French and Riviera News Thursday 8th June 2023

News

Abduction alert - French police have issued a kidnapping alert after an 8-year-old girl disappeared overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in Dunkirk. Malek Younes is described as having long, black, curly hair and black eyes. The young girl disappeared from avenue de la Liberation in Dunkirk and is likely to be in the presence of her father, 40-year-old Jamel Younes, who has black hair, is of normal build and heavily tattooed. Police say they are thought to be travelling in a green Renault Twingo with the following number plate DM 485 GJ. Anyone who locates the child or suspect, is asked not to intervene but to immediately call 197 or send an email to alerte.enlevement@interieur.gouv.fr.

Macron unenthusiastic towards NATO proposal - French president, Emmanuel Macron has said that a proposal for NATO to open a liaison office in Japan would be a “big mistake”. There have recently been suggestions, by the NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, that the organisation would open an office in Tokyo, its first in Asia, in response to the growing challenge posed by China and Russia. Growing military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow in the Asia-Pacific was underlined on Tuesday when the Russian and Chinese militaries conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, prompting South Korea and Japan to scramble fighter jets in response.  Despite calls for NATO to work more closely with allies in north-east Asia, France is apparently reluctant to support anything that fuels tensions between the alliance and China. Macron earlier this year made a high-profile state visit to boost relations with China under president Xi Jinping, controversially suggesting afterwards that Europe should keep a distance from China-US tensions over Taiwan.

Police seize drugs in the Vaucluse - Two tons of cannabis, 1.5kg of cocaine along with handguns, watches, luxury items and cash have been seized in the Vaucluse ahead of arriving in the Var region. Investigators from Marseille and the Vaucluse dismantled the trafficking as part of a year longs investigation. Several individuals have been arrested as the investigation continues.

Crime rate in France – Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said that crime fell sharply last month compared to May 2022. There was a reduction of 9.6% in thefts with weapons,  21.3% in violent thefts without weapons, 6.4% in thefts without violence, 1.3% on vehicle theft and a fall of 5.8% in sexual violence.

A Paris-Nice night train hits a herd of cows - A Paris-Nice night train has hit a herd of cows in Burgundy leaving 400 passengers stranded for nine hours. The Paris-Nice train struck a herd of cattle at 150 km / h in Yonne at around 11pm on Tuesday June 6th. The accident caused a slowdown of several hours on the line. The driver was hospitalized. An investigation into the exact cause of the accident has been opened.

Further tests on drinking water - Further tests are being carried out to try and get to the bottom of the contamination of drinking water in five towns in the Alpes-Maritimes, Saint-Cézaire, Peymeinade, Le Tignet, Spéracèdes and Cabris. So far 22 cases of gastroenteritis have been declared related to the contamination. The regional health agency of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region has confirmed that additional tests are required before a return to normal.

Training exercise - Canadair water bombing aircraft have been flying over the Alpes-Maritimes today, but they aren't involved in any firefighting operations. The prefecture said that the aircraft are involved in a training exercise.

King Charles III to visit France - Finally, cancelled last March due to protest in France against the pension reform, the official visit of King Charles III to France should take place in September, a few days before that of Pope Francis who will celebrate a mass at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille on September 23. Charles and Camilla's visit was originally scheduled to take place March 26-29. But on March 24, this trip had been “postponed” due to the mobilization against the pension reform, which was at the time in full swing.

Business

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he expects to discuss Joe Biden's flagship package of investment in green industries when he meets the president during his trip to the United States. Mr Sunak is meeting Mr Biden for the fourth time this year, for talks at the White House today. Travelling to Washington he said "subsidy races" were not a solution to hitting climate goals. Some British ministers have criticised Mr Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as harmful to world trade. The law includes $370bn (£297bn) to boost green technology in the US.

The Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and The Spectator magazine are set to be put up for sale due to debts owed by their parent group. Receivers Alix Partners have now taken control of the group, and replaced the current owners, the Barclay family. The receiver said it doesn't expect the changes to affect the operations of the papers, which are profitable. Lender Lloyds Bank is unlikely to recover the original value of the loan, worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Sir Ivan Menezes, chief executive of the world's biggest spirits company Diageo, has died aged 63. On Wednesday, the Guinness and Johnnie Walker maker said he "passed away following a brief illness, with his family at his side." The British-American national was born in India and was set to retire at the end of the month. Diageo currently has more than 200 brands, which it markets in over 180 countries.

Security officers at Heathrow airport will take part in a fresh wave of strikes this summer that could affect travellers at the UK's busiest airport. About 2,000 officers who are members of the Unite union will walk out for 31 days between 24 June and 27 August. Terminals 3 and 5 and checks for non-passengers will be affected and the action could spark queues at security. Unite described it as "a major escalation" in its pay dispute with the airport.

Sport

Football - West Ham have ended their 43-year wait for a major trophy with a 2-1 win against Fiorentina to win the Europa Conference League in Prague. The match was settled in the most dramatic manner with a stunning a last-minute goal. The victory seals a place in next season's Europa League and means European football for the third year running for the first time in the club's history.

Goodbye Paris, hello Miami, as Argentina legend Lionel Messi will join American side Inter Miami after his exit from French champions Paris St-Germain. The Miami deal includes collaboration from brands like Adidas and Apple. Messi won the Ballon d'Or award for the world's best player seven times and is expected to win it later this year after World Cup success. This is the first time Barcelona icon Messi has played outside Europe.

And - Real Madrid have agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund to sign England midfielder Jude Bellingham for 103m euros (£88.5m). The 19-year-old, who joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in July 2020, was one of England's top performers at last year's World Cup. Bellingham wants the move and will have a medical in the next few days.

Isle of Man TT Race - Spanish motorcycle rider Raul Torras Martinez has died in a crash during the Isle of Man TT races on Tuesday. Organizers said the 46-year-old was killed during the first Supertwin race and on the third and final lap between the 16th and 17th mile markers. It is the 267th death in the history of the event. The TT is a racing festival that takes place over a two-week period on the island off the coast of northern England, bringing together motorcycle road racers from across the globe.

Rugby Union - London Irish have filed for administration after being suspended from the Premiership. Irish, who will not be able to play in any league next season, were punished after missing a deadline to pay players and staff or complete a takeover. Owner Mick Crossan and a US consortium have been unable to reach a deal.

Cricket - Travis Head has put Australia in a dominant position against India on day one of the World Test Championship final at The Oval. The left-hander, player of the series in the last Ashes, served a reminder of his talent before this summer's battle against England with 146 not out from 156 balls. India will return on today with a ball that is less than five overs old. They must strike early, or risk being batted out of this final.

Golf - Rory McIlroy has said that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour's shock merger with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) will ultimately be "good for golf".  The world number three had been a firm defender of the PGA Tour as rivals accepted lucrative deals to join the LIV Golf series, funded by the PIF. Speaking at the Canadian Open, the Northern Irishman said he had "mixed emotions" about the "surprise" deal. But he added: "[In] 10 years this is going to be good for pro golf."

Weather

Partly sunny skies with a gentle breeze. Highs of 23 degrees in Vence and Nice. 24 degrees in Cannes and Monaco. 25 degrees in Saint Tropez. Reaching 26 degrees inland in the Var in Draguignan. This evening going down to 17 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and heading into the weekend partly cloudy with sunny spells. Remaining dry along the coast with showers forecast for inland in the region on Sauturday. Highs of 23-25 degrees.

Sunrise       05.50am

Sunset        09.11pm

Paris             &n