French and Riviera News Wednesday 12th July 2023

News

Violent storms batter eastern France - Eastern France has been battered by severe storms with winds of up to 100km an hour and hail stones the size of tennis balls. The region which had been placed on a red weather warning on Tuesday, which is the highest level, saw 6,000 homes without electricity and damage was reported in several cities in particular, in the Jura and the territory of Belfort. 208 interventions were carried out by the fire services for falling branches or objects on public roads.

Heatwave - Meanwhile in other parts of France temperatures reached 40 degrees on Tuesday July 11th, notably in the Haute-Savoie. Around twenty departments were on an orange heat wave alert including the Alpes-de-Haute Provence and the Alpes Maritimes, with the warning being lifted at 6am this Wednesday morning. Temperatures will still remain high, with between 31 and 36 degrees from the Alpes to the Mediterranean and 38 degrees is expected today in Corsica.

France to supply long-range missiles to Ukraine - French President Emmanuel Macron has said that France will begin supplying long-range missiles to Ukraine. Arriving at a Nato summit in Lithuania Macron said, “I have decided to increase deliveries of weapons and equipment to enable the Ukrainians to have the capacity to strike deeply while keeping our doctrine to allow Ukraine to defend its territory”.

Emile is still missing - Police are still mobilised in the search for two-year-old Emile who has been missing since Saturday in the Alpes de Haute Provence.  The little boy, who had just arrived for the holidays with his maternal grandparents disappeared on Saturday at the end of the afternoon. He was last seen, in a street of the hamlet, by two neighbours, at 5:15pm, he was alone. The investigators are working to reconstruct the facts looking for the slightest clue to try to find a lead as the search continues.

Medical centre forced to close due to dealers - A medical-psychological centre in Marseille has had to close its doors after employees asserted their right of withdrawal due to threatening behaviour from dealers. For several months the dealers have been present on the premises, making it impossible for nurses to accommodate people and patients in difficulty. The staff is hoping for new premises soon and a meeting is scheduled this week with the prefecture.

Pollution alert – The air quality in the Alpes Maritimes will deteriorate this Wednesday with a level 1 air pollution alert being issued by the prefecture.  AtmoSud recommends that for vulnerable people the practice of intense physical or sporting activities outdoors is avoided.

Winning the lottery doesn’t necessarily bring happiness, claims French couple - A couple from eastern France who became millionaires back in 2019 after winning the lottery, have said that it doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. Speaking to French media the couple from a modest background have enjoyed their 21 million euros win, “while trying to keep their feet on the ground”. Reflecting on their win they concluded that “while the money contributes to happiness, they were very happy before and maybe don’t have to worry as much about what tomorrow brings but, it doesn’t necessarily bring happiness”.

Business

$150m (£116m) in penalties has been handed to the Bank of America after it was found to have opened credit cards without customers' permission.  Regulators also discovered the bank "double-dipped" fees from customers and withheld promised reward bonuses. The violations at the US's second largest bank affect hundreds of thousands of customers and in some cases date back to 2012. Bank of America has not admitted or denied the investigation's findings.

A US judge has rejected a request from US regulators to block the deal of Microsoft taking over games’ publisher Activision Blizzard. The tech giant's merger with the Call of Duty owner would be the biggest deal of its kind in gaming industry history. Shares in Activision surged more than 10% as investors bet it would succeed.

Technology entrepreneur Nick Hungerford has died at the age of 43. Hungerford who had terminal bone cancer was founder of the charity Elizabeth’s Smile which supports bereaved children and was inspired by and named after his two-year-old daughter. The charity said on its website that it was deeply saddened to share the news of its founder's death. Mr Hungerford co-founded the investment platform Nutmeg in 2011. The idea was famously rejected 45 times in a row by funders, but the business was bought by JP Morgan in 2021 for a reported £700m.

And - Hollywood's writers have been on strike for two months and soon actors may join them.  The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) contract expires at midnight local time on 12th July, following a deadline extension that delayed the possibility of a mega-strike by almost two weeks. Actors are set to join the Writers Guild of America, which went on strike on 2 May after failing to reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an umbrella group representing studios like Disney, Netflix, Amazon and Apple.

Sport

Formula One – Australian Daniel Ricciardo has announced a surprise return to Formula 1. The 34-year-old who was released by McLaren last year, will race at the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 23rd driving for Red Bull’s sister team Alpha Tauri.

Tennis – At Wimbledon Novak Djokovic has beaten seventh seed Andrey Rublev fighting back and winning the quarter-finals 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-3. The Serb is now aiming to maintain his bid for a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon men's title.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina says war in her homeland has made her mentally stronger after she reached a surprise Wimbledon semi-final. Just three months after returning to the tour, having had a baby in October, she beat top seed Iga Swiatek 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in the last eight. She said she was glad to "bring a little happiness" to Ukrainians and that war had altered her perspective.

Football - USA forward Christian Pulisic is close to completing a £20m move from Chelsea to AC Milan.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 29-31 degrees in Nice, Monaco and Vence. A gentle south eastly wind. 31-32 degrees in Marseille and Toulon. Possibility of showers inland in the Alpes Maritimes by this evening. Tonight’s temperatures, going down to 22 degrees along the coast of the Riviera and 19 degrees in the Var.  

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday remaining fine clear skies with highs of 29-31 degrees.

Sunrise       05.59am   

Sunset        09.11pm

Beach weather forecast

Nice – Sea temperature 27 degrees. Air temperature 29. UV level 10.

Hyeres – Sea temperature 26 degrees. Air temperature 29. UV level 11.

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