French and Riviera News Wednesday 21st June 2023


French explorer onboard missing submersible - Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a well-known explorer in Toulon and its surroundings, is one of the five people aboard the submersible that has been missing since Sunday, near the Titanic wreck. The 77-year-old French explorer, also known as “Mr Titanic", is among the crew of the sub. The submersible lost communication while taking wealthy tourists to see the wreckage of the Titanic ship in the Atlantic. Nargeolet, a French maritime expert, has been on over 35 dives to the Titanic wreck site. 

The latest reports from the US Coast Guard have said that a Canadian P-3 aircraft "detected underwater noises in the search area". This is the first official confirmation from search authorities of the information being reported by US media, although they did not specify "banging" sounds. As a result of the pick-up, the US Coast Guard said they had relocated operations.

Arrests made for planned terrorist attacks - France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that two radicalised men, who were “planning to carry out terrorist attacks” on French soil have been charged for “terrorist criminal association” and are in police custody. The two young men from the Paris and Alpes Maritimes region of France are part of a judicial investigation and were arrested by the DGSI following significant investigative and intelligence work. Speaking to French media, the minister thanked the “men and women who remain in the background, dedicating their work to protecting the French people”.

Investigation into corruption amongst the organisers of Paris 2024 Olympic Games - As part of two preliminary corruption investigations, French police have searched the headquarters of the organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It’s believed that the police are looking into allegations of favouritism and misuse of public money in the attribution of construction contracts. The body was "co-operating fully with the investigators".

Employees take legal action against construction giants - Meanwhile, ten employees without papers employed by some of France’s construction giants have taken legal action denouncing their “exploitation” with no employment contract or pay slip. According to French media the workers are demanding accountability from eight subcontractors, but also from the four construction giants at the head of the construction sites for the 2024 Olympic Games.

The employees claim to have worked on the sites of the Olympic Games, in particular the Olympic village, without an employment contract, without a pay slip, without paid holidays or overtime. Now regularized, they have denounced the "exploitation" to which they say they have been victims, comparing themselves to the workers of the construction sites of the World Cup in Qatar.

Police in Nice intervene after pupil shouts “Allah Akbar” - Police in Nice have had to intervene after a schoolboy shouted "Allah Akbar" in a church in Nice. The deputy mayor of Nice Antony Borre declared that it’s becoming "a regular occurrence". Police were called to intervene at the Saint-Roch church on Tuesday morning. It was a member of the Saint-Roch church who alerted the police. According to the mayor "middle school students from a neighbouring establishment come, it seems, regularly and scare the hell out of everyone". The elected official intends to take the matter "very seriously". The incident, in the church, comes just a week after the affair of "Muslim prayers" in establishments in Vallauris and Nice.

Man, who shouted “I want to kill people" on Avenue Jean Médecin handed a six-month suspended prison sentence - The man on file S who had shouted "I want to kill people" on Avenue Jean Médecin in Nice has been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence. Anli Houmadi, who yelled words advocating terrorism in Nice had already made threats in April. Appearing before the court in Nice on Tuesday, Houmadi claimed that he didn’t say “I’m a terrorist, I want to kill people” but rather “I’m a tourist”. While in other circumstances the answer from the 30-year-old Comorian could make people smile, this is obviously not the case in Nice which has been traumatized by several attacks. Houmadi made the speech near the Café de Lyon, on Avenue Jean-Médecin just 130 meters from the Notre-Dame basilica where an attack killed three people on October 29th, 2020. A passer-by heard it and alerted the police immediately.

Heatwave in Corscia - Météo-France has recorded monthly heat records in several municipalities in Corsica on Tuesday. In Sartène, in the south of the island, temperatures exceeded 40°C. In Ajaccio, the maximum temperature reached 37°C. The south has been placed on a yellow heatwave alert due to the current episode of high temperatures. Météo France has warned that up to 40 degrees could be felt today, Wednesday 21st June, in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, due to very dry and hot air coming from the Sahara.

Congratulations! - Congratulations to Rémi Camus who arrived in Monaco yesterday afternoon! To raise awareness of ocean protection and analyse the human body in extreme situations, Camus completed a 180 km swim between Calvi and Monaco. After 13 days of swimming across from Calvi and complicated weather, the adventurer succeeded his challenge! In an exceptional setting and extreme conditions, the explorer and adventurer, Remi Camus, swam in the middle of the Mediterranean, independently by towing a platform to allow him to sleep and eat. 

Fete de la Musique – Finally, today June 21st celebrates the Fete de la Musique, launched in 1982 by the Ministry of Culture. With the aim of bringing the five million French people who played a musical instrument to the streets, the Fête de la Musique is celebrated on June 21st, mainly in the evening and at night. until the next morning, all over the world. Free and open to all musicians, amateurs and professionals, the Fête de la Musique is aimed at all audiences and highlights all musical genres.


A senior World Bank official has told reporters that Ukraine's economy will need external help for many years to come. The managing director for operations was talking before a major international conference in London on rebuilding Ukraine's economy. Last year the country's economy shrank 29% to just over $140bn (£109bn). The World Bank and other multilateral development bodies are playing a key role in the Ukraine Recovery Conference, which is focusing on the role the private sector can play in rebuilding the country. The total reconstruction bill was estimated at $411bn in March, but continued fighting with Russia means that will now be higher.

Southeast Asia's leading ride-hailing and food delivery app, Grab, says it is cutting 1,000 jobs - amounting to 11% of its workforce. The company's boss said the cuts were needed to bring down costs and ensure affordable services in the long term. The Singapore-based firm offers deliveries, rides and financial services in eight Southeast Asian countries. In 2018, Grab took over the operations of US-based rival Uber in the region.

Amazon is facing an investigation by the US Congress over its warehouse safety practices. Senator Bernie Sanders announced the probe, calling the company one of America's "most dangerous" employers. He pointed to a recent report which found that injury rates at Amazon warehouses in the US are higher than at similar facilities. Amazon said it disagreed with the claims.


Cricket – England’s captain Ben Stokes has said that his players were in "absolute pieces" in the dressing room after their agonising two-wicket defeat by Australia. The tourists pulled off an unlikely victory on a dramatic final day of the first Test on Tuesday. England were strong favourites at one stage, but Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon combined for a stunning ninth wicket stand of 55 to take Australia home. "Losing sucks," Stokes said. "We always want to win." He added: "We are absolutely devastated that we have lost." A series that has already lived up to the hype continues with the second Test at Lord's on 28 June.

Football - Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored a last-minute winner on his historic night as he became the first men's player to win 200 international caps in their Euro 2024 qualifying 1-0 win over Iceland. 

Tennis - Andy Murray says there is no need to "overreact" after his return to Queen's fell flat when a 10-match winning streak on the British grass courts was ended by Australia's Alex de Minaur. Former world number one Murray lost 6-3 6-1 and his hopes of earning a seeding for Wimbledon are all but over.


Partly cloudy with moderate to strong winds in both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes, reaching gusts of up to 65km/h along the coast near Saint-Tropez. Metéo France has warned of the possibility of some very high temperatures in parts of the Alpes Maritimes and Var similar to those felt in Corsica on Tuesday where temperatures reached 40 degrees.

Otherwise, highs of 28 degrees in Antibes, 29 in Cannes, 30 in Monaco, Nice and Antibes. 31 in Menton. 33 inland in the Alpes Maritimes in Villars sur Var and 29 in Berre les Alpes. This evening going down to 20 degrees along the coast and 19 degrees inland.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday: Partly cloudy tomorrow, fine on Friday with clear skies and highs of between 28-31 degrees.

Sunrise                05.48am

Sunset                 09.15pm

Beach Weather

Nice – Sea temperature is 23 degrees. Air temperature 27 degrees. UV level 7.

Narbonne - Sea temperature 22 degrees. Air temperature 29 degrees. Hazy. UV level 9.

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