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French and Riviera News Wednesday August 1st 2018

Heatwave-Extremely hot weather will continue across the south of France for at least the next 48 hours with daytime temperatures forecast to reach 37 or 38 degrees this afternoon.

On Tuesday the temperature reached 36 degrees at Carros near Nice while the mercury climbed to 35 degrees in Antibes.

The Var didn’t escape the heatwave either with some places inland seeing temperatures climb to 37 degrees.

Nights will continue to be sticky with lows of only 27 degrees in coastal areas.

The advice from authorities is to stay well hydrated.Close shutters during the daytime and open them at night and if you don’t have air conditioning then try to visit a shopping centre or library to cool off.Hard core physical activity is also not encouraged and if you have an elderly person living nearby then try to check up on them to make sure that they’re ok.

 

May I come to the Var ?-The British Prime Minister Theresa May is cutting short her summer holiday in Italy to visit the French President Emmanuel Macron at his Fort Bregancon retreat in the Var.

Mrs May and Mr Macron will hold a working meeting followed by a private dinner during which the British leader will attempt to persuade the French President to sign up to her Chequers plan for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

On Tuesday,the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt appealed directly to France and Germany to try and force the European Commission to accept a “sensible and pragmatic” Brexit deal.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has already said that it’s no use British officials going directly to other European leaders in a bid to get them to put pressure on the Commission as the “27 are united in their objectives”.

 

Moulins tension-The situation in the Moulins area is described as tense today following a third night of clashes between police and youths.

Rubbish bins,old mattresses and vehicles have been set on fire over the past 48 hours following a serious scooter accident involving a 25 year old local man.

Authorities say that the man was injured after attempting to flee from police.

Reports say that police have been forced to use tear gas to break up violent protests by a group of some 40 local youths.

Large numbers of police have been sent to the area in a bid to restore calm.

 

Cyber attack-The town hall at La Croix-Valmer near St Tropez in the Var is refusing to pay a ransom demand after falling victim to a cyber attack last Thursday.

The attack has encrypted town hall documents but a spokesman said that authorities will certainly not pay any ransom as the “more you pay,the more sophisticated the demands will become”.

Reports say that the entire town hall has come to a standstill as a result of the attack and that authorities are looking at ways of restoring files or will consider installing new servers.

 

Sospel arsonist-A 24 year old man who set fire to several vehicles in Sospel near Menton in the Alpes-Maritimes last week before attempting to run a young woman over will be held in custody for two weeks while judges decide what to do with him.

Thomas Galles is reported to be suffering from mental health problems and had been taking tranquilisers prescribed by a psychiatrist.

He told magistrates that he had had “a rush of blood to the head” before setting light to a number of cars in the village.He’s now undergoing further psychiatric evaluation.

 

Fancy a move ?-The only private villa on the Island of Sainte Marguerite off the Cannes coast is for sale.

The villa,which is currently owned by the Indian magnate Vijay Mallya has been put on the market for 45 million euros.

The complex features lush gardens,a castle and several different buildings with ample accommodation for guests.

Mr Mallya is the subject of an extradition request from Indian authorities in connection with a money laundering case.He appeared in court in London on Tuesday.He says that he’ll be unable to get a fair trial in India.

 

In National news.

 

Growth-The French economy minister has revised down a forecast of 2 percent growth for 2018.

Bruno Le Maire has called on the public to remain “patient” after growth stalled in the second quarter making the 2 percent forecast untenable.

Mr Le Maire has so far refused to issue a fresh forecast but said that the economy had been affected by a number of factors over the past three months including strike action,a rise in the oil price  and trade disputes.

He said that the government was determined to do everything that it could to stimulate growth.

 

Blatter blather-The former president of football’s world governing body Fifa has accused Michel Platini, the former head of Europe’s governing body Uefa and the ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy of being responsible for Qatar’s nomination to hold the 2022 World Cup.

Sepp Blatter who’s been banned from football for 6 years following a corruption scandal has accused Mr Platini and Mr Sarkozy of “political manoevering” and says that there is more information in chapter 10 of his memoirs “My Truth” which was published in May.

Last week’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged that Qatar broke Fifa rules by running a secret campaign in 2010 to sabotage competing bids.

Mr Platini and Mr Sarkozy have both denied any wrongdoing.

There have been calls for an independent enquiry into the affair with some experts saying that if the allegations are proved,Qatar could have its right to host the World Cup withdrawn.

 

Business.

 

Reports say that the Trump administration plans to propose slapping a 25-percent tariff on 200 billion dollars worth of imported Chinese goods after initially setting them at 10 percent, in a bid to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions.

They include food products, chemicals, steel and aluminum and consumer goods ranging from dog food, furniture and carpets to car tires, bicycles, baseball gloves and beauty products.

While the tariffs would not be imposed until after a period of public consulatation, raising the proposed level to 25 percent could escalate the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

 

Apple sold fewer iPhones than expected in its most recent quarter but higher selling prices meant the tech giant still beat Wall Street forecasts.The firm said it sold 41.3 million iPhones in the three months to the end of June, up just 1% from last year.

But the average iPhone selling price hit 724 dollars-well above the expected $694.

The firm said its 999 dollar  iPhone X - launched last year - remained its most popular iPhone model in the quarter and had driven the higher sales price.

Strong revenue growth of 31% from Apple's services business, which includes the App store, Apple Music and Apple Pay, also boosted its performance.

 

And-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is loaning up to $2 billion to the company that owns some of what used to be some of Sears Holdings Corp’s best real estate.

A subsidiary of Buffett’s conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska, is offering what is known as a term loan facility to a New York-based real estate investment trust that owns the struggling retailer’s formerly owned retail space.

The real-estate trust, Seritage Growth Properties was formed as a spin-out of some of Sears’ 235 top properties into a publicly traded company of its own in 2015. The U.S. department store operator then leased back some of the properties.

Mr Buffett was an early backer of Seritage. He is personally one of the real estate trust’s top owners, holding nearly 6 percent of its outstanding shares.

 

Sport.

 

Cricket-The first Test between England and India starts at Edgebaston today with spinner Adil Rashid named in the England side for the first time in 2 years.

Rashid’s selection has been controversial as he has previously said that he was principally interested in limited overs cricket only.

Former England players Geoffrey Boycott and Michael Vaughan have been critical of the selection but the player says that he “doesn’t care” what they think.

Play starts at noon French time.

 

Football-Rumours of discontent in the Manchester United dressing room continue with manager Jose Mourinho cutting a somewhat disgruntled figure over the past month.

Mourinho has been publicly critical of some of his players and some sections of the press are suggesting that he might be looking for an exit from the club.

United play a friendly game against Real Madrid later today in their final US tour match.

 

 

Rugby Union-The Scotland coach Gregor Townsend  has extended his contract until 2021.

Scotland have been much improved under Townsend’s guidance and have won 9 of their last 14 Test matches.

Townsend said that it was a “privilege” to be working with such a hardworking group of quality players and he is delighted to be extending his involvement with the national team.

 

Tennis-Andy Murray battled back from a set down to beat Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the Washington Open in only his 4th competitive match since returning from hip surgery.

Murray won 3-6 6-4 7-5 and will now meet fellow Briton Kyle Edmund in round two.

The former world number one said that it had been tough mentally to get through the match and he felt that his movement was fine.

 

Weather

 

There’s an ORANGE HEATWAVE warning in force for the Alpes-Martimes and the Var with clear skies in coastal areas and more storms possible in the mountains.

Light variable or south westerly winds and highs of 32-37 degrees.

Overnight lows of 26 degrees on the coast and 22 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday-Heatwave conditions continue tomorrow with clear skies and highs of 32-38 degrees.Cooler on Friday with highs of 30-33 degrees

 

Finally.

 

The US embassy in London is auctioning off unwanted items following its relocation this year to a $1bn  new facility in Vauxhall.

Among the goods up for grabs: a set of vacuum cleaners all in need of repair, a used car and 1,200 toilet rolls.

None of the items have any official US insignias or historical value.

The US embassy moved from its Mayfair location in January, but the process began in 2008 under George W Bush due to security concerns.

The Department of State has recently posted several dozen unwanted embassy items for auction online, and bidders have until 8 August to get their offers in.

The toilet paper rolls - which are on sale as a set - are priced at $199.

The Independent newspaper reported an embassy staffer calling the toilet paper "probably a bit above bog standard".

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