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French and Riviera News.Wednesday July 25th 2018

Police reinforcements-The mayor of Hyeres in the Var has called for an increased police presence after two men were injured in a shooting incident at the Bosquets housing estate in the early hours of Sunday.

Jean Pierre Giran says that he wants answers after the men were shot by the masked occupants of a car.A third man was beaten.

Authorities think the incident was related to drug dealing.The Bosquets estate has a reputation for violent crime and the mayor wants police to take firmer action.

 

Var road accident-7 people have been injured after a truck collided with a car on the Route de Lorgues near Flayosc in the Var.

17 firefighters attended the scene with reports saying that one person had to be cut out of the car following the accident which occurred on Tuesday evening.The injured are receiving treatment at Draguignan hospital.

 

Retail park-The commercial property group Hammerson France has denied that it has plans for a budget retail park at Nice Lingostiere.

The firm has just applied to have a small property between the Chemins de Fer de Provence train station and the Brico Depot building materials store demolished but has denied that it has anything to do with 10 year old plans to construct a retail park on the site.

Hammerson France says that it’s requested the demolition permit because the property concerned is at risk of collapsing.

There have been numerous rumours about a new commercial centre on the site for several years and IKEA is due to open store in the area sometime around 2020-21.

 

Airline appeal-4 airlines have filed a complaint with the European Union over what they say is France’s failure to tackle strikes by air traffic controllers.

IAG,Easyjet,Ryanair and Wizz Air say that the strikes,which have been mainly centred in the south of France are denying passengers their legal right to free movement.

A statement from the four says that airlines are not questioning the right to strike but believe that France is breaking EU law by not enabling flights over the country during industrial action.

 

Train strike-Rail passengers should be aware that there’s a national train strike set for tomorrow and Friday.

Disruption to TGV and regional TER services is expected.Passengers should go to www.sncf.com for information.

 

No more drones-Wardens from the Mercantour Park are seeking a complete ban on drones.

A ban in the core of the protected natural beauty area is already in force but authorities say that owners of private drones are ignoring it.

The machines make a considerable amount of noise which upsets hikers and people who visit the Park for the peace and quiet.They also worry the wildlife.

There have also been reports of drones colliding with raptors and other birds.

Use of private drones is restricted in France and an interactive map is available on the internet at www.geoportail.gouv.fr to inform owners as to where they can and can’t fly machines.

 

Tourist warning-Authorities are continuing to warn visitors to the region to be on their guard when driving.Scores of crimes are reported in the south of France every summer with valuable snatched from an open car window one of the most common offences.Visitors are advised to not leave valuables such as handbags on the passenger seat of a car but to lock them in the boot.

People should also be on their guard for crooks trying to stage non-existent traffic incidents such as damaged wing mirror in a public car-park.Never hand over cash to settle a damage claim but insist on going through the proper insurance channels.If in doubt call 17 and wait for authorities to arrive.

 

In National News.

 

I’m to blame-President Macron has told the French Parliament that “he alone is to blame”over the scandal involving his former body guard who was videoed beating May Day protestors in Paris.

Mr Macron said that  “an exemplary Republic doesn’t mean making no mistakes” and that “no-one around me or in my cabinet has ever been exonerated or protected from the rules”.

Alexandre Benalla was fired by Mr Macron last Friday and has since been charged by a judge in Paris.

The assault is the subject of four separate investigations and Mr Macron is under increasing pressure to explain why his office didn’t report Benalla’s actions to the police.

 

Heatwave-France is sweltering in a heatwave with temperatures expected to hit 37 degrees Celsius in some parts of the south this afternoon.

A large anticyclone centred over the Azores is the culprit with clear skies across the country and very little wind.

In Paris,authorities have issued a heatwave warning with 9 departments in the greater region of the French capital on an orange alert-the second highest warning.

Our region should escape the worst of the heat with afternoon temperatures forecast to reach 32 degrees.

Nevertheless,the advice is to stay well hydrated and not to do too much strenuous exercise.People are also asked to keep an eye on elderly neighbours and check to make sure they’re alright.

 

Air pollution-As temperatures climb,air pollution is also becoming a problem in some French cities.

In central Paris on Tuesday,authorities ordered a 20 percent reduction in the speed limit and ordered vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to avoid the capital.

The Paris prefecture also advised businesses to avoid using solvents and urged people to car-share if at all possible.

 

Sweden Fires-Dozens of specially trained French soldiers are in Sweden to help in the fight against devastating forest fires which are raging across the country in the midst of an extreme heatwave.

30 French soldiers from the Civil Defence Unit arrived in Stockholm on Monday and they’ve now been joined by 30 firefighters from the south of France.

France has already sent two Canadair aircraft to Sweden to help fight the flames.

Authorities are also responding to a request from the Greek government for international assistance as severe wildfires rage near the capital Athens and the death toll rising to nearly 80.

 

Business.

 

The US communications giant AT&T has reported quarterly revenue that fell shy of Wall Street estimates but added more wireless subscriber than had been expected.

Shares in the firm fell by 1 percent on the news in after-hours trading.

AT&T said that total operating revenue fell by around 2 percent to 38.99 billion dollars which missed analysts expectations of 39.39 billion.

The second quarter revenue included the  effect of an accounting charge and also took into account around two weeks of results from Time Warner which AT&T  bought to attract consumers and advertisers to its mobile products.

 

The Trump administration has unveiled a 12 billion dollar aid package for farmers hurt by the intensifying trade war.

The aid is intended to protect the farming industry as countries start to raise taxes on US products such as soybeans in response to President Trump’s new tariffs.

The plan will provide subsidies to farmers and buy unsold crops.

Mr Trump’s tariffs have upset the US farming industry which it says is hurting demand for its goods and causing long-term damage to relationships with buyers.

 

And-China is moving to support its economy as trade tensions escalate and risk spilling over into currency markets.

The government is focusing on introducing deeper tax cuts and stepping up efforts to issue special bonds for local government infrastructure projects.

Chinese growth slowed slightly in the second quarter and authorities are keen for the growing trade dispute with the US to have as small an impact as possible.

Last week,Washington accused China of currency manipulation and threatened to tax all Chinese imports.

 

 

Sport.

 

NEWAY TOUR DE FRANCE REPORT

 

Julian Alaphilippe of France won a dramatic stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday with Geraint Thomas holding on to the leader’s Yellow Jersey.

Alaphilippe mastered the tricky descent from the Col du Portillon as Great Britain’s Simon Yates crashed on the slippery surface.

The  stage was delayed for 15 minutes as some riders received medical attention following a protest by local farmers which resulted in police firing CS gas which then blew into the peleton.

Later,the Monaco based rider Philippe Gilbert of Belgium suffered a serious fall after locking up on a left hand bend coming down the Col de Porte d’Aspet and flipping his bike over a low stone wall into a ravine.He was able to continue but will miss the rest of the Tour.

 

Thomas is still 1 minute 39 seconds ahead of Chris Froome in the general classification ahead of today’s short but sharp stage between Bagneres-de Luchon and Saint Lary Soulan in the Pyrenees.

The stage is only 65 kilometers but features 3 punishing climbs.

 

Football-Fifa has published a 10 man shortlist for the best player award for 2018.

England’s Harry Kane is on the list along with Eden Hazard of Belgium,Mo Salah of Egypt,Kevin de Bruyne of Belgium and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.

Voting for the award closes on the 10th of August with the awards ceremomy taking place in London in September.France’s World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann,Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane are also on the list.

 

Formula 1-Daniel Ricciardo is unlikely to get grid penalties this weekend in Hungary despite his retirement at the German Grand Prix last Sunday.

Ricciardo was given a penalty in Hockenheim for using excessive replacement engine parts but Red Bull say that he’s not expected to be sanctioned at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The team say that the part that failed in Germany will most likely be replaced with a used part that still has some life in it thus avoiding the need for a new part and an additional penalty.

 

Racing-Frankie Dettori is set to miss the King George at Ascot on Saturday after losing an appeal against a riding ban.

Dettori was penalised for careless riding at Newmarket earlier this month.A panel has reduced the original 10 day ban to 6 but it still means that he’ll miss the big race at Ascot.

 

Weather

 

Clear skies in coastal areas, the chance of some thundery showers inland later and moderate to strong north westerly winds.

Top temperatures 28-32 degrees.

Overnight lows of 23 degrees on the coast and 19 degrees inland with clear skies.

Thursday and Friday -Mainly fine with perhaps some showers inland.Highs of 28-32 degrees.

 

Finally.

 

Former BBC commentator John Motson is to come out of retirement to take up a role at radio station Talksport.

The 73-year-old called time on his BBC career  at the end of the last football season following 50 years with the corporation.

Motson will start his new role in August, which will involve covering some Premier League matches.

He said he was looking forward to "commentating on this great game for sometime longer".

A new show with him will also involve "speaking to a host of footballing legends for a series of shows for fans to relive the best of football past and present".

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