Riviera Radio News - Thursday, April 20th

Local News

Protests Continue - More unrest is expected across France today, as protests continue against the unpopular pension reforms. Demonstrations are expected in Nice from 10am at Place Massena and there may be some disruptions to the local transport network. However, 4 out of 5 local trains are still expected to be running normally, as well as the inter-city and TGV trains.

President's Controversial Sing Song - President Emmanuel Macron has been caught on video singing with a group of young Parisians. However, the sing-song has sparked controversy, as the song was reportedly shared by a Facebook group linked to the far-right. The song, called "Le Refuge", was part of a mobile app created by the Canto project, which has been revealed to be founded and run by far-right activists. Macron and his team have denied any knowledge of the app's background and have emphasised that he joined in the sing-song simply because he knew the song and it reminded him of his grandmother.

Speeding Penalties Eased - Speeding violations of less than 5 km/h will no longer result in a loss of points on your license. The amendment was confirmed yesterday by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin in a letter to Senator Françoise Dumont. It will take effect from January 1st next year.

Child Migrants Housed In Menton - Around 50 underage migrants have been accommodated at the Careï gymnase in Menton. The prefecture of Alpes-Maritimes made the arrangement to provide shelter for these children who have crossed the border without their parents. The exact ages of the individuals are unknown, but they are described as "very young."

Energy Vouchers Issued - Starting from tomorrow, 5 million households in France will receive the 2023 energy voucher. The voucher is automatically issued based on information provided by the tax authorities, and will help eligible household to for their energy bills or certain energy renovation works. No action is required to receive the voucher, and it is valid until March 31st next year.

French Publisher Arrested In London - A French publisher was arrested yesterday at St Pancras station in London under counter-terrorism laws. Ernest Moret was detained by police who claimed he had participated in protests against President Emmanuel Macron's controversial pension changes. Moret's employer and collaborating London publisher, Verso Books, condemned the arrest as an "outrageous and unjustifiable infringement" of freedom of expression and an "abuse of anti-terrorism laws."

Swiss Football Supporters Banned For Nice Match - The ongoing security saga surrounding the OGC Nice - FC Basel match continues as four legal appeals have been filed against the ministerial and prefectural decrees. The Conseil d’Etat will hold a public hearing this morning, just hours before the match. Despite the ban many Swiss fans are still attempting to attend the game.

Fire In St Raphael Hotel - A fire broke out yesterday at the luxury hotel La Villa Mauresque in Saint-Raphaël. The fire was brought under control by 30 firefighters and 13 vehicles by mid-morning. All four employees and 17 guests at the hotel were safely evacuated and relocated to a nearby hotel. Despite the incident, the hotel's concrete architecture remains unaffected, and the hotel is expected to reopen today. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Shooting In Draguignan - There was a shooting yesterday morning in Draguignan. One person was injured by gunfire and the alleged shooter has turned himself in to the police in Grasse. The suspect is a 30-year-old individual with a criminal record, including previous charges of theft, violence, and drug use. Two other individuals are still actively being sought.

Bus Stolen In Grasse - A drunk man stole a bus yesterday in Grasse, after threatening two cleaning staff with a knife at a bus depot. Despite police attempts to stop him, the man, who holds a bus driver's license, refused to halt but was eventually apprehended by an anti-criminality unit and placed in police custody.

Pole Emploi Rebrand - Pôle Emploi, the French job center, will be replaced by France Travail in 2024. The government plans to invest 2 to 3 billion euros in human and financial resources to create a network of different with the goal of achieving full employment by 2027.

Minister To Visit The Var - Government Spokesperson Olivier Véran will be visiting Brignoles today. The former Minister of Health, will be meeting with abstentionist voters as part of his Democratic Renewal initiative.

Cannes Film Festival Poster Unveiled - The official poster for the 76th Cannes Film Festival has been unveiled. It features a captivating image of Catherine Deneuve taken during the filming of "La Chamade" by Alain Cavalier in June 1968 on the Pamplelonne beach close to St Tropez. Organisers say the poster captures the essence of the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, promising a celebration of cinema and allure on the French Riviera.

Business

Nestle - Nestle is being urged to cut the proportion of unhealthy food it sells and "play its part" for global health. Investor group ShareAction said 40% of Nestle's sales of everyday foods were high in salt, sugar or fat. Nestle said its reporting on the healthiness of its global sales was a world first and pledged to set a target for healthier sales later this year. But ShareAction said it also wanted Nestle to reduce the amount of unhealthier foods it sells. Nestle is the world's biggest food company and owns brands like KitKat and Shreddies.

Netflix - Netflix's long promised crackdown on password sharing will begin in the coming months. The plan means members who want to share accounts with people outside of their household will face an extra fee. It comes as the company announced it would shut down the DVD rental service that launched the firm 25 years ago.  Netflix has been on the hunt for ways to re-ignite growth, which has slowed sharply as competition heats up, households grapple with rising costs and it reaches what analysts see as saturation point in some of its biggest markets.  

Facebook - Facebook owner Meta has started notifying staff who are losing their jobs in the wave of the 10,000 job cuts announced last month. Mark Zuckerberg had said the layoffs are key to to making the company more efficient. Meta, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has been under pressure since a sharp slowdown in its ads business last year. It had already let go 13% of its staff - roughly 11,000 people - last year.

Sport

Football - Could this be the year for Manchester City? Yesterday, they qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League after a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich (and a 4-1 win on aggregate). They will face Real Madrid again in the semis, a team who knocked them at the same stage last year following a remarkable climax  to  the  tie when Real scored 2 goals in the  last few minutes on their way to winning the tournament. The other semi-final will be an all-Milan affair, after Inter Milan joined their city rivals after a 3-3 draw last night against Benfica earning them a 5-3 aggregate win.

Tonight, in the Europa League quarter finals Manchester United play Seville, after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. Nice play Basel and have a good chance to reach the Europa League semi-finals. OGC Nice have home advantage after a 1-1 draw in Switzerland.

Cricket - David Warner has been included in the Australia squad for the World Test Championship final against India and the first two Ashes Tests with England, despite his poor recent form. Warner only has one century in his last 19 Tests but keeps his place after recovering from an elbow injury he suffered against India in February. Marcus Harris, Matt Renshaw and Usman Khawaja are the other opening batters.

Snooker - Kyren Wilson completed a memorable 147 maximum break in his comfortable 10-5 first-round win against Ryan Day at the World Championship in Sheffield. Englishman Wilson potted 15 reds, 15 blacks and all the colours for the 13th total clearance in Crucible history. If the world number seven's break is not equalled at this year's tournament, he stands to earn £55,000 in additional prize money.

Weather

Mostly sunny today, but increasingly cloudy this afternoon. Light winds and highs of 19° in Monaco – up to 21° towards St Tropez. Clear skies tonight with lows of 11°.

Tomorrow will start clear, becoming unsettled later in the afternoon. Temperatures will be lower, peaking at 16° in Alpes Maritimes.

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