French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th November 2023

News

Breakthrough for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease - A French patient suffering from long-term Parkinson's disease has been able to walk again thanks to electrodes implanted on the spinal cord by French-Swiss researchers. Marc Gauthier had essentially been confined to his home until he became the first person to receive the new implant which has dramatically improved his ability to walk. The device stimulates his spinal cord to activate his leg muscles. 63-year-old Gauthier, a native of the French city of Bordeaux, said "It has changed my life because I'm now independent”.

Parkinson's is a degenerative neurological disease characterized by symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. According to the World Health Organization the number of cases has doubled over the past 25 years and Global estimates showed that more than 8.5 million people suffered from the disease in 2019.

Grégoire Courtine, one of the doctors leading the project, said the electrical pulses delivered to Gauthier's spinal cord enabled him to walk the way he would have without the disease. A great hope for patients who have lost their mobility, their ability to walk due to the disease.  Marc Gauthier, who has been living with Parkinson's disease for 28 years, had surgery two years ago and now uses his device from morning till night. The new technique is to soon be tested on 6 new patients.

Investigation into ports of Golfe-Juan - The anti-corruption association Anticor has launched an investigation into the ports of Golfe-Juan, due to the suspicion of a “conflict of interest concerning the allocation of the port’s concession”. The investigation has been opened by the public prosecutor’s office in Grasse and comes following a report issued on August 14th by the anti-corruption association. The news comes just ahead of the first round of local elections which are being held this Sunday. As a reminder, the concession contracts for the two ports end on June 30th, 2024.

Pierre Bardy appointed general director of the Société Monégasque d’Assainissement - Pierre Bardy has been appointed as the general director of the Société Monégasque d’Assainissement, a subsidiary of the Monegasque Electricity and Gas board (SMEG). After a career within the ENGIE Group (GDF SUEZ) in Paris and Switzerland, Bardy joined the Monegasque Electricity and Gas board in 2020. Upon accepting the position Pierre Bardy commented by saying that “the Principality of Monaco is at the forefront of environmental issues, whether it be low-carbon energy or waste recovery and I am honoured by the trust placed in me by the president of the SMA” before adding that “this new stage of my career represents an opportunity to make my contribution to the collective efforts aimed at achieving the objectives of Monaco’s energy transition”.

Strike action - A national day of industrial action will affect train services this Wednesday November 8. The SNCF have said that local TER traffic on the Nice - Tende and Nice - Ventimiglia lines will be affected. As usual, you can check your train the day before from 5 p.m. via the timetable search on https://www.ter.sncf.com/sud-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur

Menton Lemon Festival - The theme of the 90th Menton Lemon Festival has been revealed along with the poster promoting the event. The festival takes place from 17 February to 3 March on the theme of the Olympics, which are taking place in France next year.

War time love letters opened and read for the first time - War time letters written to French sailors and confiscated by the British navy more than 260 years ago have been discovered among British naval archives. The remarkable stash of more than 100 letters was discovered by chance at the National Archives in Kew by Renaud Morieux, professor of European history at the University of Cambridge. Morieux found deeply personal and often passionate messages intended for the sailors, who had been captured in 1758 onboard a French warship during the seven year’s war. The letters were intended for the crew of the Galatée, which was sailing from Bordeaux to Quebec when it was seized by a British vessel and taken to Portsmouth, where they were imprisoned.

Eurodreams lottery winners are French - Finally, the first two winners of the “Eurodreams lottery” game from the “Française des Jeux” are French. On Monday, the two lucky winners walked away with an exceptional jackpot of 20,000 euros per month for 30 years. The two winners were among nearly 7.5 million players to have participated in Europe. The winning numbers were 10-13-14-25-30-35 and the “Dream” number 5. As announced by the Française des jeux, two draws are organized each week: one on Monday’s and one on Thursday’s. The next draw of this new Eurodreams lottery will take place on Thursday, November 9th, another chance to make your dreams come true. Good luck!

Business

The co-working company WeWork has filed for bankruptcy in the US. According to a bankruptcy filing in the New Jersey federal court the firm reported liabilities of $10bn to $50bn (£40.5bn). The filing gives WeWork legal protection from its creditors and more tools for negotiations with landlords. WeWork, known for renting on flexible terms to start-ups and freelancers, was once seen as the future of the office.

Dating app founder Whitney Wolfe Herd is to step down. After nearly ten years in charge of one of the biggest dating apps in the world “Bumble” Herd, who created the company in 2014, will take become the company’s executive chair. 34-year-old Herd became the world's youngest self-made female billionaire when she took Bumble public in February 2021.

An Italian judge has ordered the seizure of €779.5m ($835.5m; £676.8m) from short-term rental giant Airbnb, over alleged tax evasion. Prosecutors say the firm failed to collect a tax from landlords on around €3.7bn of rental income. Landlords in Italy are required to pay a 21% tax on their earnings.

And - The maker of video game Fortnite has begun a legal battle with Google. The firm accuses Google of acting as a monopoly - charging 30% commission on in-app purchases on Google Play store. Epic Games accused Google of turning its back on its "Don't be Evil" motto, which the company coined when it was founded in 1998. Google however argued that there were plenty of other ways to download apps on Android phones.

Sport

Football - In what has been described as “one of the most mind-boggling” premier league games ever. Chelsea beat Tottenham 4-1 last night. Tottenham were down to nine men on a night of chaos and controversy.

And - Police are reportedly preparing for the release of Liverpool star Luis Diaz's father.  Diaz's father has been held in his homeland for over a week by a guerrilla group, the national Liberation Army (ELN). His mother Cilenis Marulanda was freed on the same night his parents were snatched off the streets though his father Luis Manuel Diaz has yet to be released. 

Cricket – During the Cricket World Cup Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews has become the first player in 146 years of international cricket to be given 'timed out' Mathews was about to take strike in the 25th over of his side's match against Bangladesh in Delhi when he stepped away to fiddle with the chinstrap of his helmet. According to rules the striker has to be 'ready to receive the ball' within three minutes of the previous wicket - though that drops to two minutes in the World Cup playing regulations.

Horse Racing - Without A Fight has won Australia's famous Melbourne Cup horse race, giving jockey Mark Zahra back-to-back cup victories. It is the first win, however, for Australian father-son training duo Anthony and Sam Freedman.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Gusts of up to 50km/hr in Puget Theniers, Antibes and Theoule sur mer. Highs of 21 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Mentone. Going down to 1 degree this evening with clear skies.  

The outlook for Wednesday, the wind is expected to die down Highs of 20 degrees and going down to 0 at night. Thursday - rain forecast for the afternoon with the wind picking up again. 14 degrees inland and 17 along the coast, going down to 1 degree at night.

Sunrise       07.13am

Sunset        05.13pm

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