French and Riviera News Wednesday 8th November 2023

News

France’s political world call for a march against anti-Semitism in Paris - The presidents of the upper house of the French Parliament and the National Assembly have called for the organization of “a major march” against anti-Semitism on Sunday in Paris. Gérard Larcher, and Yaël Braun-Pivet, called on Tuesday, November 7, for senators and deputies to rally against the recent rise in anti-Semitism in France. France’s Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin announced recently that 1,040 anti-Semitic acts have been reported in France since October 7th, the start of the war between Hamas and Israel.

In response to the call the leader of the National Rally far-right party in France, Marine Le Pen, and the president of the party, Jordan Bardella, confirmed their presence. Meanwhile Eric Ciotti president of the Republican party said that “all Republicans must demonstrate their desire to oppose the recent resurgence of unbearable anti-Semitism”. Meanwhile the far-left party La France insoumise (LFI) has not yet announced its decision regarding a possible participation in the movement.

War in Ukraine - France has announced an additional 200 million euros for the support fund for Ukraine’s army, enabling it to continue purchases of French equipment. Speaking in the French parliament on Tuesday France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces, said that the “war in Ukraine is a conflict which must not be abandoned”.

Ukraine’s first lady to visit Paris today – Meanwhile, the French capital will today welcome Ukraine's First Lady and wife of Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky, Olena Zelenska, who is planned to visit the UNESCO headquarters to inaugurate at the United Nations agency library "a shelf of books in Ukrainian".  Since the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, UNESCO has released 35 million euros in emergency measures. Especially, in the psychological support of students and teachers, a project supported by the Ukrainian First Lady. This is the fourth time that Zenlenska has come to France. Her last visit was in December 2022.

October hottest month on record in the world - According to recent data the month of October was the hottest on record in the world, continuing a succession of monthly records that began in June. Sea surface temperatures have also broken records every month since April, including October with an average of 20.79°C. The data shows that it looks more than likely that 2023 will be the hottest year on record and emphasises the need to take ambitious climate action in the run-up to COP28.  Since January, the average temperature has been the hottest ever measured over the first ten months of the year: 1.43°C above the climate of the 1850s-1900s, according to the European observatory. The data suggest that current temperatures are likely the warmest in more than 100,000 years.

Smugglers network dismantled by police - In local news, members of a migrant smugglers network between Ventimiglia and Menton have been sentenced to up to six years in prison on Tuesday. The illegal immigrants were found in a cellar in Menton after a local resident alerted police. According to authorities the migrants had paid a minimum of 50 euros per person, to be guided on foot along a very dangerous mountain path to cross the border.  A network of smugglers with two vehicles was operating in the area for at least two months.

Laughing gas on the rise - Medical experts have expressed their concern about the rise in the use of laughing gas amongst young people in our region. The director of the Paca and Corsica addiction centre has pointed out that “Nitrous oxide is now the third psychoactive product most consumed by adolescents, which was not the case before 2019 and while consumption has always existed, it was in no ways at the level known today”. The product is indeed easily accessible and cheap but, can have serious consequences on the health of consumers.

Meanwhile, in the UK the government has announced this week plans to make the possession of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, a criminal offence in England and Wales. Its use soared during the pandemic, becoming one of the most-used substances by 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK. The government announced the ban as part of its anti-social behaviour action plan.

Green stamp - A green version of France’s national symbol Marianne will adorn French envelopes from this month, after the French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a new standard postage stamp highlighting environmental themes.

Business

A power outage which hit telecommunications giant Optus has left millions of Australians without mobile and internet services. Optus is the country's second-largest provider, with more than 10 million individual customers and hundreds of thousands more businesses. The outage has caused transport delays, cut hospital phone lines, and downed payment systems. Its cause is unclear, but the company says that there is no evidence of a cyber-attack.

According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) production around the world is likely to be about 7% lower in 2023 compared to last year. Poor weather around the world could cause global wine production to drop to a six-decade low this year. The OIV attributes the low levels of production to bad weather, including frost, heavy rainfall and drought. Wine production was down in almost every country of the European Union, which produces over 60% of the world's total. France however, appears to have been the least affected making it the world’s largest producer overtaking Italy.

And - A very rare blue diamond has sold for over $40m (£32m) at a Christie's auction in Geneva. The pear-shaped Bleu Royal diamond, set in a ring, fetched $43.8 million. It is the "largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue gem" ever to appear for sale in auction history. Part of a private collection for 50 years, it was the first time the Bleu Royal was sold at an auction.

Sport

Football – Manchester City cruised into the last 16 with two games to spare in the Champions League last night beating Young Boys 3-0.

Cricket – It looked at one point as if it was all over for Australia only for them to turn things around in one of the most incredible matches of the World Cup so far - and one of the most astonishing innings you'll ever see from Glenn Maxwell who hit a staggering 201 to lead Australia to a three-wicket win. Today England take on the Netherlands.

Rugby Union - Former rugby union referee Wayne Barnes says people "don't see the human side of refereeing" after describing the online abuse he and his family faced following the World Cup final. Barnes retired a few days after taking charge of South Africa's 12-11 win over New Zealand in the final in Paris. His wife, Polly, previously said Barnes received death threats after the match. Barnes has taken charge of a record 111 Tests, which included officiating at five World Cups.

Cycling - Geraint Thomas aims to return to the Tour de France in 2024 and then appear at the Paris Olympics for Great Britain at the age of 38. Thomas turns 38 in May 2024 and the Tour starts on 29 June with the Olympics to follow in July and August.

Tennis – Britain’s Billy Harris has won his first ATP match aged 28. His road to a first ATP Tour win has been a long and hard one. After spending a few years at the start of his professional career driving to tournaments around Europe in a Ford Transit van, the 28-year-old from the Isle of Man has finally reached his planned destination.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 17 degrees in Nice and Saint-Tropez. 18 degrees in Cannes and Antibes. 15 degrees in Vence with a light wind. This evening going down to 0 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday, rain is forecast for the afternoon with the wind picking up again. 14 degrees inland and 17 along the coast, going down to 1 degree at night. Friday, sunny with a moderate breeze and highs of 18 degrees.

Sunrise       07.14am

Sunset        05.12pm

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