French and Riviera News Thursday 30th June 2022

News

Salah Abdeslam given full-life sentence - The only surviving attacker from the group which carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks has been found guilty of terrorism and murder charges. Salah Abdeslam received a rare full-life sentence for his role in the gun and bomb attacks that killed 130 people. The court also convicted 19 other men involved, six of whom are believed to be dead.

The trial - the biggest in modern French history - began last September. For more than nine months, victims, journalists, and the families of the dead lined up outside the specially-built courtroom in Paris to piece together the story of the worst attack in France since World War Two. The attacks across bars, restaurants, the national football stadium and Bataclan music venue on 13 November 2015 saw hundreds injured alongside those killed.

Investigation opened against French minister - The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation against the Minister of Solidarity for "attempted rape". A complaint had been filed against the minister by a former elected centrist, Monday, June 27th, for facts dating back to 2010. According to her lawyer, the complainant accuses Damien Abad, at the time newly elected MEP, of having tried to impose oral sex on her during an evening in her Parisian home. Meanwhile Damien Abad's lawyers responded that the elected official "takes note of the accusations and will be able to quickly demonstrate his innocence".

Food cheque for millions of households - The French government is planning to distribute a food cheque to millions of households. Government spokesperson Olivia Gregoire said that food cheques will be sent to the 9 million poorest French households. The amount will be 100 euros per household plus 50 euros per child.

Discount on petrol prices could be extended - Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is considering an extension "until the end of the year" of the 18-cent discount on petrol prices. Implemented in April, the discount could last a little longer than expected. The boost had been decided by former Prime Minister Jean Castex to deal with soaring fuel prices and meant that "for each full 60 litres, the customer saves 9 euros".

TotalEnergies - Meanwhile TotalEnergies has announced a discount of 12 cents per litre at its motorway stations until August 31st. The discount will apply at all motorway service stations in the TotalEnergies network and will be effective from the first litre purchased, with no limit on the amount. The TotalEnergies rebate is in addition to the state rebate of 18 cents per litre meaning that a motorist who fills up at a TotalEnergies motorway service station this summer will therefore save 30 cents per litre including tax. This amounts to a saving of 15 euros for a full 50 litres. The discount should affect around 17 million people, according to the oil company.

Local News

Child hit by scooter on Prom - A child has been hospitalised in Nice in a serious condition, after being hit by a scooter on the Promenade des Anglais. The incident occurred at around 7.30pm on Wednesday evening when an adult riding the scooter hit a 4-year-old child. According to witnesses, the 45-year-old man was riding on the cycling path when he knocked down the little boy, who was crossing the pedestrian crossing. The child, seriously injured, was treated on the spot before being taken to the nearby Lenval hospital.

A&E department closes at night - The A&E department at Draguignan hospital is soon to close its doors again at night.  The collective "Urgence aux urgences de nuit de l'Hôpital de Draguignan" announced the new night closure 7 days a week calling for mobilisation on Friday.

Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal visits Toulon today - Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal is visiting Toulon today to announce a new aid scheme for companies that are victims of rising energy costs. Attal, will inaugurate a new business support system in the city aimed at supporting companies and employees particularly energy-consuming ones, in the agriculture, industry or new technologies sectors, which are directly affected by the rise in the price of electricity or gas. The team leading this new national venture will be based in the Var, at the Toulon public finance department.

Inaugural flight turns into fiasco - An inaugural flight of the low-cost airline company EasyJet turned into a fiasco on Tuesday after a false start at Nice International Airport. The new Nice-Brest flight, connecting the Riviera to Brittany throughout the summer, delayed take off due to the bad weather, which hit the region on Tuesday, only when the control tower finally gave the green light for take-off "the crew had reached their working hours limit". With no pilot the passengers were forced to spend the night in Nice. EasyJet claims to have "done everything possible to minimize the impact of this disruption for customers by offering them hotel accommodation if necessary". However, the operator acknowledges, that "unfortunately, due to high demand and limited availability of hotel rooms in Nice, not all customers were able to benefit from hotel accommodation". Some had to fend for themselves. EasyJet does promise that they "will reimburse clients".

Business

Heathrow Airport has asked airlines to remove 30 flights from this morning's schedule because it is expecting more passenger numbers than it can currently cope with. In total, 1,200 flights were scheduled to leave throughout the day. The airport claims the cancellations are necessary for both safety and to ensure as many passengers as possible catch their flights. It said individual airlines would contact people who are affected.

Google is facing action from a coalition of ten European consumer organisations over the company's account sign-up process. A Google account is essential in order to use a number of its products and services. But the coalition alleges the sign-up process steers users toward options which collect more data. Google told reporters that it welcomed the opportunity to engage with consumer organisations on the topic.

Planned to be lowered to 5000 euros on July 1th, the ecological bonus paid for the purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle will eventually be maintained at 6000 euros, announced Bruno Le Maire. The ecological bonus paid for the purchase of an electric or hybrid car will be maintained at a maximum of 6,000 euros until the end of 2022. The bonus intended to encourage the sales of new vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions had risen to 7,000 euros in March 2020, before being fixed at 6,000 euros.

According to the latest figures from PAP Vacances, the number of reservations on its platform has jumped by almost 11% compared to 2019. The French will favour staying in France this summer, given the significant increase in the price of plane tickets and the decline in purchasing power. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the market for seasonal rentals of houses and apartments is benefiting particularly at PAP Vacances, one of the leaders in this sector. According to its latest figures, which end on June 27th, the number of reservations on its platform jumped by nearly 10.7% compared to 2019. In June alone, growth rose to +25% over two years.

Sport

Tennis - British two-time champion Andy Murray suffered his earliest Wimbledon exit as he lost in four sets against American John Isner in the second round. Isner will next play 20-year-old Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner. Murray had never before failed to reach the third round at Wimbledon, in 13 previous attempts.

Meanwhile, Emma Raducanu says she will continue to "embrace every single moment" as she remained upbeat after a straight-set exit at Wimbledon that left Centre Court deflated. The 19-year-old Briton was outpowered by France's Caroline Garcia in a 6-3 6-3 defeat in the second round.

Golf - Lee Westwood says he does not believe his chance of playing in the Ryder Cup will be affected by his involvement in the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf series. The former world number one, will play in the second of the eight-event $250m (£200m) series on Thursday. England's Westwood has made a record-equalling 11 Ryder Cup appearances for Europe.

Football - Romelu Lukaku has returned to Inter Milan on a season-long loan, just a year after leaving for Chelsea. Chelsea paid Inter a club-record £97.5m for Lukaku, last summer but, before Christmas, he said he was "not happy" and hoped to re-join the Italian side. Inter have agreed to pay a loan fee of about 8m euros (£6.9m) for Lukaku.

Weather

Mainly fine with a gentle breeze. Highs of 26 degrees in Antibes, Cannes and Nice and along the coast of the Alpes Maritimes. 29 degrees in Toulon and the Var. This evening going down to 20 degrees.

The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend - Remaining fine highs of 27-28 degrees reaching 32 degrees on Sunday with clear skies.

Sea Temperature     22 degrees       UV Level  9

Sunrise              05.51hr                       Sunset      21.16hr

And Finally

A man is making money in his sleep by charging people to wake him up and and he's racking up £28,000 a month. Influencer Jakey Boehm came up with a clever way to earn a bit of extra cash and rigged his bedroom with speakers, lasers, and a bubble machine.

He then encouraged his followers to pay to wake him up - they can choose whatever song they like and it'll be backed up with an annoying light show. From Australia’s Gold Coast, Jakey is now going viral and has racked up 520,000 followers - many of whom are paying real money to wake him up each day.

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