French and Riviera News Thursday 7th March 2024

National News France

February was the warmest month in modern times - According to the EU’s climate service February was the world’s warmest month in modern times, extending the run of monthly records to nine in a row. Each month since June 2023 has seen new temperature highs for the time of year. The world's sea surface is at its hottest on record, while Antarctic sea-ice has again reached extreme lows. Carbon dioxide concentrations are at their highest level for at least two million years, according to the UN's climate body, and increased by near-record levels again over the past year. Those warming gases helped make February 2024 about 1.77C warmer than "pre-industrial" times.

Former French President meets with President Macron - Former French President François Hollande has met with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Hollande on Wednesday warned the President of the Republic after his recent comments about the possibility of sending French troops to Ukraine. At the end of an hour-long interview, François Hollande spoke to the press underlining the importance for the French head of State to “weigh his words” concerning the situation in Ukraine. Hollande is a in favour of maintaining support for Ukraine and adds that "there must be the broadest consensus for support for Ukraine from material aid to military aid”. He also judges that “we all need to deliver more equipment to the Ukrainians”. Adding that Germany “must move faster so that their commitments are kept” and that the French must give as much equipment, including the most sophisticated before concluding that, Europe must not just offload equipment saying that "it is not the quantity, but the quality of what is being sent”.

Head of France’ top cinema institution to be tried on charges of sexually assaulting godson - The head of France’s top cinema institution Dominique Boutonnat is to be tried in June on charges of sexually assaulting his godson. Activists have called for 54-year-old Boutonnat, the head of the powerful National Centre of Cinema (CNC), to step down from his position after the allegations, saying he is not the man to lead the required change. Boutonnat has denied the accusations. The prosecutor’s office said the trial was set for 14 June. Boutonnat’s godson, who is not a relative, accused him in 2020 of sexual abuse during a holiday in Greece earlier the same year when he was 21. The film producer said it was “consensual kissing”, but he was charged with sexual assault in September 2022. The French government had a few months earlier reappointed him to a second term as CNC president, much to the dismay of activists.

Paris Olympics poster comes under attack - Revealed at the beginning of this week and posted on our Facebook page, 106.5 Riviera Radio, the official poster for this summer’s Paris Olympics has come under fire with accusation that the artwork erases symbols of French identity and Christianity. The design features a cartoon map of Paris with a wealth of details. Conservatives have criticised the lack of the French tricolour, and a cross missing from the Hôtel des Invalides landmark. Artist Ugo Gattoni has defended his work saying that he wanted to create a "festive universe".

New coin - Simone Veil, Josephine Baker and Marie Curie will soon be appearing as the new faces on the 10,20 and 50 centime coins in France. The new coins will gradually be put into circulation by the summer. Each minted euro coin has a European side and a national side which can only be changed every fifteen years. It was back in January, that a defect in a first version of these coins had forced the Paris Mint to destroy some 27 million copies.  

Most beautiful beaches - Two French beaches have made it into the prestigious ranking of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The list, established by the specialist magazine Condé Nast Traveler includes remarkable beaches ranging from Australia to Hawaii and Indonesia to Scotland. In seventh position (out of 34 beaches listed), is the Dune du Pilat beach, at the entrance to the Arcachon basin.  Coming in thirteenth position, is the Fakarava atoll, in French Polynesia one of the best snorkelling sites in the world, with consistently warm waters and an area which also inspired the painter Matisse to create his famous “blue period”. The artist spent three months in Tahiti in 1930 and was fascinated by the infinite blue of the lagoons.

Local

Weather - Meteo France has issued an update on another ‘Mediterranean episode’ expected this weekend. Rain and strong winds will hit Provence and the Alpes-Maritimes on Friday, followed by heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday with up to 80 or 100mm of rainfall in places. In the mountains, snow is expected with 30cm of snow from 1,300 meters, up to 50cm from 1,800m in particular on the Mercantour. The situation is evolving, and we’ll keep you updated on-air and on Facebook with developments.

Hit and run - An investigation has been opened following a hit and run incident in Cogolin in the Var. The incident occurred on Tuesday evening when a motorist ran into a woman on a motorcycle and fled the scene. The victim was seriously injured and taken to hospital.

Road closures and parking restrictions in Monaco – Residents in Monaco are being reminded that from next Monday March 11th there will be several road closures and parking restrictions in the Principality. Ahead of the three Grand Prix events and not forgetting the final stage of the Tour de France, which departs from Monaco for the finishing line in Nice the Principality’s Urban Planning Department has announced an extensive road resurfacing programme. To minimise disruption most of the work will be carried out at night between 8pm and 6am. For more information go to

https://www.gouv.mc/Action-Gouvernementale/La-Qualite-de-Vie/Actualites/Campagne-de-refection-des-enrobes3

William Turner exhibition Grimaldi Forum Monaco  - After Claude Monet, the Grimaldi Forum here is Monaco is devoting its summer exhibition to William Turner. The exhibition will bring together a series of major paintings by the British painter who is in the history of art, considered as an impressionist before his time! Between Turner, who died in 1851, and Monet, born in 1840, the connection is found in their way of interpreting the landscapes in their paintings. Pre-sales are already open - on the Grimaldi Forum website - and until June 30th, you can pay 7 euros a ticket instead of 14. The exhibition is on from July 6th to September 1st.

Gassin hopes of becoming France’s favourite village - Finally, with only two days left until voting closes the tourist office of Gassin in the Var, has pulled out all the stops, as it hopes to become France’s favourite Village. While the village can rely on the solidarity of locals to vote it is also hoping to seduce tourists and obtain their votes. This week, guided tours have been specially designed to introduce visitors to the most beautiful spots in Gassin. Voting can be done by telephone at 3245. Gassin is the only village in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region which has been selected.

Business

According to a leading think tank tax cuts in the UK which were announced in Wednesday's Budget will not make up for the impact of tax increases and rising prices. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said households would be worse off at the election, expected this year, than they were at the start of this parliament. The chancellor has announced a cut to National Insurance worth £10bn. The IFS said that despite that, it will be a record tax-raising parliament.

A former Google software engineer has been charged in the US with stealing trade secrets about artificial intelligence (AI) while secretly working for two Chinese companies. The employee has been charged in the state of California and was arrested on Wednesday. The Chinese national allegedly stole more than 500 confidential files. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count.

Australia's financial crime watchdog has launched an investigation into UK online gambling firm Bet365 over its compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) had ordered an external audit of the firm in 2022.  The industry has come under increased scrutiny after online betting surged during the pandemic.

Sport

Football – Both Manchester City and Real Madrid have reached the Champions League quarter-finals and will join PSG.

Meanwhile, Mbappe who once recorded an astonishing 38km/h sprint in an encounter against his former club Monaco in 2019, has also clocked a time of 10.9 seconds over 100m in a Champions League match this week.

Formula One - Max Verstappen says his father is "not a liar" in the wake of his claim that the controversy around Christian Horner is "driving people apart". Jos Verstappen said last weekend in Bahrain that the situation at Red Bull "is not good for the team".

Rugby Union - Wales have changed their centre partnership to face France in the Six Nations on Sunday in Cardiff. Joe Roberts and Owen Watkin replace World Cup pairing George North and Nick Tompkins, who have been dropped.

Weather

Fine and sunny, with highs of 15 degrees in Nice, 13 degrees in Monaco. Light winds and highs of 14 degrees in Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 7 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday heavy rain is forecast with another “Mediterranean episode” expected over the weekend.

Sunrise       06.56am

Sunset        06.26pm

Sea temperature

Nice     13.9°

Weather elsewhere

London      11° light cloud

Paris        13° sunny intervals.

Dublin         9° sunny intervals

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