French and Riviera News Thursday 26th October 2023

News

Banned demonstration - The prefect of Alpes-Maritimes has banned a pro-Palestinian demonstration planned for this Saturday in Nice. The collective for a “just and lasting peace” between Palestinians and Israelis announced the rally for Saturday October 28th on Place Garibaldi. Similar to previous pro-Palestinian demonstrations on October 14th and October 22nd the prefecture announced the banning of the event however, three hundred people defied this ban last Sunday.

Poster campaign in support of Hamas hostages - Meanwhile, a campaign in support of the children being held hostage by Hamas has seen their faces posted on billboards in the city of Nice. The #BringThemHome poster campaign featuring Hamas hostage children was installed on Wednesday in Nice. Reacting to the campaign in a tweet, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi wrote “there are so many families without news of their loved ones. Humanity must be restored”.

Police deployed in several public establishment in Hyères - Police have been deployed in several public establishments in Hyères in the Var on Wednesday afternoon, following threatening emails sent to the town hall announcing an attack. Faced with the current terrorist threat in France, authorities did not want to take any risks and immediately evacuated establishments and sent in specialised forces. The town hall has filed a complaint, and an investigation will be opened to try to trace the author of the email.

Bomb threats - False bomb threats have multiplied in France in recent weeks and according to investigators some threats were sent by email via an address in Switzerland in order to cover the ‘pranksters’ tracks. France's Justice Minister had announced last week a crackdown on those behind false bomb alerts which have caused chaos at airports and tourist sites across the country. More than 60 investigations have been launched since the first false bomb threat. Some were made by phone, as on Thursday October 19th to the Palace of Versailles. A 38-year-old man made a call to the Palace and was sentenced with an eight-month suspended sentence on Monday, October 23rd. However, in the case of emails, traceability is complicated to establish, especially since there are numerous means of masking one's identity. Currently under French law, someone making a false bomb threat faces up to three years in prison and a 45,000 euro fine.

Bird protection campaigners accuse French government of going against European regulations - Bird protection campaigners have accused the French government of flouting European regulations after it overruled a ban on traditional hunting. Campaigners accuse the government of giving in to lobbying by powerful hunting groups to allow the trapping of thousands of birds as part of an “experimental study”. Most traditional trapping methods were banned in France in 2021 under the threat of fines from the European Commission. However, the government has now temporarily overturned the embargo on two practices: using large nets placed horizontally in the path of birds and wire or wood traps. The “study” began at the start of this month and is due to continue until 20 November. Its stated aim is to establish whether these methods are selective, with the eventual goal, hunting organisations hope, of allowing them to continue.

Road closure in Nice - Part of the boulevard de La Madeleine in the west of Nice has been closed until further notice after the recent bad weather caused a huge hole to appear.  The road which leads to northern districts of the city, Pessicard and Saint-Roman de Bellet, is closed and diversions have been put in place.

Les Enfants de Frankie - Created in November 1997, the Monegasque Association “Les Enfants de Frankie” which supports sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children in Monaco and throughout the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region by bringing them comfort and joy, is pleased to announce the return of its “Red Nose Day” on December 6th to coincide with Saint Nicolas’s Day, the patron saint of children.  The big day is held under the high patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco and the concept of the Red Nose Day was brought to Monaco nearly 20 years ago by the founder of Les Enfants de Frankie Francien Giraudi. However, last year to promote sustainability the plastic red nose was replaced by a reusable shopping bag. For those that wish to get involved in raising money for such a good local charity the bags, which cost €2.50, will be on sale from today Thursday 26th October, at a number of different sites in the Principality. To find out more and to discover more fundraising events held by Les Enfants de Frankie such as the upcoming 8th edition of “Kids Nite” on November 11th and “Frankie’s Silver jubilé” on the 10th and 12th November go to their website https://www.lesenfantsdefrankie.com/evenements/

Price of candy jumps ahead of Halloween - According to UFC-Que Choisir the price of candy has jumped 21% in one year. Just days away from Halloween, an occasion when a range of sweets and other foods are over-consumed, candy has seen its price literally skyrocket in one year, well beyond food inflation and much more than other popular essentials for Halloween such as crisps (15%), chocolate (12%) and soft drinks (9%).

Celebrating Halloween in the PrincipalityFinally, if you’re planning on celebrating Halloween here in the Principality the town hall of Monaco has announced that due to popular demand it has widened the age group for its Halloween Party at Espace Léo Ferré. The party is being held on the 31st October between 7pm and 11pm, previously reserved for Monaco’s students and residents aged between 14 and 17 it will now welcome children from the age of 11 and 17 in view of the numerous requests. Tickets are available at the Espace Léo Ferré.

Business

The safety of AI is hitting the headlines but, is anyone doing anything about it or will it be a case of doing “too little too late?” A new government report in the UK has said that by 2025 artificial intelligence could increase the risk of cyber-attacks and erode trust in online content. The report goes on to warn that the technology could even help plan biological or chemical attacks by terrorists.  But some experts have questioned whether the tech will evolve as predicted. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to highlight opportunities and threats posed by the technology today.

The six-week strike by Ford and the United Auto Workers in the US could be coming to an end after the union reached a tentative deal. The agreement would be the first settlement of strikes by 45,000 workers against Ford, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler-parent Stellantis. The deal still needs to be approved by union leaders and members.

The world's largest cruise operator, Carnival, has been ordered to pay the medical bills of a passenger who caught Covid-19 on board one of its liners. An Australian judge has ruled that the company misled passengers about safety risks and should have cancelled a voyage by the Ruby Princess in March 2020 before it departed. Some 900 Covid cases and 28 deaths were linked to an outbreak onboard. The landmark ruling could open the door to hundreds of others claiming damages.

And – The legal team of former crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried have said that he will speak in his own defence during his trial in the US for fraud.  The decision comes shortly before prosecutors are due to wrap up their side of the case. The 31-year-old is accused of lying to investors and lenders and stealing money from customers of his now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. Mr Bankman-Fried, who could testify as early as Thursday, denies the charges. He is facing what could amount to a life sentence in prison if convicted.

Sport

Rugby World Cup - England captain Owen Farrell says online abuse of team-mate Tom Curry for reporting an alleged on-pitch racial slur is "unacceptable". World Rugby is currently reviewing the incident from the first half of the Rugby World Cup semi-final loss to the Springboks. Farrell said "You are dealing with a human being, just because you are saying stuff on your phone or behind a screen doesn't make it acceptable. England coach Steve Borthwick said that Curry has been preparing well for Friday's third-place play-off against Argentina despite the incident.

Cycling - Following the announcement of the route for the 2024 Tour de France on Wednesday cyclist Mark Cavendish has said that he is "shocked" by how hard the route is. The race from June 29th June to July 21st July, will feature two visits to the Alps, with Paris avoided due to the Olympics. The race will enter the Alps as early as the fourth stage and will return for the last few stages, before a hilly individual time trial between Monaco and Nice on the final stage. The race will also visit the Pyrenees.  It will be the first time since 1989 that the overall leadership of the race will be contested on the final stage.

Football - Paris Saint-Germain have gone to the top of Group F in the Champions League with their 3-0 win over AC Milan on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, Newcastle lost 1-0.

Weather

Cloudy to begin with, clearing as the day goes on. Moderate to strong winds forecast and possibly some scattered showers. Highs of 23 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 21 degrees in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. 22 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 17 degrees along the coast and 13 degrees inland with cloudy skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend. Friday and Saturday, windy with clear skies, highs of 22-23 degrees. Sunday light rain is forecast highs of 20 degrees.

Sunrise       07.57am

Sunset        06.30pm

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