French and Riviera News Thursday 2nd May 2024

Monaco rail station uses AI to manage crowds - Monaco railway station has begun experimenting with artificial intelligence to help it better manage the flow of passengers as the busy Grand Prix season approaches. All of the station's 106 existing CCTV cameras are linked to the new AI technology, which recognises the shape of bodies and can instantly count how many people are in each part of the station. The intelligent software will make it easier for station staff to control crowds and quickly respond to incidents. Facial recognition isn't used and the data remains fully anonymised. During Grand Prix weekend, up to 40,000 passengers pass through Monaco rail station each day.

Man killed in Toulon after being run over - A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder after a pedestrian was killed by a car and another seriously injured outside Toulon railway station in the early hours of Wednesday morning. A 20-year-old suspect was arrested at his home in Six-Four-les-Plages after a witness made a note of his car number-plate. A 38-year-old man died and another man, aged 33, is being treated in hospital. According to reports, the attack followed a dispute at a nearby bar.

Hacking group claims responsibility for Cannes hospital cyber-attack - A group of cyber-criminals with links to Russia have claimed responsibility for the cyberattack at Simone Veil hospital in Cannes that has paralysed services since 16th April. Non-urgent consultations and operations had to be postponed after the computer's IT system was targeted by hackers. Hospital management say patient data is safe. A group of hackers going by the name Lockbit 3.0 has demanded the payment of a ransom for the hospital to regain access to its systems.

Villefranche fined for lack of social housing - Villefranche-sur-Mer has been hit with a fine of more than €300,000 by the French state for its lack of social housing. The mayor of Villefranche, Christophe Trojani, says it is difficult for the town to find available land or vacant buildings that it can convert to meet its legal quota for affordable housing. The financial penalty amounts to €332,000.

Cannes posts budget surplus for 2023 - Meanwhile, the city of Cannes has announced a budget surplus of €72 million last year. Despite rising energy and school food costs and a freeze on local taxes, Cannes managed to earn more than it spent in 2023 and reduce its debts for a 10th consecutive year.

€166 million Euromillions jackpot winner lives in France - French lottery player has won this week's 166 million euro jackpot in the Euromillions draw. La Française des Jeux says the lucky winner has 60 days to claim their winnings.

BUSINESS

Australian airline Qantas says it is investigating a privacy breach on its app that left customers with access to others' personal details. Some users reported seeing several boarding passes and flight details belonging to strangers, including their names and frequent flyer information. Qantas said it fixed the problem about three hours after it was discovered, and apologised to customers. Some passengers told local media they appeared to have the ability to cancel another passenger's upcoming flight. The airline has recommended that users log out and then log back into the app to try and fix the issue. It said it was "not aware of any customers travelling with incorrect boarding passes".

The Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers are back up for sale after an Abu Dhabi-backed bid to take them over collapsed. The ownership of the papers was set to be transferred to the Gulf-backed RedBird IMI consortium before the government intervened in January. Legislation has since been put forward to ban foreign states from owning UK newspapers and news magazines. RedBird said it would halt the takeover and put the media firm up for sale. The investment firm said its plans were "no longer feasible", adding it would now look to secure the "best value" for the titles, which include the Spectator magazine.

The European Commission has opened formal investigation proceedings into Meta over its handling of political content, including a suspected Russian influence campaign. With elections looming in the EU and elsewhere, officials said they would assess whether the company's approach to moderating disinformation on Facebook and Instagram breached EU law. Among the Commission's concerns is Meta's oversight of its advertising tools, and whether they had been exploited by "malicious actors." The probe will also examine whether Meta is being transparent enough over its moderation of political content and accounts.

SPORT

Formula One - Leading designer Adrian Newey is negotiating an exit from Red Bull that would leave him free to join another team in early 2025. The early departure of the man regarded as F1's greatest ever designer from the world champions is to be announced within days following negotiations over his contract. Newey’s next team is not yet decided but Ferrari are hot favourites to sign him. The 65-year-old’s contract as Red Bull’s chief technical officer runs to the end of 2025 and is said to include a 12-month “non-compete clause” that theoretically should have precluded him starting work for another team until 2027. But it's reported that his lawyers are securing an early exit and he will be free to start work from next year.

Tennis - Rafael Nadal says it has been a "very emotional" week after he made his last-ever appearance at the Madrid Open. The former world number one, a five time champion in the Spanish capital, waved an emotional farewell to the tournament after losing in straight sets to Jiri Lehecka. The 37-year-old has indicated he plans to retire after the 2024 season.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys produced a stunning comeback against eighth seed Ons Jabeur to reach the semi-finals of the Madrid Open. The American 18th seed looked rattled as Jabeur wrapped up a first-set 6-0 in just 24 minutes. Keys clinched the second set before dominating the decider to triumph 0-6 7-5 6-1.

WEATHER

Mostly overcast this morning, some occasional sunny spells on the Var coast, with the chance of some light rain in the Var this afternoon and thundery showers inland in the Alpes-Maritimes along the Italian border. Temperatures not getting above 16 degrees celsius this afternoon, with light winds. It'll be a partly cloudy night with temperatures going down to 12 degrees celsius on the coast and 9 inland. The outlook for Friday: fine and sunny, with some strong gusts of wind on the Var coast, 17 degrees celsius in the Alpes-Maritimes and up to 20 degrees in the Var. Looking fine and sunny for the weekend as well.

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