French and Riviera News Thursday 30th May 2024

National News

Calls for a ceasefire in Gaza - Several town halls in France have turned off their lights in memory of the civilian victims in Gaza. Marseille, Montpellier, Lille and Bordeaux all took part on Wednesday evening, following Sunday evening’s strike by Israel on Rafah in which 45 people were killed. Meanwhile, demonstrations were held in the French capital for a third consecutive evening to demand a ceasefire. Demonstrators brandished Palestinian flags and chanted: "Long live the struggle of the Palestinian people", "this is not a war, it is a genocide”.

Pharmacies on strike in France today, Thursday 30th May - Unions have announced that between 75% and 90% of pharmacies in France will be closed today Thursday May 30th, due to strike action. Around thirty gatherings are planned throughout France. Among the demands from unions, pharmacists are asking the government to implement a plan to combat drug shortages. Negotiations have begun with Health Insurance, but unions say they intend to increase the pressure on the government to at the same time demand an increase in their fees.

Olympic Games, tickets on sale today - From today Thursday May 30th, 40,000 tickets for the Olympic Games in Paris will go on sale. Organiser say from now on every Thursday at 10am up until the beginning of the game’s places will be made available. In total, 10 million tickets will be available for the event. So far, more than 8.3 million have been sold Games and 950,000 tickets for the Paralympic Games.

European elections - With the European elections fast approaching only three in 10 young people in France say they intend to vote. The survey by the Ipsos institute revealed that nearly one in two young people say they do not fully understand the issues at stake in the election. Only 53% of 18–29-year-olds have the impression of fully understanding the major issues of the election, which takes place on June 9th.

Local News

Employee left in shock following hold up in luxury store in Monaco - An employee of a luxury store in the Principality has been admitted to the Princess Grace Hospital in a state of shock following a robbery on Wednesday morning. According to local media an individual disguised as an elderly man and in possession of a firearm entered the store on the Boulevard de Moulins at around 11am. Threatening the employee it took just 7 minutes to steal several watches on display with a value of around 3 million euros before fleeing the scene with an accomplice on a motorbike. The two individuals were still at large on Wednesday evening.

Elected officials to appear in court today - Elected officials of Puget-Théniers in the Alpes Maritimes are to appear in court today accused of dumping waste into the Var River. The dumping is believed to have taken place between 2017 and 2023 and was revealed following an inspection last year from the French office for biodiversity. Due to the risk to the environment the France Nature Environnement association has since filed a lawsuit. According to them in total nearly 300 tonnes of waste were dumped. It will now be up to the court to determine whether an offense was committed and who the possible culprits are.

Polluted sea water – An alarming report on polluted sea water has been published by the Eau et Rivières de Bretagne association and some 130 beaches in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var have been identified.  According to the study one in five French beaches are regularly polluted by bacteria and in total, 93 beaches (5.02%) are "to be avoided" and 316 are "not recommended" (17.04%) out of the 1,854. However, swimming is "recommended" for 690 beaches (37.2%) and "not very risky" for 755 (40.7%). The worst ranked beaches are in the Alpes-Maritimes, the North, Pas-de-Calais, Calvados, and the northern coast of Brittany. Figures from the French government from 2022 showed that 92.4% of seawater bathing sites were classified as excellent or good quality. Following the publication of the report the Full English Breakfast show will be talking to Christopher le Visage, the vice-president of the ERB on tomorrow’s show.

Giant dictation - A giant dictation is being held this Sunday at 9.30am at the Théâtre de Verdure in Nice. All generations, from all districts of Nice are invited to challenge themselves, in a friendly atmosphere.  Nearly 500 people are expected. The “Giant Dictation” was designed to provide access to reading and writing to as many people as possible. For more information contact 04 97 13 42 12

Green Shift Festival - Finally, another event which is open to the general public and organised by the Prince Albert the II of Monaco Foundation is to take place here in Monaco. The second edition of the “Green Shift Festival” will take place on June 5th, 6th and 7th, on the Promenade du Larvotto. Entry is free and the festival offers a range of inspiring and positive activities giving pride of place to artistic proposals embodying new stories of commitment to the environment and the world we live in. You can discover the full programme of the event at www.thegreenshiftinitiative.org

Business

A planned takeover by mining giant BHP has fallen through. The company had intended to take over rival Anglo-American in a deal that would have been valued at £38.6bn. The collapse of the deal follows a month of back-to-back negotiations ending with Anglo rejecting BHP's calls to extend talks on Wednesday morning, while BHP said it was denied access to "key information" from Anglo during the meetings "despite numerous requests".

A racial discrimination lawsuit has been filed against American Airlines by three black men alleging that the carrier briefly removed them from a flight after a complaint about body odour. The men, who were not seated together and did not know each other, say that every black man was removed from the 5th of January flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to New York. In a statement on Wednesday the men claimed that "American Airlines singled us out for being Black, embarrassed us, and humiliated us”. The Texas-based airline said it was investigating the matter as the allegations did not align with its values.

One of the 1990s biggest clothing brands is making a comeback as Abercrombie & Fitch appears on track for a second year of double-digit sales growth. The company told investors it expects sales this year to rise 10% from 2023. That is nearly double its prior forecast and comes after a 16% surge last year. Known in the 90s for appealing to teens, and infamous for its shirtless models, the company is now going after grown-ups with wedding-wear, work appropriate offerings and wide leg, baggy jeans.

And – In the UK a popular broadband provider is set to hike its monthly payments from July. NOW Broadband is raising prices by an average of £3 a month from the 5th of July. The summer increase will add an average of £36 a year to customer bills. However, the company offers a no-penalty exit option.

Sport 

Football – 20-year-old Jude Bellingham has been named as the player with the highest estimated transfer value in world football thanks to his debut season for Real Madrid. Bellingham has made a total of 35 goal contributions across all competitions for the Spanish giants and will look to add to this in his final outing for his club this season in Saturday's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. 


Meanwhile, Manchester United staff have reportedly been given a week to decide whether to resign under Sir Jim Ratcliffe's plans to end working from home. The Daily Telegraph reported that the club's non-football staff were invited to take redundancy by next Wednesday in an email sent on Tuesday.

Golf – World No 1 Scottie Scheffler has been cleared of all charges after his arrest at the US PGA Championship earlier this month. He had faced four charges following the dramatic events of May 17th, when he was arrested and led away in handcuffs.

Weather 

Cloudy with sunny intervals. A gentle breeze and highs of 23 degrees in Nice, 21 degrees in Monaco. Moderate to strong winds in the Var region. Highs of 26 degrees in Saint-Tropez and Marseille. This evening going down to 14 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and Saturday, fine and sunny. Storms expected inland by Saturday afternoon. Highs of 23 degrees. Sunday, light rain and thundery showers are expected to reach the coastal area of the Alpes Maritimes and the Var.

Sunrise       05.52am

Sunset        09.03pm

Sea temperature

Rayol Canadel    18.2°

UV level 7 in the Alpes Maritimes

Level 8 in the Var.

Weather elsewhere 

Lyon           21° thundery showers.

Barcelona 23° and sunny.

Cardiff        19° light rain.

Berlin         21° thundery showers.

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