French and Riviera News.Tuesday July 23rd 2019

Air pollution-Both the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var are on air pollution alerts with speed restrictions in force on roads in both departments.

Anti cyclonic conditions and rising temperatures are causing a blockage of fine particles in the atmosphere and the problem could continue for several days.

Vigorous physical exercise is discouraged as is working with solvents and special attention should be paid to young children and the elderly as well as those with underlying health problems.

 

Road deaths-Statistics for fatal accidents in the Var show that 45 people have lost their lives on the region’s roads since the start of the year.

The figures make grim reading and represent a 69 percent increase on the same period in 2018.

Numbers of those injured on the roads have fallen though from 587 in 2018 to 515 in the period from the 1st of January to the 20th of July this year.

Gendarmes have stepped up road checks across the region in a bid to get numbers of fatal accidents down.

 

Heatwave-Most of France including the Cote d’Azur is set to experience heatwave conditions over the next few days.

The south of France wasn’t too badly affected on Monday but temperatures are expected to climb between now and Friday with forecast highs of 37-38 degrees in some inland areas on Thursday.

Night time temperatures are expected to be very warm over the coming few days with the mercury only going down to 26-28 degrees in most coastal areas.

 

Missing woman-Police in the Var are seeking information about a 24 year old woman who’s been missing since Saturday.

Stafia Gerel was last seen at 7am in Septemes-les-Vallons.She has learning difficulties and is vulnerable.

She’s 1.65 tall and has dark hair with blonde highlights.When last seen ,she was wearing a black dress and black sandals.

Anyone who sees her is asked to call Gendarmes in Rians on -04 94 80 30 34.

 

 

Diving ban-A ban on people diving from rocks near the Police beach in Nice has been put in place until the end of October.

There have been a number of accidents involving young people diving off the rocks in the area recently including two last weekend.

Divers have been misjudging the depth of the water and some people are continuing the practice despite the ban.

 

Gastro-A wave of gastro-enteritis cases is doing the rounds in the south of France with young children at particular risk.

A third of cases treated at accident and emergency departments over the past week have been of children suffering with the illness which is normally more prevalent in the winter months.

Good personal hygiene and regular hand washing is the best way to avoid the bug.

 

Make them pay-A candidate for next year’s municipal elections in Saint Paul de Vence has suggested making tourists pay 5 euros to enter the village.

Claude Granereau , a former senior manager at Shell says that with more and more Chinese tourists visiting the region, a 5 euro charge could bring Saint Paul 10 million euros in extra revenue annually.

The 82 year old stressed that residents of the PACA region would not have to pay the charge.

Mr Granereau said that the money raised could be used to repair the ramparts ,open a supermarket and a bakery and cut both taxe foncier and habitation to zero for local residents.

 

In National News.

 

Radioactive-A report by France 3 television news has found that tap water in several towns including Orleans, Tours and Blois is regularly contaminated with radioactive substances.

The report says that some 268 communities across the west of the country has shown traces of tritium over the past couple of years although levels are considered to be within safety limits.

The affected areas are in parts of France which rely on their water supply from the Loire River.

In Paris ,authorities said that the report by the French Association for the Control of Radioactivity was “scaremongering” and that tap water in the capital and surrounding areas is perfectly safe to drink.

 

Submarine found-A French submarine which has been missing for more than 50 years has been detected by a search team.

The Minerve vanished near the port of Toulon in January 1968 with 52 crew on board.

Several previous attempts to find the submarine had failed.

The French Defence Minister Florence Parly made the announcement on Monday afternoon ,describing the discovery as a “relief and technical feat”.

The Minerve was on a military exercise when it disappeared on the 17th of January 1968.

It’s been hypothesized that the submarine may have had rudder problems before imploding and sinking to the bottom.

 

The grapes of wrath-Wine production in France this year will be between 6 and 13 percent lower this year because of the ongoing heatwave.

The Ministry of Agriculture says that vines in many areas have been hit by hot weather  and estimates suggest that the harvest will be one of the lowest for the past five years.

The Ministry says that it expects production of between 42.8 and 46.4 million hectolitres based on estimates made on the 12th of July.

Unfavourable conditions have affected flowering particularly in the west of France  including the Loire Valley ,Charente and Bordeaux.

 

Business.

 

US markets made small gains on Monday as investors eyed a possible rate cut and second quarter earnings season got into full swing.

At the close the S&P 500 was up by 0.3 percent to 29 85 with the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.1 percent at 27 ,171 and the Nasdaq up 0.7 percent at 82 04

 

President Trump has renewed his calls for the Federal Reserve to make aggressive cuts to US interest rates.

Mr Trump took to Twitter on Monday to call on the Fed to cut rates and said that the central bank had hurt the economy by raising rates too high and too fast.

He said that with practically no inflation ,the Fed is making America needlessly pay a much higher interest rate than necessary.

The President’s comments on inflation are not completely accurate.Core inflation rose by 2.1 percent on an annualised basis in June, slightly above the Fed’s target.

Meanwhile , the Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren has warned that the US economy is at risk of a serious downturn.

Senator Warren cited a slowdown in manufacturing and said that she was concerned that the US would reach its debt ceiling soon.

 

Politics and the chances of a no deal Brexit will continue to affect the value of sterling over the coming weeks according to market experts.

The pound has lost 5 percent of its value against the dollar in the last 12 weeks and is at its lowest level against the euro in nearly 6 months.

Markets will be focused on the new British Prime Minister’s plans for Brexit with the overwhelming favourite Boris Johnson promising that the country will leave the EU on the 31st of October.

On Monday ,a report published by the National Institute  of Economic and Social Research suggested that the pound could plunge by around 10 percent in value in the event of a no deal Brexit and that the country may already have entered a technical recession.

 

And-The fossil fuel giant BP has signed a joint deal to extract ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil.

The deal which is worth 775 million dollars will see BP combine its Brazilian biofuels and biopower ventures with similar assets owned by the US agricultural trader Bunge.

The new group will be called BP Bunge Bioenergia and will control 11 biofuel plants in Brazil capable of producing both ethanol and sugar.

The move is part of BP’s move away from fossil fuels with the firm saying that biofuels will be an essential part of delivering the energy transition.

 

Sport.

 

Football-Christiano Ronaldo will not face charges following an accusation of sexual assault.

US prosecutors say that the claims,which were made by a 34 year old woman could not be “proven without reasonable doubt”.

Kathryn Mayorga had alleged that the player had raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

She reportedly reached an out of court settlement with the Portuguese star in 2010.He denies the allegation.

 

 

Formula 1-The Renault star Daniel Ricciardo is facing a claim of more than 10 million pounds in unpaid earnings from his former manager.

Glenn Beavis has filed a lawsuit at the High Court in London claiming that he hasn’t been paid commissions owed on his new contract with Renault.

Mr Ricciardo’s lawer said that there was “no merit” in the claim and that it would be fully defended.

 

Cycling-The Tour de France resumes today following Monday’s rest day as the riders tackle the final stages of the race before the climax in Paris at the weekend.

Stage 16 around the Gard which starts and ends in Nimes is 177 kilometers and is mainly flat.

Julian Alaphilippe of France still holds the leader’s yellow jersey with a 1 minute 32 second advantage over defending champion Geraint Thomas.

Today should  be a relatively uneventful stage before the riders get to grips with 4 mountain stages from tomorrow to Saturday.

 

Rugby Union-Danny Cipriani has been left out of England’s latest World Cup training squad in Italy.

The fly-half was named in the original training squad earlier this month but his exclusion this time around means that he probably won’t be going to the World Cup in Japan in September.

A 38 man squad travelled to Treviso on Monday for a 12 day training camp.

Coach Eddie Jones will take a squad of 31 players to the World Cup which will be named on the 12th of August.

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies with light  variable winds.

Top temperatures  30-36 degrees.

Overnight lows of 26 degrees on the coast and 23 degrees inland with clear skies.

Wednesday and Thursday-Hot and humid with  highs of 31-37 degrees.

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