French and Riviera News Tuesday 18th July 2023

News

Heatwave - Temperatures could exceed 40°C as Météo France has extended its orange heatwave alert to six new departments. The alert, which comes into force today Tuesday 18th July, already concerned the Alpes-Maritimes and will now also apply to the departments of the Haute-Corse, Corse-du-Sud, the Var, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Vaucluse and the Pyrénées-Orientales. The Principality of Andorra is also subject to a heatwave warning. Temperatures are expected to reach 40°C in Provence, Corsica, Pyrénées-Orientales, Tarn and Isère. Météo France also specifies in its bulletin that these temperatures should remain high overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday persisting "for several days" in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azu region as well as in Corsica.

French government introduces tougher measures on the roads - French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has announced that there will be an automatic suspension of a motorist's driving licence for driving under the influence of narcotics. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that driving under the influence of narcotics is responsible for one in five accidents.

Apartment fire in Nice - One person has died and several have been injured after a fire ravaged an apartment in Saint-Roch in Nice on Monday evening. The blaze broke out in an apartment on the fifth floor of a building at around 9pm. The cause of the fire remains unknown and police have launched an investigation.

Road accident - A young motorcyclist is in a critical condition in hospital following a road accident in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez on Monday evening. The violent collision with a bus occurred shortly before 7.30pm on the RD558 in La Garde-Freinet, not far from the Paradis campsite. The driver of the motorcycle, a 20-year-old man was taken care of by the emergency services. Police have opened an investigation to determine the circumstances.

Anti-burkini decree invalidated by the State Council - A new anti-burkini decree on the beaches of Mandelieu has been invalidated by the State Council. On Monday the State Council suspended the decree of Mandelieu-La Napoule prohibiting the wearing of the burkini on the beaches, challenged in court by the League of Human Rights (LDH). Renewed every year since 2012, the decree prohibited access to swimming from June 15th to August 31st, 2023, "to anyone wearing clothes that do not respect the rules of hygiene and safety of bathing adapted to the public maritime domain, to any person whose outfit is likely to hinder their movements when swimming and complicate rescue operations in the event of drowning and to any person whose outfit is likely to cause, as in 2012 and 2016, disturbances to public order, even violent clashes". The Council of State considered that this ban violated "the freedom of movement and personal freedom".

Crack down on dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets - The town of Béziers is cracking down on dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets. The trial will see owners be required to carry a “genetic passport” for their pet which will have saliva samples so that excrement can be linked to specific animals. The local mayor Robert Ménard, a former journalist and co-founder of Reporters Sans Frontières, says inhabitants and visitors are fed up with dog mess on the town’s pavements and that he plans to introduce the two-year experiment to trace and fine those who fail to clear up after their pets. Those subsequently stopped without their dog’s genetic passport will be fined €38 (£32.60).

Awareness of the risk of drowning - The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has created a new video campaign to reinforce awareness of the risk of drowning. Three short videos have been made to remind the public that children under 6 years old are the main victims of drowning and that parental vigilance is essential. A fourth video targets young people, highlighting the need to monitor the impact that the heat and the sun have on physical wellbeing. The videos can be found on social networks.

Business

More than 100 current and recent UK staff at outlets of the fast-food chain McDonald's have spoken out about a toxic culture of sexual assault, harassment, racism and bullying. The UK equality watchdog said it was "concerned" by the findings and is launching a new email hotline. McDonald's said it had "fallen short" and it "deeply apologised" adding that all employees deserved to work in a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace.

Chinese property giant Evergrande has revealed that in 2021 and 2022 it lost a combined $81.1bn. The firm, which defaulted on its debts in late-2021, reported its long overdue earnings to investors in Hong Kong. Evergrande has been struggling with an estimated $300bn (£229bn) of debts. The huge losses highlight how much the developer was rocked in recent years by the property market crisis in the world's second largest economy.

The Swiss watchmaker Swatch has started legal proceedings against the Malaysian government for seizing LGBTQ-themed watches from its stores. The move comes after officials impounded 172 watches from its rainbow-coloured Pride collection, on sale at shopping malls across Malaysia. Swatch wants damages and the return of the watches. Homosexual activity is illegal in Malaysia under both secular and religious laws.

Sport

Commonwealth Games in doubt? - A shadow has been cast over the 2026 Commonwealth Games after the state of Victoria in Australia cancelled plans to host the event due to budget problems. The Commonwealth Games Federation struggled to find a host city before Victoria volunteered in April of last year. However, the budget has reportedly tripled and become too much for the state to bear. The Commonwealth Games Federation called the decision “hugely disappointing” and said that “it is nevertheless committed to finding a solution”.  The Commonwealth Games have only ever been cancelled during World War Two.

Football – Declan Rice has been described as the “lighthouse” that the Gunners needed by the boss of Arsenal. 24-year-old Rice has joined Arsenal from West Ham in a deal that could rise to £105m. Arsenal were second last season behind Manchester City, despite leading for most of the Premier League campaign.

Tennis - The men’s Wimbledon final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic had a peak audience of 11.3m on BBC One. It is the men's final's largest audience since Andy Murray's 2016 win which hit a peak of 13.3m. The Alcaraz-Djokovic match was also streamed live 4.1m times on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online.

Cricket - Moeen Ali is searching for a fan who helped care for his cut finger, which was affecting his bowling at the beginning of the Ashes series. The 36-year-old England spinner said that an NHS worker had sent him a gel made of honey that healed the wound and that he would like to write back and thank her only his has misplaced the original letter.

Weather

Mainly fine with a gentle breeze. Meteo France has extended the orange heatwave alert, issued for the Alpes Maritimes region, to the Var, Vaucluse, the Alpes de Haute Provence, the Pyrénées Orientales and Corsica, as temperatures continue to rise this week across Europe.

Locally highs of 29 in Nice and Monaco, 30 degrees in Saint-Tropez, 32 degrees in Cannes and Toulon. 34 degrees in Marseille. 35 degrees in Bargemon and 39 degrees in Draguignan. This evening going down to 23 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday is remaining much the same with highs of 32-34 along the coast and 38-39 inland.

Sunrise       06.04am

Sunset        09.07pm

Beach Weather

La Ciotat- Sea temperature is 26 degrees. Air temperature 29 degrees. UV level 11

Saint Tropez – Sea temperature is 27 degrees. Air tempertareu 33 degrees. UV level 11.

 

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