Riviera and French News Wednesday 6th September 2017


The Prefecture warns of a severe risk of forest fires in the Var region - Les Monts toulonnais, the Corniche des Maures and the Isles of Hyères in the Var have all been placed on a severe fire risk today. The Prefecture of the Var announced that due to the extremely dry weather conditions and lack of rain, forest areas in the region are closed to the public. Meanwhile a man who accidentally set off one of this summer's most devastating wildfires in the south of France is to stand trial. The man, who is mute, started the fire when using a grinder on metalwork at his holiday home in Lucéram located behind Nice. About 150 hectares of forest went up in flames and it took 300 firefighters, helped by water bombers, 48 hours to put it out.

Four year old dies of cerebral malaria in northern Italy - A four-year-old Italian girl has died of cerebral malaria in northern Italy, in what doctors see as a very mysterious case. Sofia Zago died after being rushed to hospital with a high fever. Italy is free of the Anopheles mosquito that carries cerebral malaria, the deadliest form of the blood disease. But after a scorching August, some fear that it might have reached Italy. A reported 438,000 people died of malaria in 2015 in the 95 tropical countries where it is endemic.

Armed drones - France has announced plans to start using armed drones, joining a growing number of countries worldwide to operate the deadly unmanned aircraft. Defence Minister Florence Parly made the announcement at a gathering of recruits and lawmakers in Toulon on Tuesday. France currently operates a handful of unarmed Reaper drones. Parly said the military planned to equip six unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from the United States with "precision guided" weaponry from 2019.

Nice terror attack - The former secretary general of a non-profit organization set up to help victims of the Nice terror attack is to appear in court on Friday charged with defrauding the organisation he oversaw. “Promenade des Anges” was set up after the 2016 attack to benefit victims and their families. According to reports he is suspected of having submitted false reimbursement claims.

Accident on the A8 motorway brings traffic to a standstill - Traffic came to a complete standstill on the region’s A8 motorway on Tuesday evening after an accident. A 21 year old motorcyclist was injured and taken to hospital in Nice following the accident which also caused delays on roads at the Saint Laurent du Var motorway exit westbound. Police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

Euromillions - A resident of the Bouches du Rhone has won more than 28 million euros in last Friday’s Euromillions. It’s the 38th biggest win in France since 2004. While the identity of the winner remains unknown we do know that he played the winning combination of 8 7 3 14 49 and bonus numbers 5 and 8. In France the biggest euromillions win was 169 million euros in November 2012 in the Alpes Maritimes.


Road Accident - A woman has died in a horrific road accident in Brittany in which she was hit by a vehicle and then dragged along the road underneath it for five kilometres before the driver released that her body was there. The driver has been charged with manslaughter.

Azerbaijan sues French journalists - The government of Azerbaijan has sued two French journalists and a French public broadcaster for calling it a "dictatorship". The case went to court on the day several newspapers published detailed claims that the oil-rich country's elite runs a 2.5-billion-euro slush fund to buy influence abroad and launder money. Azerbaijan's case went to court in Versailles on Tuesday, as France's Le Monde, Britain's Guardian and several other papers headlined the slush-fund charges.

Surfer catches tuna - A surfer on France's Atlantic coast has a tale to tell. As other surfers fled the water thinking the lurking two-metre-long creature was a shark, Philippe de Lépervanche quickly identified it as a tuna. He leapt from his surfboard, lassoed it and then flung his arms around it before finally using the waves to surf with the huge fish to the beach. The fish weighed 100 kilos and at two metres in length was bigger than the man who caught it.


People’s travel plans to the Caribbean have been thrown into chaos with flights disrupted by Hurricane Irma which is sweeping across the region towards the coast of the United States. Irma,which is impacting just days after Hurricane Harvey hit the US,is now a category 5 and is set to cause widespread damage in populated areas. Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency and several leading airlines have been cancelling flights. Antigua airport will be closed today and many flights between Caribbean islands have been cancelled. Residents in potentially affected areas have been boarding up windows and coconuts are being stripped from trees in  preparation for the storm. Leading cruise line operators including Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruises have also been hit with their shares down by between 3 and 4 percent. The US National Hurricane Center said on Tuesday that Irma was “potentially lethal” and had hit the northern Leeward Islands early today, possibly reaching  the Florida Keys by the weekend.

The chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said that regulators must do more to help investors better understand the potential risks posed by cyber crime and new technologies to commit fraud. Jay Clayton said that cyber crime would be one of his top priorities during his tenure at the head of the Wall Street regulator. He said that he was not comfortable that the public understands the substantial risks that are being caused by cyber issues. A particular concern for the SEC is a rise in cases relating to information being stolen by hackers to gain some sort of market advantage. Other areas of focus include insuring that financial firms take appropriate steps to safeguard sensitive information.

And-A major report has found that the number of job losses in the UK oil and gas sector last year was worse than expected. Oil and Gas UK’s annual report found that 60,000 direct and indirect jobs were lost across the industry in 2016-more than the 40,000 it had predicted. The report said that another 13,000 jobs could be lost this year. The oil and gas industry in the UK supports 300,000 workers,150,000 less than at its peak in 2014.


Football-Wales have moved up to second place in World Cup qualifying group D thanks to a 2-0 win in Moldova last night.Robson-Kanu and Ramsey scored late goals for Chris Coleman’s side with the win putting Wales 4 points behind the leader’s Serbia. Serbia beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Dublin which puts Martin O’Neill’s side down into 3rd place in the group and leaving them with it all to do in their final two games if they’re going to make Russia 2018.

Tennis-Venus Williams has beaten Petra Kvitova in three sets to make the semi finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows. The 37 year old won the final set on a tie-break to set up a last 4 meeting with fellow American Sloane Stephens.She beat Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia to make the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. It’s men’s quarter finals day today with Roger Federer up against Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal facing Andrey Rublev of Russia.

Cricket-England will host Australia in 5 one day internationals and one Twenty20 next summer just a few months after the Ashes tour down under. The matches will be squeezed between England’s Test series against Pakistan and India. The third and final Test between England and West Indies starts at Lord’s tomorrow with the series tied at 1-1.

Cycling-Chris Froome has extended his overall lead in the Vuelta a Espana following a blistering performance in Tuesday’s individual time trial. The four time Tour de France champion completed the 40.2 kilometer course in a time of 47 minutes to extend his lead over Vincenzo Nibali to 1 minute 58 seconds. With 5 stages to go,Froome is well set to become only the third rider in history to win the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year. Today’s 17th stage is 180.5 kilometers between Villadiego and Los Machucos and features 3 steep climbs.


Clear skies with a moderate to strong mistral affecting the Var with gusts of up to 60 km/h.

Top temperatures 25 degrees on the coast and 28 degrees inland.

Overnight lows of 19 degrees on the coast and 14 degrees inland with clear skies. Thursday and Friday-Sunshine and possible afternoon showers in the Alpes-Maritimes. Highs of 24-26 degrees.


A scaffolder has hit out at a “spoilt rich girl” artist who mocked him and his colleague as they queued for fast food McDonald’s.

His fury came after twenty-five year old Hetty Douglas, shared an image of the two builders on Instgram alongside the caption: “these guys look like they got 1 GCSE.”

Forty year old Warren Butt, said the painter made him and his colleague, who were pictured in work boots and jogging bottoms, “look like idiots” and called for an apology.

Hitting back at the young artist, the father-of-one, from Wallington in south London, admitted he did not gain any GCSEs, but added she had “no right” to judge him.












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