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French and Riviera News Tuesday 7th August 2018

Local

Tanker truck explodes on Italian motorway - At least one person has been killed and 68 others were injured, many in serious condition, on Monday afternoon when a tanker truck exploded on the A14 motorway ring road in Bologna, northern Italy. According to reports, the tanker was involved in a collision with two other vehicles, one of which caught fire. It took firefighters nearly two hours to extinguish the fire, which spread to vehicles parked in the parking lot of a dealership adjoining the highway. The incident took place near Borgo Panigale, near the airport. The axis, which connects north-east and south Italy, has been closed to traffic in both directions and may not reopen immediately.

Heat wave - Europe experienced another day of high temperatures on Monday which is set to continue today however forecasters have also said a respite is on its way in some areas. In France, temperatures peaked in the south of the country.  Several cities imposed traffic restrictions to try to reduce the ozone pollution which has been aggravated by the heat; in the capital, Paris, the city offered free parking and cheaper daily metro and bus passes to discourage people from driving. The current forecast is for a cooler end to the week with temperatures in the mid-20s. The heatwave could be among the "top three" on record for France, the national weather service has said.

Beaches - A recent survey has shown a 30% drop in business for the private beaches in Menton. Businesses say that the disappointing weather at the beginning of the season is to blame for the drop in customers at many of the town’s beach bar restaurants.  

Chef - French master-chef, and the worlds most starred chef, JOËL ROBUCHON, has passed away after a brave battle with cancer. The chef, with 32 Michelin stars, opened his first restaurant on the Riviera at the Hôtel Métropole in Monte-Carlo. Robuchon was 73 years-old.

National

Gay Games - Paris is hosting the 10th Gay Games, a sport contest modelled after the Olympics aimed at promoting the rights of the LGBT community. The event, which is being held in various venues all over the French capital from August 4 to 12, has received broad support from the French government. The Gay Games’ aim is to fight against homophobia in sports and promote diversity, but participation doesn’t require an athlete to be a member of the LGBT community.

Business

Indra Nooyi one of the world’s most influential businesswomen and chief executive of PepsiCo is to step down after 12 years at the helm. PepsiCo shares have risen 78% since she took the job in 2006. 62 year old Mrs Nooyi, has been with the company for 24 years.  In a series of posts on Twitter, the businesswoman referred to her upbringing in India and said she "never imagined" she'd have the opportunity to lead a company like PepsiCo. She also described "mixed emotions" about leaving the role.

HSBC said it was "cautiously optimistic" about global growth as it announced a 4.6% increase in pre-tax profit for the first half of 2018. The bank said Asian economies remained robust despite growing trade tensions between China and the US. It also said its contingency plans for Brexit had not changed, despite growing warnings of a no-deal exit. HSBC is Europe's largest bank, but Asia is by far its biggest market.

Sport

Football - Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, did not report for training with the Premier League club on Monday. And it is understood the Blues do not know when the 26-year-old Belgium international will return.

Cricket – A court has heard that England cricketer Ben Stokes mocked two gay men and flicked a cigarette butt at one of them before brawling with two other men. The Durham all-rounder, who will miss the second Test against India at Lord's, denies affray. Bristol Crown Court heard Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes in Bristol on 25 September 2017. They also deny affray and are on trial alongside Mr Stokes.

Rugby – Chris Ashton says he never expected to be back in the international set-up so soon after returning to England. The 31-year-old has not played for England since 2014, but was named in a 44-man training squad on Thursday. It comes after he secured an early release from French Top 14 side Toulon to join Premiership side Sale.

Weather

Today’s weather highs of 31 degrees across the region as the heatwave continues a weather alert for high temperatures remains in place by meteo France until Wednesday. This evening going down to 18 degrees with clear skies.

Finally 

A fly has ruined a world record domino attempt after landing on one of the tiles.

22 people worked over two weeks to set up 596,229 mini dominoes as a German domino group attempted to break its own 2013 Guinness World Record but one tiny fly ruined the endeavour when it landed on a tile and sent them all toppling over.

The mini tiles had to be set up with tweezers by the volunteers, who worked for 14 days to get everything ready for the attempt.

However, before it could be completed, one single fly caused havoc as it ruined the set-up, leaving no time to do it all again.

 

 

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