French and Riviera News Wednesday 14th June 2023

News

“HR killer” goes on trial in Valence - Gabriel Fortin has gone on trial in France accused of killing three women who he alleged wrecked his career. 48-year-old Fortin was arrested back in 2021 in Valence. Dubbed by French media as the “HR killer” he is accused of shooting dead two human resources managers, who helped sack him years earlier and a third victim who worked at a job centre, as well as attempted murder on another manager.  An unemployed engineer at the time of his arrest, he has refused to speak to investigators since. Fortin appeared in court on Tuesday accused of three murders and a charge of attempted murder.

Leclerc supermarket boycotts French giant Pernod Ricard - The supermarket chain E.Leclerc's has boycotted products of the French giant Pernod Ricard due to a commercial dispute between the two groups. It’s not the first time that the two have clashed, in 2019, Leclerc had already withdrawn Ricard products from its shelves after having suffered the latter's refusal to negotiate purchases at a European level. The standoff at the time lasted two months. For the time being, neither Pernod Ricard nor E.Leclerc have wished to comment on this dispute.

Police appeal for witnesses after woman drowns in Cannes - Police in Cannes have appealed for witnesses following the drowning of an elderly person on Monday evening off the Croisette. The victim’s body was found floating about 150 meters off the Cannes Croisette on Monday evening at around 8pm. Apart from a flowery and colourful Monoprix bag containing some personal belongings no identity papers were found. Police are therefore appealing for witnesses to find friends or relatives and identify the victim. At the time of her death, the victim was wearing a bright red two-piece swimsuit. She is described as having grey hair, blue eyes and is of average height. Anyone with any information is invited to contact the police on 04 93 06 21 43.

Nice mayor speaks of green card for immigrants - Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that he wants to see the introduction of a French equivalent of the US "Green Card" for immigrants. Speaking on French television, he also said that he wants the deadline for appealing against decisions to leave French territory to be reduced, saying that the length of the period allows people to "vanish into thin air".

Violent storms in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes - More than 1,500 lightning strikes have been recorded following violent storms on Tuesday in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes. Both departments had been placed on a yellow weather alert. In the south-west of the Var, a torrential storm saw more than 70 mm of rainfall. 1,107 lightning strikes were recorded in the Var. Among the most affected places were Collobrières and Le Lavandou and in the Alpes-Maritimes, 437 lightning strikes were recorded.

Sea temperature abnormally high for this time of year - Recent data has shown that water temperatures in recent days on the surface of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean are abnormally high for this time of the year. With 21°C in Marseille, 22°C in Nice and Toulon and 19°C in Biarritz an increase of 3 degrees has been recorded. It’s also been noted that the number of marine heat waves "has doubled since 1982, and their intensity is increasing".

Marlin spotted on beach in Antibes - Beachgoers were given a scare on Tuesday, after spotting what they thought was a shark at the water’s edge on a beach in Antibes. The beach was not evacuated or closed, however emergency services were dispatched to the scene, asking swimmers not to touch the animal "which is not dangerous". The attraction turned out to be a Marlin. A fish with a long-pointed fin which measures two metres and extends forward to form a crest.

Business

A court in the US has agreed to temporarily block Microsoft's $69bn purchase of Activision Blizzard following a request from regulators. According to the judge the temporary restraining order "is necessary to maintain the status quo while the complaint is pending". The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says the deal could "substantially lessen competition" in the sector. A two-day hearing is now due to take place from 22 June in San Francisco. The deal to buy the Call of Duty publisher would be the largest in the history of the video games industry.

US inflation is at its lowest since 2021 as fuel prices fall. The update comes as the US central bank meets to debate whether it needs to do more to fight inflation. Officials have raised borrowing costs in the world's largest economy sharply since last year to try to rein in prices, pushing the Federal Reserve's key interest rate to more than 5%, from near zero in March 2022.

And - As the European Parliament votes today on its proposed AI rules the EU’s competition chief has said that discrimination is more of a pressing concern from advancing artificial intelligence than human extinction. The AI Act is being considered by politicians amid warnings over developing the tech - which enables computers to perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence - too quickly. Some experts have warned that AI could lead to the extinction of humanity.

Sport

Tennis - Andy Murray has said that there are "more important things than tennis" after three people were killed and another three injured in attacks in Nottingham on Tuesday morning. Two 19-year-old students and a man in his 50s were stabbed to death in the attacks.

Murray said he did not know if play would be suspended at the Nottingham Open, but it went ahead with the Briton winning his first-round match. The three-time Grand Slam champion added: "Really shocking and obviously heart-breaking for the victims and the people involved”.

Rugby Union – Paul Rendall former England prop has died at the age of 69 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year. He won 28 caps for his country and played at the 1987 and 1991 Rugby World Cups. Nicknamed 'The Judge', Rendall - who played his club rugby for Wasps - made his Test debut aged 30.

Golf - World number two Jon Rahm has said that "a lot" of PGA Tour players "feel betrayal from management" following last week's announcement of the proposed merger with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. Rahm was only alerted to the news by text messages. A week on from the news that shocked the golfing world, players and media alike, little more is known about the PGA Tour's plans, or what will happen to LIV Golf.

Weather

Mostly sunny in the morning becoming increasingly cloudy with some scattered thunderstorms later in the day and a yellow weather warning issued by Meteo France. Highs of 24 degrees in Monaco, 24 degrees in Cannes, 25 degrees in Nice, 26 degrees in Saint-Tropez and 22 degrees inland in Tende. Moderate winds across the region.

This evening going down to 18 degrees with clear skies. The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. Highs of 26 degrees and partly sunny.

Sunrise       05.48am

Sunset        09.13pm

Rome         25 degrees thundery showers.

Barcelona  24 degrees and sunny.

Cardiff        26 degrees and sunny.

Oslo            30 degrees and sunny.

London      29 degrees and sunny.

Beach weather forecast

Marseille – Sea temperature 22 degrees. Air temperature 24 degrees. Cloudy. UV level 8.

Nice – Sea temperature 23 degrees. Air temperature 23 degrees. Scattered showers. UV level 8

Cannes – Sea temperature 23 degrees. Air temperature 22 degrees. Cloudy with showers forecast. UV level 9.

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