French and Riviera News Tuesday 6th June 2023


A French court has sentenced two men to jail after convicting them on charges of beating up the great-nephew of French first lady Brigitte Macron last month outside her family's chocolate shop.
The court in the northern city of Amiens sentenced one of the accused to 12 months in prison and the second to 15 months for the attack on Jean-Baptiste Trogneux. A third defendant was acquitted.
The attack on Trogneux was widely condemned by French politicians, including President Emmanuel Macron who called it "unacceptable," while pointing the finger at his opponents, whose "verbal violence" he suggested had encouraged the assault.

After a break of several weeks, unions have called for a day of strikes and demos for today as they continue to protest over French pension reform. The latest day of action is called ahead of an attempt in parliament on Thursday to have the pension reform bill - which has already been signed into law - cancelled. Since the beginning of the strike action in January the one-day protests have become gradually less disruptive and in many parts of France life will continue as normal on Tuesday. Worst affected are flights, due to air traffic controllers walking out. The French civil aviation authority has ordered airlines to cancel 33 percent of flights in and out of Paris Orly airport, and 20 percent of flights in and out of Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes. Although some railworkers are walking out, French rail operator SNCF says services will be only "lightly disrupted", with 9 in 10 trains expected to run as normal. The detailed strike timetable will be released at 5pm on Monday. Some teachers will also walk out, leading to class or school closures. The strikes action will be concentrated on collège and lycée, although some primary schools will also be affected. Demos and marches will once again take place, with around 250 actions planned in towns and cities around the country. Organisers are expecting a turnout of around 400,000 - 600,000 people, including 40,000 - 70,000 in Paris.

After 26 years of providing direct services between London and Disneyland Paris, the high-speed rail operator Eurostar sent its final train from the UK capital to the theme park on Monday.
Citing fallout from both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, the group had announced back in 2022 that it would scrap trains running from the British capital to the Disneyland site in Marne-la-Vallee, in the eastern Paris suburbs on June 5th, 2023. The last train left London's St. Pancras station at 10:34am. The Eurostar page for the line between London and Disneyland Paris says that the service will not run "from June 7th 2023 until the end of the year".  So far, the group has not given any indication that the service will run again in 2024.


Apple has unveiled a much-anticipated augmented reality headset, Apple Vision Pro, in its first major hardware launch for almost a decade. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the new headset "seamlessly blends the real world and the virtual world". The tech firm also announced its latest iPhone operating system, as well as updates to MacBook Air. The headset has a two-hour battery life, costs $3,499 (£2,849) and will be released early next year in the US.

The cost is considerably more than virtual reality headsets currently on the market. Last week Meta announced its Quest - which costs $449. Apple said little about generative artificial intelligence - the buzzy technology that is the talk of Silicon Valley.

The BBC, British Airways, Boots and Aer Lingus are among a growing number of organisations affected by a mass hack. Staff have been warned personal data including national insurance numbers and in some cases bank details may have been stolen. The cyber criminals broke into a prominent piece of software to gain access to multiple companies in one go. There are no reports of ransom demands being sought or money stolen.

In the UK, the payroll services provider Zellis is one of the companies affected and it said data from eight of its client firms had been stolen.
It would not reveal names, but organisations are independently issuing warnings to staff.


Sunny spells on the coast today, the chance of thunderstorms further inland, temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius.
Tomorrow: more of the same, staying fine on the coast, but with rain forecast inland, again 25 degrees Celsius.


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