French and Riviera News.Friday July 26th 2019

Fires-A fierce forest fire has broken out in Mouans Sartoux with 90 firemen attending the scene.

Firefighters aided by water bombing helicopters rushed to the scene at 2pm on Thursday after the blaze took hold by the side of the chemin de Castellaras between Mouans Sartoux and Mougins.

The fire was brought under control after around 2 hours with some two hectares of vegetation destroyed.

Two people were treated for smoke inhalation and a fireman sustained light injuries.

The area remains under high surveillance today.

 

Earlier on Thursday firefighters battled to control a fire at a used tyre and plastics depot in St Laurent du Var.

Thick black smoke was reported to be visible from the plaine du Var before the fire which started accidentally was brought under control.2,000 square meters of vegetation was destroyed in the blaze as well as a shack close to some houses.

 

Also on Thursday a fire broke out in the central reservation of the A8 motorway near the Antibes exit.

Traffic built up in both directions as authorities closed the outside lanes and visibility was cut by smoke.

It’s suspected the fire started as a result of a cigarette butt being tossed out of a car window which authorities have repeatedly asked motorists not to do.

 

Later on during the afternoon ,another fire broke out on the central reservation between Le Bocca and Mougins.

Lengthy jams built up in both directions while firefighters brought the blaze under control.

 

Drought alert-The prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has placed the department on drought alert and asked residents to use water carefully.

Bernard Gonzalez hasn’t yet introduced restrictions but has appealed to people to cut down on consumption.He said that although reservoir levels are still sufficient ,they are falling and continuing hot ,dry conditions will worsen the problem.

The prefect is asking for businesses to cut their use of water and people with swimming pools not to keep topping them up.Gardeners should try not to use hoses but fill cans from the tap to water plants and motorists are asked to postpone washing cars.

 

Burglaries-Authorities are warning that numbers of property break-ins are on the rise as many residents leave the region for their summer holidays.

Thieves are always on the lookout for empty properties at this time of year and police advise householders to make sure that their property is secure before going away.

Alarms ,light timers and making sure that all windows and doors are secure before leaving are all recommended.

In addition ,informing a neighbour before leaving is a good idea.

Extra police patrols are in place over the coming weeks and people can also inform their local police station that they’re going away and the address will be put on the patrol rounds.

 

Traffic-Heavy traffic is forecast from this afternoon across the Mediterranean and on routes north and south on one of the busiest weekends in the year for travel gets underway.

Motorists are advised not to make long trips from this afternoon until around 9pm and tomorrow between 6am and 8pm.

Sunday should be a little better but the traffic is still expected to be heavy especially in the Rhone Valley and across Mediterranean resort areas.

Motorists are also warned to carry plenty of water and snacks in the event of being caught in a long traffic jam.

 

Fag ends-Nice authorities are warning that people who discard cigarette ends in the street or allow their dogs to foul pavements are risking a big fine.

The city hall says that there are more than 5,000 rubbish bins around Nice and that there is no excuse for littering.

Cigarette butts are a particular problem on beaches where they create an environmental hazard while the city’s dog owners have a less than good reputation for cleaning up after their animals.

An information campaign has been launched warning that offenders can be fined up to 450 euros.

 

Melon explosion-The wave of hot weather in the south of France has caused an explosion in melon production in the Var.

Conditions are resulting in local cantaloupe melons ripening more quickly and prices are falling fast to as low as 1 euro 50 per fruit.

However , producers warn that some of the fruits are low grade and tasteless and consumers will still have to pay more for good quality melons.

The rule of thumb is that “if it doesn’t smell good ,it doesn’t taste good”. Melons should also be reasonably firm at the stalk end but yield a little to the thumb although some retailers object to customers handling the fruit before purchase.

 

Surreal-More than 20,000 people have already visited the Salvador Dali retrospective which is currently at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Dali “A History of Painting” is considered to be one of the most complete exhibitions of the artist’s work ever assembled and features most of his landmark paintings as well as photographs and video displays.

The exhibition is open until the 8th of September.

 

The President is in- French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte have arrived at the official residence in the Var for a summer break.

Mr Macron and the First Lady arrived at the Fort de Bregancon on Thursday afternoon. amid tight security.

The Presidential couple habitually take a walk about to meet local people but there’s been no sign of them yet, perhaps because of the current scorching temperatures.

 

In National News.

 

Heatwave-Temperature records have been smashed across France as parts of the country experienced their hottest day on record.

Paris and the north east registered the highest temperatures with reports of the mercury rising above 40 degrees in many places with Meteo France laying the blame for the abnormal weather firmly at the door of climate change.The capital recorded its highest ever temperature of 42.6 degrees Celsius.

Cooler weather is now sweeping across the country from the west but temperatures in the south east remain elevated with many areas looking at temperatures in excess of 30 degrees this afternoon.

 

Mont Blanc-Further evidence of global warming is being demonstrated by the retreat of glaciers in Mont Blanc.

Visitors taking the last tram stop to the summit now have to walk an extra 20 paces before they reach the “Mer de Glace” ice sheet while several markers laid down in previous years show how far the ice has retreated.

Mont Blanc workers have draped large tarpaulins across stretches of the glacier in a bid to protect the ice from the sun’s rays and landslides and rockfalls in several areas near the summit have cut off some routes for climbers.

 

Jet crash - A French military jet has crashed onto a road near to Perpignan Rivesaltes Airport.

The Alphajet which is attached to the Patrouille de France display team crashed following an error on takeoff.

The pilot managed to fire the ejector seat but was injured and taken to hospital.

The exact cause of the crash is not yet known.

 

Unemployment -The number of people out of work fell by 0.5 percent in the second quarter to 3 million 632 thousand according to data published by Pole Emploi.

The figure is less than the previous quarter when unemployment fell by 0.7 percent and in the final quarter of 2018 when a drop of 1.1 percent was registered.

Youth unemployment rose with numbers of those under the age of 25 out of work up by 0.2 percent.

Over the past 12 months ,unemployment has fallen by 1.9 percent.

 

Business.

 

US markets closed lower on Thursday on more negative second quarter earnings with a third of firms having now reported.

At the close the S&P 500 was down by half a percent to 30 03 with the Dow Jones Industrials down half a percent at 27 ,140 and the Nasdaq down 1 percent at 82 38.

 

The European Central Bank has raised the prospect of interest rate cuts and the resumption of quantitative easing.

The Bank is seeking to increase confidence in the eurozone which has seen manufacturing slide into recession that risks undoing years of stimulus pumped into the economy since the financial crisis.

in a statement on Thursday ,the ECB said that it saw interest rates at present or lower levels until mid 2020.

It also said that it would consider reintroducing stimulus measures if there were continued signs of stagnation in the manufacturing sector.

The euro slipped to a two year low against the dollar following the statement by Bank President Mario Draghi.

Markets also turned negative on the news.

 

The UK’s largest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has reported second quarter losses of

395 million pounds following a slump in sales.

The firm said that global sales fell by 11.6 percent year on year in the three months to the end of June.

Revenues for the quarter came in at 5.1 billion pounds-down 2.8 percent year on year.

JLR which is owned by Tata of India blamed weaker market conditions as well as the Brexit related shutdown of plants in April for the poor results.

The firm said that it was in a period of full transition and was in the process of simplifying its business.

 

And-Samsung says that it’s new model foldable smartphone will go on sale in September after problems with the device delayed its initial release.

The original April launch of the Galaxy Fold was postponed following reviews which reported broken screens.

The firm said that it had made improvements to the phone which retails at nearly 2,000 dollars and that it would be available in “selected” markets.

Samsung has been in a race with rivals to launch the world’s first folding smartphone.

 

Sport.

 

Cycling-Julian Alaphilippe held on to the leader’s yellow jersey at the end of stage 18 as France hopes it can get its first home winner of the race for 30 years.

Alaphilippe looked like he’d cracked at one point coming up to the final summit of the stage but he recovered well to maintain a 1 minute 30 second advantage over Egan Bernal who leapfrogged Ineos team-mate Geraint Thomas into second place with the defending champion in third 1 minute 35 seconds off the pace.

Stage 18 between Embrun to Valloire was won by Nairo Quintana of Colombia but he’s more than 3 and a half minutes off the lead.

Stage 19 today is another grueling 126.5 kilometers between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Tignes which is certain to cause a few surprises.

After that ,there’s just one more stage in the mountains before the procession into Paris on Sunday.

 

Cricket-England recovered on day 2 of the 4 day Test match against Ireland at Lords but the match is still hanging in the balance.

At stumps ,England had stuttered to 303-9 in their second innings with another late collapse after they’d laid the ground for a big innings thanks to 92 from nightwatchman Jack Leach and 72 from Jason Roy.

England lead by 181 with just that one wicket intact and two days of the match.

 

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim with a 39 point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton appears to be almost untouchable and his rivals will have to make an impact soon or he’ll run away with the drivers’ championship.

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

 

Rugby Union-Brad Shields has left the England training camp with a foot injury.

The Wasps back-row forward has injured ligaments and may be out for several weeks.

He’s won 8 caps for England and had been tipped for a place in the World Cup squad.

 

Boxing-The Argentine boxer Hugo Santillan has died from injuries sustained during a WBC lightweight title fight against Eduardo Javier Abreu last Saturday.

The fight in Argentina ended in a draw but Santillan was taken to hospital after collapsing shortly afterwards.

Doctors performed surgery but were unable to save him.

It’s the second death in the sport in the space of a few days after the Russian fighter Maxim Dadashev suffered bleeding on the brain and died after a fight last weekend.

 

Weather.

Clear skies with light  southerly  winds.

Top temperatures  31-33 degrees in coastal areas,33-35 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 25 degrees on the coast and 22 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Cooling down with possible thunderstorms and showers tomorrow afternoon.Fine on Sunday.Highs of 27-29 degrees.

 

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