French and Riviera News Wednesday 14th August 2019

Local

Genoa Bridge Disaster – The city of Genoa will this morning, pay tribute to the 43 victims of the bridge disaster, which happened a year ago today. The ceremony is to be held at the foot of the “new pile 9” currently under construction which plans to be finished in April 2020. It was at 11:36 am on August 14, 2018, when the bridge that everyone knew to be fragile, collapsed with more than 250 meters of concrete and steel crushing below. Forty-three people were killed.

Shootout in Draguignan - Several people have been wounded following a shootout in Draguignan. Shots were heard in the center of Draguignan, on Tuesday evening, at around 8.30. According to initial reports, it appears that an altercation between the national police and one or more individuals occurred near the cemetery, the incident was followed by a car chase with the police, which ended in front of a McDonald's sign, on the avenue of General Charles de Gaulle. Three ambulances were dispatched by the firefighters to rescue two wounded, one of whom was evacuated by helicopter, to the Sainte-Anne hospital in Toulon.

Fire - A fire which was started on a private property has burnt out three cars and a boat. The incident occurred on Tuesday when the owner of the farm located in the Vaucluse decided to make a fire in his garden. 31 firefighters were at the scene as the blaze was eventually brought under control. The region is currently on a high fire alert due to the current drought as the Directorate General of Civil Security and the Prefect of the Southern Defense and Security Zone on Tuesday called for vigilance in Provence. The authorities say that there’s a strong fire danger linked to very dry vegetation and very strong mistral winds. Meanwhile, the Var has been placed on a "high fire risk” due to highs winds which were forecast on Tuesday and throughout the week. The public are reminded to take extra care, especially in forest areas. With gusts of up to 75km/hr expected, the warning for the Var will remain in place until Friday. 350 firefighters are stationed in forest areas in the department in order to respond quickly to any outbreak.

Mosquito trap - For the first time in France a "mosquito-proof belt" has been deployed around the Archet hospital in Nice. The aim is to create an area completely free of mosquitos especially the tiger mosquito, which can potentially carry infectious diseases. The new system which consist of 58 boxes scattered around the hospital grounds to form an invisible barrier, emits an odor which attracts the mosquito. The device was but in place in July and is proving to be very effective. The number of tiger mosquitos continues to increase and spread throughout France. It was first identified in the Alpes Maritimes in 2004.  

National

New data just published shows that 1,843 people lost their lives on roads in Metropolitan France in the first seven months of this year. That’s nine fewer deaths than in the same period last year. There were 328 deaths in the month of July, the same number as last year.

French referee - French referee Stéphanie Frappart will make football history in Istanbul on Wednesday, becoming the first woman to take charge of a major European men’s football match when Liverpool meets Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup. The showpiece match is touted as the curtain-raiser for the European football season.  The 35-year-old Frenchwoman is no stranger to the spotlight. On July 7, with millions watching around the world, Frappart refereed the Women’s World Cup final in Lyon.

G7 - France is gearing up to host the Group of Seven (G7) nations for the international bloc’s annual summit. From August 24 to August 26, heads of state from seven of the world’s largest economies will descend on the seaside town of Biarritz towards the end of France’s vacation season.

Business

The US is delaying imposing tariffs on some imports from China until 15 December because of "health, safety, national security and other factors". The products include mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing. Other items facing a 10% tariff will go ahead as planned on 1 September.

US President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters, said that the delay was in part to avoid hitting US shoppers this Christmas.

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond has accused the PM of trying to wreck the chance of a new Brexit deal, by making demands the EU could never accept.

In an article in the Times, Mr Hammond said a no-deal Brexit would be "a betrayal" of the 2016 referendum result. He said Parliament would "make its voice heard", adding that a no deal "must not happen".

Television advertisements from US food giant Mondelez and German carmaker Volkswagen are the first to be banned under new UK gender stereotyping rules. A ban on ads featuring "harmful gender stereotypes" or those which are likely to cause "serious or widespread offence" came into force in June. The first banned ad, for Philadelphia cheese, showed two fathers leaving a baby on a restaurant conveyor belt. The other, VW ad, showed men being adventurous as a woman sat by a pram.

Sport

Football - Manchester City have avoided a transfer ban after admitting breaching Fifa rules on signing youth players. The Premier League champions have been fined 370,000 Swiss Francs (£315,000).

And - The Uefa Super Cup takes centre stage tonight with Champions League winners Liverpool taking on Europa League winners Chelsea at the Besiktas Park in Istanbal. 

Cricket - Captain Joe Root has promised his England side will "put in a really good show" as they attempt to level the Ashes series in the second Test at Lord's, starting today. England find themselves behind in a home series against Australia for the first time in 14 years after a thumping 251-run defeat at Edgbaston last week. Play starts at 11am.

Tennis - Andy Murray says he has had some second thoughts about his decision not to play singles at the US Open. Murray lost in straight sets to Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati on Monday in his first singles match for seven months. Murray had earlier turned down a wildcard for the main draw in New York because he was not convinced his body would be ready for five-set matches.

Weather

Clear skies with highs of 29 degrees in Nice, 31 in Antibes reaching 32 degrees in Hyeres in the Var. Moderate south westerly wind in the Alpes Maritimes, westerly wind in the Var with gust of 50km/hr.

This evening going down to 22 degrees along the coast.

The outlook for Wednesday highs of 34 degrees across the region with winds becoming increasing stronger in the Var.

Finally 

A poll has found that people kicking seats annoys cinemagoers most, followed by talking and mobile phone use.

The Radio Times said 29.5 per cent of 2,700 adults found their chair being pushed from behind most irritating. Talking was the second worst habit, leaving 24.1 per cent severely irritated, followed by the 15.8 per cent who hate phone use.

Next was noisy food, followed by people in the wrong numbered seat who won’t move. People who get up and then return to their seats were also annoying, as was canoodling and space encroachment. 

Kicking seats, chatting, and using a mobile phone top poll of most irritating habits in a cinema.  

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