French and Riviera News Wednesday 13th September 2023

Riviera towns collect money for Morocco earthquake victims - Several municipalities on the Riviera are collecting money for the victims of last weekend's deadly earthquake in Morocco. In Nice, donations can be made this Friday at the mosque in the L'Ariane district. Vallauris has a collection box in the town hall. The Red Cross in Monaco is also inviting people to make an online donation, or donate cash at its headquarters on Boulevard de Suisse. You'll find details at croix-rouge.mc

Interior minister visits Marseille and Nice - French interior minister Gérald Damarnin visited Marseille and Nice yesterday to discuss public order and policing. In Marseille, he announced that police reinforcements would be drafted in, including the creation of a new CRS riot police unit later this autumn. It comes amid growing numbers of cases of drugs-related violence in the city. In Nice, Darmanin met mayor Christian Estrosi and local MP Philippe Pradal. Earlier this week, the interior ministry sent a specialist riot police unit, called the CRS 8, to the Les Moulins district of Nice after a shooting on Friday evening. Darmanin announced the creation of a new police drugs squad in Nice. He also announced increased resources to deal with migration from Italy into France, including more border agents at La Turbie.

Marseille woman hit by stray bullet dies - A woman who was critically injured after being hit by a stray bullet whilst inside her apartment in Marseille has died of her injuries. The 24-year-old was hit in the head by a bullet from a Kalashnikov while at home in the 10th arrondissement, in an area known for drug-related violence, leaving her brain-dead. She died in hospital yesterday morning. A man in his 50s was shot dead in Marseille's 16th arrondissement on Monday evening, in the latest incident believed to be connected to rival drugs gangs in the city.

Woman violently assaulted in Nice - A woman is in intensive care after being violently assaulted in Nice in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The attack happened around 4am on the Rue d'Italie. The victim was taken to Pasteur 2 hospital with serious injuries. A man was later arrested in Nice old town.

Man saved from drowning - A man in his 30s has been saved from drowning in the sea at Nice. Paramedics rescued him from the water on the Quai des Etats Unis on Monday evening and he was taken to Pasteur 2 hospital. It's reported he was under the influence of alcohol.

Petrol price cap to stay until end of year - French energy giant TotalEnergies has announced it will extend its price cap on fuel until at least the end of this year. The price cap, of €1.99 for a litre of petrol or diesel, will apply to all 2,600 of the group's petrol stations around France. The French government is in negotiations with other petrol station operators, including hypermarkets, to make a similar gesture. Intermarché has announced that it will sell petrol and diesel at cost price on the last weekend of each month.

Marseille wants fewer electric scooters - Marseille has ordered shared electric scooter providers to remove 1,500 vehicles from the city's streets because they are cluttering up public space. Mayor Benoît Payan wants about a third of the city's 4,000 scooters to be withdrawn. He has also asked scooter operators to spread the remaining vehicles out better, with more in outlying districts and fewer in the city centre. Since the beginning of September, the minimum age for riding an electric scooter has been increased from 12 to 14 - and the fines for two people sharing a scooter have increased from €35 to €135.

Air traffic control strike on Friday - France's largest union for air traffic controllers has called on workers to walk out in a nationwide strike on Friday, September 15th. The strike could impact people who are travelling to France for the ongoing Rugby World Cup. SNCTA is the largest union representing air traffic controllers, but so far no other unions have announced that they are joining the strike.

Monaco court rejects appeal against dismissal - Monaco's supreme court has rejected an appeal by the former property administrator of the Princely Palace against his dismissal. Claude Palmero, who was one of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II's closest collaborators, was let go last June. He appealed to the supreme court for his dismissal to be overturned and to be awarded damages. The court has now rejected his appeal. It said employment matters relating to the Princely Palace were outside of its jurisdiction.

Busy summer for Nice museums - Nice's municipal museums are celebrating a successful summer season. Between them, the Musée Masséna, Mamac, the Matisse museum and the Charles Nègre photography museum attracted 150,000 visitors in July and August. That's a 57% increase on the same time last year.

€10 tickets for stadium's 10th anniversary - The Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice is offering thousands of tickets to a forthcoming OGC Nice football match for just €10 to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The cut-price tickets are being made available for Nice's home match against Brest on 1st October. The Allianz Riviera celebrates its 10th anniversary next Friday. It was inaugurated on 22nd September 2013.

BUSINESS

A high-stakes trial that pits the US government against Google has got under way this week. The company is accused of unfairly cementing its position as the world's go-to search engine by paying billions of dollars to phone-makers such as Apple and web browsers such as Mozilla to be installed as the default option. Prosecutors contend the deals gave Google - which handles some 90% of global search queries - such a data advantage that it blocked rivals from emerging and violated US competition laws. The suit, filed in the waning days of the Trump administration in 2020, is seen as a landmark case. Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google's parent company, Alphabet, is expected to testify over the 10-week trial, as are executives from Apple.

Wage growth in the UK has caught up with rising prices for the first time in nearly two years, even as unemployment rises. Official figures showed regular pay, excluding bonuses, in the UK rose by 7.8% in May to July compared with a year earlier - matching the pace of inflation over the same period. This means people's real pay is no longer falling, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the unemployment rate went up and job vacancies fell again.

SPORT

Football - Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended from playing after a drugs test found elevated levels of testosterone in his system. Italy's national anti-doping tribunal said Pogba was tested after Juve's 3-0 win at Udinese on 20 August. The 30-year-old France international, an unused substitute, was randomly selected for post-match drug testing. If found guilty of doping, he could face a ban of between two and four years.

Miami-based 777 Partners are close to agreeing a deal to take over Everton. The multi-club investors have been in discussions with Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri since the news that New York group MSP Sports Capital had ended its exclusivity agreement with Moshiri. The group 777 already have a number of football clubs in their portfolio including Sevilla and Standard Liege, with the fans of the Belgian side holding a demonstration criticising their involvement at their last game. The move by 777 would be a full takeover, once all the Premier League requirements are met, which could take several months to complete.

Former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales will appear in a Madrid court on Friday over his kiss of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso. Hermoso filed a legal complaint last week over Rubiales kissing her on the lips following her country's Women's World Cup final win on 20 August. Rubiales has been summoned by a high court judge to respond to accusations of sexual assault and coercion.

Rugby Union - Tom Curry will miss England's next two Rugby World Cup matches after his red card in Saturday's win over Argentina. Curry, 25, faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday and was ruled out of the Pool C matches against Japan this Sunday and Chile on 23 September. The Sale back row was initially shown a yellow card after making head-to-head contact in a tackle with Juan Cruz Mallia inside the first three minutes. It was later upgraded to a red following a review.

Tennis - Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has been banned for four years following breaches of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. An independent tribunal determined the 31-year-old Romanian had committed "intentional" anti-doping violations. Halep said in a statement she intends to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Halep tested positive for the use of roxadustat at last year's US Open.

Andy Murray says Novak Djokovic is set to dominate men's tennis for years to come, with a younger generation of players still well below his level. The Serb won a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title with victory over Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final in New York last weekend. He has no immediate retirement plans. Djokovic was beaten in this year's Wimbledon final by 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray, who was speaking ahead of Great Britain's Davis Cup campaign, said the wrong conclusions were drawn from Djokovic's defeat at SW19. The Davis Cup Finals group stage begins this week with Great Britain one of 16 nations trying to make it through to the knockout phase.

WEATHER

The Var and the Alpes-Maritimes have been placed on a yellow alert for storms today, with Météo France warning of a risk of storms this afternoon, particularly inland. On the coast, the forecast is for a mix of sunny spells and light rain. Temperatures this afternoon reaching 26 degrees celsius on the coast and 28 inland. The stormy weather should pass by this evening, to leave a dry, partly cloudy night and temperatures going down to 20 on the coast and 17 inland. The outlook for Thursday: generally fine and sunny, some light cloud in the Alpes-Maritimes, 25 degrees on the coast and up to 28 further inland.

BEACH WEATHER

On the beach in Nice this afternoon, there's some occasional light rain forecast, light winds and 26 degrees celsius. The sea temperature is 25 degrees and the UV index is 6. In Saint-Tropez, there's also some light rain forecast for this afternoon, 27 degrees celsius. The water temperature is 24 degrees and the UV index is also 6.

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