French and Riviera News Wednesday 4th October 2023

News

Bedbugs - French media has been taken over with bedbugs as the government announces the creation of an “observatory” and a meeting amongst minister planned for Friday to “quickly provide answers to the French” who are asking “legitimate” questions about the bloodsucking insects which appear to be rife in the French capital.

Government spokesperson Olivier Véran has spoken on the problem in several interviews recently and the subject was even raised during questions to the government in the National Assembly. France’s Prime minister Elisabeth Borne was also questioned by leaders of the opposition, who accused her of having “done nothing” regarding the proliferation of bedbugs in recent years.

Véran meanwhile, assures that he wants to bring “secure methods” to the French clarifying that the contaminations were not limited to France and that due to global warming, the phenomenon was growing in all countries with high tourism”. He went on to give the example of New York City “a few years ago.” Véran concluded that the French government also wants to "protect the French from scams" when they try to get rid of bedbugs. Saying that “it’s not a question of paying someone 3,000 euros without knowing what they’re doing, there are secure methods that allow you to eradicate the insects” he declared.

Meanwhile, speaking on the problem to French and international media Jean-Michel Berenger, an entomologist at Marseille's IHU Méditerranée Infection hospital, who looks after various strains of bedbugs has said that there are several factors, of which globalisation - container trade, tourism and immigration - is the most important. Saying that however climate change can be ruled out as the bedbug is a domesticated creature. It goes where humans go. Weather doesn't come into it.

Greenhouse gas emissions - Greenhouse gas emissions in France fell by 4.3% in the first six months of this year compared to the same period a year previously, according to the body which monitors emissions. The fall was despite a large increase in emissions from planes as the travel sector recovered from the pandemic. Emissions from domestic flights rose by 25% during the period and by 34% for international flights.

Report on crash - According to local media the report from the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) has indicated that the pilot of the Monacair aircraft which crashed on November 25th, last year near Eze, had consumed cocaine before the accident which caused his death and that of his client. Around 2pm on November 25, an Airbus H130 helicopter from the Monacair company crashed near Eze, on the hillside. Two people died including the pilot who was in his thirties and from the region. In response to the report Monacair staff said they were “shocked” and “stunned” by the news as no one was aware that the pilot was a “regular cocaine user”.

High temperatures - Meteo France have said that temperatures last Sunday reached levels in the south of the country that have sometimes never been measured at this time of the year. The threshold of 35°C was crossed in several places, which it said is "extremely rare" in October. Cities including Bordeaux, Toulouse, Limoges and Poitiers all broke their monthly records. In Aix-en-Provence it was the first time that the threshold of 30°C has been reached in October. Locally, Meteo France said that nighttime heat was "remarkable" in our region with "tropical nights on the Côte d'Azur". An overnight low of 21.7°C was recorded in Menton, which had never experienced such a hot night since records began.

French political journalist dies at the age of 86 - The famous French political journalist and media boss, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach has died at the age of 86. Elkabbach began his career in the 1960s on television in France. He held several management positions in the Lagardère group, including President of Europe 1 from 2005 to 2008. In the early 1990s, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach was president of France 2 and France 3, which became France Televisions.

MAYABAY celebrates 15 years in Monaco - The 100% Monegasque concept the MAYABAY is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Monaco is the group's first establishment opening in 2006 in the heart of the Principality. MAYABAY has promised since its creation, an invitation to travel to the land of flavours of traditional and contemporary Asia and has managed to keep that promise for more than fifteen years. Tune in to hear more. 

Business

According to reports the Chinese firm TikTok is testing a new monthly subscription which would get rid of adverts on the video sharing site. The company has declined to comment on exactly where the testing is being carried out. It’s thought to be in an English-speaking market outside of the US. TikTok currently displays personalised adverts for all users over the age of 18.

The London-listed fashion retailer Superdry could be close to striking a partnership with India's biggest retailer. The deal would release tens of millions of pounds to help boost the company’s fragile balance sheet. Reports say that Superdry is in advanced talks with Reliance Brands, about a new licensing joint venture.

Alternative Indie band Easy Life reportedly face a lawsuit over their name by the holding group behind easyJet. The band have said that they have been left "virtually powerless" as they face a lawsuit over their name with the band members being accused of being “brand thieves”. The critically acclaimed Leicester band, formed in 2017 and have had two Top 10 albums. They say they are being forced to change their name "or take up a costly legal battle which they could never afford".

Sport

Football – It was a memorable night for Lens fans as they came from behind in the Champions League beating favourites Arsenal 2-1. This evening Newcastle play Paris Siant Germain in Group F of the Champions league. Kick off is at 9pm French time.

Rugby World Cup – France’s captain Antoine Dupont will be told on Monday when he can return to rugby. French fans are eagerly awaiting to know if Dupont will be fit for a potential quarter-final, which the World Cup hosts will reach if they beat Italy in Lyon on Friday night. The team’s health manager has said that Dupont is making good progress in his recovery from a broken cheekbone.

Tennis - Top seed Carlos Alcaraz has been knocked out of the China Open by Jannik Sinner. Sinner beat Alcaraz in straight sets and will now face Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Weather

Mainly fine with some cloudy patches. A moderate wind and highs of 25 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Antibes. 26 degrees in Cannes and partly cloudy. Highs of 28 degrees in Marseille and 24 degrees in Saint-Tropez. This evening going down to 17 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. Sunny intervals with highs of 24-25 degrees.

Sunrise       07.30am

Sunset        07.06pm

And Finally

Could it be Magic? Well, at one University in the UK it certainly is, as a new course in just that, is being offered at the University of Exeter. The Russell Group institution has announced it will offer a master's degree in Magic and Occult Science from next September, following 'a recent surge in interest in magic'.

The news comes just months after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signalled a crackdown on so-called 'Mickey Mouse' degrees which he said left students on a 'poor-quality course at the taxpayers' expense' without the prospect of a 'decent job at the end'. But the university said academics with expertise in history, literature, philosophy, archaeology, sociology, psychology, drama, and religion will show the role of magic on the West and the East - and hopefully leave students spellbound. The postgraduate course, it said, would be offering one of the only degrees of its kind in the UK to combine the study of the history of magic and its role in the West and the East.

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