French and Riviera News Wednesday 2nd August 2023

News

First French flight evacuating French and other Europeans from Niger lands in Paris - The first French flight evacuating French and other Europeans from Niger has arrived in Paris with 262 people on board. On Tuesday 1st August, France began evacuating its citizens amid anti-French sentiment following last week's coup. The coup has prompted demonstrations against the former colonial power, with the French embassy coming under attack. Tuesday’s flight was the first of three planned evacuation flights to the French capital. Germany has urged its nationals to take up France's offer to help other Europeans and Italy is also organising a flight.

Luxury store raided by armed robbers in Paris - A store of a luxury Swiss watch brand in central Paris has been raided by armed robbers. The thieves escaped with between 10 to 15 million euros worth of jewellery.  The robbery took place around lunchtime on Tuesday at the store on the Rue de la Paix in the high-end Place Vendôme area, home to several jewellers, watchmakers and luxury brands. The area has seen a spate of armed robberies in recent years. An investigation is now under way. Nobody was hurt in the raid.

Water park closes after tragic incident - The managers of two water parks in France have announced that they are leaving the profession and closing the attraction parks permanently, after the fatal accident in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, involving an inflatable structure which caused the death of a father and seriously injured his four-year-old daughter. Heard by the investigators, one of the managers notably responded to the account of a witness who affirmed that an inflatable structure managed by the same officials had already collapsed last year. The investigation continues.

Fire - About thirty firefighters have been deployed after a fire broke out in Cagnes sur mer on Tuesday evening. The fire occurred in the same residence, the Domaine du Loup, affected just a few days ago by flames. Firefighters were alerted shortly before 7pm with the fire being extinguished by 8pm. The cause remains to be determined.

Mayor of Saint-Tropez calls on establishments to stop filtering customers based on their financial capacities - The mayor of Saint-Tropez has called for an end to certain popular bars and restaurants accepting customers based on their financial capacities. According to local media some establishments have created a database which allows them to filter their customers depending on how much they will spend or have spent, in their bar or restaurant.  According to the mayor, "the practice of 'minimum spending' can be compared to pure and simple extortion of funds and calls for the practice to end immediately adding that establishments will meet in mid-September to discuss the issue.

Third hottest July in France - Meteo France has confirmed this July was the third hottest since records began on the Cote d’Azur. Over the past 30 years, the average temperature in July is 24.1 degrees but this year it was a full two-degrees higher at 26.2.  Meanwhile, over a hundred towns across France are suffering drinking water problems. The French government said that while 119 municipalities are experiencing problems, it’s still far below levels from last summer, where 700 towns were without water.

New regulation - A new regulation in Nice may soon ban the practice of releasing doves after a wedding ceremony. City councillor and former animal protection officer Henry-Jean Servat says the location of the mairie in Nice, close to the sea-front, means many doves released are quickly attacked by seagulls and in one case, shredded in front of the eyes of the wedding guests. Other towns in France have a similar ban while others will only allow doves trained to return to their loft.

Deadline postponed once again for property declaration - Initially possible until June 30th and then until July 31st, the declaration of real estate had been postponed by 24 hours on Monday August 1st. However, due to the influx and a problem with the government’s website government has finally postponed the deadline until August 10th. The obligation to declare real estate for residential use came into force on January 1st in order to identify properties which are still liable for the taxe d’habitation which was abolished for all main residences in 2023, but remains liable for secondary residences.

Business

HSBC has said that its profits for the first half of the year have more than doubled after the banking giant benefited from rising interest rates in the UK and around the world. Central banks have been lifting interest rates to calm high inflation. But UK regulators have been concerned that banks have not been passing on enough of the rises to savers.

In a post-Brexit climbdown, the UK government has decided to recognise the EU's product safety symbol indefinitely.  From the end of next year, goods such as light bulbs and toys were meant to carry a new UK-only mark to be sold in Great Britain. However, the business department has now confirmed the EU symbol will continue to be accepted on most goods.

And – Hours of fun to be had as the toy company Mattel has announced it is on the lookout for its first-ever "Chief UNO Player" to spearhead its newest addition, UNO Quatro. The job will reportedly require four hours of attendance per day, four days a week for four consecutive weeks. It will pay $4,444 (£3,482) for each of the four weeks - meaning the player will earn a total of $17,776 (£13,926).  The Chief UNO Player will be expected to play and teach others UNO Quatro, as well as help the team produce content for their video channels. The toy company said is looking for a player who "friendly" with "really good vibes" and it is desirable that they are competitive and someone who "takes UNO everywhere". They should also be able to work in New York from 13 September. Applications close on 10 August.

Sport

Football – In the Women’s World Cup today’s big game will see France take on Panama where a win or a draw will see Les Bleues progress to the last 16. Kick off in Sydney is at 12 Noon French time. Also playing are Italy in action against South Africa.

Rugby Union - Assistant coach Richard Wigglesworth says that England will not use Saturday's World Cup warm-up game with Wales in Cardiff as a "selection shoot-out".  Head coach Steve Borthwick will confirm his 33-man squad for the tournament in France on Monday morning, three weeks before the World Rugby deadline.

Golf - Tiger Woods has joined the PGA Tour's Policy Board as a player director in a move which will give golfers a bigger say in major decisions. Woods' appointment follows the merger between the Tour, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour in June that left players blindsided.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze in Monaco and Antibes, highs of 27 degrees. 28 degrees in Nice and 30 degrees in Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Moderate to strong winds are forecast for the Var region. This evening going down to 22 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. Mainly fine with moderate to strong winds and highs of 28-32 degrees.

Sunrise       06.19am

Sunset        08.52pm

Beach Weather

Nice – Sea temperature is 26 degrees. Air temperature is 28. UV level is 10.

Marseille – Sea temperature is 20 degrees. Air temperature is 29. UV level is 10.

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