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French and Riviera News.Monday.31.07.2017

Fire risk-The entire region remains on high alert for wildfires this morning following last week’s devastating blazes which burned 4,500 hectares of forest land in the Var and nearly 200 in the Alpes-Maritimes.

The hot dry weather conditions persist and the wind is freshening from the east today.

The three main fires at La Croix Valmer,Artigues and Bormes-les-Mimosas are under control but firefighters are still keeping a close watch on the situation for any signs of a flare-up.

 

Water restrictions-52 communities in the Var are subject to water restrictions from the Prefecture as drought conditions worsen in the department.

People with swimming pools in the affected areas need to ask permission from the local town hall before topping them up and there’s a hosepipe ban in force between 9am and 7pm.

Some areas have introduced a ban on people washing their cars by hand although service station carwashes are still operating.

Golf courses have also been instructed to reduce watering.

All the details are available at www.var.gouv.fr

Authorities in the Alpes-Maritimes are also concerned about reservoir levels especially at the supply for the Antibes-Juan-les-Pins area but so far no restrictions have been put in place.

 

Bouncer arrested-A nightclub bouncer has been arrested after shooting at two customers following a dispute.

Police were called to the club in Juan-les-Pins at 6 am on Sunday morning following reports of gunshots.

Reports say that the bouncer had got into a brawl with two clients and had then fired a shotgun but didn’t hit anyone.

The two customers suffered powder burns from the shots fired as well as cuts and bruises.The bouncer required hospital treatment in Antibes and is under police custody.

 

Airport punch-The budget airline Easyjet says that it’s “urgently seeking answers” after a Nice airport employee allegedly punched one of its passengers waiting for a delayed flight to Luton on Saturday.

The man,who’s thought to be a special assistance provider at the airport was caught on camera punching the passenger who was holding a 13 month old baby at the time after he and his wife complained about a lack of information and no space to sit down.

Easyjet has stressed that the man is not one of its employees and is demanding answers from Nice airport authorities.

The plane was delayed for 13 hours because of a “technical issue”.for which the airline has apologised.

 

Kerching-A speed camera on the A8 in the Var registered 116,288 offences last year according to official French road security data.

The camera,on the eastbound side of the road near Puget-sur-Argens is the third most active in the country behind cameras on the A9 at Nimes  and the A10 near Paris.

The total number of offences recorded by the various different speed cameras on the A8 last year topped 25 million-an increase of 26 percent on 2015.

 

Bank fraud-A bank employee at Saint-Raphael has been arrested in connection with the theft of 500,000 euros from the accounts of clients.

The woman,who’s a financial adviser at the unnamed bank is said to have duped a number of elderly clients out of various amounts of cash after gaining their confidence.

The alleged fraud came to light after one customer made a complaint to police.Enquiries continue.

 

Singing Cicadas-Apparently the Cicadas are singing louder this year because of the prolonged hot period.

Experts say that the weather is encouraging the insects to mate so they’re singing louder to attract suitors.

Some Cicadas can put out 90 decibels but they tend to stop singing when the temperature drops below 22 degrees.The hotter it is,the louder they sing.

It’s impossible to count the exact number of the insects in the south of France but it’s looking like a bumper year with the population reaching a maximum level in the middle of August.

 

In National news.

 

Motorist death-A motorist in Rennes has been killed after driving his car into police officers.

The incident occurred in the city centre at 8am on Sunday.

Reports say that the man,who was under the influence of alcohol had knocked down several scooters and outside terrace tables while driving a grey Renault Twingo near the city’s train station.He was also said to be in possession of a knife.

He drove at the police while they were trying to apprehend him forcing the officers to fire in self defence.One of the officers was injured and the man died after losing control of the vehicle and turning it over.There was a passenger in the car who escaped uninjured and surrendered immediately to the police.

 

MP assaulted-A female MP from President Macron’s Republique en Marche party has been assaulted at a market near Paris.

Laurianne Rossi was handing out leaflets at 11am on Sunday when a man approached her,called her a ‘godillot’ or clodhopper and punched her in the side of the head.He then ran off but was arrested soon afterwards and charged with assault.

Parliamentary members of Mr Macron’s party have become known as ‘godillot’s by some people because they allegedly carry out orders or take advice without questioning it.

 

Business.

 

The finance arm of the German carmaker Daimler says that its heading for another record year after signing nearly 1 million new leasing and finance contracts in the first half of 2017.

Daimler Financial Services which handles customer financing and leasing says that its expecting a significant increase in new business this year and further growth in leasing and finance contracts.

The expansion is being driven by increasing sales of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars.

The Stuttgart based firm says that its portfolio of globally financed and leased vehicles increased by 17 percent to 4.6 million with a total sales value of 134 billion euros.

 

Post-Brexit border delays will cost the UK a billion pounds in economic damage according to a study by the Europe-wide Oxera Consultancy firm.

Additional costs associated with potential motorway queues,extra customs staff and the requirement for vast truck parks in the south east of the country will incur major expense according to the study and that’ without taking into account the number of jobs lost as companies relocate.

Last week,the chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned that Britain could not expect “frictionless trade” outside Europe.

Several British government ministers including the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond have said that a transitional deal with the EU will be sought to tide the country over from 2019 to 2022 but the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is opposed to the continuation of free movement after the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

 

Meanwhile-A Study by the UK Office for National Statistics has found that EU migrants account for 20 percent of the workforce in 18 key British industries and in some cases much more.

The ONS says that 47.6 percent of employees in fruit and vegetable processing and preserving are EU nationals and 35 percent of crop production are from Europe.

Other industries relying heavily on EU migrant workers include construction and the National Health Service.

The report suggests that many industries would struggle without their European workers and would not be able to attract enough British employees to sustain output.

 

Sport

 

Formula 1-Sebastien Vettel won the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday as he held off Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas who passed his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to claim third.

The race was marked by a collision between the two Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen just after the start.

Verstappen was to blame and he earned the ire of his team-mate who  said that the Dutchman had “messed up”.

Vettel extends his lead over Lewis Hamilton to 14 points at the top of the drivers’ championship heading into the break.Bottas is in third place on 169 points.

The next race is the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on the 27th of August.

 

Cricket-England are in a strong position heading into the final day of the 3rd Test against South Africa at the Oval.

The tourists require an impossible 492 to win the match and at stumps on day 4 had reached 117-4 in their second innings with Elgar on 72 not out and Bavuma on 16 not out.

Play resumes at noon French time.The series is tied at one all with one to play after today.

 

Football-England’s women are through to the semi-finals of the European Championships in the Netherlands following a 1-0 win over France last night.

It’s the first time that England have beaten France in 43 years.They now play the hosts,the Netherlands in the last 4.

 

Manchester United are poised to sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for around 50 million pounds.

The Serbian midfielder would be Jose Mourinho’s 3rd signing of the summer after Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof.

The United manager signed Matic while the Chelsea boss in 2014.

 

Golf-Bernharrd Langer has claimed his 3rd senior major win of the season and a career tenth with victory in the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl.

The 59 year old German ended on 4 under par 3 shots clear of Corey Pavin.He dropped 2 shots early on in his final round but was never seriously threatened by anyone  in windy conditions at the south Wales coast.

 

Weather

 

Clear skies with moderate easterly winds.

Top temperatures 29-34 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 25 degrees with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy tomorrow and hot with temperatures between 31-35 degrees.

Some rain is expected on Wednesday morning,clearing later with highs of 28-32 degrees.

 

Finally.

 

One of Iceland's most famous tourist spots is being forced to move from where it has traded for the first time in 80 years as Reykjavik succumbs to modern development.

While visitors come to the country for its spectacular waterfalls and primeval landscape, the first place that they often flock is the Baejerins Beztu hot dog stand in the downtown harbour area of the capital city.

There are often long queues for the family-owned stand, which claims to be the best in the world, and counts former US President Bill Clinton and Kim Kardashian among its famous customers.

But now tourists will have to look elsewhere. As it's been lifted from the spot where it has stood since 1937 to make way for the construction of a shopping centre.

 

 

 

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