French and Riviera News Tuesday 15th August 2023

News

Forest fire - 500 firefighters have remained mobilized and more than 3,000 people were evacuated after a fire broke out in the Pyrénées-Orientales about twenty kilometres southeast of Perpignan. Several hundred hectares of pine forest have been destroyed with flames threatening the villages of Saint André, Sorède, and the city of Argelès.

Train passengers stranded - Passengers of a Nice-Paris train have been stranded for more than five hours after cables were torn by the locomotive causing a power failure on part of the journey in the Côte d’Or region. 553 passengers were onboard when the incident happened. The train had left Nice on Sunday evening. The SNCF has apologised to passengers who will receive compensation.

Road accident - A motorcyclist is in a critical condition after a road accident on the Moyenne corniche between Nice and Monaco. The accident occurred at around 5.30pm on Monday evening in Eze. The victim a 57-year-old man was taken to hospital and an investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the collision. There has been a recent rise in fatal accidents involving two wheelers in the region, after a 50-year-old man died on the A8 motorway and another man in his fifties was killed on the road in Saint -Laurent du Var.

Water restrictions - The French government has launched a website listing water restrictions in force in each locality across France. Details are available on https://vigieau.gouv.fr

Commemoration ceremony - France’s Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu has attended a commemoration ceremony on the beach of Canadel in the Var on Monday. It was 79 years ago that on the night of August 14th to August 15th, 1944, that the African Commandos, a French unit created by General Giraud, set foot on French soil on the beach at Canadel.

Royal visit – Finally, according to reports in French media, the first official visit to France by His Royal Highness King Charles III will take place in September. The exact dates haven't yet been released. The King was originally scheduled to visit France in March, but the trip was postponed because of unrest at the time over pension reforms. September is already a very busy time for France because of a scheduled visit by Pope Francis and the Rugby World Cup being hosted by France. Reports say that Prince William could accompany his father and take the opportunity to watch the Wales rugby match against Fiji in Bordeaux.

Business

The Russian rouble has fallen to its lowest value in 16 months.  The decline comes as pressure grows on the Russian economy, with imports rising faster than exports and military spending growing for the Ukraine war. Russia has been targeted with sanctions by Western countries following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The rouble plummeted after war first broke out but was bolstered by capital controls and oil and gas exports.

The Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay $1.4bn (£1.1bn) to resolve fraud claims in the US stemming from the 2008 financial crisis. It brings to a close the last case brought by US prosecutors investigating banks' conduct in the run-up to the crash, which sparked a global downturn. Prosecutors said the bank had lied about the quality of mortgages that were packaged and sold to investors in a series of deals in 2006-2007. UBS did not admit or deny the claims.

And - Japan's economy has got a major boost from its weak currency. The world's third largest economy saw its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rise by an annualised 6% in the three months to the end of June. It is about twice the rate of growth forecast by economists and marks the biggest rise in almost three years.

Sport

Football – While it wasn’t the best performance from Manchester United they did manage to beat Wolves 1-0 in the Premier League on Monday evening.

Today in the Women’s World Cup Spain play Sweden.

Tennis - American veteran Venus Williams beat a top-20 player for the first time in four years with victory over Russia's Veronika Kudermetova in Cincinnati. Williams, 43, fought back from a double break down in each set to win 6-4 7-5 against 16th-ranked Kudermetova.

Golf – The DP World Tour organisers have announced that players on the European-based DP World Tour will receive a record prize money of £117m in the 2024 season, an increase of about £3.4m from 2023.

Weather

Sunny with a gentle breeze. Highs of 29 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Mougins and Saint-Tropez. 36 degrees inland in the Var. This evening going down to 18 degrees in land and 20 degrees along the coast with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Thursday. Fine sunny. Highs of 29-31 degrees.

Sunrise       06.34am

Sunset        08.34pm

Beach weather

Nice – Sea temperature is 26 degrees. Air temperature is 28 degrees.       UV level is 9.

Marseille - Sea temperature is 20 degrees. Air temperature is 30 degrees. UV level is 9.

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