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French and Riviera News Monday 4th September 2017

Local

Forest Fire in Hyères La Londe - Some 115 people have been evacuated from a campsite and three people have been injured after a fire broke out on Saturday night in Hyères La Londe in the Var. French emergency services were battling a major forest fire in the south of France on Sunday, just weeks after several thousand hectares were destroyed by blazes in Provence and Corsica. About 430 hectares have gone up in flames, according to local officials. More than 400 firefighters, assisted by water bombers, were battling the blaze on Sunday morning. Several roads, as well as a high-voltage power supply, have been cut off at the request of the fire department. Prosecutors in Toulon have opened an inquiry, saying they have clues that indicate that the fire was deliberately started.

Swimming indicent - An 85-year-old man has been taken to hospital  in Nice in a critical condition after getting into difficulties while swimming in Saint-Laurent-du-Var. The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon - lifeguards intervened after being alerted by other swimmers.

Road accident - Two people have died in a road accident on the A51 motorway in the Alpes de Haute-Provence. The victim's car collided with another vehicle and caught fire. Following the accident the motorway was closed for two hours on Sunday afternoon.

Eating in the dark - A new dining experience has opened in the region where customers are invited to eat in the dark. The hotel Mercure in Sophia Antipolis opened the new dining experience at the weekend. While it is the first restaurant of its kind to open on the Côte d'Azur the concept already exists in Auckland, Madrid and London. 

National

15 people injured - At least 15 people have been injured, two of them seriously, by lightning at a music festival in the north-east of France, officials say. The lightning struck in several areas of the Vieux Canal festival in the town of Azerailles. Those injured include children who were in a tent during the storm. A woman in her sixties and a 44-year-old man are reported to be in a serious condition as a result of the strikes.

North Korea - French President Emmanuel Macron has called on world powers to react speedily and firmly to North Korea's H-bomb test on Sunday, adding that there should be a "clear and united" response from the European Union. Pyongyang declared that Saturday night's test, its biggest ever was a "perfect success".

Calais - French police have blamed their British counterparts for clashes with migrants, in which three officers were injured, in Calais on Saturday. Police fired tear gas and three officers were injured in clashes with migrants who tried to take advantage of a traffic jam to board lorries heading for the UK on Saturday. French police said that their British counterparts had restricted traffic entering the port, despite warnings that thousands of vehicles would be arriving over the weekend.

Privatisation - France has announced it is to sell off state assets to help raise billions of euros to finance innovation, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Sunday, that a series of privatisations will be announced in the next few weeks. In a radio interview on Sunday the Prime Minister said that The government will sell off some state assets, but not necessarily 100 percent ownership of companies that are currently nationalised.

Business

The Japanese Yen,gold and sovereign bonds have all risen in Asian trading this morning after North Korea’s latest nuclear test prompted a flight to safe haven assets. The dollar fell by as much as 1 yen against the Japanese currency at the start of trading although there was no follow through and it recovered to 109.84 yen later. Japan is the world’s largest creditor nation and investors assume that in times of crisis,funds would be repatriated,thus pushing up the currency. Equity markets dipped at the start of trading  but settled later amid expectations that the latest flare-up between the US and North Korea would only be fleeting.

The Governor of Texas has said that the bill for reconstruction following Hurricane Harvey could amount to 180 billion dollars. Greg Abbott said that the damage caused by Harvey was worse than that caused by Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005. Recovery operations are continuing in Texas as well as neighbouring Louisiana although many areas are still battling floodwater. The Hurricane has been blamed for at least 50 deaths with some 43,000 people being housed in shelters. The US government has already asked Congress for 7.85 billion dollars as an initial contribution towards recovery efforts.

And-The BBC has carried out a survey of leading economists which has found that most don’t expect an interest rate rise until 2019. The survey found that the majority of economists think that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will be reluctant to raise rates during Brexit negotiations. The base rate in the UK has stood at a quarter of one percent since August last year. In June,the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said that now is not yet the time to start raising rates once more.

Sport

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza as he took the lead in the drivers’ championship from Sebastien Vettel. Hamilton led from start to finish with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finishing second and Vettel claiming the third podium place to give the Tifosi something to cheer about. Hamilton leads the drivers’ championship on 238 points,three ahead of Vettel with Bottas in third place on 197 points. Next stop Singapore on the 17th of September.

Meanwhile,widespread reports today say that McLaren is to ditch its engine partnership with Honda and sign up with Renault instead. An announcement could come as soon as this week.

Tennis-Maria Sharapova is out of the US Open at Flushing Meadows. The former world number one was beaten by Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in three sets who moves into the quarter finals. Venus Williams is through to the last 8 after beating Carla Suarez Navarro in three sets but the Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza was beaten by Petra Kvitova. In the men’s event Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be attempting to reach the quarter finals later today.Federer plays Philipp Kohlschreiber while Nadal plays Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Football-Belgium have qualified for next summer’s World Cup Finals with 2 games to spare following a 2-1 win in Greece last night. France drew 0-0 with Luxembourg in a disappointing performance in Group A.

Tonight,England play Slovakia in Group F with Scotland at home to Malta while in Group C,Northern Ireland can guarantee a play-off place if they beat the Czech Republic in Belfast.

Rugby Union-There was 1 game in the Aviva Premiership in England on Sunday.Bath beat Leicester at Welford Road for the first time since 2003 by 27-23.

Cycling-Chris Froome has extended his lead over Vincenzo Nibali to 1 minute and 1 second following stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana. Miguel Angel Lopez of Colombia won the stage from Ilnur Zakarin of Russia. Today is a rest day.

Weather

Clear skies with light to moderate south westerly winds. Top temperatures 25 degrees on the coast and 27 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 18 degrees on the coast and 15 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies with highs of 25-29 degrees.

Finally 

Village Cricket clubs in England have become a prime target for professional thieves stealing their Mowers.

Clubs in Devon and West Yorkshire are among those reporting losses of mowers.

Experts are struggling to explain the thefts, as specialist wicket mowers are unsuitable for back gardens or landscaping, and there is no evidence they are being offloaded at car boot sales or eBay.

 

 

 

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