French and Riviera News Wednesday 18th October 2023

News

High alert for possible terror attack in France - While France remains on high alert for a possible terror attack, the Palace of Versailles was evacuated on Tuesday for the second time in days following a bomb threat. Hundreds of visitors were led out of the palace as a specialist police explosives unit was dispatched to the site. Hours later the palace, which has about 15,000 visitors a day, was reopened.  On Saturday, Versailles was cleared and closed after receiving a message suggesting there was a security risk. This came just hours after the Louvre Museum, which has 30,000 visitors daily, was evacuated after receiving a threatening message. Both warnings were found to be false alarms.

MP for the Alpes Maritimes expresses anger at news from Air France - Éric Ciotti, president of the Republican political party in France, has denounced news that Air France is to end its Nice to Paris Orly connection by 2026. Taking to X and ahead of any official announcement from the airline, the MP for the Alpes Maritimes published the news in a tweet on the social media platform. Ciotti has expressed his “anger” on receiving the news and says he has since contacted the Prime Minister on this subject. The Air France Social and Economic Committee is due to be held today.

Restaurants closes after ceiling collapses - A restaurant in Golfe-Juan has been forced to close after it’s ceiling collapsed on Tuesday afternoon. The incident occurred at around 4.30pm and is believed to have been caused by work being carried out on the 1st floor above the restaurant premises. Luckily nobody was injured but the entire building was evacuated as a precaution.

Mayor of Villefranche wants to halve number of AirBnB rentals - The mayor of Villefranche-sur-Mer says he wants to halve the number of AirBnB rental properties in the popular seaside town - and encourage more people to live there all year round. Christophe Trojani said too many properties in Villefranche were becoming second homes and seasonal rentals. Meanwhile, the town's official registered population has almost halved since 1990 and is now below 5,000.

E-Rallye - For the first time since its creation, the E-Rallye Monte-Carlo, which starts toda,y Wednesday 18th Ocotber, will be held in the Principality and its surroundings. Drivers will leave the Principality from infront of the Place du Casino at 2pm. Several new features have been added to the event this year, including a secret route which will be kept from the drivers until an hour before departure, when a roadmap will be given to the teams. 60 participants are to take part and teams are expected to make a detour to Dolceaacqua just over the border in Italy to celebrate the upcoming twinning between the Italian village and the Principality, which is to take place on the 3rd of November.

Casino - A former security guard at a casino in Normandy has risen through the ranks and has now been appointed general manager of the Casino La Croisette in Cannes. Geoffrey D'Hier began his first job in the gambling industry at a casino in his home town of Le Tréport aged just 19. Sixteen years later, after multiple promotions and being headhunted by the Casino Barrière group, he's now responsible for 150 employees at the popular venue in Cannes and an annual turnover of nearly €30 million.

Weather warnings - With a change in temperatures across the whole of France this week, the Gard and the Hérault regions have been placed on an orange weather warning for heavy rain and possible flooding. The Mediterranean episode in both departments is forecast for today Wednesday 18th October. Neighbouring departments such as the Ardèche, is currently on a yellow alert which could be moved up to an orange alert. The heavy rain accompanied with strong winds is expected to arrive in our region by Friday.

Business

As part of a new trial the social media platform X,  formerly known as Twitter, has started charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines $1 (£0.82) a year to access key features. The features include the ability to tweet, retweet, like posts and reply to posts. Those who opt out of the subscription fee will only be able to read posts, watch videos and follow accounts. Elon Musk’s X said that the aim is to "reduce spam, manipulation of the platform and bot activity". Since Musk bought Twitter for $44bn last year, it has seen a continuous revenue decline.

And – In the UK the head of MI5 has made an unprecedented public appearance alongside his counterparts from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to warn that companies, large and small, are unprepared for the threats posed by artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. The director general of Britain's Security Service, Ken McCallum, said "Right now emerging technology is coming through - AI is the most obvious example - which is capable of changing our world at a pretty fundamental level. Mr McCallum, who has been the head of Britain's domestic security agency since 2020, joined members of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership for the first Emerging Technology and Securing Innovation Security Summit in California.

Sport

Football - England came from a goal down to beat Italy 3-1 on Tuesday and secure their place at Euro 2024 in Germany with two games to spare. They are unbeaten so far in qualifiers and have only lost one such game in 24 years - when they were beaten 2-1 by Czech Republic in 2019.

Meanwhile, France beat Scotland 4-1 in last night’s friendly. Scotland return to action next month as they conclude their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with the hope of topping their group.

Cricket – England’s coach Matthew Mott has said that England are low in confidence, but he will not "throw the baby out with the bathwater" after their poor start at the World Cup. The defending champions were stunned by Afghanistan on Sunday - the second defeat in their opening three games. England next play on Saturday against South Africa.

Weather

Rain is forecast with highs of 22 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Saint-Tropez. Highs of 20 degrees inland. Strong winds are expected in the Var and to the west of the Alpes Maritimes region. This evening going down to 16 degrees with cloudy skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday, cloudy with thunderstorms and showers across the region highs of 22 degrees.

Sunrise       07.47am

Sunset        06.42pm

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