French and Riviera News Wednesday 26th June 2024

National News 

Confusing television debate ahead of parliamentary elections - France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has accused his far-right and leftwing political opponents of "promising the moon" in a three-way televised debate on Tuesday ahead of next Sunday's first round of early parliamentary elections. In a confusing TV debate between leaders of the three top-polling blocs, Attal came under pressure from far-right opponent, Jordan Bardella, who repeatedly interrupted him and accused him of "lecturing" and lacking credibility.

Local News 

Flooding - Another episode of flooding in the Vésubie valley in the Alpes Maritimes has reignited the political debate on the delays in the reconstruction of the region following storm Alex in 2020. Floods this week forced firefighters to evacuate around fifty people in Saint-Martin-Vésubie, threatened several bridges and isolated dozens of homes and has led to Eric Ciotti once again accusing the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and the Metropolis of inaction saying “there is a feeling of anger”.

To allow road repair work to be carried out, RM 2565 (Saint-Martin-Vésubie) will be closed in both directions at night, from 9pm to 6am from Monday July 1st to Friday July 5th.

Fatal accident on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice - A motorist and his passengers have remianed in police custody following a fatal accident on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. An investigation has been opened on charges of involuntary manslaughter and failure to provide assistance to a person in danger following the accident which left a 41 yeao old firefighter who had just finished work dead on Tuesday morning. According to police the vehicle was traveling at high speed on the Promenade des Anglais and did not respect a red light before hitting the victim who was driving a two-wheeler.

Earthquake - An earthquake off the coast of Corsica shook the Côte d'Azur on Tuesday. The earthquake with a magnitude of 2.5 was felt along the entire Alpes-Maritimes coastline and as far as Saint-Tropez. According to SismoAzur, the epicentre was located off the Ligurian coast, between Imperia and Alassio. The shock could be felt along the entire coastline of the Alpes-Maritimes and even inland of the Alpes Maritimes and the Var. It was on June 13th, that a similar earthquake with a magnitude of 2.1 occurred, in approximately the same location.

Port of Saint-Tropez - Tensions are high in Saint-Tropez following unfounded rumours of a corruption network operating on the port. A radio media this week claimed bribes within the harbour master’s office. However, in response the local council has defended itself saying that “an official complaint has not been filed”. Since Tuesday morning revelations of an anonymous whistleblower on an alleged corruption have been circulating yet the mayor’s office in a statement said that “it has not been informed of any investigation”.  

The system in place for welcoming yachts in the port of Saint-Tropez has been for several years, with no phone reservation or manual registration, meaning that there is very little human intervention on the reservation system, "except for a definitive validation by the port director, at the time of payment”. The mayor’s office believes that the rumours may have come from a disgruntled former port agent whose position was not renewed in 2024.

Business

Some analysts have said that a left-wing alliance could be a bigger risk than a far-right leadership for investors in France.  President Emmanuel Macron's shock decision to call parliamentary elections this month and Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) leading the polls has increased concerns about France's fiscal sustainability.

Volkswagen says it will invest up to $5bn (£3.94bn) in Tesla rival Rivian. The deal creates a joint venture that will allow the Germany car making giant  VW and the US-based electric vehicle (EV) maker to share technology. Following the announcement shares in Rivian jumped by almost 50%. The tie-up comes as competition intensifies between EV makers and Western countries move to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

ChatGPT maker OpenAI has said that due to technical issues it was delaying the release of its "Voice Mode" feature by a month. The company had originally planned to roll out the realistic voice conversation experience to a small group of ChatGPT Plus users in late June, but said it was delaying it because it needed time to reach its launch standard.

And - A letter from Albert Einstein written in 1939, which encouraged the US to develop the world's first nuclear bombs, is to go up for auction. Written to President Franklin D Roosevelt the note warns that Nazi Germany might be able to create such weapons - and suggests the US begins its own atomic programme. Three years later, America began the Manhattan Project, which led to the first ever use of atomic weapons, against Japan, in 1945. The letter is being sold as part of an auction of artefacts belonging to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died in 2018 at the age 65.

Sport

Football - England were booed off, and some empty cups were thrown at the Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate following another underwhelming performance resulting in a 0-0 draw with Slovenia. The Three Lions go into the last 16 as Group C winners - but they only managed two goals in a group where only one team won a game. Southgate's team selection has been questioned during the Euros and it remained a key issue on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Denmark finished second in Group C after a dull 0-0 draw with Serbia. A masked Kylian Mbappe scored his first-ever Euros goal for France, but his team were held to a 1-1 draw by an already-eliminated Poland to finish second in Group D.

And Austria advanced to the knockout stage of the European Championship as group winner with a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands.  Austria topped Group D thanks to France drawing with Poland 1-1 in the other game. Both France and the Netherlands were already assured of progress thanks to results in other games.

Today with a 6pm kick off Ukraine play Belgium and Slovakia face Romania. This evening at 9pm Czech Republic play Turkey and Georgie play Portugal.

Cricket - David Warner's international cricket career is over after Australia were eliminated from the T20 World Cup. Afghanistan's dramatic victory over Bangladesh ensured they progressed from the Super 8s to the semi-finals at the expense of the Aussies. Warner announced his decision to quit one-day internationals in the lead-up to his final Test match at the start of the year.

Formula One – Police in the UK have advised the Mercedes Formula 1 team that no criminal offences were committed by the sender of an email that claimed Lewis Hamilton's car had been "sabotaged". Northamptonshire Police received a report on 12 June regarding an email that had been circulated within the Mercedes AMG F1 Team. The letter claimed Hamilton's car was being compromised by the team following his decision to move to Ferrari from 2025. Team principal Toto Wolff rejected the claims in the letter as "mad" and said he and Hamilton were determined to end their relationship on a high following his decision to drive for Ferrari from 2025.

Weather

Mainly fine with clear skies and a gentle breeze. Highs of 24 degrees in Nice and Menton, 22 degrees in Monaco and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. 25 degrees in Saint-Tropez and Puget-Theniers with a moderate breeze. 29 degrees in Draguignan with thundery showers. This evening going down to 17 degrees with clear skies along the coast and showers inland in the Alpes Maritimes.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. Fine and sunny along the coast with highs of 25 degrees.

Sunrise                 05.50am

Sunset                  09.16pm

Sea temperatures

Cannes                 22° UV level 7

Marseille              20° UV level 8

Saint-Tropez       21° UV level 7

Weather elsewhere

London                 29° sunny.

Amsterdam        29° sunny.

Belfast                  21° light rain.

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