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French and Riviera News.Monday July 30th 2018

Heatwave-Official data shows that France has had its third hottest  July since 1900.

Meteo France says that temperatures have been 2.4 degrees higher than the seasonal average with the thermometer hitting nearly 40 degrees in some areas.

The hottest July since the start of the 20th century was in 2006 when temperatures were 3.6 degrees warmer than the average and before that July 1983 saw a 2.6 degree increase.

Rainfall has been sparse with the northern part of France seeing no precipitation at all while violent storms have affected the south west.

August looks like it’s going to start with a heatwave in the south of France with Meteo France forecasting temperatures of between 35 and 39 degrees towards the end of the week.

 

Holiday traffic-Roads in the region have been extremely busy over the weekend as the holiday crossover period took place.

The A8 motorway had to be closed all night between Saturday and Sunday after a truck caught fire on the westbound side of the road near Les Arcs.The fire also spread to vegetation on the side of the road which complicated the operation to put it out.

Long traffic jams built up as a result with the road finally reopened on Sunday morning.Traffic jams totaling 366 kilometers were reported around the country over the weekend.

The A8 is expected to be very busy again today between 11am and 1pm.

 

Presidential visit-The French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte will be holidaying in the Var at the end of this week.

The Presidential couple will be spending between 10 days and two weeks at Fort Bregancon although Mr Macron will continue to fulfill some duties as he puts the finishing touches to several new projects due to be presented to Parliament after the summer.

 

Smoke free-Cagnes sur Mer has been experimenting with its first smoke free beach.

Since the 1st of July the beach near the post office on the Avenue de la Serre has been smoke free and the ban will be in force until the end of August.

The town council is acting in cooperation with the French National Anti-Cancer League.

Vaping and electronic cigarettes are also banned.

 

Planes delayed-An IT problem at Toulon-Hyeres airport has resulted in long delays for some passengers over the weekend.

Storms in the Paris area also held up flights with the situation returning to normal on Sunday.

 

In National News.

 

Death and taxes-French workers pay more income tax than anyone else in the EU according to official statistics.

It’s the third year in a row that France has topped the tax league ahead of Austria and Belgium.

July the 27th was “tax freedom day” in France meaning that everything that workers earn after that date until the end of the year they can keep.Before that date,all earnings went to the taxman.

The average date in the EU for tax freedom was June the 12th.

 

Skier indentified-A French skier who went missing more than 60 years ago has finally been indentified  thanks to a campaign on social media.

In 2005 human remains and ski equipment were found at more than 3,000 meter altitude near the Swiss border in Italy’s northern Aosta region.

Investigators assumed that the man was well off as his equipment was top of the line.They also found glasses,a watch and a piece of his shirt with embroidered initials.

In June,Italian police decided to put the information on Facebook and eventually a French woman came forward to say that the mystery man could be her uncle Henri Le Masne who went missing in a storm near the Matterhorn in 1954.

A DNA test has since confirmed his identity.

 

Bordeaux vines-Harvests at Bordeaux vineyards are expected to fall by up to 70 percent this year as mildew is ravaging the vines.

The fungal disease has been caused by heavy rainfall in the spring with growers expecting to lose between 20 and 70 percent of their crop.

Last year,Bordeaux winemakers suffered big losses with the worst harvest since 1945 which was caused by severe frost that cut production.

 

Business.

 

The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that he believes the quickening pace of growth in America’s economy in the second quarter will persist for the next few years.

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter - at a 4.1 percent rate - as consumers boosted spending and farmers rushed shipments of soybeans to China to beat retaliatory trade tariffs before they took effect in early July.

Mr Mnuchin said that he didn’t  think that “ this is a one- or two-year phenomenon and that the US  is in a period of four or five years of sustained 3 percent growth at least” .

 

Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico and South Korea will meet in Geneva this  week to discuss how to respond to threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of autos and car parts.

The Trump administration has come under heavy criticism from automakers, foreign governments and others as it considers tariffs of up to 25 percent, a levy critics warn will hike vehicle costs, hurting auto sales and global industry jobs.

It’s not yet  clear what kind of response the countries could be looking at, although Canada, the EU and Mexico retaliated with their own tariffs after Trump imposed levies on steel and aluminum imports in March. Another option is to fight the United States at the World Trade Organization.

 

And-BT is understood to have lost the rights to broadcast NBA basketball and UFC ultimate fighting after walking away from a bidding contest.The move comes weeks after BT lost the rights to Italian Serie A football.The firm spends around 1 billion pounds a year on sports rights, such as Premier League and Champions League football, a sum which some investors have criticised.BT's sports channels will continue to show NBA Basketball until the end of October and UFC until 3 December.

Sport.

 

Cycling-Geraint Thomas has become the first Welshman to win the Tour de France after crossing the line in Paris on  Sunday at the end of a grueling race.

Thomas follows Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and 4 time winner Chris Froome with British cyclists winning the Tour for 6 of the last 7 years.

He finished 1 minute 51 seconds ahead of Tom Dumoulin with Chris Froome in third place.

 

Formula 1-Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 24 points with victory in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen third.

Ferrari delayed a pit stop which scuppered Vettel’s chances of winning the race and Valtteri Bottas came to grief late on after locking up and hitting Vettel who emerged unscathed.

Bottas also slid into Daniel Ricciardo when the Australian tried to pass him around the outside of turn 1.

The drivers are now taking a summer break with the next race at Spa in Belgium on August the 26th.

 

Football-Wayne Rooney scored for DC United and also broke his nose in his side’s 2-1 victory over Colorado Rapids in the MLS.

Rooney scored the opening goal and then broke his nose requiring 5 stitches following a clash of heads with Colorado’s Axel Sjoberg.

 

Golf-World number one Dustin Johnson has won the Canadian Open by three shots from the South Koreans Whee Kim and Byeong-Hun-An.

The 34 year old who missed the cut at last week’s Open carded a final round six under par 66 to end on 23 under.

 

Weather

Fine in coastal areas-more  thundery outbreaks developing inland and light variable winds.

Top temperatures 30-34 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 25 degrees on the coast and 21 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Clear skies in coastal areas, showery inland at times.Highs of 31-36 degrees.

 

Finally.

Croatians in the south of the country are steaming over a tunnel that has cost taxpayers 280m kuna ( $44m) and "leads to nowhere".

According to the TV station RTL Croatia, construction has halted on a 1,471-metre tunnel through a mountain range near the town of Omis, which was meant to connect with an existing bypass and solve the town's severe traffic problems.

The tunnel was supposed to link to the Omis Bridge and was hailed as part of an "important infrastructure project" in providing a faster connection for residents between the town and the main coastal road. It was also hoped that the route would alleviate the "major traffic jams" that the town suffers from during its main tourist season.

Construction began six years ago, but RTL says that "everything stopped" and the money is now being spent elsewhere. This has led to widespread public mockery.

 

 

 

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