French and Riviera News Wednesday 26th July 2023

News

Several fires in the Alpes Maritimes - Ten hectares have gone up in smoke after a fire broke out in the Alpes Maritimes on Tuesday afternoon. Strong winds and extremely dry conditions led to the blaze breaking out at the Domaine du Loup in Cagnes Sur Mer. A hundred firefighters were mobilized and a water bomber helicopter intervened in the residential area. No injuries were reported, and no homes were affected. However, several junctions on the A8 motorway were closed due to the blaze and the train service between Nice and Antibes was interrupted.  Other fires were reported on Tuesday in Gréolières, Saorge and in the Crête de Maroun sector, between La Bollène and Breil-sur-Roya and in Bairols, Le Villaret.

Firefighters have also been fighting, during the night, fires fanned by gusts of wind threatening three villages in the Haute-Corse. Shortly after midnight, around fifty hectares had gone up in smoke. Some 200 firefighters have been deployed as gusts of 120 km / h hit the region. The fire comes at a time when two other Mediterranean countries, plagued by scorching temperatures, have been affected by violent fires. In Greece on Tuesday, two pilots of a Canadair died when their plane crashed and the body of a man was found charred.

Gorges du Verdon closed due to high winds - Meanwhile, access to the Gorges du Verdon was closed on Tuesday due to the strong winds. Popular with tourists at this time of year the lake of Sainte-Croix and the Gorges du Verdon were forced to close following an announcement from the local prefecture.

Sea temperature - The Mediterranean Sea has broken its daily temperature record reaching 28.71 degrees this week. The previous record of 28.25°C dates back to August 23rd, 2003.

Drowning prevention day - In partnership with the town hall of Monaco, the Monegasque Red Cross, the Monaco Maritime and the fire department the Princess Charlene Foundation has held its drowning prevention day at the Rainier-III nautical stadium here in the Principality. The death of a 70-year-old on Monday July 17th in Cannes, as well as that of a child on Saturday July 15th in Nice and numerous others, drowning remains the fatal domestic accident which is repeated every summer in our region. To raise awareness, the Princess Charlene Foundation continues its dedication to avoid such tragedies. Tuesday saw water rescue demonstrations being carried out and the promotion of water safety for children. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists 236,000 deaths by drowning each year in the world. In France, figures from Santé Publique France show that 1,000 people drown per year and that it remains the leading cause of death by accident in everyday life among people under 25 years of age.

Lyme disease - Despite extensive research a vaccine against Lyme disease has not yet been found. This week researchers from Inrae, the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses) and the veterinary school of Alfort (Val-de-Marne) through several experiments made it possible to reduce the dangerousness of ticks by disturbing their microbiota and are now considering the development of an innovative vaccination strategy aimed at disrupting the microbiota of ticks. Since January 2017, more than 72,000 tick bites have been recorded in France by the research institute. But not all of these lead to transmission of Lyme disease. Between 0 and 20% of ticks are infected by the disease depending on the region and the season.

Busy on the regions road this weekend - Motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes is predicting a busy weekend on French roads. Very dense traffic is expected from late Thursday morning towards the Atlantic coast and towards the Mediterranean throughout the weekend, but also on Monday morning. In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, traffic will be very heavy in both directions on Friday, from the start of the afternoon, especially around major agglomerations such as Toulon, Nice, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. Difficulties are also expected on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. around Aix-en-Provence in both directions as well as Sunday late afternoon between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. around major cities.

Business

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has increased its forecast of how much the global economy will grow this year to 3%. The 0.2% improvement from April's forecast was partly driven by increased post-pandemic travel. But soaring consumer prices and higher interest rates remained risks in developed nations. China's delicate economic recovery was also amongst the biggest risks on the horizon.

A strike at shipping giant UPS in the US appears to have been avoided, after the company reached a tentative deal with the union that represents much of its staff. The union said the agreement would "set a new standard" for all delivery workers, granting raises, more full-time jobs and "dozens" of new workplace improvements and protections. It also sets starting pay at $21 per hour for new part-time workers. UPS called it a "win-win-win" deal.

And - The chief executive of NatWest, Dame Alison Rose, is to step down after coming under pressure in the row over Nigel Farage's bank account. She had been heavily criticised for being the source of an inaccurate BBC report about the leading Brexiteer's account at Coutts, which is part of NatWest Group. Dame Alison had admitted a "serious error of judgment".

Sport

Football – In the Women’s World Cup today – In Group B Canada play Ireland kick off is at 2pm French time. In Group C this morning Japan play Costa Rica and Spain play Zambia.

In other football news Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis has been charged with "orchestrating a brazen insider trader scheme", according to US attorney Damian Williams.  Mr Williams used a video announcement to accuse the British billionaire of using inside information to "shower gifts on his friends and lovers".

Cricket - Batter Harry Brook says he is open to signing a multi-year central contract with England. Central contracts are currently awarded on a one-year basis, but multi-year deals could be introduced to ward off interest from franchises.

Fencing - Marie-Florence Candassamy has become world fencing champion after beating the Italian Alberta Santuccio on Tuesday in Milan. It was surprise win for Candassamy, who was not the favourite at the start of the competition and is the first fencing title for a French woman since Maureen Nisima in Paris in 2010.

Weather

Mainly fine with highs of 29 degrees in Monaco and Nice. 30 degrees in Saint-Tropez with strong winds. 28 degrees in Vence and 31 degrees in Theoule sur mer. This evening going down to 22 degrees along the coast and 19 degrees inland.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow, remaining fine. Scattered showers forecast for Friday across the region. Highs fo 29-32 degrees.

Sunrise       06.12am

Sunset        09.00pm

Beach Weather forecast

Nice – Sea temperature 26 degrees. Air temperature 29 degrees. UV level 9.

Hyeres – Sea temperature 24 degrees. Air temperature 30 degrees. UV level 9.

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