French and Riviera News.Friday July 31st 2020

Heatwave alert-The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var are on a yellow heat wave alert with temperatures expected to reach the mid to high 30’s this afternoon.

Inland areas will be the worst affected with the thermometer rising to 38 degrees in places.

Coastal areas are expected to rise to 30-32 degrees.

73 departments around the country are also on yellow alert with 13 on orange alert.

The weather should start to cool down on Saturday afternoon but it will remain hot with temperatures in the mid 30’s in places.

 

Fatal stabbing-A 28 year old woman has been stabbed to death in Cannes La Bocca by her partner.

Police were called to an address on the rue Jean Gras shortly after midday on Thursday where they found the woman , the mother of a 14 month old baby with stab wounds to the arm and heart. Paramedics who arrived on the scene minutes later were unable to save her.

Authorities say the women’s partner has confessed to the crime. 57 women have been murdered by their partners or ex-partners since the start of the year in France.

 

Summer holiday - President Macron and his wife Brigitte have arrived at Fort de Bregancon in the Var for the summer break.

The couple will be spending what’s described as a “relaxed and studious” break at the official French Presidential residence.

The Elysee Palace says that the President will be keeping a close eye on the Covid-19 situation in France during his break and will be ready to return to Paris if required.

Mr Macron has just received a welcome boost with a Harris poll for LCI television earlier this week showing his popularity rating up to 50 percent ,its highest level since April 2018.

 

 

Accident- A 22 year old woman has been taken to hospital suffering with an open leg fracture following a collision between a car and a motor scooter on the RD955 at Montferrat in the Var.

The cause of the accident is not yet clear.The injured woman has been airlifted to hospital.

The driver of the car was unhurt.Enquiries continue.

 

Roads- The French road monitor Bison Fute is forecasting another busy weekend on the roads as the summer holiday rush continues.

Conditions should be a little better than last weekend but delays are expected on major roads and around  towns and cities.

Saturday is expected to be the busiest day with conditions improving on sunday.

 

On the rocks- Work has started to shore up rock on the boulevard de Belgique in Monaco.

4 tonnes of rock above the road at the Jardin Exotique has become unstable and engineers are working to make it safe.

The boulevard de Belgique is closed until Monday with diversions via the Avenue Pasteur.

Pedestrians wishing to access Princess Grace Hospital should take the lift from the boulevard du Jardin Exotique.

 

Arson ? A criminal investigation has been launched after 20 hectares of trees were destroyed at Sainte Cecile d’Andorge in the Gard department on Thursday.

Authorities found ten separate fires burning when they arrived on the scene and say that there is little doubt that they were started deliberately.

The fire  in uninhabited woodland  70 kilometers north of Nimes was brought under control on Thursday afternoon but the area remains under high surveillance owing to extremely hot weather.

 

Yachting Festival- The 43rd Cannes Yachting Festival will take place as planned between the 8th and 13th of September.

The 6 day event at the old port and Port Canto will feature 400 motor and sailing boats plus the latest gadgets and technology.

Strict hygiene and social distancing will be in place but apart from that ,organisers say that it will be business as usual.

 

In National News.

 

Quiberon- French authorities say that 80 carriers of Covid-19 have been identified in the popular Brittany holiday resort of Quiberon with the risk of a rapid spread of the virus.

Local officials say that the situation is under control and hundreds of coronavirus tests are being carried out at a free drive in facility in the town.

Tests are being carried out without prescription as authorities attempt to stop the virus in its tracks.

The first case of Covid-19 was reported in the town was reported 10 days ago and all of the confirmed cases have been traced to a local nightclub.

Young people aged between 18 and 25 are most at risk in the current outbreak and local parks and beaches have been closed  at night to stop large gatherings.

 

Mozzies- Another danger to public health this summer is the Tiger Mosquito which has been proliferating rapidly in France over the past few years.

Residents in the south of the country will already be familiar with the insect which bites around the clock and can spread a number of tropical diseases including dengue fever ,chikungunya and Zika virus. Fortunately there is no evidence that the mosquito can transmit Covid-19.

The French Health Ministry says that the Tiger Mosquito is now present in 58 departments ,7 more than last year and has become endemic in many regions.

The insects are also resistant to insecticide and getting rid of them once they’ve established colonies is proving to be virtually impossible.

Research on the sterilisation of females is being carried out but a solution is still several years away.

The best way to keep numbers down is removing stagnant water from plant pots and other places where liquid collects and to cover water butts.People with ponds should install a device such as a small fountain to keep the water moving.

Coils keep the insects away at night as well as electric plug-ins.

Some species of geranium like the rose geranium have also proved to be effective in  keeping  the insects at bay.

 

Night ,night ,sleep tight -And if all that wasn’t enough ,  health experts say that bed bugs are becoming an increasing problem with 70,000 people seeking medical treatment for bites annually.

The risk of picking one up while travelling during the summer holidays is now quite likely and the insects cause itchy ,red bites which can become quite painful if not treated properly.

Scientists think the bugs may be spreading because of increasingly warm spring and summer temperatures with the worst affected regions including the Auvergne ,Rhône Alpes and the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur..

The problem becomes so acute for some people that they’re afraid to go to sleep at night resulting in insomnia and other health problems..

Government advice on how to get rid of the pesky insects is available on a special hotline 0806 706 806 or by going to  www.stop-punaises.gouv.fr

 

Business.

 

The US Commerce Department has said that the economy contracted at its fastest pace since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic battered consumer and business spending with any kind of recovery threatened by spiraling new cases of the infection.

Data published on Thursday shows that the bulk of the economic damage happened in April when business activity almost ground to a halt with bars ,restaurants ,stores and factories shut to slow the spread of the virus.

The depressing news is piling pressure on Congress to agree on a second economic stimulus package while President Trump’s approval ratings tank amid the perception that he’s mismanaged the pandemic and resulting economic crisis.

Market sentiment was further soured on Thursday after Mr Trump raised the possibility of delaying November’s Presidential Election despite it being enshrined in the US constitution.

Mr Trump also said that he would not trust any election result that included widespread  postal voting which many experts think will be crucial given America’s huge Covid-19 problem.

 

Audi says that it’s working on a new computer driven vehicle system which it has stated will be the future of motoring.

The new Audi boss Markus Duesmann says that he’s assembling a team of some 200 engineers within parent company Volkswagen to work on the new system which has been dubbed “Project Artemis”.

The firm says that it wants to follow and then overtake Tesla which is widely seen as the current industry leader in software.

Mr Duesmann has conceded that Audi is “lagging behind” adding that he was certain that computing power and artificial intelligence will be key in what will be considered premium vehicles.

Audi hopes to have come up with new systems by 2024 which will then be incorporated in a new range of vehicles ,most of which will be electric.

 

And -In the UK ,the travel firm Tui has announced that it will close 166 stores with the loss of around 900 jobs.

The closures will come in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland with the firm hoping to keep around 650 staff on in a mixed role of home working and sales.

Tui says that it has has to act following changes in customer behaviour including a shift to online sales.

Around 350 retail stores will remain open following the closures.

In April ,Tui announced plans to shed 8,000 staff worldwide to reduce overheads by 30 percent.

It’s UK operation has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic with the final nail in the coffin coming as the government reintroduced quarantine for people returning from Spain ,its biggest European market.

 

Sport.

 

Formula 1-The Racing Point star Sergio Perez has tested positive for Coronavirus and will miss this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Mexican is the first driver to test positive for the virus since the start of the 2020 season and has gone into self isolation along with all his close contacts in line with Formula 1 regulations.

Organisers say that the positive test will have no effect on the race weekend.

 

On the track Lewis Hamilton will be looking to extend his lead at the top of the driver’s championship as he seeks a record equaling 7th world title.

Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas will be running him close though but with Ferrari struggling and the rest of the field off the pace ,its hard to see past the two Silver Arrows for the chequered flag.

 

Cricket-England have beaten Ireland by 6 wickets in the first one day international in Southampton.

Ireland batted first and were bowled out for an under-par 172 from just 44.4 overs.

In reply ,England wobbled a bit but got to the total in 27.5 overs with a score of 174-4.

 

Football-It’s the FA Cup final tomorrow with Arsenal playing Chelsea.

The match at Wembley will take place behind closed doors and there will be no presentation ceremony. The match kicks off at 6.30 French time.

 

Rugby Union-The organisers of the 6 Nations say that outstanding matches from this year’s competition will be completed in October.

The remaining rounds will be played on the 24th and 31st of October.

There will then be a rest weekend on the 7th and 8th of November before four consecutive rounds of international matches .

In the southern hemisphere ,the 2020 Rugby Championship will be played from the 7th of November to the 12th of December.

 

Weather.

A YELLOW HEATWAVE ALERT IS IN FORCE FOR THE ALPES MARITIMES AND THE VAR.

 

Clear skies with light south westerly winds.

Top temperatures 30-32 degrees on the coast -up to 36-38 degrees inland in the Var.

Overnight lows of 22 degrees with clear skies.

 

The weekend-Heatwave conditions tomorrow with highs of 30-37 degrees and some thunder in the mountains. A little cooler on Sunday with highs of 29-35 degrees.

 

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