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French and Riviera News.Friday.21.07.2017

Stub it out-The prefecture of the Var has said that it estimates that 4 out of 10 wildfires in the department are caused by discarded cigarette ends.

The hot,dry conditions this summer have led to a spate of fires in both the Var and Alpes-Maritimes and local authorities are warning the public to act responsibly on the roads and in forest land.

A fine of 135 euros can be issued to anyone discarding a cigarette end from a car near woodland and  the fine increases to 200 euros for anyone caught  smoking  up to 200 meters from forest land.

It’s also strictly forbidden to light a fire anywhere near or within woodland,to camp without a permit or to remove flora and fauna.

Forest land is evaluated on a daily basis to assess the risk of fire and measures are put in place depending on the severity of the situation.In many cases,people are banned from walking in high risk areas during times of alert.

Meanwhile,hundreds of firefighters are still patrolling the area around Castagniers on the outskirts of Nice following the fire which destroyed 120 hectares of pines earlier this week.

The fire service reports that the fire is under control although some pockets have been reigniting.

A security cordon is in force around the area and members of the public are asked to stay away.

 

Attempted rape-A 21 year old man who’s suspected of the attempted rape of a student nurse in Marseilles on the 9th of July has been arrested.

The victim of the attack suffered cuts to the face and a fractured skull after the suspect entered the hospital building.

Police say that he’d attempted another rape earlier in the day and is also suspected of several more attacks on women.

 

Terrace offence-A man who deliberately drove his car into a restaurant terrace in Nice before making off is to appear in court in the city today.

The 56 year old was arrested on Thursday following the incident at the La Piccada restaurant on the avenue de la Californie last Tuesday.

Reports say that the suspect was in conflict with his ex-girlfriend who’d already made several complaints of violence against him.She was sitting on the terrace eating lunch when the incident happened.No-one was injured.

 

Firework truck-More people than first thought suffered injuries after a truck carrying fireworks exploded in Le Cannet in the early hours of Tuesday.

The truck was carrying fireworks that had been used in a local display when two devices detonated.

Both occupants suffered serious burns in the incident and one of them will require a skin graft on his leg.

It’s now emerged that two tourists also suffered minor burns and have made an official complaint while several local residents say that their properties were damaged.

Investigations continue.

 

In National news.

 

Reach for the sky-President Macron has visited a French military airbase as he bids to win back trust following the resignation of the head of the armed services.

General Pierre de Villiers resigned on Wednesday in protest over cuts to the defence budget.

Mr Macron has been roundly criticised for the resignation and on Thursday visited an airbase at Istres in the southwest of the country where he was given a tour and spoke to personnel.

Mr Macron reiterated his support for the French armed forces.He’s named General Francois Lecointre,a high ranking naval officer and hero of the Balkans War as replacement for General de Villiers.

 

Radio radio-New audience figures for speech radio have put RTL at the top of the pile.

Official listening data from the French audience measuring body Mediametrie give RTL a 12.1 percent share of the total speech radio audience ahead of France Inter on 11.1 percent.

The public service radio France Info has an 8.9 percent share of the audience and has added 756,000 listeners since the last survey in 2016 while RMC picked up a 7.4 percent share.

Bottom of the pile is Europe 1 which has seen its audience shrink to 7.1 percent of the market-the lowest in its history.

 

Business.

 

The euro has hit a near two year high against the dollar after the European Central Bank  said that it will look at tapering its economic stimulus programme in the autumn.

Although the bank’s president Mario Draghi set no date for changes to the bond buying programme,investors have taken his comments to mean that monetary policy will be tightened next year.

The euro was buying 1 US dollar 16.3 cents in Asian trading earlier today and its picked up strength against sterling too which is currently worth just 1 euro 11.5 cents.

The ECB is likely to be prompted to reduce its stimulus programme as signs of steady global growth continue while economic activity in the eurozone rises.

 

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs International has said that a Brexit transitional deal should be agreed “as soon as possible”.

Richard Gnodde says that the measure is vital if jobs are to be prevented from moving from the UK to Europe.

Mr Gnodde was speaking in an interview with the BBC.He said  that at the moment,he’s spending money every day,putting Brexit contingency plans into action.He added that it would be too late to secure a transitional deal in 2019 as the money “would already have been spent”.

Goldman Sachs employs 6,500 people in the UK and its Brexit contingency plans involve moving hundreds of staff  to European offices in Frankfurt  and Paris.

 

And-Quarterly profits at Microsoft have  nearly doubled to 5.3 billion dollars as a result of growth in its cloud computing business.

Microsoft says that the figures show that its focus on the cloud is working.

Microsoft has been restructuring its business to become less reliant on computer sales and older software products.

Earlier this month the firm said that it would be reorganising its sales staff and cutting several thousand jobs.

 

Sport

Neway Tour de France report.

Chris Froome has taken a major step to retaining the Tour de France title after Warren Barguil  of France won the gruelling stage 18 on Thursday from Briancon to the Col d’Izoard.

Froome reached the summit finish in 4th place,just behind his main challenger Romain Bardet who is still 23 seconds behind the leader in the general classification.

Barguil will finish the Tour as King of the Mountains after an impressive late break after he pulled away from Darwin Atapuma.

Today’s 19th stage should be a lot easier on the legs.It’s 222.5 kilometres from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence  and although there are two or three climbs,it’s set to end in a sprint finish.

Golf-Three Americans share the lead heading into the second round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Jordan Speith,Matt Kuchar and Brooks Koepka all fired first round 5-under-par 65’s while England’s Paul Casey and Charl Schwartzel are on 4 under.

Rory McIlroy had a nightmare start but recovered well on the back 9 to end on 1 over.

The defending champion Henrik Stenson carded a steady 1-under-par 69.

Cricket-England’s women will play India in the final of the ICC World Cup at Lord’s on Sunday.

India beat Australia by 36 runs in Thursday’s semi-final  to reach their first World Cup final since 2005.

Athletics-The Herculis Diamond League meeting takes place at the Stade Louis Deux here in Monaco tonight with a host of top international stars competing including Usain Bolt.

The action gets underway at 7.30 and Bolt will be competing in the 100 metres at around 9.35 tonight.

For ticket information please go to ticket@herculis.com

 

Weather

Mainly fine in coastal areas with some thunder possible inland this afternoon.

Moderate easterly winds and a high of 27-29 degrees.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 19 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Fine in coastal areas,some showers possible inland with highs of 27-30 degrees.

 

Finally.

A bag used by US astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first ever samples of the Moon has sold at auction in New York for $1.8m .

The outer decontamination bag from the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 was bought at Sotheby's by an anonymous bidder.

The white bag still carries traces of Moon dust and small rocks.

The auction comes after a legal battle over the ownership of the only artefact from the Apollo 11 mission which was in private hands.

After the spacecraft returned to Earth, nearly all the equipment was sent to the Smithsonian museums.

However, the bag was left in a box at the Johnson Space Center because of an inventory error.

It was then misidentified during a government auction, selling for just $995 to a lawyer from Illinois in 2015.

Nasa later tried to get the bag back, but earlier this year a federal judge ruled that it legally belonged to the buyer, who then offered it for sale at Sotheby's.

 

 

 

 


 

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