French and Riviera News Wednesday 28th February 2024

National News France

French President under fire following comments on deploying ground troops to Ukraine - French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire after saying at an international conference held on Monday at the Elysee on Ukraine, that “nothing should be excluded” and that there was “no consensus” on sending Western soldiers to Ukraine. Since several Nato countries, including the US, Germany and the UK, have firmly ruled out deploying ground troops to Ukraine. The comments led to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warning of direct conflict if Nato troops were to deploy there.

Eric Ciotti strongly criticises Macron’s comments following international conference – Locally it was MP and president of the Republican Party Eric Ciotti who heavily criticised French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Monday. Ciotti said that sending troops to Ukraine would have “serious consequences” adding that a “possible ground mobilisation of French troops would change the nature of the conflict”. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the political spectrum, far left MP Jean-Luc Mélenchon at the same time denounced “madness” adding that a “verbal escalation of a nuclear power against another major nuclear power is already an irresponsible act”.

Citizens urged to report signs of Russian manipulation - Meanwhile, French citizens are being urged to report signs of Russian manipulation in advance of this year's Paris Olympics. A note from the domestic intelligence service DGSI has called on police to pass up even "weak signals" of apparent operations conducted by Russian agents.

Bag containing security plans for the Paris Olympics stolen from train - And a bag containing security plans for the Paris Olympics has been stolen from a train at the Gare du Nord. The incident occurred on Tuesday when a city hall engineer had put the bag with sensitive data in an overhead luggage rack. As the train was delayed, he decided to change trains at which point he discovered the theft. The engineer said his work computer and two USB sticks contained sensitive data, in particular the municipal police’s plans for securing this year’s summer Olympics. An investigation is being conducted by the regional transport police.

Banks to help farmers in France - France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that banks in France will take action to help farmers in difficulty. The announcement comes on the sidelines of Agricultural Show in Paris which is on until Sunday and which has seen angry clashes between farmers and political leaders, particularly towards French President Emmanuel Macron who visited the show at the weekend. Le Maire said that farmers concerned will be able to benefit from emergency loans at preferential rates, "between 0 and 2.5% depending on the situation of the farm. Some banks have already started to offer advantageous loans to farmers.

Vogue World Paris - A giant fashion show, Vogue World Paris, will launch haute couture week and celebrate the Olympic Games on June 23rd. The event in the form of a giant fashion show: first staged in New York in 2022, then London in 2023 and now it will be the French capital in June 2024. The location, Place Vendôme will see a mix of fashion, entertainment, and performances as well as a few surprises. It will also be a tribute to the hundred years of French fashion since the last Paris Olympics in 1924.

Local News

Covid-19 vaccination campaign - A new Covid-19 vaccination campaign will begin in mid-April in France for the oldest and most vulnerable. Anyone wishing a booster will be able to claim it free of charge, provided they respect a deadline of three months after their last injection or Covid-19 infection.

Bad smell has not been formally identified - The bad smell recently reported in Nice seems to have disappeared but has not been formally identified following an investigation. On Tuesday the prefecture announced that the investigation carried out could not formally link the bad odours reported in many districts of the city for several days, to suspect number one, a factory located in La Trinite and that other measurements are still being analysed. The episode of bad odours in Nice seems to be over, however the cause it seems has not been formally identified.

Nice’s big clearance sale - The City of Nice is organizing the 6th edition of its big clearance sale as part of its support to local businesses. The clearance sale takes place during the Nice Carnaval on February 29th, March 1st and 2nd, 2024 in different districts. The inauguration of the Nice Carnaval Days will be held tomorrow, Thursday February 29th at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of avenue Jean Médecin and boulevard Dubouchage. For 3 days, the Riviera capital allows shops to use the public walkways to display items at discount prices.

“Moteur Competition” an opportunity for young people - Today the mayor of Nice will launch the 8th edition of “Moteur Competition” at the National Theatre of Nice at 5.30pm. Chrisitan Estrosi and the city of Nice supports this project which gives young people the opportunity to let their creativity shine by making a film about a person who inspires them. The competition, created in 2015 by the MOTEUR association! gives a voice to young people aged 14 to 22 from social, cultural and territorial diversity with the aim of helping them find their place in society. The goal is simple! Each participant in the competition must make a 1 minute 30 second film highlighting the person of their choice who inspires them, whether it is a well-known personality or a member of their family. Do you want to apply? You have until April 1st to do so on the website www.leprojetacteur.org.

Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco raises money with a touch of elegance - H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene have put on a fine display of elegance all for a good cause at the alpine ski resort of Courchevel. The royal couple were attending at the weekend, a charity gala in aid of the Princess Charlene foundation of Monaco as well as the children of the Courchevel Sports Club. The evening was chaired by Prince Albert and CEO of Ineos Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe. The donations collected will benefit both the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, which primarily focuses on water safety and drowning prevention, and the Courchevel Children’s Sports Club.​

Business

iPhone maker Apple has reportedly pulled the plug on plans to build electric vehicles. The project which has never publicly been acknowledged by the firm is thought to have been in the pipeline for the last decade. According to Bloomberg news many employees from the project will be moved to the iPhone maker's artificial intelligence (AI) division. Apple has been exploring other opportunities beyond the iPhone and computers, including its recently launched Vision Pro virtual reality headset.

Currys has rejected a second takeover approach from US firm Elliott, saying the offer "significantly undervalued" the electronics chain. Elliott valued the retailer at around £757m, up from its initial £700m valuation earlier this month. Currys has more than 800 stores globally, but has seen slowing sales due to the cost-of-living crisis.

More music is leaving TikTok following a row with Universal Music over royalties. The platform has already silenced songs by artists signed to the label, but it is now having to do the same with writers. Popular videos featuring artists such as Harry Styles and Adele could soon be muted as they are with Universal-signed artists. TikTok says up to 30% of what it calls "popular songs" could be lost. But some industry estimates say up to 80% of all music on TikTok could be muted. Universal has accused TikTok of "bullying" them by wanting to pay a "fraction" of the rate other platforms do for their music. Music is a big part of the appeal of TikTok - content creators often add songs to their videos.

Sport

Football – Manchester City have thrashed Luton 6-2 to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals. Leicester beat Bournemouth 1-0 and Newcastle United won 4-3 on penalties against Blackburn Rovers. In this evening’s fifth round of the FA Cup Chelsea are at home to Leeds, Nottingham Forest play Manchester United, Wolverhampton are at home to Brighton and Liverpool are at home to Southampton.

And in Women’s Football England comfortably beat Italy 5-1 in a friendly match played in Spain.

Rugby Union - The president of the French Rugby Federation has said that they is no danger of France’s head coach Fabien Galthie losing his job. Things are not looking good for France after a draw with Italy in the Six Nations on Sunday and they are fourth in the table after three games. They will next face Wales, who have lost all three Six Nations games this year and England in their final two matches.

Weather

Mostly cloudy feeling warmer with moderate winds, possibility of some light showers in places. Highs of 18 degrees in Nice and Cannes, 17 degrees in Monaco, 16 degrees and light rain over the border in San Remo and also for Saint-Tropez and Toulon in the Var.  

This evening going down to 10 degrees along the coast and 4 degrees inland with clear skies. The outlook for Thursday is sunny intervals, highs of 19 degrees. Light rain is set to return on Friday and over the weekend with light winds and highs of 15 degrees.

Sunrise                07.09am

Sunset                 06.16pm

Sea Temperature

Cannes                 14.2°

Weather elsewhere

London      Foggy and 11°.

Paris           12° with sunny intervals.

Dublin                  13° degrees with light rain.

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