French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd November 2023

News

“Public transport will not be ready for the Olympic games” claims the mayor of Paris - The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has announced that the capital’s public transport will not be ready for the Olympic games. Questioned on the Quotidien show on Wednesday evening, Hidalgo cited "two things for which we are not going to be ready", namely "transport" and "shelter for homeless people”. The mayor said that there “would not be enough trains, or a high enough frequency in certain places”.  The games start on July 26th to August 11th, with the Paralympic Games, scheduled from August 28th to September 8th.

The mayor was also asked about the concerns from Parisiens on the current “cleanliness and safety of the city”. To which she seemed to fail to answer but did raise a complaint that she felt was valid which was from those “concerned about pollution levels” in the French capital, adding that as part of the town halls climate plan, the ring road around the city will lower its speed limit to 50 km/h from September 2024 after the Olympic Games. She also spoke of her ongoing project to be able to swim in the river Seine by July of next year, inviting interviewer Yann Barthès to join her. Hidalgo defended the project saying that “with the rise in temperatures and climate change Paris will see increasingly high temperatures and using the Seine to cool off in would be a priority for Parisiens.

Daivd Lisnard re-elected as president of the AMF - The mayor of Cannes David Lisnard is back at the head of the AMF, the influential association of elected officials. Lisnard was re-elected on November 22nd as president of the Association of Mayors of France the AMF. Father of three children, sportsman, marathon enthusiast and a lover of punk rock Lisnard was the favourite to be re-elected receiving 8,082 votes out of 8,799.

New bus route - Meanwhile, the mayor of Nice Christian Estorsi will this afternoon at 3pm inaugurate on the port of Nice, a new bus line 100% electric, connecting the Reserve district of the port to Old Nice. The new 98 line will take over part of the existing 38 route by serving Quai Napoléon 1er, Rauba Capeu and the Cours Saleya.

Knife attack - A thirty-year-old man has been stabbed in Place Garibaldi in Nice. The attack occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning at around 5am. The victim who suffered slight injuries was taken to hospital. It’s the second knife attack this week after another person was the victim of a knife attack in the Moulins district on Monday evening.

Disappointment for the one town council in the Var - The town of La Londe les Maures in the Var has been told to hand back their part of 400,000 euros which was found by hikers in the region back in 2021. The money found on the hills of the Valcros, in Londe-les-Maures was discovered by chance in a bin bag by two walkers and their dog and was at the time believed to be on council land. The couple handed the bundle of notes into the police, after two years no one claimed the cash, making it law to share the find between the town council and those who found the money. However, on Monday during a council meeting there was a twist to the story when at the request of the mayor, François de Canson, the gendarmerie carried out a check of the precise location of the large sum and the verdict found that within a meter, the money was ultimately hidden on a private plot and not a communal one. The town hall of La-Londe-les-Maures must therefore give up their share to the sum to the owners of the land with the hikers received the rest.

Most expensive shopping street in the world - New York's Fifth Avenue has retained its place as the most expensive shopping street in the world. France will have to settle for fifth place this year, thanks to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. New York's Fifth Avenue was once again crowned champion. Via Monte Napoleone, located in Milan, climbed to second place. The study published on Wednesday November 22, showed that commercial rentals on Fifth Avenue are estimated at 20,384 euros per square meter per year. While on the Champs Elysées the square metre per year is valued at 11,414 euros and 14,905 euros on New Bond Street in London.

Business

According to the latest reports just, days before Sam Altman’s dismissal from OpenAI last Friday, several staff researchers had written a letter to the board of directors warning of a “powerful artificial intelligence discovery” that they said could “threaten humanity”. Researchers flagged AI’s potential danger, without specifying the exact safety concerns. There has long been discussion among computer scientists about the danger posed by highly intelligent machines, for instance if they might decide that the destruction of humanity was in their interest. The unreported letter is thought to have been a key factor in the board's decision to fire Altman. Prior to Mr Altman’s triumphant return on Tuesday more than 700 employees had threatened to quit and join backer Microsoft in solidarity with their leader.

Forecasts from the UK government say that the economy will grow slower than expected in the next two years as inflation takes longer to fall. The Office for Budget Responsibility has said that living standards are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2027-28. The news comes following the UK chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Tuesday and the announcement of tax cuts and a rise in benefits. In response Labour said people were still paying for "Tory economic recklessness".

And – One of the biggest takeover deals in the tech world has been completed after computer chipmaker Broadcom completed its $69bn (£55bn) acquisition of cloud computing firm VMware. The deal was scrutinised by regulators around the world ahead of clearance from China. There were concerns it could be affected by US-China tensions. The approval follows a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Apec summit in the US last week.

Sport

Tennis - Australia fought back to beat the Czech Republic 2-1 and clinch their spot in the Davis Cup semi-finals in Malaga. Australia will now face Finland for a place in Sunday's final.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic says the Davis Cup knockout phase "has to travel" around the world as he prepares for Serbia's quarter-final against Britain in Spain today.

Football - Stephen Kenny's time as Republic of Ireland boss is over after the Football Association of Ireland confirmed it will not be renewing his contract. Kenny's deal ended after Tuesday night's friendly draw with New Zealand. The 52-year-old had been expected to depart after failing to qualify for Euro 2024.

Formula One - Mick Schumacher will race in the World Endurance Championship for Alpine next season. The 24-year-old German, son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael, will remain as Mercedes' F1 reserve driver for a second year.

Weather

Fine with mostly clear skies and light winds. Highs of 18 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 17 degrees in Saint-Tropez and 14 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 8 degrees along the coast and 4 degrees inland with light winds.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend. Fine with clear skies and highs of 19 degrees. Strong winds are forecast for the Var region at the weekend.

Sunrise       07.34am

Sunset        04.58pm

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