French and Riviera News Thursday 7th September 2023

France's winter energy forecast better than last year - The head of France's energy distributor, Enedis, says the outlook for this coming winter is more positive than last year - with a very low risk of power cuts. However, she said households in France should prepare for electricity price rises this winter. Marianne Laigneau said the forecast for electricity production this winter is good. Much of the concern last year surrounding electricity production was due to the combined effect of the war in Ukraine and ongoing maintenance at France’s ageing nuclear reactors.

Man arrested after stand-off in Nice apartment - A man has been arrested in Nice after barricading himself into his home on Boulevard de Riquier yesterday afternoon. A large security perimeter was set up in the neighbourhood as RAID officers, an elite unit of the national police, attended the scene, near Place Max Barel. Police intervened as they feared he was potentially armed and dangerous. It's reported that he had threatened to attack his partner and their children. The security perimeter was lifted shortly after 4pm after the man's arrest.

Man drowns in Antibes - A 38-year-old man, believed to be of Spanish nationality, has drowned in the sea at Antibes. Firefighters pulled the man’s body from the sea at La Fontonne beach in Antibes. They were called out yesterday lunchtime after they were alerted by passers-by. An investigation has begun to determine what happened.

Casino employees supported by town hall - Local authorities in Grasse have called a meeting with the laid-off employees of the Victoria casino, which was ordered to suddenly shut down last week. It's reported that the casino had its licence revoked for a series of regulatory breaches. The affected staff have been invited to Grasse town hall to discuss the casino's collapse and to receive support in finding new work.

Restos du Coeur gets rent reprieve - The City of Nice has stepped in to offer help to the local branch of the Restos du Coeur food aid charity. It comes after the association warned earlier this week that it was facing severe financial difficulties and needed additional premises. Nice city hall has agreed to waive the annual rent it charges the charity to use its base on the Route de Turin. That represents an annual saving of €9,000. Nice will also offer another municipal building to the charity, allowing it to expand its activities.

Inventor of rugby is buried in Menton - The Rugby World Cup kicks off tomorrow evening - and the man widely credited with creating rugby is buried here on the Riviera. According to legend, William Webb Ellis was playing a school football match in 1823 when he picked up the ball and started running with it. He spent his latter years in Menton, dying there in 1872 and he's buried in the town's cemetery, where a commemorative plaque tells his story. During the Rugby World Cup, Menton is proposing a walking trail around the town to discover the history of rugby, and a rugby-themed exhibition along the Sablettes seafront. Menton will also be showing France's World Cup matches on a giant screen.

BUSINESS

The boss of Ryanair has criticised a report on the UK flights chaos seen over the August bank holiday as "rubbish". Michael O'Leary claimed the findings "downplay the impact on the aviation industry" and said the report was "full of excuses". Hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled when the UK's air traffic control system was brought down on 28 August. Industry group Airlines UK argues that carriers incurred huge costs in providing accommodation and putting on more flights for customers who were stuck overseas. It is now calling for these costs to be covered. Michael O'Leary said the disruption will cost his airline between £15m and £20m in refunds for hotels, food and alternative travel arrangements.

Manchester United shares saw their biggest ever one-day fall after a report that the team's US owners are going to take it off the market. The club's shares fell by more than 18% in New York. It came after the Mail on Sunday reported that no potential buyer had matched the club's asking price. The US-based Glazer family announced in November it was considering selling the Premier League club as they explored "strategic alternatives". Manchester United's co-chairmen, brothers Joel and Avram Glazer, are holding out for an offer of £10bn, according to the Mail on Sunday. However, prospective bidders have reportedly not come close to offering that amount.

And workers at two Chevron liquefied natural gas facilities in Australia are today starting a series of work stoppages in a dispute over pay and conditions. Concerns about the stoppages recently pushed up prices in natural gas markets. Australia's industrial arbitrator, the Fair Work Commission, has been hosting mediation talks between Chevron and the Offshore Alliance - which is a partnership of two unions representing energy workers.

SPORT

Rugby Union - France have named their team for the opening World Cup match against New Zealand tomorrow. Yoram Moefana has been named at inside centre. He'll wear the number 12 shirt in the absence of the injured Jonathan Danty. Prop Cyril Baille is ruled out of the opener in Paris through injury. France are targeting a first World Cup title after finishing their preparations with a comfortable 41-17 win over Australia.

Football - Manchester United say they are taking allegations made against winger Antony "seriously" after he was accused of abusing his former girlfriend. Brazilian news outlet UOL published allegations made by Antony's ex-partner on Monday. Police in Sao Paulo and Greater Manchester are investigating the claims, which the player has denied. The 23-year-old was withdrawn from the Brazil squad after news of the allegations emerged.

Meanwhile, Jenni Hermoso has filed a legal complaint over the kiss by Luis Rubiales after the Women's World Cup final. Hermoso was kissed on the lips by the Spanish football federation president, which she says was not consensual. Rubiales denies this, and has been provisionally suspended by football's world governing body Fifa. The complaint means that Rubiales could face criminal charges.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic will face Ben Shelton in the last four of the US open tomorrow. The Serb will be playing a record 47th men's Grand Slam semi-final after his straight-set win over Taylor Fritz earlier this week. Shelton, in contrast to Djokovic, will be appearing in his first Grand Slam semi-final.

WEATHER

Fine and sunny throughout the Riviera today, light variable winds and temperatures reaching 29 degrees celsius on the coast and 31 inland in the Var this afternoon. Another fine evening, with clear skies overnight, temperatures going down to 20 on the coast and 16 further inland. The outlook for Friday: more of the same, fine and sunny, up to 30 degrees on the coast and 32 inland - and looking good for the weekend as well.

BEACH WEATHER

This afternoon on the beach in Nice it'll be fine and sunny, 27 degrees celsius, with light winds - 15 kilometres per hour. The sea temperature is 24 degrees celsius and the UV index is 7. In Saint-Tropez, it'll also be fine and sunny, 29 degrees celsius, a gentle breeze. The water temperature is 24 degrees celsius and the UV index is 7.
 

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