French and Riviera News Tuesday 19th July 2022

News

Forest fires - Forest fires continue to spread in the Gironde near Bordeaux as more people are evacuated. 16,700 hectares have been destroyed, representing more than one and a half times the area of Paris. At the Bassin d'Arcachon zoo in La Teste, an evacuation of the animals has begun.  1,700 firefighters "from all over France" are mobilized in the Gironde, with significant air resources. A man has been taken into police custody as part of the investigation into the fire.

Fire south of Avignon resumes - Meanwhile a fire south of Avignon which started last Thursday and led to neighbourhoods being evacuated has resumed. The fire, which had started at the foot of the Montagnette massif, in the north of the Bouches-du-Rhône, destroyed some 1,500 hectares. On Monday firefighters were once again mobilised assisted by two water bomber helicopters and a Canadair.

Sudden drop in temperature - As record temperatures were recorded across France one village in the Alpes Maritimes experienced a sudden drop of 16 degrees within just a few minutes. On Monday July 18th a violent storm broke out in Saint-Martin d’Entraunes, a small village in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes causing a drop in temperature from 28 to 11 degrees. According to Météo France, "89mm of rain fell in just over an hour" which considerably cooled the air.

Heatwave - The period from June 1st to July 15th, the first half of summer, has been the hottest ever observed since statistics began in 1947 in both Corsica and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region. The minimum night-time temperature recorded in Nice from Sunday to Monday was nearly 27.5°. Unheard of for a month of July.

Swimmers evacuated from the sea due to pollution - Two public beaches in Nice have had to evacuate swimmers from the sea due to oil pollution. The incident occurred at around 5.30pm on Sunday afternoon on two beaches in the city centre.

Man shot dead on terrace of a shisha bar in Paris - A man has been shot dead on the terrace of a shisha bar in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. The shooting occurred at around 9:30pm when two individuals got out of a car and fired. At present their identity and motivation remains unknown.  Four other people were more lightly injured, and one of the two assailants was arrested, the second is still at large.

Train traffic interrupted due to power supply - Train traffic at the Gare de l'Est in the French capital was interrupted for several hours on Monday due to a problem with the power supply. The incident occurred at around 4.30pm and affected TGV, Transilien, TER and RER services.

Picasso drawing seized at Ibiza airport - A drawing attributed to Picasso and worth 450,000 euros has been seized by customs officers from a traveller’s suitcase at Ibiza airport in Spain. The drawing, dated 1966, was discovered on July 5th in the suitcase of a traveller from Switzerland. Questioned by customs officers, who had been warned by their Swiss counterparts of the presence of a "work" transported in "suspicious" conditions, the traveller assured that the drawing was a simple copy and showed an invoice for 1,500 francs Swiss (1,515 euros). But in the bottom of his suitcase, customs officers discovered a second invoice for 450,000 francs (454,000 euros), from an art gallery in Zurich, with a reference to the drawing Three characters by Pablo Picasso.

Red Cross Gala - Monaco celebrated its Red Cross Gala on Monday on the terraces of the Casino in the presence of the princely couple. The traditional gala opened its 73rd edition on Monday evening in the presence of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. 650 guests came to support the Monegasque institution. The social and charity event was launched in 1948, when Prince Rainier III of Monaco presided at the first gala held by the newly founded Monaco Red Cross. 

Best restaurant - The list of the world’s 50 best restaurants has been unveiled in London with the Geranium restaurant located in Copenhagen (Denmark) winning the title for 2022. For France the best ranked included the Septime, in Paris, which gains two places to climb to 22nd place and the Clarence, also in Paris, enters the ranking directly in 28th position.

Business

Russia has hit Google with a £301m fine for failing to restrict access to "prohibited" material about the war in Ukraine and other content. The country’s communications regulator said the information included "fake" reports that discredited Russia's military and posts urging people to protest. It called the US tech giant a "systematic" violator of its laws.

Meanwhile, H&M has announced it is leaving Russia but will temporarily reopen its shops there to sell off its remaining stock. The world's second-biggest clothing retailer said it was "impossible" to continue its business in Russia due to the Ukraine war. The decision comes after the Swedish firm suspended all sales in Russia in March, shortly after Russian troops invaded Ukraine in late February. H&M is understood to have more than 150 stores and about 6,000 staff in Russia. It has not given a date or timescale for its exit.

Uber has agreed to pay more than $2m (£1.68m) to settle claims brought by the US government that its wait time fees discriminated against customers with disabilities. The firm also agreed to waive charges for disabled users in the future.

More than 1,000 people had complained about the fees, which often kick in if it takes more than two minutes to get into the car. Uber said its policy was to refund waiting fees for disabled riders. In resolving the lawsuit, the ride-hailing company denied wrongdoing.

Sport

Football - Iceland saw their Euro 2022 tournament come to an end, despite snatching a dramatic 1-1 draw against already-qualified France as Belgium won in the other group game to claim second place in Group D.

Cricket - England's World Cup winner Ben Stokes will retire from one-day international cricket after today’s series opener against South Africa in Durham. The 31-year-old made his debut against Ireland in 2011 and became Test captain in April, will still play Twenty20 cricket as well as leading the red-ball side.

Rugby Union - The chief executive of Rugby Australia has condemned the "offensive" remarks and behaviour of fans towards England coach Eddie Jones. Jones was involved in two altercations with Australia supporters who called him a "traitor" after his side's 21-17 win at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Weather

Mainly sunny despite some cloudy patches. 32 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Saint Laurent du Var. 33 degrees in Saint Tropez and Cannes. Moderate breeze. This evening going down to 22 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for Wednesday and Thursday fine and sunny.  Highs of between 32-34 degrees.

Sea temperature:      22 degrees      UV Level    9

Sunrise:                         06.05hr             Sunset:     21.06hr

 

 

 

 

 

 

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