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French and Riviera News Monday 6th August 2018

Local

Motorist killed at level crossing - A motorist has died after being hit by a freight train at a level crossing in the Cannet des Maures. Police have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the incident in which the 49 year old woman lost her life. The train service between Marseille and Nice came to a standstill as emergency services attended the scene.

Motorway closed due to fire - A motorway linking France and Spain has been closed for several hours on Saturday evening because of a fire in Spanish Catalonia. The blaze broke out as millions of drivers hit French roads on a weekend that saw many returning from holiday as others start their vacation. Firefighters in Spain's Catalonia province said they were aided by six water-dropping planes and helicopters. The fire started at about 5.30pm and was brought under control later in the evening.

Heatwave continues - As the heatwave continues a record number of 67 departments have remained on alert across France with Météo France announcing high temperatures today and tomorrow. Highs of 34 degrees are expected in Saint Tropez and Toulon, in the Var with 31 degrees in Nice and Menton. France's health minister said that emergency services were coping with the situation but warned that cities must adapt to tackle the effects of climate change. Saturday was the hottest day in France since the 2003 heatwave, in which several thousand people died.

Loss of business due to renovation work - Local businesses in the town of Vidauban in the Var have complained that the renovation work currently being carried out in the town center is effecting local businesses.  The work began two months ago with the local council investing three million euros in a project to improve pavements, roads as well as the local water network.

National

National Rally to appeal - France's far-right National Rally, previously the National Front, is to appeal today against a judges' order to seize two million euros of public subsidies over a case of alleged abuse of European parliamentary funds. French magistrates are to meet to consider the party's appeal against an order to seize the funds. RN leader Marine Le Pen has claimed the move would be a "death sentence" for the party, leaving it unable to pay employees and pursue other activities.

Francois Hollande - Former French President Francois Hollande who is currently on holiday in the region has been dedicating his new book “The lessons of power” at a book store in Saint-Cyr in the Var. According to reports nearly 100,000 copies have been sold to date. His companion, actress Julie Gayet, was also present at the book signing.

Baby panda celebrates first birthday - France’s first baby panda has celebrated his one-year anniversary at the weekend with a birthday cake composed of bamboo, honey, apples, oranges, strawberries and lemons. French first lady Brigitte Macron, considered the panda’s “godmother,” did not attend Saturday’s celebration however she has already visited the baby panda on two other occasions.

Business

Speaking to the Sunday Times Liam Fox has said that the chance of a no-deal Brexit is growing. The international trade secretary put the chance of failing to come to an agreement at "60-40". Mr Fox told the paper that he had not thought the likelihood of no-deal was higher than 50-50, but the risk had increased. He said the EU had to decide whether to act in the economic best interests of its people, or to go on pursuing an approach determined by an obsession with the purity of its rules.


And - The department store chain the House of Fraser has settled a legal row with a group of landlords removing one hurdle to a potential rescue deal. The deal means the store chain can go ahead with its plan to close 31 of its 59 shops in January. The landlords had argued slashing rents on remaining stores was unfair to them, putting the rescue plan in jeopardy. However, the deal will not be enough to safeguard House of Fraser's future, with it now urgently seeking fresh investment in order to survive.

Sport

Hockey – The Netherlands have been crowned Women's Hockey World Cup winners for a record eighth time as a crushing 6-0 victory ended Ireland's fairytale tournament. Ireland had won new fans on their unlikely road to the final, but had no answer to their opponents' intensity.

Football – Premier League champions Manchester City beat Chelsea to win the Community Shield at Wembley 2-0. 

Cricket – Coach Trevor Bayliss says that England will need "two or three guys to step up" for the absent Ben Stokes in the second Test against India at Lord's. All-rounder Stokes was left out of the squad because his affray trial starts in Bristol today, three days before the Test.

Formula One - Daniel Ricciardo is leaving Red Bull at the end of the season to join Renault. In July, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the Australian, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was close to signing a new deal. Ricciardo is fifth in the drivers' championship with two wins this season.

Golf – England's Georgia Hall has won her first major title with a two-shot victory at the Women's British Open. The 22-year-old is only the third British winner since the event became a major championship in 2001. Hall finished on 17 under, having picked up five shots on the final day.

Weather

Today’s weather sunny with a moderate breeze highs of 31 degrees reaching up to 34 in Saint Tropez in the Var. This evening lows of 18 degrees across the region with clear skies.

The outlook for Tuesday high temperatures are set to continue with a slight change on Wednesday, becoming increasingly cloudy with a slight drop in temperatures.

Finally 

Two elderly German men have escaped from their nursing home to go to a heavy metal festival. 

After the home reported them missing, police found the two at 3am at Wacken Open Air, the world’s biggest heavy metal festival.

A police spokeswoman said they were in a "disoriented and dazed” state but nonetheless were reluctant to leave.

Eventually they were persuaded to leave and police escorted them home with the help of a taxi and a patrol car.

"They obviously liked the metal festival," police spokeswoman Merle Neufeld told public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk.

"The care home quickly organised a return transport after police picked them up."

A sell out crowd of more then 75,000 people was expected for the four-day festival, 29th time the legendary event has been held.

 

 

 

 

 

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