French and Riviera News Wednesday 1st November 2023

News

Two French children killed in the north of Gaza - France’s foreign ministry has said that two French children have died in the north of the Gaza strip. Following the announcement France reiterated its call for a humanitarian pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. The foreign ministry said the children's mother was thought to be suffering from injuries, along with her third child. It said that the French consulate in Jerusalem had so far not managed to establish contact with the mother.

Storm Ciaran - The Côtes-d'Armor, the Finistère and the Manche departments have been placed on a red alert for "strong wind" from this evening and 17 other departments in the Northwest, from Vendée to the North, are on an orange weather warning. Brittany and Normandy are expected to be the first regions affected by this Storm Ciaran which will spread to the rest of France on Thursday. France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that "3,200 firefighters" will be mobilized in six departments advising all residents of the affected areas to “stay at home during the night from Wednesday to Thursday” and to be careful throughout the region.

Meanwhile, the SNCF has said that disruption to train services is expected in parts of north-west France because of upcoming stormy weather. It said that TER services will be disrupted on Thursday in the Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Normandy and Centre Val de Loire regions. The Haut de France is also expected to be affected. Exceptionally strong winds are expected in the north-west over the coming days.

French police open fire on woman uttering threats of an attack - French police opened fire on Tuesday morning on a 39-year-old woman uttering threats of an attack at the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand RER train station, in Paris. The woman has since been hospitalized and is currently in intensive care. The train station was quickly evacuated and remained closed for part of the day. During a press conference, the Paris police prefect, specified that the woman had been the subject of two reports around 7:20 a.m. by RER passengers in Val-de-Marne and the second following a call to the SNCF emergency number. The woman is already known to the authorities and was arrested once in 2021 for having damaged a scooter with a screwdriver and for having threatened soldiers but she is not on the S file. Two investigations have been opened to determine the events on Tuesday.

Landslide - A woman in her sixties has been slightly injured by a landslide while driving along a road in the hinterland of Nice on Tuesday morning. The landslide occurred at about 9am on the RM6202 at Utelle near the Reveston tunnel. The road is closed in both directions until further notice, a diversion is in place with local authorities saying they hope to reopen the road by midday today.

A&E remains closed in Saint-Tropez - The hospital in St Tropez has announced that its emergency reception facilities will remain closed at night during the month of November. The department has already been closed at night throughout October.

First signs of snow - The first signs of snow have been spotted on the heights of the Alpes-Maritimes region, with the peaks of Auron, Valberg and Isola are gradually whitening over recent days. But skiers however, will have to wait another month as most resorts are aiming to open on December 2nd.

Business

According to US media reports the office-sharing firm WeWork may file for bankruptcy as early as next week. The company is believed to have told the US financial regulator that it had agreed with creditors to temporarily postpone payments for some of its debt. The firm, which as a private business was once valued at $47bn (£38.7bn), has lost almost 98% of its stock market valuation in the last year. WeWork shares fell by more than 40% in after-hours in New York trading on Tuesday.

The cost of shipping goods around the world is expected to increase due to the worst drought in over 70 years. Authorities say that the Panama Canal will make more cuts to the number of ships using the waterway due to the driest October since records began in 1950. Starting from 3rd November, booking slots will be cut to 25 per day from an already reduced 31 per day.  That number will be further reduced over the next three months to 18 slots per day from the start of February 2024.

Carlsberg has announced it has terminated its business in Russia after the Kremlin took control of its operations in the country. The beer company said it refused to be "forced into a deal on unacceptable terms to justify the illegitimate takeover" of its Russian business. Carlsberg was in the process of selling its subsidiary in Russia before management was taken over by the state in July. The boss of the Danish brewer said the Russian government had "stolen our business in Russia".

Sport

Rugby Union - England player Jonny May has retired from international rugby following the World Cup. The 33-year-old, who made his debut in 2013, is England men's second highest try-scorer of all time behind Rory Underwood with 36 in 78 Tests.

Cricket – Pakistan have raced to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in the World Cup. Bangladesh's sixth straight loss means they are the first side officially out of semi-final contention.

Formula One – After 11 years the chief technical officer of Mercedes Mike Elliott has left the team in the wake of the eight-time champions' failure to win a race this season. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said that Elliott's exit was his own decision.

Tennis - Alexander Zverev has been fined 450,000 euros for domestic violence. Zverev is accused of having, in May 2020 in Berlin, physically mistreated a woman during an argument and of having damaged her health,” according to a press release. The tennis player contests the accusation and has opposed the order.

Football – England's hopes of progressing in the Women's Nations League were dealt a huge blow after a late 3-2 defeat in Belgium.

Weather

Cloudy with a gentle breeze and scattered showers forecast. Highs of 19 degrees in Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Antibes and Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 13 degrees with cloudy skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday. Thundery showers tomorrow with strong winds in the Var. Highs of 19 degrees. Friday should see the sunshine return across the region feeling cooler with highs of 18 degrees.

Sunrise       07.05am

Sunset        05.22pm

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