French and Riviera News Friday 11th August 2023

News

Strike sees rubbish pile up at main train station in Marseille - Rubbish bins are overflowing at the main train station in Marseille as strike action continues. Negotiations between unions and the management at Saint -Charles station are not moving forward and the mayor of Marseille has said the situation is “unacceptable”. The maintenance workers' strike began on August 1st and is growing, with the support of maintenance workers from the metro and the seaport. The mayor has said that he will intervene and have the station cleaned if nothing is done.

Jelly fish - The Var coast has been invaded by jellyfish in recent hours with sightings being reported on almost all the region’s beaches. While the situation has since improved in the Alpes Maritimes, many swimmers have now reported the presence of jellyfish on the beaches in the Var. Beachgoers are reminded that in the event of being stung, to rinse the affected area with seawater, cover the affected area with sand before scrapping it off and disinfecting the wound. If the pain persists or you feel unwell you should see your doctor.

Fire - Firefighters have extinguished a blaze which broke out not far from the city centre of Toulon in the Var on Thursday. 300m² were destroyed before firefighters managed to control the flames. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause.

Secours Populaire - There has been a 30% jump in people applying for food aid with Secours Populaire in the Alpes-Maritimes. In real terms, that’s an increase of 20,000 more people who are reaching out to the charity for food basics. Secours Populaire says it is struggling to meet demand and is in particular need of volunteers. For more information on how to volunteer, search Google for Secours Populaire. 

Sunset cycling - The Paul Ricard racing circuit in the Var has taken on a new look for the summer, opening the track to cyclists. In an original and unusual experience cyclists are offered for 10 euros, 3 hours of freedom on the Formula 1 circuit which was opened in 1970 in the Castellet. Stéphane Clair, general manager of the Paul Ricard circuit said the fastest amateur cyclists manage to complete the track tour in less than 9 minutes. Whereas F1 driver Lewis Hamilton did it in 1 minute 28 seconds, a lap record set in 2019 during qualifying. The next Sunset cycling evening is on August 22nd. And it's free for children under 8!

Traffic - Finally, if you are planning a road trip, Bison Futé are predicting another busy Orange level weekend on the autoroutes, especially with the Assumption holiday next Tuesday the 15th. Drivers from abroad, including the UK, are reminded they need to display a clean air Crit'Air sticker in their car if they wish to drive in several cities including Paris. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to €180 euros. 

Business

One of China's biggest property developers Country Garden has warned that it could see a loss for the first six months of the year of up to $7.6bn (£6bn). The announcement is the latest sign of the major issues faced by the world's second largest economy.

This week official figures showed China had slipped into deflation for the first time in more than two years. Exports have also fallen sharply, while youth unemployment is at a record high. Shares in Country Garden Holdings were down by almost 10% in Hong Kong trade on Friday morning.

Prices continued to rise in the US last month, despite a sharp increase in interest rates to stamp out inflation. The rate of inflation was 3.2% over the year to July, driven by higher housing, car insurance and food costs.  That was up from 3% in June, which was the lowest rate in more than two years.

And - Multi-billionaire Elon Musk is putting Twitter building signs and other items from the company up for auction just weeks after the firm's rebranding as X. Among the 584 lots on offer are coffee tables, outsized bird cages, and oil paintings of images that went viral.

Also listed are tens of desks and chairs, a DJ booth, and enough musical instruments to equip a band. Since buying the social media platform last year, Mr Musk has cut thousands of jobs in an effort to lower costs.

Sport

Football- In the Women’s World Cup Spain have beaten the Netherlands to reach the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup for the first time.

And - English midfielder Ross Barkley, who has been playing for OGC Nice for the past year, has announced he is returning to the UK. The player has just been signed by Luton Town who re-enter the Premiere League this weekend.

In the Premier Leagues this evening Burnley play Manchester City. Kick-off is at 9pm French time.

Tennis – Australian Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the US Open due to injury. Kyrgios has been beset by injury problems this year and has played just one ATP Tour match in 2023. He missed Wimbledon with a wrist injury, while knee and foot injuries kept him out of the Australian Open and French Open respectively. The 28-year-old's lack of time on the court has seen him slide down 57 places to 92 in the world rankings. The US Open takes place from 28 August-10 September in New York.

Rugby - Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie will return in one of six changes to the Scotland team for their World Cup warm-up game against France. The flanker missed the first two matches of Scotland's build-up and will play in the back row. The game kicks off in St Etienne on Saturday night at 9pm.

Weather

Highs of 26 degrees in Monaco and Saint-Tropez, 27 in Nice and Antibes. 28 degrees in Cannes, 30 degrees in Vence. A gentle breeze across the region. This evening going down to 19 degrees inland and 21 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for the weekend. Fine with temperatures rising reaching 34 degrees in Draguignan in the Var should remain cooler on the cast with highs of 27-28 degrees.

Sunrise       06.29am

Sunset        08.40pm

Beach weather

Nice – Sea temperature 24. Air temperature 26.UV level 9.  

Hyeres - Sea temperature 18.Air temperature 26.UV level 9.

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