French and Riviera News Wednesday 22nd February 2023

News

France calls to act responsibly with regards to Russian American New START Treaty - France has called on Russia to "show responsibility and go back on its announcement of the suspension" of its participation in the Russian American New START Treaty on nuclear power.  In his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday February 22nd, that Russia was suspending its participation in the Russian American New START Treaty on nuclear disarmament. Paris “recalls that the New START Treaty constitutes an essential instrument of the international structure of nuclear arms control and strategic stability”. The New START Treaty entered into force on February 5th, 2011.  Under the treaty, the United States and the Russian Federation had seven years to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms (by February 5, 2018) and are then obligated to maintain those limits for as long as the treaty remains in force. The United States and the Russian Federation had previously agreed to extend the treaty through to February 4th, 2026.

Weather focus from IMSEE - In other news, those in the region remember the extreme heat of last summer in Monaco and the latest weather focus from IMSEE has just confirmed that record heat and historic lack of rainfall were recorded in Monaco in 2022. 2022 broke a sad temperature record and It was particularly hot last summer in the south of France and consequently, in Monaco where it peaked at 35.1 degrees. The report shows that temperatures continue to increase compared to the last decade which is yet more proof of the absolute necessity of a proactive policy in favour of the environment, like the one in which the Principality is committed, guided by the will of its Sovereign Prince. In figures, the average minimum temperature has never been so high with 15.6 degrees. "There was no negative temperature in the Principality and the absolute minimum temperature is the mildest ever recorded since the period 1991-2000, with 5.3 degrees. As for the maximums, the average for 2022 was 20.3 degrees.  

French publishers have refusd changes to Roald Dahl novels - French publishers have refused any changes to the late British author Roald Dahl’s translated works, with one French translator and commentator saying “a rewritten Roald Dahl novel is no longer a Roald Dahl novel”. The ruling came after it was announced that publishers Puffin in the UK had made hundreds of changes to characters and language in Dahl's stories for children including making the diminutive Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gender neutral and calling Augustus Gloop enormous rather than fat. Twit in The Twits is also no longer ugly, but beastly instead, while the Cloud-Men in James and the Giant Peach are now Cloud-People.

Residents evacuated after shrapnel shell is discovered - At least ten people have been evacuated after a shrapnel shell was discovered by workmen in Cannes. The discovery was made on Tuesday on the avenue de la Pergola, in the center of Cannes. A security perimeter was set up and the Avenue Saint-Nicolas was also closed to traffic.

Electric ant - The "electric ant" has been reported for the first time in France in the Var region. Measuring just 1.5 millimetres, this orange-coloured species, detected by a French researcher, is however a threat to biodiversity. Originally from South America this species had only been observed once in Europe, in the region of Malaga in Spain.

It was in Toulon that it was spotted in a closed seaside residence. It is one of the three most invasive ants in the world and the Var prefecture has since asked the public to report any presence of the insect in order to fight against their proliferation. Its sting causes "a sensation of a nettle sting and can destroy insects and cause the blindness of other animals.

Hollywood connection to the Cannes Film Festival - Air France has announced it will operate three special flights to connect Hollywood to the Cannes Film Festival in May. As the official partner of the event, the French flag carrier will offer a direct flight service between Los Angeles and Nice using the airline's flagship aircraft, the Airbus A350. In addition to offering special flights, Air France will showcase a wide selection of French films and award-winning movies from previous editions of the festival as part of its in-flight entertainment.

Motorboat auction - An exceptional collection of motorboats is about to be auctioned.  The collection of Jean Georges Van Praet Monegasque resident is rare. For more than three decades, the Monegasque resident of Belgian origin, has accumulated no less than 34 historic motorboats, mainly racing ones.  On February 28 in Paris, bidders will compete for these nautical pieces from the past.

Congratulations to all those who participated in the Fight AIDS Cup which managed to raise 180,000 euros – Finally, congratulations to Louis Ducruet president of the Barbagiuans team and also organiser of the charity football match the “Fight AIDS Cup” which took place on January 23rd for raising €180,000 for the benefit of Fight Aids Monaco. The famous meeting between Barbagiuans and the Cirque FC raised €180,000 for the Fight Aids Monaco association chaired by Princess Stéphanie.

Since the early 2000s, the Monegasque association has been supporting people living with HIV and working for screening and prevention in the face of the ever-present danger of AIDS.

The money raised during this match, which brought together several former football glories, will allow the association coordinated by Hervé Aeschbach to support its actions year-round both in the Principality and in France.

Business

British Steel is expected to announce up to 300 job losses today Wednesday 22nd February. UK government sources described the decision as "disappointing" given that negotiations are still ongoing between British Steel's Chinese owners and the Treasury about a support package worth £300m to each company. The news is seen as a worrying indicator about the health of the UK steel industry. Union officials told UK media that the industry "is on a knife edge".

During an EU competition hearing on Tuesday Microsoft has defended its proposal to buy Activision Blizzard. Microsoft says it believes the $68.7bn (£56.8bn) deal will bring more choice to more gamers. But rival Sony, which also attended the hearing, says the merger would give Microsoft too much control over some of the world's most popular games. Activision being the maker of Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

And - The world's largest coffee chain Starbucks says it is launching a line of olive oil-infused drinks in Italy. Starbucks is among the major US businesses that have faced obstacles as they tried to expand into the Italian food and drinks market. Italy's coffee scene is famous for its independent and often family-run cafes. Starbucks currently has around 20 stores in the country.

Sport

Football – Liverpool’s nightmare came to an end on Tuesday night as Real Madrid showed why they are the Champion League kings beating them 5-2. The first 15 minutes of the match had made many Liverpool fans dream; however, they were soon brought back down to earth with a bump. As soon as Benzema came close to the ball he claimed two goals. After the march Benzema said "We want this Champions League again” and it looks like they may be on the way to getting it.

Meanwhile, Napoli beat 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. This evening’s action will see Inter Milan play FC Porto and RB Leipzig play Manchester City. Kick off is at 9pm French time.

Rugby Union – Today is the deadline day, set by Welsh players on the decision as to whether Wales' Six Nations match against England will go ahead. Saturday's game is in doubt with Wales players threatening not to play because of a dispute with Welsh rugby bosses over contracts.

Tennis - British number one Cameron Norrie reached the last 16 of the Rio Open with a straight-set victory over Argentina's Juan Manuel Cerundolo. He will face Brazil's Thiago Monteiro in the next round.

Formula One – The FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem did not attend Tuesday's meeting of Formula 1's rule-forming body, the F1 Commission. His absence was the first example of his decision to step back from the direct day-to-day running of F1 after a series of controversies in recent months.

Weather

Light showers are forecast with light winds. Highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Cannes and Monaco. Sunny intervals and a gentle breeze for Saint Tropez and Toulon with highs of 14 degrees. This evening going down to 9 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 7 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. Light cloud tomorrow but should remain dry. Light showers expected to return on Friday and heading into the weekend. Highs of 14-15 degrees.

Sunrise            07.19hr

Sunset             18.09hr

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