French and Riviera News Thursday 6th July 2023

News

Investigation - An investigation has been launched by the French navy following claims that masked, off-duty marines tackled rioters in the western city of Lorient, home to a major military base, during last week’s riots. Local media has published pictures of groups of so-called “anti-rioters” who wore hoods and masks as they apprehended and beat up suspected troublemakers in the city on Friday night.

Macron faces backlash after threat to cut off social media – Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron is facing a backlash after threatening to cut off social media networks as a means of stopping the spread of violence during periods of unrest. Élysée officials and government ministers responded on Wednesday by insisting the president was not threatening a “general blackout” but instead the “occasional and temporary” suspension of platforms.

Ministers in France have blamed young people using social media such as Snapchat and TikTok for organising and encouraging recent rioting and violence after the fatal shooting dead of a teenager during a police road check in a Paris suburb last week.

Locally, the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said in an interview that "we have to be able to block Twitter!", highlighting the role of social networks and their connection to the riots and unrest. Estrosi believes that social networks were "the essential weapon of mobilization" during the events that shook France. He particularly stigmatizes the lack of cooperation from Twitter adding that “action against social networks must be taken and an agreement reached with European partners so that, if necessary, authorities can go as far as blocking certain social networks”.

Earthquake - An earthquake with a magnitude of 1.9 has been recorded at sea, between the Côte d'Azur and Corsica. The earth shook slightly overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday according to SismoAzur. It follows a larger earthquake recorded in the same area with a magnitude of 2.7 which occurred on July 2nd.

Tourist dies after falling 30 metres - A tourist has died after falling 30 meters into a gorge in the Ardèche. The 28-year-old died on Wednesday July 5th following the fall and despite an intervention from emergency services. The accident occurred shortly before 1.30pm. The victim was on holiday in the region and was originally from west-central France.

Violence in hospital - Nurses at the A&E department at Avignon hospital have spoken of their daily life in the face of violence, claiming that “attacks have become commonplace” in the hospital. Since January, thirteen complaints have been filed and according to the director of the establishment, security is still insufficient, despite two security guards and a hundred cameras. Alarm buttons were also installed a few years ago to warn colleagues and the police.

Theft of an ambulance in Toulon - A 48-year-old man has been arrested in Toulon after the theft of an ambulance. The individual is suspected of having entered the garage of the "Toulon-Centre" fire and rescue centre, located in the Port-Marchand district in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Firefighters alerted the national police as soon as they noticed that one of their vehicles was missing and able to geolocate it in real time the suspect was intercepted, at around 3am in Toulon. Found to be under the influence of alcohol he has since been placed in police custody for questioning.

SNCF found guilty - The SNCF has been found guilty of negligence after a departing train ran over a cat hiding on its tracks. The death of the cat, called Neko in January at Paris’s Montparnasse station provoked outrage, with the interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, declaring himself to be “particularly shocked”. Passengers Georgia and her 15-year-old daughter Melaina said their pet escaped from its travel bag and disappeared under a high-speed train as it prepared to leave Paris for Bordeaux, with 800 passengers onboard. After 20 minutes of them trying to persuade staff to rescue it, the train departed, killing the cat.

Business

In a second visit in just two months to Beijing by a senior Washington official, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is due to arrive in China. Yellen will no doubt attempt to rebuild bridges between the world's two biggest economies. The list of points of contention between the US and China ranges from Taiwan and Ukraine to national security and an ongoing trade dispute. The visit also comes just days after Beijing said it would curb exports of two key materials used to make computer chips.

Threads is now available to download in over 100 countries including the UK, but not yet in the EU due to regulatory concerns. Mark Zuckerberg has said that the new app aims to outrival Twitter while experts suggest that Threads could indeed attract Twitter users unhappy with recent changes to the platform. Threads allows users to post up to 500 characters, and has many features similar to Twitter. In a post, Mr Zuckerberg said that keeping the platform "friendly... will ultimately be the key to its success".

Meanwhile, Canada's federal government has said it will pull all its advertising from Facebook and Instagram. It follows parent company Meta's move to restrict news content for Canadians after parliament passed a law that will force tech firms to pay media for news. Canadian officials said on Wednesday that they stand by the law and will not be "intimidated" by Meta.

Sport

Football - The president of Paris Saint-Germain has said that Kylian Mbappe must sign a new contract if he wants to stay at the club. 24-year-old France striker Mbappe has told PSG that he will not extend his contract with them beyond 2024.

Tennis - British number one Katie Boulter says it was a "shock to the system" to see a protestor run on to court during her win in the Wimbledon first round.

Cycling - Jai Hindley won stage five to take the yellow jersey in the Tour de France the first stage win of his career.

Formula One – In a major revision of its 2024 schedule China is set to return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since the pandemic. China was due to return this year but had to be cancelled because of the uncertainty over the Covid situation in the country at the start of the year, when there were riots as a result of continued social restrictions. These have now been lifted.

Rugby Union – Following the end of his contract with English side Exeter former England prop Harry Williams has joined French Top 14 club Montpellier.  The 31-year-old has signed for the French club until 2025. Williams joined Exeter in 2015 and made 163 appearances, but his last campaign was ended in March by injury.

Weather

Sunny intervals and a gentle breeze with highs of 31 degrees in Puget Theniers, Grimaud and Toulon. 28 degrees inland in the Alpes Maritimes in Tende. 31 degrees in Saint-Tropez and 29 degrees in Monaco and Nice.

This evening going down to 15 degrees inland and 21 degrees along the coast, with clear skies. The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend. Clear skies highs of 29 degrees in Nice and 33 degrees in Marseille.

Sunrise       05.55am

Sunset        09.14pm

Beach Weather

Nice – Sea temperature is 24 degrees. Air temperature 26. Sunny intervals. UV level is 8.

Narbonne – Sea temperature 20 degrees. Air temperature 28. Showers forecast. UV level 10.

 

 

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