French and Riviera News Wednesday 22nd May 2024

National News

French president travels to New Caledonia - The French president Emmanuel Macron has travelled to the Pacific Island of New Caledonia, just over a week after riots erupted in the French overseas territory leaving six dead and hundreds injured. The unrest has resulted in dozens of shops and businesses being looted and burned, with cars torched and road barricades set up. A state of emergency and curfew remain in place, with army reinforcements. Macron plans to “set up a mission” without saying what it could entail with the “priority being to return to calm and order”.

SNCF ticket sales – The SNCF is today Wednesday 22nd May, putting 50,000 tickets at five euros each on sale for its Ouigo Classique train network. These trains serve 20 destinations, mainly in the west of France. 50,000 tickets at five euros will be on offer compared to the normal 49 euros for adults. The tickets are available on the ouigo.com website. Unlike TGVs or Ouigo Grande Vitesse, Ouigo Classique trains are slower. A Paris-Rennes journey takes 4h30 minutes, compared to 1h35 minutes in a TGV.

Local

Schoolboy stabbed - A schoolboy has been stabbed by another student during PE class in Toulouse. The incident occurred at the Lamartine college on Tuesday morning at around 10.30am. The injured 5th grade student was hospitalised and an investigation into the exact circumstances is underway.

Two young girls have a lucky escape after getting into difficulty - Two young girls have had a lucky escape after getting into difficulty while swimming in the sea on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The prefecture had warned on Tuesday May 21st, of strong winds and high waves along the region’s coastline with a ban on swimming from Nice to Menton. It was beach goers who managed to help the two 18-year-olds shortly after 5.30pm.

Five-star hotel project in Toulon given the green light - A project for a 5-star hotel in Toulon in the Var has been given the green light by local authorities despite an objection from local residents. The site in Cap Brun which includes a villa listed as a historic monument since 2019 has been granted a construction permit.

Monaco Grand Prix – Finally, ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix local racing driver Charles Leclerc has said he will be doing “everything possible to make pole position in qualifying” this weekend, but he says he’s not “fixated” on a Monaco Grand Prix win. Leclerc added that the Monaco circuit is his favourite circuit of the whole year because he is at home, but also because he is a big fan of city circuits.

Business

Finance minister Bruno le Maire has said that France is open to the United Arab Emirates investing in its nuclear power and artificial intelligence industries. The announcement comes ahead of signing a strategic partnership with the Gulf state on AI. The Gulf state has emerged as a major investor in artificial intelligence and according to reports wants to invest in Europe’s nuclear power industry. Le Maire told reporters that France would welcome investments into its nuclear industry such as in nuclear fuel specialists which at present the government majority owns. France is providing tens of billions of euros for state-controlled energy provider EDF to build six new reactors.

The banking lobby group UK Finance has warned that fake Olympics and Taylor Swift tickets are the two biggest online scams consumers are likely to encounter this year. The group reported that the number of people tricked by romance fraud and purchase scams jumped to new highs last year. Overall, criminals stole £1.17bn in 2023, down 4% from 2022. UK Finance said the abuse of online platforms continued to leave people vulnerable. It called on tech companies to do more to help stop the scams. Consumers lost £86m last year to purchase scams, in which they agreed to pay for something that never materialised. That was up 28% from 2022. In total, there were more than 156,000 cases of such fraud last year.

The second-hand online car retailer Cazoo has fallen into administration, after cutting hundreds of jobs as part of a big restructuring. Cazoo became popular during the Covid pandemic when restrictions forced car buyers to browse and make their purchases online. The loss-making company has been struggling to raise money from investors, and in March changed its model from being a dealer, where it bought and sold cars itself, to a marketplace where consumers can buy and sell cars.

Sport

Football - Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has left the club by mutual consent after one season at Stamford Bridge. Pochettino took charge of Chelsea on July 1st last year, signing a two-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

The Argentine was under pressure after an underwhelming start of the season, but a run of five successive wins to end the season ensured they finished sixth in the Premier League. Chelsea were also runners-up in the Carabao Cup and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Chelsea will now search for a successor and have expressed recent interest in Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna, Sporting’s Ruben Amorim and Burnley’s Vincent Kompany.

International football

England manager Gareth Southgate has shown his ruthless side as he picked his provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024 in Germany. Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is seen as the biggest casualty, along with former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who also has been axed.

Among those not named in the provisional squad are Chelsea quartet Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell, Raheem Sterling and Reece James, another surprise omission from the squad is Jadon Sancho who has had a new lease of life during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.

Surprise inclusions to the provisional squad are injured Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw of Man united who has missed most of the season and will have to work hard to make the final 26-man squad for the tournament which kicks off on June 14 in Munich. England’s opening game is against Serbia is on Sunday June the 16.

Tennis – In the French Open qualifying on Tuesday it was British Heather Watson who was one of the three Britons to lose in the first round.  World number 156 Watson lost 6-3 5-7 6-1 to Croatia's 214th-ranked Antonia Ruzic.

In the men's tournament, Ryan Peniston fell 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 to American second seed JJ Wolf.

Oliver Crawford, who switched nationality to Britain from the United States in January, was beaten 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 by Li Tu of Australia.

The defeats mean Billy Harris is the sole Briton remaining in qualifying for the clay-court Grand Slam, which begins in Paris on Sunday.

Harris will face France's Manuel Guinard today in the second round.

Formula One – At this year’s 81st Monaco Grand Prix McLaren have revealed a special single seater race car in homage to Ayrton Senna. The team will pay tribute to Senna with a special car delivered in the colours of the Brazilian flag which he proudly wore on his helmet during his career, notably with McLaren between 1988 and 1993. The tribute to Ayrton Senna comes 30 years after his death in 1994 at Imola. 

Weather

Fine and sunny with moderate to strong winds. Highs of 21 degrees in Nice and Monaco reaching 24 degrees in Cannes and 23 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 15 degrees along the coast.

The outlook for tomorrow cloudy to begin with. Thundery showers are expected in the Alpes Maritimes and Nice by the afternoon. Remaining dry and sunny in the Var region. Highs of 22 degrees. Friday fine to start with some cloudy patches by the afternoon. Highs of 21 degrees.

Sunrise       05.58am

Sunset        08.56pm

Sea temperature

Menton 18.3°

UV level 7

Weather elsewhere

Oslo            26° and sunny.

Dublin        17° light rain.

Palma         24° sunny.

Glasgow     18° light rain.

And Finally

A recent survey has revealed that three in four French citizens believe the nation is in decline, and a group of social media influencers have set out to change that by promoting the nation's once-internationally-praised cuisine and culture.   With hundreds of thousands of followers across social media platforms, they have sought to fight the rising site of anti-French malaise that has swept the nation. And at least for now, the movement appears to be working, both at home and abroad. 

Le Canon Français, a company that organises traditional banquets across France has said that the company’s feasts are a hit with locals and tourists adding “it's about enjoying the best France has to offer, it’s the art de vivre. All are welcome”.

 

  

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