French and Riviera News Wednesday 22nd November 2023

News 

Man is serious condition after falling from rocks on seafront in Nice - A man is in a serious condition after falling five metres from the rocks along the seafront in Nice, near to coco beach. Emergency services intervened on the coastal path at 5pm on Tuesday, after being alerted by a member of the public. The victim, a 21-year-old man, was taken to hospital where his condition is said to be serious. The cause of the fall is still unknown.

Mayor of Cavalaire charged with favouritism and corruption – Philippe Leonelli, the mayor of Cavalaire-sur-mer, a small seaside resort in the Var, has been charged with favouritism and corruption. According to local media Leonelli was charged following suspicions of irregular activities committed by the town council concerning the contract for the renovation of the town’s port.

Pack of wolves - A pack of wolves has been filmed near the village of Collobrières in the Var. Four wolves are seen in the video prowling near to the village. The footage was filmed by a local huntsman after concerns that hunting is disappearing in the Massif des Maures Forest land.

Flight service between the Var and Paris - The President of the Metropolis Jean-Pierre Giran, has denounced the reduction in the number of return flights between Toulon/Hyères airport and the French capital. In a letter addressed to Transavia, the company which operates the line, Giran invites the company’s CEO to restore the service to three daily flights. The reduction in flights carried out by Transavia between the Var and Paris is seen by many local officials as a new blow for commuters.

Survey - According to a new survey more than half of French people do not trust the media on current affairs. Some 57% of French people consider that we should "be wary of what the media say on major current affairs issues", according to the 37th edition of the La Croix- published today. The survey did reveal however that, 67% of those questioned trust television news, 61% trust the regional press and 60% trust news on the radio. On the other hand, 51% feel tired or by the news and current affairs. 48 % feel that the media always talk about the same subjects, 38% say it makes that feel anxious or powerless with 31% of respondents admitting to having stopped following a media outlet because of it being too negative and provoking anxiety. The French also say they are often confronted with fake news on social networks, with 53%, asking for more regulation and control on social networks.

Cold spell across France - Finally, France is expecting a cold spell this week, but will it make it to the Var and the Alpes Maritimes? which is currently experiencing mild temperatures and sunshine. Meteo France has forecast a sudden drop in temperatures from today, but perhaps not on the Côte d’Azur. While certain regions will see temperatures drop by 5 and 10 degrees in the coming days, the South-East it seems will be relatively spared. Why? Well according to Meteo France the situation is helped by the fact that the mass of cold air from the Atlantic will have gradually faded as it reaches the south of France and the sea air coming from the Mediterranean, offers a much milder climate, particularly in the Nice region unlike the Rhône valley where the mistral blows making it feel colder than it is. For the rest of the PACA region, temperatures may drop a little further, in the Bouches-du-Rhône and inland, particularly on the Haut-Var with negative temperatures early in the morning.

Business

According to reports the directors of OpenAI are in talks to possibly reinstate Sam Altman following his shock dismissal last Friday. Since being fired almost every staff member at OpenAI has threatened to leave unless Mr Altman and co-founder Greb Brockman are reinstated. Brockman had been removed by the board as chairman and went on to resign along with three other senior OpenAI researchers. The upheaval at OpenAI has shocked the tech world given what 38-year-old Altman had accomplished in a few short years. While tech giants such as Google have been working for years to developing artificial intelligence, OpenAI catapulted in front of them when it unveiled ChatGPT last November. The chatbot demonstrated abilities never before released to the general public, like being capable of writing a lot more like a human. Immediately gaining 100 million users, ChatGPT helped OpenAI raise billions of dollars and put AI at the centre of the tech industry. It also made Altman an overnight celebrity, presenting himself as a visionary if slightly weary face of what AI might mean for humanity. Microsoft, the biggest investor in OpenAI, has since offered Mr Altman a job.

The chief executive of Binance founded in 2017, which has become a global company operating the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies, has resigned after pleading guilty to money laundering violations. In a post on X he said "I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself". The Justice Department said it was requiring Binance, the largest crypto-exchange in the world, to pay $4.3bn (£3.4bn) in penalties. It said Binance had helped users bypass sanctions across the world.

And – In the UK the national living wage will rise to £11.44 per hour from April. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced he is accepting the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission and according to the Treasury, it is the largest ever cash increase to the rate - and is equivalent to £1,800 a year for those on the lowest income.

Sport

Football – Wales have missed out on an automatic qualification for the Euro 2024 after a one all home draw to Turkey. It means that Wales will now have to navigate the play-offs in March.

Meanwhile, France finished Euro 2024 qualifying with seven wins from eight after drawing 2-2 with Greece.

Rugby Union - England’s Tom Curry has been ruled out of the Six Nations and is likely to miss the rest of the season after having hip surgery. Curry, 25, has been troubled with the injury since playing a full part for England at the Rugby World Cup.

Weather

Mainly fine with mostly clear skies and moderate winds. Highs of 17 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 16 degrees in Vence and 19 degrees in Toulon. This evening going down to 10 degrees along the coast and 4 degrees inland with light winds.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday. Fine with clear skies and highs of 19 degrees with winds picking up in the Var as we head into the weekend.

Sunrise       07.32am

Sunset        04.59pm

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