French and Riviera News Friday 29th July 2022

News

Busiest weekend on French roads - Today marks the beginning of one the busiest weekends on roads in France.The whole of the country is classified as red for departures and the south-east is red for those returning. Bison Futé announces a Black Saturday, with difficulties that will persist until Monday. The monitor of French roads strongly advises motorist to avoid today Friday 29th July, the A8 motorway between Aix-en-Provence and Fréjus, from 2pm to 8pm and between Cannes and Italy, from 8am to 6pm.

Missing person found dead - Damien Riposati reported missing from La Tour-sur-Tinée has died. The body of the young man was discovered on Thursday lunchtime. Riposati had not given any sign of life since Saturday July 23rd, when he was last seen at Chianet. Since Monday, a search involving his relatives, friends and family had been launched by the gendarmerie. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Young motorcyclist dies from injuries - A young motorcyclist and part of the Race Experience team in the Var has died from his injuries. Hospitalised in a critical condition following an accident which occurred on Friday July 22nd, during a competition in Italy, 8-year-old Mathis Bellon, died on Thursday. The Race Experience team paid tribute to a remarkable “little biker” who lived a real “passion”.

Man admits to starting forest fires - A man taken into police custody in the Ardeche department has admitted starting forest fires. In all, there were twelve outbreaks of fire in the same area which destroyed 1,200 hectares of forest but the fires are now under control. Several other people are still in custody. Meanwhile, a volunteer firefighter taken into custody in the Herault department has admitted starting the fires which affected an area north of Montpellier recently.

Water shortage - Faced with a serious water shortage the mayors of 9 municipalities in the Fayence region in the Var have issued an order to limit water consumption. In the event of non-compliance, users could face a fine of up to €1,500. 30,000 residents in the Var, were surprised to receive a letter asking them to reduce their water consumption to 200 litres per day and per person while they understand the measure, they are more perplexed as to its implementation: with some explaining that the “don't see what it means to reduce to 200 litres, because they don't even know how much they consume”.  In France, the average consumption is 147 litres of drinking water per day and per person, according to data from 2019. The measure is in effect until at least August 31st. Restrictions by municipality can be found on the Prefecture's website www.var.gouv.fr

New heatwave forecast for the beginning of August – Meanwhile the break in the heatwave will be short lived as Météo France forecasts a new heat wave in France for the beginning of August. Temperatures are expected to rise above 30°C from Sunday July 31st. The new episode however is set to be less intense than the previous one, which has seen historic records broken. While the orange heat wave alert was lifted on Tuesday July 26th for the last departments of south-eastern France, the rest of the country was experiencing a lull in relative freshness.

Notre-Dame Cathedral - France’s minister of culture has said that Notre-Dame Cathedral is on track to open its doors to worshippers and the public in 2024. The 13th Century Paris monument caught fire in April 2019, sparking a vast outpouring of emotion. Since then, a huge restoration project has been carried out aiming to restore it to its previous design.

Dress code in French parliament - French MPs have clashed over dress code rules in the lower house of the French parliament known as the “Assemblée Nationale”. Right-wing parties are supporting a call to make ties obligatory while the left has retaliated with a demand for expensive suits to be banned.

Business

Faced with soaring energy prices, the general manager of the Engie group has announced a discount of 100 euros in France intended for the most modest customers. A gesture which will apply in November and which it presents as a "supplement to the energy check", set up by the government, again dedicated to the most precarious. According to the boss of Engie, the cost of this discount will amount to 90 million euros for the group.

Deprived of access to Russian gas because of its position in the face of the invasion of Russian forces in Ukraine, the European Union is forced to reduce its energy demand now in order to be able to build up stocks of gas for winter.

Amazon and Apple posted better than expected sales, reassuring investors.  Amazon forecast in a trading update that higher fees for its Prime membership would boost its bottom line, while Apple said demand for its all-important iPhone remained strong. Both firms said they were making progress controlling running costs, despite prices rising at rapid rates.

KitKat maker Nestle has put up its prices again due to "unprecedented" increases in costs. The Swiss food giant said it had increased prices by 6.5% in the first half of this year.

McDonald's and Coca-Cola also announced price rises this week. Companies are facing increased costs for things such as fuel, wages and ingredients, and consumer prices in the UK are rising at their fastest rate for 40 years.

Sport

Commonwealth Games - Birmingham opened its Commonwealth Games in spectacular style with a captivating, hopeful ceremony at Alexander Stadium. As the parade of athletes concluded, each of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were warmly received before host nation England arrived in a cloud of confetti to send the volume skyrocketing with a crowd rendition of We Will Rock You. The Games are officially open, with events beginning today Friday 29th July and more than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories competing in 280 medal events until 8 August.

Football – Former Arsenal and Northern Ireland captain and manager Terry Neill has died at the age of 80. Belfast-born Neill was Arsenal's youngest captain at 20 and played more than 270 games for the club between 1957 and 1970.

In other football news Everton have signed Burnley winger Dwight McNeil on a five-year contract in a deal worth about £20m. And Ukrainian officials have condemned Turkish football fans who chanted Russian leader Vladimir Putin's name at a Champions League clash in Istanbul.

In the English Championship tonight Huddersfield play Burnley kick off is at 9pm.

Cricket –  South Africa beat England by 58 runs in the second Twenty20 international in Cardiff and level the three-match series. The deciding T20 is in Southampton on Sunday.

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have paid tribute to Sebastian Vettel after he announced his retirement. The four-time champion said on Thursday that he would step away from F1 at the end of this season. Hamilton and Alonso, whose careers have paralleled Vettel's, both described him as "a legend of our sport". And Hamilton praised Vettel's move towards activism, especially on the climate crisis, in recent years.

Golf - Henrik Stenson says he does not feel he "gave up" Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy by choosing to join LIV Golf. The Swede was appointed in March but 127 days later he was stripped of the captaincy for joining the controversial Saudi-backed series. The former world number two planned to continue as captain so "I don't feel like I've given it up".

Weather

Cloudy with some sunny spells. Thundery showers are expected this afternoon. Highs of 29-30 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Antibes. 32-34 degrees in the Var and Corsica. This evening going down to 24 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Saturday and Sunday, sunny with a gentle breeze and highs of 30-31 degrees.

Sea temperature     28 degrees       UV level             9

Sunrise              06.15hr                       Sunset                20.57hr

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