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French and Riviera News Thursday 23rd August 2018

Local

Air pollution - The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has issued an air pollution alert for today along the coast line. Due to the lack of wind and high temperatures the quality of the region’s air is expected to be extremely poor with authorities advising those vulnerable to avoid going out between midday and 4pm and to avoid any outdoor physical activities.  

Hail storms and earthquake in the Var - Meanwhile access to the Gorges du Verdon was closed on Wednesday as heavy rainfall and hail hit the Var region and an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.8 on the Richter scale was recorded at around 3pm near Saint-Paul-en-Forêt, about 15kms east of Draguignan. According to reports the quake of low intensity would have been felt until Plan-de-la-Tour. Thirty "small" earthquakes have been recorded since the beginning of the year in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes.

Missing person - Police have launched a missing person alert for Philippe Gerdsmeier who disappeared at the end of July. Last seen on July 27th at 11pm dinning at “bistrot du soleil” in Menton Gerdsmeier is believed, for no apparent reason, to have left the premises leaving all his personal belongings behind, including identity card, keys, and money. Described as being in his late 40’s with brown eyes, brown hair and wearing glasses police in Menton have asked for anyone who may have any information to contact them.

TV reality show candidate in hospital in Nice - 24 year old Tom Diversy known for appearing in the reality television show "10 couples parfait" sur NT1 and more recently “La Villa, la Bataille Des Couples” has been taken to hospital suffering serious injuries after a motorcycle accident in Nice in the early hours of Wednesday. According to police, he is believed to have hit a wall head on and remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Maritime Highway - A week after the Genoa Bridge disaster which claimed 43 lives. A building trading company in Toulon has suggested the creation of a "maritime highway" between the port of Toulon and the north of Italy. Bonifay says the “maritime highway” would help limit long and costly journeys for transporters who are currently facing major road difficulties in Italy following the disaster.

Place Garibaldi in Nice – Restaurant owners and residents at Place Garibaldi in Nice have called for immediate action and an increased police presence as regular scenes of violence and unruly behavior plague the square. The president of the neighbourhood committee claims the situation has significantly deteriorated over the last six months and is unacceptable not only for local but also for what is considered to be a popular tourist spot.

National

Paris to step up fines on homeowners for illegally renting their apartments - The city of Paris has sharply stepped up fines on homeowners for illegally renting out their apartments on websites such as Airbnb. Between January 1st and August 15th this year 1.38 million euros in fines was registered for illegal rentals to tourists compared to 1.3 million euros for all of 2017. The boom in holiday rentals on platforms such as Airbnb has worried residents and officials in Paris, as in numerous other cities, as they fear a drop in apartments available for long-term rentals. Airbnb has 65,000 rentals listed in the city of Paris, compared to 80,000 hotel rooms available.  According to the city, some 20,000 apartments have been converted from long-term residences to dedicated short-term holiday rentals over the past five years.

Four Canadian soldiers killed in the First World War will finally be laid to rest today in northern France - a century after their deaths.  Reported missing in August 1917, the four men aged 20 to 33 were killed during fierce fighting to recapture a position from German troops near Lens in northern France, according to a statement from the Canadian ministry of defense.  This offensive, led by Canadian troops between 15th and 25th August, left more than 10,000 dead, including over 1,300 without a known burial.

Business

The US and China are expected to impose fresh tariffs on $16bn of each other's goods today as their tit-for-tat trade war rages on. The second round of tariffs will see a total of $50bn worth of goods from each side that will now be taxed. The tariffs come into effect as officials meet for talks in Washington. They are due to wrap up two days of low-level trade negotiations today, but few hope for a breakthrough. US tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods will come into effect at 12pm Beijing time 

Investment bank Goldman Sachs has agreed to sell and leaseback its new headquarters in a boost for London as Britain leaves the EU. Goldman Sachs is selling its Plumtree Court office to Korea's National Pension Service in a deal valued at £1.16bn. It plans to lease the building for 25 years, although it has an option to leave or stay after 20 years.

And - The UK government will today issue the first of a series of technical notices advising businesses and the public on what they need to do to if there is no Brexit deal with the EU. The advice will coincide with a speech by the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab in which he will say the UK would take "unilateral action" to keep trade and transport flowing freely if necessary.

Sport

Football - A former head of Brazil's football association has been jailed for four years for corruption. 86 year old Jose Maria Marin, was one of seven Fifa officials arrested at a hotel in Zurich in May 2015. He was convicted of accepting bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for contracts to broadcast tournaments.

Rugby Union - Gloucester and England fly-half Danny Cipriani has not been sanctioned by the Rugby Football Union following an incident in a Jersey nightclub. After a five-hour hearing, an independent panel upheld the charge that the 30-year-old's actions were prejudicial to the game's interests. But it felt the £2,000 fines imposed on him by both Jersey magistrates and his Premiership club were sufficient. Cipriani will now face Dragons in a pre-season friendly today.

Tennis - Liam Broady beat fellow Briton Jay Clarke in straight sets to reach the second round of US Open qualifying. British number five Broady, 24, eased to a 6-3 6-1 victory against Clarke, who is two places higher than him in the national rankings.

Cricket - The tourists wrapped up a 203-run victory in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Wednesday to cut England's lead in the five-match series to 2-1. The fourth Test in Southampton starts on 30 August.

Weather

Highs of 32 degrees in Nice and 33 degrees in Saint Tropez with a light westerly wind. Thunderstorms are expected inland across the region. This evening going down to 23 in the Alpes Maritimes and 18 in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for Friday and the start of the week-end clear skies across the region becoming increasingly cloudy by the afternoon and highs of 33 degrees. Mainly cloudy on Saturday with winds increasing in the Var with gusts of up to 60km/h.

Finally 

Batman lookalike is pulled over by cops for 'speeding' in Batmobile

a driver dressed as Batman was pulled over by police on a busy road in Canada.

Video footage shows a police car with flashing lights approaching the replica Batmobile, before asking the caped crusader to step out of the iconic motor.

In odd scenes, the police officer and Batman lookalike speak briefly before he dramatically disappears back into the car.

 

 

 

 

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