French and Riviera News Thursday 6th June 2024

National News France

D-Day commemorations – American President Joe Biden has arrived in France to participate in today’s commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Around twenty heads of state and government will be present. At 10:30 this Thursday morning French President Emmanuel Macron along with King Charles III and his wife Camilla will be present for the first commemoration ceremony. Celebrations will continue throughout the day.

The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it is the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of France, and the rest of Western Europe, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

But, D-Day celebrations have not always taken on such magnitude. In 1954 for the 10th anniversary of the D-Day landings there was only one head of state: the French president at the time, René Coty. This was already more than in the following years, as President de Gaulle refused to go to Normandy on June 6th not wanting to celebrate the landing of the English, American and Canadian allies, he preferred to go to the South to commemorate the landing in Provence, where the French troops were more present.

However, it was from the 40th anniversary, in 1984, that commemorations began to take centre stage when François Mitterrand decided to make it a diplomatic meeting. Seven heads of state were invited, and for the first time, an American president attended, Ronald Reagan. Along with the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, and the Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau. And in 2004 Germany and Russia were invited for the first time.

Global monthly temperature records broken in May - Global monthly temperature records have been broken for the twelfth consecutive month. The month of May 2024 was marked by a new monthly heat record on a global scale, according to the latest report from the European Copernicus observatory published on Wednesday June 5th. The global average temperature over the last twelve months is the highest ever recorded, at 1.63°C above the pre-industrial average, exceeding the limit of 1.5°C set by the Paris agreement in 2015.

Man arrested after he attempted to blow himself up in hotel room – French police have arrested a 26-year-old Ukranian-Russian man after he blew himself up with explosive materials in a hotel room north of Paris. The incident occurred on Monday and the man was treated by fire-fighters after he "suffered significant burns following an explosion”.  According to reports a search of his room led to the discovery of products and materials intended for the manufacture of explosive devices, the source added.

Strikes in Paris-Orly Airport Next Week - French air traffic controllers have filed a strike notice for next week, the latest action in their ongoing dispute over working conditions. This will affect air traffic from the 11th to the 13th of June at Paris Orly airport. Other French airports are unaffected. 

Local News

Missing person - Police in Menton have appealed to the public following the worrying disappearance of 42-year-old Sébastien Grosso who has not been seen since midday on Sunday, after leaving the Princess Grace hospital centre here in Monaco. He was at the time wearing neon orange camouflage-style Bermuda shorts, a green t-shirt with skulls on it, a brown sweatshirt jacket, a black backpack and white trainers with green stripes. Anyone with any information is invited to contact the police in Menton on

French artist Ben dies aged 88 - French artist Ben, has died aged 88, he took his own life just hours after the death of his wife of 60 years. Best known for his ironic painted slogans, Ben died at their home in Nice just a few hours after the death of his wife “unwilling and unable to live without her”.  Born Ben Vautier in Naples in 1935, the artist and professionally known only as Ben, moved to Nice aged 14 and spent the rest of his life there. He became best known for his humorous slogans, usually painted in white on a black background, in a childlike handwriting: “What is the use of art?”, “Is the new always new?”, “What are you doing here?” In a statement French president, Emmanuel Macron, said “On our children’s pencil cases, on so many everyday objects and even in our imaginations, Ben had left his mark, made of freedom and poetry, of apparent lightness and overwhelming depth,” France’s culture minister added “The world of culture has lost a legend,” hailing a “goldsmith of language”.

Poor air quality - Air quality in both the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes regions is expected to be poor this weekend due to the arrival of a new cloud of sand from the Sahara in the south-east of France. It’s the fifth time since the start of the year that an impressive yellowish tint has taken over the skies of the Riviera and AtmoSud has once again issued a warning due to a rise in fine particles. Any physical and sporting activity is not recommended and those vulnerable are advised to moderate their activities and avoid pollution peaks.

Aix is the Most Attractive Student City of France - Aix-en-Provence has been hailed as the most attractive student city of France. 32 criteria have been taken into account in the ranking such as living environment, leisure, accommodation, budget and safety. Aix, Angers and Dijon are in the top three. Marseille ranked 22nd and Nice 33rd.

Fete de la radio in France - Finally, today marks the beginning of the Fête de la Radio 2024. An iconic event, held on the 6th and 7th June. The national celebration of radio in France aims to honour and recognise the intrinsic value of the medium in all its forms: FM, DAB+, web radio, internet, podcasts, and much more. The aim of the Fête de la Radio is to celebrate the resilience and innovation of radio through the ages, and to encourage reflection on its future in our digital society. By highlighting the values of radio, such as localness, accessibility and diversity, strengthening the links between radio stations and their listeners, while exploring new ways of enriching and to enrich and extend the radio experience in the digital age. Tell us what you think of radio and how you experience listening to radio


A ruling by the EU's highest court has put an end to McDonald's exclusive right to use the label "Big Mac" in reference to chicken burgers sold in the European Union. The American fast-food chain popularised the nickname for large burger sandwiches, registering it as a trademark in the EU in 1996. But following a legal challenge from Supermac's, a rival chain in Ireland, other companies will now be free to use the name "Mac" to sell poultry products or in their chains' names.

A court in the UK has ruled that Google must face a £13.6bn lawsuit alleging it has too much power over the online advertising market.  Ad Tech Collective Action LLP alleges that the search giant behaved in an anti-competitive way which caused online publishers in the UK to lose money. Google parent company Alphabet called the case "incoherent" in its attempts to get the legal action dropped. But the Competition Appeal Tribunal, in London, has ruled that the case can now go to trial.


Football - It’s disappointment for James Maddison who will not be included in England’s 26-man squad for Euro 2024. Despite featuring in England’s friendly match on Monday, having been called up by Gareth Southgate to the provisional 33-man selection, the Tottenham midfielder is now one of seven players who will be cut from the squad. The final England squad for the tournament will be announced on Saturday, after their last warm-up friendly against Iceland at Wembley the night before.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has claimed that there would be 100 more incorrect refereeing decisions made per season if clubs vote to scrap video assistant referees (VAR). The league sent a briefing document to all 20 clubs before the annual general meeting on Thursday, 6 June, explaining the reasons why it feels VAR should remain.

Tennis - Alexander Zverev has reached the French Open semi-finals for the fourth consecutive year.  Zverev now has another chance to reach the Roland Garros final after missing out over the last three years. He will be playing Norwegian seventh seed Casper Ruud, who outclassed Zverev in last year's semi-finals. Both semi-finals will be played on Friday.


Cloudy, giving way to clear skies and highs of 23 degrees in Nice with a gentle breeze. Monaco, sunny intervals highs of 22 degrees. Sunny with highs of 24 degrees in Saint-Tropez, Toulon highs of 25 and 22 degrees with light cloud just over the border in San Remo.

This evening going down to 16 degrees with clear skies. The outlook for tomorrow similar to today with highs of 24 degrees. Cloudy on Saturday with the possibility of showers inland. Sunday, thundery showers and a moderate wind, highs of 23-24 degrees.

Sunrise       05.49am

Sunset        09.09pm

Sea temperature

Marseille 17.5°

UV level     5

Weather elsewhere

London      18° sunny intervals.

Toulouse    30° sunny.

Edinburgh  14° sunny intervals.

Belfast        14° light rain.


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