French and Riviera News Tuesday 19th December 2023


Immigration bill talks suspended - France’s lower parliament, the national assembly, suspended a meeting on the immigration bill on Monday night after four hours, with talks resuming this Tuesday morning at 10:30am. MPs examined around fifteen articles before taking a break in discussions. One of the main obstacles which led to the suspension in talks, between right wing MPs and the government, was the controversial question of social benefits paid to foreigners.

School uniform trial going ahead in two high schools in our regionFollowing the announcement from France’s education minister of the planned trial for school uniforms in France from next September, which will be carried out in those towns and villages happy to participate. The Provence Alpes Côte d’azur region has revealed that two high schools, Les Palmiers in Nice and the Jean-d’Ormesson in Châteaurenard will be taking part. Last week four primary schools in Nice were already confirmed to be taking part in the trial, which will be carried out on a national level. The cost of a school uniform is to be funded by the State and the Region.

Covid 19 was the third biggest cause of death in France in 2021 - According to data published today by Inserm, Covid-19 was the third biggest cause of death in France in 2021 behind cancer and heart disease. Covid-19 represented 9.2% of all deaths in 2021, or 60,895 people in France, the majority elderly. The leading cause of death in France in 2021 was cancer (25.7%). Heart disease came in second place (20.9%) and two-thirds of deaths due to Covid-19 in 2021 took place in public health establishments. In 2021, the total number of deaths is 660,168 which is less than in 2020 but much more than in previous years even when taking into account the aging of the population.

Health workers warn of the dangers of offering a festive tipple to underage drinkers over the Christmas holidays - Health associations in France have warned ahead of the Christmas holidays, the danger of allowing underaged teenagers to drink alcohol. As the holiday season approaches a survey carried out by France’s League Against Cancer, revealed that 70% of those questioned find it normal to let adolescents try alcohol before the age of 18 with one in three French people finding it normal for a young person under 15 to taste alcohol.  According to the survey, 32% of French people think that the end of year celebrations are ideal for introducing young people to alcohol for the first time, and 30% that it is acceptable for those under 15 to try it. The survey also reveals that 41% of French people think that allowing teenager to taste alcohol exceptionally has no consequences. A view which is widely criticised by health workers working with addicts, who point out the vulnerability of adolescents. According to Emmanuel Ricard, spokesperson for the League Against Cancer, "alcohol is the second leading cause of cancer in France", causing 28,000 new cases of cancer each year.

Nice Carnival tickets go on sale - The ticket office for the Nice Carnival is now open online. The Carnival takes place from February 17th to March the 3rd. This year’s king will be crowned as the “King of Pop”. To attend the carnival prices range from 5 to 28 euros depending on age, shows and seating. For more information go to

Unique property for sale on the Côte d’Azur - Finally, a unique house full of history is to go on sale in our region. The property was owned and designed by French actor, director, theatre director, painter writer and photographer Jean Marais. Marais performed in over 100 films and was the muse and lover of acclaimed director Jean Cocteau. In 1996, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his contributions to French cinema. He died in 1998 in Cannes of a heart attack. Located above Grasse the exceptional home has a sumptuous panoramic views overlooking the sea and the surrounding hills. Over the years the house has seen the likes of Chanel, Pablo Picasso and even Pierre Cardin spend time there.


The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is being investigated by the EU over its efforts to combat disinformation and harmful content. The investigation comes after its owner Elon Musk clashed with an EU official who warned the billionaire to do more to tackle disinformation about the Israel-Hamas war. The social media platform is the first to be investigated under the EU’s Digital Services Act.

Apple has announced that due to accusations of violating licensing rights, it is to stop selling its latest watches in the US. The company has said that it will appeal the decision but as a precautionary measure all devices will be removed form the US site on December 21st and from stores in the country after Christmas Eve.  Sales elsewhere are not affected. The issue stems from a dispute with a Californian-based medical device firm, which have accused the iPhone giant of poaching key staff and taking other steps to steal technology to develop and measure oxygen levels in the blood.

Ans - Southwest Airlines has been fined a record $140m by the US Department of Transportation over its operational meltdown in 2022. The penalty is about 30 times larger than any other previous fine levelled against an airline in US history. Millions were left stranded after Southwest cancelled more than 16,900 flights during a busy week of holiday travel last winter.


Rugby Union – Former Wales rugby captain Brian Price has died at the age of 86. Price first played international rugby for Wales in 1961. He was selected for the 1966 British Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand playing in all four tests. A teacher by profession he later became a journalist and sports presenter for radio and television.

Football – In the Champions League Manchester City will play Copenhagen in the last 16, while Arsenal face Porto. It’s the first time since 2011 that Copenhagen have reached the knockout stage.

And – according to reports Manchester United could finally confirm Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.25 billion investment before Christmas. There is hope the injection of cash will enable United to keep pace with rivals such as Manchester CityLiverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League and compete in Europe.

The chairman of Oldham Athletic Football Club in England, 73-year-old Frank Rothwell has vowed to continue and complete his solo row across the Atlantic after his boat capsized twice. Rothwell is attempting to break his own world record and raise £1million for Alzheimer’s Research UK in completing the sail from the Canary Islands to Antigua. He started his journey last week but it was disrupted on Monday morning by surging waves which sent him plunging into the water.

In 2021 Frank completed the row in 56 days, becoming the oldest person to cross the Atlantic solo at the age of 70. This time he was aiming for 49 days until the incident on Monday morning.

Cricket – Andrew Flintoff has displayed his trademark power during training with England in the Caribbean on Monday. Flintoff who famously took down the Australian bowling attack to help England win back the Ashes on home soil in 2005 showed he's still got it. England will today play their fourth T20 international against West Indies.


Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Monaco, and Antibes. 16 degrees in Cannes and Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 2 degrees in the Var and 7 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow, cloudy to begin with clearing by the afternoon and highs of 15 degrees. Thursday fine with a gentle breeze.

Sunrise       07.59am

Sunset        04.54pm



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