French and Riviera News Wednesday 13th July 2022

News

Heatwave - Seven departments in the south and south-west of France have been placed on a heat wave orange alert. The Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Haute-Garonne, Drôme and Ardèche are all concerned. The alert is in place from today 2pm. Recent hot weather has already prompted authorities to take action, with traffic restrictions in the paris region and the banning of certain fireworks in the Gironde. Twenty-four departments remain on a yellow alert, mainly in the west and in the Rhône valley. Among them Morbihan, where the city of Vannes has decided to cancel, due to the heat expected today, the parade of "Historical festivals" which was to attract 20,000 people. According to Météo-France the heatwave is expected to peak probably “between Saturday and next Tuesday” (July 19th).

Meanwhile at least 670 hectares of vegetation have been destroyed in the Gironde after two fires broke out south of Bordeaux on Tuesday. About 120 firefighters were mobilized. As of 9:30pm the fire was not under control with firefighters remaining on site.

Body of man reported missing is found - The young man who was reported missing at lake Sainte-Croix on Sunday has been found dead.  The 30-year-old from Portugal had allegedly jumped from his boat and had failed to resurface. His body was found on Tuesday at a depth of about twenty metres near the place where he had been sailing.

Fire - A fire has destroyed the upper floors of a building on boulevard Gambetta in Nice. Thirty people were evacuated after the blaze broke out on Tuesday evening. 29 firefighters were mobilised and the fire was under control shortly after midnight. No injuries were reported. An investigation is underway to determine the cause.

Boat catches fire - Meanwhile a huge plume of smoke was visible from the French Riviera coastline on Tuesday afternoon after a boat caught fire off the coast between Bordighera and Ospedaletti. According to local reports, the captain, a Frenchman in his fifties, was the only passenger on board and had had time to issue an SOS before jumping into the water to escape to the flames. He was then rescued by the Italian Coast Guard. The boat, sank at 5:35 p.m. The reasons for the fire on board the yacht are not yet known. The Italian authorities will investigate and must also assess the possible environmental consequences, in the event of potential pollution.

Ban on sale, possession, and use of fireworks - The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has banned the sale, possession and use of fireworks ahead of tomorrow July 14th, which is a national holiday in France. As every year, the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has taken a series of measures to "ensure public safety and tranquillity during the July 14 festivities".

Seven people injured after bus crashes into shop window - Seven people have been injured including two seriously, after a bus crashed into a shop window in Paris on Tuesday. The minibus hit a clothing store on rue de Vaugirard after the driver reportedly lost control. An investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances.

Motorway companies make a gesture at the pay toll this summer - Motorway companies in France have made a gesture at the pay toll this summer. The main motorway networks will grant this summer a 10% reduction on toll expenses paid in holiday vouchers. The move comes after France’s Minister of Transport Clément Beaune asked for a "gesture" from the motorway companies. The discount is reserved for toll expenses paid by in holiday vouchers and deposited on electronic toll badges which concerns 4.5 million French people. It will be effective from tomorrow Thursday July 14th until September 15th.

Italian mayor introduces ban - Massimo Coppola, mayor of the city of Sorrento, in southern Italy, has announced that tourists in swimsuits or shirtless will no longer be able to wander the streets this summer. In the Bay of Naples, tourists are welcome but once they leave the beach, they will have to put on a t-shirt and get dressed before discovering the region. The seaside resort, which attracts many tourists every year, no longer wishes to see tourists walking through the streets shirtless or in swimsuits. Tourists who do not respect the rule could risk a fine from 25 to 500 euros.

Covid figures from the IMSEE - Latest figures from the Monegasque Institute for Statistics and Studies Economics (IMSEE) have shown that since the start of the covid epidemic, the Principality has recorded 12,216 confirmed cases of covid, including 57 deaths and more than two-thirds of residents who have died since the start of the crisis were aged 80 and over. Between March 2020 and May 31, 2022 (the date on which the study data was stopped), 12,216 cases of covid were detected among residents of Monaco, including 755 "recontaminations". "Each year, the average age of those infected is decreasing, from 46.2 years in 2020 to 39.7 years in 2021 and 39.4 years in 2022."

Mercantour - A popular attraction in the Mercantour that has been cut off since Storm Alex is finally accessible again by car. The Sanctuary of La Madone de Fenestre sits almost 2,000 metres above sea level about 12 kilometres from Saint-Martin-Vésubie. It's a popular pilgrimage site and the starting point for many a mountain walk. Several kilometres of the access road were severely damaged by the storms that hit the Riviera in October 2020. Repair works began this spring and the road reopened this week - but heavy vehicles are still banned. The site will be accessible all summer, until mid-September, when access will be closed again to continue the reconstruction work.

Business

Twitter has taken billionaire Elon Musk to court to try to force him to buy the social media firm. It comes after Mr Musk announced he was walking away from his proposed $44bn (£37bn) takeover of Twitter on Friday. He claimed Twitter had not given information about the number of fake and spam accounts on the platform. Now Twitter has asked a court to order Mr Musk to complete the merger at the agreed $54.20 per Twitter share.

For the first time in twenty years the value of the euro and that of the dollar were aligned on Tuesday. An alignment which has not been seen since the year the euro was introduced two decades ago.

The American giant Amazon has partnered with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center recently launching a clinical trial approved by the federal drug agency to develop vaccines against certain types of cancer. The two partners are seeking to recruit 20 participants over the age of 18 for the early stage or phase 1 trial. According to official documents the objective is to develop "personalized vaccines" capable of treating breast cancer and skin cancer. Amazon has been building its presence in the healthcare industry in recent years. The company launched an online pharmacy in 2020, it ramped up its telehealth service, called Amazon Care.

Unions at the SNCF have announced that they will not be filing for new strike action during the holidays. In an announcement on Tuesday the unions said that they would meet with management on September 1st to discuss the sensitive issue of wages. The news is no doubt a relief for the hundreds of thousands of French people who will take the train this summer.

The Danish toymaking giant Lego has said it will stop operating in Russia indefinitely due to "continued extensive disruption". The firm stopped delivering products to Russia in March following the invasion of Ukraine, but its shops remained open as most rival retailers pulled out. Lego said it would now end its partnership with Inventive Retail Group which runs 81 shops on Lego's behalf.

Sport

Football - Eight-time European champions Germany defeated Spain 2-0 to secure top spot in Group B in the Women’s European Championship and avoid a Euro 2022 quarter-final tie with hosts England.

And Manchester United manager have thrashed Liverpool in a friendly match in Bangkok 4-0.

Athletics - Sir Mo Farah has said he is "relieved" that the Home Office will not take action against him after he revealed he was trafficked into the UK.

Cricket - England were bowled out for 110 as they slumped to a miserable 10-wicket defeat against India in the first one-day international at The Oval.

Formula One - Former Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has formally left motorsport's governing body, the FIA. The move comes four months after an FIA inquiry found "human error" was responsible for the incorrect application of the rules in the 2021 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Masi has "decided to leave the FIA and relocate to Australia to be closer to his family and take on new challenges". There was no mention of the Abu Dhabi controversy in the FIA statement.

Tour de France - Magnus Cort won a disrupted 10th stage of the Tour de France after climate activists forced a 10-minute delay in Megeve. The race was paused 36km from the finish as the protesters sat on the road, with one of them wearing a T-shirt saying, "We have 989 days left". The activists were eventually removed by police.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 29 degrees in Monaco, Nice and Cannes. 30 degrees in Saint Tropez with a gentle breeze. This evening going down to 23 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. Sunny with highs of 29-30 degrees.

Sea temperature:    22 degrees                 UV level:  9

Sunrise: 06.00hr                                             Sunset: 21.11hr

And Finally

An English carrier pigeon has found itself in the United States after taking the wrong route. Released from Guernsey, the bird named Bob found himself in Alabama. A journey of more than 6,000 km, which was not really planned. The 4-year-old bird was initially to join his loft in Gateshead, in the northeast of England, 640 km from Guernsey. But it was an Alabama resident who found him and entrusted him to a shelter saying that “he was covered in oil; he may have travelled on an oil tanker”. It was thanks to his rings that his owner could be found.

Bob is now in good hands, but his owner hopes to be reunited soon. The BBC indicates that it would be worth 1,000 pounds, or around 1,160 euros. So, to help him pay for a plane ticket for his pigeon, an online kitty has been launched.

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