French and Riviera News.Thursday July 26th 2018

Heatwave-Meteo France has issued a heatwave warning for the south of France with night-time temperatures not expected to drop below 23 to 24 degrees Celsius for three consecutive nights.

Although the criteria meets the official designation of a heatwave,the French weather forecaster says that the situation is “nothing exceptional” for the south of the country.

Daytime temperatures in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var could reach 33 degrees over the coming days and Meteo France is warning that it could get hotter than that for several days around the 3rd of August but it can’t yet be certain.


Train strike-A 48 hour national rail strike is underway with both local and intercity services being affected.

It’s unclear how much support there will be for the latest industrial action with only the CGT and Sud Rail unions calling on their members to walk out.

Some TER regional services are subject to cancellation  as are a number of high speed TGV services.

Passengers should go to for information.


Toddler saved-A 14 year old girl who saved a 2 year old toddler from drowning at a swimming pool at Villeneuve Loubet has been praised for bravery.

The teenager,who was with a friend found the toddler at the bottom of the pool at a private residence in the Maurettes area of the town and dived in and pulled her out.

Fortunately,a volunteer fireman who lives in the same residence was on hand and was able to revive the little girl who was then taken to hospital for treatment.

Reports say that the child was in the water unsupervised.

Authorities are constantly warning adults about the dangers of leaving small children unattended in or around water.A child can drown in as little as 20 centimetres of water in just 3 minutes and there have been a series of shocking fatalities around France so far this summer.


Var wine-Wine producers in the Var have expressed concerns about this year’s harvest following heavy storms last week which have resulted in an outbreak of mildew at many vineyards.

Reports say that heavy rainfall resulted in a massive spreading of fungal spores and farmers have been reporting white blotches on vine leaves which suggests that the crop is not in good health.

Some farmers have turned to a new natural remedy which is based on an inactive yeast product which it’s hoped will make vines more resistant to mildew and other fungal infections but they say that more heavy rain before the harvest could lead to a serious drop in volume.


Badly parked-A supplementary fine is being imposed on motorists who park badly in Nice.

Authorities are now levying an extra 22 euros in addition to the regular fine on motorists who have their vehicles clamped and are clogging up traffic movement.

Motorists who turn up while their vehicle is being clamped will still have to pay the fine but will be able to have it unlocked.Otherwise it’s a trip to the pound.


Where are the speed bumps ?-Residents on the chemin des Combes in Antibes have complained about the speed of traffic on the road and say that the town council promised to put speed bumps in place as long ago as 2015.

A spokesman for the local residents association says that cars are regularly recorded doing speeds in excess of 70 km/h on the road and that it’s a “miracle” that no-one has been killed yet.

Reports say that the Antibes town hall agreed to a plan to construct sleeping policemen and then changed its mind for an unknown reason.


In National News.


Police raid-French police have raided the office of a former senior security aide to President Macron who’s embroiled in the May Day protests scandal.

Alexandre Benalla was fired last week and has been charged with several offences after video footage showed him beating protestors at the May Day rally in Paris.

Mr Macron has accepted responsibility for the incident but has lashed out at press coverage  accusing French media of “not seeking the truth”.

It’s the biggest scandal to affect the Elysee Palace since Mr Macron came to power in May 2017 and his popularity rating has plummeted since the affair broke.


Heatwave-18 French departments are now on an official heatwave warning with temperatures continuing to rise across much of the country.

The worst affected areas are the north,central-eastern region and parts of the south east.

Peaks of between 34 and 37 degrees Celsius are forecast for tomorrow before temperatures fall back a couple of degrees over the weekend.


Massage ? An official report by French health authorities says that there are too many physiotherapists in the country and that numbers are set to increase by 57 percent between now and 2040.There were 85,000 registered physiotherapists in France at the start of 2016 and the report says that the number is expected to grow to 133,000 by 2040.In contrast,numbers of GP’s are falling with many doctors retiring from small village practices because of a lack of patients and no young medical professionals replacing them.


Drug recall-French health authorities are advising anyone who’s been prescribed a drug containing valsartan to contact their doctor.

The medicine which is usually prescribed for people suffering from hypertension,heart failure or following a heart attack was subject to a worldwide recall at the start of July because of a potentially carcinogenic  substance detected in the Chinese manufactured product.

Anyone prescribed a drug containing valsartan should contact their GP who will be able to offer a replacement therapy.

A full list of the affected products is available on the French national medication security website



President Trump has said that the United States and the European Union will work together to cut trade barriers.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Washington with the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker,Mr Trump said that the two would work for zero tariffs,zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto goods.

Mr Trump and Mr Juncker also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture including greater US soy bean exports to the EU.

The agreement appears to have defused what was threatening to become a trade war between the two powers.

However,a series of tricky negotiations remain and it’s not clear whether any progress has been made on resolving auto tariffs with Mr Trump threatening to impose 25 percent tariffs on EU auto parts.


China has said that there will be no winner in a global trade war.

The country’s President Xi Jinping has called on developing nations including Brazil,India,South Africa and Russia to reject protectionism.

He was speaking during a three day meeting of BRICS  leaders in Johannesburg where the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned of the impact US tariff threats by President Trump would have on developing nations.

The BRICS nations comprise more than 40 percent of the global population but have never been able to work as a co-ordinated economic bloc.


And-Ford has lowered its full-year earnings forecast owing to slumping sales and trade tariffs in China.

The company also said that ongoing problems with its European business and pre-tax charges for restructuring could cost up to 11 billion dollars over the next three to five years.

Ford has also postponed a meeting with investors that was scheduled to take place in September.

It said that it would reschedule when  it could share more specifics on global redesign and restructuring.





Nairo Quintana won stage 17 of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees on Wednesday as Geraint Thomas retained the Yellow Jersey but Chris Froome fell back.

Quintana held off Dan Martin of Ireland to win the 65 kilometer mountain stage.Tom Dumoulin moved up to overall second but Thomas continues to close in on his first ever Grand Tour title as he extended his lead to just under two minutes.

Chris Froome looked to be struggling towards the end of the stage and could only manage 8th place.He’s now slipped to third overall and is 2 minutes 31 seconds behind Thomas.


Today’s 18th stage is 171 kilometers mainly on the flat between Trie sur Baise and Pau.The sprinters should benefit but it’s also a chance for Thomas to get his breath back ahead of the last mountain stage tomorrow.


Football-The Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that he “doesn’t care” about the growing pressure after spending some 170 million pounds on new players during the summer.

In an interview with the BBC,Klopp said that he had not “bought and sold a team” and conceded that the fight for the Premier League title would be hard.

Liverpool have splashed out big money on goalkeeper Alisson as well as midfielders Naby Keita,Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri as they look to close the gap on last season’s champions Manchester City.


Celtic were in action last night in the Champions League second qualifying round.Celtic beat Rosenborg 3-1.


Formula 1-Tributes have been paid to the former Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne who’s died following complications to shoulder surgery at the age of 66.

Mr Marchionne  had led the combined Fiat-Chrysler car company for more than a decade and was also Ferrari’s chairman.

He was the architect of the Fiat-Chrysler tie-up and many are now wondering what the future holds for the firm.


Rugby Union-The height of a legal tackle will be lowered next season in a trial designed to make the game safer.

The English Rugby Football Union’s second tier Championship Cup will play under the proposed new law with the height of a legal tackle lowered to below the armpits rather than the line of the shoulders.

The sport’s governing body hopes that the new laws will help to reduce incidences of concussion in the professional game.




Clear skies in coastal areas, the chance of some showers inland later and light variable or westerly winds.

Top temperatures 28-32 degrees.

Overnight lows of 23 degrees on the coast and 20 degrees inland with the chance of a light shower in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Friday and the start of the weekend -Mainly fine in coastal areas with some showers inland.Highs of 27-31 degrees.




A Georgia lawmaker ridiculed for dropping his trousers and using racial slurs on Sacha Baron Cohen's Who Is America? show has said he will resign.

Republican state representative Jason Spencer had initially refused to quit after the show aired on Sunday.

Baron Cohen's show dupes public figures with fake interviews.

Mr Spencer is coaxed into an "anti-terrorism training class", using the n-word to ward off a kidnapper and baring his buttocks to scare off terrorists.

"If you want to win, you show some skin," Baron Cohen, disguised as an anti-terrorism expert, had urged him.

The office of the Speaker of Georgia's House of Representatives told the Washington Post  that Mr Spencer had submitted his resignation, effective from 31 July.





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