French and Riviera News Monday 11th July 2022

News

Heatwave from today across France which is expected to last ten days - Météo France has predicted a heatwave across France from today Monday 11th July, with temperatures expected to reach nearly 40 degrees. The South-West and the Rhône Valley are the regions which will be the hardest hit by the high temperatures, which are expected to last for at least ten days. Experts say that the increase in episodes of extreme heat have become “more frequent since 2000, pointing out that two heat waves lasting more than ten days were recorded between 1947 and 2000 however, since 2000 there have already been three”. Adding that these “episodes are a direct result of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions linked to human activity”.

Passengers trapped on baking plane in Nice - Passengers have been left in tears after being trapped on a baking plane in Nice for 90 minutes, before the pilot was forced to let them back on to the airbridge to cool down as some become ill. The British Airways flight from Nice to Heathrow was due to depart at 7.35pm on Sunday evening, but weary passengers were left waiting for an hour and a half in the hot plane without air conditioning. Two travellers became ill and were removed from the aircraft, as cabin crew and the pilot apologised to passengers for the situation. 

Finance Minister defends total nationalisation of EDF – France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has defended the total nationalisation of EDF, which according to him will make it possible to take "faster decisions" in the face of the energy crisis. Speaking at the Economic Meetings of Aix-en-Provence on Sunday July 10th Le Maire defended the decision announced last Wednesday by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in the National Assembly. The planned increase from 84% to 100% in the capital of the company "changes a lot of things because there are many projects which can sometimes take a few weeks or a few months longer, because there are debates which are legitimate from the moment there is a share of shareholders who are not state shareholders", explained the minister to journalists. The French government is now waiting for the green light from the European Commission. The minister added that the government is also preparing for next winter, a series of measures to prioritize households and certain industries in the event of insufficient electricity production.

“Uber files” - A major international investigation has been published on Sunday on the actions of Uber, its establishment in France and its influence in France and possible links between the American society and Emmanuel Macron, who was at the time Finance Minister. The "Uber Files" is part of an investigation based on thousands of internal Uber documents which have been sent by an anonymous source to the British daily The Guardian and 42 media partners, Le Monde and Radio France. While French taxi drivers staged sometimes violent protests in the streets against Uber, Mr Macron - now president - was on first name terms with Uber's controversial boss Travis Kalanick, and told him he would reform laws in the firm's favour. Paris was the scene of Uber's first European launch, and it met stiff resistance from the taxi industry, culminating in violent protests in the streets. In August 2014, an ambitious former banker named Emmanuel Macron had just been appointed minister for the economy. He saw Uber as a source of growth and badly needed new jobs and was keen to help.

Requirement to wear masks on public transport in Nice has been rejected - A new requirement to wear masks on public transport within the Nice metropolitan area which was due to come into force today Monday 11th July, has been rejected. A group of local citizens filed an appeal against the measure, which was announced last week by Nice mayor Christian Estrosi. Their lawyer said that at no point did Estrosi present evidence that the coronavirus situation in Nice was significantly worse than elsewhere in France. Previously, rules on mask-wearing have been set at a national level. The judge in Nice's administrative court said there was no compelling reason for the measure to go ahead. They described it as "manifestly unlawful" and would have had an unfair impact on people living outside Nice but who had to travel to the city.

Search operation at lake Saint-Croix to resume today - A search operation is expected to resume today at lake Sainte-Croix, following the disappearance of a man. The alert was raised on Sunday afternoon after a man had reportedly jumped from a boat and failed to reappear. The popular tourist spot is regularly the scene of accidents, despite the rapid intervention of the emergency services. In 2019, a 45-year-old man was reported missing after leaving on a boat from the leisure base. While bathing, he is thought to have suddenly sunk in a deep area. His body has never been found and in the summer of 2017, four people died, victims of illness, a bad fall or drowning.

Wildfire in Hyères - Helicopters have intervened following a wildfire in Hyères in the Var on Sunday evening. According to reports from firefighters, some 2000 m2 of vegetation were hit by the flames.

Accident causes long talk back on A8 motorway - An accident on the A8 motorway on Sunday evening has caused a major tailback. The accident involving several cars, occurred shortly after 8pm eastbound towards Nice after the Antibes paytoll. No injuries were reported.

For or against the ramparts in Antibes becoming permanently pedestrianised? - Last Saturday, the first weekend of July marked the official start of the holidays and the ramparts in Antibes became pedestrianised from 2pm to 7pm and the Nice Matin is asking if you are for or against the move to possibly make the area become permanently pedestrianised. You can give your opinions and suggestions by writing to antibes@nicematin.fr

Fireworks - Fireworks are to return to the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on July 13th. The annual display traditionally held on July 14th across France will be moved to the 13th in tribute to the victims of the Nice attack in which 86 people were killed and several hundred were injured. This year the fireworks will be fired from the sea, opposite the Quai des Etats-Unis at 10.30pm on the 13th.

Meanwhile, a planned fireworks display in Valbonne on 13th July has been cancelled. The decision was taken by the town hall because Valbonne has been on an enhanced drought alert since the end of June and with the high risk of fire, the display was considered too risky. The rest of the national day festivities, including a ball and a parade of vintage cars, will still go ahead.

Business

Twitter is planning to sue Elon Musk after he pulled the plug on 44-billion-dollar takeover deal. The terms of the deal require Elon Musk to pay a $1bn (£830m) break-up fee if he does not complete the transaction - but it seems Twitter's board is not planning to accept the payment and will instead take legal action. In a statement provided to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, representatives for Musk said Twitter breached terms of an agreement and "appears to have made false and misleading representations" which let to Elon Musk pulling out of the deal.

Ports across the UK are threatening the government with legal action unless compensation is paid to cover the millions of pounds, they've spent building new border control posts. The posts, due to be up and running this month, were designed to carry out post-Brexit physical checks on imports of plant and animal products from the EU, a measure that was to come into force from 1 July. But they may now never be used as planned. At the end of April, the government announced the controls would be put on hold until at least the end of next year amid concerns about the cost-of-living crisis.

Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said that the price of airline tickets will go up "without doubt" as fuel costs rise. Oil prices have jumped as economies recover from the Covid pandemic and due to the war in Ukraine. Mr Walsh said fuel prices were at record highs, and that "oil is the single biggest element of an airline's cost base". "It's inevitable that ultimately the high oil prices will be passed through to consumers in higher ticket prices."

According to a study, 79% of French going on holiday will take their computers and smartphones on vacation with them for work reasons. The study carried out for the office layout consulting firm Génie des Lieux, showed that 24% of those questioned will continue to work remotely one or two days a week. For 11%, it will even be every day and 28% will not telecommute but will remain connected by email and telephone. Only a quarter of French people will really disconnect. In fact, only 26% of respondents say they will go on vacation completely disconnected from their work. However, French law prohibits employees from working during their annual paid leave. On paper, being forced by your superior to have to deal with a file or solve a professional problem during your paid vacation is illegal.

Sport

Formula One - Ferrari's Charles Leclerc passed title rival Max Verstappen three times on his way to a commanding victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at the weekend. Carlos Sainz was on course to make it a Ferrari one-two before he suffered an engine failure with 14 laps to go - the latest in a series for Ferrari. Leclerc cut Verstappen's championship lead to 38 points, to revive his hopes and it moves him back ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez to second in the standings.

Tennis - Novak Djokovic says his fourth-consecutive Wimbledon win has more significance after he needed time to "weather the storm" following his deportation from Australia. Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to claim his first Grand Slam title since Wimbledon last year.

Cricket - England held on for a consolation victory in the third Twenty20 against India at Trent Bridge.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 29 in Nice, 30 degrees in Cannes and 31 degrees in Marseille. This evening going down to 21 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Wednesday - Remaining fine with highs of 29-31 degrees.

Sea temperature:    22 degrees       UV Level:           9

Sunrise:             05.58hr                       Sunset:     21.12hr

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