French and Riviera News.Friday August 2nd 2019

Traffic-The French road monitor Bison Fute is forecasting heavy traffic across the region starting from this evening as the annual July to August holiday switchover takes place.

The worst day for driving is expected to be tomorrow with traffic jams forming particularly in the Rhone Valley and across Mediterranean resorts.

Sunday is also expected to be bad but not at the same level what’s been labelled “black Saturday”.

Motorists are advised to put long journeys off until Monday if possible or to drive at night.

Snacks and plenty of water should be carried in cars in the event of being stuck in a long jam.

 

Visions of China-3 new flights to and from China are to start operating at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport with services on the Beijing route starting today.

The Mayor of Nice , Christian Estrosi says that with the increasingly important economic ties between China and the south of France the new services are a natural progression.

He says that Shanghai and Guangzhou  will be the next cities to be served directly from Nice and that services should be up and running between the end of 2019 and the start of 2020.

Air China will operate the Nice-Beijing route but Mr Estrosi indicated that other Chinese airlines would link the city to and from Shanghai and Guangzhou.

 

 

Villa sale-The Italian drinks group Campari has announced that its reached an accord to sell the luxury Villa “Les Cedres” on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat for 200 million euros.

Campari hasn’t said who the buyer is but confirmed that it would be retaining an 80 million euro interest in the property.

The firm said the new owners had confirmed that the villa which is set in 18 hectares of grounds would be used privately.

Les Cedres was the former residence of King Leopold of Belgium and was sold in 1924 and then again in 1976.

It had previously been valued at nearly a billion euros but was bought at public auction by Campari for a greatly reduced price.

The sale should be completed by October.

 

No show-Restaurant owners on the Cote d’Azur are becoming increasingly angry about the numbers of people who make reservations and then fail to show up.

Businesses say that the practice is causing them to lose out as they have to turn other customers away until the reservation period has passed.

They’re calling for the introduction of a system already used in the United States where a customers credit card details are taken and then they’re charged if they don’t honour the reservation.

 

Public showers-Public showers are now open again in the old town of  Nice following a row with local businesses.

The showers ,which are designed for use by the homeless and other disadvantaged people have been moved to the Halle-aux-Herbes from the rue Jules-Gilly following complaints from local residents.

Entrance to the shower block costs 30 euro cents and its open from 7-9 am for men and 9-10am for women.

Some local residents in the area also use the facilities as a number of buildings in the old town were constructed without proper sanitation included.

 

Aladdin’s cave-A search of cells by prison officers at Avignon jail has turned up scores of mobile phones and drugs of all varieties including a kilo of cannabis.

Officers conducted an extensive search after a knife had gone missing from a prison work area.

The search also turned up a missing potato chipping machine which its thought that prisoners had been using to cut up drugs.

 

The wheels on the bus-There’s been traffic chaos on the Moyenne Corniche on the outskirts of Nice after a coach tried to do a u-turn and got stuck across the road.

The driver of the 18 meter vehicle attempted to turn around and somehow managed to get it wedged onto the curb and then couldn’t move it.

Police called for a breakdown service but the incident caused massive tailbacks in both directions on first the Moyenne and then the Basse Corniches as angry motorists attempted to find a way out of the mess.

 

National.

 

Poisoned cigarettes-Police in central France say that six people have been robbed after being handed poisoned cigarettes.

Officers in Roanne say that all of those who were robbed had smoked roll up cigarettes handed to them by people on the streets.It’s thought that the tobacco had been sprayed with a noxious substance but tests are still being carried out to identify it.

The victims were robbed of smartphones and other valuables after becoming lethargic and in some cases comatose.

Police suspect the thefts are the work of local gangs.

 

Trash-A survey carried out by Vinci Autoroutes has found that more than a third of motorists have admitted to throwing rubbish out of their car windows.

The motorway operator says that 25 tonnes of trash is cleared from its roads on a daily basis and has called on the practice to cease.

The survey by France Info Radio found that 37 percent of motorists said that they sometimes or regularly threw rubbish out of the car while moving.

Vinci says that it’s noted a sharp increase in unsociable behaviour across its network and said that people should be aware that discarding trash in such a fashion can cause accidents,start fires and is bad for the environment in general.

The firm also said that the lives of its employees were being put in danger as the rubbish couldn’t be left to pile up on the roads.

 

Business.

 

US markets fell sharply again on Thursday after President Trump announced that he was imposing 10 percent tariffs on a further 300 billion dollars of Chinese goods from the 1st of September.

At the close the S&P 500 was down by 0.9 percent to 29 53 with the Dow Jones Industrials off 1 percent at 26 ,583 and the Nasdaq down 0.8 percent at 81 11.

The move by Mr Trump jolted the markets and took Beijing by surprise.

Earlier this week , both sides had said that the latest round of trade talks had been “constructive” and  scheduled another round of discussions in September.

 

The Bank of England has warned that there’s a one in three chance of recession as uncertainty over Brexit drags the economy down.

The Bank said that as well as the risk of a no deal Brexit ,business investment was falling while heightened international trade tensions and a slowdown in global growth were all having an effect on the UK economy.

The Bank’s nine member Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to leave interest rates on hold at three quarters of one percent and pencilled in 0 percent growth for the second quarter even before the country leaves the EU.

The Bank also said that it continued to assume that a smooth exit from the EU could be negotiated with Brussels although it conceded that its position was increasingly inconsistent with market sentiment.

 

The head of BMW has urged Boris Johnson to soften his stance on Brexit and to find a compromise with Brussels.

Chief Executive Harald Kruger said that it would be a “lose-lose” scenario if the UK leaves the EU without a deal and he offered to visit London to deliver that message to Mr Johnson in person.

Mr Kruger was speaking after BMW announced a fall in profits as a result of its heavy investment in electric vehicles.

Net profit at the German car manufacturer fell by 29 percent in the second quarter to 1.48 billion euros.Sales rose by 1.5 percent to 647,500 vehicles.

 

And-Manufacturing in the eurozone is declining at its fastest pace since 2012 according to the closely watched Purchasing Managers’ Index from IHS Markit.

The German headline PMI slumped to a seven year low of 43.2 in July from 45 in June while in France the headline reading fell from 51.9 in June to 49.7 in July.A reading of below 50 indicates contraction.

IHS Markit says that Germany remains a source of weakness with its manufacturing economy recording the sharpest decline for 7 years.Austria recorded its lowest PMI reading for five years and there were below 50 readings seen in Spain,Ireland ,France and Italy.

In contrast the Netherlands and Greece continued to expand although growth in the Netherlands was only marginal and unmoved on June’s 6 month low.

 

Sport.

 

Cricket-A magnificent century from Steve Smith made it Australia’s day at stumps on day 1 of the 1st Ashes Test against England at Edgebaston.

Australia had collapsed to 122-8 when  Smith was joined at the crease by Peter Siddle  who made 44 and then last man Nathan Lyon  who finished on 12 not out.

Smith eventually fell for  144 by which time he’d managed to bring Australia’s first innings total up to 284.

England will be ruing a number of missed chances and some wayward bowling towards the end of the innings in what otherwise had been an excellent day in the field with Stuart Broad taking 5-86.

At the close ,England were on 10 without loss leaving it all to play for on day 2.

 

Football-The English football season gets underway this evening with newly promoted Luton Town hosting Middlesbrough in the Championship.

There’s a full programme in the second tier this weekend and  also in the Scottish Premiership.

The curtain raiser for the English Premier League season ,the Community Shield takes place between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

 

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix with a healthy lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton had a bit of a nightmare in the last race in Germany and only finished 9th but Bottas had an even worse time and crashed out while challenging for the lead.

The 5 time world champion leads Bottas by 41 points going into Budapest.Max Verstappen is in third place after having won the German Grand Prix but he’s playing down his chances of more success this weekend.

Qualifying is at 3pm tomorrow with the race at 3.10 on Sunday.

 

Rugby Union-The Wales number 8 Taulupe Faleteau has been ruled out of the World Cup with a collarbone injury.

The Bath star was injured during training and will need surgery.

Faleteau has had a bad time with injuries.He broke his arm twice last season and missed Wales’ Six Nations campaign.He hasn’t played a Test match since March 2018.

 

Golf-Ashleigh Buhai leads heading into the second round of the Women’s British Open at Woburn.

Buhai carded a first round 7 under par 65 with Hinako Shibuno of Japan on 6 under and a number of players including Charley Hull of England  on 5 under.

 

Racing-Deirdre upset Frankie Dettori on Thursday to win the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and end his run of Group 1 wins.

The Japanese horse with Oisin Murphy on board beat Dettori’s mount Mehdaayih into second place with Rawdaa finishing third.

Today’s feature race is the prestigious King George Stakes with Dettori riding the 20-1 shot Rumble in the Jungle.

 

Weather.

 

Fine in coastal areas ,  showers and possible thunderstorms in the mountains later.

Top temperatures 28  degrees in coastal areas ,up to 33 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Clear skies  with highs of 28-32 degrees.

 

 

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