French and Riviera News Thursday 28th September 2023

News

UN criticises France’s ban on headscarves at the Olympic Games - A spokesperson for the UN’s human rights office has criticised France’s ban on headscarves at the Olympic Games in Paris next year, saying that “no one should impose on a woman what she needs to wear, or not wear”. The French government has said that athletes representing France would be barred from wearing headscarves during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris as part of its opposition to the display of religious symbols during sporting events.

Makeover for the Champs-Elysees – Meanwhile, the “World’s most beautiful” avenue in the French capital, the Champs-Elysees, looks set to be given a makeover ahead of the Olympic Games. After years of decline local traders and businesses have put forward the plan which now has to be approved by the town hall.

Emmanuel Macron in Corsica - French President Emmanuel Macron began his fifth trip since his election as president, to Corsica on Wednesday. The three-day visit is organized as part of the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the island, in 1943. Arriving in Ajaccio on Wednesday evening Macron will today give a speech to the Corsican Assembly.

Road accident - A teenager is in serious condition in hospital after a collision between a motor scooter and a car in Antibes. The accident occurred at around 7pm on Wednesday evening, on the Chemin du Petit Four in Antibes. The victim, the 16-year-old driver of the two-wheeler, was treated by emergency services and taken to hospital in Nice.

Fraudulent SMS messages - The Var prefecture is warning against fraudulent SMS messages regarding a Crit'Air sticker order or unpaid fine. The prefecture advises not replying and reporting e-mails to the Signal Spam service and SMS messages to 33 700. It reminded everyone that there is only one official website for Critic'Air stickers which is http://certificat-air.gouv.fr

Philanthropists led by Sir Stelios raise funds to save our seas here in Monaco – Congratulations! to the sixty philanthropists led by Sir Stelios who have raised 864,000 euros for the environment. The Foundation of Prince Albert II of Monaco and the World Wildlife Foundation fundraiser, now in its 11th year, was held here in the Principality on Wednesday evening in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Those present were briefed on the work carried out as part of a joint venture between the WWF and the FPA2 to protect the Pelagos sanctuary in the Mediterranean Sea, which is a stretch of sea between the coasts of Monaco, France and Italy down to the island of Sardinia. Speaking at the event Sir Stelios said “I am touched that so many friends responded to the call to save our seas! The Pelagos sanctuary is very close to our home and we have to preserve it. The sum raised is up 154% on last year and brings the grand total raised for the cause by their joint efforts since 2013 to 2.5 million euro. Sir Stelios concluded “We are looking forward to breaking the record again next year as we are here to help for the long run!”.

Restrictions in place for match this weekend between AS Monaco and OM - Restrictions have been put in place for reasons of security for this Saturday’s match between AS Monaco and Olympique de Marseille. Monaco fans need to obtain their ticket at the Stade Louis II ticket office as there are no online sales to the general public. Tickets can be purchased from Monday to Friday 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on match day the ticket offices are open from 10 a.m. If you are a Marseille supporter only seats in certain areas will be available and there is a ban on any distinctive signs of Olympique de Marseille within the stadium grounds.

New Monaco maritime police shuttle - Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene have inaugurated a new Monaco maritime police shuttle. The new rapid intervention vessel from the Maritime and Airport Police Division (DPMA) was inaugurated on Wednesday. It is equipped with the latest technologies and designed specifically for sea rescue.

Monaco Yacht Show - Finally, also on the port of Monaco Wednesday saw the 32nd edition of the Monaco Yacht show get underway. This prestigious superyacht show draws in prospective buyers, designers, builders, suppliers, brokers and superyacht enthusiasts from across the globe. Over the next few days, the biggest names in the international luxury yachting sector will gather to witness the extraordinary sight of some of the largest and most expensive superyachts in the world. The Monaco Yacht Show runs until Saturday 30th September and brings an estimated 30,000 visitors to Monaco for what is undoubtedly the most glamorous event in the yachting calendar. Stay tuned to Riviera Radio and check out our social media to hear and see all the latest from this year’s show.

Business

Need advice on your holiday destination or cooking tips? Well in the future, it may not be from your partner or mother-in-law as Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced a series of new chatbots which will have “personality” to be used in its Messenger service. As the chatbot arms race continues between tech companies desperate to produce the most accurate and personalised artificial intelligence this latest device will be able to specialise in certain subjects, like holidays or cooking advice. Boss Mark Zuckerberg said that the chatbots are still a work in progress with "limitations" before adding that it had been an "amazing year for AI".

Meanwhile OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed creator of ChatGPT, has confirmed the chatbot can now browse the internet to provide users with current information. The artificial intelligence-powered system was previously trained only using data up to September 2021.The move means some premium users will be able to ask the chatbot questions about current affairs, and access news. OpenAI said the feature would open up to all users soon.

In the UK, data shared by Pebble, a flexible childcare service has shown that as companies move away from remote working parents are facing more than £600 extra per month in childcare. Half of parents polled said that they were planning on quitting their jobs as a result and third said that they have already moved to a company with more flexible working.

Sport

Rugby World Cup - Uruguay have beaten Namibia 36-26 in Lyon to record their first pool win at the Rugby World Cup and deny the African nation a first win in the competition. Uruguay came into the fixture as favourites after impressing against France. The win is Uruguay's fourth in their World Cup history, with their final game of the pool against New Zealand next Thursday.

This evening in Pool D Japan play Samoa kick off is at 9pm French time.

Football - Newcastle are eager to "go one better" than last season's runners-up finish in the League Cup after beating Manchester City 1-0 on Wednesday evening to reach this campaign's fourth round. Newcastle will face Manchester United in the fourth round.

Cricket - Head coach Matthew Mott has said that Andrew Flintoff is certain to be involved in England's coaching set-up again. 45-year-old former England skipper Flintoff joined Mott's white-ball coaching staff on an informal basis for part of this summer's international commitments.

Flintoff was injured in an accident filming the television show Top Gear last year. Following the accident on 13 December, Flintoff received medical care at the scene before being taken to hospital for further treatment. Flintoff retired from cricket in 2009 having played 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven T20s for England.

Weather

Clear and sunny with a gentle breeze. Cloud was forecast but looks like it’s going to be another fine day. Highs of 26 degrees in Nice, Monaco, Antibes and Vence. Cooler along the Var coastline with 24 degrees in Saint-Tropez and light winds. This evening going down to 15 degrees in the Var and 18 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and heading into the weekend, remaining fine and sunny with highs of 25 degrees.

Sunrise       07.23am

Sunset        07.17pm

And Finally

A study has found that teenagers are more likely to become binge drinkers if they spend just 30 minutes a day on social media. The researchers looked at how long 14-year-olds spent on apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp, then linked it with their booze habits at 17. Overall, those who had been on social media for at least 30 minutes a day were more likely to consume alcohol regularly and binge drink, which was classed as having five or more drinks at a time.

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