French and Riviera News Wednesday 28th August 2019


Forest fires - The Prefecture in the Var has placed the region on high alert due to the severe risk of forest fires in the region. Five forest areas have been closed to the public.  

Nautipolis - Two and a half months after the fire that forced the Nautipolis complex of Valbonne-Sophia Antipolis in the Alpes-Maritimes to close, authorities say it plans to reopen to the public from Monday, September 2nd. This Thursday, August 29th, the safety commission will visit the complex to validate the site. It is still not known what caused the blaze which led to its complete closure and 50 employees being laid off.

Member of Bahrain’s royal family attacked by gang - Police in Antibes have opened an investigation following the attack on a member of Bahrain’s royal family here on the Côte d’Azur. The diplomat and his family who were staying in Vallauris at the time of the attack, were approached by several individuals while in their vehicle on the Chemin de la Californie, a few meters from where they were staying. The attackers sprayed tear gas and hit their victim over the head managing to walk away with a watch estimated at 122,000 euros, his wife’s handbag and two iphones.

Suicide attempt - A man is being cared for by medical staff after threatening to commit suicide from an apartment block in St. Laurent du Var on Tuesday morning. The mayor of Saint-Laurent-du-Var, Joseph Ségura, intervened after the individual asked to speak directly to him. The mayor climbed a ladder in the first place of the apartment and persuaded the man to speak to its action.

School dinners - Following an investment of 32 million euros the new “central kitchen” has been inaugurated in Nice. Set to serve nearly 30,000 meals to schools and nurseries in the city it is twice the size of the previous one. The new state-of-the-art premises will also provide food for children with allergies, a unique service in France. The cost of school dinners in Nice is 2,95 euros in nursery schools and 3.25 euros in primary education. These rates are reportedly among the lowest in France. Another national first is that all cooking, transport and food warming will be done without plastic containers.

Hypermarket - A hypermarket in the Var has offered unsold goods worth 100,000 euros to an association helping people in difficulty. The Hyper U in Saint-Maximin is also making space available for the charitable work organization.

Ocean Viking - The Ocean Viking migrant rescue ship, has docked in its home port of Marseilles after rescuing 356 people off Libyan waters. The ship is chartered by SOS Mediterranean and Médecins Sans Frontières. Reports say that the Ocean Viking will probably be docked in Marseille for a few days before leaving on another mission.

OGC Nice - Bob Ratcliffe, the brother of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has held a press conference after the completion of the OGC Nice by his company on Monday night. Speaking to the press Ratcliffe said that he wanted to be able to compete with PSG, Lyon and other big clubs in France and that their ambition was to compete for the first four places in League 1.


Diplomatic spat - Brazilians have taken to social media to apologise for their president, after he insulted the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron with whom he has a continuing diplomatic spat. When asked at a press conference about the remarks, Macron called them "extraordinarily rude". And it appears many Brazilians feel the same. Some took to Twitter on Tuesday to express their dismay at their president's comments.

Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron has said it's time for Europe to reach out to Russia — to keep it in the Western fold, check its global ambitions and avoid being caught in the middle of a new Cold War. In a sweeping dimplomatic speech on Tuesday, Macron sketched out a role for France as a "balancing power"   between Russia and its rivals, between the U.S. and Iran, between rich and poor countries. Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin met last week and vowed to give a new boost to peace talks with Ukraine. But the two disagreed on other issues, including Syria and the Russian crackdown on opposition protests.

First openly transgender model - Teddy Quinlivan has become the first openly transgender model to work with high end fashion house Chanel. US-born Quinlivan came out as trans two years ago and had already worked with Chanel prior to the announcement in 2017. In a post on Instagram, the 25-year-old Boston native said she feared she would “never work with the iconic house of Chanel ever again” having publicly disclosed her trans identity. The announcement of Quinlivan’s appointment follows a pattern of high end fashion brands embracing trans models, after Victoria's Secret announced 22 year old Valentina Sempaio as its first trans model earlier this month.


Tobacco giants Philip Morris International and Marlboro-maker Altria are in talks to re-unite, more than a decade after the two firms separated. The news hit the share prices of cigarette competitors, with British American Tobacco down 3%.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed criminal charges against a former senior engineer at Google's owner Alphabet alleging he stole car technology secrets. Anthony Levandowski was charged with 33 counts of trade theft involving Alphabet's self-driving car technology. The 39-year-old, who now runs his own firm, denies the charges.

An investigation has found that shoppers in the UK are being misled with "dodgy discounts" and special offers in some supermarkets. Consumer group Which? analysed 459 "offers" to find multi-buy deals that would have cost shoppers more than buying the items separately a week before.

They also looked at "dubious" discounts, and special prices that were in place for most of the year. Which? said that in the year they tracked deals, 65 were misleading. Six supermarkets were guilty of at least one offence, with only Sainsbury's meeting the new criteria for offers. At Iceland, researchers found Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal on offer at two packs for £4, a week after they were on sale for £1.49 each.


Football - Bury have been expelled by the English Football League after a takeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed. The League One club had been given until 5pm on Tuesday to complete the deal, having been granted an extension to Friday's initial deadline. Bury are the first team to drop out of the EFL since Maidstone's liquidation in 1992.

League One will comprise 23 clubs for the rest of the season, with only three teams to be relegated.

Meanwhile Bolton have 14 days to find a buyer or prove they have the funds to complete the season, or they will be expelled from the English Football League.

And Inter Milan have agreed a loan deal to sign forward Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United.

Rugby Union - Scotland lock Sam Skinner will miss the Rugby World Cup after suffering a hamstring injury in Saturday's win over France. Glasgow Warriors second row Tim Swinson will join up with the training group as cover, with Gregor Townsend naming his final squad on 3 September.

Tennis - British number one Kyle Edmund made a first-round exit from the US Open for a second successive year. Johanna Konta and Dan Evans are now the only Britons left in the singles.


Cloudy with showers across the region some sunny intervals. Storms forecast for this afternoon along the coast and inland. Highs of 29 degrees in Saint Tropez, Hyeres and Le Lavandou. 30 degrees in Nice, Vence and Antibes. Light south westerly wind. This evening going down to 18 degrees in the Var and 22 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes and clear skies.

The outlook for Thursday and Friday clear skies. Thundery showers inland highs of 32 degrees.


A Russian humanoid robot has shown an apparent sense of humour as it docked at the International Space Station. 

Fedor, the Skybot F-850, announced its landing early Monday with a joke, after an aborted attempt at the weekend.

Fedor tweeted from outer space "Sorry for the delay. Got stuck in traffic. Am ready to carry on with work,"

The robot was designed to copy human movements, including having a sense of humour, as well as to aid in dealing with high-risk tasks in space.

After the successful second attempt, a NASA TV commentator said Fedor, short for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, a NASA TV commentator praised the vessel's "flawless approach”.

The ISS has been up in outer space since 1998, orbiting the earth at 28,000 kilometres per hour.

Although usually manned, Fedor made its solo trip on Thursday in a Soyuz spaceship, launched from southern Kazakhstan, in order to test a new emergency rescue system.




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