French and Riviera News Thursday June 2nd 2022

News

French President in Marseille today - French President Emmanuel Macron is to visit Marseille today Thursday 2nd June, alongside the government’s new Education Minister, Pap Ndiaye. The visit is to promote "the school of the future” project which was launched back in September 2021 as part of the “Marseille en Grand” plan. The Head of State "will visit the Menpenti school and its mathematics laboratory, an innovative educational project, set up as part of the 'school of the future'.

Feminicide in Nice - A mother has been killed by her companion in Nice. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning shortly after 8am in the Negresco residence, a condominium of 112 apartments adjoining the famous hotel on the Promenade des Anglais. It was the couple's 9-year-old child who notified the police calling the emergency services after witnessing the scene of violence. Her mother a 35-year-old Russian, had just been stabbed by her father. The attacker, 52, of Russian nationality, also injured, was quickly arrested by the police in the building located not far from Villa Masséna. Writing on his Twitter account the mayor of Nice said "I want to express my pain and my emotion following a feminicide this morning in Nice. The victim was allegedly killed by her companion who was arrested by the police. It was their child who warned the police. A terrible drama which must be punished with extreme severity”. Four feminicides have been reported in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region since the beginning of the year, 46 in France.

Ministers are heard in front of committee - France’s Interior and Sports Ministers have appeared before of the upper house of the French parliament committee facing questions about the security at the Champions League Final held in Paris last Saturday. Gerald Darmanin admitted there had been shortcomings and apologised to the Liverpool fans, especially for the use of tear gas against children. He said "clearly things could have been organised better. It is evident that this celebration of sport was ruined, and we very much regret the troubles which were sometimes unacceptable”. The scenes have caused renewed tensions between France and Britain, whose ties are already strained, and have become a domestic political headache for the French government less than two weeks before parliamentary elections. The minister went on to say that 110,000 people were "in and around" the stadium -- exceeding its capacity by 35,000 -- and that as many as 70 percent of tickets were found to be fraudulent by staff at the first security checkpoints. Gerald Darmanin went on to propose that from Monday "Spanish or British Citizens" who allege they have been the victim of offenses on Saturday can "file a complaint in their country". French government spokesperson Olivia Gregoire said that President Macron continues to have full confidence in Gerald Darmanin, despite reports in French media that he had criticized the minister over the situation. 

Pressure on Macron to visit Ukraine - Meanwhile pressure is mounting on French president Emmanuel Macron to visit Ukraine before France's European presidency comes to an end. The calls come as US president Joe Biden has promised Ukraine advanced rocket systems that analysts say could turn the tide against the Russian assault on the Donbas region. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on French President Emmanuel Macron to visit his country before the end of France's EU presidency on 30 June. He said "it would be good that Macron came during the French EU presidency, and the best thing would be that he comes with more weapons deliveries for Ukraine." "That's the most precious aid we can receive from France," he added. Macron travelled to Moscow and Kyiv shortly before Russia's invasion on 24 February but has not returned to Ukraine since the outbreak of the war.

The water level in the Gorges du Verdon worries tourism professionals as the season begins - Tourism professionals in and around the Gorges du Verdon region have expressed their concerns due to the drought affecting the region. As the season begins the Var prefecture has raised its drought alert level and some 20 municipalities in the Var are concerned. Since the beginning of winter, rainfall has been rare and insufficient, preventing groundwater from regenerating.

Temperature is set to rise - Météo France has forecast a rise in temperatures from tomorrow with more than 30°C in the Rhône Valley, up to 40°C near Ajaccio this Saturday and reaching 31°C in Toulouse, Montélimar and Grenoble. Temperatures will finally drop from Sunday with thunderstorms that will remain quite strong in the east of the country.

French President gives gift to Queen Elizabeth II - As four days of celebration begin today in the UK for Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee, French President Emmanuel Macron has given her majesty one of the 470 horses of the Republican Guard cavalry regiment as a gift. From today until Sunday the UK and the countries of the Commonwealth are to celebrate the 70 years of reign of the British sovereign. While events have been held across the country since February 6, the Queen's official coronation day, the main festivities will take place from June 2-5. For the anniversary, the British government has invested 28 million pounds (33 million euros) and a special public holiday has been decreed on June 3rd so that all of Her Majesty's subjects can take part in the celebration.

Bungee jump world record breaker - A Frenchman has broken the world record for bungee jumping, throwing himself into the void 765 times in 24 hours from a bridge in Scotland. François-Marie Dibon, a 44-year-old Parisian, started his challenge on Tuesday in the Scottish Highlands. Twelve hours later, he had already broken the record, but continued bungee jumping until Wednesday morning. On average, he made a jump every 113 seconds.

Business

The number 2 of Facebook, which recently became Meta, has announced her resignation on social networks. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of the American social media giant, announced her departue however she will remain on the Board of Directors. Sandberg went on to say that these years "alongside Mark" Zuckerberg, the boss and founder of the company, have been "the honour and the privilege of a lifetime”.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has ordered staff to return to the office full-time, declaring that working remotely is no longer acceptable. The new policy was shared in emails that were leaked to social media. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment on the messages, one of which appeared to be addressed to executives. "Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week," he wrote in one of the emails. "If you don't show up, we will assume you have resigned."

There are warnings that Ryanair flights from Stansted airport could be seriously disrupted this summer due to a pay dispute. Unite the union said workers employed by baggage handler Blue Handling have rejected a 4% pay offer following a 10% pay cut in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Blue Handling employs around 750 workers and handles around 200 flights a day during the summer holiday season.

Meanwhile train stations and airports in France have been hit by a technical problem with the border police computer system. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon and saw "passport and security checks take longer than usual due to problems with the control systems of the French authorities". The situation is gradually returning to normal.

Sport

Football - Ukraine has stunned Scotland and earnt themselves a historic World Cup play-off final against Wales after winning 3-1 last night. While images of fans watching on in war-torn Ukraine circulated, 3,500 fans in light blue and yellow - including 65 orphans invited by the Scottish FA - celebrated wildly in Glasgow on a night none will forget.

Formula One - Mexico's Sergio Perez has signed a two-year contract extension with Red Bull that will keep him with the team until 2024. The 32-year-old won Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix and is third in this season's driver standings. Team boss Christian Horner said keeping Perez was a "no-brainer". Perez joined Red Bull from Racing Point at the end of 2020 and finished fourth in the 2021 drivers' championship after his most successful season in Formula One.

Queen’s Birthday Honours list - Olympic gold medallist Eve Muirhead has been named on the Queen's Birthday Honours list, alongside cricketer Moeen Ali and ex-footballer Rio Ferdinand. Muirhead won curling gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics and has been made an OBE, while the rest of her team become MBEs. Moeen and Ferdinand are both made an OBE, while Wales footballer Gareth Bale becomes an MBE. The latest round of honours are to mark the Queen's Jubilee Birthday celebrations to mark 70 years of service.

Weather
Some cloudy patches this morning. This afternoon sunny despite some high cloud. Light winds. Highs of 25 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Antibes. 27 degrees in Saint-Tropez and Hyeres. 29 degrees in Marseille. This evening 19 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Friday and the weekend - Fine and sunny with light winds. Highs of 27-28 degrees along the coast in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var.

Sea temp – 22 degrees                       UV level – 8

Sunrise Monaco – 05.51hr                          Sunset – 21.06hr

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