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French and Riviera News Friday 10th August 2018

Local

Storms - The region’s emergency services have reported 250 interventions following heavy rainfall, hail and strong winds which hit the Vaucluse, Bouches de Rhone and the Var on Thursday. In the north of the department hundreds of rescuers backed by helicopters evacuated about 1,600 people, most of them campers and a 70-year-old German man is feared to have been swept away by floodwaters while inside his caravan, two hospitals were partially submerged. In the Vaucluse firefighters rescued occupants of a bus in which the water had infiltrated and in the Var the entire road network was saturated due to heavy rainfall and a person was slightly injured in Aix en Provence after being hit by lightning.

Strike action by Ryanair - Ryanair pilots have announced strike action in five European countries, forcing the cancellation of a sixth of the firm's flights during the holiday season. The 24-hour walk-out involves staff in Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. About 50,000 passengers are understood to have been told of cancellations on 400 flights. The action is the largest in a series of strikes over pay and conditions.

Health warning - The Regional Health Agency for the Provence Alpes Côte dAzur has recommended that people protect themselves from mosquito bites following the infection of three people in Nice with the “West Nile virus”. The virus which belongs to the same family as dengue, zika or yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes who are themselves contaminated by birds. While humans can’t transmit the disease symptons are flu like with high fever, pain and headaches and can cause neurological complications. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), between the 27th July and 2nd August 2018, 55 human cases were reported in Europe in Italy, Greece, Hungary and Romania.

Women suffers serious burns in apartment fire - A thirty year old woman has been admitted to hospital suffering from second degree burns. The fire broke out in an apartment block around 7.30 on Thursday evening in Antibes. As firefighters attended the scene all occupants of the building were evacuated. An enquiry has been launch to determine the cause of the blaze.

National

Migrants - The Elysee has announced that France will welcome twenty of the 87 migrants which were rescued off the coast of Libya on August 2nd by a Spanish ship of the NGO Open Arms. Ricardo Gatti, head of the Open Arms mission, explained that the migrants were very weak and that they feared to be recovered by a Libyan coastguard boat and to be brought back to Libya where according to some of them, they risked being imprisoned and tortured. Many said they preferred to die rather than return to Libya.

Sanctions on Iran - Thousands of French cows set to be exported to Iran are now stuck on the ground in north-western France, after Washington’s re-imposed sanctions on Iran have dealt a blow to parts of the country’s livestock export industry. The livestock imports would have been Iran’s first since the country’s Islamic Revolution in 1979. The EU, which still adheres to the landmark 2015 nuclear pact, has promised to take steps to protect European firms dealing with Iran. But the uncertainty has already prompted many businesses to pull out of the country for fear of US penalties.

Business

The Confederation of British Industry says that the net migration targets should be scrapped after Brexit. The business group said that targets should be replaced with a system that ensures people coming to the UK make a positive contribution to the economy. Adding that Schools and hospitals should receive extra funding where demand is increased by immigration. But the Home Office said it was "committed to bringing net migration down to... the tens of thousands."

Apple has been accused of accidentally removing apps from the App Store in a crackdown on gambling content. Several developers complained via social media that their apps, which they said had nothing to do with gambling, were taken down. The affected apps included a Polish magazine, a gif-sharing service and a platform for sending clips of Xbox games to friends.

Tesla's shares have fallen back to just above the level they were before they soared on Tuesday following Elon Musk's tweet about taking his company private. The price closed down 4.83% on Thursday, and has now lost almost all of the gains it made when the stock surged 11% before trading was halted on the Nasdaq.

 

Sport

Football - Everton, Fulham and Leicester all made big-money signings as the earliest transfer deadline in Premier League history came to life late in the day.

The Premier Leagues kicks off this evening with Manchester United playing Leicester City kick off is at 9pm local time.

Other Premier League fixtures this weekend on Saturday Newcastle play Tottenham, Bournemouth play Cardiff, Fulham play Crystal Palace, Hudderfield play Chelsea Watford play Brighton Wolverhampton Wanderers play Everton.

On Sunday Liverpool face West Ham, Shouthampton play Burnley and Arsenal play Manchester City.

Tennis - Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic saw his bid for a fifth Rogers Cup triumph ended by a shock third-round defeat at the hands of Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto.

Cricket - Rain washed out the first day of the second Test between England and India at Lord's. It is the first time a full day's play has been lost at Lord's since the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in 2001. The forecast is better for the remainder of the Test, although there may be further showers this afternoon.

Cycling - Thousands have gathered in Cardiff to welcome home Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas. Fans cheered the 32-year-old cyclist as he was today officially congratulated on his win in France. Thomas became the first Welshman to win the 21-stage race which culminated in Paris on July 29.

Weather

Highs of 30 degrees in Nice and 32 degrees in Antibes clear skies with a light south easterly wind going down to 24 degrees this evening with clear skies.

For the Var region highs of 33 degrees light westerly wind doing down to 18 degrees this evening with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend remaining much the same as today with some passing cloud in the Alpes Maritimes.

Finally 

Extra pictures of the Queen have had to be ordered as demand from Australians for their free portrait of the monarch skyrockets.

A little-known law was revealed this week that entitles Australian voters to receive nationalistic memorabilia. Since then MPs have reported that the desire for a picture of the monarch has escalated.

Voters have been warned, however, that they might be sent more than just the picture. 

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