Montpellier, France News Roundup for October 13, 2018

Pepper the Robot Brings AI to Montpellier

At the Discovery Gallery of the exhibition “Futurapolis” today in Montpellier, the public was delighted to meet “Pepper the Robot.” Pepper is an example of artifical intelligence used in hotels, but health services also see how Pepper could be of assistance.

The Beau-Soleil Clinic in Montpellier is exploring the possibility of using Pepper at the homes of elderly patients recently released from the clinic. Pepper’s job would be to remind the patient to take prescribed medicine and to do specific exercises.

 

Montpellier, France News Roundup for October 12, 2018

Montpellier to Strengthen Support for Artisans in Montpellier

A convention for the next three years was signed yesterday between Mayor of Montpellier, Philippe Saurel,  and the President of the Chamber of Artisan Trades, Christian Pujol.

This convention will extend Montpellier’s label of “City of Artisan Trades” (city labels are designated by the federal government) to the entire greater Montpellier agglomeration. It will also assist local artisans to make compliance with environmental regulations easier in the center of Montpellier, increase opportunities for artisan trades in lower-income neighborhoods, and extend digital support.

Weather Forecast This Weekend…

Saturday will be mostly cloudy, but rain is in the forecast for Sunday with possible storms. This gray weather will continue through Monday. It is that time of year, I’m afraid!

Health “Futurapolis” Events at the Place de la Comédie on Saturday

Activities and events open to the public will be held on the Place de la Comédie and at the Opéra de la Comédie in the center of Montpellier all day on Saturday.

On the Place de la Comédie, the public will be invited to walk into a balloon structure representing a giant human brain (!) to visit its different zones.

In the Opéra, there will be exhibits and conferences about topics such as medically assisted procreation and the secrets of athletes.

Montpellier, France News Roundup for October 11, 2018

Man Arrested Rue Maguelone with 500ml of Pepper Spray

On Wednesday, a man was questioned by police and was discovered to be in possession of 500ml of pepper spray in a pressurized container. Beyond 100ml, pepper spray is considered in France to be a “category B weapon.” The incident occured on the rue Maguelone, between the Place de la Comédie and the train station.

The individual is well-known to local police and had just been released from a 9-month prison term.

 

Montpellier, France News Roundup for October 10, 2018

Teens Unmask Their Pickpockets in Downtown Montpellier

On Monday afternoon, a sixteen-year old boy was the victim of two pickpockets at the Montpellier train station tram stop. His girlfriend discreetly took photos of the pickpockets, and by chance they crossed their paths on Tuesday morning near the Observatoire tram stop. The young couple decided to follow the thieves who joined the demonstration that was held in the center of Montpellier.

The couple quickly realized that the duo’s plan was to pick the pockets of the demonstrators. They alerted the police present at the demonstration, and it was clear that they had already begun their work: the police found two stolen cell phones in their possession.

In custody, the two pickpockets declared that they were unaccompanied minors in France – ages 16 and 17. However, medical tests revealed that one of the two is a young adult who was using a fake identity.

Orange Alert Continues for Heavy Rains and Flooding

There continues to be an orange alert for Montpellier weather, so please be careful and stay off the roads if possible. This alert will stay in place until at least late in the day on Thursday. For the moment, the trams and buses are still functioning as usual.

Montpellier, France News Roundup for October 9, 2018

Security at Université Paul Valéry

The Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier hired security officers to screen students as they entered campus this morning.  This measure was taken to prevent student protestors from taking over the campus as they did last spring during a student strike that lasted for over two months.

The student union Scum  (heh) complained that the increased security was in fact a lockdown that prevented even personnel from accessing the campus. The administation disagreed and reported that the security officers were able to intercept a group of 20 students who tried to enter the campus at 8:00am (we supposed with the intention to block access to classrooms).

Today’s Demonstration in Montpellier

There were approximately 2,000 people who participated in the national demonstration today in Montpellier. They gathered at the Péyrou park and walked the streets of Montpellier to the Place de la Comédie. This demonstration caused numerous delays with bus and tram service in and around Montpellier.

The protestors’ anger was focused on financial reforms of the Macron administration: increase in CSG (contributions to social charges), a freeze on government allocations, and a proposed decrease in unemployment compensation.