French and Riviera News.Friday July 12th 2019

Traffic-Heavy traffic is expected to build up on the region’s roads from this afternoon as the summer holiday period continues.

The French road monitor Bison Fute is advising motorists to avoid motorways and large towns from 5 pm until 8 pm today and says that traffic is expected to be very heavy all day tomorrow.

Sunday will be the best day for long-distance driving with motorists advised to start journeys early or drive overnight.

 

Baby rescued-Police in Toulon are continuing to question a man who left his 12 month old baby unattended in a car.

Local residents alerted police after the 12 month old baby was heard crying inside the vehicle which had been parked in the Saint-Jean-du-Var area of the city.

The man has told police that he thought the child would be ok as he had “left the window open”.

 

 

Bastille Day-136 sailors from the French Navy and 14 firemen based in the Var have been selected to take part in the annual Bastille Day Parade along the Champs Elysee in Paris on Sunday.

The military personnel based at the naval port of Toulon were chosen following a rigorous selection process and have been in Paris since last weekend taking part in rehearsals.

The weather looks set fair for the annual showpiece with President Macron leading the event.Troops taking part could get a bit hot under the collar with temperatures forecast to rise to 26 degrees.

 

Dali-An exceptional exhibition of the works of the surrealist painter Salvador Dali is being held at the Grimaldi Forum here in Monaco.

The exhibition ,which is open to the public until the 8th of September is considered to be one of the most complete retrospectives of Dali’s works and features many of his best known paintings.

As well as the artist’s paintings there is also a selection of photographs,drawings and a video display.

The works have been lent to Monaco by the Foundation Gala-Salvador Dali and the Queen Sofia Central Art Museum of Madrid.

 

 

Holiday homes-New data published by the Figaro Newspaper shows that the Var is the most popular area of France for ownership of holiday homes.

Seven of the top 10 most desirable areas for holiday homes are in the department with Grimaud top of the list followed by Le Rayol Canadel.

Gassin is 4th on the list with St Tropez 5th and Ramatuelle 7th.

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat in the Alpes-Maritimes makes the list in 10th place.

Le Figaro says that there are 3.4 million holiday homes in France  with the PACA region top of the list for investment.

 

Fireworks-A number of lavish fireworks displays are taking place over the weekend to mark Bastille Day.

The fun starts tonight in Antibes at 10.30  and tomorrow evening there will be displays in Bargemon ,Beaulieu-sur-Mer ,Fayence ,Grasse ,Nice ,Roquebrune-cap-Martin and Valbonne among many other locations.

On Sunday Bandol, Brignolles ,Cannes and Juan-les-Pins will all stage displays.

A full list of all towns holding displays and the days and times can be found on the website of France 3 Cote d’Azur at https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/carte-regarder-feux-artifice-week-end-du-14-juillet-alpes-maritimes-var-1697014.html

 

In National News.

 

Vincent Lambert-The quadriplegic man at the centre of the right-to-die debate in France has died.

Vincent Lambert,who was 42  had been in a persistent vegetative state for 11 years following a motorbike accident.

Doctors treating him started removing his life support 10 days ago following a ruling from the country’s highest appeals court.

Euthanasia is illegal in France but doctors are allowed to put terminally ill patients under deep sedation.

The case has divided France  and Mr Lambert’s parents had battled to keep him alive.

He died in hospital in Reims on Thursday.

 

De Rugy-The French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy is coming under increasing pressure following allegations that he used public money to stage lavish dinners with giant lobsters and bottles of 500 euro wine on the table.

The investigative website Mediapart says that Mr De Rugy held at least 12 dinners between 2017 and 2018 at his official residence while he was speaker of the French Parliament.

He says that the meals were official working dinners and that the Mediapart story is “misleading”

The news is embarrassing for President Macron at a time when he’s trying to distance his government from excess and is under pressure to reduce costs and waste.

Mediapart also says that Mr De Rugy and his wife ordered his official residence to be redecorated at the taxpayers expense to the tune of 63 thousand euros.

The Minister will keep his job following a meeting with the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Thursday and has promised to “pay every penny back” if there’s the slightest hint that any public money has been misused.

 

Digital Tax-France has hit back against US plans to launch an investigation into its planned  tax on big tech firms saying that its free to decide how it applies taxation as a sovereign country .

On Wednesday Donald Trump ordered an investigation into the tax which could lead to tariffs being imposed on French goods.

The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maine says that the new tax is totally compliant with international regulations and that it will be applied.

The French government says that the tax is necessary because big tech firms such as Amazon and Google are able to bank profits in low tax countries no matter where the revenue comes from.

The new tax will be applied at 3 percent on firms who earn money from digital services in France when they have more than 25 million euros in French revenue or 750 million euros worldwide.

 

Painkiller warning-The French Health Agency has published a report recommending that all medicines containing paracetamol should carry a health warning indicating the dangers posed by an overdose of the drug.

Paracetamol is frequently prescribed by French doctors for the treatment of pain and fever and is the active ingredient in  more than 200 common medications.

Manufacturers will be given 9 months to change the packaging on their products  with new labelling warning that an overdose of the prescribed amount can cause liver damage and stating the maximum permissible single dose.

More than one billion packets of paracetamol products are taken in France each year-an increase of 50 percent over the past decade.

 

Business.

 

US markets closed mostly higher on Thursday after the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve reinforced expectations of a cut in interest rates.

At the close the S&P 500 was up by 0.2 percent to 29 99 with the Dow Jones Industrials up 0.8 percent at 27,088 and the Nasdaq down 0.1 percent at 81 96.

 

The chief executive and co-founder of Norwegian Air Shuttle  has stepped down after 17 years in charge of of the airline.

Bjorn Kjos who’s 72 developed Norwegian Air from a small domestic airline to Europe’s third largest budget carrier.

Norwegian also broke into the transatlantic market by offering low fares.

In recent times the airline has been struggling to make a profit and has also been hit by the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max plane which has reduced the size of its fleet.

 

The lower house of the Brazilian Congress has overwhelmingly voted in favour of overhauling the country’s generous pension system.

The vote is seen as an important victory for President Bolsonaro who says that pension reforms are vital to boosting the growth of South America’s largest economy.

The bill is controversial and will require a second vote in the lower house before moving to the senate where it will face weeks,if not months of further scrutiny.

 

And-The Bank of England says that the UK banking system is still resilient to the financial impact of a worst-case disorderly Brexit.

The remarks came in the Bank’s regular Financial Stability Report with a warning that the “perceived likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has increased since the start of the year.

The Bank added that “material risks” of economic disruption from a no-deal Brexit remain.

Since last year , UK banks have been forced to hold back more capital  and demonstrate easy access to 1 trillion pounds in liquidity.

The Bank of England says that the buffer would allow retail banks to continue lending into the economy even if the UK was shut out of international markets for three months.

 

Sport.

 

Tennis-The women’s final at Wimbledon this year will be between Serena Williams and Simona Halep.

Both semi-finals on Thursday were pretty one sided with Williams overpowering unseeded Barbora Strycova in 59 minutes 6-1 6-2 and Halep beating Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3.

Tomorrow’s final will see Williams attempt to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles  while Halep says that she feels “mentally stronger” for the challenge.

 

It’s men’s semi-finals day today with Novak Djokovic up against Roberto Bautisto Agut and Rafael Nadal against Roger Federer.

 

Cricket-England have smashed Australia by 8 wickets to move into the World Cup Final.

Australia batted first at Edgebaston and must have wished they hadn’t as they were reduced to 14-3 with England making the  most of the new ball.

Steve Smith held the Australian innings together with 85 as they were bowled out for 223 in 49 overs.

England didn’t hang about with the reply as Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy went about demolishing the Australian attack.They were both out but Joe Root and skipper Eoin Morgan guided them to victory with more than 17 overs to spare in a total of 226-2.

It’s the first time that England have reached the World Cup Final since 1992-They’ll play New Zealand at Lords on Sunday.

 

Cycling-Dylan Teuns won stage 6 of the Tour de France on Thursday as the riders tackled the first mountain stage of the race from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Teuns came home 11 seconds ahead of Guilio Ciccone of Italy with the defending champion Geraint Thomas mounting a late attack to close the gap on his rivals.

Guilio Ciccone now holds the leader’s yellow jersey with a six second advantage over Julian Alaphilippe. Thomas is in overall 5th ,49 seconds off the pace.

Today’s 7th stage is  230 kilometers from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saone  and is mainly flat after some initial climbs.

 

Formula 1-First Practice takes place for Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone at 11am this morning with championship leader Lewis Hamilton saying that he’s “disappointed” that the race is clashing with so many other big sporting events.

The race will be on at the same time as the men’s singles final at Wimbledon and the cricket World Cup Final between England and New Zealand and Hamilton said that he was sure that many viewers would be “channel hopping” but that he’d do his best.

The last race in Austria was not a good outing for Mercedes but the Silverstone track should suit them better.

Second practice is at 3pm this afternoon with qualifying at 3pm tomorrow and the race at 3.10 on Sunday.

 

Athletics-The Herculis Diamond League meeting will be held at the Stade Louis Deux in Monaco   this evening.

Most of the world’s top athletes will be present to compete in a range of disciplines with the action starting at 7pm.

Tickets for the meeting  are available from the Stade Louis Deux box office or online at www.monaco-diamond-league.com

 

Weather.

 

Clear skies with moderate westerly winds across the Var.

Top temperatures 27-33 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows of 23 degrees on the coast and 21 degrees inland with clear skies.

The weekend-Clear skies tomorrow with  with highs of 27-33 degrees.Possible thunderstorms developing on Sunday afternoon  with highs of 29.

 

 

 

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