French and Riviera News Tuesday 2nd July 2024

National News

Parliamentary elections - Opponents of France's far right have been rallying to build a united front to block the path for Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) following their historic gains in the first round of parliamentary elections. The National Rally and its allies won Sunday's round with 33% of the vote, followed by a left-wing bloc with 28% and well ahead of President Emmanuel Macron's broad alliance of centrists, who scored just 22%.

Meanwhile, the head of the French Green party Marine Tondelier, has called on the far-right National Rally (RN) leader, Jordan Bardella, to take part in a television debate with her before Sunday’s second-round parliamentary election, accusing him of only wanting to debate with men. Tondelier has emerged as one of the main figures of the New Popular Front left alliance, which is positioning itself as a clear alternative to the far-right National Rally (RN) in many constituencies in the final runoff. By Monday afternoon a large number of third-placed candidates in France had pulled out of the race, according to Le Monde, including those standing for Ensemble and the individual parties in the Popular Front. One of RN's leading figures, Sébastien Chenu, said he was confident that even if his party did not reach the 289 seats it would succeed in "finding supporters" in the new National Assembly. 

Local News

Mayor of Nice is Disappointed – Meanwhile, locally the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has expressed his disappointment over the first round of the parliamentary election results. The three candidates he supported under the presidential party Horizons were all placed third, trailing behind the coalition of right-wing LR (led by Eric Ciotti) and the far-right RN, as well as the left-wing NFP. However, two of these candidates may still compete in the second round on Sunday, July 7th. Estrosi remarked that France is deeply divided between two extremes, describing the situation as a national tsunami.

Violence in the east of Nice – In other news, Nice has witnessed a night of violence with gunshots and burnt-out vehicles. Police intervened on Monday evening, shortly before midnight after shots were fired in the east of the city on the Boulevard de l’Ariane. Two people were arrested and two vehicles with weapons inside were discovered after several individuals fled on foot.  There were no casualties.

Fairground ride has to be evacuated - A ride at the Luna Park in Cannes-La Bocca has had to be evacuated by firefighters after becoming stuck. The incident occurred on Monday evening shortly after the summer opening of fairground park when at around 9.30pm, the engine of a ride, the Miami Surf, a giant bench which rotates suddenly become stuck. No injuries were reportedly, but three adults and eleven teenagers become stuck five metres above the ground and had to be evacuated by firefighters using a large ladder.

Pharmacist in Var convicted - A pharmacist in the Var region has been convicted of defrauding France’s social security. The individual was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining undue reimbursements from the Var primary health insurance fund and was sentenced on Monday in Toulon to a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros. He had reportedly been reimbursed by Social Security for falsely prescribed medications by using prescriptions in the name of nine doctors for pharmaceutical products which he was then reimbursed for.

High winds – Finally, strong winds are forecast in our region particularly to the west in the Bouches-du-Rhône as the prefecture has warned of the risks of forest fires breaking out due to a strong mistral. The mistral will blow with gusts reaching 75km/hr, from the Rhône to Aix and Marseille. All massifs in the department have been placed on yellow alert, with a severe risk of fire. Due to the risk access to the department's 25 highly exposed forest areas is regulated during the period from June 1st to September 30th. The prefecture has published on its website a map which is updated daily on the danger level and the closure of the massifs. Each year, 90% of fire outbreaks are of human origin, half of which are due to carelessness and dangerous behaviour.

Business

Chip maker Nvidia is set to be charged by the French antitrust regulator for allegedly anti-competitive practices.  The French so-called statement of objections comes after dawn raids in the graphics cards sector in September last year, which reportedly targeted Nvidia. The raids were the result of a broader inquiry into cloud computing. The world's largest maker of chips used both for artificial intelligence and for computer graphics has seen demand for its chips jump following the release of the generative AI application ChatGPT, triggering regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tesla deliveries look set to fall for a second straight quarter as it deals with stiff competition in China and slow demand due to a lack of affordable new models. Tesla has hit a speed bump after years of rapid growth that helped make it the world's most valuable automaker. It warned in January that deliveries growth in 2024 would be "notably lower" as a boost from months-long price cuts wanes. Tesla's stock has lost a quarter of its value this year, making it one of the worst performers on the S&P 500, despite Musk's forecast in April that Tesla would be able to increase sales this year. He has slashed costs including through mass layoffs that gutted Tesla's supercharging team.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corporation is launching a rival to Netflix in the UK. The platform Tubi will compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+, ITVX, Channel 4's streaming platform as well as the BBC iPlayer. The platform has been quickly gaining market share in the US where, according to Fox, it has almost 80 million monthly active users. In the UK, Tubi says it will offer more than 20,000 films and TV series, including content from Disney, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The platform will also include a selection of BritishIndian and Nigerian content. UK viewers will be able to access content on the Tubi webpage and via a smartphone app.

Sport

Football - Les Bleus are through to the quarterfinals of the Euro 2024 after a gripping match against Belgium winning 1-0 with a goal scored just before full time. France had 19 shots against the Belgians but just two were on target and ultimately it was a touch of fortune that saw them through. However, boss Didier Deschamps was defiant when faced with criticism of his side's efficiency in attack.

Meanwhile, it went from “tears to cheers” for Ronaldo after his penalty was saved in extra time with the last-16 tie goalless, but just 15 minutes later he stepped up to the same spot to fire in the first of his country's shootout kicks. Portugal survived a humiliating exit, overcoming Slovenia to set-up a quarter-final tie with France. Today, Romania play the Netherlands, kick off is at 6pm and Austria play Turkey with a 9pm kick off French time.

Cycling - Biniam Girmay has made history as the first black African to win a Tour de France stage as Mark Cavendish was held up by a late crash on the run into Turin. Girmay’s victory also highlights the progress of African cycling, which will host the world championships in Rwanda next year. Today, stage 4 brings the 2024 Tour de France out of Italy and into France via one of the earliest mountain stages in Tour de France history. At 140km, Stage 4 is the shortest stage of the Tour, so far, and it features three categorized climbs.

Tennis - Carlos Alcaraz opened his Wimbledon title defence with a hard-fought victory over Estonian qualifier Mark Lajal. The Spaniard won 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 6-2 to begin proceedings on Centre Court. Alcaraz is attempting to win back-to-back major titles after triumphing at the French Open last month. Meanwhile, Andy Murray will make a final decision on Tuesday as to whether he is fit enough to play in the Wimbledon singles later that day.

Weather

A fine and sunny start. Showers forecast for this afternoon in the Alpes Maritimes. Remaining dry in the Var with strong winds and gust of up to 70km/hr. Highs of 27 degrees in Nice, 26 degrees in Monaco and Mougins. 28 degrees in Saint-Tropez and 29 degrees in Vence. This evening going down to 18 degrees along the coast and 15 degrees inland.

The outlook for Wednesday, overcast with hazy sunshine. Strong winds persisting in the Var. Highs of 26 degree. Thursday, sunny with moderate to strong winds in the Var. Highs of 28 degrees.

Sunrise 05.53am

Sunset 09.15pm

Sea temperature

Hyeres  21 degrees

Air temperature 29 degrees feels like 32 degrees.

UV level 8

Weather elsewhere

Palma 27° sunny.

Dublin 17° drizzle.

Brussel 17° light rain.

And Finally

According to a recent study carried out by journalists and developers and published in “The Conversation”, you can guess a person's political opinion just by their style and clothing. The survey also established that based solely on a photo, elected officials on the right appeared more “competent” and those on the left inspired more confidence. Furthermore, there is a psychological bias: we tend to believe that an "attractive" MP in his photo has the same opinion as us. According to researchers, “charm is stronger than partisan stereotypes.”

 

 

 

 

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