French and Riviera News Tuesday 27th February 2024

National News

French President says European leaders have agreed to increase funding in Ukraine - French President Emmanuel Macron has said it is key for Europe's security to defeat Russia in Ukraine. Macron made the declaration in Paris where he said that following a meeting on Monday evening, European leaders had agreed to set up a coalition to give Ukraine medium- and long-range missiles and bombs. He added that there was "no consensus" on sending Western troops to Ukraine but "nothing should be excluded". Russian troops made recent gains in Ukraine which faces big arms shortages. A full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin is now in its third year, with no signs that the biggest war in Europe since World War Two could end soon. Monday's crisis meeting in support of Ukraine was attended by heads of European states, including the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and top government officials like UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron. Delegations from the US and Canada were also present.

French actor faces another accusation of sexual assault - French actor Gérard Depardieu, who is under investigation for alleged rape, is facing another accusation of sexual assault. A set designer has filed a legal complaint against the actor claiming he sexually harassed and assaulted her on a film set in 2021. In December 2020, Depardieu was officially put under investigation for the alleged “rape and sexual assault” of the actor Charlotte Arnould, who told police he raped her at his apartment in Paris in 2018 when she was 22. Depardieu said the allegations were “baseless” and that any encounter with Arnould had been consensual. Following allegations the French President Emmanual Macron expressed his support for the actor in a television interview, calling him an “immense actor … who makes France proud” and saying he should benefit from the presumption of innocence. The French president said Depardieu was the target of a “manhunt”.

Local News

Involuntary manslaughter case against local hospital - An Irish woman is preparing to file an involuntary manslaughter case against the Simone Veil hospital in Cannes and the public hospital of Grasse, claiming her sister died as she was given paracetamol and not antibiotics at hospital following a bite from her dog. Therese Sheeran’s sister Frances aged 63, died from septic shock in September 2022 two days after the bite. Ms Sheeran claims that her warnings and requests about the deterioration of her sister’s health were not taken into account by hospital staff. The Cannes hospital said it is ready to provide documents if there is a legal case to answer but added that “they reaffirm their full support of their staff, who have been very affected by the accusations”. Meanwhile, the public hospital of Grasse declined to comment.

Carnival parade postponed due to bad weather - Due to the bad weather this week the Nice Carnival parade planned for this evening Tuesday 27th February, has been postponed. The event is now planned for tomorrow Wednesday 28th February, ticketholders can be refunded. Spectators holding a ticket for this evening can go directly to the festival entrances on Wednesday, February 28, from 6:30 p.m.

Bad weather - On Monday up to 110 mm of rain fell on the Cote d’Azur in 24 hours, making it the wettest February since 1947. The effect of the rain has been felt across the Riviera as landslides closed the Grand Corniche between Nice and Monaco and also at La Trinité. The weather has also brought heavy snow to local ski resorts but not without problems. Mid-term students were stuck on the way to Isola 2000. The weather also contributed to an accident on the A8 motorway during Monday morning’s rush hour causing delays of up to three hours. 

Road closure – It was also on Monday that due to the threat of the retaining walls to the Beau Site Villa collapsing, on the Boulevard Carnot in Nice, which leads from the port to Villefranche, the road was closed and remains closed until further notice. Diversions have been put in place. The Beau Site villa is one of the most emblematic and remarkable jewels of Nice architecture. But the land surrounding it has suffered from the heavy rainfall. To the point that retaining walls on the property threaten to give way. The residence, built at the end of the 19th century and which had fallen into disrepair in recent years, was sold for around 7 million euros in 2023.

Jeanne d’Arc statue - A move to prevent a statue of Jeanne d’Arc being erected in Nice has been put down the by Administrative Court. Opponents had claimed the commissioning of the €170,000 statue did not follow correct acquisition rules. The statue will be erected as planned in front of the Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc church, just north of the Liberation area of the city.

Michelin Guide - The Michelin guide has published this week a list of 56 “good deal” restaurants throughout France, three weeks before awarding its famous stars. The addresses given do not exceed 40 euros for a meal and the vast majority of these addresses are located outside Paris and Ile-de-France. Brittany particularly stands out with 10 new “Bib Gourmands”, followed by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions. Among the notable trends in this new selection, the continued rise of bistronomic cuisine, a style of cooking which combines bistro classics with gourmet preparation methods.

Business

Cryptocurrency bitcoin has hit a two-year high above $57,000 in Asia trade on Tuesday on signs of heavy institutional buying, while smaller rival Ethereum topped $3,200 for the first time in two years. Bitcoin has outperformed traditional assets like stocks and gold this year.
Shares of crypto-related companies gained in the US on Monday. MicroStrategy rose 16%, trading platform Coinbase Global Inc. increased 17% and miner Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. jumped 22%.

Disney’s motion picture production president Sean Bailey is stepping down after a decade and a half in the role. Disney said Mr Bailey will stay at the company as a producer on other projects. The news comes after recent disappointing box office performances.  

And - British banker Jacob Rothschild, a senior member of one of Europe's best-known banking dynasties, has died at the age of 87. Rothschild, born in England in 1936, started his career at the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, in 1963 before going on to co-found J Rothschild Assurance Group, which became today's London-based wealth manager St James's Place. The family, in a statement, called Rothschild "a towering presence in many peoples' lives".

Sport

Football - West Ham beat Brentford 4-2 in the Premier League on Monday with Jarrod Bowen scoring his first career hat-trick. In the fifth round of the FA Cup this evening Bournemouth are at home to Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers face Newcastle and Luton Town play Manchester City.

Tennis - Great Britain's Andy Murray has suggested he may only have a "few months" left of his tennis career after earning his second win of 2024 in Dubai. Speaking after his victory Murray said "I probably don't have too long left but I'll do as best as I can these last few months”.

Rugby Union – France may have need him in their match against Italy in the Six Nations at the weekend, but it appears Antoine Dupont is busy elsewhere after scoring a try for France and beating the USA 42-12 to win the bronze medal at the SVNS event in Vancouver. 27-year-old Dupont opted to miss this year’s Six Nations to represent France’s sevens team as they prepare for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Argentina beat New Zealand 36-12 in the final. New Zealand saw off France 35-19 in the women's final. The event was the fourth in the SVNS season, with the next taking place in Los Angeles from 1-3 March.

Weather

Cloudy with showers forecast for this afternoon. There is a yellow avalanche warning in place for the hinterland. Highs of 13 degrees in Nice and Toulon, 12 degrees in Monaco and Marseille, 11 degrees in Saint-Tropez and Vence. Light to moderate winds.

The outlook for tomorrow a brief shower or two in the morning; otherwise, mostly cloudy. Thursday sunny intervals and highs of 17 degrees.

Sunrise                07.11am

Sunset                 06.15pm

Sea temperature

Toulon                 14.2°

Weather elsewhere

Milan                   10° heavy rain.

Bordeaux           10° light rain.

Lisbon                  15° sunny.

Barcelona           16° sunny.

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