubs from joining a breakaway European Super League will be among the powers held by English football's new independent regulator. The plan for a regulator, recommended by a fan-led review last year, has been confirmed by the UK government. The significant move aims to protect English football's cultural heritage.

Cricket - England have named an unchanged team as they aim for a seventh successive win in the second Test against New Zealand which begins today. England are chasing an 11th win in 12 Tests. Their current streak of six successive wins has not been matched by an England team since 2010. If they make it to seven in a row, it will be their first such run for 19 years. New Zealand, meanwhile, need to win this final Test to avoid suffering a home series defeat for the first time since 2007.

Tennis - Andy Murray continued his eventful start to the season with a notable win over Germany's Alexander Zverev to put him into the Qatar Open quarter-finals.

Weather

Cloudy with some sunny intervals. Possibility of light rain inland. Highs of 14 degrees in Monaco and Nice. 15 degrees in Cannes, Antibes and Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 9 degrees and cloudy.

The outlook for tomorrow, Friday, cloudy with a moderate breeze and highs of 16. Saturday, sunny intervals and highs of 15. Sunday light rain and winds highs of 14 degrees.

Sunrise       07.17hr

Sunset        18.10hr

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