French and Riviera News Wednesday 29th August 2018



Renzo Piano to design new bridge for Genoa as a “gift to the city” - Italian architect Renzo Piano has offered to design a new bridge in Genoa to replace the Morandi bridge, which collapsed in mid-August, killing 43 people. As a “gift to the city” 80 year old Piano who is based in Paris but keeps close ties with Genoa his hometown, is one of the designers of the “Pompidou center” in Paris, “The international city of Lyon” and the "The Shard" tower in London.

Fire in the hills west of Nice - Three helicopters and 86 firefighters have been tackling a fire which broke out on Tuesday afternoon on the path of Ginestière on the hills of western Nice, near to the Allianz Riviera Stadium. Firefighters had managed to contain the fire by early evening. After a devastating summer of 2017, this is one of the first alerts of a much quieter summer.

Handifashion - “Fashion for all” is holding a casting in Hyéres on Saturday 1st September. The event for people with disabilities is looking to recruit 20 models, under 35 years to take part in this year’s “Handifashion” which is being held on October 19th in the Auditorium of the Partouche Casino in Hyères. To participate, candidates can register by email at

Hunt - President Macron has received sharp criticism from Brigitte Bardot over his decision to lower the cost of a hunting licence to €200. Ms Bardot, who recently met with Macron to discuss animal rights, said she feels scandalised by the Presidents submission to hunters.


Environment minister resigns - Nicolas Hulot, France's Environment minister has announced he is leaving the government. The move is seen as a major blow to President Macron, who has announced an imminent cabinet reshuffle. Macron suffered a major political blow on Tuesday as his popular environment minister resigned live on radio. He said he had not informed the president nor the Prime Minister of his decision, as he was sure they would have talked him out of it. The Elysée Palace acknowledged Hulot's resignation shortly after, saying that the ex-minister could be "proud" of his work.

Scallop war - French fishermen have been accused of throwing insults, rocks and smoke bombs at their British rivals in the English Channel in a vicious scrap over scallops. The clash happened around 12 nautical miles off the Normandy coast. British boats are legally entitled to fish in the scallop-rich area. But their presence has infuriated the French, who accuse the British of shamelessly depleting shellfish stocks.

Second hottest summer in France - The summer of 2018 has ranked second among the hottest summers in France, behind that of 2003, according to Météo France. This summer was also marked by a heat wave that affected the entire country from July 24th to August 8th. Despite an occasional drop in temperatures, mainly in June and August, temperatures have generally remained above normal, especially in north-eastern France where they have often been 2 to 3 degrees higher than normal.

Les oeufs en meurette - The famous American “Food and Wine” magazine, which turns 40 in September, has published the 40 best recipes of all time and “Les oeufs en meurette” a specialty from Burgundy in France, have ranked 5th. Since its creation in 1978, the monthly “Food and Wine” has published more than 24,000 recipes. “Les oeufs en meurette” is poached eggs (served with a sauce made from red wine, bacon, onions and shallots) and is among the traditional dishes of Burgundy.


Theresa May has said she agrees with an assessment a "no-deal" Brexit "wouldn't be the end of the world", as she delivered a sharp disapproval to her chancellor for warning of major consequences from such an outcome. Speaking as she arrived in Africa for her first visit as prime minister, Mrs May repeated claims made by the head of the World Trade Organisation saying : " a no-deal situation would not be a walk in the park but it wouldn't be the end of the world'. Mrs May repeated her claim that she would rather take Britain out of the EU with no deal, rather than accede to one not of her liking.

Aston Martin is expected to confirm plans to list on the London Stock Exchange when it announces annual results this morning. The British sports car maker said earlier this year it was considering making its shares available to the public or looking for a buyer. It is understood the company will seek to sell a stake worth about £1bn, valuing it at between £4bn and £5bn. Aston Martin sold 5,000 cars last year making its first profit since 2010.

An advert on Facebook for an app that provides a natural alternative to contraception has been banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. Claims that it was "highly accurate" and "provided a clinically tested alternative to other birth control methods" were found to be misleading. The Swedish firm behind the Natural Cycles app was warned "not to exaggerate" its efficacy. In response, the firm said it respected the outcome of the investigation.


Football - England pair Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill are stepping aside from international football.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho still has the club's backing despite Monday's 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham.

And - Thierry Henry will not be the next coach of Bordeaux, with the French club’s president confirming that negotiations had broken down. According to French sports daily L’Equipe, Henry felt that he had not been given sufficient guarantees by General American Capital Partners (GACP), the American consortium expected to take over Bordeaux at the end of September from current owners M6. Despite his lack of experience as a coach, appointing the 41-year-old would have been a remarkable coup for Bordeaux, the six-time French champions.

Rugby Union - England will attempt to replicate their World Cup schedule by flying back from Portugal just 48 hours before the first autumn international at Twickenham. Eddie Jones' squad will train in the Algarve for a week, returning to England on the Thursday before facing South Africa on Saturday, 3 November. England usually spend the week of their home Tests at their base in Bagshot, Surrey. But Jones wants his side to match the travel conditions in Japan next year.

Tennis - British number one Johanna Konta lost in the US Open first round for the second successive year as she was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Caroline Garcia. 27 year old Konta, struggled on serve against the French sixth seed at Flushing Meadows in New York. Her exit means there are no British women left in the singles draw after Heather Watson's defeat on Monday.

Cycling - American Ben King won stage four of the Vuelta a Espana as Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski retained the leader's red jersey.


Light cloud with highs of 30 degrees in Menton and Grasse, 28 degrees in Nice becoming increasingly cloudy by this afternoon with a moderate variable wind. In Le Lavandou in the Var highs of 31 degrees. This evening going down to 20 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and 12 degrees in the Var with clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday clear skies highs of 31 degrees some light showers forecast inland in the Var. Friday feeling slightly cooler with highs of 28 degrees across the region and clear skies.

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