French and Riviera News Tuesday 17th January 2023

News

16-year-old teenager dies near high school in Paris region - Three minors have been placed in police custody after the death on Monday morning of a 16-year-old teenager in Thiais in the Val-de-Marne in the Paris region. The teenager was fatally stabbed near his high school during a probable fight between rival gangs. At this stage of the investigation, "the suspect or suspects" have not yet been identified. According to the first reports, a group of six to ten people showed up near the school to battle with two young people. The confrontation was visibly prepared. The young people first kept watch before attacking the two 16-year-olds. They chased them for several tens of meters. The investigation continues.

Paris shows support for women in Iran - The Eiffel Tower has lit up with messages of support for protesting women in Iran. The slogan "Femme, Vie, Liberte" was seen on the landmark in Paris, which translates to "Women, Life, Freedom". Mass protests have been continuing since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini four months ago.

Scams circulating - Authorities have warned the public of various scams circulating by SMS pretending to be from the tax authorities most recently concerning the “fuel allowance” which was made available yesterday in France. As a reminder the Directorate General of Public Finance does not send an SMS to promote the “fuel allowance”. To apply for fuel compensation, the official form is online and some websites which refer to premium rate numbers (0 899...or 0891...) to reach public finance centres are fraudulent numbers. To obtain tax information for individuals, the numbers to use are: either ordinary telephone numbers for local calls (in 01, 02, 03, 04 or 05) which are those of the public finance centres; or the single non-surcharged number (price of a local call): 0 809 401 401.

A&E department closes until Saturday due to burnout - The A&E department at Frejus Hospital in the Var, is to close its doors until Saturday 8am due to "a professional burnout". Almost all emergency caregivers will be on sick leave from tomorrow Wednesday 18th January, due to burnout.  A line of duty made up of a few caregivers and on-call doctors will be provided during the three days, to take care of absolute emergencies.

Free parking due to demonstrations - Street parking in Nice will be free in Nice on Thursday 19th January, due to demonstrations planned against the pension reform. The strike action is however, expected to cause significant disruptions to the metropoliltan public transport network. No trams are expected to run and many bus lines will be affected by the strike movement.

SPA figures - Recent figures published have shown that the SPA took care of 44,199 abandoned animals in 2022, almost equalling a 2019 record, including 27,940 cats.  On the adoption side, 41,186 animals found a new master, including 26,024 cats, 12,646 dogs. 2022 was also been intense on the animal abuse front. The SPA processed 23,800 reports in 2022, an increase of 52%.

“Spiderman” - A convicted burglar nicknamed Spiderman, who scaled tall buildings in Monaco to steal from people's apartments, has had his jail term extended for violence towards prison officers. Dressed entirely in black, wearing a hood and attached to each building by rope, Spiderman carried out a series of daring burglaries, at night, in 2019, including from a 50th floor apartment in the Tour Odeon. He was jailed for three years last summer. He's now appeared in court again and been ordered to serve an extra three months behind bars for three acts of violence, including punching and spitting at prison supervisors.

Clean up campaign - A group of more than 100 volunteers who normally help clear up litter from the coastline near Marseille have decided to tackle the city centre instead. The Clean My Calanques team picked up 600 kilos of rubbish in just a few hours this weekend - everything from bottles and cans to a discarded toilet seat.

Butterflies - Two rare species of butterfly have been spotted for the first time in the Mercantour national park. The discovery was made in Sospel as part of a programme called Explor'nature, which aims to build up an inventory of local biodiversity.

Nice Carnival - With less than a month to go until the Nice carnival, work is frantically going on behind closed doors in warehouses to build and design the carnival floats. This year is the 150th edition and the theme is "the treasures of the world". The carnival in Nice runs from 10 to 26 February.

Paradise for toddlers - For parents of young children in the Var region the directors of the "Les P'tits Mômes" micro-nursery, newly installed in the Agay holiday village, are pleased to announce the opening of a “paradise for toddlers, full of toys”. The toy library in Cap Estérel is open to 0–4-year-olds and their parents. For more information you can go to their website:  https://micro-creche-les-ptits-momes-46.webselfsite.net/

Rallye de Monte-Carlo – Finally, preparations are underway here on the port of Monaco in front of our studios for this year’s 91st edition of the Rallye de Monte-Carlo which will take to the roads of Provence Alpes and the Côte d'Azur this week. This Thursday 19th January the starting line is scheduled, as last year, on the Place du Casino in Monaco. In all, the participants will cover 1,523 km including "18 special stages with a total length of 325.02 km".  For more information, visit the event website https://acm.mc/homepage/

Business

China's economy grew last year at the second slowest rate in almost half a century. Official figures show gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's second largest economy rose by 3% in 2022. That is way below the government's target of 5.5% but better than most economists had forecast. Last month Beijing abruptly lifted its strict zero-Covid policy. The policy had a major impact on the country's economic activity last year but the sudden relaxation of the rules has led to a jump in Covid cases that threatens to also drag on growth in the early part of this year.

The boss of one of the world's biggest fertiliser firms has warned that Vladimir Putin is "weaponising food", and the impact is being felt around the world.  Svein Tore Holsether, from Yara, said countries needed to cut their reliance on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine hit global food supplies and prices. Russia is a top exporter of fertilisers and chemicals used to make them. But the war has caused supply issues and driven up the price of natural gas, which is key to fertiliser production.

The Bank of England governor has said that there is still a "hangover effect" from the financial instability seen during the prime ministership of Liz Truss. Andrew Bailey told MPs that the cost of government borrowing, which soared after the mini-budget, had normalised. But he said international investors were still wary about lending money to the UK government.

Marks & Spencer is to open 20 new shops and create thousands of new jobs, thanks to an investment in its stores worth £480m. New M&S stores will open at former Debenhams sites in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Thurrock this year. According to M&S more than 3,400 jobs will be created over three years.  Debenhams shut for good in May 2021 as COVID-19 lockdowns proved to be the final straw for the department store chain. But M&S has now announced expansion plans which could revive some abandoned Debenhams locations.

Sport

Tennis - The majority of play was suspended on day two of the Australian Open because of extreme heat in Melbourne. With temperatures above 35C, matches on the outside courts were stopped just before 2.15pm local time (03:15 GMT).

Football - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he will not leave the club unless he is forced to and hinted at changes at Anfield during the summer. The German's comments come amid a run of poor form for the Reds, who are ninth in the Premier League and 10 points off a top-four spot. Liverpool were beaten 3-0 by Brighton on Saturday after what Klopp described as a "really bad" performance, and he said his team had to get "back to basics" to improve their form. They face Wolves in an FA Cup third-round replay this evening. Kick-off is at 8.30pm French time.

Olympic Games - Every Olympic Games up to and including the 2032 summer Games will continue to be shown free to air across the BBC. The BBC will offer live and on-demand coverage of both summer and winter editions of the Games on TV, radio, online and digital platforms. The 2024 summer Olympics will be hosted in Paris, France. In 2028 they will be staged in Los Angeles in the United States and the 2032 Games will be in Brisbane, Australia. The 2026 Winter Olympics will take place in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, with the 2030 hosts still to be decided. Tokyo 2020 saw a record-breaking 104 million requests to watch the action online throughout the duration of the Games, while 36.4 million watched on BBC TV.

Weather

Cloudy with some sunny intervals and a fresh breeze. Highs of 14 degrees in Nice, Monaco, Saint Tropez, Toulon and Cannes. Showers forecast inland in Draguignan, Puget-Thenier and Tende with highs of 7-10 degrees. This evening going down to 7 degrees along the coast and 4 degress inland.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday. Tomorrow highs of 11 degrees. Sunny with a moderate breeze. Rain by the evening in the Alpes Maritimes. Thursday, sunny gentle breeze and highs of 12 degrees going down to 2 degrees.

Sunrise       08.00hr

Sunset        17.20hr

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