French and Riviera News Wednesday 7th June 2023

News

Protests against pension reform shows sharp decline - Protests against the pension reform in France on Tuesday saw a sharp decline in the number of participants. Some 300,000 people demonstrated in Paris and 900,000 across France, according to figures from the CGT. The Paris police headquarters estimates that 31,000 demonstrators marched in the capital, while the Interior Ministry counted 281,000 people nationally.  In the capital, clashes broke out on the boulevards of Monteparnasse and Port-Royal. In all, 17 people were arrested. According to the Ministry of the Interior, a CRS was also injured. In Rennes, five arrests took place.  11,000 police and gendarmes were mobilized throughout France, including 4,000 in the capital.

French government plans to invest 8.6 billion euros into regional transport - The French government has announced plans to invest 8.6 billion euros into regional transport by 2027. The Minister Delegate for Transport made the announcement on Tuesday 6 June. According to Clément Beaune, this sum represents an increase "of 50%" compared to previous investments between 2015 to 2022. Beaune must now formally obtain the green light from the Council of Ministers today Wednesday 7th June in order to launch negotiations with local authorities. According to the minister "priority will be given to rail and public transport”.

Driving with no insurance - Road safety figures have shown that the number of uninsured drivers involved in accidents has increased by 44% in five years. The Victim Guarantee Fund is launching today Wednesday 7th June a prevention campaign. Data shows that one in two uninsured drivers are under 30 and that more than 40% of these young people involved in an accident do not even have a driving license. The organization therefore calls for more awareness, reinforced controls and cheaper insurance for young people.

Avoid drinking tap water if you live in one of these villages in the Alpes-Maritimes - The regional health authority of the Alpes Maritimes has informed residence in the municipalities of Saint-Cézaire, Peymeinade, Le Tignet, Spéracèdes and Cabris to avoid drinking the tap water due to suspected contamination. People are advised to boil it two minutes before consuming it or to consume bottled water. The Regional Health Agency is still awaiting results, which could take time to obtain and as a precautionary measure, have issued the warning. However for residents of neighboring towns of Auribeau sur-Siagne, Cannes, La Roquette-sur-Siagne, Le Cannet, Mandelieu-La Napoule, Mougins, Pégomas, Théoule-sur-Mer and Vallauris-Golfe Juan there is reportedly no cause for concern .

Financing of local election campaign under investigation - Meanwhile, the financing of the Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi’s 2020 local election campaign has been placed under investigation. The investigation comes following errors spotted by the national campaign accounts commission. Several MPs risk being heard by the authorities following the report from the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Funding, which is an independent administrative authority responsible, for controlling the financing of political parties. While French law only authorizes the payment of 7,500 euros in the form of donations, the commission unearthed elected officials who had exceeded this amount, with sums over 10,000 euros. The public prosecutor of Nice, Xavier Bonhomme, confirms having been seized. And that an investigation has been entrusted to the judicial police.

Hiker rescued in the Var - Emergency services have rescued a hiker after he became blocked on the rock of Roquebrune, in the town of the Muy in the Var. The incident occurred at around 6pm on Tuesday when the 62-year-old got his leg stuck.

Shopping centre to welcome new brands – The Mayol shopping centre in Toulon is to welcome eight new brands. Having suffered in recent months from the closures of brands such as Camaïeu, C&A, San Marina and Burton it’s been revealed that a list of new brands will be setting up shop in the complex including the Naumy store, the French version of Primark, which specializing in low-cost clothing, Cash converters and a concept store of quality telephone accessories named La Casa de las Carcasas.

French painter, writer and former girlfriend of Pablo Picasso dies aged 101 - Françoise Gilot, French painter, writer, and former partner of Pablo Picasso, has died at the age of 101. Born November 26, 1921, in Neuilly-sur-Seine (west of Paris) into a bourgeois family, Françoise Gilot followed in the footsteps of her mother, a watercolourist, to move towards drawing and painting. A muse to Pablo Picasso, she was an artist in her own right for more than 60 years, establishing herself as a renowned painter after their split with works in the collections of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her first exhibition in a Parisian gallery took place in 1943, the year she met Picasso. She was then in her twenties, he was 61. The couple had two children, Claude (born in 1947) and Paloma (born in 1949). But she left him in 1953. In 1964, the publication of Vivre avec Picasso, a relatively intimate book on his life with the artist, met with enormous success she depicted him as a tyrannical, superstitious and selfish being.

Business

Coinbase, the biggest crypto trading platform in the US, has been charged with operating illegally. The trading platform has denounced the move saying that “the rules were not clear”. The charge comes as the US continues to widen its crackdown on the industry. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Coinbase had acted as a broker, exchange and clearing agency for investments that are subject to SEC rules, without properly registering. The regulator said that had allowed the firm to escape oversight, including guards against conflicts of interest.

A cybercrime gang thought to be based in Russia has issued an ultimatum to victims of a hack that has hit organisations around the world. The Clop group posted a notice on the dark web warning those affected by the MOVEit hack to email them before 14th June or stolen data will be published. More than 100,000 staff at the BBC, British Airways and Boots have been told payroll data may have been taken. Employers are being urged not to pay up if the hackers demand a ransom. Advice from experts is for individuals not to panic, and for organisations to carry out security checks issued by authorities like the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Authority in the US.

Owners of the Telegraph newspapers have said that their businesses are in good shape following reports claiming that the Telegraph and Spectator titles could be sold within days. The Barclay brothers’ family said, "speculation about the business entering administration is unfounded and irresponsible". According to the BBC Lloyds Banking Group would want to recover debts from loans made to the Barclay brothers’ family.

In the UK Oil and gas giant Shell has had some of its adverts banned for misleading claims about how clean its overall energy production is. The ban applies to one TV advert, a poster displayed in Bristol and a YouTube ad, all shown in 2022.  Shell said it "strongly" disagreed with the findings.

And - Apple has said it will no longer automatically change one of the most common swear words to 'ducking'. The autocorrect feature, which has long frustrated users, will soon be able to use AI to detect and the correct word.

Sport

Golf - Shock waves have been felt through the world of golf after the PGA and DP World Tour announced their merger with LIV Golf. Professional golfers have expressed their anger at the merger as many players had not even been consulted about the surprise agreement which was announced by the media on Tuesday. The deal appears to have been conducted in incredible secrecy. Speaking on the merger the Telegraph's golf correspondent Jamie Corrigan said "forget about growing the game and sportswashing, all this comes down to money and power."

Tennis - Carlos Alcaraz will face Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals after crushing Stefanos Tsitsipas. Spain's Alcaraz, won 6-2 6-1 7-6 (7-5) against the Greek fifth seed.

Football - French striker and Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema has agreed terms on a three-year deal with Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad after leaving Real Madrid. 35-year-old Benzema won 25 trophies - including five Champions Leagues and four La Ligas - in 14 years with Madrid but they agreed to let him leave his contract a year early. He scored 354 goals for Real, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Snooker - Chinese players Liang Wenbo and Li Hang have been handed lifetime bans for their involvement in snooker's biggest match-fixing scandal. Eight other players, all from China, have received bans ranging from 20 months to five years and four months from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). The allegations include manipulating games, approaching players to cheat, betting on snooker and fixing matches. All 10 players have until 20 June to appeal against the decisions.

Weather

Mostly cloudy with some sunny intervals. Highs of 23 degrees in Monaco. 24 degrees in Nice and Cannes. 25 degrees in Saint-Tropez. A gentle breeze with light rain forecast for Monaco and thundery showers for Nice. Inland in Tende, highs of 17 degrees with scattered showers and a yellow weather alert due to thunderstorms forecast. This evening light rain is expected inland with highs of 9 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 15 degrees in the Var. Should remain dry along the coast going down to 17 degrees this evening.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday, still unsettled inland sunny spells along the coast and scattered showers in places. Highs of 23-24 degrees.

Sunrise       05.49am

Sunset        09.09pm

London                22 degrees, sunny with gentle breeze.

Milan                   25 degrees, light rain.

Copenhagen       24 degrees and sunny.

Madrid                23 degrees with sunny intervals.

Liverpool             21 degrees and partly cloudy.

Beach weather forecast

Hyeres – Sea temperature 21 degrees. Cloudy to start with, sunny spells later on in the day. Air temperature 24 degrees. UV level 9.

La Ciotat – Sea temperature 21 degrees. Cloudy with sunny intervals. Air temperature 24 degrees. UV level 9.

Nice - Sea temperature 21 degrees. Cloudy with possibility of light rain. Air temperature 23 degrees. UV level 9.

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