French and Riviera News Tuesday 23rd April 2024

Scientists' report gives 167 ways to help Nice deal with climate change - A group of experts have come up with more than 150 recommendations for how Nice can deal with the increasing effects of climate change. The panel of 17 scientists and other climate experts were brought together by Nice mayor Christian Estrosi in early 2023. They've now submitted their final report, which includes 167 proposals. With temperatures rising and extreme weather events and drought becoming more common, the report aims to ensure that Nice doesn't become a city that's unbearable to live in due to the heat. The recommendations include better use of land - with less concrete, more soil and trees - and careful use of planning permission measures to control urban sprawl. Other measures include better public transport, more bike paths away from the coastline and keeping parks and gardens open for the longer in the morning and evening to help residents cool off. The panel also say that agricultural land in the Nice region should be protected - and that authorities should think twice before allowing any future expansion to Nice airport.

Man dies in Var car crash - A man in his 30s has died after his car collided with a truck near Brignoles, in the Var, early on Monday morning. Paramedics were called out to the accident on the N7, in the village of Tourves, around 5.30am yesterday. The car's driver couldn't be resuscitated. The driver and passenger in the truck were taken to Brignoles hospital with minor injuries

Train hits man at Nice-Riquier - An investigation has been opened after a man died when he was struck by a train passing through Nice-Riquier railway station. Sixteen firefighters were called out to the scene on Sunday evening and the rail line was closed in both directions for several hours. It's unclear at this stage whether it was an unfortunate accident or a suicide. 

Calls for better regulation of cruise ships - The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, is campaigning for new powers for the mayors of French seaside towns to limit the movements of ships off their shores. Lisnard, who's the president of the Assocation of Mayors of France, wants a change in maritime law that would give local mayors more ability to regulate cruise-ship moorings. Five years ago, Cannes successfully asked for a decree from the Alpes-Maritimes préfecture requiring all boats more than 24 metres long to meet strict environmental criteria if they're to dock in the bay of Cannes. Lisnard says that while cruise-ships undoubtedly bring economic benefits to the towns where they dock, they also cause pollution and are an eye-sore. Last month, 15 environmental campaign groups gathered in Marseille for a protest against the pollution caused by cruise ships on the Mediterranean, calling cruise tourism an "ecological disaster". According to recent figures, ports in the south of France registered more than 1,700 cruise ship moorings last year, including more than 600 in Marseille and 160 in Cannes.

Cap d'Ail petrol station to remain closed for a year - A petrol station on the Moyenne Corniche heading out of Monaco that's been closed since last summer due to a rockfall could remain shut for at least another year. The TotalEnergies filling station on Avenue du Prince Rainier-III in Cap d'Ail was severely damaged last August when part of the rock-face collapsed, damaging part of the building and a nearby parked car. It hasn't reopened and the petrol pumps have been empty ever since. Cap d'Ail town council has spent more than €100,000 securing the rock-face. But the council says it cannot contribute much more - and that a big multi-national such as TotalEnergies should be able to pay its part. If an agreement is reached, the works could cost up to €2 million and wouldn't be completed until next spring at the earliest.

Fancy selling ice cream at Port Vauban? - If you're looking for a new professional challenge, an opportunity has come up to sell ice-cream to the people of Antibes this summer. Port Vauban is looking for candidates to run a new cafe at the foot of the Echauguette lighthouse selling home-made ice-creams and crepes. A call for tenders was launched in January - and while it received dozens of applications, many of them have since pulled out and none of the applications have come to anything. Port Vauban says it'll provide the furniture and equipment for anyone who can make the project a success.

BUSINESS

Several European airlines have reported that thousands of flights have been affected by suspected Russian jamming of GPS systems. More than 2,300 Ryanair flights have reported incidents of GPS interference since last August, according to a report, as well as almost 1,400 at Wizz Air, 82 at British Airways and four from easyJet. About 46,000 aircraft in total have logged problems with GPS over the Baltic Sea in the same time period, according to analysis of flight logs by the website GPSJAM.org. Most of the GPS problems reported on the website have come in eastern Europe, bordering Russia. The satellite-based GPS forms part of an aircraft’s navigation system, and interference can pose a safety risk.

TikTok has said it will fight any ban or forced sale of the app’s US operation in the courts, after the House of Representatives passed legislation targeting the viral video platform. The company’s future in the US was placed in further doubt over the weekend after lawmakers in Washington passed a bill that will ban the app if TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not sell its stake in the American business. The House passed the legislation on Saturday by a margin of 360 to 58. The TikTok bill will go to the Senate, where it could be voted through this week. Joe Biden has previously said he would back the legislation.

The FTSE100 in London neared a record-high yesterday, reaching 8,023 points, its fourth daily gain in a row and its best run since mid-February. Shares were lifted by hopes that the Bank of England will ease interest rates by half a percentage point by the end of this year, with the first rate cut now expected in August. The absence of further attacks between Iran and Israel last weekend has also cheered investors, as geopolitical tensions slightly faded. The London shares index is now close to its all-time high, set in February 2023, of 8,047 points.

SPORT

Formula One - Mercedes have revealed they will bring upgrades to the next F1 race in Miami after an underwhelming Chinese Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton recovered to ninth place on Sunday after a disastrous Qualifying where he was knocked out in Q1 and started in 18th place after making a mistake by braking too late into the Turn 14 hairpin on his final flying lap. As he was battling to move through the field, Hamilton voiced his frustrations on the radio about the pace of his car. At one point, the seven-time world champion said "the car is so slow". Hamilton is enduring his worst start ever to an F1 season since making his debut in 2007 with one seventh, two ninth-place finishes and a retirement from five Grand Prix.

Snooker - At the World Snooker Championships, former world champion Shaun Murphy moved into the last 16 of the 2024 event with an impressive performance to beat China's Lyu Haotian 10-5 on Monday at the Crucible. Murphy, who was the 2005 winner, was 6-3 ahead after Sunday's first session and won four of the next seven frames to set up a tie with Scotland's Stephen Maguire. Murphy said he was "absolutely delighted" to win his first-round match after going out at this phase in both the post two seasons.

Football - Arsenal are at home to Chelsea this evening with a 9pm kick-off French time. Victory would see the Gunners move back three points clear of Liverpool and four points ahead of Manchester City, albeit having played more games than their rivals for the Premier League title.

WEATHER

A bit cloudy on the Alpes-Maritimes coast this morning, generally sunny in the Var, with more thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon in the Alpes-Maritimes and some inland parts of the Var. Some strong gusts of wind in the Var, and temperatures this afternoon not getting above 13 degrees celsius.
The weather should improve this evening and there'll be clear skies overnight, with light winds and temperatures tonight going down to 8 degrees celsius on the coast and 5 inland.
The outlook for Wednesday: it should be fine and sunny, staying dry, still with some strong gusts of wind in the Var, up to 70 kilometres per hour. Temperatures tomorrow reaching 16 degrees celsius on the Alpes-Maritimes coast and 18 in parts of the Var.

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