French and Riviera News Wednesday 24th May 2023

News

Nurse dies from her injuries following knife attack - The medical profession in France is in shock following the death of a 38-year-old nurse and the hospitalisation of a medical secretary in a knife attack at the University hospital of Reims on Monday. Carène Mezino, mother of two, succumbed to her injuries following the attack in a hospital locker room by a man with a significant psychiatric history. On Tuesday staff at the hospital paid tribute to their colleague with a minute’s silence and France’s Health Minister François Braun, has called for a minute’s silence to be organised in all hospitals across the country at midday today Wednesday 24th May, in memory of Carène Mezino who “dedicated her life to the profession”. The incident has led to the National Union of Nursing Professionals calling for measures to be taken and denouncing “35 daily attacks on nurses in French hospitals”.

In a bid to cut carbon emissions France bans short-haul flights - In a bid to cut carbon emissions France has banned domestic short-haul flights where train alternatives exist. The law came into force two years after lawmakers had voted to end routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours. The ban all but rules out air travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, while connecting flights are unaffected.

France's Citizens' Convention on Climate, which was created by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 and included 150 members of the public, had proposed scrapping plane journeys where train journeys of under four hours existed. Critics, however, have described the latest measures as "symbolic bans". Laurent Donceel, interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), said that "banning these trips will only have minimal effects" on CO2 output.

Squat evicted in Nice - Thirty people have been evicted from a squat in the port district of Nice. Police arrived on the premises at 6am on Tuesday May 23rd, to evict thirty individuals who had illegally occupied, for several months, a municipal building on Avenue Jean-Lorrain. According to Anthony Borré, the deputy mayor of Nice, present during the operation, the eviction took place "calmly” amongst the squatter, who are all adults were "European nationals and other non-Europeans". Twenty of them were taken to the Auvare police station for identity checks.

Recent torrential rainfall and flooding in Italy - which left more than a dozen people dead and thousands without a home - have also had a knock-on effect on parts of the French Riviera. The Roya river has been running at exceptionally high levels in recent days. Some of the temporary crossings built after Storm Alex in 2020 have been badly damaged. The Alpes-Maritimes department says it remains on track to complete all the major rebuilding works after Storm Alex by the end of this year, at a total cost of more than €300 million.

Energy cheque - Almost half a million households in the Paca region will be receiving their 2023 energy cheque in the post in the coming days. The energy cheque is automatically sent out to one in five households with the lowest incomes - typically those earning less than €11,000 on their 2021 tax return. Across France, more than five million households are affected. The amount varies between €48 and €277 depending on your income and household composition. Here in the Paca region, the cheques are being sent out this week and should arrive by the end of the month. They can be used as part-payment towards any household energy bills, any time until the end of March next year.

Cannes Film Festival - Film directors Wes Anderson and Marco Bellocchio entered competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday. Anderson’s latest film “Asteroid City”, saw amongst others Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson grace the red carpet on Tuesday evening. While Italian director 83-year-old Marco Bellocchio, a regular at Cannes, presented his latest film "The Abduction".

Meanwhile several restaurants on the Croisette were affected by power and gas cuts at midday on Tuesday, causing disruptions during lunchtime, especially on the beaches. The Alpes-Maritimes prefecture denounces "malicious gas cuts" and assures that power and gas have been "restored". And far from the red carpet, a rally against the pension reform in France was held at the end of the morning at the Cannes train station, following a call from the CGT union. Today at Cannes Italian director Nanni Moretti returns to competition for the Palme d'Or with Il Sol Dell'Avvenire, a film which won him a ninth official selection in his career.

Commemoration of the centenary of the birth of Prince Rainier III - Monaco is making the final preparations for a year-long commemoration of the centenary of the birth of Prince Rainier III, Prince Albert II's father, who reigned in the principality from 1949 to 2005. The year-round celebration begins on 31st May with a day of entertainment on the Rocher exclusively reserved for Monaco residents, with performances by 350 artists including musicians, magicians, dancers, and traditional Monegasque folklore. A special two-euro coin marking the centenary has been minted and will be offered to Monaco residents and 30,000 Monaco flags have been produced for the occasion. Treasure hunts and bouncy castles are planned to entertain the children, not to mention food, a huge birthday cake, pétanque and free visits of part of the princely palace. The principality is expecting upwards of 20,000 visitors on 31st May and the event will be made possible with the help of almost 300 volunteers.

Marseille literary Festival - The 7th edition of the Marseille literary festival starts today, with musical readings, interviews and shows for the whole family.  More than 100 writers and artists will be present from May 24th to 29th to share their passion for literature. For more information go to the website www.ohlesbeauxjours.fr

Business

The International Monetary Fund has said that the UK economy is expected to avoid a recession this year, after it sharply upgraded its growth forecast.  It now expects the UK to grow by 0.4% in 2023, whereas last month it forecast the economy would contract by 0.3%. Growth would be helped by "resilient demand" and falling energy prices.

Apple says it has struck a multi-billion dollar deal with chipmaker Broadcom to use more US-made parts. Under the multi-year agreement, the two US companies will develop components for 5G devices that will be designed and manufactured in America. Apple says the deal is part of a plan it announced in 2021 to invest $430bn (£346bn) in the US economy. The move comes as a trade row centred on the technology industry intensifies between Washington and Beijing.

Netflix has started its long-promised crackdown on password sharing in the UK and the US. The streaming giant said it was notifying customers that they must pay £4.99 per month, or $7.99 in the US if they want to share their account with someone outside their homes.  The move is intended to boost subscribers.

Sport

Formula One - Honda has announced it is to return to Formula 1 in a formal capacity in 2026 as engine partner for the Aston Martin team. The company officially pulled out of F1 at the end of 2021 but its engines are still used by the two Red Bull teams and are called Hondas again in 2023. Honda said on Wednesday that F1's pursuit of carbon-neutrality by 2030 was the "key factor" behind its decision to re-enter officially. New rules for 2026 will increase the electrical performance of F1 engines.

Football - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he wants the 115 Premier League financial charges against the club to be dealt with "as soon as possible". In February, City were charged with breaches of the league's financial rules from 2009 to 2018. They were also accused of not cooperating since the investigation began in December 2018. City have denied financial wrongdoing and say they "look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all".

Meanwhile, Buyako Saka has signed a new deal to stay at Arsenal until 2027, saying the club "is the right place to make the next step". The England forward has scored 14 goals for the Gunners this season, contributing 11 assists.

In the Premier League this evening Brighton are at home to Manchester City. Kick-off is at 9pm.

Rugby Union - Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell says he will not make himself available for England's World Cup squad. The 30-year-old, who is set to join La Rochelle this summer, has been to the past two World Cups and won 46 caps. Nowell has been managing a knee injury and has only played in the Heineken Champions Cup for Exeter since the end of March.

Tennis - Britain's Harriet Dart, Liam Broady and Katie Boulter came through three-setters to reach the second round of French Open qualifying on Tuesday.

Athletics - Indoor track and field competition is to be renamed 'short track' in a change by World Athletics which the governing body hopes will help grow the sport. Indoor championships will remain, but the move is intended to encourage "competition innovation", with the traditional indoor 200m track providing flexibility for outdoor use in cities.

Cycling - Britain's Geraint Thomas reclaimed the overall race lead at the Giro d'Italia as Joao Almeida took victory on Monte Bondone in a thrilling 16th stage. The Welshman finished runner-up in a sprint to the line with Almeida, who he now leads by 18 seconds overall.

Weather

Sunny in Nice, Monaco and Saint Tropez with light winds. Highs of 22 degrees. Light rain and highs of 22 degrees is forecast for Cannes and Vence. Sunshine and highs of 25 degrees in Marseille.

This evening going down to 16 degrees along the coast. The outlook for tomorrow, thundery showers highs of 22 degrees. Friday sunshine is expected to return with a gentle breeze and highs of 23 degrees.

Sunrise       05.57am

Sunset        08.57pm

Beach weather forecast

Nice – Sea temperature 18 degrees. Air temperature 21, sunny. UV level 8.

Hyeres les Palmiers - Sea temperature 19 degrees. Air temperature 23 degrees, sunny intervals. UV level 8.

Saint-Tropez - Sea temperature 19 degrees. Air temperature 24 degrees. Sunny intervals. UV level 8.

And Finally

According to a new survey nearly half of British holidaymakers take their own tea bags abroad with them, while 36 per cent insist on taking slippers. So, what do you take with you?

The study showed that 43% of Brits took tea bags as a creature comfort, 36% took slippers, 35% took decent coffee.

A quarter (25 per cent) regularly pack their own pillow, with one in ten even insisting on taking their favourite mug.

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