French and Riviera News Wednesday 23rd August 2023


Ukrainian ambassador criticises comments from former President - The Ukrainian ambassador in Paris, Vadym Omelchenko, has strongly criticized recent remarks made by former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, saying that they are “not acceptable, both in form and in substance" adding that the former President has a "synchronized communication operation" with Russia. In an interview with Le Figaro published on August 16, Sarkozy said that he believed that Ukraine "must remain neutral", without joining NATO or the European Union adding that "Ukraine is a link between the west and the east and must remain so". In addition, the ambassador sharply criticizes the diplomatic action of Nicolas Sarkozy during his term as President of the Republic. During a signing session for his new book “Le Temps des Combats”, on Tuesday in La Baule the former head of state reacted to the controversy created by his remarks on Ukraine. Saying that he "will have the opportunity to clarify things. But one of the problems of our democracy is the real impossibility of thinking and debating without insulting each other”.

Air pollution - Public transport in Nice will be free today Wednesday 23rd August, due to a level 2 air pollution alert. The move comes in an attempt to encourage people to not take their car and use public transport. The level 2 alert was triggered on Tuesday evening after four days of high ozone pollution and is expected to remain in place for Thursday and Friday. The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi urges people to "try to limit travel and to favour carpooling”. Estrosi has also requested from the prefect that heavy goods vehicles in transit in the Nice area be banned, that the Saint-Isidore paytoll on the A8 motorway be free of charge and that the stopover of large cruise ships be banned.

The Var and the Bouche du Rhone have also been placed on a level 2 air pollution alert with the most polluting vehicles being banned from circulating in Marseille and the speed limit lowered by 20km / h on certain roads.

Heatwave - Fifteen departments have been placed on a top-level Meteo France red alert for heat from today Wednesday 23rd August. The departments are in southern areas of the country. The Var and the Alpes-Maritimes are still on an orange level warning for high temperatures until at least midnight tonight. Meteo France have said that a heatwave "unprecedented in its duration and intensity at this time of year" is affecting the country. Monday was the hottest day observed in France after August 15th since 1947 with an average temperature of 26.4 degrees.  Locally, Meteo France said that record highs for overnight were recorded in Nice and Valbonne, with temperatures of 28.6 and 29.1 degrees respectively. 29.3 degrees was the overnight minimum in Menton. A temperature of 41.4 degrees was recorded in Cogolin on Tuesday afternoon.

Motorway closure - The A8 motorway was closed in both directions near the Menton interchange, junction 59, early on Tuesday evening. The closure was made to enable firefighters to access a vehicle which caught fire on the motorway just after 4pm. The A8 was re-opened to traffic in the direction of Italy at about 6pm.

Drowning - A man in his seventies has drowned in Frejus. Emergency services arrived at a beach on Tuesday morning at about 10am and the man was taken to hospital but didn't survive. The incident follows another drowning in the Var on Monday in which a woman in her sixties died at Hyeres.

Bal du Marché - The Bal du Marché is to return to the Principality on Saturday September 2nd from 7pm at the Place d’Armes. The back-to-school ball is an event not to be missed with food and live music from the "Benty Brothers Music". For more information and to reserve go to


According to government sources UK trade talks with India are reaching their "final but trickier" stages. The UK’s Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch is visiting India for a meeting of G20 trade ministers this week. There has been speculation about whether a trade deal may be struck before the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits India in September. Government sources said they hoped a deal could now be "months" away, but they stressed there were still some "big nuts to crack".

In what would be the biggest deal of its kind in the gaming industry. Microsoft has made a new bid to buy Call of Duty-maker Activision Blizzard. Its original $69bn (£59bn) deal was blocked by UK regulators. Microsoft's president Brad Smith said the new offer was "substantially different" and should be approved. The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will review the deal but said: "This is not a green light."

And - Amazon Prime customers in the UK will face an extra charge on certain deliveries from next month. The retail giant said members will have to pay £1.99 for same-day delivery if their basket totals less than £20 - on top of their £8.99 a month subscription fee. Customers were notified about the changes, which will come into effect from 18 September, via email.


Rugby Union - Owen Farrell will miss England's first two World Cup pool games after World Rugby successfully appealed against the decision to overturn his red card. The England captain's four-game ban means he will miss the group matches against Argentina and Japan, with two warm-up fixtures also included. Farrell's red card had been overturned by an independent judicial committee, which was then overruled on Tuesday. The appeal committee said the tackle was "always illegal".

Football - Rachel Riley has accused Manchester United of "gaslighting" and "green lighting" abuse for their handling of the decision to part company with Mason Greenwood. Greenwood's exit was confirmed on Monday after a six-month internal investigation into his conduct. It came after charges against the player, including attempted rape and assault, were dropped in February.

Formula One - Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur believes it would be "strange" to change the results of the 2008 world championship 15 years later. Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is taking legal action against Formula 1 bosses and is seeking compensation for the 'crash-gate' scandal. Massa's lawyers claim he lost the title to Lewis Hamilton because Renault fixed the Singapore Grand Prix.

Tennis - Britain's Harriet Dart remains in the hunt for a place in the US Open main draw after a gutsy comeback win in the first round of qualifying. Dart, trailed by a set and an early break against France's Chloe Paquet but fought back to win 3-6 6-4 6-1. The British number four must win two more matches this week to qualify for the final Grand Slam event of the year, which starts in New York on Monday.


Sunny with highs of 32 degrees in Monaco and Nice. 36 degrees in Marseille 37 degrees in Saint-Tropez and 39 degrees in Puget Theniers. An orange heatwave alert remains in place for the Alpes Maritimes and the Var.

This evening going down to 28 degrees in Nice, and 22 degrees inland. Clear skies.

The outlook for tomorrow and Friday. High temperatures are expected to continue slowly dropping heading into the weekend with storms forecast for Sunday afternoon.

Sunrise       06.43

Sunset        08.21

Beach Weather

Nice – Sea temperature 27 degrees. Air temperature 31 degrees. UV level 8.

Saint-Tropez – Sea temperature 26 degrees. Air temperature 34 degrees. UV level 8.  



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