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French and Riviera News.Tuesday.25.07.2017

Fires-A number of serious forest fires have broken out in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var fanned by strong winds which swept across the region on Monday.

In the Alpes-Maritimes,100 hectares of woodland has gone up in flames near the industrial estate at Carros.3 homes have been destroyed along with 10 vehicles and hundreds of firefighters are at the scene attempting to control the blaze which is still burning in places.

An emergency shelter has been set up at a local gymnasium to take care of  residents who have been ordered out of their homes.

In Saint-Vallier,more than 10 hectares of woodland has gone up in flames near the col du Ferrier and there have been other important fires near Biot and Auribeau-sur-Siagne.

In the Var,around 300 hectares of woodland has been destroyed behind the Gulf of Saint-Tropez in the area between Artigues, La Croix-Valmer and Ramatuelle.

Hundreds of firefighters are at the scene aided by Canadair water-bombing planes and helicopters.The fire is still burning this morning.

Many people have been evacuated from their homes and a campsite at Escalet has been cleared.A fire has also broken out near the plage des Salins in Saint-Tropez and is still burning this morning according to the fire service.

On Corsica,1,500 hectares of forest land has burned so far in a massive fire that broke out near Biguglia on the north of the island.

Strong winds are fanning the flames with the fire service saying that it will be impossible to deal effectively with the fire until the wind drops.

The entire region remains on the highest alert for forest fires today and access to woodland areas is forbidden.

 

Yacht salvage-Efforts to salvage a yacht that sunk off Pampelonne beach last week have been called off until at least Wednesday owing to strong winds in the Bay of Ramatuelle.

The yacht sunk following a fire onboard and has been leaking diesel into the sea which has resulted in the closure of some beaches to the public.

 

Extradition request-France has started formal extradition proceedings with Morocco for the return of a convicted murderer who’s been on the run for the past 12 years.

Pierre Baraud was sentenced to 20 years in jail for the 2004 murder in Cannes of 24 year old Kamal Laroussi.He disappeared in 2005 while on bail  but was arrested in Morocco on July the 13th.

 

Scrub the scrub-Residents on the chemin Saint-Maymes in Antibes are calling on local authorities to clear scrubland running parallel to the road.

People living in the area say that normally the scrub is cleared on a regular basis but hasn’t been cut for weeks resulting in an impending fire risk.

The area has also become increasingly attractive to cicadas who are making their presence felt with their loud mating calls.

Residents say that several requests have been made to the town hall to clear the scrub but so far there’s been no response.

 

In national news.

 

Libya talks-President Macron is to chair talks involving the rival leaders of Libya today.

The country’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez-al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar,the powerful military commander based in the east of Libya will hold talks with a view to reaching a political settlement.

The talks will be the second discussions between the two men in the past three months.

Mr Sarraj’s national government of unity has struggled to assert its authority since coming to power in March of last year and so far Khalifa Haftar’s rival administration which is based in a remote area in eastern Libya has refused to recognise it.

Western intelligence services fear that so called Islamic State is taking advantage on the chaos to set up military bases inside Libya after being chased from former strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

 

Aids meeting-President Macron has met with the leaders of several Aids associations after being criticised for not attending a conference in Paris on Sunday.

6,000 aids specialists have are meeting in Paris until Wednesday at the 22nd international conference aimed at finding a cure for the disease.

Although numbers of people dying from aids has fallen from 1.9 million in 2005 to one million last year,new infections are falling much more slowly with 1.8 million fresh cases last year.

Africa is the worst affected continent where there’s a new aids infection every 17 seconds.

There are 36.7 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV and the figure is growing annually.

19.5 million of sufferers have access to anti-retroviral drugs,a figure that campaigners say is not nearly high enough.

 

Road deaths-The number of people killed on French roads in June increased by 15.4 percent compared with figures from the same period last year.

The government’s national road security office says that 329 people died in road accidents in metropolitan France last month compared with 285 in June 2016.

 

Business.

 

Profits at Alphabet, the parent company of search giant Google, have been hit by the record fine imposed by the European Commission last month.

The firm said it saw strong growth in the second quarter, with revenues of about 26 billion dollars  up 21% compared to the same period in 2016.

But profits for the three months to the end of June were 3.5 billion dollars, more than 40% lower than they would have been without the fine.

Year-on-year profits fell almost 30%.

Google was fined 2.42 billion euros by the European Commission last month after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.

 

US regulators will take more time to review Amazon's 13.7 billion dollar  acquisition of Whole Foods after some groups have raised anti-trust concerns.

Democrats have asked authorities to consider how the deal might affect consumer choice, particularly in places with fewer food shopping options.

Whole Foods said in June it expected the deal to close in the second half of 2017 but it has warned investors that it could take until May 2018.

Many still expect the deal to go ahead.

Analysts point to potential benefits for consumers in the form of lower prices and delivery innovations.

 

And-Tesco is launching a same-day delivery service across the UK to compete with online retail giant Amazon.

The UK's biggest supermarket chain already allows customers in London and the South East to order groceries for same-day delivery.

Now it says it will extend the service across most of the rest of the UK by the end of August.

Customers who order online by 1pm will be able to receive their groceries sometime after 7pm on the same day.

Shoppers in London and the South East will be able to access the same-day service seven days a week. Elsewhere it will be available from Monday to Saturday.

Sport.

 

Football-Manchester City have signed Benjamin Mendy from Monaco for 52 million pounds.

Mendy becomes the world’s most expensive defender after completing the move.He’s signed a 5 year deal at the Etihad which will keep him at City until 2022.

The former Monaco star is City’s 5th signing of the summer taking their spending to more than 200 million pounds.

 

Cycling-Chris Froome has confirmed that he’ll take part in the Vuelta e Espana starting on the 19th of August.

The four time Tour de France winner will bid to become the first man to win both the Tour and the Vuelta in the same season since Jacques Anquetil in 1963 and Bernard Hinault in 1978.

 

Formula 1-Robert Kubica is to test a 2017 Renualt in Hungary in August.

The latest development suggests that the Pole is determined to make a return to the sport following his horrific rally crash in 2017 which left him with only limited movement in his right arm.

It will be Kubica’s third test for Renault over the past two months.The 2017 car will present a fresh challenge after he completed two tests in a 2012 car earlier this year.

 

Weather

 

Clear skies with a persistently strong westerly wind in coastal areas of the Var with gusts of up to 85 km/h

Top temperatures 28 degrees on the coast and 31 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees on the coast and 18 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Clear skies and less windy.Highs of 28-31 degrees.

 

Finally.

 

The price of tomatoes has risen so much in India that armed guards have been deployed to protect shipments of them in one state.

The Hindustan Times cited a wholesaler at a market in the city of Indore, in Madhya Pradesh state, saying that the security of tomatoes was of "considerable concern" because of their "skyrocketing" prices.

The wholesaler said the administrators of the Devi Ahilya Bai Holker market had appointed half a dozen armed guards to keep the tomatoes safe - particularly when they are being unloaded from trucks.

There have been reports elsewhere in the country this month of thieves making off with tonnes of tomatoes worth thousands of rupees.

Madhya Pradesh actually had a bumper crop of the fruit this year, so much so that farmers were dumping tomatoes on roads about a month ago.

But tomatoes are now off-season there and heavy rains have damaged crops in some key areas that are currently producing them.

 

 


 

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