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French and Riviera News.Wednesday.02.08.2017

More fires-More than 250 firefighters aided by water-bombing planes and helicopters have been battling to control a large wildfire that broke out on the route de Saint-Vallier near Saint-Cezaire-sur-Siagne on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire has burned 50 hectares of forest land and was reported to be under control last night.

Firefighers remain on the ground looking for any sign of a flare-up.Canadair aircraft have been using water taken from the Lac Saint-Cassien to douse the flames.

Smaller fires which burned 3 hectares of brush near Bonson and 5,000 square meters of land at La Croix des Gardes in Cannes were brought under control on Tuesday.

The entire region remains on high alert for wildfires.

 

Heatwave alert-The heatwave alert covering the Alpes-Maritimes and Var has been upgraded from yellow to orange with Meteo France forecasting afternoon temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius in some inland areas.

Temperatures on the coast today are forecast to reach up to 34 degrees with authorities advising people to make sure that they drink enough fluids,avoid alcohol and to limit sporting activities.

Special attention should be paid to young children,the elderly and those with health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

The hot weather is forecast to last until the end of the week.

 

Six-Fours attack-Police are looking for two men who attacked a 66 year old woman at 8am on Sunday at Six-Fours in the Var.

The woman was walking on the chemin de Jaumard when two men in a car pulled up alongside her and one of them tried to grab her handbag.

The victim refused to let go and was dragged several meters along the road as the car accelerated away.She’s now recovering in hospital at La Seyne-sur-Mer.

 

Summer sales-Retailers on the Cote d’Azur are reporting sluggish sales for the first month of the summer holiday period.

While there are plenty of tourists around,they don’t appear to be spending their money in shops and restaurants,a trend that’s been increasing over the past few weeks.

Many visitors are choosing to stay on campsites or caravan parks and are shopping for their food in supermarkets and then cooking it on site.

 

Pampelonne Beach-Bathing has been authorised again at Pampelonne Beach following a yacht salvage operation which resulted in diesel being washed across the bay.

The beach was also closed to the public following last week’s devastating wildfires.

Conditions are now judged to be safe again and the beach has reopened.

 

Cheers-A homeless man who’s been living on the streets of Saint-Tropez has been offering passers by a glass of champagne to help him celebrate his birthday.

Rene Dorny has been carrying out his birthday celebration every year for the past three years with bottles of bubbly given to him by a ‘friend’.

Most of the time he’s met with a bemused look by tourists on the place des Lices who are concerned that there’s no such thing as a free lunch-or glass of champagne.He’s a well known figure to local residents and has become ‘part of the furniture’ on the town’s famous square.

 

In national news.

 

All change-Gas prices are falling by up to 0.8 percent this month according to France’s energy regulator.

Prices fall by 0.3 percent for households who use gas for cooking only while the price will drop by 0.5 percent for those who use it for cooking and heating water.

For households with energy totally reliant on gas the price will fall by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile,electricity prices are rising for personal householders and small businesses.27 million people will be affected by the increase which has been made following recommendations from the energy regulator CRE.

 

Small beer-Anyone hoping to get rich by using the traditional French Livret A savings account is going to be disappointed.

Interest on the accounts is already at a paltry 0.75 percent and is going to stay that way until at least February the 1st 2018.

 

Migrant centres-The French government has announced that two new centres for Calais migrants are to open in the northern city of Lille in a bid to improve the situation.

The interior minister Gerard Collumb says that the new centres will be at the Lille satellite towns of Troisvaux and Bailleul around 80 kilometres from Calais and will each have space for 300 people.

The announcement came after a French court ruled that the government must provide running water and sanitation for migrants after judging that its refusal to do so exposed them to “inhuman and degrading treatment”.

 

Shipyard row-France and Italy have agreed to delay a decision on partial ownership of the STX shipyard at Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast until the 27th of September.

A row has developed after an Italian shipbuilding firm took a 50 percent stake in the yard after it was put up for sale by its South Korean owner.

France immediately nationalised the other 50 percent and said that the yard which is the only one in the country capable of constructing aircraft carriers was of vital strategic importance.

The French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire met with his Italian counterpart Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

No agreement was reached and the two sides will reconvene on September the 27th.

 

Business.

 

Technology giant Apple has said that newer lines of business such as Apple Pay, the App Store and Apple Music helped to drive growth in its third quarter.

The services unit was what one analyst described as a "shining light" during a period with robust sales across Apple's different product lines, including iPhones and iPads.

The firm said quarterly revenues grew by 7% year-on-year to 45.4 billion dollars which sent the company’s stock surging more than 5% in after-hours trade.

Apple is expected to release new and updated iPhones next month.

The firm’s chief executive Tim Cook gave no details on the new launch and said reports about the new phones may have caused some people to "pause" their purchases of the existing phones.

 

A gauge of U.S. factory activity slid from a near three-year high in July amid a slowdown in new orders while consumer spending barely rose in the prior month, setting the stage for  moderate economic expansion in the third quarter.

The news  was reinforced by other reports on Tuesday showing motor vehicle sales in July recorded their biggest year-on-year drop in nearly seven years while a big fall  in construction spending in June suggested the government could cut its second-quarter GDP growth estimate.

The Commerce Department reported last week that the economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter, accelerating from the first-quarter's tepid 1.2 percent pace.

 

And-The eurozone notched up growth of 0.6% in the second quarter of the year according to official figures from Eurostat.

The figure puts annual growth in the 19-country bloc at 2.1% .

First-quarter growth was revised down slightly from 0.6% to 0.5%.

Other figures released on Monday showed unemployment in the zone was at its lowest since 2009, building on the picture of improving economic health across the area.

The International Monetary Fund last week said the outlook for several eurozone economies was brighter than initially thought, with countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain seeing growth forecasts revised up.

 

Sport.

 

Athletics-Usain Bolt has said that doping must stop or the sport will die.

Speaking in London ahead of his final appearance at the World Championships,the Olympic icon said that “hopefully athletes will see what’s going on and what they need to do to move the sport forward”.

The 30 year old Jamaican will run in the 100 meters and 4x100 meter relay at the Championships before retiring.

 

Formula 1-Robert Kubica will test for Renault in Hungary today as reports continue to build that he will make a return to the sport.

The Pole has been battling to regain fitness since a horrific rally accident in 2011 but has tested for Renault twice in the past 3 months.

This time,he’ll be driving the current Renault car and if he comes through the test successfully then he’ll be a step closer to a return to the grid.

 

Football-Nice are away at Ajax Amsterdam tonight for the return leg of their European Champions League third qualifying round game.

The scores are tied at 1-1 after the first leg.Kick off is at 8.45.

Celtic are also in Champions League action,away at Rosenborg with the scores tied at 0-0.

 

Racing-Stradivarius won the Goodwood Cup on Tuesday with the favourite Big Orange missing out on a third consecutive victory.

The John Gosden trained 3 year old with Andrea Atzeni on board came home ahead of Big Orange,ridden by Frankie Dettori with Desert Skyline in third.

The two mile race has been upgraded to Group 1 status with 500,000 pounds going to the winner.

 

Weather

 

AN ORANGE  HEATWAVE ALERT IS IN FORCE FOR THE ALPES-MARITIMES AND VAR.

Clear skies with moderate easterly winds.

Top temperatures 33 degrees in coastal areas,up to 38-39 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 24 degrees with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Clear skies and remaining very hot with highs of 32-40 degrees.

 

Finally.

 

Auckland police officers have arrested a man for an alleged aggravated assault which took place next to where they were playing an off-duty game of netball.

Five of the seven players on their team work for Waitemata Police in Auckland's North Shore, and they temporarily abandoned their match against Shore Rovers to arrest a 31-year-old man, who is now accused of assaulting a worker at the netball courts.

"None of us said anything to each other, I didn't even look at the other girls again, but I think we pretty much came to the same decision at the same time," said Constable Laura Hadwen.

According to reports, the officers have never advertised the fact that they work in law enforcement. "We're not called the Police Team, or anything like that," said Ms Hadwen.

"It was just his bad luck as to where it occurred. We have sort of had a laugh about it, the coincidence of it."

 

 

 

 

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